Harry, Ella, Felix, and Max have been working on restoring a 1977 Cushman golf cart to be used as “Greased Lighting” in the all school musical this year. This project incorporates understanding electrical safety, understanding the various electrical components (including: Reversing switch, Accelerator, Solenoid, and Motor (DC)), and being able to identify and replace broken mechanical parts and wiring.
The major work for this project involved rewiring all of the batteries and electrical components, replacing broken and poorly maintained parts in the process. The parts we replaced included: contacts on the accelerator and a switch to prevent arcing, the solenoid starter switch, the wiring for the lights, the key switch, and the front and rear shocks.
This project is also connected to the battery project lead by Max and Felix. The motor requires 36v to run so we are using 6, 6v batteries wired in series (The batteries are connected in a line with positive of one connected to the negative of the other. This increases voltage while current stays constant.). We are using 6v, deep cycle batteries utilizing wet cells. We are using deep cycle batteries (which among other features include thicker plates to resist wear from sustained charging and discharging) as opposed to standard car batteries because a car battery is designed to give off a high current for a short period of time in order to run the starter motor then is recharged by the alternator. In the cart, we desire a battery that can deliver a lower current, but for a sustained period of time in order to maximize the range of the cart. By using 6, 6v batteries as opposed to 3 standard 12v car batteries, we are further able to increase our power reserves by storing more power across a broader number of batteries. The batteries are wet cells. A wet cell battery is defined as a battery containing a liquid electrolyte (usually sulfuric acid such as in my lead-acid battery). These wet cell batteries are using the same materials and chemistry as the lead-acid battery built by Max and Felix.
From this project we plan to learn about the various electrical components (the motor, solenoid, accelerator, reversing switch, and dc motor). We also plan to incorporate and develop engineering and machining skills to fix broken components and improve upon poorly designed parts.
Most of the parts come from: http://www.vintagegolfcartparts.com/
We have also been using resources from http://www.diygokarts.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9700 to learn about go-carts and golf carts.
Information for the batteries was from: http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic_health/data/thwetcel.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(electricity)#Wet_cell