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  #101  
Old 07-20-2012, 11:17 PM
green caveman green caveman is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

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Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
I kept the clutch and remain happy that I did.
Clutch is still there, we're having trouble placing the cable bracket. Should fit on the side of the adapter plate, but I'm not sure that there's a straight shot to drill/tap. There's not much enthusiasm for removing the whole assembly just to drill two holes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
I am also happy with my placement of my batteries. Only got 15 where the old gas tank sat.
You have bigger batteries. 15 means you have 2400ah back there, we have 3300, so not that much difference.

That's a little more weight than a tank full of gas, but since we have a big forklift motor in the front the distribution should still be about right.
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  #102  
Old 07-24-2012, 10:11 AM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

How is the steering on your Tracker? Mine is so sloppy that when tracking straight ahead, I have turn the wheel roughly 10 to 15 degrees to effect the steering. That might be over stating it a bit, but it is very sloppy. Wondering if that is normal for these, or if my steering gear box needs to be replaced... that should be a 'fun' project...

Also, have you done anything to keep rain water out of the engine compartment and off of your components?

Thanks,
Pete
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  #103  
Old 07-24-2012, 12:40 PM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

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Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
Hi Shane,

How is the steering on your Tracker? Mine is so sloppy that when tracking straight ahead, I have turn the wheel roughly 10 to 15 degrees to effect the steering. That might be over stating it a bit, but it is very sloppy. Wondering if that is normal for these, or if my steering gear box needs to be replaced... that should be a 'fun' project...

Also, have you done anything to keep rain water out of the engine compartment and off of your components?

Thanks,
Pete
My steering is actually pretty good, there's a little bit of play but not much and I'm finding the manual steering not a problem at all.

I haven't done anything to keep the engine compartment rain free and we've actually had some pretty hard rains this summer with no problems in the engine compartment. Unfortunately I'm getting alot of dust accumulating on components which is a bit of a pain (how do you clean dust out of all the little grooves in the Soliton jr).

Now the hardtop is another matter. I replaced the soft-top with a junkyard hardtop to cut down on the noise on the highway which it did but now whenever it rains I find a little puddle of water in the trunk. Who would have thought a soft top would be better at keeping the weather out?
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  #104  
Old 08-09-2012, 09:14 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

I reworked my motor mounts so that the drive train is completely isolated from the chassis now. I was hoping that this would get rid of the engine "singing" that I get when I apply throtte and it certainly reduced the sound but it's definately still there.

In the Soliton Jr's quiet mode the singing is tollerable now (although still a bit annoying) but performance mode is out of the question (I'd have a headache before I got to work in the morning).


The sound insulation on my Geo Tracker is pretty much non-existent so I'm going to try that next.

the change in mounting definately improved transmission noise and vibration but I have to say that, for all the work it took, I'm not sure that it's that much better then the solid mounting I had orignally. If I started from scratch I would definately use the stock motor mounts but if I could go back a week I might have left the mounting as is.

I also spent one evening going through a break-in procedure for my motor. A bit late given that I've been driving the car for several months but better late then never I say. I put back axel on jack stands, set the soliton idle control to 1000 rpm, put the car in fourth gear and let it spin for 9 hours. I had to stop around 6 hours to get some sleep (I didn't feel comfortable letting this car spin in my garage while I was sleeping) and started it up again in the morning. Less time then Major recommends but 9 hours was about as long as I think I could afford and should be good enough I'd think.
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  #105  
Old 08-11-2012, 08:06 PM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

Thanks for the update on your build!

Boy, you must have put a lot of work into your build to change the motor mounts! Guess I'll be doing the same in another month or so... I'll need to pull the drive train to deal with my missing tach signal.

Meanwhile... I've still not switched from "performance" mode on the Solition. I don't even hear it any longer unless I really want to. I've also noticed that my motor seems to be much quieter now that the brushes have broken in after 1300+ miles. I've even started using first gear once in a while just to get a quicker start in traffic... very nice acceleration!

I removed the carpet from the Sidekick in my barn... took hours with a power washer to get it clean enough to look promising. I removed all the old padding behind the carpet because it was truely 'nasty'! I bought some standard foam carpet padding remenants to use for some sound proofing. Not expecting much but I'm sure it will be an improvement over the raw metal floors I have presently!

How is your heating system working out? If I recall correctly, you said you bought some sort of small water heater on Amazon or eBay... if that is correct, and it is working for you, would you be willing to share the details of what you bought? I need to do something soon... drove home after dark last night and my wife was expecting some heat on her feet! I told her to get out and jog a bit but that didn't work out too well.

Now that I've added the lift kit and the taller tires (205-70R15) my power consumption has gone up a bit... I'm now 'burning' about 2.15 Ah per mile meaning my practical distance limit is 50 miles. Still well within my normal needs. Fired up my VW Golf yesterday for the first time in a month... really felt like I was sitting on the ground in comparison to my Tracker!

Thanks,
Pete
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  #106  
Old 08-13-2012, 11:00 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
Hi Shane,

Thanks for the update on your build!

Boy, you must have put a lot of work into your build to change the motor mounts! Guess I'll be doing the same in another month or so... I'll need to pull the drive train to deal with my missing tach signal.

Meanwhile... I've still not switched from "performance" mode on the Solition. I don't even hear it any longer unless I really want to. I've also noticed that my motor seems to be much quieter now that the brushes have broken in after 1300+ miles. I've even started using first gear once in a while just to get a quicker start in traffic... very nice acceleration!

I removed the carpet from the Sidekick in my barn... took hours with a power washer to get it clean enough to look promising. I removed all the old padding behind the carpet because it was truely 'nasty'! I bought some standard foam carpet padding remenants to use for some sound proofing. Not expecting much but I'm sure it will be an improvement over the raw metal floors I have presently!

How is your heating system working out? If I recall correctly, you said you bought some sort of small water heater on Amazon or eBay... if that is correct, and it is working for you, would you be willing to share the details of what you bought? I need to do something soon... drove home after dark last night and my wife was expecting some heat on her feet! I told her to get out and jog a bit but that didn't work out too well.

Now that I've added the lift kit and the taller tires (205-70R15) my power consumption has gone up a bit... I'm now 'burning' about 2.15 Ah per mile meaning my practical distance limit is 50 miles. Still well within my normal needs. Fired up my VW Golf yesterday for the first time in a month... really felt like I was sitting on the ground in comparison to my Tracker!

Thanks,
Pete
Hey Pete,

Ya it was a long saturday redesigning the mounting. I think I finished up around 9pm at my fathers shop and was pretty tired on the drive home when I realized that I hadn't reconnected the ground on my brake vacuum pump. Lukely the brakes still work but it was a hard push to get the car stopped.

I'm hoping my motor might quiet down a bit once it's broken in more too. I might have to put it up on blocks again and let it run for a fews days as major recommends. My impression is that the sound is a high enough frequency that alot of people don't really hear it and it doesn't bother them much if at all. It's either a testiment to my hearing or my limited tollerance but I find the performance mode singing intolerable.

padding remnant is an excellent idea. I'm going to track some of this down, thanks for the tip.

The Heating system is 99% complete. I finished all the wiring and most of the installation this week and now I just need to find a place to mount the overflow reservoir and pump and I'll be good to go. I did a quick test run without any water in it this weekend; don't do this! the heater started smoking as soon as I hit the switch and was a bit scary. This is definately a system that needs to have water flowing through it regularly to prevent it overheating. On the plus side the fuse didn't blow and the emergency temperature snap switch in the heater switched the system off as designed (after I'd already switch the system off myself but it still works).

It's all off the shelf stuff most of which I got from Amazon and ebay. All you really need is an external water heater for a big truck block heater (Kat's is the brand of mine I believe) a 12v solar hot water heater pump, a water reservoir, a fuse, and some heater hose to tie into the original heater core. The toughest part is finding a place to mount all this stuff. I'll post a bunch of pictures ones I finish the installation.
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  #107  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:32 AM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Well it was the first really cold day here and I have to say I'm a bit dissapointed in the performance of my electric car.

After performing so well all summer/fall the drive to work today was pretty pathetic. To be fair it was -17C (4F) this morning but I did expect it to be perform atleast reasonable well down to -20C).

Summary of issues:
  1. My 3,000 watt heater is not nearly strong enough to keep the cab warm. I think it's probably a function of the fact that the fluid heater and the reservoir are made of aluminum which is loosing all it's heat as I drive down the road. I'll have to try and insulate these somehow I guess.
  2. The battery sag was outrageous. just pulling out onto the highway at maybe 2C had my pack sagging down to 125V which is somewhere around 22%. These batteries are rated to operate down to -40C but I'm starting to think that this is some sort of chinesse-english translation error and maybe they ment that they can be stored down to -40C. I guess it's time to seriously insulate and add heat to this pack.
  3. my dc/dc and aux battery seem to be having trouble keeping up. I don't really get this but I was getting a controller error when the break vacuum pump would turn on which has me guessing that the 12v system was likely dipping below the soliton's tollerance levels. I get why the aux battery would perform baddly in the cold but why wouldn't the dc/dc be able to keep up? I'll have to investigate this a bit more (in the spring).
Long story short, it's been a great 6 months of driving but I think I might have to park the ecar for the winter and start working on some winterizing techniques if I want to drive this think for more then 7-8 months of the year.

Here' hoping I make it up the hill on the way home
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  #108  
Old 10-22-2012, 11:29 AM
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Yabert Yabert is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Keep the battery warm is the key.
I drive my little Smart all last winter at temperature between +5°C to -20°C without problem because I always warm my battery at around 0°C when I charge.
In fact, I have tries one time to recharge the battery without warming first at -14°C and the battery don't take the current (BMS saw a full battery pack and shut off the charger despite I charged a minute or so). This year, I will set the lower temperature at higher value. 120w heating cable water pipe is barely enough in my case.

About heating the small cab, my 1500w element isn't enough.... I use glove and beanie!..
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  #109  
Old 10-22-2012, 12:30 PM
PeterH PeterH is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

Hi Shane,

All I can say is "ok crap!!"

I just returned from a drive to town. It is in the mid 40's here and my EV sat in my unheated garage for the last 2 days so the batteries were cold, but no where near as cold as yours. I noticed my voltage dropped to no less than 135V from a resting voltage of about 143 or so. So I'm not seeing the sag you are, but I'm still much warmer than you are... but the wind today is our of the north so I won't be for long.

I'm charging at the moment, after the 20 mile drive. Expecting the batteries to be warm enough to take a full charge.

The purpose of my trip was to get some parts to hook up my 1500 watt block heater. By the sounds of it, that heater won't come close to warming anything up... guess the wifie won't be riding with me to town this winter. I was wondering if 1500 watts would do anything... so guess I know now don't I?

More importantly, do you have anything in place to warm the batteries? I will need to wire up and program the controls for my system... but it remains untested in cold weather so I may be parking it for the next 6 months or so, as well.

I went to EVCON last month where it was much warmer. I guess this explains why most of the cars seemed to be from warmer climates... but won't give up on this!

Let us know how your trip home goes...

Pete
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  #110  
Old 10-23-2012, 01:57 PM
Yukon_Shane Yukon_Shane is offline
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Default Re: Tr-Amp: 1990 Geo Tracker Conversion

well I survived my trip home but it was a pretty slow drive. My BMS was screaming at me all the way up the 1/2 mile hill I have to climb on my way home...that sound never makes a person feel good, especially when it used to climb the hill without a peep.

So I took Yalbert's advice (thanks) and picked up a couple of monster oil pan heaters from the local industrial supply store. They were more expensive then I expected ($160 for two 450 watt pads!) but I don't have alot of local options and I don't really have time to order anything online so I just ate the cost. I used high temperature silicone to mount them to the side of my sheet metal battery box and left the car in the garage for the night to let the silicon dry.

I plugged the heaters in for a half hour this morning and the temperature sensor in the box went from 6C to 16C. I unplugged the heaters and watch the temperature continue to climb for the next 10 minutes up to 20C! I took the car home for lunch just now and it was behaving like it's old self again; lots of power and very little voltage sag (and no BMS screeming).

So these heaters work but I'll have to make sure that they don't overheat the pack. The box is lined with 1/4 inch of rubber and the pads are quite big so I think there won't be too much of a hot spot created inside the box but I'll have to be cautious to not leave these on for too long just in case.

I'll also have to do some sort of cost benefit analysis on when it starts to make sense to park the car and when I should just plug in.

Insulating the pack more then it is now will probably make a big difference too. I've put a 2 inch thick board of rigid foam on the top of the box for now and I'll cover the sides with the same stuff tonight and see how that works. If it seems like it's enough then I'll work on making it look a bit nicer.

It's all a bit slapped together for now but if it can keep me from having to drive my gas guzzler for another months I'll be happy. Cold weather has a way of forcing you to make due with what you got

Pete you went to EVCON! I'm super jelious, I'd love to make it down there one year. It'd be great to meet all the great EV folks in person and share some laughs. Maybe next year...
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