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Old 08-29-2008, 12:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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rmay635703's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere in WI
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Well, I have to post on the Miles ZX40 situation

I finally got my car at the end of LAST month but did not get a title.

After calling around I found out that Miles itself had some sort of fire sale liquidation and screwed up the title transfer process, my title probably won't come until November!!! Ah well at least I know this is legit and I will eventually get it on the road.

Anyway I have been quite fearfull of driving it without plates and title as the police are real *******s around here. But I have done a few preliminary tests.

Acceleration is as expected underwelming but for my purposes acceptable 2 of my 4 batteries are shot so I will not state performance until I get things straightened out. It also appears the guys who welded the non-removable rear folding bench seat in place damaged the embedded voltmeter/fuel guage. So initially I was getting BS battery error/failure messages that were inaccurate. I will have to put a real ammeter / volt meter into this unit before I really start to drive. (stock has no ammeter, to me that is a travesty!, every EV I have ever had has some sort of ammeter to guage how much pedal to put on to conserve power, not to mention if I upgrade to prevent motor failure!)

The ride to me is quite a pleasant change compared to most NEVs but if you want the best range and speed you need to overinflate to 40psi and then the ride is rather craptaskic but still better than my Jetta TDI has been lately. Front of vehicle is better riding than in the rear seats.

As for the range test I went around in circles at the full 23-29mph until my speed dropped one mph. (I was in a OOB parking lot, lots of fun and strange looks) I went approx 10 miles and the two front batteryies were at 11.9 volts the rears were at a normal 12.3v. My father added water to AGMs after a battery guy told him to, something seems wrong about that also.

Miles says if I cycle the batteries enough they will come back, we will see. For now 10 miles is sufficient for many of the tasks as my folks are landlocked in town near work and near their grocery store so I may have them keep the batteries until they really have failed. Main issue is they NEED a voltmeter that accurately states the real voltage.

I also have gotten some of the tech manuals from miles and I found that the ZX40s have 4 speed trannies locked into 2nd with the linkages removed. Speed regulation is because of the motors back emf in this gearing, no actual speed regulation is employed. I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with daihtsu happy messenger trannies here but if they are and can possibly direct me to a transmission reenable after looking at the rebuild tech manual for the tranny I will send it to them. It seems if both the internal and external linkages are attached, the lock is removed and the cup holder is removed and a shifter replaced I should have a working tranny.

Based on the calculations I have done from the tech manual
1st should give me about 16-18mph (maybe a little more but at high RPM with lots of power)
2nd - Default
3rd - Slow up to about 36mph
4th - lots of amps but theoretically 56mph w/ losses I would assume about 45mph but I would need an ammeter to accurately monitor amperate so I do not burn it up, motor is quite durable but the controller is not, luckily the unit has sensors to drop current to the motor if it starts to overheat)

As for speed on flat ground it goes 26mph, with any type of incline, even ones that are almost unnoticeable you can easily accelerate to 28 or even 30mph. Up hills speed never dropped below 18mph, these were not mountains but they were relatively steep. Acceleration was good up to about 20mph everything past that was gradual I would say 1/5-1/4 mile to full speed but 0-20mph was good

I will keep everyone posted on my progress. There are always speed bumps when you get something for much less than you should


PS if anyone wants a fixer upper Miles ZX40 there may still be some left over from the fire sale. Main issue will be batteries and fading of the dash plastic, along with dust and dirt. Take care if you have someone install rear seats as it apparently is easy to disable the onboard voltmeter.
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