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Is this controller suitable for my Commuta-car? I understand Frankenswift had a 250 amp controller in it before upgrading. The ebay listing says it is for a Club Car DS 2000 and newer.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=330307458708

...

Oh, and is it worth $110

Thank You,

Dan
I'm not familiar with the Commuta-Car but if it is meant to be driven on public roads then I'd guess a 48V/250A controller is *not* enough for it.

Such a controller is certainly worth $110 in my opinion, though. Cheap, actually.

Hmm... I found a EValbum entry for one... seems they ran on 48V, weighed 1400 lbs and had a 0-25 time of 6.2 seconds. That's way too slow to be safe in my opinion. That said, the above controller would certainly be capable of that performance, but that performance isn't exactly what I would be striving for. Double the voltage, nearly double the amperage (say, 400A) and you'll easily do highway speeds (if the vehicle is stable at such... that's definitely questionable) and not piss off everyone else on the road when accelerating from a stop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can just keep it on the secondary roads with a speed limit of about 35-40 for now.

If I get to the point where I want to test drive the thing are four 12 volt deep cycle batteries okay? I already have some of those.

Dan
 

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Dan,
Check out this thread http://www.elmoto.net/showthread.php?t=511 at elmoto.net. There is a post from a guy who has a few "slightly used" Alltrax 7245 controllers for $275 with a 30 day warranty. The 7245 can be used for any voltage between 24 and 72 with a max 450 amps. Should be perfect for your Commuta-car.

Keith
 
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I can just keep it on the secondary roads with a speed limit of about 35-40 for now.

If I get to the point where I want to test drive the thing are four 12 volt deep cycle batteries okay? I already have some of those.

Dan
I'd say if you can, upgrade to 72 volts. Just because you can't drive on main roads yet you can get faster acceleration for that vehicle. There is a guy just in town from us that has a Commuta car and he wants to upgrade to 72 volts. He is using 48 volts now and it is fine for now. As an in town vehicle 48 will do. 72 will be quicker but you can keep the speed down. These were designed for in town use anyway. Having a controller that can go up to 72 volts will be a good choice. Do an upgrade on your controller that will allow you to install 72 volts. You will be glad with an upgrade.

Pete : )
 

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I'm not familiar with the Commuta-Car but if it is meant to be driven on public roads then I'd guess a 48V/250A controller is *not* enough for it.

Such a controller is certainly worth $110 in my opinion, though. Cheap, actually.

Hmm... I found a EValbum entry for one... seems they ran on 48V, weighed 1400 lbs and had a 0-25 time of 6.2 seconds. That's way too slow to be safe in my opinion. That said, the above controller would certainly be capable of that performance, but that performance isn't exactly what I would be striving for. Double the voltage, nearly double the amperage (say, 400A) and you'll easily do highway speeds (if the vehicle is stable at such... that's definitely questionable) and not piss off everyone else on the road when accelerating from a stop!
Dude, the Commuta-car is a city car. They're driving all over the place right now. Whether or not they're safe enough to take on a freeway doesn't matter because it's not even legal to do so.

What you're suggesting is to give a golf cart the power of a car, something best left to the drag strip. If the motor didn't burn up, the car would almost definitely be unsafe (not to mention terrifying) at those speeds.
 

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...What you're suggesting is to give a golf cart the power of a car, something best left to the drag strip. If the motor didn't burn up, the car would almost definitely be unsafe (not to mention terrifying) at those speeds.
I'm not aware of any golf carts that weigh 1400 lbs, and regardless of the mechanical integrity/stability of the Comuta-Car, or whether it's motor can take the increased power, if you want to propel a vehicle weighing that much even just to 30mph in a reasonable amount of time you need more than a "golf-cart controller" to do so.
 

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Dude, the Commuta-car is a city car. They're driving all over the place right now. Whether or not they're safe enough to take on a freeway doesn't matter because it's not even legal to do so.

What you're suggesting is to give a golf cart the power of a car, something best left to the drag strip. If the motor didn't burn up, the car would almost definitely be unsafe (not to mention terrifying) at those speeds.
To the op that controller will work OK but your acceleration will suck, the original contactors made you really take off you need around 400amps like mine to have OK acceleration.
2nd you should probably put in a controller that goes to 72v but should think carefully about actually running the motor beyond 60volts because there are fairly significant changes that need to be made and that paticular motor likes to blow brushes overrun and loves to overheat, you need to trim and advance brushes, you also need to get a lot more airflow to the motor and take care in how much pedal you use above 20mph.

As for my 72v D&D C-car I drive mine at 55mph occasionally, i've had it up to 65mph downhill. It doesn't handle any worse than my Subaru 360 (actually much better in some respects like sidewinds) and it reminds me of the old willeys jeeps in terms of handling.

The comutacar is better the the Citicar (get it right its not a Fiat citycar) as it has a longer wheelbase, more battery space, better handling and crash bumpers. They are PERFECTLY Ok for in town driving and short distance rural town driving. They usually have a top speed somewhere north of 40mph making them superior to most current NEVs, they are OK on rural roads as well but they aren't good on bumpy roads for obvious reason. I wouldn't recommend them on a busy highway but around here there is no such thing as a busy highway so I take mine out there whenever the need arises, I've never been "frightened" driving it and due to its appearance its downright impossible to get into an accident because everyone sees you, in fact they follow you around to your destination.

As for being illegal I have no clue where people get these fantasies from, the Comutacar passed all required crash test requirements up until 1981 when they no longer met the "height" requirement. They have big crash bumpers for a reason. They also have an aluminum roll cage, from what the C-car group has uncovered there haven't been any fatal accidents with a C-car, go figure eh?

Why do you think you can still drive a model T legally? Same reason you can still drive a C-car or a HMV Freeway legally.
 

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I'm not aware of any golf carts that weigh 1400 lbs, and regardless of the mechanical integrity/stability of the Comuta-Car, or whether it's motor can take the increased power, if you want to propel a vehicle weighing that much even just to 30mph in a reasonable amount of time you need more than a "golf-cart controller" to do so.
Your original post stated that the controller would be adequate to achieve factory performance...

I used the golf cart as an example (despite the fact that most golf carts carry about 500 lbs in batteries alone anyway). What you suggested turns the car into something completely different. That has a lot of implications. I mean, doubling voltage is kind of an undertaking.

rmay- It looks like you have a Commuta-car so I have to agree with what you're saying. I wasn't talking about the Citicar, I was talking about LSVs, which I've come to referring to as city cars. I was under the impression that Commuta-cars were titled as LSVs, which are not legal for highways.

FYI- my dad has actually restored a few Model Ts. Like the Commuta-car, they have a "regular" title, which is why they're legal wherever you want to go...

Not being argumentative, just wanted to explain myself...
 

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Your original post stated that the controller would be adequate to achieve factory performance...

rmay- It looks like you have a Commuta-car so I have to agree with what you're saying. I wasn't talking about the Citicar, I was talking about LSVs, which I've come to referring to as city cars. I was under the impression that Commuta-cars were titled as LSVs, which are not legal for highways.

FYI- my dad has actually restored a few Model Ts. Like the Commuta-car, they have a "regular" title, which is why they're legal wherever you want to go...

Not being argumentative, just wanted to explain myself...
I am used to a lot of people figuring the C-cars are illegal or fall into another category and respond as such, also a lot of people mix up the Citicar and Comutacar which are nearly identical except for the longer wheelbase and better handling of the Comutacar.

Also I certainly don't consider them highway cars but they are no more unsafe than a motorcycle or really any pre 1980 compact car and the performance is perfectly fine in many areas, if you are landlocked in a city you really shouldn't be driving much over 45mph anyway.

As for me I would love to get the voltage right up to 96v and fly but it isn't a need and isn't worth the investment to me, I have a feeling I am one of the few EV'rs who actually saves money using an EV (as opposed to blowing a wad all the time) because of the simplicity of my vehicle. (I prefer to keep it that way.)

If you are the type of individual that likes Minimalist vehicles the C-car fits the ticket with few creature conforts and a nice bumpy ride :) They are a car that either grows on you or irritates you to death, depends on the type of person you are, me I enjoy driving my wedge, its a real attention getter and a fun runabout.

Also, because they are so simple and fun to restore they make a great first EV. Usually they are pretty cheap as EVs go as well and you don't need any machining skills to restore one, just some plastic weld and wiring.

Anyway, my other car is a Subaru 360, so you can probably guess what type of cars I like.
 

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Your original post stated that the controller would be adequate to achieve factory performance...
No, what I actually wrote was, "I'd guess a 48V/250A controller is *not* enough for it."


I used the golf cart as an example (despite the fact that most golf carts carry about 500 lbs in batteries alone anyway). What you suggested turns the car into something completely different. That has a lot of implications. I mean, doubling voltage is kind of an undertaking.
I doubt most golf carts carry 500lbs in batteries, but I'll allow I could be wrong about that. Regardless, golf carts don't need to accelerate as fast as vehicles driven on public roads, nor do they need to reach even half the same top speed. You need more voltage to get to that higher top speed. 72V, as suggested by Gottdi, et al., is probably enough for an in-town vehicle, but I was thinking more of swapping out the 6V "200Ah" (just an example!) with 12V/100Ah batteries to get to 96V. The Ah are half but the voltage is doubled, so the batteries would be the same size and weight.

But, much as I admonished in my first post, I am not very familiar with the Comuta-Car (rmay635703 clearly is, so I would give his opinion on how much power is desirable much more weight!).
 

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I can just keep it on the secondary roads with a speed limit of about 35-40 for now.

If I get to the point where I want to test drive the thing are four 12 volt deep cycle batteries okay? I already have some of those.

Dan
12v batteries are perfectly OK for a C-car, their lifespan and your range will be significantly limited however, but for testing they are OK. Also your car will weigh less.

I doubt you could go more than 10miles reliably with 4 12v deepcycles. (aka you can go farther but the batteries will suffer)

I would recommend 8 volt batteries longterm if you are on a budget.

Also I would recommend looking through the C-car yahoo group archives as there are many owners out there who are willing to lend a hand if you have any trouble with your wedge.

No, what I actually wrote was, "I'd guess a 48V/250A controller is *not* enough for it."

You need more voltage to get to that higher top speed. 72V, as suggested by Gottdi, et al., is probably enough for an in-town vehicle, but I was thinking more of swapping out the 6V "200Ah" (just an example!) with 12V/100Ah batteries to get to 96V. The Ah are half but the voltage is doubled, so the batteries would be the same size and weight.

But, much as I admonished in my first post, I am not very familiar with the Comuta-Car (rmay635703 clearly is, so I would give his opinion on how much power is desirable much more weight!).
:)

I agree with Gottdi about 72 volts.

72 volts is the goal most C-car owners want to reach. But do to the very small design of the car getting the proper motor and controller to fit can be challenging without modifications. Even getting batteries to fit can be challenging, the car was designed to fit 8 6 volt batteries, some cars even have the smaller boxes for the "old style" 6v batteries meaning 8 12 volt batteries probably won't fit because they are a few inches longer normally.

Generally it is best practice for a C-car owner to get the car functioning as originally designed 48v with contactors (assuming the contactors are still there) Then go for electronic speed control (taking care to choose one that allows for upgrade) then move up to 60 or 72 volts depending on the motor (and if they can find a suitable replacement motor to upgrade to). Oddly enough many owners go back to contactors because the cars do really kick up to about 20mph with contactors, in fact you can usually outrun the gassers off the bat.

In my case I have 9 8v batteries, I have room for one more in the front box and possibly room for 3 under the seat. So I could go to 72 volt with all 6 volt for range or all 8 volt for speed but then the motor becomes an obstacle.
 
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The other option is to use 8 8volt batteries for 64 volts and use a good 72 volt controller. My controller is 72 volts and will run 64 no problem and will go up to 550 amps. That is pretty darn nice and will move that C car pretty decent and you should be able to use the stock motor too.

Pete : )
 

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That said, the above controller would certainly be capable of that performance, but that performance isn't exactly what I would be striving for.
No, what I actually wrote was, "I'd guess a 48V/250A controller is *not* enough for it."
I think I see what you're getting at though.
 
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Upgrading is not just for performance. It will allow better acceleration into traffic and if you need to move quickly it is better able to do so. The motor will also like the extra voltage and the amps will be lower during use. No need to max out the controller. Just because it can does not mean you need to. The Commuta Car is a city car so you won't be doing freeways anyway. It is just going to respond better. In my opinion a move that would be safer. It is not much extra but enough to help an anemic little City Car. You'd get more distance too. A nice little extra bonus.

Pete : )
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I appreciate all the comments. I already purchased the Curtis controller rated at 48 volts and 250 amps. It's model 1510-5201. It is used but looks good. I paid $110 plus $25.00 for shipping.

My commuta-car seems to still have the original contactors. I wasn't planning on even messing with them. I'll probably need to go check out that C-car group first.

My car needs work on the brakes so that might be a good place for me to start.

I am not sure yet but I'm thinking 8 Trojan t-105 6 volt batteries might be what I'd like to use in the car.

Dan
 

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If the Contactor Controller is still in working order i'd keep it, as a backup if nothing else. If your shiny new Controller goes poof at some point, you can have your EV back on the road within an hour or less instead of waiting weeks for a repair.

The original Tech may not be as efficient as the PWM gear, but i'm told that they are VERY robust.
 

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My car needs work on the brakes so that might be a good place for me to start.
Yep that is where most everyone with a C-car starts. Definately get the brakes cleaned up and fixed first, there is a lot of info floating around on them. A good walkthrough on rebuilding the front brake is here.
http://www.neon-john.com/EV/Citi_Home.htm
The next important aspect will be to check the brushes on the motor & clean it up. (this is especially important on a c-car that had an "unknown problem" or unknown past) A pair of brushes and even the holder is cheap but stepping on the gas and wondering why you aren't moving until smoke pops out can be very expensive.

I appreciate all the comments. I already purchased the Curtis controller rated at 48 volts and 250 amps. It's model 1510-5201. It is used but looks good. I paid $110 plus $25.00 for shipping.

My commuta-car seems to still have the original contactors. I wasn't planning on even messing with them. I'll probably need to go check out that C-car group first.
It is a good idea to ask us experts pointed questions so we don't give baseless oppinions on requirements. There are several in the C-car group that run their car on a very similar controller with no regrets. It depends on what you expect and where you will be driving. If you can live with the performance it will work out to be an EXCELLENT value!

I would argue however, that your car is ALREADY wired and ready to go with the old contactors, assuming someone didn't pull wiring, clean up the contactors and use them for tests, your accelleration will be strong. And it will be a lot easier to start with if everything is there, it will make basic tests easier and it will help bridge the gap while you are trying to figure out how to get the controller to fit in there and wire up. A diagram is nice but actually running wire can be a small challenge at times.

Remember...
There are also many in the C-car group that have gone back to contactors because of the improved acceleration and RANGE. Believe it or not if you are carefull in how you drive and have few stops contactors will run you further in the 2nd & 3rd speeds than a PWM controller at the same speeds because there is no voltage drop. But your speed choices are very limited. And your acceleration is 1/4, half or full throttle only which will eat up range in stop and go traffic, but if you won't be driving stop and go :)

Another use for your contactors is to bypass the controller when you depress the pedal fully, so long as you leave the wiring alone and don't increase its size you shouldn't have any major issues on flat ground running a turbo of sorts and you might find it comes in handy once and a while.
They can also be used for forward reverse control.

I am not sure yet but I'm thinking 8 Trojan t-105 6 volt batteries might be what I'd like to use in the car.
Dan
Many people go with T-105's, personally I would go with the T-125's because of the added range and because they are many times the same price or very similar depending on who you buy them from. If you are planning on going "long distances" (at least for a c-car) splurge for the T-145's.

One thing you will have to check whatever battery you go with are the dimensions of the battery box and the dimensions of the battery you want to use.
In some cases you can't use the new style trojans if your car has the smaller battery boxes or worse yet has the batteries under the seat

A way around the smaller battery box problem is to weld up your own boxes.

The key with any of these suggestions is
- Get the important and necessary items working first, take care of basics like fluids and lines
- Get your brakes and master cylinder working or rebuilt
- Verify the wiring and test the car to make sure the contactors and everything clicks on as it should
- After you verify the car works then buy the batteries you want and enable the controller.

Good Luck
Ryan
 
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