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Old 08-15-2017, 11:34 PM
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Default Simple/low-cost Electric go kart conversion

Lets say your average jo picks up a $100.00 go kart/fun kart

But, it don't run

Well, he could either

...purchase a new gas engine & clutch & a couple of cables

...or step your game up a notch & go green

It costs a little more but, there are now, several options available to easily get your kart going/green for under ~$500.00

Electric karts are the way of the future

Quick, quiet, powerful, provide instant torque & many are easily reversible at the flip of a switch

They are REALLY quite simple once you understand the concept


This thread is to show how simple & affordable electric karts can be


I will not be discussing

...golf cart motors

...fork lift motors

...or starter type motors

Too big or small or worn out or can't find matching components


I will be discussing & testing several brushed & brushless motors from 450 watts thru 2,000 watts that are for electric scooters, pocket bikes & ATV's

Most motors under 450 watts aren't powerful enough to propel an average kart

Motors over 2,000 watts start getting expensive

One of the kool things about electric karts is their easily upgradable when your ready (bigger motor, higher voltage, more batteries, programmable speed controllers)

So, to start

...got this old kart

...it's gonna be electric powered (e)

...it's yellow as a lemon (Lemon)

...& it needs some aid (aid)

Yup!, we're gonna call it "e-Lemon-aid"
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2017, 01:15 AM
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Too bad "going green" presents more of a "carbon footprint" than a simple, delightful, reciprocating piston engine.

But disposing of the kart battery when it dies...
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2017, 07:56 AM
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The Steam Engine WAS very useful (in it's day)

...& so WAS the horse & buggy


Progressive people advance with technology


"Every dog has his day"

...a song by "Damien" a local Heavy Metal band




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  #4  
Old 08-16-2017, 08:10 AM
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Yes, but every rose has it's thorn. Besides, it's better to burn out than fade away. Now if we could just get some dirty deeds done dirt cheap.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezcome-ezgo View Post
Yes, but every rose has it's thorn. Besides, it's better to flame out than fade away. Now if we could just get some dirty deeds done dirt cheap.
Flame out?

I didn't mention nuclear, too much power for our purposes


This thread is to help/show average DIY'ers how to Go Green, if they want to, for whatever reason


I haven't done the numbers

but, I've heard,

...if you use your kart daily

...it'll cost around a buck a day ($1.00) to recharge it.


I was thinkin' more like a shed or go kart pod

...with a solar panel on the roof

You get off work

...after supper you open your pod

...unplug your kart

...get her out

...flip a switch

...go have some fun

When your done

...put it back in it's pod

...plug it in

...lock it up till next time
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2017, 11:31 PM
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I am going to try to do most of this conversion with low cost, readily available parts & no welding

So, to get started

...remove the old engine

...or if no engine, get right to work


we need a plate or tray to mount

...the motor

...speed controller

...& the batteries

The engine mounting plate on most karts is pretty strong so lets work off of that

but, our motor/battery plate is a lot larger than that

so, we are going to need to add a bridge support the other end

once we got

...where the motor needs to go, marked

...where the bridge support goes, marked

Drilled them out

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  #7  
Old 08-17-2017, 12:11 PM
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Interesting. Keep us updated on the source, and prices of the parts that you use.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:08 PM
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Next, we need to mount our motor plate to the stock gas engine mounting plate

To do this, we can use our motor mounting plate as a drilling template

First, mount the motor to the plate using the outer bolts

Set it on the kart

...line up the motor & axle sprockets

...clamp it down to the stock engine plate with vise grips

...mark where the holes need to be

...center punch each one & drill them out

Attached Thumbnails
SAM_5016.jpg   SAM_5017.jpg  


Last edited by Functional Artist; 08-18-2017 at 11:10 PM. Reason: add video
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2017, 07:47 AM
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Now, set your drilled, motor mounting plate onto the stock gas engine mounting plate

...line up the holes

...put bolts thru motor, your mounting plate & the stock mount

...Use regular nuts (for now) to tighten it down (use lock nuts for final assembly)

...install chain (around motor & axle sprockets)

...check sprocket alignment & tension

...you want both sprockets & the chain lined up (straight as an arrow)

...you want the chain to have around 1/4" of movement (not tight but, not sloppy loose)


If the chain alignment & tension are adequate you can move on

...if NOT, you'll need to slot the holes a bit in the stock mount

The chain connection, with the motor & axle is your most important (mechanical) mechanism back there (you have to get it right or you'll have problems)
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2017, 08:55 AM
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Next, is the "bridge" bracket that supports the other side of the motor/battery plate

Bolt the motor plate & bridge using the (2) holes we already have drilled

We don't want to be drilling into the frame rails unless there are NO other options (weakens it)

So, in this situation, we'll use (4) 1" electrical conduit hold down straps

...they will wrap around the frame nicely & firmly secure our bridge to the kart

...hold them in place, wrapped around frame & mark where the holes need to be

Use (2) straps on each end of the bridge (for additional strength)

...center punch & drill your holes according to your marks

Now that most of your holes are drilled

...lets clean up our pieces

...rounding the corners & smoothing the edges

...wipe 'em down with paint thinner (to clean)

...seal them up with some black paint

Once dry

...install using 1/4" bolts & lock nuts

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SAM_5106.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2017, 10:23 AM
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While the paint is drying

Lets discuss the components we will be using for our propulsion system

For this first kart, lets start off with a kinda smallish

...a 450 watt 24 volt motor (YT80Y450) (~$60.00)

Voltage: 24 volt DC Rated speed 2,500 RPM
Rated current: 25A Output: 450W

http://www.ebay.com/itm/500-W-24V-DC...MAAOSwo0JWPm7J

...a universal (up to) 500 watt speed controller (Yiyun YK31C) (~$25.00)

Voltage: DC 24V Max: 500W
Low V cut off: 20 +/- 0.5V Throttle input: 1-4V

http://www.ebay.com/itm/500W-24V-DC-...UAAOxy4t1SleXL


...2 - 12V 12AH (12 volt 12 amp hour) batteries (wired in series 2 x 12V = 24V) (~$25.00 each)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-12-Volt-...YAAOSw44BYmPTs

... a standard thumb throttle (~$15.00)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/24v-36v-Elec...oAAOSwo0JWPm3z


or here is a whole kit (minus batteries) for under $100.00

http://www.ebay.com/itm/500W-24-V-El....c100005.m1851


Also using,

...an in line fuse holder with a 30A fuse (ALWAYS use a fuse to protect your system)

...& a switch/or key switch (for lock ability) to turn the speed controller on & off



So,

...whole propulsion kit ~$100.00

...2 12V12AH batteries ~$50.00

...fuse holder, fuse wiring & heat shrink ~$20.00

...key or toggle switch ~$5.00


* Total propulsion system under $200.00

It's a small set up (motor power & battery capacity)

...but, it'll get us going
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2017, 12:35 PM
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Great write up and pics. what do you estimate the top speed will be.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2017, 09:01 PM
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This is the same 24V set up I used on the El Turbo test kart

Before I stressed the motor (with Turbo testing) it did 15 mph consistently

After testing, top speed was ~13 mph

This will be a different situation:

El Turbo had bigger tires & differential rear axle (more drag)

e-Lemon-aid has smaller wheels & a hub mounted sprocket

I estimate:

...on this kart

...with a little less drag

...maybe, 15 - 18 mph

We see

...will be testing soon
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2017, 09:29 PM
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Now that our main components are mounted (motor & bat trees)

Next we can start hookin' stuff up

We'll start with the throttle

we are using a thumb throttle that usually mounts on handle bars


But, this kart has a steering wheel so, we'll have to mount it else where

...& figure a way to actuate it (work it)


To accomplish this we'll put it on a post & work it by a cable (a trick Sid told me about)


We can put it in the unused area behind the motor, next to the bat trees

...& run a cable up to the old gas engine throttle pedal


So, we need

...a thumb throttle

...~2" of regular old water pipe (7/8" O.D.)

...& a 3/8" x 3" bolt with a big washer & a lock nut


To get it mounted

...drill a 3/8" hole

...assemble thumb throttle on piece of pipe (painted to match motor plate)

...& mount on kart using a nut, bolt & washer

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Last edited by Functional Artist; 08-24-2017 at 09:58 PM. Reason: add video
  #15  
Old 08-24-2017, 10:14 PM
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Next, we need to hook up a switch to turn the speed controller on & off

Most karts have a "kill switch" used to shut the gas engine off

We can use that to control/switch our speed controller

Simple solution & repurposing stuff

First,

...remove switch from mount

...inspect to make sure its usable & not damaged

...remove old wires

...attach (2) new/fresh wires to the switch using appropriate connectors

...run those wires, along the frame, back to the speed controller

...& attach to the plug labled "key switch" or "lock" using spade crimp connectors


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SAM_5290.jpg  
  #16  
Old 08-25-2017, 07:24 AM
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Are you concerned about the throttle assembly rotating on that bolt?
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2017, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezcome-ezgo View Post
Are you concerned about the throttle assembly rotating on that bolt?

The 3/8" x 3" bolt holds the piece of pipe, in place, tight (no rotation)

(the piece of pipe could even be welded in place & skip the bolt)


The thumb throttle clamps on to the pipe using an Allen screw (no rotation)


Only the thumb part of the throttle moves (where cable is now attached)
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:53 PM
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Now, we need to get our motor wires

...with 1/4" ring terminals

...connected to the controller wires 1/4" ring terminals


You could just connect these wires with 1/4" x 3/4" nuts & bolts & wrap 'em with electrical tape

But, that's just jinky


The proper way would be to use a terminal post type connector


You can buy these type of connectors


But, that's no fun


So, let's make our own


For a (2) terminal connector

I would use a 1" x 4" piece of 1/4" plastic

...cut in half to have (2) 1" x 2" pieces

...drill (4) 1/8" holes evenly spaced in (1) piece

...place the drilled piece over the other piece

...& then drill the (2) outer holes thru the second piece (these are used to mounting)

...drill the (2) inner holes out bigger to 1/4" (these are the connection studs)

...then use a 7/16" drill bit to concave the edge so the head of the bolt sits down in/flush

...insert bolts thru holes

...secure them in place with nuts

...then place the first piece over the second piece

...align & insert 1/8" x 1" bolts thru both pieces


Then you can use these to mount it on the kart

...& secure it in place with lock nuts
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2017, 08:58 AM
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Mount the connection port on the kart

...between the motor & controller

Now,

Lets get the motor hooked up

...connect the red wire-positive (+) from the motor & the yellow wire-positive (+) coming from the controller to (1) post on the connection port

...& connect the black wire-ground (-) from the motor & the blue wire-ground (-) coming from the controller to the other

...tighten nuts securely
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SAM_5407.jpg  
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2017, 10:41 AM
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Finally,

Lets get the bat trees hooked up

The black wire goes directly to the negative (-) terminal of your bat tree pak (2-12V batteries wired in series)

Add a fuse holder & 40A fuse to the red wire & then connect it to the positive (+) terminal of your bat tree pak

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