Saturday, July 19, 2014

Front Battery Box

Initial building of the front box was completed today. Where the fuel tank resides you will see on the corners a round area. This round area actually takes up valuable room but because its a VW I wanted the boxes made without cutting the body. Its not because of this particular VW but for others wanting to do the same. I decided to not have those corners cut so when I talk to others that may want this done would know that if they decided for what ever reason to sell the VW it would still be undamaged and you could put it back to stock with a gas engine. Being that VW's have a cult following and the value of them as an ICE is only going up I decided to do it this way. With things left as is there is room for 17 CALB SE 100ah cells in the fuel tank area. The total box size will be enough for 72 cells. For now we only need room for 60. I will use dummy boxes for the extra space. So the boxes will be both plate and frame for viewing and holding securing. It has been mentioned to use clamping to hold the cells from moving and from spilling in the event of a roll over. I think that would be OK but still think there should be a top edge to hold the cells in the event of a rollover because in an accident the integrity of the clamp could be jeopardized and the cells just fall out. So I have decided the batteries need top clamps to secure them as well as being clamped. Like the small 12 LiFePO4 Cells in the pic.

If we had cut the fuel tank opening corners we would have only gained 2 cells. It it had given me an extra 4 cells I may have gone that route. This vehicle was already so modified it really does not matter but if Im talking to someone they want to see it can be done without destroying the underlying vehicle.

The pics of the 12 volt 30ah Aux battery and holder is exactly what I'd like to do with mine as well. But mine will be 100ah in size. A lithium aux must be connected to a DC DC to keep it charged from the main pack. Otherwise you will need a way to properly monitor the pack like your main pack. Not a good way to go. So just connect your Aux to the DC DC to keep it topped up.

Anyway enjoy the pics.

Pete :)

Friday, July 18, 2014


Well, I sent the Roadster to an EV shop so the battery boxes can be built. I realized that I just don't have the welding skills nor the best tools for the job of building battery boxes. I sent it to Rusher Electric Vehicles for fitment and build. A guy that is working there is going to do a custom roll bar for the car too. Not some bar for looks only like what was there when I got the car but a real roll bar that can actually work. So after the boxes are built I will install the passenger seat and then have the roll bar built as well. No pics yet as I just got the car to the shop today. A box up front and where the rear seat used to be will be built. That will leave room for the electrical components so they can be hidden and protected from the motor compartment.

I will then start working on having the front clip of the Bug replaced and the rear clip replaced as well. After that the body work for painting. I will keep the red color of this Bug. It looks good in red.

Pete :)

Pics will follow.

Oh! I forgot. I found a place that will sell me a good working Leaf Pack with limited warranty for $4k and delivery. They are not new but nearly and all the modules checked and guaranteed to be good and they would replace them for a limited time. Knowing that no one else will warranty used Leaf Modules I guess this is not a bad deal. The price point of the Better Place Packs were $3600 plus shipping and NO warranty. So those were even higher than $4k. I guess the price point is good. The new ones that Nissan will sell are only for those that have Leafs needing a replacement and your old one must be turned in for a core that is worth $1k. Then they charge $5400 plus costs to install so the price point is much higher. Of course you get a warranty. Not sure yet how good that will be but they do have a warranty.

I think $4k will be OK. So a 48kWh pack for $8k. An orion BMS may not be a bad idea for these either. You can set them up for monitoring only and to allow for cutback or cut off and they will talk to the HPEVS controllers via CAN. So a nice pack of 120 volts but 48kWh would be one hell of a long distance cruiser. Gives more full cycles for the battery than the Tesla Cells.

I can only see good here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Or Not

Or not. Finding a suitable vehicle for conversions can be kinda tough when your looking at old cars. One thing I have learned when dealing with folks and VW's is that most who sell them seem to get cases of selective amnesia. It takes quite a bit to dig out the needed information that drives me away from the sale. They are just hoping no one asks. So when one sells with underlying issues the other buyer eventually finds the problems and then tries to resell the car doing the same selective amnesia. Hoping beyond hoping that no one knows or asks so they can at least make their money back without loosing on the deal. They also Way Over price the car so when you talk them down they are fine with lowering the price.

Ive done well over the years from what I have learned. But sometimes I do miss something or learn something as I like to see it. It arms me with the ability to judge the buy much better.

This is what I don't want to find:

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Im needing another VW for a build. For two reasons. One because I need a ride I can actually get into and out of easy. The 914 was just not what I want in a daily driver. It was a cool car and it handled great. I hear lots of folks wanting cool sporty sports cars that are tiny and tight. Well, you know, in a daily use application they will not be very good. For occasional fun they are great. No so on a daily basis. The Bug will fit the bill of a daily driver and fill the bill of a cool little car. Easy to work on and parts out the ying yang for you to fix your ride and all the aftermarket stuff you can imagine. So since I sold the 914 I now have enough to find a nice little bug. This time around I am not totally after the pre 67 VW's. I have actually found a nice little 71 Super Beetle and its a color I love. Its old enough to be a classic and yet new enough to not have too much wrong with it since it is a dry California. Being newer than the mid 60's its not a desirable so cheaper. It is a very nice car with the original paint in decent condition. The Bus is still on the burner but it will be a later project still. The Electric Roadster may go back to being an ICE vehicle. It is only a fair weather vehicle and not too useful around here. It is fun as hell to drive but being open its hard to keep clean and I just would not use it as a daily driver. So if I put it back to an ICE I can get some decent money for the car on the market. There are plenty that would buy it today with the stuff I have done and being a cool car with a history I may be able to get about 6K for the car. That would suit me just fine. The Bug I'm looking at is both cool and easy to work on. Looks great and is lowered and has a roof rack ta boot. This would make a great conversion and it will be AC instead of DC. The DC stuff I have is going to be sold. I have two VW DC setups to sell. I may just keep my Synkromotive controller but it may be sold as well for a good Bug Conversion. I just can't get away from the AC stuff available and since I drive an AC it is in my opinion the way to go. DC is however a good choice for a first conversion.

So here are some photos of the Bug in my sights.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Porsche 914

Well, I did it again. I purchased a car, fixed it, drove it then sold it. Yup, sold my nice 914. I figured it was just too nice to be turned into an electric car and I also wanted a vehicle that would be easy to work on. So the 914 went to a new home. I did make a good profit on my work. So it was not all for naught. I now have more funds to continue with some other things I want to do with the Electric Bug. The VW is so simple and easy to work on it is just really hard not to use one for a conversion. Now that I am able to do more work around the house I can begin to do more on the Roadster. I am going to try my hand at welding aluminum to build my battery box. Time to cut some practice pieces and get to work.

Pete :)