The Zivan Returns

Posted in Charger at 6:32 pm by Administrator

Last week I told you about the on going issues with my charger. This week I got it back and immediately installed it into the car. Then I tested it, the fans did not come on. I called ELCON and spoke with Rick, he told me to check and make sure the IC chip was fully seated. To do this I had to uninstall the charger and remove the cover of the Zivan… when I did I saw that the chip was not fully seated and I pressed it back into the circuit board. This time when I tested it the fans came on. Simple. I let it charge my pack until it shut off. The measured voltage was 142.2 volts.Better then the 140.6 volts it was set at, but not the 148 Volts I requested. I called Rick back and he had me do a quick tweek on the charger and viola! 148 Volts perfecto!


New Voltage for an Old Zivan

Posted in Charger, Tuning at 7:51 pm by Administrator

I spoke with Mark at Elcon yesterday and he said my charger is ready and has been reconfigured to 148V. They couldn’t do anything about the amperage. NEWS Watch For The New Porsche Blog!!!


Balance your Car, Balance your diet, Balance your life

Posted in AC 24, Batteries, Drive Train, Tuning, Uncategorized at 7:56 pm by Administrator

I had one heck of a time loosening the gland nut from the flywheel. I tried to do it using the combination a breaker bar and various methods of immobilizing a flywheel without the starter ring. Before coming up with a workable solution I broke one bolt, bent another, snapped a 914 motor mount bar, split an SK breaker bar at the swivel, and bowed a Thorsen breaker bar.
I finally cut and welded a tool that I could use to immobilize the flywheel using the clutch bolts to hold a steel plate in place. I did have to buy a very sturdy breaker bar made by a company called Proto Tools from an outfit called RAYCO. Using this new tool and a steel tube I attempted to loosen the 36mm nut again, this time with success. While applying torque pressure to the nut with the Proto bar and steel tube extender, I persuaded the thing to come loose by gently beating the life out of it with a hammer! The Proto breaker bar cost 50 dollars but when I felt that gland nut come loose, it was worth every penny. Once that task was done I took the fly wheel up to Valley Balancing and dropped it off. The whole process took two days. The next morning Steve at Valley Balancing called me and said my flywheel was ready. Ken who did the actual work has also done some work for NASCAR. I was right in thinking that the vibration was in my flywheel as he did a lot of work to get it balanced. By that I mean a lot of drilling. It was way off. I couldn’t wait to get it in the car. I was on my way home with it when I got a phone call from Cars Etc, that my 914 was ready to be picked up. They are somewhat overflowing with work and didn’t want to put the newly painted and buffed car out in the weather so I needed to make arrangements to trailer it to my house. I called Little Dave and he said he could help but his van needed new brakes and shoes. He already had the brake pads for the front and the shoes for the back so it was a simple matter of helping him put those on the van. Which we did but not before having to make a trip to the auto parts place to exchange some brake shoes which were the wrong year. Which incidentally Little Dave had purchased the year before and did not have the receipt for. O’Rielly’s auto parts not only were willing to do the exchange but Dave got $11.00 back on the deal. We finished his brakes and got my newly painted 1973 Porsche 914 roller from the shop. It was late and rain was expected that night so we dropped it off at Dave’s place under the carport. This gave me time to bring my 95 Jag back to life and move it out of the garage so that the Porsche has a place to keep out of the elements. Which is where it resides now… in my garage, out of the elements.
Keep On Pluggin



Posted in Batteries, Drive Train, Road Test, Wipers at 7:07 pm by Administrator

I am writing this post from Jamestown, CA. It is Saturday and I… OUI… EVIE and myself, arrived unscathed and without the aid of a flatbed tow truck in Jamestown this afternoon. I left Delhi with 196Ah to attempt a 60mi uphill drive. Oui arrived in Jamestown at 1715hrs PDT with 103.9Ah left in the batteries. Did I mention uphill thats right, there is a 1329ft difference in elevation between my house (elev. 118ft) and Jamestown (elev. 1447ft.) Of course I drove conservatively but I did have my headlights on for the last 15mi. So the way I figure…
196Ah-103.9Ah/60mi=1.535Ah/mi. How did the car perform? I am experiencing vibration and I can’t tell if its the road or the car. The car was able to go 40mi/hr on some of the steeper climbs. This car may not be fast but she climbs like an elevator. This is only the beginning. Yesterday I hooked up my windshield wipers so that they park. They park on the opposite side I had them on so I had to heat them up to orange and bend them the opposite direction and temper the arms in cold H2O so they still have some spring. They look, and more importantly, function great. I am getting the garage ready to bring Otto home from Cars Etc with a new paint job. I have plenty of fresh ideas inspired by my conversing with the folks at EVCCON and Richard at ReFuel. That will be my wintertime project. Now its all about EVIE… Oh and my 50CAL BBM but thats another story.
“Keep On Pluggin”


All Bottom Balanced… mmmmm

Posted in Batteries, High Voltage System at 9:38 pm by Administrator

My 50 CAL Bottom Balancer worked quite well. I could take a 3V 180Ah LiFePo4 cell and bottom balance it in about 1 hr. I used all of the components I ordered and laid them out on a table. After I determined that the logic was good I mounted everything in a wooden box (one of EV1E’s old battery boxes) I tried to arrange the components to provide the best cooling scenario for the 0.1 Ohm, 500 Watt power resister. The 50 CAL BBM successfully put a load of 20 Amps on the battery and the JLD404 meter successfully activated the relays to stop the depletion at 2.6 volts shutting off the load until the battery “grew volts” and reached 2.8 volts then activated the load, repeating the process until the bouncing stopped and settled at about 2.78 volts. After I did this with all 42 Cells I went back and did a final check. The highest cell I found was 2.98 volts. When all of the batteries were finely tuned (bottom balanced once more) I put them back in the vehicle and charged them up. I got my Zivon NG3 charger from Elcon. I brought it to them to re-program for LiFePo4 cells. They said they had a better Zivon charger which will give me 15 Amps charge and would I like to trade for the charger which I had brought in. I said yes as long as it works better then the one I brought in. They assured me it would when they reprogrammed it for LiFePo4. I have been trying to get a hold of them by phone and email. The one time I got through by phone I was told by Mark that I needed to email my concerns and the service dept will get back to me. I have done so 3 times since Aug 21 2012 and as of this posting I have not heard squat from them. The charger they traded me only charges at a max of 10 Amps, NOT the 15 Amps they said it would. I am using a 20 amp outlet. So much for integrity. It takes 8 min/1 Ah to charge my car now that it has been bottom balanced. That is 20 hrs to go from 2.78 V – 3.35 V. “Wait a minute! 3.35V? Shouldn’t it be 3.50V? Lets see 42 X 3.35V = 140.7V aren’t these batteries supposed to have more voltage then that?” “Shouldn’t your charger be charging at 147V?” you ask. And my answer, “Why yes they can hold 3.50V and still only be at 80% capacity.” “So why”; you say, “are they only charging to 3.35?” The answer is simple when Elcon “traded me” their “15 Amp” charger for the one I brought them they set the voltage at it’s max (which is 142V) Not enough to gain the 147 Volts I need for this car. Is there a decent company out there which doesn’t take advantage of the up and coming tinkerers and innovators? Are we stuck having to depend on companies like this one to do a simple thing like change a charge curve? We entrust them with the responsibility to be fair and honest and this is how they treat the future of electric transportation. Shame on you Elcon!!! Enough of this…
I made some movies and took some pictures of the bottom balancer in action. To an EV guy this is better then “the game”… If your not into EV’s this’ll be a lot like watching paint dry… enjoy
“Keep On Pluggin”


The 50 CAL Bottom Balancing Machine

Posted in Batteries, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Tuning at 12:17 pm by Administrator

After frying my Revolectrix Cellpro PL6 twice, trying to bottom balance my 42 cell 180Ah pack (one battery at a time on the second go round) I have come to the conclusion that there is a need for a heavy duty bottom balancer. The first time I Fried it Revoelectrix sent me an RA (return authorization) and I paid the shipping to send it back for repair, they paid the shipping to return it to me. the second time Revoelectix quit answering my emails and won’t return my calls. So I am stuck with another piece of $250.00 junk which I have to replace some MOSFET’s on someday. That being the case and me not being one to give up easily, I seem to be in the unique place of having to come up with a tool which will bottom balance higher Ah LiFePo4 cells, and since no tool seems to be available, I am also in the precarious place of having to build one, which I have done and am testing it as I write this. So far it works quite well discharging one 180Ah cell (CALB SE) at a time. I am starting at 3.28Volts and it takes about 4 hours per cell. If the batteries were discharged down to 3 Volts ea it would only take about 45min per cell. I plan to make this bullet proof and send it to the master of product testing, Jack Rickard at EVTV (if he’ll have it) to see if he can fry it. If it passes the test and gets the EVTV stamp of approval, I will build and sell these. But not until the prototypes have been thoroughly tested. Who knows, I may even get these confounded batteries fully bottom balanced. I know I have been living on the razors edge and taking a real chance with my pack by not having the whole thing bottom balanced. I bottom balanced some and top balanced the rest to make the charges equal right before Laguna Seca. This is the wrong way to go about it. Fortunately these batteries are amazingly resilient and I have not observed that any damage was done. But now that I have a proper heavy duty bottom balancer I am confident that this pack will be balanced well.


Posted in Lets All Plug In at 9:39 am by Administrator

I went to Cape Guirardeau MO last week for the 2nd annual Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention, hosted by Jack Rickard and EVTV. This was an eye opening experience. From the time we arrived we walked, talked, lived, and breathed electric cars. There is something refreshing about breathing electric cars… NO EXHAUST! There were about 200 people in attendance and 40 converted cars. The builds were nothing short of fantastic as you will observe in these pictures. The presenters were from the top agencies in the business. Representatives from Evnetics, Net Gain Motors, Recharge Car, Shift Electric, NEDRA, Rebirth Auto, EV West, Red Point Engineering, to name a few. You can see highlights by following this link EVCCON 2012 In the meantime check out some of these cars…


EVIE The Movie

Posted in AC 24, Batteries, DMOC, High Voltage System, Lets All Plug In, Low Voltage System, Restore, Sub Frame, Teardown at 10:21 am by Administrator

This is the trailer for the little movie I am making… enjoy
This is The Movie “Gettin The Lead Out”


Long Distance Runner

Posted in Road Test at 9:53 pm by Administrator

This week has been quite something. First I rolled all the way to Merced and back at night. Second I installed the new Speedhut Speedometer, Third I had an adventure. You see, I thought I would drive my car to Jamestown and charge it there. I figured since I can drive to Merced and Back (61mi) I should be able to make it to Jamestown (61mi) and about 1200ft elevation. The car is a slug. Although we took home bronze and the Laguna Seca TT I am very disappointed with the performance I am getting from this AZURE AC24LS set up which I purchased from Electro Automotive. I would have been better of with a DC motor. That said I have three choices with which to make it better. Choice One: Finish bottom balancing the pack and by doing so create more overall capacity. This is what I will try prior to any of the following choices. Choice two: Add more batteries. By adding more batteries I can Increase the voltage thus increase the speed (you also increase the weight). Choice two is very expensive. Choice three: Get rid of the Azure set up and get a AC50 set up.
The AC50 setup is what I would like to use in my Porsche 914. It doesnt take as many batteries and has superior performance. Or I could go to a DC set up with an EVnetics controller. Whichever way I choose, It is going to cost money. This brings up a point about RESEARCH and how important it is to do your homework. When I started, I was just a little nieve kid in a big pond ready to take the EV world by surprise… It wouldn’t surprise you then, I am becoming acutely aware that I should have studied harder. A lesson to all you young budding EV enthusiest. Since I purchased my Azure AC24LS many new and well engineeered products have hit the market. The Warp 9 electric DC motor has had some major improvments. Evnetics has built a controller that can handle 1000Amps and another one that can handle 2000 Amps. This of course would not be conceivable if it were not for the innovative devolpments and advancments in battery technology. LiFePo4 chemistry has allowed even the garage builder to be able to build an EV with a servicable range which could be successfully used for a daily driver. With so much innovation and development happening and at such a rapid pace it is no wonder my car is behind the times. (did I mention Azure Dynamics filed chapter 13?) After all I started with a 1974 Beetle Pan and chassis in March of 2008. When I took her for her first drive I had lead acid batteries. I never would have thought it even possible to drive to the foothills from the valley AND IT WASN’T. I started building the car because there weren’t any production electric cars available NOW THERE ARE. I guess the EV movement (pardon my pun) is akin to the development of the personal computer. It seems to be changing just as rapidly and with just as much innovation as the PC. I hope the cost come down appropriately and aquisition of EV parts and systems reflect the now availibility of PC parts and accessories. Even though my EVIE is a Slug right now, I know she can with just some minor changes on my part because of some major innovations on many other EV enthusiast parts, She can go faster and further with less number of batteries in the future.


Keep On Pluggin

Posted in Accessories, Gauges, Heater, Lights, Low Voltage System, Road Test, Tuning at 6:37 pm by Administrator

I received my GPS Speedometer from Speedhut. It sure is pretty. I am almost ready to embark on the long ride uphill from Delhi CA to Sonora CA. I only need to finish bottom balancing twenty more cells and then I can charge to a much higher capacity then I have been. In the meantime I am finishing the design of the interior and the process of sealing EVIE up for those colder wetter days. I also received my contactor for my heater which I designed last year. Lots to do and little time to do it. I just keep on pluggin away at it little by little. I am embarking on a new green business soon… watch this blog for further details… I can only say this… It involves Green devices, EV’s, Fairness, Public awareness, and Earthly preparedness. Thats all for now. I will let you know how the Central Valley to Foothills run goes.
If you have any questions or want to make a comment, feel free!
Keep On Pluggin

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