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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Corbin, looks like you wound up with 48 cells all together.

What has been your total investment in batteries and BMS battery management/charger?

Thanks, looking good.
Hi bonewibb, thanks! Your almost right -- I'm using 48 cells total; 28 in the rear seat area, 5 behind those sitting horizontal, and 15 in the front.

Edit: And cost -- roughly $12k or so, if I remember right. I need to double check and see exactly what I paid.

corbin
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Here's progress from two days ago. Yesterday I did a 20 mile unicycle ride instead of working on the car, and then passed out from exhaustion.

A big thanks to everyone who has been answering my questions (via other posts) about where to put stuff.

Plog post:
http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2011/01/plug-bug-batteries/

Some pictures copied here:










corbin
 

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If I can figure out the Elithion BMS I may actually get it all going!
Glad to see that you are indeed asking questions in the Lithiumate Forum. Thanks for doing that.

If not...I may skip the BMS for a week or so, just so I can see the tires spin.
#1 cause of blown Li-Ion packs: the urge to see the wheels spinning, before the BMS is fully connected to the motor controller. Take your time and do it right. Learn from others (hobbyists and automotive companies alike) who learned the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Glad to see that you are indeed asking questions in the Lithiumate Forum. Thanks for doing that.

#1 cause of blown Li-Ion packs: the urge to see the wheels spinning, before the BMS is fully connected to the motor controller. Take your time and do it right. Learn from others (hobbyists and automotive companies alike) who learned the hard way.
Hey Davide -- good point! I had Justin at Evolve overnight the 6 BMS boards I was missing, and the higher amp gauge. I'm going to put it all in on Saturday, provided I get them on time.

I'll probably wait to charge until I have it all going; it is safest. Last night I did install all the bus bars and put the car on blocks and briefly pushed the throttle, just so I could see the tires spin (and indeed, they do spin).

--corbin
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Well, I got the missing BMS boards last weekend, but unfortunately two boards weren't working (the LEDs didn't blink when plugged in). So, I'm waiting to get replacements for those before I charge it up and start running. That's okay, since the wiring is taking me longer than I expected. Hopefully it will move this weekend..but we'll see how it goes!

The Elithion Lithiumate BMS has been awesome to work with - it was initially challenging to learn how it all goes together, but I really enjoy doing all the wiring and crimping. Davide has also been helpful on the Elithion forums.

New blog post:

http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2011/01/charger-mounted-bms-install-in-progress/

And a few copied pictures:





corbin
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
A quick update: the car moves! I got some replacement BMS boards yesterday, dropped them in, and began the process of setting up the Elithion BMS. I don't think I had the values right till late in the charge (not realizing what I was supposed to see or not -- I'll post details to the Elithion forums). The main trouble with the BMS is that the LiFePO4 cell settings aren't correct for Thundersky cells, and I didn't realize this. The way it tells me to calculate the values doesn't work quite right (based on the Thundersky charts). The pack needs top balancing, but I got the highest cell up to 4.0 volts.

Then, at 2am last night, I did a short drive up the road!

The front end is dropped way too low, and I need to figure out how to adjust my beam to get it to ride higher; the wheels scrape the wells when turning. I also need to adjust my front end; it is horribly out of alignment.

Then, more refining of the BMS (install SOC display, hook up to the fuel gauge, install charger-on relay), and I'll be ready to install the interior and start driving! Hopefully I can get it all done by Thursday (my DMV appointment).

corbin
 

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Then, at 2am last night, I did a short drive up the road!

The front end is dropped way too low, and I need to figure out how to adjust my beam to get it to ride higher; the wheels scrape the wells when turning. I also need to adjust my front end; it is horribly out of alignment.

corbin
Corbin,

Congrats on the drive BIG EV Grin:D?

A quick, relitivley inexpensive fix for the droop is a pair of coil over shocks. Adjusting the beam can require quite a bit of time and money. Look in the dune buggy shops.

Getting the suspension back up to height will help the alignment.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Corbin,

Congrats on the drive BIG EV Grin:D?

A quick, relitivley inexpensive fix for the droop is a pair of coil over shocks. Adjusting the beam can require quite a bit of time and money. Look in the dune buggy shops.

Getting the suspension back up to height will help the alignment.

Jim
Thanks Jim. Yeah, the care is AWESOME! It's my first EV that I've driven (although, I've been in RAV4 EVs). I still need to ask my friend to let me drive his Tesla to compare it to the bug :)

I spent yesterday morning raising the front end; I have an adjustable front beam on the bug, so I just took off the front suspension and wheels, and twisted the bar to the right spot (a pain to adjust, but I got it). Now it rides much higher in the front, and steering no longer hits the wheel wells. I may still get new coil-overs -- I was thinking of doing that anyways.

I have some "bugs" to work out in the car. Turning on the headlights reduces controller output for some reason.

corbin
 

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Thanks Jim. Yeah, the care is AWESOME! It's my first EV that I've driven (although, I've been in RAV4 EVs). I still need to ask my friend to let me drive his Tesla to compare it to the bug :)
Corbin,

I remember the thrill I got from my little electric tractor the first time it moved with me on it. In a car it just "GOTTS" to be better.:D

I spent yesterday morning raising the front end; I have an adjustable front beam on the bug, so I just took off the front suspension and wheels, and twisted the bar to the right spot (a pain to adjust, but I got it). Now it rides much higher in the front, and steering no longer hits the wheel wells. I may still get new coil-overs -- I was thinking of doing that anyways.
Adjustible Coil Overs will let you get the height spot on.

I have some "bugs" to work out in the car. Turning on the headlights reduces controller output for some reason.

corbin
"bugs" (funny) of course, pun intended.:D:p

Do you have a DC to DC, could the draw from it be pulling your pack voltage down causing your controller to react. Do you have a 12 volt battery to act as a voltage stabilizer in the 12 volt system with the headlghts?

Just a thought, I'm not too hot on electrical stuff.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Hi Jim,
Yes, I do have the DC-DC, and it is wired into the 12v system with an aux battery (only 18ah!). So yes, it is clearly going to draw more power when the lights are on, but I didn't think that would affect the controller in any way, since the controller should be able to draw out more amps. Maybe it has to do with the point at which I have it wired into the pack.

corbin
 

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Hi Jim,
Yes, I do have the DC-DC, and it is wired into the 12v system with an aux battery (only 18ah!). So yes, it is clearly going to draw more power when the lights are on, but I didn't think that would affect the controller in any way, since the controller should be able to draw out more amps. Maybe it has to do with the point at which I have it wired into the pack.

corbin
Corbin,

That was my best guess.

A very nice bug. A true DIY craftsman's job:).

From your battery/motor/controller selections, I'll bet there are some plans to be showing good views of your license plate to your friend with the Tesla.:D

Bet he's asking you for a drive soon.:cool:

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Anyone who's following along, I solved the "headlight" issue.

There's a purple wire into the controller that is supposed to be hooked up to the reverse lights. I had it hooked up the tail light...so when the lights were on, the controller limits the output. Oh, duh! It'll be nice to have reverse not be so touchy :)

corbin
 

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Anyone who's following along, I solved the "headlight" issue.

There's a purple wire into the controller that is supposed to be hooked up to the reverse lights. I had it hooked up the tail light...so when the lights were on, the controller limits the output. Oh, duh! It'll be nice to have reverse not be so touchy :)

corbin
Corbin,

What did you do, follow that old Aircraft Mechanic adage. "When all else fails Look In The Book":p?

Good job, glad you found it without a bunch of hassel.:cool:

Jim
 

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Corbin:

I'm going with air ride suspension and special order 5 x 4 3/4 hubs on the 1971 vw bug that I am working on. I figured that the air ride would give better support for battery weight and the larger brake hubs would help with stopping due to the extra weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Corbin:

I'm going with air ride suspension and special order 5 x 4 3/4 hubs on the 1971 vw bug that I am working on. I figured that the air ride would give better support for battery weight and the larger brake hubs would help with stopping due to the extra weight.
Yeah, that's a good idea! I did upgrade to disc brakes all around, and I'm glad I did. Even those heat up quite a bit while braking down the steep hills around my house.

I'm going to go by a VW shop today and see if they have anything for shocks. Where did you get yours? I was considering some adjustable coil-overs, like:

http://www.appletreeauto.com/BALL-JOINT-COIL-SHOCKS-CH/

or something similar

corbin
 

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The air ride suspension was already on the VW chassis when I acquired it off of ebay this summer. The previous owner said that he had special ordered the 5 x 4 3/4 brake hubs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The air ride suspension was already on the VW chassis when I acquired it off of ebay this summer. The previous owner said that he had special ordered the 5 x 4 3/4 brake hubs.
cool -- i went to my local eve dub shop (bugformance, san jose) and got some coil over shocks for the front. The rear he said is probably squeaky for some other reasons, so i'll look into that.

corbin
 
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