Saturday, December 31, 2011

A123 20AH Prismatic Pouch Cells

Well it looks like I am becoming a fan of these cells. The operating temps are very good. Much lower temps than what I am doing with my Glacier test of the Hi-Power. If the A123 cells can handle -22 degrees F and as high as 131 then I am pretty much good to go with them as a choice. These would handle my Glacier Test with no problem. If these can I am quite sure the Hi-Power will too. Still going to do the test. Looking to get some pouch cells and build me a system to connect them.

Glacier Proof Cells.

Cell Dimension (mm) 7.25x160x227
Cell Capacity (minimum, AH) 19.6
Energy Content (nominal, Wh) 65
Discharge Power (nominal, W) 1200
Voltage (nominal, V) 3.3
Specific Power (nominal, W/kg) 2400
Specific Energy (nominal, Wh/kg) 131
Energy Density (nominal, Wh/L) 247
Operating Temperature -30 Degree C to 55 Degree C
Storage Temperature -40 Degree C to 60 Degree C

Glacier Ice

Well for fun I have taken a quick video of the block of ice that split with the battery inside. Cell still discharges and quite frankly if it still discharges it should be fine to take a charge too. That is my thinking and if at zero degrees it still works I am going to just bust any cold battery issue wide open. So far so good. New bucket tomorrow and will refreeze the water with the battery. Should do the charge test on Wed. Keeping the cell frozen until then.

Pete :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Arctic Tundra

I have the cell frozen in a block of ice in my freezer and I decided to check in on it this evening. Well it seems that the plastic bucket was not so tolerable of the cold and pressure of the frozen water. The dang thing split right down the side from top to bottom. It split the block of ice around the cell too. No damage to the cell. It is sitting right at zero degrees in the freezer at this time. I decided to see if it still shows voltage. Yup, it sure does. It is resting at a comfortable 3.157 volts at this time. This resting voltage is sorta high like this because of the high end voltage we terminated the discharge. I terminated the last discharge at 2.5 volts under an amp load of 45 amps. Nearly .5  which is the maximum consistent constant current discharge that the cell is rated to do. Peak of 3C. I will pull the cell out as soon as I get home tomorrow and take some video and photos of the block of ice and how the thing split. I was kinda surprised that happened. I guess I need a better bucket. I will finish splitting the block to release the cell from the ice block and try again with another bucket. I hope to find a better one. That bucket was an old cat litter bucket and had been exposed to the sun all summer so I guess that did not help either.. Anyway there is no mess in the freezer. The cell looks fine and still provides voltage as expected even at zero degrees. Im impressed so far.

Got my GTI back from my Daughter and I had my Son go through the vehicle and he found it needs lots of work. Needs new struts and brakes all around and we still need the heater core reinstalled. He wants the GTI and I want his Bug. It may work out. May not. I don't really want to dump too much in this as I need to concentrate on the Ghia and Bus.

More talk on fires again. Seems like Fisker Karma is having some clamp issues where they are saying that it could cause coolant to leak and cause a short and cause fires. 239 are being recalled. Who ever heard of a fire being caused by a coolant leak. I thought the batteries were sealed. Nissan is claiming that of all the Leafs destroyed in the tsunami and all that were crash tested never caught on fire or had any battery issues. Kudos to Nissan. Seems like the others need to get back to the drawing board and start over. Coolant leaks. Really? Come on.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Frozen Cell Zone

2008 Hi-Power 100ah cell. Cell resting at 2.5 volts for a few months was chosen for the test. It is a known good cell being what it is and being it is an early LiFePO4 cell of lesser quality than the more current cells. But still decent. 

I took the cell and placed it out in the open during the evening to bring the temp of the cell down to the current temp of the evening air which was 28 degrees. I was hoping for lower and it had been lower a few nights before. I figured this would get me to a cold point well below the freezing point. Success but it was short lived. Once we started the charge procedure the temps rose but not by much but above the freezing point. I decided to place the cell on a block of ice and place another on top to keep the cell as cool as possible. 

My technique for charging was to charge at 15 amps but really needed to start it at 19 amps and let it taper to 15 amps. The technique is consistent and works quite well. Once the cell reached 3.65 volts I turned down the amperage to 10 amps then to 5 amps and each time allowed to reach 3.65 again. Once it reached 3.65 @ 5amps we terminated the charge. 

I did this on two consecutive days. The second day what changed was the medium I used to keep the cell cold. I placed the cell in a bucket of water and placed that bucket in our chest freezer and let it freeze overnight. In the morning I pulled the bucket out with the frozen water and cell imbedded within. The temp of the freezer was 5 degrees F when I pulled it out. I began charging again using the same technique. 

We logged sort of every 10 to 20 minutes or so until the charge cycle was complete. Exactly the same both days. 

The problem today was I found that the bucket of water was not fully frozen and therefore was not as cold as expected. I did check the terminal temps and never saw over 50 degrees. 

As for the discharge I used my old Starter/Generator for our discharge medium. This allowed a discharge current of 25 amps at the start and on the first day we reached 30 amps at the end of the charge when we terminated at 2.5 volts. Todays discharge resulted in an amperage of 40 amps at the end of the discharge cycle and the same 2.5 volts. 

I logged that as well and have two graphs overlapping. I have the numbers on both tests so you can see that the results were nearly the same each time. 

Both the Charge and discharge times were quite close. 

I currently have the cell once again in the freezer and we will let it remain for a few days if not a week. That will be a good long time to be sure it's cold. Our freezer will reach 0 degrees F. It will in fact go below 0 degrees F by a few degrees. It's nice and cold. 

Attached is my PDF with graphs and log numbers. 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Freeze Test

Time is perfect for testing the charging of a frozen cell. Morning temps are in the low 20's and remain in that zone for some time. Today it was 30 at 9am. I put the battery on the hood of my car that is sitting out in the open under the stars. It gets cold and with the metal of the car the battery is sure to get frozen through and through. Perfect for charging. The cell was sitting at 2.6 volts today. Considered discharged. The cell is a good cell.

I am going to charge at 15 amps or as close as possible until it reaches a voltage of 3.6 volts.
I will then hold that voltage until the amperage drops to about 2 amps.
I will monitor and log the volts and outside temps every 10 minutes until done.
I will then connect the cell to my starter/generator motor and let it discharge down to 2.6 volts.
I will monitor and log the discharge every 10 minutes until done.
I will try to monitor the discharge amperage the best I can.

When done I will graph the results on both the charge and discharge.
When done I will do it again the following morning.
We will then log and graph to see if there is any capacity loss.

Factory says not to charge frozen batteries. Damage will result. Some want to see this so I figured I'd do it with what I have. Might not be super accurate but I can duplicate the test and log what we get. Consistent is what we can do. Close enough anyway.

Pete :)

Gonna be coooooooooold in the morning.


I went to Home Depot today to gather the required things for connecting the EVSE. I do not have an ideal place to mount it but this one has a longer cord for the J1772 plug. I can move my outlet to the side wall of the garage but distance is limited. I actually need at least 25 feet. It is not possible to mount the box on the wall in the car port unless I reroute the a separate 240 line to the far side of the home. The garage is not connected to the car port. I could just do the long extension cord like I have been doing all along. Works well but leaves a cable exposed to the elements and can get in the way. I'd prefer to mount the box on the wall of the garage and install a long cord for the J1772 plug. That would be ideal. So for now that is what I am doing. The extension I built is huge and well able to handle any amperage I stuff through the cord. That way I am not causing any resistance that could cause the circuit breaker to trip. I made the extension 30 ft long. Works like a charm. Mostly I wanted to test the EVSE. The EVSE uses an RFID reader card to start and stop the charger. When the charge is done it stops charging but I must tell it to stop with the card before I remove the plug. It works. The monitor panel will let me know if the station is ready. It will tell me to plug in after I swipe the card. You actually just wave the card close and it works. It counts the time. I wished it counted AH but it counts time of charge. I will ask if there is a way to see AH in. That would be cool.

Pete :)

I will get some photos of the EVSE tomorrow when I charge the car. It was totally dark out so I could not get any photos.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Solar Power

I show our panels and inverters and small charge controller and just sorta blather on. We will do a demo off grid set up to show the simplicity of an off grid setup. Anyone can do it and there are good used panels but beware of those trying to sell them for way more than they are worth. Polycrystalline will be cheaper.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

EVSE Has Arrived

Well after a long 6 month wait I finally received my EVSE Charge Station from EV-Charge America. Thank you EV-Charge America for coming through. Now is time to try it out. I won't get to that today because it is late and I will be busy. It is set up with a 4 prong range outlet plug but does not use neutral. Only Ground and both sides of the power.  I need to make an adaptor to fit my 3 prong Range outlet. Then I will hook it up and give it a spin. It looks very nice and just like what is on the web site. Comes with user/install manual sheet. Pretty easy to hook up. Mount the mount on the wall then install the EVSE and plug it in the outlet. I am not sure if I have a long enough charge cord. It is a 20 foot cord. I may need to lengthen the plug to the EVSE. I may need to move the outlet to an area closer to the garage opening. I am hoping to be able to reach the Leaf from the EVSE in the Garage to the parking spot in the car port. We shall see.

Pete :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EV-Charge America UpDate Again

As per my agreement with EV Charge America I have pulled my posting and wanted to say that through all their troubles they sent a full refund of the purchase price and included the cost to ship the unit back to them. I am satisfied of the outcome albeit a bit late down the road. They did make good on their word. That is excellent. Customer service is the most important in any business.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Solar Panels

It is now official. We have our solar panels home safe and sound. I picked up 30 200W Kyocera Panels. Fronius Inverter. It is our power for the next 20 years to feed our cars and a bit extra for the home. It is nice to know that the fuel is paid in full. Can't get any better than this. Well except when I get my VW Bus on the road.

Pete :)

Electric vs Gas

I had to take my Leaf in for it's 7500 mile check up. Glad to report no issues at all. Because it needs to stay at the dealer for awhile to charge back up they gave me a rental for a few hours. They gave me a new Altima to drive. Man, I tell you what. When I got in that sucker I could hear all the noises of the engine and the way the engine moves the car is now much more apparent and not very smooth. I thought my cars before the electric were pretty good but I never had anything else to compare to. Now that I have been driving the Leaf I can guarantee you I will never go back to a piston engine. Now I do still have piston vehicles but they will eventually just go away. I was surprised at how much I could hear. Kinda like using a recorder and then playing it back. Noting it plays everything and that is what it was like. I sooooo much like driving an electric car. It's just soooooo right.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Just an FYI. You guys can post comments on this blog if you like. It is actually good to have some feed back. I do know there are a few followers of my blog. I hope for more.

Pete :)

EV-Charge America UpDate Again

As per my agreement with EV Charge America I have pulled my posting and wanted to say that through all their troubles they sent a full refund of the purchase price and included the cost to ship the unit back to them. I am satisfied of the outcome albeit a bit late down the road. They did make good on their word. That is excellent. Customer service is the most important in any business.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I am going to start installing the running gear and rear suspension and the front suspension to be sure it all goes together well first. Then we will continue with the body and paint work. This will allow us to make sure all the components are there and complete and how it looks sitting low. I will take out the fuel tank and see what kind of space I have for batteries. I may try to figure out how to mount the cells under the bus where there is loads of space. Or what looks like loads of space. Once this is done we can take it apart again for final finishing. I think this will be the best way to go with the Bus. Much I can do so I plan on doing what I can. The Ghia is still being worked on so that one is slowly moving forward. I was sick for a couple weeks so that stalled a bunch of work.

You can see the center section of a Bus like mine where batteries can be mounted and covered below the floor. I should be able to get good amount below the cargo area pan. Mounted and sealed from the elements and removable if needed. No belly pans sticking out to drag bottom. The last picture shows the fuel tank tray area above and in front of the motor mounting area. Should be able to fit a good amount there too. There are more areas to utilize but these are the best areas of mounting so I can retain my cargo area. I was even thinking of building a raised cargo floor about the same height inside as well so I can mount another batch of batteries but still retain a usable cargo floor. It would work. I want a good 100 plus mile car at freeway speeds (55 mph) for this bus. Not kick ass performance but decent and good distance with a usable cargo area. It will be a vehicle for hauling me as well as parts.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nissan Nissmo Sport Body Kit

Wow. What a cool body kit. Makes the Leaf a wide body with a low stance sports car with some good sized wheels. Now as long as the tires are still LLR ones that will be great. It removes the KOI face of the Leaf and makes it more a vehicle. The Face of the Leaf is akin to the KOI or Nurse Shark. Anyway the look is just astounding. It still retains the original drive train but its a pretty quick little vehicle in its own right. Not a hot rod but quick enough for me. Since it is Nissan that has come out with this Body Package I am sure it is quite suited for the Leaf and to allow it to keep its effective aerodynamics so it retains its original or better distance. Now for the winter cabin heat. I have an idea to implement and if it works I will present it to Nissan or maybe even have some help to make an after market addition that can be retrofitted to any of the Leafs or anyones electric car. It's  pretty cool idea. For now I will try to get my hands on the Nissmo Body Kit.

Pete :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Update EV-Charge America

As per my agreement with EV Charge America I have pulled my posting and wanted to say that through all their troubles they sent a full refund of the purchase price and included the cost to ship the unit back to them. I am satisfied of the outcome albeit a bit late down the road. They did make good on their word. That is excellent. Customer service is the most important in any business.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EV-Charge America UpDate Again

As per my agreement with EV Charge America I have pulled my posting and wanted to say that through all their troubles they sent a full refund of the purchase price and included the cost to ship the unit back to them. I am satisfied of the outcome albeit a bit late down the road. They did make good on their word. That is excellent. Customer service is the most important in any business.

Aptera has bailed, Who's Next?

Well, now Aptera Bails. It's starting to look like it did when the EV-1 was declared dead and all the other companies that were building and selling electric cars just up and quit too. Granted this is not yet exactly like that but it could go that way pretty easy at this time. Only those that are committed will continue. How committed are they? We shall see. It is no surprise that Aptera bailed. I am actually surprised that they lasted this long. I see that Coda is not doing so well either. They keep having delays as well. I will be keeping an eye on the market to see how it all plays out. I make no predictions but see that the market is still in our court.

Pete :)

Aptera has bailed, Who's next next on the chopping block?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Volt in the News again

GM announced that it will buy back any Volt from the owners of the current 6000 owners. They say that only 16 have come forward to sell back their Volts. We know the battery chemistry is volatile and not the safest around. So the crash test resulted in enough shock to the battery to damage the cells even though the casing did not rupture. They said that there was coolant leaks but that had nothing to do with the fires. So they actually had like three crash tests that all resulted in fire or smoke and sparks. Maybe they should have stuck with A123 for the battery chemistry. But no they insisted to go with LG Chem. I wonder what LG Chem will have to say about all this. This will be an interesting play as the days and weeks result in new information and more and more people turning in the cars for GM to buy back.

Here is the official video I got today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Small Ghia Update

Today I installed the windshield in the Ghia. I purchased a couple weeks ago a new California Look windshield rubber so I could install the windshield so I can drive the car on the road. It is usually a two man job but possible with one. The inner lip is usually installed by putting in a string inside the lip so when you place the window you can pull on the string to lift out the lip around the window frame. I usually run the string around the inside lip twice just incase the lip does not quite lift around good enough. A second time around usually does the trick. Works like a charm. However on the Ghia rubber there is an outer lip too and it would be a smart idea to string that lip too. It would make the final fitting much faster but I did it by hand. Ouch. But it went just fine. The window is only temporary because the car will be painted and it will mean removing the windows and trim once again. I have the original window chrome trim but will only install it later. I also found a good set of rims for the car too. They were originally used on the Porsche 914 2liter model. They are painted the original factory color of the car they were installed upon. I will be changing that because the color is wrong and because the color is fading and old. They have reasonable rubber on the tires but I found two have old checking on the sidewalls so will not be good for much except driving around the neighbor hood testing the motors.

Pete :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Regen Works

Today I did some testing with the motor and controller in the Ghia. The testing went well but not perfect. First I found that the flywheel was still touching. So I removed the motor once again to fix the issue.

1. Motor was shut down twice with no intervention on my part. I think it was just an out of bounds throttle.
2. Motor would run up to speed normally at under 200 amps then when I let off the throttle and then pushed the throttle to full it would speed the motor past the first rpm band and up into the 400 amp range. This I could and can do consistently. So full throttle then off then back on full will jump the motor to over 400 amps and super fast rpm's. Not sure what the issue it there. If I remain somewhat easy on the throttle all is just fine. Throttle setting is below fast ramp up. It is set at 7. 10 is fastest. It does not matter what throttle setting.
3. Current setting vs Voltage setting. Current setting is best.
4. Field weakening is OFF.
5. Regen is OFF during first part of the testing.
6. Field current setting is best left below 50%. Otherwise it just chokes at higher rpm. I think the more current in the field the slower the armature can go. I left it at 20% and it works great.
7. With field current ON and not running the motor the controller is feeding the field current. I found this because I had the field current left on at 35% and went to go do some things and had left every thing ON. Upon my return the motor was very hot but I had not done anything. Motor was cool before I walked away.
8. With field current turned up to above 35% the motor will spin slowly on its own with no intervention. It is not a throttle issue. Since the controller is feeding current into the field and one field is common with the armature there is enough current to both the armature and field to actually move the motor. With it below 35% there is not enough into the armature via the field to turn the motor.
9. The field power being fed to the motor is my biggest complaint because if I am sitting at a light there is power being fed but I am not doing a thing. It also heats up the motor and wastes electricity.
10. 35% field is fine as far as power goes except it moves the motor.

1. Regen function works.
2. Regen function is set now to 52% regen.
3. Regn works smoothly if I use just a brake switch vs pot.
4. My PB-6 is not functioning well so I could not test the regen using a pot to ramp the regen as needed during braking.
5. Time to try Regen on the road.

1. Movie is loading slowly. I will post that as soon as it is done and will remove this line.

Pete :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Attention Deficit

Well once again the news comes out with a story on the tv about Electric/Hybrid cars being dangerous to pedestrians once again. I sent them an nasty gram because it is total BS. I work at a hospital and all the Car vs Pedestrian accidents happen with NOISY cars not Quiet cars.

The problem is what I refer to as Attention Deficit Disorder. Either the driver is not paying attention or the pedestrian is not paying attention or both are not paying attention. It is NOT because the car is quiet. Many modern cars are very very quiet if our standing outside the vehicle. What you hear most is tire noise.

The news station got an ear full this morning.

Pete :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We have power

I got the kelly connected with the circuit breaker, contactor, switch, and throttle. Initially I kept getting faults but finally got the items connected properly and then applied power. Perfect. Nice smooth throttle up. Controller is set for 20amps to the field and the pack is 72 volts nominal. I do not have the regen set yet but now that I have it all together it will happen faster. I will be putting the battery box in the back seat area for the road tests here for regen. I do however need to remove the motor/adaptor once again. I am getting lots of wobble noise like something is loose in the clutch area. Not sure what is going on but I will have a look. It needs to be real smooth. Besides that noise it is all good to go.

I need to install my windshield. I will only be driving short distances at first then I will venture out further.

The Kelly Controller is working perfect. It's been a year since this last had power running through it. I hope this testing is quick and fully successful. It will be a good thing for all who have these motors. A nice PWM controller with Regen. How cool will that be.

Pete :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kaylor Motor Install

We got the Kaylor motor installed yesterday. I went out and purchased a nice new stock pressure plate for the beast but did not change the throw bearing shaft. For a stock setup there is just no need. I pulled out and did a basic setup of the controller as well. I am building another bench test to be sure every thing is working before placing them in position for going on the road. It is only a test and the road test will be minimal. I will be placing the cells in the rear seat area and will be strapping them together so they don't move. I still need to work on the brakes before venturing out on the roadway. This is one of the reasons for the bench test while installed in the car. I have no clue about the condition of the brakes at this moment. Those are easy breezy for me. The mechanical stuff my be stuck and be a pain in the butt but brakes are simple. I have enough stuff here to replace the soft lines if needed and the flex lines from the master to the brake fluid reservoir. I have new shoes and pads as well but they would come from the Buggy. That would put the buggy project back a bit again. Oh well. I did a quick video of the install.

One other thing I noticed while putting this thing together was that this particular motor has split brushes. The ones that Helwig sells with the rubber tops. These don't have rubber tops but they are split brushes. I thought that the Helwig split brush was a new concept but its not. I think that the rubber top is but not the split brush. It is also interesting that the other starter/generators I have do not have split brushes. Anyway I thought you'd all like to know that split brushes are not a new fangled thing.

Pete :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Motor Placement

Well I am going to jump ahead of the game here this time. My plan is to put in the Kaylor motor tomorrow and do an on the road test of the motor and controller in the next two days. I need to run into Sacramento and pick up a few items for the Ghia and the Buggy. I need a windshield seal, throwout bearing arm. One of the heavy duty ones and I need a stock pressure plate for the Kaylor setup. I need a heavy duty shaft because I will be installing a large motor later so we need the old style shaft. I need a stock pressure plate for the Kaylor because that is all that is needed. I will be selling it as a kit so that pressure plate will be included. I just want to do the test for now. I may if possible pick up a dash pad too. I did notice upon close inspection that the original radio space was cut on the bottom portion of the opening. Bummer. I may just close it off completely then install some gauges there. If I am to have music I will incorporate the iPod/iPhone so I can have my own music. No radio. If I do finally decide a radio it will be a hidden one. I want the dash clean for other items. That is my agenda for my weekend.

I noticed today that the Leaf was a bit sluggish in the cold morning. It was 33 friggin degrees this morning. It's never this cold yet here. Its like winter just dropped in upon us. Our winters are usually quite mild and this time of year down right warm still. Well, reasonably warm but cooling down. Not today. Nearly freezing. The car was registering 36 in the car port. I preheat the car while plugged in and warm the interior so the drive is not so bad. I may have to defrost a bit on the way but its usually just a few short blips on the heating system. The distance is still good but a touch shorter but that is usually from the heating system taking some away while driving and needing to turn it on a few times during the drive in to work. The afternoon drive home is still fine and the temp out side was 50 when I left work. It's 40.3 right now outside on our property. So the distance is pretty much the same but the car is a bit more sluggish but since I don't always hot rod the thing it has not been an issue. It still performs well enough but you won't be squaking the tires in the morning. Capacity is not diminished even in the cold and after 5500 miles driven. I did however get my first scratch and first windshield dink last week. Ouch. No one around here drives for long before the window is dinked. I have never had a window with out a dink or crack after 5 months. One time I got dinked after two weeks of putting in a new window. I give up on those. Too many big trucks to not get dinked.

Pete :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kaylor Adaptor Bearing Replacement

We did some work to the Kaylor Adaptor after we tested and found it to be growling and squealing. It was the two bearings in the adaptor that needed replaced. One day and $130 bucks later we have a nice adaptor again. The bearings are 6209 Sealed bearings. Expensive little suckers. Should last another 10 years or more. This was built back in the early 80's so it has lasted a good long time. Wish I had a little buggy to put this in. I have another motor which I am going to use for a charging generator. Still need a few things which have yet to show up. Time to bug someone again.

Enjoy the flick.

Friday, October 28, 2011

GE 9" Motor Test

Well I got the pressure plate and flywheel and clutch on the GE today. I also installed a new DE bearing. We did a 12 volt spin test and its ready to install into the Ghia. Decided on the GE for now because it was the fastest motor to get ready for the car. We will put in the Kostov at a later date. I am also going to be testing the Kaylor setup to test the Regen function. Hope that will go well. I may do that test first. It will be done at 72 volts.

Pete :)

YouTube mucked up the volume of the beginning and it is making a funky sound at the beginning of the video. It is not like that on my computer. Might need to change the video but that would mean changing all the links so it will stay.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Got my plates for my Leaf today. Got my plate holders yesterday. Perfect timing and I only had to spend 15 minutes in the DMV to get business done with the plates.

Have a look :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Well I had a nice surprise today. My transaxle arrived from Rancho Transaxles today. It is nice to see that it arrived safe and sound. It is a Pro Street with Super Diff and 3.44:1 R&P Gear. This is a swing axle trans for the Bus. It also comes with the Bus Nose Cone for shifting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Electric VW

The project has begun. It will be an interesting project as we not only will be converting it to electric but I am going to try my hand at roll on paint. It will require lots of sanding between coats but I want to do a good job. I have been reading up on the process. The wife asked which motor was going in last night. I said either the old GE that was in the first Ghia or the large Kostov motor. She said that huge thing! I said yup with a smile on my face. I need to order some rubber parts for the car as well as seat covers and carpet and dash pads. All of which are available to make the car look like it was when new. I want an nice after market steering wheel too. I am not sure yet how low we will make the car. We will retain the original transmission which will limit our speed but it will still be freeway drivable. If we keep the car we will replace the transmission with a nice pro street with the 3.44:1 R/P gear set. After driving Jack Rickards Duh I liked the way the car shifted and ran. Smoothly.

I may even try my hand at belly pans with this build. There is plenty of space both width and length to make a nice pair of shallow belly pans. Now I need to figure out how to keep the cells from sliding around in the belly pan. In other words how do I keep them from sliding so I don't short out the tops because the pan will be an aluminum pan.

Here is the link to the photo album of the car as it sits on the trailer the morning after we towed it home. It is as we purchased the car. The cars purchase price with a good non-op pink was only $1300. That is an excellent price for such a solid vehicle. If you do purchase a like vehicle do be prepared to do some work. But I put this out there because you need to know that you can find good solid projects for a decent price still. They can be hard to find but they are out there. With patience you will find your project and for goodness sake don't get sucked into a rust bucket.

Photo Album of the Project Ghia

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick look

The Ghia has had one repaint. Little damage on this one. It is a solid vehicle but prep for painting will commence as well as getting the electrics in place. It will need new tail light so I am going to look for real glass lenses instead of plastic ones. It is the last year of the good body design before they put on the large tail lights. The numbers are to remain with the Ghia through 70. I plan on trying out the roller paint technique. This is a perfect car for trying that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


69 Ghia arrived home this evening. It is not perfect but a very good solid car that will suffice for an electric conversion without too much expense. Rolls easy and has just about all the components needed. It does need new interior but has seats, all the interior stuff to replace. I can get that for a decent amount. I do not know about how much rubber will need replaced but some will. I will eventually set it up and lower it for a nicer look. Should do fine. I have a few controllers to test so I should have something setup pretty quickly.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

69 Ghia

Well once again I have done gone and purchased a VW Ghia. It is an original Red 69 Ghia. It needs work but its not rusted or rotted out. I need a test bed vehicle to do some testing with and this will fit the bill before my Bus is ready. I found a new Clutch and Pressure plate setup for the VW. It is a dual disk able to withstand engines into the 800 plus HP. I may consider one down the road. Might do it and test it and report to the maker to see if I can get a sponsor for my Buggy. That is a slow project too. Much of the slowness is due to my full time job.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Well its not EV's in general but our first harvest of the year of our Chandler Walnuts are in. The first of the nuts are falling. We don't have many but we do harvest, shell and sell our all organic Chandler Walnuts. We put in 25 trees two years ago. Another 10 will go in this winter. We have persimmons to harvest too. Only one tree but it gives us plenty of good eats.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kelly Controller

Well my Kelly Controller finally made it back home. No cost and fixed. They said it was the power board inside. They said that the internal components are modular in nature to make repairing easier. So if a component goes bad the component is removed and a new on inserted. Why it failed was not revealed. Not sure they even know. So they did not replace the controller. Power board was just found to be defective and they replaced it. Now I must try again to see if it works properly.

Pete :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Well I purchased my Transaxle for my Bus project today. Buying it outright with no core. I purchased the Pro Street with a 3.44:1 Ring and Pinion. Three weeks and it will be home. Now I can start putting in the new suspension components. I might not do much video production on that but I will do some. We are going to do the boat too. That will get some good video when we start on that. We are pushing the Bus project and the FAST charging project. A few small components for the fast charging scheme are on the way this week. Talked to Synkromotive this week and got some excellent news from the company. I will be bringing Synkromotive Controllers next Conference and will be bringing along the a Live Demo. The controller is more for your average sized vehicle and is for on the road use and not built for racing. It will however provide excellent street performance and with Fast Charging will be a game changer. More from Synkro coming as well on the AC side. It will be awhile but it is in the works. Got some ideas for Synkro on that front too. For now it is only DC. Fast Charging can be done from Direct DC or AC. No extra charger will need to be purchased. So an excellent controller/charger for the price of a controller! How sweet is that.

Pete :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I am still not home from EVCCON but still enjoying my vacation. The convention was a much needed push and much needed publication for building electric cars. The best thing about the whole conference was the alliances made with all the folks that came. I did not get to meet every one by any means but I did get to talk to many. I look forward to next years event and will be bringing a vehicle. I committed to bringing my Electric VW Bus. I should have no trouble having it ready. I enjoyed the speakers and recorded audio for all the sessions. I was interested in the brushes and the brush holders for the motors. I see it is very important for the life of the motors in the environment we put them through. I really enjoyed the cars and I really enjoyed driving Duh and the Spyder. Duh is a real fast car. The Spyder is real nice and I liked the performance. It is an excellent build. Many were built well and for me will be what to strive to build. I hope to stay in contact with all the folks I was able to talk with and I hope to see new and exciting things coming to the field of electric cars.

The races were fun and educational. I never raced before and I never really knew what happened at the tree. All I know is when the light turns green you go like a bat out of hell. Well, it's not quite like that but sort of. Go to soon and you get a red light. Ouch.

If you have video or information on the cars that raced I'd like a copy so I can tie the information to the cars that raced and my video of the cars I captured on film. The more the better.

I am also going to build a 64 Correct Craft 16ft Ski Boat into an electric conversion. I have the motor and adaptor already and I will have a controller that can be used. The boat needs some work but the running gear is ready to go. Mostly just interior work and sanding and painting. Maybe some cool gauges.

I hope to have it pull a skier and be able to get on plain with little effort. It will be lithium powered.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fast DC charging

We are getting closer to having a setup operating soon. Will be looking to do at least 100 amp charging for a 156 volt lithium pack. We will be using a bank of lead acid batteries for the source. Solar will charge the source.

Pete :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Plate Holders

Well I went and ordered a pair of aluminum license plate holders with custom engraving for both. I needed to get these because most folks when they look at the car think they are looking at a Hybrid and not an All electric vehicle. Too bad. Even with the huge Zero Emission sticker on the sides of the car they just don't get it. So I had a couple plates made up to help.

No More Stinky Gas
100% All Electric Car

This will now be on the license plate which also will say GOT EV.

If they don't get it there is little hope.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Charge Station

My SPX Charge Station arrived to day. How sweet. I is a normal level II charge station with a little twist. This one is portable if you wish. I connected mine to our 50A 240 Circuit to our standard drier style  outlet. It came with a nema style plug and I have one I can swap the drier style one with but since my outlet is pretty far from my plug I needed a good long heavy duty extension. The one that came with the charger is short. The length of the plug cord is not long enough unless I have an electrician come and install a dedicated 240 outlet in the car port. I may do that later but for now what I have works and the car is now charging on 240 rather than 120. Wow. It was so easy to set up too. One nicely made extension and three wires to the box. Simple as pie. I am a happy camper now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Solar Panels

Well we did it. Solar panels are ours. 6kw system of 200w Kyocera Panels and inverter. Woooo Hooo. Cost was excellent. We just purchased power for the Leaf and VW Bus for the next 20 plus years. Cheap power at that. It will also keep our energy usage in the black. Considering a full 6kw off grid setup. Slowly we will ditch the grid. Might even be able to ditch the generator.

Pete :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I have my plates ordered from the DMV. What I really wanted is taken but this one will do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well there are now more than 5000 sold in the US. That is pretty impressive and I suspect that will move up higher as the year closes. So far every one loves their Leaf. I sure do. This is to me a very nice looking vehicle. Sure its not the old style Porsche or what ever but it is pretty slick none the less. It handles very well, much better than first expected. Its plenty quick and does well on the Freeway. The change starts here. One electric car at a time. OEM or Home converted. Either way it begins. It has begun.