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Discussion Starter #1
G'day all,

If there are any VW mechanics on the List, I could sure use some advice.
The rear-wheel alignment on my VW Rabbit conversion has borderline
acceptable negative camber and toe-in (the alignment chart is at
http://tinyurl.com/2c9ztz6 or
http://www.svn.net/chursch/Rabbit/070802-H&J_Tire_wheel_alignment.jpg).
(SVN ISP will go away Nov. 21).
In the alignment chart, the current measurements are in the bottom
half of the chart, and the rear is at the bottom half of the bottom
half. Visually, it's easy to see that both wheels on the rear have
negative camber, and when I walk up to the side of the vehicle, I can
see the toe-in on both (although the chart indicates no toe-in on the
right side). I have seen other stock Rabbits with negative camber, but
I have no idea whether my car had these rather extreme settings prior to
conversion (I had the car only three months before converting it).
Through it's life as an EV, the rear has always had more or less these
measurements.

The effect on tire life is pretty harsh, as you might guess. My current
set of tires, Goodyear Integrity P185/70R-13 had one tire pronounced (by
a tire shop) worn out at 17K miles because of the wear on the inside
shoulder in that left corner. I swapped the tires f/r and have gone 8K
more miles since. But the inside shoulder of that tire is bald. I
could probably go another 5K miles before the wear bars started going
all the way across. I've met my basic goal of 25K, and would like to
deal with the rear alignment and then get a new set of tires (candidates
anyone - maybe some decent LRR tires now, better than the 15K miles my
Goodyear Invicta GLRs P175/70R-13s got me in the late 90s?).

I ordered up a couple of shim kits
(http://www.ingallseng.com/30000-themax-blue-adjuster.html), and now I
have to decide where to set the camber and toe. Seems like spec on
these Rabbits is to run negative camber, even at the minimum setting.
Negative camber makes for good handling, but chews up the shoulder of
the tire. I don't know how the camber will affect rolling resistance
(that's probably more the province of toe-in). My feeling is to set to
the least minimum negative camber for best tire life, probably aiming
for about -0.7 deg. I haven't decided what to do with the toe-in yet.
I know Bill Dube always recommended 0 toe-in, but that was probably for
front wheel alignment. The rear tires are always dragging with the car
in motion, so I don't think I want 0-deg toe-in. Maybe go for the
middle of the factory spec, but the car is heavier than stock, so it
will tend to rotate to toe-out more, I would guess. ??

The Bentley factory manual says to get new spring washers for the stub
axle mounting bolts. Called the VW dealer and that part # is 321501119A
(they don't have the part). Need four of those on each side, so total
eight. Looks like about $1.40 each at places like ecstuning.com and
worldimpex.com, but ouch on shipping (~$12). Saw on vwvortex.com that I
should probably get new bolts (part #n90758901) and found those
(worldimpex - $4.70ea). I saw one reference that these bolts rot out,
but I find that a bit surprising, and I'm tempted to re-use my old ones.
Anybody have a good place to shop that won't charge so much for
shipping? I'd like to handle this one of the Thanksgiving weekend days,
and can't really leave the car apart on the apt. carport waiting for
parts, so I want to have everything ready to go and get the job done.

Lastly, I was thinking a quick check on the alignment would be nice,
without iterating through an expensive shop alignment check. Didn't see
much on the internet on checking the wheel alignment (maybe I had the
wrong search terms?). Anybody got some good links? I may just eyeball it.

If I get all that done, it'll be onto new tires...

Thanks for any info,
Chuck

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Discussion Starter #2
Did you look into heavy duty coil springs for both the front and rear? They
have them you know. Sport tuned springs should help a bunch. Use urethane
bushings where you can too. They are stiff and don't sag like rubber
bushings in the suspension. Each bit helps. When you can ditch the lead and
get the lighter lithiums but keep your sport tuned suspension system
installed.

Pete :)

-----
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View this message in context: http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/gotta-deal-with-that-rear-wheel-alignment-issue-VW-Rabbit-tp3047757p3048853.html
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Discussion Starter #3
gottdi wrote:
> Did you look into heavy duty coil springs for both the front and rear? They
> have them you know. Sport tuned springs should help a bunch. Use urethane
> bushings where you can too. They are stiff and don't sag like rubber
> bushings in the suspension. Each bit helps. When you can ditch the lead and
> get the lighter lithiums but keep your sport tuned suspension system
> installed.
>
> Pete :)
>
> -----
> If you don't understand, be patient, you will. Now I understand. :)

Hi Pete,

When we did the conversion back in 1994 with the ElectroAutomotive (EA)
VoltsRabbit kit, we installed the springs/struts that came with the kit.
This car has McPherson struts on all four corners. I replaced the
rear springs with new EA springs in 2005, since the old ones had sagged
a bit. And, of course, I'm on my third or fourth set of shocks (the
current set are Bilsteins, pricey items that had better last, and so far
they have since 2007). However, I don't see what any of this has to do
with what's going on at the rear corners, since I believe the nearest
bushings are probably at where the axle beam (U-shaped) is attached to
the body.

I had my mechanic check the front A-arm bushings a few years ago, and he
said they were ok. I actually find that a bit hard to believe, but, ok.
Even if they are ok, would urethane bushings cut down on some of the
harshness and road noise transmitted from the 44psi front tires? The
Bilsteins have helped a lot (best shocks I've had on this car - it's
actually pretty decent now), but the road surface near the bottom of the
hill coming up to the apt (and actually for much of the grade) is so bad
that it's a bouncy shaky ride in the Rabbit. Going down is not too bad
as I can thread through the holes more or less. It's the same road
surface as when I moved here in 1992 - they just toss some gravel or
other asphalty stuff on it once a year or so.

Chuck


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Discussion Starter #4
I would find "like" VW and take your tape measure. It is possible that the
body where the struts attach (at the top) are moving inward towards each
other because of the additional weight. There are aftermarket braces
available to maintain this distance, for racing, but might be what you need.

Sincerely,
Mark Grasser


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Chuck Hursch
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 3:30 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] gotta deal with that rear-wheel alignment issue (VW
Rabbit)

gottdi wrote:
> Did you look into heavy duty coil springs for both the front and rear?
They
> have them you know. Sport tuned springs should help a bunch. Use urethane
> bushings where you can too. They are stiff and don't sag like rubber
> bushings in the suspension. Each bit helps. When you can ditch the lead
and
> get the lighter lithiums but keep your sport tuned suspension system
> installed.
>
> Pete :)
>
> -----
> If you don't understand, be patient, you will. Now I understand. :)

Hi Pete,

When we did the conversion back in 1994 with the ElectroAutomotive (EA)
VoltsRabbit kit, we installed the springs/struts that came with the kit.
This car has McPherson struts on all four corners. I replaced the
rear springs with new EA springs in 2005, since the old ones had sagged
a bit. And, of course, I'm on my third or fourth set of shocks (the
current set are Bilsteins, pricey items that had better last, and so far
they have since 2007). However, I don't see what any of this has to do
with what's going on at the rear corners, since I believe the nearest
bushings are probably at where the axle beam (U-shaped) is attached to
the body.

I had my mechanic check the front A-arm bushings a few years ago, and he
said they were ok. I actually find that a bit hard to believe, but, ok.
Even if they are ok, would urethane bushings cut down on some of the
harshness and road noise transmitted from the 44psi front tires? The
Bilsteins have helped a lot (best shocks I've had on this car - it's
actually pretty decent now), but the road surface near the bottom of the
hill coming up to the apt (and actually for much of the grade) is so bad
that it's a bouncy shaky ride in the Rabbit. Going down is not too bad
as I can thread through the holes more or less. It's the same road
surface as when I moved here in 1992 - they just toss some gravel or
other asphalty stuff on it once a year or so.

Chuck


_______________________________________________
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Discussion Starter #5
Urethane will transmit more noise and be stiffer to better handle the extra
weight while helping keep every thing in alignment. I agree with the other
poster about support cross braces for the body both front and rear. Any sort
of support will be of great help. The purpose of Heavy Duty struts will be
to keep the body from sagging under the weight causing the body to become
out of alignment with the steering components causing wear. If it sags even
with the Heavy duty struts either the struts are not heavy duty enough or
your just too damn heavy with LEAD batteries. How much weight in Batteries
are you carrying on board your little car? Remember these little cars are
not designed to carry much weight. Your car needs to sit level. Good struts
with strong springs will help.

Have you looked at the underside of the car to be sure you don't have some
cracking of the unibody at the front suspension area and maybe the rear. I
had an old rabbit once that had a large crack that caused my front be out
alignment and would make my braking spongey. When I found the problem it had
been welded up once and had cracked again. The car was unsafe to drive. I
ditched it and took all the good stuff out and put it into an newer one and
nicer one that I had picked up for $200 bucks. It had a bad engine. So check
for that kind of stuff too. Cracks can be hard to see. Your car should be up
and level if all is good. Too much weight may just negate any of the work
you have done.

Go Lithium. Lighter in weight and you get to go further per charge. :)

Pete :)

-----
If you don't understand, be patient, you will. Now I understand. :)
--
View this message in context: http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/gotta-deal-with-that-rear-wheel-alignment-issue-VW-Rabbit-tp3047757p3050396.html
Sent from the Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

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Discussion Starter #6
Mark Grasser wrote:
> I would find "like" VW and take your tape measure. It is possible that the
> body where the struts attach (at the top) are moving inward towards each
> other because of the additional weight. There are aftermarket braces
> available to maintain this distance, for racing, but might be what you need.
>
> Sincerely,
> Mark Grasser

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll mull over the possibilities for a
reference car.

Chuck

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Discussion Starter #7
gottdi wrote:
> Urethane will transmit more noise and be stiffer to better handle the extra
> weight while helping keep every thing in alignment. I agree with the other
> poster about support cross braces for the body both front and rear. Any sort
> of support will be of great help. The purpose of Heavy Duty struts will be
> to keep the body from sagging under the weight causing the body to become
> out of alignment with the steering components causing wear. If it sags even
> with the Heavy duty struts either the struts are not heavy duty enough or
> your just too damn heavy with LEAD batteries. How much weight in Batteries
> are you carrying on board your little car? Remember these little cars are
> not designed to carry much weight. Your car needs to sit level. Good struts
> with strong springs will help.

When I've measured the car at the tops of the wheel arches to the
ground, the car actually sits just a tad higher than as a stock diesel.
I'll measure this every few years or so. And I believe the F/R
heights are at about the same proportion as a diesel. BUT, those diesel
#s were probably on old springs and struts (I had the car as a diesel
for only three months).

My understanding is that the EA VoltsRabbit kit was designed to keep the
total weight under GVWR. The Rabbits have quite a wide spread between
curb weight and GVWR. 2000-lb stock diesel Rabbit. 2940-lb VoltsRabbit
(these were the actual weights on the scales) with 16 US-2300 (US-125 @
65-lb apiece) battery pack. GVWR is about 2900-lb, but of course that
changes with upgraded components. When I hop in, though, at ~180-190lb,
then the car will be over GVWR (the 2900-lb GVWR). With this last pack,
now US2200 @ 60-lb each, I've dropped 60-80lb.

I've noticed that these Rabbit and Golfs (I'm talking stock gas/diesel)
do tend to have more nose-up than many other cars. So be it. I like
nose-down a little more.

My mechanic says he could custom build a front brace for me across those
strut towers. I've thought about it. I don't know what a brace across
the rear towers would look like, probably the same deal more or less
straight across, which on most days with the rear seat back sitting up
would be ok, but on the odd day I have a big box to put in there with
the rear seat folded down, would stop the show. Also would probably
have to modify the hold-down straps for the rear battery box to open the
lid fully.

>
> Have you looked at the underside of the car to be sure you don't have some
> cracking of the unibody at the front suspension area and maybe the rear. I
> had an old rabbit once that had a large crack that caused my front be out
> alignment and would make my braking spongey. When I found the problem it had
> been welded up once and had cracked again. The car was unsafe to drive. I
> ditched it and took all the good stuff out and put it into an newer one and
> nicer one that I had picked up for $200 bucks. It had a bad engine. So check
> for that kind of stuff too. Cracks can be hard to see. Your car should be up
> and level if all is good. Too much weight may just negate any of the work
> you have done.

The car was last on the shop hoist about three years ago. Everytime
it's been up so where I can get underneath it, a crack has never been seen.

I believe the alignment has always been this way as a conversion. But I
may dig back into the older records from the mid-90s and double check
the alignment #s.

It's quite possible that the issue is from an accident. When I was
shopping around for a place to have the car painted and minor body work
done back in late '96, one shop did note clamp marks on the seams on the
underside of the body, indicating the car had been realigned in a
bodyshop after an accident. It's conceivable that if there was actually
an accident, and say the car was pushed against a curb (or driven
against a curb), that could have bent the rear axle beam a bit. Just
speculation, though.

>
> Go Lithium. Lighter in weight and you get to go further per charge. :)

Lithium is enticing; however $$$ and lack of personal shop facilities
preclude going down that route. I can handle some jobs here at the apt
carport (even put in a new pack in early 2009), and chassis jobs are
mostly handled by a mechanic I finally found to help me with this car;
the person who helped me build this car in 1994 and whose garage I
rented is no longer involved with EVs and is not available for work on
this car, and the other person I worked with lived a goodly distance
away and passed away a year and a half ago. And cost/mi is still lowest
with flooded lead-acid. So "yes" on lithium, but "no" can't do it.

Chuck


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Joined
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Discussion Starter #8
Yes an accident could cause troubles even later down the line. All VW's sit nose up. When they stop they become more neutral. Nose up on all the old air cooled and the early water cooled rabbits.

Pete :)


I understand about not having a good place to do battery box work for new batteries. Some day maybe.






Chuck Hursch wrote:

> gottdi wrote:
>> Urethane will transmit more noise and be stiffer to better handle the extra
>> weight while helping keep every thing in alignment. I agree with the other
>> poster about support cross braces for the body both front and rear. Any sort
>> of support will be of great help. The purpose of Heavy Duty struts will be
>> to keep the body from sagging under the weight causing the body to become
>> out of alignment with the steering components causing wear. If it sags even
>> with the Heavy duty struts either the struts are not heavy duty enough or
>> your just too damn heavy with LEAD batteries. How much weight in Batteries
>> are you carrying on board your little car? Remember these little cars are
>> not designed to carry much weight. Your car needs to sit level. Good struts
>> with strong springs will help.
>
> When I've measured the car at the tops of the wheel arches to the
> ground, the car actually sits just a tad higher than as a stock diesel.
> I'll measure this every few years or so. And I believe the F/R
> heights are at about the same proportion as a diesel. BUT, those diesel
> #s were probably on old springs and struts (I had the car as a diesel
> for only three months).
>
> My understanding is that the EA VoltsRabbit kit was designed to keep the
> total weight under GVWR. The Rabbits have quite a wide spread between
> curb weight and GVWR. 2000-lb stock diesel Rabbit. 2940-lb VoltsRabbit
> (these were the actual weights on the scales) with 16 US-2300 (US-125 @
> 65-lb apiece) battery pack. GVWR is about 2900-lb, but of course that
> changes with upgraded components. When I hop in, though, at ~180-190lb,
> then the car will be over GVWR (the 2900-lb GVWR). With this last pack,
> now US2200 @ 60-lb each, I've dropped 60-80lb.
>
> I've noticed that these Rabbit and Golfs (I'm talking stock gas/diesel)
> do tend to have more nose-up than many other cars. So be it. I like
> nose-down a little more.
>
> My mechanic says he could custom build a front brace for me across those
> strut towers. I've thought about it. I don't know what a brace across
> the rear towers would look like, probably the same deal more or less
> straight across, which on most days with the rear seat back sitting up
> would be ok, but on the odd day I have a big box to put in there with
> the rear seat folded down, would stop the show. Also would probably
> have to modify the hold-down straps for the rear battery box to open the
> lid fully.
>
>>
>> Have you looked at the underside of the car to be sure you don't have some
>> cracking of the unibody at the front suspension area and maybe the rear. I
>> had an old rabbit once that had a large crack that caused my front be out
>> alignment and would make my braking spongey. When I found the problem it had
>> been welded up once and had cracked again. The car was unsafe to drive. I
>> ditched it and took all the good stuff out and put it into an newer one and
>> nicer one that I had picked up for $200 bucks. It had a bad engine. So check
>> for that kind of stuff too. Cracks can be hard to see. Your car should be up
>> and level if all is good. Too much weight may just negate any of the work
>> you have done.
>
> The car was last on the shop hoist about three years ago. Everytime
> it's been up so where I can get underneath it, a crack has never been seen.
>
> I believe the alignment has always been this way as a conversion. But I
> may dig back into the older records from the mid-90s and double check
> the alignment #s.
>
> It's quite possible that the issue is from an accident. When I was
> shopping around for a place to have the car painted and minor body work
> done back in late '96, one shop did note clamp marks on the seams on the
> underside of the body, indicating the car had been realigned in a
> bodyshop after an accident. It's conceivable that if there was actually
> an accident, and say the car was pushed against a curb (or driven
> against a curb), that could have bent the rear axle beam a bit. Just
> speculation, though.
>
>>
>> Go Lithium. Lighter in weight and you get to go further per charge. :)
>
> Lithium is enticing; however $$$ and lack of personal shop facilities
> preclude going down that route. I can handle some jobs here at the apt
> carport (even put in a new pack in early 2009), and chassis jobs are
> mostly handled by a mechanic I finally found to help me with this car;
> the person who helped me build this car in 1994 and whose garage I
> rented is no longer involved with EVs and is not available for work on
> this car, and the other person I worked with lived a goodly distance
> away and passed away a year and a half ago. And cost/mi is still lowest
> with flooded lead-acid. So "yes" on lithium, but "no" can't do it.
>
> Chuck
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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Discussion Starter #9
Many need a place to work, in my area are many "Public Storage" places that
rent out garage spaces but don't allow any working, but, there are also two
within 5 miles that do allow work and they call their units "Shop" space,
many guys have wood shops and hobby work shops and some work on their cars.
It is an inexpensive alternative for apartment residents.
Regards, Dennis Miles

Chuck Hursch <[email protected]> wrote:

> gottdi wrote:
> > Urethane will transmit more noise and be stiffer to better handle the
> extra
> > weight while helping keep every thing in alignment. I agree with the
> other
> > poster about support cross braces for the body both front and rear. Any
> sort
> > of support will be of great help. The purpose of Heavy Duty struts will
> be
> > to keep the body from sagging under the weight causing the body to become
> > out of alignment with the steering components causing wear. If it sags
> even
> > with the Heavy duty struts either the struts are not heavy duty enough or
> > your just too damn heavy with LEAD batteries. How much weight in
> Batteries
> > are you carrying on board your little car? Remember these little cars are
> > not designed to carry much weight. Your car needs to sit level. Good
> struts
> > with strong springs will help.
>
> When I've measured the car at the tops of the wheel arches to the
> ground, the car actually sits just a tad higher than as a stock diesel.
> I'll measure this every few years or so. And I believe the F/R
> heights are at about the same proportion as a diesel. BUT, those diesel
> #s were probably on old springs and struts (I had the car as a diesel
> for only three months).
>
> My understanding is that the EA VoltsRabbit kit was designed to keep the
> total weight under GVWR. The Rabbits have quite a wide spread between
> curb weight and GVWR. 2000-lb stock diesel Rabbit. 2940-lb VoltsRabbit
> (these were the actual weights on the scales) with 16 US-2300 (US-125 @
> 65-lb apiece) battery pack. GVWR is about 2900-lb, but of course that
> changes with upgraded components. When I hop in, though, at ~180-190lb,
> then the car will be over GVWR (the 2900-lb GVWR). With this last pack,
> now US2200 @ 60-lb each, I've dropped 60-80lb.
>
> I've noticed that these Rabbit and Golfs (I'm talking stock gas/diesel)
> do tend to have more nose-up than many other cars. So be it. I like
> nose-down a little more.
>
> My mechanic says he could custom build a front brace for me across those
> strut towers. I've thought about it. I don't know what a brace across
> the rear towers would look like, probably the same deal more or less
> straight across, which on most days with the rear seat back sitting up
> would be ok, but on the odd day I have a big box to put in there with
> the rear seat folded down, would stop the show. Also would probably
> have to modify the hold-down straps for the rear battery box to open the
> lid fully.
>
> >
> > Have you looked at the underside of the car to be sure you don't have
> some
> > cracking of the unibody at the front suspension area and maybe the rear.
> I
> > had an old rabbit once that had a large crack that caused my front be out
> > alignment and would make my braking spongey. When I found the problem it
> had
> > been welded up once and had cracked again. The car was unsafe to drive. I
> > ditched it and took all the good stuff out and put it into an newer one
> and
> > nicer one that I had picked up for $200 bucks. It had a bad engine. So
> check
> > for that kind of stuff too. Cracks can be hard to see. Your car should be
> up
> > and level if all is good. Too much weight may just negate any of the work
> > you have done.
>
> The car was last on the shop hoist about three years ago. Everytime
> it's been up so where I can get underneath it, a crack has never been seen.
>
> I believe the alignment has always been this way as a conversion. But I
> may dig back into the older records from the mid-90s and double check
> the alignment #s.
>
> It's quite possible that the issue is from an accident. When I was
> shopping around for a place to have the car painted and minor body work
> done back in late '96, one shop did note clamp marks on the seams on the
> underside of the body, indicating the car had been realigned in a
> bodyshop after an accident. It's conceivable that if there was actually
> an accident, and say the car was pushed against a curb (or driven
> against a curb), that could have bent the rear axle beam a bit. Just
> speculation, though.
>
> >
> > Go Lithium. Lighter in weight and you get to go further per charge. :)
>
> Lithium is enticing; however $$$ and lack of personal shop facilities
> preclude going down that route. I can handle some jobs here at the apt
> carport (even put in a new pack in early 2009), and chassis jobs are
> mostly handled by a mechanic I finally found to help me with this car;
> the person who helped me build this car in 1994 and whose garage I
> rented is no longer involved with EVs and is not available for work on
> this car, and the other person I worked with lived a goodly distance
> away and passed away a year and a half ago. And cost/mi is still lowest
> with flooded lead-acid. So "yes" on lithium, but "no" can't do it.
>
> Chuck
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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--
Regards,
*Dennis Lee Miles* (Director) *E.V.T.I. inc*.
*www.E-V-T-I-Inc.COM <http://www.e-v-t-i-inc.com/> *(Adviser)*
EVTI-EVAEducation Chapter
*
Phone (813) ID4 - E V T I or (813) 434 - 3884 (I think word phone
numbers can be fun and good mnemonics aid memory.)
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Discussion Starter #10
I believe I'm the third owner of this car. It was in the best shape of
any of the Rabbits that I drove back in 1994, when looking for a donor
car. It did have a little fender rot, which was taken care of a couple
of years later during that body/paint work. Got 50mpg as a diesel on
one drive of 400 miles (this was a shake-out test drive - the only thing
that shook out was the wing vents :-( ). All in all, the car keeps
humming along, minor problems here and there, but nothing really stops
me. Have to be a little resourceful at times. I really hadn't intended
to make a life out of the EV thing, but rather get back on track to RE
(solar, etc), which the EV would plug into :).

My neighbor's '92 Golf had that same (nose-up) attitude. I think it's
the way VW made their cars back then.

Pete, do you have an evalbum (or other) entry for your car? Do you have
any efficiency #s for that Rabbit you ran as an EV (ie. mi/kwh upstream
of the charger or downstream of the battery pack (wh/mi))? I'm curious
as to how much more efficient your current car is compared to the
Rabbit, and how much of that you think is due to the lighter weight and
lower internal resistance (if that's the case) of the lithiums vs lead.
When lithium makes me :), a goodly amount of that is thinking about
not hauling around all that lead weight.

Thanks Dennis for the workshop thoughts.

Chuck

[email protected] wrote:
> Yes an accident could cause troubles even later down the line. All VW's sit nose up. When they stop they become more neutral. Nose up on all the old air cooled and the early water cooled rabbits.
>
> Pete :)
>
>
> I understand about not having a good place to do battery box work for new batteries. Some day maybe.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
Chuck Hursch wrote:
>
>> gottdi wrote:
>>> Urethane will transmit more noise and be stiffer to better handle the extra
>>> weight while helping keep every thing in alignment. I agree with the other
>>> poster about support cross braces for the body both front and rear. Any sort
>>> of support will be of great help. The purpose of Heavy Duty struts will be
>>> to keep the body from sagging under the weight causing the body to become
>>> out of alignment with the steering components causing wear. If it sags even
>>> with the Heavy duty struts either the struts are not heavy duty enough or
>>> your just too damn heavy with LEAD batteries. How much weight in Batteries
>>> are you carrying on board your little car? Remember these little cars are
>>> not designed to carry much weight. Your car needs to sit level. Good struts
>>> with strong springs will help.
>> When I've measured the car at the tops of the wheel arches to the
>> ground, the car actually sits just a tad higher than as a stock diesel.
>> I'll measure this every few years or so. And I believe the F/R
>> heights are at about the same proportion as a diesel. BUT, those diesel
>> #s were probably on old springs and struts (I had the car as a diesel
>> for only three months).
>>
>> My understanding is that the EA VoltsRabbit kit was designed to keep the
>> total weight under GVWR. The Rabbits have quite a wide spread between
>> curb weight and GVWR. 2000-lb stock diesel Rabbit. 2940-lb VoltsRabbit
>> (these were the actual weights on the scales) with 16 US-2300 (US-125 @
>> 65-lb apiece) battery pack. GVWR is about 2900-lb, but of course that
>> changes with upgraded components. When I hop in, though, at ~180-190lb,
>> then the car will be over GVWR (the 2900-lb GVWR). With this last pack,
>> now US2200 @ 60-lb each, I've dropped 60-80lb.
>>
>> I've noticed that these Rabbit and Golfs (I'm talking stock gas/diesel)
>> do tend to have more nose-up than many other cars. So be it. I like
>> nose-down a little more.
>>
>> My mechanic says he could custom build a front brace for me across those
>> strut towers. I've thought about it. I don't know what a brace across
>> the rear towers would look like, probably the same deal more or less
>> straight across, which on most days with the rear seat back sitting up
>> would be ok, but on the odd day I have a big box to put in there with
>> the rear seat folded down, would stop the show. Also would probably
>> have to modify the hold-down straps for the rear battery box to open the
>> lid fully.
>>
>>> Have you looked at the underside of the car to be sure you don't have some
>>> cracking of the unibody at the front suspension area and maybe the rear. I
>>> had an old rabbit once that had a large crack that caused my front be out
>>> alignment and would make my braking spongey. When I found the problem it had
>>> been welded up once and had cracked again. The car was unsafe to drive. I
>>> ditched it and took all the good stuff out and put it into an newer one and
>>> nicer one that I had picked up for $200 bucks. It had a bad engine. So check
>>> for that kind of stuff too. Cracks can be hard to see. Your car should be up
>>> and level if all is good. Too much weight may just negate any of the work
>>> you have done.
>> The car was last on the shop hoist about three years ago. Everytime
>> it's been up so where I can get underneath it, a crack has never been seen.
>>
>> I believe the alignment has always been this way as a conversion. But I
>> may dig back into the older records from the mid-90s and double check
>> the alignment #s.
>>
>> It's quite possible that the issue is from an accident. When I was
>> shopping around for a place to have the car painted and minor body work
>> done back in late '96, one shop did note clamp marks on the seams on the
>> underside of the body, indicating the car had been realigned in a
>> bodyshop after an accident. It's conceivable that if there was actually
>> an accident, and say the car was pushed against a curb (or driven
>> against a curb), that could have bent the rear axle beam a bit. Just
>> speculation, though.
>>
>>> Go Lithium. Lighter in weight and you get to go further per charge. :)
>> Lithium is enticing; however $$$ and lack of personal shop facilities
>> preclude going down that route. I can handle some jobs here at the apt
>> carport (even put in a new pack in early 2009), and chassis jobs are
>> mostly handled by a mechanic I finally found to help me with this car;
>> the person who helped me build this car in 1994 and whose garage I
>> rented is no longer involved with EVs and is not available for work on
>> this car, and the other person I worked with lived a goodly distance
>> away and passed away a year and a half ago. And cost/mi is still lowest
>> with flooded lead-acid. So "yes" on lithium, but "no" can't do it.
>>
>> Chuck
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>
>
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Chuck Hursch <[email protected]> wrote:
[snip]
> Pete, do you have an evalbum (or other) entry for your car? Do you have
> any efficiency #s for that Rabbit you ran as an EV (ie. mi/kwh upstream
> of the charger or downstream of the battery pack (wh/mi))? I'm curious
> as to how much more efficient your current car is compared to the
> Rabbit, and how much of that you think is due to the lighter weight and
> lower internal resistance (if that's the case) of the lithiums vs lead.
> When lithium makes me :), a goodly amount of that is thinking about
> not hauling around all that lead weight.

Chuck,

On my Gizmo I could go about 4 mi/kWh out of the wall when I was using
eight 6V floodies. When I went to lithiums I have been averaging about
6 mi/kWh out of the wall. I really don't think much of that had to do
with the weight loss. When I went from 8V batteries to 6V batteries my
efficiency actually improved, probably due to the increase in plate
area reducing the effects of the internal resistance. My rig weighed
993lbs with the 6V battery pack. It now weighs 829lbs with lithium.
This is with an extra 80lbs of lithium since I went with a 2p20S pack
rather than just a 2p16s pack.

Ignoring stress on the vehicle components I really don't think the
change in weight makes that much difference in the range except in the
case of lead the internal resistance is so high that the higher
currents needed to accelerate or climb a hill at a given rate "waste"
more energy that is not gotten back through the extra momentum. With
the lithium I installed a CycleAnalyst and I don't see more than about
a half amp-hour more put into the pack than taken out. It doesn't
matter if I had a full throttle run or a gentle one. The CA doesn't
have any compensation for changes in current draw like some meters do.
I find it is not needed with lithium.

HTH,

-- =

David D. Nelson
http://evalbum.com/1328

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Registered
Joined
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
David Nelson wrote:
>
Chuck Hursch <[email protected]> wrote:
> [snip]
>> Pete, do you have an evalbum (or other) entry for your car? Do you have
>> any efficiency #s for that Rabbit you ran as an EV (ie. mi/kwh upstream
>> of the charger or downstream of the battery pack (wh/mi))? I'm curious
>> as to how much more efficient your current car is compared to the
>> Rabbit, and how much of that you think is due to the lighter weight and
>> lower internal resistance (if that's the case) of the lithiums vs lead.
>> When lithium makes me :), a goodly amount of that is thinking about
>> not hauling around all that lead weight.
>
> Chuck,
>
> On my Gizmo I could go about 4 mi/kWh out of the wall when I was using
> eight 6V floodies. When I went to lithiums I have been averaging about
> 6 mi/kWh out of the wall. I really don't think much of that had to do
> with the weight loss. When I went from 8V batteries to 6V batteries my
> efficiency actually improved, probably due to the increase in plate
> area reducing the effects of the internal resistance. My rig weighed
> 993lbs with the 6V battery pack. It now weighs 829lbs with lithium.
> This is with an extra 80lbs of lithium since I went with a 2p20S pack
> rather than just a 2p16s pack.

My battery pack at 96V of floodies is about twice as heavy as yours was.
The car weighs roughly three times. My out-of-the-wall energy usage
is 2.3-2.5 mi/kwh, give or take. I have a 250' steep hill to get back
to the apt, but everywhere else I'm pretty much able to stay on the
flats, such as they are around here. On the odd days that I have to go
over to southern San Rafael, it appears easiest to go over the hill
through the residential area just west of the freeway; this way I can
climb that hill (probably 250-300') slowly enough to keep the amps down
to 200-250 or less. When I have to go over that hill, I notice that the
pack takes fractionally more kwh to charge back up than I would expect
it to given the odometer distance.

I would guess you have quite good range with your lithium pack. Could
you stretch to 75-100 miles without running the pack into the ground?
You probably have three times the wh or so in your lithium pack as
compared to the Pb-acid.
>
> Ignoring stress on the vehicle components I really don't think the
> change in weight makes that much difference in the range except in the
> case of lead the internal resistance is so high that the higher
> currents needed to accelerate or climb a hill at a given rate "waste"
> more energy that is not gotten back through the extra momentum. With
> the lithium I installed a CycleAnalyst and I don't see more than about
> a half amp-hour more put into the pack than taken out. It doesn't
> matter if I had a full throttle run or a gentle one. The CA doesn't
> have any compensation for changes in current draw like some meters do.
> I find it is not needed with lithium.
>
> HTH,
>


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