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  #121  
Old 06-12-2011, 07:37 AM
gdirwin gdirwin is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

I've been driving the EV for about 8 months now - no regrets, still have the grin!

Zilla was complaining about some hot temps (has not been a problem when it was -40!), so replaced the fan-driven 4" radiator with a 7"x12" aluminum transmission cooler - no fan, but I mounted it directly in the airflow behind the front bumper..

Also replaced a noisy strut-mount (nice and solid now).

Will replace my noisy vacuum brake pump today - using the VW/Audi pump now. I have been finding the reservoir does not hold as long as it used to - originally I got 3 pumps before the vac switch turned on, now only 2. I will look for loose fittings at the same time.

MY updated Zilla has been working well - no errors and better acceleration (originally I would get an error if I floored it - this was solved by limiting the throttle in the hairball firmware upgrade - now the power unit has been upgraded too, so back to full power).

I also got the BMS updated - the DC/DC converter was blown (likely my fault due to bad wiring - those darn tiny connectors on the BMS are a pain!). Elithion updated the firmware at the same time. My fuel gauge now works - the BMS outputs a 0-5V signal for SOC - I have a transistor circuit (from Elithion site) which drives the analog fuel gauge - only problem is that my Toyota has 2 resistive fuel level sensors (most only have 1) so my gauge shows 50% when it is full - I will have to play with the resistor values in the transistor circuit to figure this out.

In the old BMS version, any sag would result in SOC resetting to 20% - this seems fixed now, although there is less sag now that it is warm out (the real test will be next January). My charge current sensor is still not working, so I have to pull out the box with all the contactors etc.. to check it out.
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  #122  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

You have an exemplary build there Garth. I really like what your have done and the choices you made for this practical vehicle. Tell me, how are the heated battery boxes doing? Do you monitor temperature at all? and do you ventilate in the summer (assume enclosed boxes).

Cheers,
Gary
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  #123  
Old 06-12-2011, 08:15 PM
gdirwin gdirwin is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

Thanks Gary - the Farnam heating pads work great - all winter they kept the temps nice and cozy... I put them on a timer, so they came on a few hours before driving. I have some simple 120VAC thermal cut-outs, but never got around to using them. The boxes ended up with no insulation at all (not enough room) - with the heating pads it worked well though. I did not push high mileage though, and kept everything fully charged (mostly shorter drives) so not the best winter test.

There are fans in each bat box, tied into the Elithion bms (which measures the temps based on each cell board) - they have never come on yet (although this will be my first hot summer, so will see). They just vent into the car interior (I may have to change this).

I add a 240V/50A GFI box in my garage, so can now fully utilize my Manzanita 40A charger (before this I was only using 120/15A) - with the fast charger it always seems to be full whenever I go for a drive - should help the battery life. That said, on warmer days, I have to open the back door to keep the temps down inside the car - the charger throws a lot of heat.


Installed the VW pump - much quieter compared to the oil-filled muffler one I replaced. It is barely audible (compared to a incredibly loud HONKKKKK from the old one)... It is a higher pitch and runs for longer (much smaller pump) but all good. One note - the vent for the unit is a small hole at a joint (about the middle of the pump) - I thought it was the button on the bottom. I wrapped it with some insulation and duct tape (and covered this hole) and it kept running (ie did not produce any vacuum) - cleared the hole and all is well - most pleased.


Went for a 80 kM ride tonight (avg 80km/hr)- still had lots of juice left, no heating issues - all good.

Last edited by gdirwin; 06-14-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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  #124  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:50 PM
gdirwin gdirwin is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

I did a bit of repair work this weekend - I have been driving my RAV daily for about 1.5 years now (about 20,000 kM) with few problems (so it was due).

My charger mains safety relay failed... The charger can be controlled in 3 ways:
- Manzanita has a constant V/Constant I profile - so if the pack volts gets high enough the charger will back down
- The Elithion BMS looks at every cell volts, and will tell the charger to turn off (while it re-balances the cells) - it also looks at the total pack volts and will turn off the charger
- final fail-safe relay (the one that failed) - the SSR relay's ground was fed from the BMS Fault signal (so if the BMS is off or Faulted, AC mains get opened).

I used a Crydom SSR relay for 240VAC, 40A - a few mornings I came out and found my GFI charger breaker had tripped... Finally sat and watched it - works for about 15 minutes, then the SSR started buzzing and eventually the GFI trips. It had a decent heat sink, so not sure why it failed...

Replaced it with a heavy ABB 3 phase contactor - the current draw on the 12V coil was too much for the Elithion FLT signal, so had to add another relay. Big clunk when I open the fuel door!

Overall a nice cleanup (3 phase relays allows 2 hots and the neutral to be switched with a single cable going everywhere).

One of my car seat heaters also failed, so probably it is next on the list...
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  #125  
Old 07-27-2013, 09:32 PM
gdirwin gdirwin is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

Haven't updated my build thread for a while - almost 3 years of driving, and still couldn't be happier... I drive this car every day summer and winter (even at -40C) and reliability has been good.

Finally got AC to work (new compressor and condenser, driven from tailshaft). AC works even when stopped at lights (ie it still blows cold due to thermal storage). I do not have a fan on my condenser, so not sure how things will work at low speeds on hot days... I may have to re-install a fan (fans are noisy, so trying to avoid). Many EV folks think AC is just a waste, but I wanted a fully functional car (small SUV, AWD, AC etc... are all not super efficient, but still popular).

Moved my Zilla cooling pump around a bit (to give more room for AC condenser and easier access).

Updated my Elithion bms to V2.x, which allows me to download and auto-update (required dial-in by Davide via the internet). Also bought a spare/used unit. Fixed both units to repair the DC/DC converter to get 15V out for the current sensors - both charge and discharge current sensors now work. Great support from Elithion!

Also updating my OEM fuel gauge - toyota fuel gauges seem to work a bit different (2 fuel float sensors in series) - the Elithion site documented a transistor circuit to get 0-5V from the BMS energy gauge to interface to an analog fuel gauge. I had to change the resistor settings (and am using a different transistor) - still calibrating/fiddling, but getting pretty close.

Also installed 2 serial to Bluetooth adapters on the Zilla and Elithion - lets me use serial terminal programs on my smartphone (without having to connect a PC).

Not many things left to tinker with - I want to change the temperature dial to add a rotary switch - when the fan comes on, I want the heat (to SSR relays to my electric heaters) to come on only if the temperature is in the red... In the blue, it should disable the electric heaters so the fan can be used on its own or with the A/C on (I have to pull fuses now in summer).

Battery range feels somewhat reduced, but have not formally checked it... Range in winter is definitely much reduced.

All for now!
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  #126  
Old 02-02-2014, 01:17 PM
gdirwin gdirwin is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

Friday was not a good day - my trusty Zilla fried... Was accelerating for a few seconds when I heard a big "pop" and then nothing (no runaway acceleration or anything - just a soft coast to stop).

To avoid cross-posting - see:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...61&postcount=1

This is the first time I have been without a vehicle since 1981! I have always had a 1975 Ford pickup truck, but it is in the middle of a restoration.

I have only been left sitting one other time (weak circuit board connection) - not too bad in 3.5 years of daily driving I suppose!
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  #127  
Old 03-09-2014, 12:06 PM
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dtbaker dtbaker is offline
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Default Re: 2001 "REV4" - Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdirwin View Post
Friday was not a good day - my trusty Zilla fried... Was accelerating for a few seconds when I heard a big "pop" and then nothing (no runaway acceleration or anything - just a soft coast to stop).

To avoid cross-posting - see:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...61&postcount=1

This is the first time I have been without a vehicle since 1981! I have always had a 1975 Ford pickup truck, but it is in the middle of a restoration.

I have only been left sitting one other time (weak circuit board connection) - not too bad in 3.5 years of daily driving I suppose!
bummer.... wondering if this may be due to bad build by EVComponents. I hope you're back on the road asap.

....I just read thru whole thread... enjoyed. Didn't see any pictures of how you finally resolved clearance issue to transfer case. Did you just grind Warp9 case a little?

also, on your power steering. you stuck with the mr2 electric PS, right? did you stick with using your 36 tooth stock pickup and leaving the speed sensor, or just leave it on all the time? or, add microswitches/relays to turn on from steering column?
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