You will find articles organized by categories, along with recent comments, along the right hand column of the website. If you are just getting started with the idea of converting a gas car to electric be sure to check out Your First Electric Car .
Welcome and enjoy!
Them's the Brakes · 9 January 06
Every car uses mechanical brakes. Even an electric car with regenerative braking (using a generator to turn momentum into electricity) has mechanical brakes as a backup. You also need some sort of brake for parking, since an electric motor doesn’t have the back-pressure of its gas counterpart.
Now that Eve’s dash is all pulled apart it’s a great time to get in and check out the brake system, rebuilding or augmenting whatever is needed along the way.
That and I was a little curious what the inside of the brake system looked like…
Quick Update · 5 January 06
In case you thought I’d sailed off the edge of the world…
It was a horrible and hectic holiday: pretty much everything that could go wrong, did, and then some.
A few turned into learning opportunities.
When the well pump quit working I worked in the sub-freezing weather with the pump guy. We pulled the pipe and pump out of the 250 foot well, replaced the motor and wiring, and put it all back together again. Kind of interesting…in a cold, wet, rusty water sort of way.
After a small chimney fire I learned all about the convoluted contortions that the house builder put into our chimney. Why make the flue a straight shot when you can put two ninety degree bends just out of reach? I’m sure we’ll look back on those smokey, black-lung days with humor some day…
Monitoring Systems · 29 December 05
Despite increasing complexity, or perhaps because of it, most cars have a limited selection of gauges and status indicators. So called “dummy lights” have replaced meters in all but the performance orientated automobiles. Even the dummy lights are multi-tasking. If the brake light illuminates it could be for a number of reasons: emergency brake on, brake light out, low brake fluid, or maybe loss of assist vacuum.
The basics necessities for a car come down to: speedometer, gas gauge, some form of engine temperature, and a tachometer for manual transmissions.
Schematic Update · 15 December 05
The rest of life, home and work, has been keeping me busy lately which translates into less tangible work on Eve.
Still working on shoe-horning the electric heater assembly into the old A/C box such that all of the air goes through the heater cores and is safely away from the plastic side-walls. Also, before doing much of the installation and wiring of the heaters I needed to update the schematic.
Being more of a visual thinker I tend to do “what-if” designs first, sketching out schematic ideas on paper or a whiteboard. When that finally looks good it’s much easier to implement the real thing.
Well-Grounded · 12 December 05
Eve had a little bit of her wiring reworked over the weekend.
Hmm, actually it was more like:
Wiring, beeping, de-wiring, beeping, wiring, beeping, de-wiring, wiring, beeping, de-wiring, beeping, wiring…
Beeping being the sound the voltmeter makes when there’s a shorted connection. In this case it was beeping out a short between chassis and system ground.
Lot’s of bleeping beeping.
Lists of Lists · 5 December 05
It’s that time of year.
Time to make lists.
We’ve had a few folks wondering what needs to be taken out of the old donor car, what to keep, and what “new stuff” goes into making an EV. I’ve posted partial lists elsewhere but never a full, comprehensive list.
Not that these lists will be comprehensive right off the bat. I’ll probably forget things and everyone’s EV will be slightly different.
Bring on the Heat · 2 December 05
There’s a number of things you need to do inside the electric car’s dash compartment. What that consists of depends on your donor car and the type of “stuff” you’ve decided to install in your EV.
First off there’s metering, which, ideally, would be in a visible spot. Either mounted on top of the dash (clunky and maybe unsafe if high voltage wires present) or somewhere in the instrument panel.
Our first EV had the meter installed down around the light dimmer switch, which meant that eyes were taken off of the road to read it. Not this time.
The other major dash item is the heater. Let’s talk about that and share a few pictures.
Meters · 30 November 05
With the first EV I used this E-Meter from Cruising Equipment. It shows volts, amps, amp hours, and time remaining…but only one at a time.
Along the top of the meter is a little “gas gauge” which shows approximately how much charge is left in the battery pack. It’s a rough, well, very rough estimate and can have some serious lag.