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Old 03-08-2013, 10:03 AM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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David's Solectria Force Rebuild

Last week I picked up my latest EV project, a 1992 Solectria Force. The Solectria Force was a manufactured electric car that used a Geo Metro glider and AC motor and controller setup. They were built using lead acid, NiCad or NiMH batteries. This Force is a 144 volt with a 28 KW drive train setup.



The Solectria Force I have just purchased was in a wee little parking lot accident at my University. It has 8,407 original miles on it and has back end damage, front right fender and headlight damage. There was solar panels on the hood and roof that have been removed.



With the car I also got a pack of NiMH batteries and a bunch of parts from past Solectria employee who was emptying his supply and the Azure Dynamics auction this past fall. This car has heat and air conditioning, needs a new radio, but has no rust and besides the body damage is in decent condition. It's never seen salt or snow as it was garaged during the winter times and only driven during the summer.

My Plans:

Over the next several weeks and months I am going to be rebuilding this car up with my dad. Right now I am reviving the NiMH batteries and see how much range I can get out of them. I also have a charger that I hope I can reprogram, or I will use my own charger that I've been working on for a while.

The first thing I am doing is checking over the entire electrical system. The driver of the car said it went "run away" during the accident. Upon investigating I don't think it really did, I think it was just driver error, but I will put the car on stands and check everything out. The car currently has a AMC320 controller which is 28 KW peak and I have a UMOC440 controller which is about 50 KW that I am considering installing.

Once I get the electronics running we are going to bring the car down to the body shop to get a quote on fixing all the damage and get a new paint job. Right now it has decals all over it and Velcro that held the solar panels. We want to clean it up and give it a bright green or bright blue paint job.

Here is the link to my blog: 1992 Solectria Force Rebuild

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Old 03-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Subscribed. I drove a Force sedan once, and really liked it. (Regen is awesome.)
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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PS: I don't suppose you're going to spill the beans on what kind of a deal you got?
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
PS: I don't suppose you're going to spill the beans on what kind of a deal you got?
I picked it up for $1k, then I got AAA to tow it to my house. The accident happened back in October and sat in the garage at school until they could figure what to do with it. I made them an offer for $1k when the accident happened (it happened 3 inches from my Civic EV!) and the University sat on it for a few months while they decided what to do with the car. Last week they got a title and called me up saying it was mine and we picked it up.

The goal is to get it all running by this summer so my dad can drive it. He's getting sick of $65 a week in gas in his Honda Odyssey (the camping towing vehicle) and we have all the parts to make this drive, even upgrades I can add.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you driven one of these before?

Regen is cool, eh? (Can you tell I really like regen? It's awesome to not have to throw away all that energy when slowing down.)
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Have you driven one of these before?

Regen is cool, eh? (Can you tell I really like regen? It's awesome to not have to throw away all that energy when slowing down.)
I have driven them a few times. Regen is nice because we have a lot of hills and stop and go traffic, but you really can't coast without a very trained foot.

I've spent the past few days with the NiMH batteries. They are Cobasys 9500 series cells, which is the Ovonics before all the patent things went down in the 90's. These suckers have just been sitting for so long that they were at 0v, but I've gotten life back into them. I have 11 packs, each with 11 cells and some are missing jumpers but I can fix that. So far 6 packs are taking charge, I just need to find a good way to cycle them. Maybe I'll get a CellPro6.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Is there not a switch to disable accelerator pedal regen? That would make for easier coasting.

The sedan I drove had a switch: you could choose between "normal" operation (with regen mainly on the brake pedal), or "1 pedal" biased operation (with variable regen on the "first" half of the accelerator pedal travel, and power on the 2nd half of travel).
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Is there not a switch to disable accelerator pedal regen? That would make for easier coasting.

The sedan I drove had a switch: you could choose between "normal" operation (with regen mainly on the brake pedal), or "1 pedal" biased operation (with variable regen on the "first" half of the accelerator pedal travel, and power on the 2nd half of travel).
I am not sure if there is a switch or not. It might have separate pedal sensors so I'll check it out when the weather is better.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been working on the batteries for the past few days. So far I've had 7 out of 11 taking charge. I just need to make buss bars for the last 3 battery packs. I'll get some pictures up later tonight.

I'm hoping to get the batteries charged enough so on Thursday I can install them and test the drive train.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Last week I picked up my latest EV project
I think it's fair to say that you have a problem when you say things like "my latest EV project."

It's OK. I'm in the same boat.

"Hi, I'm Ben. Welcome to E.V. Anonymous...."

I don't have a Solectria, but since it was THE factory EV Geo Metro, I've been on the Yahoo group ever since I first started playing with non-gasoline Geos.

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