Paddling Around the Estuary and Fixing Electric Golf Carts

Saturday December 6, 2014 Jenner CA.

Started off with a paddle

I was pretty burned out from studying how electric golf carts work on the internet yesterday, so there was no question of what I was going to do today.

I headed on down to Jenner to kayak for the day. It was a bit cloudy, but no rain with just a light wind and almost no one here today kayaking.

I put my boat in the water around eleven and headed on up the river at my leisurely pace, checking things out as I went, stopping often along the way.

The water was a  bit on the muddy side from the recent rains. It was just coming up on high tide, so the river current wasn’t much as I paddled along.

I just pasted Eagle’s landing and am going along the south shoreline here.russianriver


At Dead Deer Gulch I pulled in under these big trees and sat and watched for a bit. There are two horses on the hill across from me near the top of the ridge.river


These two horses have it made here. They get to eat and just enjoy the day on the ridge top and have a nice barn to go home to at night.horses


Eventually, I left that spot and continued on up the river towards the highway one bridge paddling around things in the river.bridge


Another redwood stump

I stopped under the bridge for a bit, then went over to check out this big redwood stump to see if it was one of the ones they planted in the river and it was. It’s stuck in this spot for now, at least until the water comes up higher.stump


Checking the north shoreline for birds

I started heading back down the river on the north side to see what birds I could spot on that side of the river, as a lot of birds like to sit on the grassy shoreline in this area.

A turkey vulture was getting some sun as I went by.vulture


And I passed this little grebe as I went by Paddy’s rock.grebe


I heard a bunch of honking up ahead as this  goose seemed to be sounding the alarm at my approach.goose2


There’s still plenty of coots on the water down here. I could see evidence of a number of them having gotten eaten recently in my travels today. Lots of things seem to like to dine on these birds, maybe because there are so many of them down here right now.coots


And this great white egret  has been hanging around this area for the last couple days. The dead cow is in this area, but with the tide high, I think it was under water right now and didn’t see it today.egret


Headed to the west end of Penny Island

I paddled on down to the west end of Penny Island and over to what I call the slot where I sat around enjoying the day. I’d been thinking about what to do to fix my brothers two golf carts and had some ideas on how to proceed by now.

Here’s my view of Jenner from this spot, the slot.jenner2


Didn’t go down to the open river’s mouth

I decided not to go down to the open river’s mouth today, but took a photo down that way. Some seagulls and harbor seals are resting on the sand down that way.rivermouth


I decided to head on home and see what I could do about those two broken golf carts, so I headed on in for the day and took my boat out and went on home.

I wanted a nap, but that wouldn’t get the carts fixed so I dove right into the first one.

Yamaha G19E Electric golf cart repair

This cart would not go forward, but would go in reverse. After sitting, it would go forward first thing in the morning, but the the forward would go out again and only the reverse would work. It seemed to have some sort of intermittent problem?

I checked the cart this morning and sure enough, the forward worked, so I knew that most of the stuff on the cart was probably ok.

I knew it had a bad battery cable connection, so I started with that.

Here’s the battery cable and connector. the connector is just about to break off near the nut. There’s very little holding it together and the whole things looks like it had been getting a bit on the hot side.cablelug


The connector turned out to be in worst shape then I expected. It was corroded and almost ready to fall apart.

I cleaned things up and installed a new cable in this spot. This was a main cable that went to the main relay.cable


I decided to take all the other cables off the batteries just as my brother Tom came by, so I started on one side and he started on the other side. About my fourth one,  I discovered another corroded cable connector that was almost gone, so I repaired it good enough for now.

I then hooked it all back up and it all seemed to work, at least for now. I told my brother he’d have to use it and test it out.

The main fix for these types of problems

These types of problems are always a lose wire or nut or broken wire on the motor or control box or the batteries. Most of the time it will be one of the battery connections, but you have to check them all and fix anything that looks or feels suspicious.

Repairing the Ezgo electric golf cart

I wasn’t going to, but that went so well, I decided to start on the other cart, an Ezgo electric.

My brother had bought this cart a year or so ago and bought new batteries for it and installed them.  It would go for a short time, but would lurch and then stopped altogether and hadn’t been looked at since. From all my  studies on the internet yesterday, I figured I had this one figured out and would need to get into the controls. The first step in working with these electric carts is to disconnect the batteries, so as not to short things out while working on them. I went to disconnect the batteries and decided to check all the battery connections to see if they were all good.
About the sixth one, oh, oh. I found the nut to not have been tightened up when he installed the new batteries, not even snug.

I took it apart and cleaned up the connection and tightened things down. Turned the key on and it went forward and backward. I got lucky on that one. It was easier than I thought it would be. A little luck always helps in dealing with these kinds of things.

Now, Tom was happy as both his carts were working which is important to him as he uses them heavily to work on and harvest his crops for his organic gardening business, Armstrong Valley Farm.

And I was happy because I got the carts out of my carport so my car could get back in there again. Only time will tell if I got the first cart repaired properly or not.

My car alternator was also failing

As long as I was on a roll, I looked at my cars alternator, which stopped working the other day, but tapping it with a hammer would make it go again. I had replaced this unit about a year ago with the same problem, so I was thinking maybe it wasn’t the alternator, but the electric field push-on connector on the back of the alternator was corroding and not making a connection to the field.

I decided to put some grease on this connector to stop any corrosion which I did and put it back together. It will take some time to test this out. If it fails again I will replace the alternator, but for now, all is well. At least I know it will start again with a little hammering if it should stop again.

By now, I was tired out, so I went in for a much needed nap

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