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Average Joe
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Jerry converted a 1985 Mazda 626, and provided excellent coverage of his whole process
http://jerryrig.com/convert/

A 1988 Jeep Cherokee Project
http://www.driveev.com/jeepev/home.php

1996 Saturn
http://www.docdockdocuments.com/conversion/conversionstart.htm

1980 Kawasaki 400
http://www.docdockdocuments.com/conversion/Conversion172.htm

1966 Ford Mustang Convertible
http://www.geocities.com/[email protected]/EV/1.htm

Here's a 1991 Honda CRX Project
Original Conversion - Upgrade

1988 Bradley GT2
http://evorbust.blogspot.com/
 

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For those with a few minutes to kill, I also have a website showing the step by step progress of my EV. The conversion isn't complete yet but I've made a video of each step so far and thrown in lots of photos.
It's a useful "how-not-to" website on converting an EV and proves that a complete non-mechanic like me can do it too. I'm learning heaps along the way though.
The website is http://www.KiwiEV.com

Enjoy!
:)
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter #5
I like how well-structured your site is. I looked through it all. It's a good read!
 

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great build kiwi
and great videos. a little more light at times would be nice but still. also a shame that the embedded youtube clips can't be viewed in fullscreen like they can on youtube.com. just looking at all the work being done is scary though :)
I hope to cut down on a lot of it though by using a donor car that doesn't need work.
what kind of controller will you be using?
and yes the electronics for en EV is way too expensive yet. horrible. hopefully that will change soon. several working on good diy solutions

regarding your recharger hack, does that actually work without having to separate the batteries from the chain?
 

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hehe Mannyman, you have a fecal matter fixation

looks like you are working on a serious conversion too. will it be repainted?
Well, at least my friends do.
Make sure you invite the right people to a "Name My Car Party".
My father in law's buddy came up with the name.

At least it keeps me motivated to finishing the conversion.
Yes, a paint job will the be the final phase in completing the car.

Here's a picture of my car's twin. You can really appreciate the 70's Disco Metallic Brown:




In the above pictures the owner had a turn-key electric version of the Bradley GT 2 called the Bradley GTE (Had I only known, when I bought mine...)

Manny
 

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great build kiwi
and great videos. a little more light at times would be nice but still. also a shame that the embedded youtube clips can't be viewed in fullscreen like they can on youtube.com. just looking at all the work being done is scary though :)
I hope to cut down on a lot of it though by using a donor car that doesn't need work.
what kind of controller will you be using?
and yes the electronics for en EV is way too expensive yet. horrible. hopefully that will change soon. several working on good diy solutions

regarding your recharger hack, does that actually work without having to separate the batteries from the chain?
The rust repair I so passionately attended to is beginning to come back in two places. Arrghh. More work. More importantly, more bloody sanding. :mad:

I'm hoping to scrounge enough money together for a 500 Amp (max) Curtis 1231C controller for "Treddles". I reaaaaally wanted the Zilla Z1k 1000AMP controller but I can't afford it, and I'd never get 1000 Amps out of standard lead acid batteries anyway.

That's a good question regarding the battery charger idea. I couldn't figure it out myself when I first heard of it. I threw endless stupid questions at another user of this method.
The bottom line is that it's perfect for my situation as I'm using a 24 pin disconnecting plug for the recharging point, and when the plug is pulled the 12 v connections to each battery are broken so there's nothing for the power to short out across while driving.
As long as I set up one charger for each battery, the power won't leak into the other charger so I won't need to disconnect each battery.
How it works is that (for example) the Positive from charger number 5 isn't interested at all in the Negative from, say, charger 4 so even though they're connected to each other, there's no power leaping around the circuit.
The circuit will be open as well when charging.
Man I must make that sound very complex. It really isn't because if it was I wouldn't use it! :)
Another big benefit of this method is being able to watch the charge of each battery. Makes finding battery faults a bit easier and conditions each battery separately, saving me from buying an expensive battery conditioning/monitoring system.
The MAIN reason behind this choice when it all comes down to it is cost. It's reaaally cheap and I can buy everything locally down on this end of the planet which helps when things need to be replaced under warranty!


Ok, I'll go now. I've put everyone to sleep.
 

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cool. I'm not sure but seems to me they might have to be a kind that doesn't leak into the neigbor. maybe it's never a problem

maybe you can do a test with 2 batteries before buying all of the chargers
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter #12
What's the point of doing the balanced charge like that? I know balanced charging is ideal, but wouldn't it be easier to just build a charger that runs at the pack voltage plus 15%?
 

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Beats me! I'm repeating what others have said on other boards!
I've heard some people had problems with main pack chargers when for example one battery gets older and would charge less than the rest. Before long, the undercharging and then driving accelerated the death of that weaker battery.
Same thing could happen if one cell somewhere is weak and the pack charger just keeps on charging that battery to death.
Of course there are battery management systems to stop these problems from happening. Problem is, I can't afford a $3000 charger and a battery management system too!
The 12 charger idea should allow me to spend the extra money on the batteries or controller with luck.
 

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cool. I'm not sure but seems to me they might have to be a kind that doesn't leak into the neigbor. maybe it's never a problem

maybe you can do a test with 2 batteries before buying all of the chargers
That's a good idea. I'll do that when I buy charger number two and do a little bench test just to be safe. Others I know of have used this method fine but I want to be 100% sure myself.
 

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I've just done the bench test and everything worked fine.
I put an ammeter between the 2 batteries connected in series and didn't measure a single drop of current between them while charging. Marvelous!
The two chargers were charging their individual batteries happily without the slightest bit of interest in each other.
:D
My crazy charging idea is all set to go ahead!
 

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This picture I took explains it all:

(Cheap Chinese charger on left, not as cheap Australian charger on right)

You can see the two chargers I used in this test run.
The actual EV chargers will all be the same make/specs, this was just a test run using my el cheapo charger, and the first of my EV chargers.
They're low output chargers 3.5A each although after lots of thought, this is perfect for us. It will take perhaps a full day for a full 0 - 100% charge, but I don't plan on ever draining the batteries completely flat. Most of our driving is little bits and pieces about town, no long drives. I can't see us exceeding 10km (6 miles) per drive - and that would be driving the city from end to end.
(Yes, it's a small city).
The chargers will also have a low enough output for me to use gel batteries in the future without cooking them. Or so I've heard.

The Aussie chargers I will use have a boost mode of full output (3.5 amps) before tapering off instantly once the charge reaches 80%. Then it's a reduced trickle charge. It's fun to watch with an ammeter!
Most importantly though, these chargers are solid, Australian made (not Chinese) and reasonably affordable.
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter #19
You may want to do this:

Wire up a block connector for balanced charging then put all the chargers into a big charger pack together and wire them up to fit the other end of the block connector with 5a fuses on each charger connection just-in-case so that when you charge your car, you just connect the blocks together and voila, balanced charging!

So what you'd have is:

Charger pack -> Block connector (m) -> Block connector (f) -> Battery pack
 

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Do you mean like using these?


This is the setup I will be using. I'll have all the chargers in a shelf/box thing, then each charger will feed each battery via it's own pair of wires. I'll put a 5A fuse in each pair too.
I put the female plugs into the car (just sitting there). It looks like this:


It's a very very very simple setup - simple to the point it looks a little uncool! Or is it cool? I dunno.
Is this what you had in mind Rob?
 
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