Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ghia Gone

Well I did it again. Purchased a possible conversion car and then sold it. Well I sold the latest Ghia. Not much of a profit but a small one. Just one more small step closer to the right one and I have more now to spend. It looked good from a distance but the paint was just not done right. I'd rather just buy one that has the original paint but needs painted. That way there is no need to remove any crappy paint job first. It can cost extra to fix a bad job. So I am on the hunt once again. The car was rust free but there could have been unknown junk under the paint. With original paint I know for sure what is there. Nothing hidden. VW's have lots of hidden junk if your not careful. I do hunt for that prime deal but they don't come often. So I buy and sell to build my funds. The best prospects are usually more expensive. Buying and selling helps build the budget. I still have one to go. It will be our 77 MG Midget turn key all electric. Once the new charger arrives we will install the Kelly HP controller and fan and finish up the pack box. It will be a 100 ah pack at 96 volts upgradeable to 144 volts. The charger can only be used with either 100 or 200 AH pack size. 200 AH and 96 volts should do just fine for the MG.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Expectations are pretty lofty when a new comer finds out that you can convert a car to electric. Much of what is or has been posted from prior conversions is mostly to blame. The results from what these folks say and what they actually get are far from true or at least not being very accurate. Like a VW that gets 50 miles per charge on lead acid and only 96 volts of 6 volt cells. They fail to say at what speeds they got those mileage ratings. So a new person comes along and says wow, I can go to work and back and charge at home and no more gas stations. Then they pull the trusty old VW engine and go buy a kit on line and then go to the local battery store and get the right 6 volt cells and put it all together. Total expense is now about $6000 or more bucks and they go out and take it for a spin and have a blast. Next they go for a long drive knowing that they can go 50 miles because this guy says so and I got all the right stuff. Well what happens is that he got the wrong kit and an anemic motor and controller and he finds out that the distance of 50 miles is more like 20 at freeway speeds. That 50 miles may be attainable if one travels with no stops and at 35 mph the whole way. Well maybe a stop or two along the way. Those things are not spoken about and those that usually figure it out usually just fade into the woodwork. So the new person just has no clue. The information must be right because they say. Well they don't say. The speculate and falsely give ranges at NEV speed levels. Can you get good distance and speeds and reasonable costs for a conversion? Yes.

Next is the planning stage. You must plan and plan well.


Pete :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Not exactly electric but we finally got our much needed tractor. A perfect sized Kubota 4x4 25 hp diesel tractor. Now we get to retire our old Ford 8N. It still runs but is such a pain in the arse to keep it going. The Kubota is just perfect. Pricey but Kubota has an excellent track record. Not made in america but excellent quality none the less.


Ghia is now dried out. Had to pull the carpet on the drivers side. Going to change the padding to something better. I also fixed the drivers side door striker. It had a piece inside flipped and was not adjusted properly either. The drivers door now shuts perfect. Nice solid thunk. The passenger side needs a new striker. Transmission is quite dirty on the outside. Need to get that swapped out too. Going to get a nice Freeway Flyer but with a different ring and pinion. The engine is good so should be able to get $500 as a turnkey engine.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Well, It's raining and it is crappy weather. I left the window open on the Ghia and got the floor wet and I need to remove all the carpet on the passenger side so it won't rot and rust. Oh crud. Thought I had the window closed. Fixed the door latch so the drivers door shuts solid as a rock. Nice. Looking at a 59 Beetle that is all original and is a California car and from the original owners. Original every thing is still there and it fair condition too. Runs fine. Price is just right. Might even be better than the Ghia. Paint on the Ghia is more like an Earl Schibe paint job. Crappy prep but it does look good at 20 ft. There is a dink in the front nose section below the passenger side air intake. Crap. Cracked the paint. Other than the paint its a great car. Love it.

Pete :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lithium Hi-Power Cell Autopsy Video

I did a video on the Hi-Power cells to show a few things about bloated cells from over charge or discharge. It was an interesting thing to note that these cells have no vent. When I opened them up there was no residual pressure but the cell remained bloated and was unable to squeeze the cell back to normal. Internal pressure was not what was keeping these cells bloated. We have one more to open that was seriously bloated from over discharge and still holds a charge.

Ghia is home

We went yesterday evening to pickup the 64 Ghia. It will be a good vehicle for another conversion. Choosing a glider is very personal and not one to be taken lightly. It must be a vehicle your wanting to drive and not just convert because its cool. I am an avid fan of the old air cooled Volkswagen and in particular the VW Ghia and Bus. I have chosen both for a conversion. Based on simplicity but yet a nice driving vehicle they are excellent for conversions. VW's have a history of being one of the most converted vehicles of all time. Even in the 70's they were being converted to electric. Light weight, strong, no complex computers to deal with and an excellent drive train. Coupled to an electric motor they prove to be quite agile. Much better performance than stock gasoline powered versions. The Ghia is good looking, aerodynamic and strong. It is excellent and has many attributes. Being a closed top vehicle it can remain warm and dry yet you can open the windows to allow air flow when warm out. Should be plenty of room for an air conditioning system too. Perfect for a belly pan for holding batteries. We will try that trick.

Pete :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We have started a new conversion project. We will be doing a complete video presentation of the process and what it takes. We will doing talks and show and tell during the process. It should go pretty fast as we already have most if not all our components to convert the car. We chose once again a 64 VW Karmann Ghia because it is a nice looking vehicle. It is a solid vehicle. It is aerodynamic and gets good watts per mile. Plenty of room for a large person and plenty of room for placing batteries. It can be done with out hacking the whole car. We plan on belly pans to hold extra batteries so we have less in the vehicle and in the trunk area. The car is in excellent condition and not a rust bucket. It needs no rust repair and all the components work. We will consider a repaint in the inside of the car as the paint is sorta old but acceptable. No damaged panels or cut portions of the dash which is common on old VW's. No accidents either. This was an important consideration when choosing the vehicle. One which you need to consider as well because the vehicle condition will determine the overall cost of the project. So once we get the vehicle we will begin our videos.