Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gathering Data

I have been happily driving my EV as much as possible, and the FB1-4001A is great! I have a total of 38 miles so far on this new setup and itching to put on more.

From the data I have collected, it looks like I have a range of 20.1 miles to 80% DoD, or 25.1 miles to 100% DoD. Now that is pretty decent since those test were with the biggest hills I could find.

Now that the EV is drivable, I have to learn to drive "better", i.e. slow acceleration, steady AMP draw, find the most efficient speeds, etc.

And it's also time to get plugs. My dad was successful and got three plugs from his work. I sent off an e-mail to my college's Access Services over a week ago and didn't hear back. Well, today I called them and they asked if I was the one who sent the e-mail, and I said yes. They said that as of today, they don't have an answer for me. Apparently I am the first person to request a plug, and they are somewhat stumped and trying to figure out what to do. They didn't outright say no, so it sounds like they are trying to figure something out. Now I am itching to hear their response, and I am quite hopeful.

I am also going to try to make a video of the EV in action in the next few weeks. The weather has been quite awful so I have been putting it off for a while. Hopefully when the rain stops I will get the tripod out and setup the camera in the back seat.

I probably should first clean out the EV.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Balancing Act

I did two test runs again today, just short 3 miles runs, but my batteries are quite unbalanced. I also fixed the vacuum leak and properly connected the Curtis 1400E DC/DC Converter. The car is now drivable, except for the battery issue.

Right now I am charging each battery with a 10 AMP smart charger, one at a time. I have everything setup under my tarp and I will not drive it until each battery has been fully charged with the smart charger. Then I will take it for a good 6-8 mile drive, and charge it again with the main K&W BC-20.

The batteries became unbalanced due to sitting for 3 months, and having the PakTrakr sucking power from 2 of the 8 batteries more than the others (remotes and display).

Once this Balancing Act is complete, I will start to take new data for range and performance. I did take it up to 40 MPH this morning with no problems, even with the unbalanced pack. I am also working on installing the BC-20 into the trunk of the EV. I haven't spent much time on it yet, but I do have an idea that should be very easy, assuming I can get a marine 110v plug for the gas cap connection.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Assembly Day Two

I woke up this morning to torrential rains, which was not on the forecast on Friday. So, after breakfast, I setup my tarp and went to work on installing the control tray. After about 3 hours of bolting, cable installation, checking again and again, it was done!

It wasn't without some little quirks, though. I first tested the control tray and started to smoke up my Precharger Resistor because my DC/DC was connected on the wrong side of it. I just unplugged the DC/DC until I can lengthen the wire for the positive side tomorrow.

After, I fired everything up, got in the EV and went to drive, and the Transmission wouldn't come out of park! It turns out that I had parked it funny, so I had to use the key to override the lock out, rolled down the driveway a few feet, and it was fine.

Then I went for a 1 mile jaunt around the neighborhood, and the EV had much more power now than before, with driving up to 25 MPH. I did feel like it should have had more power, but I decided to skip the step of checking the Kelly Controller settings before my little trip. After I got back, I hooked my laptop and found out that I had the wrong settings on the controller! I changed the settings and tomorrow I will go out to test them.

Now I do have a few things to work on. The vacuum has a leak in it, and my TPS sensor fell out when I installed my control tray, so I will have to reinstall that. I also have to go on a few small trips to break the brushes and batteries in again, so maybe 2 or 3 small trips this week will do that.

Once I get the little quirks out, I will make a video of the EV in action. I need about 30 minutes to fix up the little things, then I should be good for a real joy ride.

My next goal is to install the charger into the trunk. Right now it is an external setup, but I will change that and install the K&W BC-20 into the trunk so I can charge it in any weather. Then I will work on the Power Steering and the Air Conditioning, but that's later on.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Assembly Day One

Today was a full day of EV work. It took way longer than I hoped to get the motor in. After getting the plates on the motor, and the motor hoisted up and car aligned, I found out that the motor was too big to be dropped down! So I have to remove the plates, and then lower the motor into the bay onto the ground, then add the plates again. Then came the aligning which did take a while, but the real pain was the two little bolts on the coupling. I spent two hours trying to bolt those little suckers, but I finally got them in. The whole setup spins by hand beautifully so I built the motor mount.

I did get what I wanted down today, and the new motor looks really good in the car! Tomorrow I will be installing the control tray and finishing everything up and through the car on the charger. I am guessing I have about 2 hours of work left before it will be drivable, so the morning should be busy.

I also made myself a checklist to be safe. I am glad I did it because I was so close to missing a few on the little things.

  • Bolt Flex Plate to Torque Converter - Done
  • Install main line cables - Done
  • Install motor - Done
  • Install motor mount - Done
  • Install Control Tray
  • Install Precharge Resistor
  • Test Control Tray w/o main traction power (12v test)
  • Check Kelly Controller Settings
  • Hook up Transmission Ground
  • Hook up TPS sensor - Done
I have half my checklist done, and the other half should be nice and easy once the control tray is installed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting Ready for Assembly

I just thought I would post this picture of the test setup of the FB1-4001A on the transmission.

Anyways, I spent the past few days getting ready for the motor install on Saturday. I have made and installed the new main line cables, or the Umbilical Cord, as I have been calling it, I built part of the motor mount and I started to collect all my tools to get ready.

Now my only thing I have to think about is whether to drop the motor in from the top, or bring it up from the bottom. I am going to search the EV Album for other Civic's with this size motor and try to find out if they did it from the top or the bottom. The motor is quite massive, and it will be a tight fit!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Metal Puzzle

I have finished cutting and drilling the plates, and aligning them! It took me longer than I thought because my coupling insert was somewhat defective. All the holes need to be drilled slightly larger, and it took me about an hour of attempting to put the system together to figure that out.

I am still hoping to get it driving this weekend. I need to make the motor mount and crimp some new cables. Of course, now that I am ready to assemble the EV, it decides to rain all week. I will be setting up a tarp so I can work on it, and some parts like the crimping of the cables can be done inside. This is what I the plan is:
- Install FB1-4001A and mounts
- Install new main line cables
- Install Control Tray and test
- Update Kelly KDH09401 program
- Drive!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Adapter Plates, 2.0

It turns out that the machine shop just doesn't have the time to work on my plates. So today I went down and picked up my FB1-4001A, sacrificial transmission and the new plate stock. I then went off to Home Depot and picked up a new 15" Drill Press, new bits and new DeWalt batteries then spent the day setting up the equipment.

The drill press seemed more complicated than the EV! After setting up, I went straight to work. It goes so much faster now that I have the old plates to use for patterns, and all the right equipment does wonders. I only spent about 30 minutes actually making the plates today, but I will be working on them for the next few nights with the *hope* that I can install it this Saturday. I am also taking my time and making these new plates as professional looking as possible, vs my other "hacked up" plates, which did look pretty bad up close, although they worked perfectly.