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Old 02-26-2009, 01:15 PM   #1011 (permalink)
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Electro-Metro to display at 2009 Midwest Renewable Energy Association fair

I got official word of being accepted to display at the MREA this summer!

"Thank you for your demonstration vehicle application for the Energy Fair.
Please consider this email confirmation that we would like to feature your
1996 GeoMetro in the Clean Energy Car Show at the Energy Fair June 19-21,
2009..........
Donít forget to tell your friends with alternatively fueled vehicles that
they may also display their vehicle at the Clean Energy Car Show for no
charge. If you know of someone that may be interested, please have them
contact me directly
."

Anyone else interested in displaying an alternative vehicle at the MREA? It's June 19-21, 2009 - also a great chance for general Ecomodder meet-up!

Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:18 PM   #1012 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I just got the best comment ever over on my INSTRUCTABLES about the car:

Jan 16, 2009. 11:30 PMtylosurussays:
"i'm making one. you have definitely encouraged me to try it! i've sat here for like.. the past 3 hours and read this WHOLE ENTIRE blog thing! lol, thanks! "

He must have been referring to just the info on INSTRUCTABLES. It would take MUCH longer than 3 hours to read everything here....
Ben, I've spent the last three days reading through this entire thread and am really starting to get the itch. I've got a nice pre-smog 240z sitting in my garage at home that I've had non-op because it gets worse gas mileage than my truck... but it's lightweight, has new suspension, pretty good body, and lots of room for batteries... if I've still got it this summer, I might have to just do it.

If you decide that you like having the sound deadener on your floors, you can get this (fairly cheap) stuff called "Peal and Seal" from the local building supply place. It's a sheet of tar-stuff backed on one side with foil, so you cut it to shape and then stick it to any body panels that need it. A lot of guys who are trying to sound-proof for ride quality, whatever, will do a couple layers on the larger more flexible panels like the roof and in the doors behind the glass. My z has a layer of it over most of the interior.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #1013 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

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Video/slideshow recap of recent work.



PS - CoyoteX also just told me that his old Metro FRONT SPRINGS are on their way to my house. I am going to fit them in the BACK of my car and see how it effects the ride height and suspension with the extra battery weight in there.


[EDIT: video swapped out for one of correct runtime; a bit over 3 minutes.]
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Last edited by bennelson; 03-01-2009 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: swapped videos
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:50 PM   #1014 (permalink)
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Hidden Track?

Heh, Ben, great video, but did you see that it stretched out to 10:31 with a bunch of blank space, and then at the very end some of your audio repeated? I was expecting a "hidden track" or some kind of joke on the end -- you should do that!
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:36 AM   #1015 (permalink)
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Ben, I dunno if they'll work for you, but I have OEM coilover springs from my 1989 Civic DX sedan... I'd ship them out to you if you paid for shipping, not sure if they'll work for you or not.

They're about 3.5 ID, about 12.5 long... Set of four, all the same spring rates (~200 iirc) and not progressive.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:12 PM   #1016 (permalink)
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Back Seat Battery Box!

hey EVeryone!

It was a great day. Today was another EV Build Day at Tom's.
(I forgot my camera at home, but did take photos with someone else's camera. I will host photos later.)

I towed the Metro into the city and got prime parking space in the heated garage.

I already had the "test hole" cut in the backseat, and showed Rich what I was planning on doing, and let him poke around in there and see how the suspension and other things lined up and may or may not interfere with the box.

Brian offered to donate his 36" by 30" by 20" machine case to my project to become the back seat battery box.

I LOVE the plasma cutter!!!!

We cut the entire box down to a 10.5 inch height. Tall enough for the batteries, including posts, plus a little more for insulation and wiggle room.

We then chopped the box down to a 15 inch depth, and left it the entire 36 inches wide. Since my batteries are 7 inches wide, 5 of them side-by-side is 35 inches, so the 36 inch width is perfect!

36 inches also EXACTLY clears between the rear swing arms.

We welded the cut-off part of the box to the section we were using to make the 5th side (the sixth, top side of the box is left open.) Then we used the plasma cutter to chop off the extra part.

This made a very nice 36" by 15" by 10.5" metal box. And it's solid, so there's plenty to weld to, and no concerns about cross-bracing. In fact, be can weld a solid seam all the way around the box to make the car even sturdier than before!

Again, the plasma cutter was used to cut the big hole through the back seat. We dropped the box through the hole, and then had to figure out height before tack welding it.

We ended up making it so the the BOTTOM of the box was pretty much even with the floor of the car. The box wasn't lower than anything else, so I am not too worried about speed bumps!

This does make the top of the box stick out about three inches ABOVE the front lip of the seat, but the bottom of the box is out of the way of the parking brake cables and brake lines.

Speaking of brake lines.....After being away from the car for a few minutes, Brian asked me if I wanted to know the good news, the good news, or the bad news.

Long story short, the brake lines are gone. Time for new ones. We didn't get TOO much brake fluid on the floor. Oh, did you know that brake fluid is flammable? Well it is. It can be started on fire by a plasma cutter, just in case you didn't know.

That's odd, we actually were joking about setting electric cars on fire earlier in the day. Don't worry, it was only a small fire, and quickly stomped out.

I have a long section of conduit running under the car from the spare tire well to the front. I needed to move it to make space for the battery box. To do that, I had to disconnect the front end of the battery cables, charging cables, and 120V cables. I pulled all the cables, threw them in the back, and removed the conduit.

We fit the box through the back seat hole (after several people doing Fred Flintstone impressions.) Rich tacked the box in with the welder. It's in there nice and solid now, although we will finish off with a solid weld all the way around, and some welding from the bottom too.

The top of the box sticks up roughly 3 inches from the sheet metal of the car. Since the foam of the back seat is 5 to 6 inches thick, I should be able to hollow it out to put the back seat back in. Also, that extra three inches makes the top of the box about even with the bottom of the "trunk" area. So, another thing I could do is cut some thin plywood to fit and cover the spare tire well and extend out over the battery box. The plywood would then be covered with some nice thin carpet, and form a large, flat cargo area, similar to a Honda Insight (the original one!, not the new one!)

I am not sure if I want to keep the back seat for "Looks" and "normalicy", or go with the big cargo area, which could look really cool too. It also might be neat for showing off the car. I could actually install plexiglass over the batteries, and have other components (charger?) in the spare tire well. I could normally have carpet over the top, but pull it off for displaying the car!

Anyways, I now need to replace the rear brakelines, pull all the batteries out of the back, install new conduit between the batt box and the front, figure out how to fit for batts in front! Oh criminy! That's a lot of work!

I feel very excited about the project again!

OOOh! Tom also had a couple of small DC/DC converters kicking around; 2 5 volters, and a 3.5V! They are a style that should be able to be run in series, which would make a 30 amp 13.5V output! Sounds like plenty for headlights to me! That would allow me to use a much smaller 12v battery! Might help free up some space under the hood!

With the cabling pulled, the car can no longer move under it's own power. Since I stripped out the insides, there's no driver seat either!

That's how I ended up being pushed backwards, down Tom's driveway to the road - quickly!

"That's odd", I remember thinking to myself when I pressed the brakes and the pedal sunk to the floor. "That's right, we did loose the brakes, didn't we.."

I yank the hand brake as the car flies towards the road, me sitting on the floor of the car, too short to see out the rear window.

Once traffic clears, the guys push me to the back of my truck to hitch up the tow bar and take off for the day.

Cut a hole in the car, lost the brakes, started a fire, and didn't die in a flaming wreck!

What will we do next time to top it!?



(I will post some photos of the batt box when next I have some time in daylight.)
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #1017 (permalink)
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That's awesome Ben! I can't wait to see the pictures!
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:23 PM   #1018 (permalink)
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A converted EV Metro is currently in Craigslist ads. According to the ad, the motor was not installed correctly, it is out, and a new one mounted right would cost over $3000. to do it right and repair all damage.

This Metro also has several 8 volt batteries (all under the hood/bonnet), and the owner had to buy a special charger.

When I read about vehicles like this, I sure admire you and your escapades with the plasma cutter! Congrats again Ben!
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:58 PM   #1019 (permalink)
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So the brake lines fell victim to the plasma cutter, right? Not rust, which was why we had to replace them on the ForkenSwift?
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:31 PM   #1020 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

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I think it was a victim of both! Rich and Brian were poking around pretty rough with my car.

Never leave two guys alone with you car with a plasma cutter! It's just asking for trouble!

Oh well, now I get to learn brakes.

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