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DET 193 - EV CONVERSION Blog

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DAY Five: Sep. 20th, 2008 - Saturday.

Day five of the Santa Rosa Junior College Course -
DET-193. ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONVERSION.

The class gathered for the fifth session of this new course, taught by Peter Oliver of Make Mine Electric.

Alex Seville of Thunderstruck-ev.com gave a presentation on electrifying motor bikes. Nex week he will be bringing in a EV Motor bike in pieces and one group will put it back together and test ride. Many questions were asked, and answered, then after a break the three teams got back to work on the cars.

And the end of the day, each group then presented to the others what they had acheived and what they need to continue the process next week

Note that Team Toyota will get unfair coverage since I'm on it, but I will try my best to report on the other's progress, and they are welcome to give me verbal, or email updates to add to their section.

Ed's VW Rabbit Cabriole
[Team VW]

End of day Status:
The front battery holder had been fabricated, and the plate and mounting of the Pot-Box sorted out ready for installation. The rear battery box was re-welded and strenthened. A speedometer cable was installed. A start was made on reinstall the dashboard, but it was found that many mounting bits were missing. A team member was commissioned to visit the local Pick-and-pull to cut out a rear seat well cover, get dashboard mounting clips, and investigate how all the wiring under the dash should be connected.


Michele's Toyota Corolla:
[Team Toyota]

Converted a year ago - needs trouble shooting - has experienced grave loss of power.

End of day Status: During the week all 18 batteries were charged and found today to contain between 12.8 and 13.1 v. A load tester was brought in and the slow process of timing how long it took each battery to get down to 11.5V (about 60% of capacity) was started. A good battery [S2] was checked first, and at a load of 20 amp hours found to take some 73.34 minutes. Then the 4 worst batteries were tested each taking between 25.37 and 38.76 minutes. It is feared that the vehicles lack of a Battery Management system allowed these to be overcharged as the charger is set to bring the whole pack up to 192v, but each battery can vary.

Meanwhile the tedious process of tracing wires continued and a wiring schematic sketched out (see link on right). and in the process we found three interesting things.

1. A wire leads from the charger's external connection at the back of the car to a large relay at the front. It apears that when the charger is plugged in the relay opens a break in the high-votage circuit to the controller. Thus the car cannot be driven if still plugged in - and there may be other reasons not yet determined.

>>> cont next column >>>

<<< Back to day four

Above: Draft Wiring diagram - after last week's 5 hour marathon of using Word to create he diagrams of the battery layout and connections I decided to bite the bullet and invest $200 in Smart Draw. The above diagram is my first Smart Draw effort. It's a nice prgram.
Clicking on the image should open the .pdf file in all its glory...

<<< from previos column

2. The car's interior water "powered" heater has been retained and what on first glance appeared to be vacum container (or Garbage disposal unit according to some) turned out to be an Itallian Jacuzzi Hot-water heater (70c) and pump. When heat is required a "heat" switch is turned on bringing the water temp. up to 70*c, then the interrior temp is controlled by the standard Toyoa sliding lever which controls the amount of hot water flowing through the interior radiator.

3. The oil operated power steering has been disabled rather than adding another electric motor to the system. This probably makes the car "heavy" at parking speeds but would be unnoticeable at road speed.

Don's Plymouth Horizon:
[Team Horizon]

Still much non-EV related work continued

End of day Status: During the week a team member had dismantled the clutch and determined it was in good condition. It was found that the transmission is basically a VW system, which may have been standard on the car.

Work continued on steering tie-rods, brakes, and the rear swing arm. The condition of the old DC's motors brush compents were noted to be poor with a broken spring, and discoloration of the commutator. Wire tracing was done, and a book had been putogether from photocopies of manuals from the local library

The rear battery box was still out for more work.

On to day six >>>

No photos of this day as I forgot my camera

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