Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finally...A Proper Video

Thank you iMovie for your help!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Growing TO DO List Excitement

The growing TO DO list on the Electric Booger is becoming quite long. My insurance will run out sometime in August, when I can hopefully tackle most of these things before the fall/winter commuting begins.

1. Vacuum accumulator - It does not have one right now, which means the vacuum pump runs for a second each time the brakes are applied. I would rather have it run for a few seconds after every 2 or 3 brake applications. This will be made of some 4" PVC pipe. Simple.

2. Vacuum pump indicator light - once the car is rolling, road noise is such that I cannot hear the vacuum pump. I will wire the [unused] engine oil light into the the vacuum pump circuit so I know exactly when it runs. I will then be able to react accordingly if I notice anything abnormal, indicating a vacuum pump failure.

3. Left door mirror - it is cracked. Has been this whole time. I am a procrastinator, what can I say....

4. Right axle - the right CV boot is torn and the CV joint is clicking like crazy on left hand turns. Maybe I can use my leftover [unused] radiator as trade in value at the auto wrecker.

5. Battery monitoring - eBay parts are on their way for the new and improved system that I have mentioned in a previous post.

6. Battery hold downs - something better than my current tie down straps would probably be a good idea.

7. TPS potentiometer - I am getting very erratic throttle signals after the car sits for a day. After a few cycles of the accelerator pedal (before or after turning the car on) and it is fine. I am going to try some good electric contact cleaner, and if that doesn't work I will have to buy a new pot.

8. Redundant throttle return spring - for safety in case the return spring in the pot box breaks.

9. Heater core - barely any air comes out of my heater vents because the [unused] heater core is plugged solid with crap - dust, dirt, leaves, etc. Removal takes days - a very nasty job - so I will try to cut into the heater box to dissect it out of there without disturbing much else. It's not like it needs to be in there anyway. There's no hole that duct tape cannot patch!

10. Tachometer - it would be cool to have it working. Maybe weld some pickup tabs on the  motor coupler, install a passive magnetic pickup and wire it into the ex-distributor position sensor wiring? Should work.

11. Lower grill block - this will keep the front two batteries from getting soaked in the pouring rain.

12. Controller cooling fans - I have two small 12V fans all ready to go.

And finally, the most exciting one......

13. NEW MOTOR. Well, new to me anyway. My friend Darin, co-creator of the infamous Forkenswift, has given me one of the two motors that he gleaned from a forklift to build his ultra-low-budget EV. All I have to pay for is shipping from Ontario. The Electric Booger will soon share DNA with a famous car!
It is a hydraulic pump drive motor from a 16,000 lb Baker electric forklift - 8" diameter and 15" long. It weighs in at 110 lbs, as opposed to my currently (PUN!) undersized 65 lb motor, so motor cooling should no longer be an issue. But the best thing is that it is a series wound motor (as opposed to my separately excited motor), so I will be able to ditch the field controller and the glitchyness that come with it.

My car will soon be smoother, quieter, faster and more efficient. Just when I thought I was all finished!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hot Motor

Lately I have been concerned about the motor. It is, after all, quite small for a 3000 lb car. When I first started to drive this thing I felt the motor after each drive to see how hot it was getting. Lately I have been carrying an infrared temp gun in the glovebox to check the temperatures of the motor body and commutator after driving.
After the 6-1/2 km drive home from work, including a 1-1/2 km long uphill with a 4-way stop a quarter of the way up, the motor body is 120F and the commutator is 180F, so about normal internal combustion engine temps. No big deal.

After the 10 km drive home from church, including climbing the same hill, the motor body is 150F and the commutator is over 200F. long will this motor survive?

I posed the question on, asking whether it may be time for an upgrade to a larger motor. The answer from a member named "major" (who has helped me a lot with this project) is that the limit for commutator temperature is 350F and not to worry even if the body reaches 212F.

Mine isn't even coming close to that. I guess I can stop worrying.

Plans For New Battery Monitoring System

It's time to upgrade my battery monitoring system for two reasons:

1) My current system is annoying to use. I have to reach over while I am driving to plug the voltmeter array in while I am driving. Not the safest thing ever.
2) One of the voltmeters on my current setup is dead, so it needs to be repaired anyway.

What I have planned is one voltmeter for system voltage (like I use already), and another switchable voltmeter for individual battery monitoring, both mounted in the dash panel. No reaching over - plugging in with one knee - holding the steering wheel straight anymore. A six position, two pole rotary switch will be used to toggle between each pair of batteries for monitoring.

Here is my current proposed wiring schematic:
All my bits are on order - eBay from China and Taiwan. Hopefully it will work!