Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Plan, Civic EV 2.0

I am developing a plan for installing the newly acquired EV parts. For the time being, I am going to continue to use the motor I have and get that blower installed, which I now have all the parts for. I have done some range tests, and will do some more to gather data.

My plan is to install the new motor, but in order to do that I need new adapter plates and motor mounts. I am going to put the motor on the bench and clean it up, adjust the brush timing and get the commutator cleaned up. It has been sitting for 7 years, but spins up just fine. This is the list of things I want to do:
  • Remove Transmission and have new plates made for the FB1-4001A
  • Upgrade to a stiffer Coilover system
  • Rewire EV with the better 2/0 gauge cable and proper lugs
  • Mount PakTrakr and AMP meter to dash
  • Build metal frame for the battery racks
  • Rebuild front control tray
  • Setup K&W BC-20 Charger
This is pretty much Civic EV 2.0 because of all the upgrades/changes.

I am saving up the money required for the new plates, and hope to have the new Coilovers ordered soon. My plan is to get the motor/transmission to the machine shop, and while they work on it I will work on the rest of the EV. My time is limited due to classes, and I spent two weeks on the plates before, probably 40+ hours of cutting work, and just don't have the time. Everything else is small, probably a weekend's woth of work and a few people already have shown an interest in helping out.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Detailed Parts

So I have been going through my parts and have taken some more detailed pictures.

I am cleaning up the motor and removing the old S-10 coupler. Then I will do a test spin to make sure everything it good and work on the charger. I am going to remove the boost transformer setup and program it for my 96 volt battery pack.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Well I am not done with my EV yet, but I have been searching for a larger motor and faster charger. And this week I hit the jackpot! I found someone who was selling a stripped out Chevy S-10 conversion and I got the following:

Advanced DC FB1-4001A Motor
4/0 Gauge Cabling with lugs already installed
Curtis 900R 120 Volt Fuel Gauge
Curtis DC-DC Converter 120 volt input 300 Watts
K&W BC-20 Battery Charger with LB-20 Line booster
Albright Contactors, 200 AMPs and 100 AMPs
Chevy S-10 Transmission with Motor Coupling and Adapter plate
Volt/AMP meters and Shunts

The FB1-4001A is much more powerful than my K99-4007. It also weighs 150 LBs vs 54 LBs, so it's a beast. This motor is normally used in large trucks and should give excellent performance in my Civic and hills should be no problem. I bought this as a lot and only plan on using the motor, charger and cabling. I am going through my options, but I plan on selling the Chevy S-10 motor adapter and coupling, the DC-DC and fuel gauge because the won't work in my 96 volt system.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I have been gathering a good amount of driving data over the past week and tomorrow I will be going to another run to confirm a theory I have, and then post the data.

But I have run into a little snag for my charging. While my battery box isn't done yet, I have temporarily taken up the rear seat with all my chargers so I can charge at night. That is where things get messy. We only have one exterior plug, and it's on the Lamp Post that is powered by switch. Well, it's real easy to forget the EV is charging and someone flips the switch off, and completely messes up the charging. So I have to get a special exterior plug installed outside that isn't connected to any switch.
Tomorrow I am hoping to go for another drive and this time take the video camera along for it. I am going to retrace the route I took on today's test run, but this time take a different return trip that avoids a large hill that I choked on today, and got my motor rather toasty. I am hoping this alternate route keeps the motor cooler and will result in an increase of range. If anything else, I will get a real EV driving video to show off!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quick Update

I am still working on the battery box, slowly gluing it together and hope to finish it this weekend.

I have been driving my EV as much as possible, but these past few days the weather has been extremely cold.

I am also added a Search Bar to my website, as seen on the right side of the page. It will search through my website, along with a few other EV sites, so it should be a really good tool for all those interested in my EV and other EVs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Range Tests

Now that the PakTrakr is installed I have started driving around town and tracking voltages, mileage and estimating range. This cold weather is awful for the batteries. I have done two trips so far and I don't have any definite range info yet. I still don't think the PakTrakr has calibrated completely yet so I need to drive more.

I am compiling a spreadsheet with all the information I have been collecting. These cold tests show I have about 11 miles of winter range, and a few weeks ago I did a drive in 60F weather and I estimated a 33 mile range. I am still breaking in the batteries and have not finished the insulated battery box. I have also noticed that each time I charge the batteries, they seen to take the charge better.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The PakTrakr

I installed my PakTrakr this week and started using it.

The PakTrakr is connected to every battery in my pack and monitors them. I am able to see the entire pack voltage, the voltages of each individual battery and the total state of charge of the pack. It even has temperature readings and will alert you when the pack is below 30% and if there are any problems with any batteries, it will report them.

I am also going to adjust more controller settings. I should be able to to get at least 35 HP from my setup, but I am only getting 24 HP max. I have determined my controller is limiting me, so I have to continue to adjust settings. I am going to go through and change one setting at a time, starting with adjusting the Throttle Ramp to off. Right now the controller ramps up the voltage as I accelerate, which ends up slowing my acceleration. I thinks it's also affecting my hill performance.

I have also started to drive the EV around town. It was really nice being able to do normal things gas free. I have done most of my errands and jobs this week with the EV, and on the few occasions I didn't I felt guilty. I have only done one complete charge in the past two weeks because the battery box is not complete yet, so I have to set the chargers on the driveway. Tomorrow it's going to snow like crazy and my hope is to finish the box. Once this box is in place I will be able to charge the EV everynight.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's Legal!

I got my EV inspected today and it passed! It was actually more of a learning trip than I expected. I took the main roads and found I could now get up to 40 MPH in second gear and I was able to pull 190 AMPs from the pack when accelerating. My batteries and motor are slowly breaking in, and at the current rate it will take another 15-20 trips to get the full potential out of the system. I had to go to two inspection stations. The first station on inspected class A vehicles, AKA normal ICE vehicles, so I was sent away to another station which was down the street.

The next station was fine with the conversion. They were really interested with it and even stuck the EV on the lift to take a look at every angle of it. I got my inspection sticker and I went on my way. I didn't charge the EV this morning so the cold night sucked away power, but I still had plenty and I went on doing driving places I normally would just fine.

This is a big EV moment. My sticker saying it's legal!

My PakTrakr also came in just as I came home and finished hooking up my chargers for the day. I have to read the directions and figure out how to I am going to install it on the dash. The weather in the coming days is supposed to be awfl, but I have the battery box to finish along with the blower cooler.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Headlights

I've been busy with the holidays, but I do have progress. My new headlights arrived and I spent about 2 hours installing them.

I had to remove the front bumper to get the old one's off.

In this pic I have the old headlights in the front and the new ones in the rear. There is a huge difference in them.

Now the car looks really good, and almost new car looking. I even relocated the rope that was holding the power steering/AC pumps so it is no longer visable on the outside.

Tomorrow I am going for the inspection. I have everything in order and the car is on the charger getting topped off. I am taking a more high speed route to the inspection station this time to keep the motor RPMs up. I did some testing this past weekend and I was able to climb probably the largest hill in my travels and it held at the speed limit, so I have no worries at the moment. Everything I drive the EV, the brushed wear in more and so do the batteries and I get increased performance. Hopefully tomorrow I can claim my EV is totally legal, just in time for my PakTrakr to arrive, which is also due tomorrow.