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Re: [EVDL] Daily driver vs. hobby: EV reliability issues & OEM mass production

Boy, this really hits the nail of what I have been thinking about the last few weeks on the head. I ask myself 'would I do a fiero again?' And the answer is maybe, but the reality is that now I have a pretty decent one that I've invested a lot in, and It's gonna be around for a while now.

I can add the following 'D'OH!' moments to the list...

...Not inspecting the donor vehicle closely, missing several things that need to be done to fix it before conversion (ebay buyers beware!).

...doing suspension work yourself. Changing those front springs was the most dangerous thing I've ever done (not the stupidest, but the most dangerous). One did let go one time - lucky I wasn't in the way.

...cheaping out on anything and regretting it later, like not putting that one wire in a separate loom, then having to rerun it later when it chafes through and shorts out.

...getting funny readings on the meter and going through weeks of correspondence with the manufacturer only to find out that it makes a big difference which side of the shunt that one lead (the one you were sure was correct) attaches to.

...removing the ECU and selling it on ebay, only to find that you need it to run the speedometer.

and lest we forget:

...thinking you are ever actually 'done' with the conversion.

By the way, I did the s'hort hose with a plug in the end and several holes drilled in the hose' trick on the vacuum pump last night and the pump noise is much better! Too bad I had a tread separation in a tire and it's down until the new tires from the tire rack get here...

David Brandt

----- Original Message ----
From: Bob Bath <[email protected]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:32:46 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Daily driver vs. hobby: EV reliability issues & OEM mass production

After 4 years of a VoltsRabbit, and 3.5 years of
CivicWithACord, I feel qualified to discuss my
concerns and hopes for the future.
The fact is, there are some things that will only come
from experience. While you learn them, you'll likely
have a 3rd vehicle as a humiliating backup for when
things go wrong. Examples:
- You powdercoated with polyester powdercoat, not
epoxy powdercoat. Your car is down 5 days to have the
powdercoating re-done.
- You relied on monitoring voltage too carefully, not
current. As a result, your batteries were chronically
undercharged. You got 2 yrs., instead of 4 or more,
and your car is down for 2 weeks while the batteries
get ordered. You also go to a different e-meter
powering system, so that you can monitor charging
current and voltage w/o the car being down.
- Your controller has condensation issues, has massive
silicon failure, and your car is down 3 weeks while
it gets rebuilt into a more reliable version.
- Your DCDC takes too long to charge the aux. battery,
so it dies prematurely, and your car needs to be towed
home. It's a week before the higher current DCDC
comes in and you can install it.
- Your friend may be a nice dude, but he's a cruddy
welder. Your rig is down for 4 days while the weld on
a now-broken motor mount is re-done.
- Your mis-wire your e-meter prescaler, toasting it.

I'm noticing that in no instance above except for
battery charging and the last one, was it directly my
fault, unless one counts "lack of complete knowledge
of each component" as being a "fault". Each one of
the above would be solved if the OEMs made EVs. In my
perfect world, I could go to NAPA Auto Parts, and pick
up the blown controller, or higher power DCDC, or
whatever _immediately_. But no, I've got to cobble
together the best available parts from several
Senkowski- controller
Belktronix- DCDC converter and e-meter power supply.
ElectroAuto or EVParts or EVAmerica- motor, vac. pump,
Local vendor- welding
Interstate- batteries
Port Plastics- polypropy
- and the list goes on and on. Sure, it's all for the
"good of the cause," but after 7 years, I'm not so
sure I can ever go to just two rigs.
'01 Corolla: wife's car
95 Odyssey: my long range rig & my backup (see list of
whines, above)
92 Civic: daily EV driver, unless...

Tomorrow can't come fast enough. <sigh> Here's to
hoping we use up our gasoline supply soon... for all
the right reasons.

Converting a gen. 5 Honda Civic? For $20 DVD you can purchase footage of my '92 sedan, as well as a del Sol and hatch too!
Learn more at: ____
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