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Old 03-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #1041 (permalink)
Losing the MISinformation
 
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Suspension trickery!!!

Cool! That is a neat way to add weight-bearing without resorting to trial and error. I think Ben already has a line on the Ranger springs, and I've heard of that before, but if a person ever got into such a situation when converting a car to an EV, it's just another idea to use. You'd just need mounting bits that were the same, and extend/retract lengths that were close, and you'd have a chance to really impress someone with all the talk about your "custom" suspension!

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Old 03-23-2009, 04:47 PM   #1042 (permalink)
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Following CoyoteX's good experience with Ranger front springs, I have managed to locate a discount source of NEW Ford Explorer springs.

I stopped by the GOOD auto parts store, where they still have reference books, and got the specs on the springs I can get my hands on.

I am now pulling a rear spring off my car to look at it again.

This time, I have a coil compressor!!!!

From the specs I got, it's looking pretty positive so far!


EDIT
4:57pm.
I got my Metro rear-left spring out. How retarded is this spring compressor! It's TOO LONG to actually fit inside the spring!

I did manage to manhandle the spring out of there without it.

According to the specs on the Ranger/Explorer springs I got from the parts store, and comparing them to the spring I pulled out:

The Ranger springs are - 2.5 inches longer,
have 3 more coils to the spring,
and can carry WAY more weight!

My only concern is that the internal diameter of the springs seem a little off from each other. CoyoteX did confirm that his springs were off the 4x4 version of the Ranger. I also noticed his XFI is a 93 and the Electro-Metro is a 96. Any difference for springs in the two body styles?

Guess I will find out when I visit the new springs tomorrow!
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Last edited by bennelson; 03-23-2009 at 06:00 PM.. Reason: got a spring out.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:01 PM   #1043 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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I did NOT get new springs today!

I got a call from the seller before going over, that he couldn't find the springs!

He had moved recently, and lots of things were still in boxes or unknown locations.


Later in the day, I was meeting my EV buddies Tom and Rich to do some work tearing down some equipment in Tom's warehouse.

And Rich was driving.....ba ba ba baaaa! (Fanfare) His Ford Ranger 4x4!

I had my Metro spring with and compared that to the front spring in Rich's truck, as best I could with the wheel in the way.

I looks like they are a pretty close match, except that the Ranger springs are in UPSIDE DOWN compared to the Metro springs!
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #1044 (permalink)
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I got a chance to finally start on making some decent "fancy" cabling for the car.

I made 5 shorty battery interconnect cables using 2/0 welding cable that was donated to the project from a friend in the construction trades.

I borrowed a very nice big ole crimper. No home-brew on this one!

I cut the cables to length, put a terminal on, crimped it, and heat shrinked the terminal.



I installed a couple of them in the car.

I still need more terminals (I bought all they had at the store!) and more cable boots, but it's STARTING to look like a real car!

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Old 03-28-2009, 09:53 PM   #1045 (permalink)
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Ive got spring compressors if you need different ones but heres a trick that I've done in the past. Get yourself a set of ratchet straps and use them in place of the spring compressors. I'd be willing to bet my spring compressors are the same as your and would put you in the same situation. Your going to need something to compress them bigger ranger springs
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:34 PM   #1046 (permalink)
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A trick that mechanics use is to twist up a few strands of baling wire and then string up the spring while the weight of the vehicle is on it.

Then lift up the vehicle and the spring should be shorter.

Are you using a pair of spring compressors from the outside, or one from the inside? I just changed the rear springs on a Crown Victoria and there was a hole clean through the top perch for the tool to go up into.

I suppose you could also use some metal bars and a piece of allthread to compress the spring, just cut the all-threaded rod down until it fits into the space you have.

Also on cars with semi-independant rear suspension you can get a lot more travel with both rear wheels off of the ground, as the beam acts as a spring trying to keep both sides the same.

That battery tray looks super professional now, that is great.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:45 AM   #1047 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nubie View Post
A trick that mechanics use is to twist up a few strands of baling wire and then string up the spring while the weight of the vehicle is on it.
Then lift up the vehicle and the spring should be shorter.

Ben,
When you tore down the forklift, (yes I know that was ages ago), you should have seen some really heavy duty tie straps. (plastic zip ties, wire ties, etc..)
Using the trick from Nubie but with those hydraulic ties (what I call them at work cause we mostly use them to keep hydraulic lines put), is how I change springs when necessary.
After you are done you cut the ties and release the spring.
Just remember to cage the spring adequately while it is still under load from the vehicle weight.
These things hold up thousands of pounds and can be dangerous.
Better to over compensate than to head for the ER.
S.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:59 PM   #1048 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Well,

For one reason or another, it seems like my car has been up on blocks for the last month and a half.

Whether it's plasma cutters chopping through my brakelines or getting yanked around by Craigslisters taunting me by NOT selling me springs, my car has NOT been drivable for a while.

The brakelines are now fixed, and I'm saying "aw, screw-it!" to the springs, just so I can get her back on the road.

I have been feeling very dirty having to use gasoline lately.

The Electro-Metro is now wired up with 12 batteries is series/parallel for 72V - two strings of 6 batts.

Too bad 10 of those are over the rear axle!

I only have one seat in it, no carpet, and no interior panels. The rear end is WAY too low, and the charger is just sitting on a packing blanket.

Still, it's mine, and running down the road on little more than electro-magnetism and will power!

At least now, I can get around without that dirty used feeling of petroleum while I dig up some springs.

And with only switching two cables, I can upgrade to 144V!

I am SO tempted to do that with the "turbo-button" technology, but somehow, I feel you may never hear more posts from me after that.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:53 PM   #1049 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
And with only switching two cables, I can upgrade to 144V!

I am SO tempted to do that with the "turbo-button" technology, but somehow, I feel you may never hear more posts from me after that.
It's OK, you wife can take over, then. She'll give constant updates at the ER.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:40 AM   #1050 (permalink)
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I forgot, I am using spring chocks in my Jetta because our dirt/gravel road is really bad and I scrape otherwise.

This is the part at Kragen auto parts:

Kragen Part Number 18907

It is the "Make Waves" coil spring booster. Here in CA they are $9 apiece in the store (even though the online price is $6.49 and the picture shows a pair.)

Just lift up one corner and work it into the spring, then do the other side. I haven't had any trouble at all in the 2-3 years I have been using them.

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