This here is a general journal of what has happened or what I have done to this electric car.
It will cover some of the basic things I have done or tested.
I hope it turns out to be insightful for you readers.
Nov 07 : The LED lights I ordered have helped. I don't hear as much whine in the DC/DC converter. Its actually almost non-existent now. The replacement flasher didn't work so for now I have to manually blink the turning signals. I wish I would have done an amperage check to see how much of a difference it made switching to LED's. I also have a 5 farad capacitor in place of the dead 12 volt battery. I still get power sags when I first take off, it just isn't as much as before.
Nov 07 : I had one battery go bad. The battery developed corrosion under the terminal connection and over heated and melted the terminal while I was driving. So I am currently driving the car on only 19 batteries. I don't see any mileage difference with one battery short. But I still plan on replacing the one bad battery.
Dec 07 : I have the one bad battery replaced and I never did really see any difference with 1 battery short. Battery prices have really jumped recently. I paid 125 dollars for a new Trojan T-125. But once I got the new battery in place, I have driven the car pretty lightly to break in the new battery. I have been getting over 60 miles regularly.
Jan 08 : I just had the car painted Glossy Black. It now looks like a new car again. If you are going to get your car painted be sure to check what they paint. It turned out that the door jams were extra.
Feb 08 : I just bought a 12 volt AGM battery. I took out the DC/DC converter and 5 farad capacitor. I also bought a 12 volt smart charger to charge the new AGM battery. Since the 12 volt system is now totally separate from the main pack. Preliminary testing shows about 1 to 2 mile increase per charge but I am still going to call it 60 MPC.
Apr 08 : I just had the rear brakes totally replaced. They were starting to scrape the rotors. The calipers were getting shot and the rotor was worn down past usability. The brakes have actually been dragging causing the motor to work harder than needed. At 45 MPH I have seen amperage drops of 10 to 15 amps. That's a HUGE drop! I will start keeping track of mileage for the month do recalculations of mileage and KW/Mile.
May 08 : I just completed a highway speed test. Before when the brakes were bad, I had such high amp draw that its highway mileage was cut in half. Now that the brakes are fixed, I just averaged 61 MPC averaging 60 MPH. I was doing 60 MPH and only pull 115 amps in 3rd gear. Before it was almost 200 amps to do 60 MPH, so a huge difference on brakes. People check your brakes before they start making noise!
Jun 08 : I picked up on old PDA and got EVDash installed on it and have it interfacing with the E-Meter. I am hoping to log my drives and data and how some comparison data to see. Another cool feature of the EVDash program is alerts to let you know when low voltage (from sag) and high amps occur(heavy foot), so you have some sort of audio indicator to let you know to pull back some. I have also been playing around with different driving techniques and also building a cheap DIY AC system using a cooler and a bilge pump.
Jul 08 : I was on vacation most of the month but I have gotten accelerometer data using Dynolicious program using an Apple iPhone. It it suppose to be pretty close to a full dyno run but in real world usage. Here is what the car did:
Acceleration (starting in 2nd gear and WOT after 5 seconds):
0-10 : 1.72 Sec
0-20 : 4.21 Sec
0-30 : 7.34 Sec
0-40 : 12.06 Sec
0-50 : 19.61 Sec
Didn't make it to 60 ran out of road, will do more runs
Miscellaneous Data :
Max Speed Achieved : 57.4 MPH (got close to 60 but ran out of road)
Max Acceleration : 0.36 G's
Peak Horse Power : 50 HP (At the wheel HP, not Flywheel like gas car)
Passengers : 2
Weight Used : 3900 (2 heavy passengers, so compensated extra for weight)
Temp : 95 Degrees
I've got video of this run, they are post on my website, next time I will also do the run with my EVDash program running in the screen shot to see Volts and Amps pulled. You can also see these videos on my YouTube http://www.youtube.com/electricformula .
Aug 08 : I just got my own digital camera so I will do a few more videos and post them up on my YouTube site. Nothing much else going on this month.
Sep 08 : I just finished taking out all of the battery racks, grinding them down and repainting. I painted the racks with bed liner spray. I am hoping to cut down on the corrosion I clean up every month. I also took out the Battery Watering system to see if that is what is causing all of the corrosion that I get every month. While I was cleaning the battery racks, I also took out the battery heater system. It is not needed in Texas, it hardly ever gets below 50 degrees and the car is always in the garage. I also built 15 battery desulfators and installed them onto the battery pack. I will be recording voltages over a few months to see if the batteries start recovering. I am updating my website to have pictures of the cleanup and before and after pics.
Oct 08 : The desulfators have worked well, the batteries are taking a better charge. I've even had to adjust the charger because the batteries are working better. I also ordered a Zivan NG3 charger. Since the batteries are responding well, I think a high efficient charger like the Zivan will keep the batteries alive even longer. It is getting close to two months and the batteries are still clean, it was definitely the battery watering system that was causing the problems. So its been great having the batteries stay clean.
Nov 08 : I have lowered my miles per charge down to 45 miles (was 60 miles). After my cleanup project and me messing with the programming of the eMeter, I think it now better represents how the car is performing on its almost 7 year old batteries. This month is the 2 month mark of my desulfators and I am pleasantly surprised, all but 5 of my batteries have reached the 100% charged voltage of 6.37 volts. Two of those batteries are at 6.36 volts which is 98% charged, so there is still good hope for these two batteries to hit 100% charged. Another two could possibly hit 100% if given enough time (they are at low to mid 90's%) and I will be watching that, there is still hope for those two. The last one is really weak, I don't think it will fully recover, it is sitting about mid 80's on its percent of charge. All of the batteries will remain on the desulfators, but I think that battery is just not going to recover.
Dec 08 : The Desulfators have been on my battery pack for 3 months now. With the batteries being healthier, I have been turning up my charger's voltage more and more. My pack now hits full charge voltage. As expected from the weaker batteries, they haven't recovered any further. It does look like 1 lb of lead per day on the desulfators. I just started some aero dynamic changes to the car, I will probably finish those up in Jan 09. I started using my heater in the car this month but it hasn't really heated the car up very well. Will probably look at that some time to see if there is a problem or just needs to be upgraded.
Jan 09 : Got a new project for a performance enhancment. I helped a friend wire up a small bank of capacitors into a Ranger EV. I did the test driving and thought I could feel a performance gain. So I decided to build one for my car but I built a larger capcitor bank. So far I don't feel a power difference but my mileage is up for my winter mileage. At the end of the month I also put on a belly pan on the front half of the car and sealed up the lower radiator intake. I also put on aluminum foil tape on my rims to see if I can get further mileage with smooth rims. I've got two batteries that took a big hit on their voltage, it was because some water got into my case for the desulfators (Thats what you get for driving in the rain.... doh). That water fried the desulfator and put a short onto the battery, so I need to condition those two batteries back to health before really getting good test results. While I was looking for a place to mount my capacitor bank, I found one of my motor mounts was broke, so I need to get a permanete fix for that, right now I put two pipe bands around it to help support it. Thats just a band-aid fix for now, I'll have to get a new one welded up or fix the existing one. One final thing to note for January, I just bought an EV Van. So some of my attention will be going to that during Feburary, but I will try to keep up on testing things.
Feb 09 : Those two batteries that got shorted really aren't recovering at all. One is really bad, it doesn't get above 6.05 volts after charging. So that battery is probably just toast, the other is lower than my weakest battery but not by a lot, so that one is doing ok. But in the end, both of those batteries will probably have to be replaced to get my mileage back.
Mar 09 : I switched out the two bad batteries in the pack with two retired EV batteries from someone elses EV. They retired the batteries because they were only giving him a few miles. I didn't see any changes right away, but after a few weeks, I started to recover my mileage again. I would like to think the desulfators brought back those batteries, but in either case, I am back up on my mileage and put off buying a new pack a while longer.
Apr 09 : I happen to run across a good deal on some Power Check Equalizers. If you are not familiar with these, they shuttle power back and fort between two adjacent batteries. Instead of burning off the extra power during charging these work full time shuttling power to the weaker battery making the pack more balanced. I think having these on a pack when new would make the pack last long time because they stayed in sync with each other, but even on a used pack, I am seeing a better balanced pack. Although expensive, they really do seem to be helping!