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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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Hi guys. I'm back again. The wagon is complete. It drives great on the road. The problem I'm having is that it doesn't do what I intended it to do. I built the wagon for the beach but it doesn't drive on the sand. It seems to dig into the sand. The tires I'm using are 13" x 6.5" x 6". Which I thought was going to be wide enough to drive on the beach. So I've kind of narrowed it down to two possibilities. 1. The tires are wrong. I would need those big balloon tires. Which could be a problem because of the cost of the tires in addition to the fact that idk if I can mount the sprocket onto this type of wheel. 2. It may be that there is only one drive wheel. The cart/wagon has a dead axle. Which means I only turn one wheel. I'm writing to see if you have any thoughts on this and to see if there was an easy way to drive the other wheel. I guess I could just add another motor to drive the other wheel. The question I have is there an easier way to go about this. And what add-ons would I need to make to the kit in order to do this. Or... Is there an easier way to do this. I could cut the dead axles out and weld a live able in and drive both wHeels. I'm just looking for some suggestions. I haven't thrown in the towel yet on the single drive axle. I have one more thing I'm going to try before I move on to trying to get both rear wheels to drive. I'm going to see if just using tubes alone on the wheels if that makes any difference. I'm looking for your thoughts and opinions on this please.

We had another customer who built a one wheel drive beach wagon and had the exact same problem so he switched it over to two wheel drive which completely solved the problem. Due to this we are no longer recommending one wheel drive powertrains for beach wagons and off-road carts.


I do not think that changing to a different tire would help very much. A second motor (along with a second controller, chain, sprocket, freewheel, and adapter) could be added to the undriven wheel however that would require a lot of parts and also the battery pack size would need to be doubled with a second motor in order for the wagon to have the same drive time that it has right now, so I like your idea about welding a live axle between the two wheels so both of them are powered with the motor that is already installed.

OK I'll have to get this moving. Do you know the dimensions of the tires the other customer had used for his beach wagon? If you do I would be greatly interested in knowing that information.
Also, I have a few more questions. The first thing is I'm going to have to redo allot of this cart to get it to work on the beach. I may as well address some of the other concerns I currently have. The first concern is is there a way to have reverse on the cart? Since I've been using it without reverse, the only way to turn it around in limited space is to lift up the back of the cart and move it around. For me this is not a problem but for my wife or is expectorant if the cart is loaded. Also, we used the freewheel adapter because I was concerned about the cart getting stuck if I ran out of power. However after taking it to the beach several times, I've noticed that the walk back to the house is down hill. Therefore, it is taking more power to hold the cart back even without using the power for the cart. It just rolls downhill. Those are the 2 items I'd like to see you comment on. Lastly is there tires. I don't want to go through all this expense if in fact the tires that I currently have are not going to work. I have to basically redo the entire rear axle. I'm going to have to get new rims for the rear tires and a new axle. I just want to make sure that the tires work. I don't want to get all this if in fact the tires are still not wide enough. In this situation I would just buy the tires from wheeleeze and set it up with the new axle. Please give me your expert opinion on these matters.
I do not know the tire sizes that our customers are using for their beach wagons. I have seen photos of their projects and noticed that most of them they tend to be fairly big and wide though.


For a 24 Volt 350 Watt kit we have controllers with reverse that could replace the existing unidirectional controller. A switch would need to be installed in conjunction with the reversing controller to control when it is in reverse mode. This switch could be handlebar mount or panel mount.


Reverse will not work with a freewheel in the drivetrain so the freewheel would need to be welded together so it is solid and welded to its adapter hub, or the sprocket could be switched over to mount to a solid hub.


I do not know what size tires will and will not work on a beach wagon. Most electric beach wagons that I have seen have wide tires though so I think that would be the right direction to go. Maybe someone else here who has more experience than I do with beach wagon tire sizes could comment on this.

When you say rather large tires would you be able to estimated the size of the tires. Also if Regarding the reversing controller approximately how much would it cost for the controller and the switch. The welding of the adapter is probably the simplest thing in this entire build. Are there any drawbacks with havering the reverse on the wagon aside from not being able to pull it if I run out of power.
I do not have enough experience with building beach wagons to be able to estimate effective tire sizes. I would aim for buying the widest tire that you can find though and that way you will know that there is nothing available that is better suited for the job. Most motorized vehicles that are dedicated to being driven on sand have tires with paddle treads, so the bigger and more paddle like the tire treads are the better traction it will have in the sand.

The only drawback to using a controller with reverse other than not being able to have a freewheel in the drivetrain is that the wagon needs to be at a complete stop before switching from forward to reverse, or reverse to forward. If the wagon is not at a complete stop when switching directions then the controller may become damaged.
Okay understood. Is there a way you could give me the information for the links so maybe I could email these people to try to find out the size of the tires they used. I will search your site to see if I can find the build information. But if you can point me in the right direction it would be helpful. Thanks again.
If you perform a search on this forum for the term 'beach' then all of the forum posts about beach wagons will appear in the results list. Then you could reply to the posts you are interested in and ask what the tire size is.

 

Okay I think I got my information about tire size. The question I have now is what is the best way to convert this wagon to a live axle. I know I have to remove the current fixed axle and have bearings welded. I than have to attach the sprocket to the axle. So that the sprocket will turn the axle. But how do I get the axle to drive the tires. I've made so many mistakes and redo's with this cart, I just don't want to keep having to do it again. Whatever direction you can give would be of great assistance.
Hey Nick. I am also building a beach cart. The tires that I am planning on using are 15 x 6.50. On a live axle. With your experience do you think these will work? What size tire are you going with? How much where they and where did you get them. I was reading your posts and noticed you were wanting a free wheel option. In my design I will be able to have forward, reverse and free wheel. If you would like more info don't hesitate
Hi Nick, I just had a chance to read your reply from a few days ago regarding installing a solid axle with bearings.


Since the existing wheels have bearings they will not work with a live axle in their stock form. Also when switching over to a live axle the diameter of the axle will most likely be larger than the existing fixed axle so it will not fit inside of the existing wheels bearings.


The best way to approach this would probably be to think in terms of replacing the existing rear end with a new axle, bearings, bearing hangers, sprocket hub, and wheels. This way all of these parts could be ordered together so they are all compatible with each other. A go kart parts store is usually the best place to source parts like these.


Please let us know if you have any questions.

Nick, I'm in the middle of an axle conversion right now. I was able to source all the parts I would need from azusaparts.com. They also cut custom teeth axle sprockets and can drill out mounting holes that match their uni and mini hubs. Here's a clip of my receipt for some of the conversion parts. Hope this will help on your conversion.


Part # 

Qty.

Unit Price

Item total

1030 - 4" WHEEL, STEEL, ASSEMBLY with 1" Live Axle Hub, 2 piece Rim, 2-3/4" Wide

2

$22.95

$45.90

2562 - MINI-HUB, STEEL, ZINC PLATED, 1" BORE WITH HARDWARE KIT

1

$18.95

$18.95





8403 - KEYSTOCK, 1/4" X 1/4" X 12"

1

$2.20

$2.20

I'm still struggling with understanding how a freewheel sprocket can work with a live axle.  I've purchased the free wheel and internal ratchet system.  If I mount the free wheel/ratchet to the sprocket and then use a keyway/key in the axle to lock everything together, will the drive sprocket chain rotate the driven sprocket forward (live axle) and still allow me to roll the cart backward with no resistance from the motor?

image


When a freewheel is correctly installed on a live axle the motor will send power to the axle and wheels in the forward direction only, and the vehicle can be rolled in the forward direction without any drag from the motor. However when the vehicle is rolled backwards the freewheel will engage and there will be a little bit of drag from the motor shaft being rotated by the axle and wheels.

It is the nature of a freewheel that it will only allow the vehicle to be pushed without resistance from the motor in the same direction that the motor powers it in. In the case of occasionally rolling the cart backwards to turn it around in a tight area or maneuver it into a parking space the motor will not provide very much resistance though.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

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