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Old 03-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg
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Hello again and thank you for your greetings and warm welcomes.

I apologize for the long messages, but it's because I don't have the internet at home, so I am actually typing this in Wordpad right now. I upload my messages via a USB drive when I get to a PC with internet access, so I try to get in as much as I can and I am sorry if my messages may seem a bit outdated.

I feel like I am writing to the famous here now! As you can tell, MetroMPG, Darin, just as you have probably sparked the inspirations of others; seeing your project and reading your detailed conversion journal (on page 14 right now) is the real reason why I think I can take this "idea" and turn it into a feasible product.

I learn very quickly and best through examples and hands on work. I had documented my automatic to manual transaxle conversion on Teamswift as at the time there hadn't been any real information on there about how to do it (though many enthusiastic members had helped out through their postings and experiences) . That project started up very randomly as I sat down one weekend wasting the day away watching T.V. shows about doing cool things like that.

I had bought a car with a blown motor and took a chance on its transmission condition. I then spent a couple of days just tearing down the "donor" vehicle and studied the way that things were all put together, then I turned to my working vehicle and started to do the same.

I have to admit that I was way in over my head at the time with never having done any work on a vehicle requiring pretty much tearing apart almost the whole thing. I had transmissions on the ground, an engine held up by a ratchet strap (or just a rope? I can't quite remember), all steering and suspension sprawled out, dash out, steering column gone, all pedals out, seats out, no shifter; I was almost looking at a bare shell.

It was then that I was staring at the "point of no return" and a good part of me wanted to simply give up and stick it all back together like nothing had happened. This was my car at the time, and I wanted to have it back up and on the road in a matter of days. I sat on the fence with a reciprocating saw in hand for hours wondering if it would be a good idea to cut out the automatic transaxle cross member mount and proceed with the swap or not. I had already messed up pretty bad a couple of times throughout the procedure but that's the best way to learn, so I kept going.

That job taught me that if you can look at a big project as something not too complex, and focus mainly on each component as being separate from the whole, that you really can see the simplicity in what seems like a very complicated machine.

Back to my original inquiry, MetroMPG, I am very grateful that you took the time to look over my schematic. I had initially wanted to contact you but thought you'd be too busy with all the attention and fame from the CBC, Autoblog and other exciting projects and such. Thank you very much for writing to me! Everything that I have learned throughout the past week comes from your detailed writeups and pictures/videos as I truly had no idea even what a "contactor" or a "potbox" was just prior to a few days ago. Seeing your images of the potbox and contactors in action made me begin to understand what they are doing.

Earlier in the week last week, I took a look at that schematic on EVbuilder I believe; the one from where yours originates, and I couldn't sum up the attention span to try to figure out how these objects foreign to me interact with eachother. Again, your writeup, photos, and videos helped clear up some misconceptions that I had been formulating. Sometimes I just have to see the things working in order to better understand them.

As for the absence of the precharge resistor in my diagram, and the above contactor for the "go" switch, I spectulated that they were in place for extra safety and assumed that the precharge resistor was only in place to allow for creeping speeds, like in a parking lot situation and didn't realize that it was in place to prevent the controller from burning up. Good thing you pointed that out as my intention is to build an EV and not start a "Fire" fly!

I am aiming at going with as little componentry as possible for the initial setup (less things to go wrong at first) and know from hydraulics that there are power losses generated by energy converting over to heat whenever it has to pass over a component which is bad; which is where it is good to go with as little as possible when possible.

The emergency disconnect is a definite must for me. This is coming from a guy who usually unplugs most of the electrical equipment from the wall when not being used. The big red button would be ideal, but I beleive I will end up following suit with your way and go with a cable connection like a forklift. I will see what I can get for stuff first.

A new schematic shall follow; this time with an added precharge resistor, and an extra fuse at least.

Thank you so very much for all of your help! I still might not know very much about this now (just learned that electric motors can have retarded or advanced timing) but I think what I have learned here thus far should at least offer me a leg to stand on when I get the opportunity to start viewing some parts to work with.

There, I have just doubled my posts today. Thanks for reading!


P.S. Still trying to wrap my head around these schematics thing, but the new one I drew could potentially pose another problem.
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