Posts Tagged ‘electric car’

EVView – WiFi Battery Monitoring

Electronics | Posted by admin May 1st, 2012

Working with Charlie Malone from Vintage Voltage, I have been creating a wireless wifi battery monitoring system called EVView™.   The system is comprised of a wifi enabled device that hooks up to Charlie’s Battery Management System and displays the status of every cell on any wifi enabled device with a browser.  The main design is intended for iPad and Android Pad devices that could be mounted in the car for easy monitoring.  Combined with a wifi router and wireless G card the system could also be accessed over the internet for viewing your cars battery status remotely with an iPhone or iPad.

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Lithium ion upgrade build photos

batteries | Posted by admin December 9th, 2011

20111209-215605.jpg

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New Video about the EVGT-40

EVTV | Posted by admin May 9th, 2011

This video segment was produced for Jack Rickards EVTV.

The video was shot and edited on an iPhone 4 and iPad.

The EVGT-40 is featured in a story on NBC West Palm Beach local news

car shows | Posted by admin May 4th, 2011

Evan Axelbank of NBC Channel 5 West Palm Beach News called on me this evening and asked to do an interview.  They  were doing a pre-story on the opening of the new charging stations in Delray Beach which officially open tomorrow.   Evan and his photographer came out to my home and interviewed me about my car and how having the charging stations will impact owners of electric cars.  I got a chance to take Mr. Axelbank for a ride and give him a taste of what driving an electric car feels like.

You can read the story on the Channel 5 web site by clicking here.

The story aired on the 11:00 news.

Fort Pierce Electric Car Rally and drag racing

car shows | Posted by admin April 24th, 2011

Attended the Fort Pierce Electric car rally held by Steve Clunn from Greenshed Conversion. There was a parking lot full of electric cars and conversions that showed up for the event.

The EV GT-40 took second place at the show. This award meant a lot to me because it came from a group of my peers in the area.

After the show we all paraded down to the Palm Beach Raceway for an event put on by ECEDRA. We were just a small event being held in a big night of racing by a lot of groups from classics to the top fuel dragsters. Ron was there with his electric Camero dragsters and Paul showed up with his Porsches. There were lots of delays getting the cars ready to pass tech and even a mishap with a blown controller, but fun was had by all.

I didn’t race the EV GT-40 at this event due to a battery problem but hope to be back at the next event and make a good showing.

A Trip to Greenshed Conversions

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin February 5th, 2011
I

Loaded ready to transport to Fort Pierce

I was having some problems with my battery pack and needed some expert help.  To get that help I traveled to Green Shed Conversions to get the help from Steve Clunn.  Green Shed Conversions in Fort Pierce, Florida is the home of Steve and Audrey Clunn.  Steve has been doing conversions and putting together electric cars for more than 15 years now.  He has a wealth of experience and knowledge on electric cars.

Unloaded and ready for inspection

Steve Clunn looks over the EV GT-40

Steve's Volt Meter with multiple inputs

Batteries wired to Steve's meter

Once we had the car all wired up, Steve and I took a ride in the car.  While I drove, Steve carefully monitored the suspected batteries.  Sure enough, upon acceleration two of the batteries were dropping to less than 7 volts and creating a lot of resistance in the pack.  These few batteries were pulling down the whole pack.   The issue seems to be that the batteries were not being charged at a high enough amperage.  Over time they have developed higher resistance which prevents them from giving up their charge.  To fix this, these batteries were charged at a very high amperage very quickly.  After driving the car a second time, they were showing at least a 10 percent increase.   The process is going to need to be repeated a few times before they come back up to 100% efficience.

Steve had a number of battery packs at his shop.  We tooks some time to look at the Thunder Sky Lithium Ion batteries and compared them in size and capacity to the AGM batteries I was currenlty using.  The battery I have in my hand has about the same energy capacity as the large AGM battery.  The Lithium battery weighs about 8 lbs. verses the 80lbs of the AGM.  Though expensive, the price on lithium batteries is coming down.  A pack with almost half the weight of my current pack could easily deliver four to five times the capacity.  My current pack has about 8kwh of capacity and weighs about 1,000 lbs. .  A 24kwh pack could be done in lithium ion batteries with a wieght about 400lbs.

60 ah Lithium Ion Battery. 4 of these has more usable energy than Hawker Odyssey AGM. The 4 cells would weigh about 24lbs vs. 80 lbs for the AGM battery.

100 ah Lithium Ion vs AGM with about 50ah usable

One of the dangers of lithium batteries is that they are not very forgiving to abuse.  Without a proper battery management system a pack could be killed pretty quickly by allowing them to drain to 0 volts or over charging.   The pack below was removed from a car that was used by an owner who let them all drain to 0 volts.  Steve is going through them trying to revive some of the batteries, but 80 percent will end up unusable.

a killed battery pack

Steve and Audrey’s property is filled with all kinds of electric experiments and projects like the motorcycle below.

Electric Motorcycle

Zap Electric Car

Zap Electric battery pack and controler

Electric Bike

An electric Lamborgini

Electric RAV 4 - This is Audrey's daily driver

I want to thank Steve.  He is one of electric vehicles heroes and was gracious enough to spend the day with me to find the problem in my pack.

Nissan Leaf Test Drive

technology | Posted by admin February 1st, 2011

Got a chance to visit the Nissan Leaf test drive event in Fort Lauderdale. Nissan had a really nice display which was like a small village they setup out in the Sawgrass Mills parking lot.

The main tent was for registration and also had a number of video displays that helped educate people about electric cars.

After they had a group ready, we were escorted into the next tent which housed a display with the Leaf’s battery pack. The pack is a very nicely organized system of 24 prismatic flat lithium ion modules. Each module houses 4 cells. The total pack is 24kwh of energy.  I don’t know how hard it is to actually get into the pack when it’s on the car, but it looks like it would be pretty easy to change out a bad module if you can get into the pack.

The next tent we were escorted to was a display on the range and iPhone system monitoring and control. For those that don’t have an iPhone there is also a web site. From your phone you can read battery charge and a lot of other car functions. One nice feature is that you can turn on the AC or heat remotely. So if you car is plugged in charging in the garage, you can turn on the AC and the car will cool itself off the garage power and be cool when you unplug it to drive.

From here we were lead out to the cars to drive. We first went through a little course setup in the parking lot with cones and then out on the street. The car performed real well. There is an econo mode which we also tried. In this mode acceleration is really sluggish and the regen is a lot heavier. You can really see how driving in this mode would lead to better economy, but for the average driver, it’s no fun.

The back seat was easily large enough to fit 3 adults, so it really is a 5 passenger car. There was even a nice sized trunk.

Charging the car can be done in two ways. There is the new standard j-1772 connector which can be plugged into a public charging station. The car comes with a cable with one of these connectors and a 120 volt standard AC plug. They recommend having a 240 volt charging station put in your house though. This is around $2k. These methods take from 6-8 hours to charge fully. The other method of charging is through a special high speed charging port which can handle a lot higher voltage and amperage. This would be used by fleet vehicles such as Taxis. This high speed port would allow the car to be charged in as little as 30 minutes.

Overall I was very impressed. Nissan seems genuinely committed to making this technology work. As a side note, all of the dealerships will have charging stations. I wonder if they will be kind enough to share a few electrons with other EVs who come to visit?

Now wired with a J1772 connector

Electronics | Posted by admin December 12th, 2010

Finally got around to wiring in the J1772 connector into my car today. The connector end I wired into my 220volt 30 amp circuit in my garage.

Festival Fleamarket Annual Classic Car Show

Uncategorized | Posted by admin November 21st, 2010

Attended the Pompano Beach Festival Fleamarket car show. The car got a great response and was a crowd favorite especially with the younger generations. I was parked right next to one of the Grand Torinos used in the Starsky and Hutch television series. The only other electric at the show was a Porsche 911 conversion done by Paul Vaughn of West Palm Beach.

The importance of tight bolts with high voltage

Electronics, testing | Posted by admin November 14th, 2010

I learned an important lesson today. I had changed out a few of the Zener battery balancers and hadn’t tightened down the bolts on one of the terminals. When I took the car out for a test run I noticed a bright flash in my rear view mirror in the top of the battery pack. I immediately got off the peddle cutting the flow of electricity and pulled over. What I found was that one of the terminals I had just worked on was blackened and the nut and washer were noticeably damaged by what had been arcing electricity. Without the bolt being tightened the copper plate was loose enough on the terminal that a bump in the road had cause it to jump a bit. The high voltage electricity just jumped this tiny gap producing an arc. Needless to say I cleaned up the terminal, replaced the nut and washer, and the rechecked the connections on the rest of the pack.

J-1772 Charging Connector

Electronics, technology | Posted by admin November 13th, 2010

J-1772 Charging Connector

Thanks to Charles and David from the Gold Coast EAA, I now have a J-1772 charging connector to put into my car.  This new connector is the North American standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers for use in all charging stations.  Once public stations are put in, my car will be able to easily get a charge.  The connectors are really nice.  There is a button on the top of the plug that links locks into the charging connector so its not accidentally disconnected.  Simple electronics in both the plug and receptacle do some handshaking to make sure the connection is in place before electricity begins to flow.

J-1772 Connector showing pins

The button on the top has a place where a lock could be inserted

Wayland Living Green Fair – Nov. 7th

Uncategorized | Posted by admin November 7th, 2010

Got a chance to show the car at the Wayland Living Green Fair today. The response was overwhelming. I barely have any voice after talking to people all day. I am amazed how so many people even today are unaware of the viability of electric cars. I had a great time educating people on the technology. The best was the reaction from the kids and young adults.  There were a number of teenagers who were really into modifying cars who took a big interest.  Maybe we start a whole new generation of electric hot rodders.  Everyone was really amazed that the EV GT-40 wasn’t a commercial car built by a big car company, but by a hobbiest in a garage right in their own neighborhood.

Toyota and Lexis were at the show showing off their hybrids, but I was the only one at the fair with all electric drive.  Hopefully at next years show we will have some full on electric cars from Nisson and Toyota and Chevy showing plug in electrics.

I really want to thank the folks at Wayland Living Green fair for letting me show off the car.  If we are ever to move away from oil, its all going to be about educating the public.

All setup and ready for people to check it out

Charging off of 110 Volt line

Checking out the car

Lot of interest and questions

Wayland painting a mural with the kids at the fair

Whales Love Clean electric cars

Photo op with a whale

Andrew answering questions from kids

EVGT-40 Attends Gold Coast EAA Meeting

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin July 10th, 2010

Got to take the car out on it’s first public outing today. I was asked to give a presentation at the Gold Coast Electric Auto Association. The meeting was only about ten miles from my house but it was the farthest it’s been from home so far.

It was a nice drive to downtown Boca Raton and the car performed well. It got a lot of looks on the short trip. This is a complement in a town that typically has a lot of exotic cars.

It was a real honor to present my car to the guys at the club. A few of the guys there have their own converted cars so they understood what it took to build this one. Though they had been hearing about it from me for two years and a lot of them have been a big help in giving me encouragement and assisting with lots of questions, none of them had yet seen the final product.

Battery Balancers

Electronics | Posted by admin May 12th, 2010

Lee Hart’s Shunt Type Battery Balancer
12 V Version –
From http://www.cameronsoftware.com/ev/EV_BatteryManagementSystems.html

Each battery has a regulator which consists of

2 – ring terminals, with hole for 5/16″ bolt, and crimp for #6 wire
2 – 6.8v 5watt zener diodes
2 – #PR2 flashlight bulb
Solder a zener diode into each ring terminal where the wire normally goes. Solder a 6″ piece of wire to the other end of the zener diode. Solder the flashlight bulb between the free ends of these two wires. Now you have the two zeners and flashlight bulb all wired in series.

Lee added on 8/09 – Since there are two zeners in series, and they have a 5% tolerance, I measure their actual zener voltage, and match them up in pairs with the same total. I have a bench power supply with knobs to set the voltage limit and current limit. I set the current limit to some value like 100ma, and set the voltage limit higher than the zener voltage (like 10v for a 6.8v zener). Connect the zener, and the power supply automatically supplies a fixed 100ma. Measure the voltage across each zener. Sort them into bins (6.5v 6.6v 6.7v 6.8v 6.9v 7.0v 7.1v). Use pairs that add up to the same total
6.5v + 7.1v = 13.6v
6.6v + 7.0v = 13.6v
6.7v + 6.9v = 13.6v
6.8v + 6.8v = 13.6v
Fill the space between the zener and ring terminal with epoxy glue. Likewise, dunk the bulb and its wires in epoxy glue. This makes everything waterproof and acid proof, and helps conduct heat. The zeners get their heatsinking from the large ring terminals and battery posts they are bolted to.

The diodes are all sorted based on the voltages.

The bulb is soldered to the wire and the lead of the diode.


The whole thing is wrapped in heat shrink tubing.  Each end is the same except the diode is reversed.  The positive ends are marked with a red marker.

One of these is made for each battery.

As the pack charges the lights slowly begin to light up on the batteries that reach capacity.  This shunts about a half an amp around that battery to the next which helps to balance the batteries out.  Each time you charge the pack the batteries should get closer and closer.

Its Red

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 11th, 2010

A month of preparation and 2 days of painting.

The charging port

Electronics | Posted by admin March 29th, 2010

One of the last body modifications was the installing of a charging port. I searched all over for a suitable gas door and compartment to house the charging port which in my case is a 125/250 volt 30 amp plug. I found a VW Passat in the junk yard that had a nice setup. The Passat’s gas portvand door can easily be removed and is all one Peice and not built into the body as most gas doors.

Photos of the car with the back removed

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

With the back removed for some body work, I took some photos of the completed battery configuration.

Interior

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

Photos of the interior as it takes shape.

I am also including work on the arm rests for the doors.

Redoing the backend

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

With the mechanics and electrical work done it’s time to finish off the body. I never really liked how the back end came out. The bumper was too heavy looking. I decided to redo it. So the back was removed and work was started by cutting off the parts I didn’t like and gluing in new foam to form.

Dash and in car computer

Electronics | Posted by admin November 29th, 2009

Spent the last four days, between eating turkey, working on the wiring and dash board. You don’t have any idea how much wire runs in a modern car till you wire one yourself. Finished the electric windows, trunk locks, remote door locks, lights, turn signals, and most importantly the touch screen monitor and computer.


Andrew McClary
Post From My iPhone

Wiring Diagrams

Electronics | Posted by admin July 10th, 2009

These are the working drawings of the electronics that I have worked out. They have not been tested yet.

Here are some photos of the connections.

Battery Tie Downs and Linking

Electronics | Posted by admin July 6th, 2009

Now that I had the batteries it was tine to finish up the battery racks and create tie downs for the batteries. Securing the batteries in my mind was the single most important job in making this a safe car. Since the driver sits so low in the car, most of the batteries are sitting right behind the driver. Making sure that the batteries don’t get loose and move forward is important.

I originally had looked at using straps with ratcheted ties. I then looked at metal bands. In the end i used 3/8″ rod and bar steel frames on top.

High Voltage Wiring

Electronics | Posted by admin June 21st, 2009

With the batteries here it’s time to start working on the high voltage wiring. Unlike the normal car power which is 12 volt and grounded to the frame, the high voltage traction power must be isolated. Because of the high amperage all of the wiring will be 2/0 electrical cable.

The first part was to map out where all the batteries are going to go and how the current will be routed. The positive ends need to be next to the negative ends so they can be easily routed with the least amount of wire. 2/0 cable is expensive stuff so measuring well will save money.

The cables all get connected with wiring lugs. These are crimped on with a special hammered crimper. You have to be carefull when you strip the ends not to cut any of the small strands that make up the cable. You also need to be carefull when putting on the lug that all of the strands fit nicely inside. A good wack on the little crimping device with a large hammer makes a good strong joint. The ends are then shrink wrapped with shrink tubing to keep out moisture.

The next step was to look closely at the wiring diagrams provided by Cafe Electric for the Zilla controller. I redrew their diagram to better fit the placement of my components in my car. This excersize also helped in my understanding of the logic and how the system would work. I am going to use two contactors. The main contactor is a Tyco Kilovac. I want to be able to go in reverse without shifting so I am using a special reversing contactor that is actually a dual contactor. This will reverse the field on the motor with the flip of a switch.

The motor goes in

Electronics | Posted by admin April 5th, 2009

The Warp 9 motor is lowered into the car for the first time.

It took taking it in and out a few times and making adjustments to the motor mount rails to get the motor perfectly lined up.


The motor is in place and lines up with the shaft.  Angle Iron is cut and drilled to bolt into the motor face.  Once the coupler arrives and everything fits, holes will be drilled and these brackets will be bolted in place.

Here the coupler is in place.

A close up of the great bracket that Lowell Simmons machined for me.  I met Lowell at the Florida EAA (Electric Auto Association) and he has been a great resource.  He teaches a shop class to some local high school kids and has them doing electric conversions on cars and even drag racing them.  One of his kids recent projects, a Porsche,  was faster off the line than a Tessla at the 2009 Battery Beach Burnout.   Its going to be interesting to see what his students end up building once they graduate.

This end  is actually my old clutch plate machined down and inserted in.  Great job.

With the coupler in place, the rest of the bracket was fabricated, painted, and bolted in place.

The wires on the motor were rigged up to test the motor.  (These will be replaced with larger cable before the car is running on full battery pack.) The motor was tested by hooking a 12 volt battery directly to the motor with the car up on jack stands.  Everything ran great and had a really cool electric whine.  Can’t wait to get the whole traction battery pack installed with the Zilla controller.

Electric vacuum pump for brakes

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 15th, 2009

The car is outfitted with power brakes. Since there isn’t an engine to provide a vacuum, an electrical vacuum pump is being used. This feeds into a resivour to hold enough pressure for multiple brakings. A pressure switch turns the unit on if the pressure drops below what it needed.

Battery Beach Burnout 2009

Uncategorized | Posted by admin February 21st, 2009

It was a great day for the annual Florida Electric Auto Associations Battery Beach Burnout.  Electric and hybrid vehicles from all over showed up for the event.  From a 1920 Milburn Electric car (yes, there were electric cars in 1920) to the 2008 Telsa Roadster, the show showcased the viability of electric vehicles.  

I have worked hard over the past month to try to get my EVGT40 running to take to the show, but it just wasn’t to be.  This didn’t put a damper on my day though because there was a lot to see.

This young man proudly showed me the car that his high school class has been working on.  It is young minds like these who hopefully will further the use electric cars.

This was another student project, a hybrid racer.

This company was at the show demonstrating a public charging station that they are trying to deploy in locations across the nation.  Users sign up on the internet and recieve a bar coded card which the system scans.  Once the user plugs in thier car and the system reads a secure connection, power is supplied.  When the car is charged a text message is sent to the users cell phone.  Should the connection be interupted the user is also notified.

This 1920 Milburn electric car is owned by a gentleman in Winter Garden, Florida.  Build in Ohio, there are only 35 still in exsistence today.  Though it now holds more modern lead acid batteries, it still runs off of a General Electric motor which was installed in 1920.  The Milburn Electric car company was purchased by General Motors in 1923 and the cars production was stopped.  For more history on the Milburn Electric Car go to http://www.milburn.us/history.htm.

An Electric DeLorean complete with a box waiting for the “Flux Capacitor” to be invented to power it into the future.  All kidding aside this was a very nice conversion and demonstrated its speed on the road coarse.

A 2008 Tesla roadster was one of the stars of the show.  With a price tag over $125,000 it is the super car of electrics.  Made almost entirely of carbon fiber the car is lightweight and fast.  Boasting a 200 mile range on a 3 hour charge, this car demonstrates where the technology is going.  It truly is a work of art.

Shelby announces the Aero EV

technology | Posted by admin January 28th, 2009

Shelby, the maker or Ford super cars has announced the Aero EV which it claims will do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. More importantly the battery pack will charge in 10 minutes and have a 150 mile range.

Shelby Aero EV

Shelby Aero EV

For the full story click here.

Lambo Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 25th, 2009

Putting lambo style doors on the car has nothing to do with any function of the electric car, but in the eyes of my sons “it’s just cool Dad and you have to do it”. After returning from the Palm Beach Super Car Show last week, where all the coolest cars had lambo doors, the decision was made. I found a pair of hinges on eBay for $250. Just like about every peice on this car they were going to have to be modified.

The lambo door hinges had to be shortened to fit in the tight space of the Valkyries doors. I also didn’t like how high they lifted the doors so I modified them further to lift the door up to 85 degrees. This also meant changing the gas struts that would hold the door up. I consulted my father in law, an engineer, on the math for figuring out how strong a strut was needed. Based on a 40lbs door, I was going to need at least 70lbs. of lift to hold the door up.



parts held in place ready for welding

The modified hinge with the gas strut.  I ended up having to replace this gas lift strut with a lighter weight one as well as longer so the hinge would lift to 90 degrees.


This is a shot of the original hinges in the door.

The holes here have been  filled in and the wall reinforced.  The outer area against the fender was enlarged.

Holes had to be cut into the wheel well to make room for the hinges.  This will have to have a box fiver glassed over it later.


Here the holes for the old hinges has been filled in with body filler and sanded and primed.

The door swings out just a bit and then swings upward.

Here you can see how the door swings out just enough to clear the body.

The dash board

Electronics | Posted by admin January 21st, 2009

EAA Meeting and Park Vista Car Show

Research | Posted by admin December 13th, 2008

One of the best ways to get good information is visiting a local chapter of the Electric Auto Association. I am real lucky that there is a real active group right in my back yard. Today I spent the day attending a meeting in the morning the joining some of the guys who already had running electric conversions at a local car show.

(I didn’t take enough notes at the show, so if any of the guys from the Florida EAA can drop me a note with more info on these cars, I will gladly update this page.)

This 240SX had its maiden voyage to the show.  Done by Charlie at Vintage Voltage.

This Porsche is actually a high school project.  A really nice conversion that has also been a race car.

Shawn’s really cool electric motorcycle.

This Electric truck was done by Al Lococo in Winter Haven, FL.  He has a nice website with lots of details.  Click here to see his site.

Al used the same method that I was going to do to mate the Warp 9 to the transmission.  He had a problem with the system when one of the springs failed.  After talking to a couple of other guys at the show I think I am going to rethink how this is done and eliminate the clutch plate.

These cars were not electrics, but were very cool cars.  I liked the clean electronic dashboard on this hotrod.

I was lucky enough to find a new Ford GT40 at the show.  Unfortunately the guy was just about to leave when I got there so I didn’t get a chance to really look over the details in the car.  This was a shame.  It might have given me some good ideas on how to finish out my car.
















The Interior- Seats

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 2nd, 2008

Today I went and picked up my wife at the airport. She was returning from visiting my father in law in South America. When she left she took with her the patterns for the car seats she and I had worked out. While she was there she and my father in law took the patterns to some local shops and had the seat covers made. I was excited to see the final product. Custom fit and professional. They need to be stretched and tacked onto the seat foam, but I had to see how they were going to look in the car. Special thanks to my father in law for his help.

Batteries and Battery Racks

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 30th, 2008

One of the hardest tasks when designing an electric car is to decide on the battery pack. The batteries you choose are going to be the heart and blood of your car. Which ones you choose and how many of them you use will determine how fast the car will be and how far it will go.

There are a number of technologies available. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

Lets start by saying what is required is what is called a “deep cycle” battery. These are batteries which can be discharged to within 25% of their power without damaging them. A typical car starter battery is not designed to do this. Deep cycle batteries are used for marine applications like trolling motors or golf cart batteries.

There are 3 types of batteries I considered for my project.

1. Wet Lead Acid – This is your standard car battery or golf cart battery. They are made of plates of lead immersed in an acid. They are cheap, easy to obtain, are reliable, and not easily damaged with charging. The down side is they are heavy, require adding water to the cells every now and then, and they must be kept upright so they don’t spill acid.

2. AGM – Absorbed Glass Mat batteries also use lead and acid, but the the acid is absorbed into a glass fabric so the acid doesn’t spill. These batteries are also typically sealed and do not require maintenance. Because the acid in embedded in the glass mat, they can not spill acid and can be used on thier side or even upside down. The disadvantage is that you must be very carefull not to over charge them. Doing so will damage the battery.

3. Lithium-ion polymer batteries – These batteries are an evolution of the standard laptop battery. They can be quickly charged, are light weight, and hold a lot of energy. The major downside to these is that they are still very expensive. Pricing out a battery pack to run the car was going to be between $20-30k. This is the technology I eventually want to run my car on, but it has to wait till the price comes down.

Weighing in price, weight, and size, I have narrowed my choice to either Exide Orbital 34DC 12 volt deep cycle or the Optima D34/78. These batteries have a 10 inch x 7 inch foot print and both about 55ah.

Based on these batteries I have begun designing the battery racks. The frame was modeled up in 3D Studio Max and used as a model for calculating out the battery positions and designing the rack. The rack is designed to not only old the batteries but also keep them from sliding forward in a hard stop or accident.

Frame loaded with 24 batteries

Frame loaded with 24 batteries

Battery Holders are in red.  Note the addition of a roll bar as part of the system

Battery Holders are in red. Note the addition of a roll bar as part of the system

Battery holder Side View

Battery holder Side View

Top View

Top View

Version 2 - Holds up to 24 batteries

Version 2 - Holds up to 24 batteries

Version 2 Racks

Version 2 Racks

Side View

Side View

Notes:

The electric motor is massed out in purple in these renderings. The transmission is in dark grey. The existing frame is in blue.

The frame is fabricated with 3 types of members, the roll bar is 2″ x .095″ tubular steel, the racks are fabricated from 2″ x .25 angle and 1″ x .125″ angle. Bolt plates are made from .25″ steel plate. The frames are all MIG welded.

1968 Valkyrie Specs and Brochure

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 28th, 2008

These are the original brochures from Fiber Fab on the Valkyrie. The body style of the kit that I acquired has been modified quite a bit by the previous owners to look more like the 2005 Ford GT40 with the deep front nostrils. I believe it was also originally a two piece body and was modified to be a 3 piece.

These are the specs for the Warp 9 motor that is going in the car.

Body Work

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 28th, 2008

Fixing the body.

The iPhone

technology | Posted by admin November 23rd, 2008

Just a note about the iPhone. This has been one of my most used tools in this project. The whole project actually started when I was sitting on the beach in Sarasota watching the sunset and surfing on eBay with my iPhone. It was then that I came across the Fiberfab Valkyrie that was for sale in Jupiter, Florida. That dream of taking on Detroit and Tesla and building a cool electric sports car for less took hold of me. One press of the bid now button and the journey began.

Since that time I have used the phone to take photos of what I was doing and email them to friends or experts to get advise or find parts. Without this ability to snap quick photos and carry them easily around the job would be much harder. It is very hard to explain to an autoparts employee what you need without a make and model for a car. But I would pull out my iPhone and show them the project and exactly where the part was going or what it was replacing.

And this blog has been written almost entirely with my iPhone.

The Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 23rd, 2008

Like every part on this car, the doors are not going to be easy. The original manual calls for 1965 Mustang corner windows and a Ford LTD 4dr hardtop side windows. The car I purchased came with the corner windows but no LTD windows. That is going to require some searching. The latches were only partially installed and I don’t like the job he did.

The first part of the job was cleaning up the door handles.  They are handles off of a what appears to be a 1965 Ford Falcon. The previous owner had put masking tape on them and left it on.  I am not sure how old this tape was, but it was baked on good.  2 or three layers worth.  The latches were also a bit rusty and needed a good cleaning.

Here it is all cleaned up.

This latch was mounted, but it needed to come off and all of the rust removed.

The trianglular vent windows had also been covered in layers of masking tape that was baked on.  These took a while to clean up.

After quite a bit of work adjusting and working on the latch and connecting rods, the handles and latches were now mounted and working properly.  I still need locks though.

The Motor

Electronics | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

The motor for the car is a Warp 9 DC motor. At a hundred twenty five pounds this motor is a little power house.

It is a 9.25″ diameter, series wound DC motor with a double ended shaft.

Standard Features

  • 9.25” diameter, series wound DC motor
  • Weight, approx. 156 pounds
  • 32.3 HP (72 Volts, 335 Amps)*
  • 70 Ft. pounds torque*
  • 5,500 RPM’s
  • Double or single ended shafts
  • Advanced timing – factory set for CCWDE (CWDE available)
  • Industry standard mounting and bolt configuration
  • Commutators key locked onto the shaft
  • High quality, large style brushes, factory preseated over 90%
  • Exceeds Class “H” insulation
  • Drive and tail shafts keyed with pilot bearing hole
  • Delivery – from stock

Brakes

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

Upgrading the front drum brakes to disc and installing a dual master cylinder and booster. The booster will be powered by an electric vacuum pump.

The front drum brakes were converted to disc brakes for added stopping power. This was easily done with a conversion kit.

The rear brakes are the original Corvair drum brakes.

An emergency brake handle was found at the junk yard that works perfectly. I fabricated a peice of steel plate which bolts to the frame to hold the brake.

The emergency brake uses two cables which come off of the brake handle and go to the back brakes.

The local U-Pull-It junkyard is a great source for parts. In this case, I found an older model Camero with a perfect dual master cylinder and proportioning valve system for the car.

A special mount had to be made to mount the cylinder so it would angle slightly to miss the nostrels and also align with the brake pedals properly.

Here the plumbing for the breaks has been installed. The local NAPA autoparts store was terrific in helping me with this part. My thanks to the guys there. They supplied me with a special kit which included a special tubing that was bendable by hand but rated for high pressure brake lines. This saved a lot of time and was a lot easier that bending steel tubing. The kit also came with all the fittings.


The interior

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

Designing the interior.

Rebuilding the front end

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 16th, 2008

The front end suspension on this car is from a 1967 Corvair. When I purchased the car, the front end was completely rusted out. The cross member was rusted completely through and lacked any structural integrity.

Corvair front end rusted out.

Corvair front end rusted out.

Rusted!!

Rusted!!

Taken completely apart and inspected. Some parts could be restored.

Taken completely apart and inspected. Some parts could be restored.

Sandblasted, rustproofed, and painted.

Sandblasted, rustproofed, and painted.

A new cross member was purchased from Clark’s Corvair which was frieghted to me. Though covered with light surface rust, the new cross member was in good shape. A quick sandblasting, rustproofing, and paint and I was ready to assemble all the parts back together.

The steel had arrived for the front nose as well. After carefully measuring and leveling, the new steel was welded into place. A new support for the rack and pinion was also fabricated.

The next step was to mount the fiberglass nose of the car. I was going to fabricate some hinges but needed a good firm mounting point. To do this I would attach two steel plates that I could weld the hinge onto.

The final hinge welded and mounted in place.



The front nose now hinged forward.

The back hinge I also had to fabricate.


Preparing the frame

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 16th, 2008

When I recieved the car it had been sitting outside in the elements for a number of years.  The frame hadn’t been properly rust proofed so it was in bad shape.  Once all the suspension and transmission had been removed, the body was lifted off so the work could begin.

The Frame with the body removed.

The Frame with the body removed.

The frame showing the rust

The frame showing the rust

The frame was flipped over to get the underside.

The frame was flipped over to get the underside.

This section was rusted out.  The rusted metal was cut out an new steel was welded in.

This section was rusted out. The rusted metal was cut out an new steel was welded in.

The section removed and remaining metal rust proofed.

The section removed and remaining metal rust proofed.

New metal tack welded in.

New metal tack welded in.

The new metal welded into place.

The new metal welded into place.

This process of replacing metal was repeated on a few other sections that needed to be replaced.

Painted silver.  I debated the frame black, but wanted a higher tech look.

Painted silver. I debated the frame black, but wanted a higher tech look.

The frame was finished except the front nose.  Th metal there was really rusted and the welds done by the previous owner looked horrible.  I had ordered a couple of new pieces of steel that I would weld in there.

Almost finished but right side up.

Almost finished but right side up.

Taking it all apart

Restoring and Building | Posted by Andrew September 3rd, 2008

The peddles and the shift linkage don’t look so good, I am going to need to replace these.

cleaning up rust is a dirty business.  I started with a good wire wheel removing the surface scale and dirt.  Most of the dirt ended up on me.

A before and after shot of the clutch bell housing after it was cleaned up.

The rear suspension being removed.

The Corvair front suspension is removed.  It was held in place with 4 bolts which had to be cut.  The front cross member is in really bad shape.  A newer used one was ordered from Clark’s Corvair Parts.  In the mean time I need to take the rest apart and clean the parts.

These parts will all be cleaned.

The frame is then flipped over so that I can get at the bottom and cut out some of the sections that are badly rusted.  This should have been a job for two  people but I was in a hurry so I did it myself.  I almost broke my thumb when the frame started to slide and landed against my work bench.  With a little more thinking and slowing down I was able to get the frame flipped over.

Sections like these had to be cut out and replaced with fresh metal.  The section was cut out and the inside of the tubes was rust proofed. Then new metal was welded in.

The section removed and treated.

The new steel cut to size and ready for welding.

The new steel welded into place.

Removing the Engine

Restoring and Building | Posted by Andrew September 2nd, 2008

The first step is to take the car apart and remove any rust from the frame and get the suspension and brakes working.

But before I start that, the engine needs to go. This will lighten up the car and make it easier to work on.
Rolling the car in and out of the garage right now is really hard. I think the front left brakes are locking up.

Here are some photos so you can see what I am starting with. A lot of work.

Getting rid of un-needed ICE (internal combustion engine) parts.

Once the engine is gone there will be plenty of room for batteries.

The back glass was carefully removed and stored in a safe place so it won’t get broken.

The engine is hooked up to the hoist and bolts removed. Ready for removal.

The fly wheel, clutch and pressure plate are removed. These are going to be needed and will have to be adapted to mate to the electric motor.

Special thanks to my friend Tom for helping me remove the engine. The engine was rusted solid so its next home will be a scrap metal yard.

The frame is rolled back into the garage. The next step is removing the transmission and suspension so the frame can be cleaned of rust and the bad areas cut out and replaced.

The Car Arrives

Electronics, Ideas, Research, Restoring and Building, The Car Arrives | Posted by Andrew September 1st, 2008
After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a good base to start with I found a Ford GT40 replica that was being sold on eBay that was only about an hour away. The ad was found while I was sitting on the beach browsing the web on my iPhone. A bid was place and the following Saturday my wife, kids, and I went up to Jupiter, FL to pick her up.

Its a 1969-70 Fiberfab Valkyrie kit car that was never finished. It had a non-working Chevy V8 engine with a Corvair transmission and suspension system. The frame is a Fiberfab factory frame. The body was in good condition but the front suspension was in horrible shape. The main suspension cross member was almost completely rusted out. This was going to be a big restore and build before I ever got to the electric part. Like I wanted though, this was my chance to do a almost complete ground up build. The car is light, has a strong frame and is aerodynamic. Its also just plain cool.