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Beach wagon

Hi my name is Nick and I have emailed you before concerning building a beach wagon. At that time, I was unsure of the specific's of the wagon. I think I now have all the information I need for you to be able to construct the kit that will best suit my beach agon. The wagon measures 24" x 48". The wagon will weigh approximately 90 lbs. The wheel size is 13" x 6". The will have 1 drive wheel. The size of the sprocket is 8 3/4". The sprocket has 72 teeth and requires a number 35 chain. I think this is all the information that you need. If there is anything else required, please let me know. Thanks....Nick

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Okay so reverse is out if I want the the ability to freewheel. The thumb switch is a question because I need to know how they mount before I can give you that answer. Does the thumb switch mount by slipping it over the bar. Or am I able to unscrew it to where it comes apart and is able to go over the bar and than screw it back together? I have a closed handle. There is no opening in the handle to slide the thumb switch over. So if neither one comes apart, send me whatever one you feel is best in your opinion. As for the motor, if that is the one you recommend for this cart, and it works with the freewheel sprocket, than that's good. I work for an electrical company so I'm a pretty handy guy. I build things, I make things work because on the job you have to think out of the box sometimes to get the right result. If I may can I give you a suggestion. Most people who want to build an electric beach cart have no idea what they are doing. They are relying on you to guide them. They are asking questions sometimes after the fact and then they are stuck either paying for something to be redone or settling for something they really wanted on the cart but can't have because of variou circumstances. You than are hounded through these emails and asked the same questions repeatedly. I think that you may want to put together a chart which describes the process. Something like if your going to build a beach cart and want it to have a live axle, this is how you should go about it..... If you want to have a dead axle this is the way you go about it..... If you want to have the ability to freewheel in case you lose battery, this is what you need to do. If you want to have reverse you are not going to be able to freewheel. I think this will make everyone's job much easier because they will have a better idea what they need and want before they even start the project. In my case I don't know if I would have gone with a dead axle if I had to do it again. I would have also thought longer about if I want the ability to freewheel if I was not able to have reverse. The average person wil not know how one item effects the outcome of another item but if you were to put this all on chart they would have that information available before the cart is purchased. Also I would have rethought getting a live axle with a differential. My biggest problem with that is what the cost would be for the axle with the differential. The way I see it, I'm going to spend more money now and not get the wagon I wanted because of the decisions I made. If I would have known any of these things before hand, I would have made different decisions . Please think about this and is like to here your opinions on this.... Regards.....Nick

That is a great idea for us to make to make a chart showing all of the different options and possibilities for making a beach wagon. I am already starting to form an idea of what the chart will look like. I will start working on making a beach wagon build chart and post it on our website when it is finished. This way when someone starts a build I can refer them to it to make the planning process easier.

I recently spent a few days building a customer service counter for our warehouse and after it was finished realized that it was too low and needs to be higher. So I basically have to start over and build it again. The top is the only part that can be reused. I purchased the wood needed for the rebuild yesterday. So I know the frustration of building something that was not designed as it should have been from the beginning.

Unfortunately all of the thumb throttles we have slip over the bar and do not come apart for mounting onto a closed handle. The best thumb throttle and easiest to integrate into the kit that I can think of is one that we have with a built-in battery power meter and a latching on-off push button switch which we could wire as the main power switch. Here is what it looks like.

Does this throttle and the idea of having the power switch on the throttle sound like a good idea to you?

From your description of the beach cart needing to travel 250 yards each way with a slight incline in one of the directions I calculated that two 12 Volt 12Ah batteries would have a surplus of capacity to do the job so this is the size of battery that I recommend. These batteries are 6" x 4" x 4" each and there are two of them. Is this battery size okay with you?

Everything seems to be good. I'll cut the handle to be able to slip the thumb switch over the bar. If you think the batteries will work than fine but can you guesstimate how much run time the batteries will have moving the cart. I just want to have an idea of how long they will last before charging is required. Make the kit, I'll review it. If there is any questions I'll contact you before I purchase. Thanks for all your help.
Sorry for the late reply. I was building a customer service counter this weekend and then yesterday our phone system went down and I had to work on that. I am back today though.

I estimate that a 1500 foot (1/3 mile) round trip at a 3 miles per hour rate of speed will take around 7 minutes to travel (3-1/2 minutes each way). A 24 Volt 12Ah battery pack will provide around a half hour of full speed run time. Since your round trip is only around 7 minutes a smaller battery pack could be used, such as a battery pack made with 8Ah batteries which would provide around 20 minutes of run time. I will leave the final battery pack size determination up to you so please let me know which battery size you prefer.

Here is a drawing showing which direction the freewheel needs to engage depending on where it is installed on the vehicle.

Before I make the kit I would just like to confirm if you need the freewheel to engage in the clockwise or counterclockwise direction?
Hi, use the larger batteries unless there is a big difference in cost. I would need the freewheel to engage in the counter clockwise direction. Thanks for all your help and please try to take it easy on me with the pricing.

I have the kit prepared and it is item # KIT-328-D. Here is a link to it:

The kit would cost $30.00 less with two 8Ah batteries compared to the two 12Ah batteries that it has now. Please take a look at the kit and all of the parts in it to make sure I included everything that we discussed.

If you would like any changes or additions made to the kit please let me know.


Hi, I'm back again. I ordered the kit right after I last spoke to you. Apparently there was some type of problems with one of the items in the kit so I just received it yesterday. The problem I'm having. Is that the freewheel adapter that I was sent is already attached to the freewheel. In the diagrams you had sent me you stated that the adapter needed to be welded to the fabricated plate (large washer). Then I was to screw it to the freewheel. I'm sending you 2 pictures of the assembly I received. Can you please let me know if I'm doing something wrong or if there is something I'm not understanding. Lastly there is another plastic small piece that was included in the kit that I don't know what to do with. Thanks...nick
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The freewheel adapter was gently threaded onto the freewheel by hand for shipping so these two parts would not require two separate bags and to show how they thread together. The threads were not tightened so the adapter can be separated from the freewheel by unthreading it out of the freewheel by hand. You will need to grip the inner part of the freewheel in order to keep it from rotating when unthreading the adapter. The red arrows on the photo below show the directions to turn the freewheel and adapter to unthread them from each other.

The small plastic piece is a spacer that goes over the handlebars and inside of the outside end of the throttle to separate it from the rubber grip. This spacer prevents the rubber grip from catching on the throttle and not allowing it to return to the zero throttle position after it has been engaged.

That's what I thought. I knew they were reverse threads because of the way the freewheel engages. But this thing is not budging. I tried with wrenches and it still would not move. Is there a special key used to do this? By key I'm referring to the 4 prongs directly next to the red arrow you drew on the picture above. Is there a key that would fit into those 4 indents which would allow me to get some leverage. This adapter will not move regardless of how hard I tried. Please let me know.
We do sell a tool to remove the freewheel which is our item # FWM-400 and is sold on this page:


This is odd that these parts are stuck together because I threaded the adapter into the freewheel by hand myself and I did not even thread it in all of the way. I left around a 1/4 inch of threads exposed. I figure that maybe during shipping the vibration of the delivery trucks threaded it in the rest of the way but I could not imagine that the truck vibrations would have torqued it to the point that it will not unthread. I compared the photo you attached to our left hand 5-hole freewheel and the freewheel in your photo is the left hand one, as the right hand freewheel we sell is silver color instead of brass color. Needless to say this is the last time that I will thread these two parts together before shipping them.

What I recommend to do is put the adapter in a vise with the freewheel positioned on top of the vice jaws and tighten the vice jaws a little but not so much as to distort the adapter. Then put a little penetrating oil like WD40 between the adapter and freewheel threads and let it soak in for a while. Then see if the the internal part of the freewheel can be rotated in the right hand direction by hand. If that does not work then try tapping on the inside of one of the freewheel notches in the right hand direction with a punch and hammer to break it free. That should do the job. If that still does not work then we will need to send you a return shipping label so we can get the parts back to unthread in our shop. Please let me know how it goes and we will take it from there.
No worries. I should be able to get it free. I hope. Just for clarification. When I have the steel "washer" fabricated, with the dimensions you gave me, will the adapter actually fit into the center hole or is the hole slightly smaller than the adapter? And the adapter will sit on top of the washer?
I just reviewed the steel washer drawing and it specifies a 1" ID hole which is the exact same size as the hole in the adapter. So the adapter will sit on top of the washer.
Hi there, I just want to say that I'm coming in the stretch. I have the bracket made. I also had to redo the axle because it was too short because with the addition of the freewheel adapter and the bracket it pushed the end of the wheel about 3/4" beyond the axle. Right now all is good. I have a few questions. I thought I'd ask the first before I bought anything. 1. The chain. Is it better to have the chain shorter or longer being that I'm going to be using this on sand part of the time. At full length, the chain is about 48" long (open) and about 24" long looped. From the axle to the motor it's about 20" at the current length. 2. Should there be some type of cover for the chain to reduce the amount of sand that could get on it. 3. Can I put the motor in a box? Naturally I want to limit the amount of water that could get on it. My concern is if it starts raining while I'm at the beach. I would need to cut a opening in the box for the chain to pash through. If I was to do this, does the box need to be ventilated? 4. I want to put the batteries and the control box in another box. Is there any problems with doing that? The wagon is made out of a 3/4" thick plastic so that it won't rust. The bottom of the wagon is solid(no holes or slots). The boxes that would be mounted would also be plastic. They would be positioned on either sides of the wagon. Thanks for all your help.
In general a shorter chain is better than a longer chain because it will have less deflection from side to side and up and down. I would opt toward designing the beach wagon to use a shorter chain. A chain cover or guard is a good idea. Sand and chains do not mix very well and the more sand that the chain experiences the faster it will wear out. The motor could be mounted inside of a box however if the motor will be used for the amount of time that it would start to get hot then the box may need ventilation to cool the motor. If the motor is only used for a short amount of time and does not get hot while in use then the box would not need to be ventilated. Placing the batteries and controller in a box does not present any problems. Almost all electric scooters and bikes have their controllers and batteries in boxes so that is standard practice.
This article has been very helpful for my goal of building an electric cart/wheelbarrow, mainly for cleaning horse stalls. Thanks for all the time and effort you both invested and shared. Now I just need to decide on a cart frame to use as a starting point.

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