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Archive for July, 2010

The guys at Wilderness EV (e-volks)  say that the D&D electric motor can be repaired… might be $90… might be $200.  This is significantly better than buying a whole new motor.

Although, I suspect that I will pay at least that much just to ship this heavy sominabish back to the factory.  It’s got to be 100 lbs of dead weight in an awkward shape.

So… the next step is to take the motor back off the drive shaft.  Uck… now I have to undo and then redo this stuff from back in November 2008?  https://evguys.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/mounting-the-electric-motor/

I wonder if I should reconsider having a clutch when I have it all disassembled.

Anyway, I also asked the Wilderness guys for their input on the cause of my problem.  I’ll report back if they give me any tips.

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I’ve been putting this off, because it’s a lot more fun to give good news than bad news, but I’ve had a major setback.

So I hooked up the 12th battery and charged up my vehicle to a full charge, and took it out on the road, expecting 45-50 mph.  But, I fell very short.  I was still topping out at 30 mph in 4th gear with the pedal to the floor.

I know I was actually at a charge of 113V, and I know that with the pedal to the floor, my ammeter was pegged at 400 amps, which should have been plenty of power, but also should have been a big red flag that something was wrong.

All of a sudden, total loss of power and an electrical burning smell.  Ack.  Broken down on the side of the road.  A short tow back to the house and some testing shows that I have somehow fried the motor.  The very expensive motor.  As far as I can tell, this motor is a closed system, and requires replacement, not repair.  When I press the pedal, it does not turn… but it does glow in a firey orange way.

Luckily, I met up with Dave from Duke’s Garage in Westminster (http://www.dukesgaragellc.biz), which is a shop that builds really nice electric vehicles.  And although they really don’t do kits or repairs for homebuilds… he offered to come over and take a look.  The good news is that most of my components are good quality and installed correctly.  But, he strongly recommends a new beefier motor, a clutch kit, and several more fuses so I don’t blow expensive components when something goes wrong.  Sound advice.

Anyway… The cost to continue is currently just out of reach, so I have to put this project on hold for a little while.  Total Bummer.  I will continue, and I have a plan to do so… but I’m actually typing this from the waiting room of a Honda dealership where I’m about to write a 5K check for a minivan.  Priorites.

I have been justifying this extra cost in my head by thinking back to when I bought the kit… the e-volks kit was like $5K, whereas better kits were $10K… and now it looks like I’m going to have to pay several thousand dollars to get my cheap kit up to being better.  That’s a lesson for anyone shopping around for EV kits:  Buy cheap, get cheap.

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