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.