08.15.12

EVIE The Movie

Posted in AC 24, Batteries, DMOC, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Low Voltage System, Restore, Sub Frame, Teardown at 10:21 am by Administrator

This is the trailer for the little movie I am making… enjoy
ACEVIE
KEEP ON PLUGGIN
This is The Movie “Gettin The Lead Out”

07.05.12

Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey CA 07-01-2012

Posted in AC 24, Batteries, DMOC, Design, Drive Train, Gauges, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Low Voltage System, Road Test, Tuning at 10:08 pm by Administrator

EV1E’s Debut as an LiFePo4 powered vehicle proved to be a success. We placed third in the “electric vehicle conversion” division (now ask me how many vehicles were in our division.) Not bad considering I have never driven on a race track. The event was wonderful and enlightening. There were more production cars then conversions. Representatives from Tesla, BMW, Coda, Nissan, as well as the Kleen Speed race team were present. This says something very positive about the future of electric vehicles and hopefully the future of our environment as well.

06.30.12

Yippee! We’re Ready to Go Dad!

Posted in AC 24, Assembly, Batteries, DMOC, Design, Drive Train, Gauges, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Lights, Low Voltage System, Relay Board, Road Test, Seats, Sub Frame at 4:22 pm by Administrator

C'mon lets go!
These are my helpers. They were protesting that I couldn’t take them to Laguna Seca with me. This is an old fashioned “Sit In” They actually slept in the car last night and would not come in (the car was parked in the garage) the house.
We are ready for the big event at Laguna Seca tomorrow. Robert has volunteered his time and car trailer to the cause and we will be loading EV1E on the trailer eeearly in the morning. The Electric Automobile Association California Central Valley Chapter will be represented tomorrow!
I drove EV1E today and she “feels like a different car.” Jack Rickard of EVTV made this statement to me in one of our correspondences about the differences between lead and Lithium. He said when I change from lead to Lithium that my car will “feel like a different car” I wasn’t sure what he meant by it, I mean how could the same car feel completely different? Now I know what he meant EV1E feels more solid more responsive … tighter. Don’t know how else to explain it. Tomorrow is going to be a great way to see just what she can do.

06.28.12

Long Week, 121 Gigawatts! what was thinking!

Posted in AC 24, Accessories, Assembly, Batteries, DMOC, High Voltage System, Low Voltage System, Relay Board, Road Test, Seats at 10:49 pm by Administrator

Ok here is the scoop. Today, The Day on the calendar wherein, in 1955 Marty McFly first went back to the future in Doc’s Delorean, EV1E received her first jolt of Lithium Power. A very historic day.
As I said it was a long week. I took Monday off thanks to the graciousness and understanding of my fabulous program manager. So what did I do with it? I finished wiring the Low Voltage system. I tested all the relays and made sure they all functioned properly. I re-read the instruction manual for my PL6 which is supposed to be able to discharge a battery at 40Amps. I went through all of the steps and the only thing I got was a message that said “Bad Cell Count” and no matter what I do that is all I can get. I called Revo and sent several emails but alas a good product is only as good as the support behind it. Given that rule I have to say that the PL6 is a bad product… only because of the lack of support, that and it wont do anything useful. Did I mention I called them… this started about three weeks ago and I have yet to hear from them.
That said and done I had to figure another way to balance my pack. This took some thought…
On Tuesday I hooked up the DC to DC converter and Willie the welder came over and we welded the new seat brackets in so that I could use the 914 seats… The seats were too high, 914 seats too high! We revisited the old bradley seats and made some modifications to them and that is what I am using. On Tuesday I we also put in the locking mechanism for the aft battery boxes. On Tues night I Started placing batteries in the boxes in the proper configuration. I also fitted the connecting cables which connect the front box to the aft boxes. Wed I spent most of the day trying to configure the PL6 to discharge more then 7.99Amps. Then Willie came over again and he took the seat brackets out so that the Old Bradley seats would fit. I also pulled the three point seatbelt system out of the Porsche 914 and installed it in EV1E. I used the roll bar for the harness attachment and the other two points are where I had the lap belt. Today was great! I decided I was going to hook up all of the main pack and check all the systems. They are working. I drove the car down the block and thought this car is sluggish… I drove back home and parked EV1E in the garage and went to apply the E Brake, it was already applied. I took off the E Brake and drove to the end of the block again this time with much more pep.
About balancing. I am going to charge the pack until the most charged battery reach’s 3.5 volts then, I am going to measure the lowest voltages and take the high voltage batts out of the string and charge everything up to 3.5Volts. Then reintroduce the charged batts which were removed and have a balanced pack. I can then run the car normally until the batteries are discharged to almost 2.75V then I can hand balance them. For Now I have just a little more to do and I am ready for Laguna Seca.

06.23.12

OK Say’s Autopilot

Posted in AC 24, Accessories, Assembly, Batteries, DMOC, Design, Drive Train, Gauges, High Voltage System, Low Voltage System, Relay Board at 6:32 pm by Administrator

I have connected 4 batteries in parallel and am bottom balancing them all at the same time. Since I have to be away for a few days I thought I would Let the machines take over and when I called to check up on it I was told that they had already finished… I guess I will see soon enough, but if that is the case I will be able to do these much faster. Only a few days left and all I have to do is finish bottom balancing, hook up the main pack, hook up the DC to DC converter, weld in the seat brackets, seat belts and shoulder harnesses, adjust rear brakes, and hook up the instrumentation. Piece of cake! (gulp) Then I have to charge the pack and I will be ready to roll.

06.11.12

Just a Little Short On One End

Posted in AC 24, Accessories, Batteries, Body and Fender, Bradley GT II Electrical Diagrams, DMOC, Design, High Voltage System, Sub Frame at 11:33 am by Administrator

While I was perusing the website I noticed that for some reason I got it in my head that I would only need 7 cells on each side in the back. I can only fit 27 cells in the front rack. A quick calculation and I come up with 41 Batteries total. So we (Willie the Welder and I) are putting 8 batteries in the back on the drivers side and 7 on the passenger side giving us a total of 15 batteries in the back approx 180lbs plus the 130lbs of motor and the 40 or so lbs of Controller and the 9 lbs DC to DC converter approx 350lbs in the back and 324lbs in the front. Let me see…
Thats 684 lbs say 700 lbs which includes the motor, controller, dc to dc converter, charger and all of the batteries and battery boxes. the body with the windows and accessories weighs in at 600lbs and I dont know what a 74 VW chassis weighs so I am up to 1300lbs not including the weight of the chassis. Does anyone out there know the weight of a 74 VW chassis? The weight of the Lead acid gel batteries I am replacing was 840 lbs and only 1/3rd the energy. I think this car will weigh in at approx 2100lbs fully energized.


These photos show the passenger side battery box with the batteries in it (not final) to show how they will fit in the box. Obviously they are not ready to be hooked up. Note the pos and neg terminal placement…not correct. The second pic shows the bat box placement in relationship with the controller.

05.09.12

More Wiring, Component Placement, Door Seals

Posted in AC 24, Body and Fender, DMOC, Design, Drive Train, Low Voltage System, Relay Board at 5:25 pm by Administrator


The big news is the wiring for the motor and the controller is almost complete. It is cleaned up considerably. I have a central buss bar for my ground wires and there really isn’t that much to hooking up relays. I moved the charger to the back firewall (if you can call it that) it is now tucked neatly into the back. Everything looks cleaner. The dash board is also being re-designed…more about that later. I have ordered some more weather pack 3 way connectors. I will install those when they arrive. I have been tripping over stuff in my shop and so as to not be one who dismisses hints from the universe, I am spending the rest of the day cleaning up. Oh one more thing, Rigo from American Glass came over and checked out the EV1E’s doors and windows for leaks. He suggested I add some fiberglass strips to the door frames so the doors can be lined up with the gaskets. I looked at it and decided the aluminum would be a better choice as you can see it turned out pretty nice. I will be re-enforcing all of the doors with aluminum. I enjoy working with aluminum but it is a new concept for me. If anyone can make suggestions as to what tools I need… I have totally fried the grinder wheel on my bench grinder. It appears that a lower speed of everything is used because of the lower melting point temp of aluminum.Cutting is a problem but I find shaping fairly easy, a hand file works well for that.
Well the th th thee Thats all folks!
Keep On Pluggin

05.03.12

Operation Cleanup

Posted in AC 24, Bradley GT II Electrical Diagrams, DMOC, Design, Low Voltage System, Relay Board at 7:54 pm by Administrator

This is the DMOC and wire harness… notice anything different? Where are all the wires? If you follow from the DMOC to the back wall you will see a black cable going into the wall through a gland nut. The new location of the DMOC (controller) has advantages. I moved the relay board into the car on the back wall. Actually I have lost the board and opted for a scheme which allows me to place the relay’s closer to where they will be used.

DMOC Connected to the motor

DMOC Connected to the motor

04.11.12

Lower the Boom!

Posted in Batteries, DMOC, Design, Sub Frame at 11:50 pm by Administrator

Actually I lowered the subframe… Let me start over, I gathered up my battery boxes and weighed them. As you can see in the picture they were made of wood and weighed 55 lbs.
Then I removed the last lead acid battery. As you can see there is a lot of corrosion from the gel battery venting. This battery was only in the vehicle for three years. It was used for my 12 volt accessories in conjunction with a DC to DC converter. Now I am only going to use a DC to DC converter.

But wait theres more! I also lowered, removed and weighed the subframe. It needs to be cleaned up and either powder coated or painted. I thought seriously about losing the subframe but after careful consideration I have decided that the mere 140 lbs weight loss compared to the difference in handling (I would have to put 600 lbs of batteries in the back seat essentially) is not worth the trade off. The subframe hangs below the VW chassis and therefore offers the car a lower center of gravity. I have never had the car go fast enough to check for drift but I have taken it through 25 mph curves at 60 mph and was amazed at the handling capability of the car. Even though she was heavy with lead acid, she performed admirably. If Iose the subframe I would have to install my batteries on the back shelf of the car. This would put them rearward and up above the chassis about one foot to the shelf and another foot for the height of the battery. Thats 600 lbs on a one foot arm compared to 740 with a lower center of gravity then the original car. So I choose the subframe.
After all of that I will replace the wire harness with a better one… but that’s another story.
Keep On Pluggin

Willie’s Bracket

Posted in Batteries, DMOC, Design, Sub Frame at 12:02 am by Administrator

Today I asked my neighbor Willie if I could pick his brain about welding a shelf for the controller I thought the easiest way would be behind the motor or I could rebuild the original battery shelf which I tore out to make room for the lead acid batteries which I am in the process of replacing with LiFePo4’s. The next thing I know we are measuring and designing a bracket in the space behind the right rear wheel well which the DMOC will sit on and be completely out of the way of the battery packs. Thanks to Willie’s expertise and vision.

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