Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sniff, Edna is gone to a new owner and a great guy he is!    Why "Edna"?  Why girl's name for ships and cars?  Ahhhh - 'cause men think they can handle them!

Monday, April 23, 2012


I wouldn't have chosen "Edna" but now I'm fond of her and that's the name she came with. So she goes; because JLeno wants to add to his stable OR Tonto needs a new mount!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dang! Too dark... see 65 on the speedo. Have to do it again!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Test Drive (w/EV grin)

Just finished a short drive and everything is as hoped. Not nearly the V drop. A couple more drives and I will have some feel for range and speed. Next task is the Battery S.O.C. meter hook-up.

The 7th or 9th or 15th battery

Finally done with other chores and back to Edna. I'm adding provision for the 15th battery (or the 7th one installed this go-around)(or the 9th one as it will be numbered).

Takes a little space but the advantages will be worth it. This shot shows the covers all back on.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The #@*&*^ heater pads

After finding 10 of the 14 heater pads not working, I put the 4 good ones under the front 4 batts. and removed the others. Can't wait to see if I can feel the difference between 112V & 120V. It's been said you should break them in slowly so I'll do that for about 5 cycles.

Up Front

Got the front pack all in and wired up. These new batts. have bigger nuts! That's a good thing isn't it?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Woo Hoo the new batteries are in!

Build a fire Tonto; I'll put the coffee on the boil. It's out with the old and in with the new! Red batteries are sooo last week.
Go Green!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ambushed by 'Tonto'

I've been enjoying the motorcycle so much I decided to sell 'Edna' the Hyundai. As with most used EVs for sale she will be due for a new battery pack in the coming months. Now the buyer, a silver tongued devil, whom I shall refer to as 'Tonto' has slicked talked me into the exact chore that contributed to my decision to part with her in the first place. The dreaded battery pack change-out ;-(. But alas we will step up the voltage from 112V to 120V, carpet the spare tire boot, hook up the S.O.C. meter and various other jots & tittles I should have done in the first place. The 'pie-in-the-sky' Lithiums have come down but not yet to $$ most of us can accept. Anyway I am enjoying the prospect of working on her again!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Got It!!!

The EV-grin! Very quiet, smooth and powerful. I'll experiment to see top speed and range. (assuming of course I pass the driver's test)

Batteries & Motor Connected

All the wiring is done except the DC-DC converter and a few small details on the 12V side. Getting ready to go out tomorrow. I think I'll wear the RED!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Other Side

In this view the BMS can be seen.

The Motor and Batteries Installed

72V X 60Ahrs of battery barely fit. There are a lot of smaller components that need to find space; the battery management system, the DC-DC converter, fuse and contactor. No room for an on-board charger at this point.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Here is the rather "busy" battery tray. I'm planning 6-12V, 20lb. GBS Lithium batts. that come in a kit with a 72V charger and BMS system (which I've read has given some trouble, we'll see). This presents a good example of waste in the structural design when a vehicle is converted from a "purpose built" platform. How nice it would be to start from the ground up designing around the components intended for the bike! (Waa-waa, I know)

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The throttle pot is a bit hard to see as I positioned it backwards in the front web to be close to where I want the controller.


Here's the motor mounted and chained up to the sprockets. 12T to 72T for a 6:1 ratio. The motor reportedly gives 50 rpm/volt for around 3600 rpm which should yield 43 mph with my tire size. I want closer to 60 so plan to increase front sprocket a couple teeth at a time and see what happens to acceleration as I approach it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Praise of Cardboard

After taking off major parts there's a myriad of smaller no longer needed widgets, brackets, lines, wires, etc. Having completed their removal, cardboard mock-ups serve well to plan arrangement of the new components. Cardboard batteries don't deliver much current, but then cardboard motors don't draw much either.

This exercise made clear I would need some space in the gas tank, so I butchered it as a result.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Got Her Stripped

First step is to rid her of all the evil ICE stuff. I'm sure she's gonna miss the 123 hp.

Come on - take it all off.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Well - what's next? The car hasn't sold although gas is sky high. I can't figure it. Seems like folks look at the value of a '97 Hyundai Accent rather than a newly converted electric. And I find I enjoy the converting more than owning/driving.

So - I rescued this wounded soldier from Big Rapids. It has two tennis ball sized holes in the engine that must have made quite a 'statement' when she blew!

What case can be made for an electric motorcycle in Michigan? It (as well as my electric car) are only occasional vehicles for me since a gas car is still needed for range. The first thing with a bike is that less is invested. Then there is no need for a heater or A/C or p.b. or p.s. Maybe for this one I can spring for Li. batts. After staring at it a while I realize if there were no such advantages I would just have to make some up!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

E-miles Under My Belt

After several thousand miles the car performs as before. No elec. or mech. problems but still the pesky voltage drop from the Interstate 8V batts. Range hasn't dropped from the 32 mi. but drive just a little aggressively and you'll need to rein that figure in substantially. I found a great deal on the decals from a local t-shirt shop (CK-designs). I have the urge to sell and do another motorcycle. 'Till then...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Toy

I have a TED meter ($116) and will attempt to get an accurate watts/mile figure from it. Will post soon.

The Latest Range Info.

With batteries heated to 80 deg. I get a solid 40 mi. range now. I'm pleased with this new number, but slightly perturbed over the previously noted voltage drop when needing high currents (200-300A). I now find that my 120V only charger is the limiting factor for opportunity charging. So- what would I do differently? Shop in earnest for the best price on LiFePO4 batteries and buy a 120/240V charger.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Trying Them out

The battery heaters are installed and hooked up. They are 35W pancake style and are pictured on the Feb. 27, '09 post at the 4 o'clock position on the mat. They add 500W to the AC charging load. I am collecting time/temp. data and making sure I don't overheat. Will report soon on any range improvement.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lighting A Fire Under The Bunny

We've had weather below the 20s so I haven't driven the car lately. However recent conversations with a more experienced car converter fella inspired me to install the battery heaters I bought with the original order. He says run the batteries between 80-100 degrees for much better range and performance. Should finish that up in a couple days.

Woo-Hoo for sister Judy & b'in-law Jack on their e-car purchase! AND - the ultimate; solar charging! (Is envy 'green' different from environmental 'green'?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Well, except for a couple small details, the car is finished. I wanted to create a little more fanfare for this occasion but I must say how disappointed I am in the 8V batteries. I had wanted 120V for the performance needed in California's hills but was space limited for this chassis. Ten 12V batteries would have fit the bill space/weightwise but my past experience with those (Trojan 5SHPs) was very negative and I saw no news to change my mind about those. The 14-8V (CG8s from Interstate) that I chose also seem to have the high internal resistance that causes excessive voltage drop when drawing high currents. As soon as you ask for more power, depressing the throttle the current rises as you expect but a corresponding voltage drop also occurs. Consequently Amps X Volts increases only modestly and you bring more heat into the equation. And range? I'm embarassed to report is a dismal 20 mi. What to do? LIFEPO4 chemistry is still cost prohibitive at over $14000 for a 120V pack... I'm thinking

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Final Figures, My Cost Conclusion

This conversion has cost more than I hoped or thought it should. (What's new?) The prices on the various components, tho' most US made, skyrocketed with the cost of gas. One has to be committed to the idea of not burning fuel or have some other compelling reason to do this because fancier (gas) cars are available for an equivalent sum. The payback? Well, depending on whose figures you use, running an electric car with just as many driving variables as a gas version, amounts to slightly under (or slightly over) a buck a gallon. You'ld need a fairly good lifespan for the car or gas to shoot up again for a good payback, or electric rates to shoot up for a bad one. Still to come; finished pix, performance data and a video if this site will accept it.

Prev. TOTAL $7256
Last Acc'ntg $472
Another 8V batt.
More 2/0 cable & conn.
Vent fan system & fittings
Batt. tie-down fixtures
100 other small parts

New (and I think final) TOTAL $7728!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Been Wanting To Do This

:-)Our town's e-car hookup

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making Book

Though there's much more to finish up, I can't resist sampling the operational data. I've taken two slow 10 mile drives and found that the recharge starts out in constant current mode (set @ 10 amps) and later shifts to finish in constant voltage mode (set @ 104V). My high rate service charge is 8 cents/kilowatt hour and consuming 1450W (in cc mode) relates to 11.6 cents/hour. I'll see what the draw is after the charger shifts modes and edit this post. This charger didn't come with the ($95) auto shut-off feature which I think I will want.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Got The EV Grin!

The brakes hung up (because I'm taking so long) but after freeing them up the ride went smooth. I'm taking it slow to break in the batteries, after which I will check the connections. Everything worked!!! I think I will increase the pack by two more batteries if I can find suitable overload springs.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tomorrow -

We take a little ride! Got 95% of circuits fired up.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wrapping Up The Details

A few days free of other tasks allowed me to work on the following; connected the Main Contactor - tests OK but lacking a pre-charge resistor (contacted factory), connected and tested the power brake Vac. Pump, connected (not tested yet) the DC-DC Conv., connected Charger to DC but contacted factory over missing inst. manual for the AC connections, wired and tested the Charger Intlk., constructed bracket for the Meter Group and pulled wires for that, hooked up and tested the KSI (key sw. intlk.). Snapped this photo of under-hood control equip.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Untangling Wires

This weekend was spent finishing the high power cables, then sorting and labeling scores of vehicle wires. I foolishly thought I might remember where they all went when I pulled and cut some I didn't anticipate needing (those that supported gas engine functions). Turns out many WERE needed as they also powered up various vehicle functions like lights, wipers, blower, radio, etc. Others I will re-assign to e-vehicle functions. The shelf/heat-sink for the controller and control box is about 75% done. Also Edna is now down on her own four feet since the under car conduit is finished.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I've Got Connections -

- to do. I bought 25' of 2/0 welding cable and 26 connectors for the high power wiring and I think I need a little more of each. The hammer crimp tool works well but I'm soldering the connections too. This work should be done tomorrow.

Cable and conn. $162

New TOTAL $7256

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Front Pack

4 Batteries nested here - barely. Had to move the head lights forward 3/8".

The Rear Pack

8 Batteries, the power strip & charger. Possible site for 2 more forward of the pack and behind the seats.

Batteries Not Included

"Till now ... Batteries, the largest single expense AND decision conundrum. For a 120V system 10 - 12V, 15 - 8V or 20 - 6V batteries are needed. This chassis won't support (or allow room for) a full compliment of 6Vs or 8Vs and I can't find many who recommend the 12Vs including a couple of suppliers. So I have decided to settle for 12 - 8Vs for a 96V system. The supplied motor curve shows this to be a downgrade from 19 to 13HP. Drat!

Hours of cutting, welding and grinding (and the last of the bed frame angle iron) yielded this front battery rack. I'm getting close!

Batteries $1360!

Flea market radio $10

New TOTAL $7094

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Living "small"

With "Q" bracket holding the outboard end firm, the motor looks rather diminutive in it's new home.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Reminder

Keep on pluggin'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Quiet The Oil Drumbeat...

The GM factory in my town is barely hanging on and I wish the workers there well; BUTT couldn't GM have built a slick and affordable e-car by now?

Anyway I chopped a huge hole where the back seat was for the battery box to reside. Two old bed frames narrowly escaped the landfill to contribute angle iron for the framework. How I wish I could afford one of the new battery chemistries with a higher (than lead-acid) energy density.

I will repeat the hundred year old drone "We are just 3-5 years from a battery breakthrough!" And while I guess we have that, they still can't make it to the shelf in quantities that allow affordability. So we continue ...

Previous balance $5614

bushing/hub $62

nuts/bolts/brackets $48

New balance $5724


With the adaptor plate completed, the motor hub & bushing machined, and the clutch assembly balanced, the electric motor jumped in place like it had eyes! Thanks to buddy Mike's expertise and machine shop.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I'm having a time of it making a bushing/hub set to attach the motor shaft to the flywheel. The suppliers of adaptor kits which include this bushing/hub set won't sell it separately. I will publish what I (eventually) come up with.

Bushing/hub expense so far is $62

Monday, March 16, 2009

Putting It Off, Putting It On

Next step is install the motor. In order to retain use of the clutch, the electric motor will need to hold the flywheel in precisely the same position it was held by the gas engine. I took careful measurements from the gas engine/flywheel set before removing the flywheel. I will use a taper-lock hub/bushing set to fix the flywheel on the motor shaft. The dimensions of this hub, the flywheel thickness and the above pre-measurements will determine the configuration of the "adapter plate" needed to hold the new motor in position.

Meanwhile I picked up some 1/8" aluminum sheet (as heat sink/mounting platform for the controller) plus cord, plug, receptacle (for the charger) and aluminum angle

Previous balance $5551

Purchases $63

New TOTAL $5614

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Major Components

Pictured here, before they are installed and not so easily seen are; (from 12: o-clockwise)

Motor, motor controller, battery charger, battery warming pads, DC-DC converter, kit for restoring vacumn to the brakes, lights & meters, control box.

Control box contains shut-off breaker, meter shunt, main contactor, barrier strips, fuses, key switch interlock relay, throttle potentiometer, heater relay & on cover - main fuse, 12V shunt, charger interlock relay.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dang! The 'Market's Still Slipping

Various ind. lamps, fuses, fuse holders, hook-up wire & switches from Radio Shack

Previous TOTAL $5505
R.S. items $46

New TOTAL $5551

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Stock Market Tanked ...

... so I tried to help it today. Having the car weighed was $5 plus I needed various conduit fittings, connectors, glue, sheet metal, etc.

Previous balance $5355
Welder and acc. $110
4 trips to hardware $40

New TOTAL $5505

Oprah and Edna Trim Down

Edna's stripped down weight is 1640 lbs. She now stands 10 1/4" in the front and 13" the rear. See post of Jan. 10 for starting figures. Watch out Edna; you're gonna chub up soon!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fun With The Dashboard

The Haynes manual says "be sure to allow plenty of time for the dash panel removal/installation". They have such a flair for understatement. I don't think that is required for A/C/Heater access in most cars; but I'm not sure. Anyway I've removed the A/C core and heater core and replaced the heater with an electric version. It will draw from the main battery pack and is a type that won't overheat if the fan isn't running. I have yet to finish reinstalling the dashboard. Whew, this post should be good for about a month.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend Tinkering

Tinkerer -1, back seat - nothin'. After finding all the secret hooker snookers that held the back seat in, I wrestled it free. The fuel tank on the other hand fought me all the way. The hold up straps wouldn't give and I had to cut them. This led to the tank coming down at a tilt and spilling about a square yard of fuel on the floor. I had to scramble to shut off the heater and open both doors. Then after soaking up the spill with sawdust, scooping it up and rinsing the floor, I started on the fuel lines (of which there must be a dozen) and filter(s). Each object had another half cup of gas to dribble. 20/20 hindsight says find a way to totally empty the tank and complete this task out of doors. Having no witnesses to the contrary I will call it a draw.

I sorely miss the tools I had available at work, before retiring. I bought a small welder, auto darkening hood and accessories and an assortment of abrasive cutoff wheels. These will be used to build the battery containment frame. Of the $220 spent I will post $110 against the project.

An idea has just come to me; I will use the rear seat belts to secure the battery box cover.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm so impressed with automotive engineering. I've been half the day removing I don't know what all. Lines and brackets and shields and every kind of widget and gizmo. I would be awe struck by any mechanic who could ID all the stuff on my garage floor. Thank heavens the electric version will be SO much simpler!

Previous project balance $5505
Credit for substitute item -$150

New Balance $5355

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Wait For Detroit?

Indeed! I am sure gas will go back up. You can drive an e-car for the equivalent of slightly over a buck a gallon. Think of it; no oil or filter changes, no fuel filter changes, or air cleaner changes, or belts, or hoses, or coolant changes, no tune-ups, no "check engine" lights, or oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, mufflers, tail pipes, drips on your driveway. Did I mention dependence on somebody else's oil? Do it.