Most beach wagons are built with Wheeleez wheels which are used with stationary axles like you mentioned. I am not aware of any beach wagons made with Wheeleez wheels that have live axles.
For a live axle setup you might want to look into using go kart wheels, live axle, and bearings. If you search Google for "go kart live axle" many go kart parts stores will appear in the search results. Go kart axles are available in many different widths also.
Another way to get a live axle setup for an electric beach wagon is to convert a Razor Dirt Quad into a beach wagon like another member of this forum recently did. Here is a photo of it.
Hopefully these ideas will help to point you in the right direction. We can help with selecting the right motor and sprockets for the beach wagon once you decide which wheels and axle to use. And we can even make a kit out of all the parts you need that is pre-wired and ready to plug together right out of the box. Please let us know if you have any questions.
I have 2 questions. You have to understand, I'm new to this. First of all, if the axles are stationary, how does the cart move. Is there a different type of set up used for driving the wheels? Does the sprocket need to be attached to one of the wheels directly? How will it work if the sprocket is only attached to one of the wheels. Will the cart / wagon drive straight?
Secondly, concerning "live axle". This is when the axle and wheels turn...correct?
In this set up the axle is driven by the motor attached to the sprocket. The sprocket is attached to the axle by welding or a mechanical device...Correct? How do the wheels turn...keyways in the wheels and axles.
There is a site that sells electric beach carts "Electric Beach Carts". They use wheeleez tires. It looks like the sprocket is attached directly to the axle. That's where my idea came from. I guess I'm going to have to rethink this.
If you were doing this from scratch, how would you go about it? Would you buy a wagon and convert the rear axle to a "live axle"? Would you try to find a "razor dirt quad" and convert that. Or would you use a different setup?
Wagons and go karts with stationary axles have wheels with bearing that go over the axle, so only the wheels rotate and the axle remains stationary. A live axle has bearings between it and the frame and rotates along with the wheels that are attached to the axle. Usually both wheels are solidly attached to a live axle and both spin at the same time, however with some live axle setups only one wheel is solidly attached to the axle and the other wheel spins freely on a bearing without being powered by the axle.
With a live axle usually the sprocket is attached to the axle, however it could also be attached to one of the wheels and that wheel could drive the axle. If only one of the wheels is powered the wagon would drive straight because the front wheels would dictate the direction of travel, also one wheel drive makes turning corners easier because the two rear wheels can spin independently of each other. If both rear wheels are solidly attached to a live axle then the wagon would want to drive in a straight line and would be more difficult to turn, especially when it was on pavement or concrete, however with two wheel drive it would have twice as much traction in the sand as with one wheel drive.
I checked out the electric beach wagons site and see the live axle that you are referring to with the axle on the sprocket. I was not aware until now that was how they did it. That website should be able to sell you the parts to use Wheeleez with a live axle.
If I were to make a beach cart I am not exactly sure which way I would go. If I was able to buy a used Dirt Quad for fairly cheap I would probably go that route, however I would not buy a new Dirt Quad and cut it up for a beach cart because if I was going to spend that much I would start from scratch with a solid axle Wheeleez setup from electric beach wagons, or I would use new go kart parts for the rear axle and wheels.
Hi Nick, the wheels and axles on the Razor Dirt Quad are pretty beefy so I am sure they could handle a lot more than 120 pounds. I believe that the 120 pound weight limit is because the Dirt Quad only has a 350 Watt motor and with its 10 miles per hour gearing the motor would be overloaded if it was pushing more than 120 pounds of driver weight. With a lower gear ratio and/or a large motor it could push a lot more than 120 pounds though. The Dirt Quad's original 44 tooth axle sprocket could be changed to a 65 or 80 tooth sprocket to lower the gear ratio and give it a slower top speed and increased hauling capability.
I have not built a beach cart from a Dirt Quad before so I am not sure what the best way to go about the conversion or steering would be. However there is another member of this forum who has recently built a beach wagon from a Dirt Quad so I recommend going to his forum topic and ask him questions about how he did the conversion there. He will get an email when you reply to his forum topic so he will know you are replying. He also attached some photos of his Dirt Quad to beach wagon conversion which you can take a look at on his topic.
Here is a link to the Building a Beach Cart from a Razor Dirt Quad topic: http://support.electricscooterparts.com/support/discussions/topics/1000078947
If you have any further questions please let us know.