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Old 08-24-2010, 12:27 AM   #1391 (permalink)
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This weekend, I prepped the car to be able to add a BABY SEAT to it!

I removed the rear batteries, and welded angle iron on either side of the battery box. That gave me a place to drill a hole and run a carriage bolt through the plywood lid down into a solid, frame-like member.

I also replaced the bottom insulation, with some thinner insulation, a double layer of coroplast. That was because the battery tops actually stuck up just a tad over the top of the battery box. Now just sit just a hair below it. Makes a difference once you actually want to bolt the cover down.

This is something that I have actually been meaning to do for sometime, it was just never that big a deal, or that important. With our first child on the way, I really wanted to get set up to be able to mount a baby seat in the back of the car.

I reinstalled both rear seat belts. There was a minimal amount of modification required to do so. (Safety features are one of those things that shouldn't be messed with.)
Mostly the "clicker" end of the seat belts just had to be pulled up over the plywood lid. I also added some rubber tubing on the edge of the metal box there, so that there wouldn't be any chafing of the seat belt if the plywood lid didn't line up the way I expected it to.

I also swapped out two of the Deka Gel Cells that weren't performing well for a pair of second-hand AGMs of the same size. Now all the batteries in the rear box are the same make and model.

The back seat looks pretty good now. The batteries all match. The cover bolts down. Looks like it's all ready for the baby!

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:30 AM   #1392 (permalink)
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Congratulations Ben!!
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:08 AM   #1393 (permalink)
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That's so awesome Ben!!!!! YOu have NO IDEA what's in store for you.. hahahaha!
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:00 AM   #1394 (permalink)
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Congratulations Ben!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:43 AM   #1395 (permalink)
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Congrats Ben!!!!!!
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:31 PM   #1396 (permalink)
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Do you guys have any names picked out yet?
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:13 PM   #1397 (permalink)
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(P.S. they know what causes that now !!! )
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:18 PM   #1398 (permalink)
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #1399 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

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

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Here's a photo of the car seat installed.



The other thing that is amazing is that the GIANT baby stroller actually fits in the car!



With the hatch closed even!



We will just have to remember which way it goes in. The hatch won't close if you put the stroller in wrong!

For a name (the baby is going to be a girl) we are looking at Sophia Elizabeth Nelson.

Elizabeth is a family name. Sophia is Greek for "wisdom", such as in the word philosophy - the love of wisdom. Also there are no other Sophias in the family, (I have a BIG family...) and I can't even think of anyone else I personally know with that name.
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Last edited by bennelson; 08-29-2010 at 03:41 PM.. Reason: mis-spelled my own daughters name
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #1400 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

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

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
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Thanked 592 Times in 347 Posts
I have been having some problems with charging lately.

The charger starts off at full amperage, but drops down to a lower amperage rather quickly. It SHOULD act like that if the batteries are mostly full, but this is happening when the pack is discharged!

I threw the car on charge today, cranked up the amperage setting, and let it run a few minutes. Then I checked over the wiring. One thing that I did notice was that the charger wires running to the batteries was warm.

I have always known that the charger wires I was using were a little undersized. I think that perhaps there has been some corrosion or something that has exasterbated the problem, because I never really remember the wires getting warm before.

The battery charger itself has fairly thick leads coming out of it, but they are only a few inches long, so additional wire is wire-nutted onto it. I really didn't have any extra-thick cable around. The only real, new-on-a-spool, cable I have is 14ga. The next thicker size I have around is 2/0, with nothing in between.

The positive end of the pack is in the rear battery box, and the negative end is at the single traction pack battery that's under the hood. That means it's a real short path from the charger to the positive, and a much longer one to the pack negative.

I strung together two of the 14 ga wires and put BOTH pieces into a crimp-on ring terminal to go to pack positive. The other end of both wires went to the wire nut on charger positive.

I have three pieces of extension cord that run through the conduit under the car from under the hood to the rear battery box and spare tire wheel well (where the charger is.)
One conductor of one of those extension cords is the charger negative lead that goes to the front battery. Double-checking the markings on the cord jacket, it listed 16-3, or three conductors, each 16 guage. That's pretty thin to pump any amount of amperage to the front of the car!
The other two conductors of that cable originally had purposes, but are currently free.
So, I stripped all three conductors on both ends, and ran all three into a single ring terminal. That way, I now have three times as much copper connecting the charger to the front of the car.

Still "seat-of-the-pants" science, but the charger seems to be working better now. It has been charging for a couple hours and the ammeter display is dropping slowly, the way it aught to.

PS.
I also had been using my 100'/14ga extension cord from the wall outlet to the car for at home charging. Mostly just for convenience/out of habit, as it reaches wherever I park so easily.
I dug out a 25'/12GA cord, and am using that between the outlet and car now.

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Last edited by bennelson; 09-01-2010 at 11:50 PM.. Reason: ps
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