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Old 11-09-2008, 08:10 PM   #651 (permalink)
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Metro Work Day

Sunday, Nov. 9 2008.

Today, Tom, Mark, and Rich came over to help with the Electro-Metro conversion.

I have plates on the car, but it's time to renew them, which requires going in to emissions for testing, or in this case, proving that it has no engine, gasoline, or exhaust.

To do that, I need a tow bar, to be able to drag it to the test station on the other side of the county. I also need a proper place for the two "radiator-position" batteries. Before, they were literally set in the car, and held in place with a ratchet strap.

I started off earlier in the week by removing the entire nose of the car, so we would have access to the area.



Rich was nice enough to show up with a chunk of metal that was 2 inches wider than the batteries, and twice as long as the width of the car. Perfect as a pre-built battery tray! Just cut to length and install!

Well, not quite that easy, but it didn't involve too much cutting, notching, and then welding in place.



Once in there, we welded square stock across the front edge, and welded angle iron tabs on the end that were also connected into the bolt holes there.



I bought a discount, on-sale, tow bar from Harbor Freight the other day. We took the bolt-on tabs and welded them to the front cross tube. We positioned the tabs as wide as we could and still have them stick through the "guppy mouth" of the car. I will still need to modify the bumper cover a bit, but nothing I can't do with a razor knife.

The front end of the car now has a nice double-box for batteries and connections for the tow bar.

I still have to clean up all the welds, brush it all up, and paint the welds and bare metal. Then the front bumper, front corner lights, and bumper cover need to go back on (with a little modification).

After that, I should be able to take (read: tow) the car in to the testing station and get the emissions exemption.



I will also be able to now tow the car to other locations for more work. (Places where people have welders, and other wonderful tools!)

Thanks guys, for your tools, materials, and most of all, your support!


More photos at:
http://gallery.me.com/benhdvideoguy#100511

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Last edited by bennelson; 11-09-2008 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:39 PM   #652 (permalink)
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Ben, are your batteries too big to sit on the rad support itself on either side of the vertical bar the hood latch is connected to? That's where the ForkenSwift's two "rad batteries" sit, pressed snug against the aft of the bumper bar and held up on the aft end by a single length of angle iron. Can't find my pic of it at the moment...
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:35 PM   #653 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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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The batteries are too LONG to sit crosswise by themselves on the radiator support bar.

They were kinda flopped in there before, on an odd angle, but in such a way they wouldn't fall out. But they weren't level either.

We now have a nice, solid, level battery tray for both large batteries to nicely sit in. There is also some room between the two batteries where the vertical bar is that was the divider between the radiator and the other sheet metal block. This should be a good spot to mount the vacuum pump or somethign else.

The whole front end of the car is also a LOT more solid than before. I think we improved the crash rating by a star or two.

I have video of Tom, Mark, and Rich standing on ( jumping up and down on...) the new battery tray and cross bar.

It's pretty solid.

Still plenty more to do on the car, and I know I am going to be real busy with work for the next few weeks.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:48 PM   #654 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
Here is the time-lapse video I shot while we were working on the new front battery box and tow bar.



I brushed down the welds, and hit it with a coat of black spray paint.







Lots o' photos here: http://gallery.me.com/benhdvideoguy#100527
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Last edited by bennelson; 11-10-2008 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:24 PM   #655 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
Tonight, I worked on Battery Tie-Downs, insulating the front batteries, and getting the bumper back on.



I cut two scrap pieces of unistrut to go across the top of each battery. Drilled a hole straight down, for threaded rod to go from the unistrut down through the battery tray to bolt it down.



I used 1 inch foam directly on the battery tray to insulate under the batteries. Then I "sculpted" 2" foam to fit around the batteries as best I can.

The batteries really fit in pretty tight because of the shape of the headlights and other parts that poke into that space.



I did have to carve down a lot of edges to make it work. A Japanese pull-saw works great to cut foam, as does a drywall "stab-saw'.



I used some HVAC duct tape to connect all the edges of the foam and seal it up.



After all that, I got the bumper back on, and then the bumper cover. However, I discovered that the bumper cover really installs from the inside, which is now totally blocked by the batteries and foam!



I was able to at least get two screws in the ends, so the bumper cover should stay on for now at least.

I do still have to modify the "guppy mouth" a bit, as the tow bar brackets came to the very far corners of it. Will have to cut away at it a bit more...

Hope that keeps the batteries warm for the winter!


See more photos here:
MobileMe Gallery
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:51 PM   #656 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,473
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Are you going to insulate the rear ones too? I would! Even though they're inside the car, they're probably not going to be a lot warmer without a big heater. Similarly warm batteries are happier batteries.
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www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:07 AM   #657 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
I was thinking about doing the rear as well, but the front ones were a priority, especially since I had to get them back in the car just to use it again!

I also bought a "water pipe heater" at the store, but it has a built-in thermostat, which makes it not turn on unless the sensor hits 38 degrees F or less.

I am planning on returning it to the store, because I can't see a good way to just remove the thermostat without wrecking the thing.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:39 PM   #658 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
Electro-Metro hits INSTRUCTABLES

Since the car is most of the way done, I figured it was time to go a bit more "mainstream" with it.

I sat down and spent some time at Instructables.com to create an entire Instructable on how to convert a Geo Metro to an electric car.

If anyone is reading this because of my link on Instructables, welcome to ECOMODDER, and thanks for stopping by!
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:53 PM   #659 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I sat down and spent some time at Instructables.com to create an entire Instructable on how to convert a Geo Metro to an electric car.
Nice I featured it, so it should go up on the front page of instructables shortly
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #660 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
bennelson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

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)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 658 Times in 384 Posts
Trebuchet, YOU'RE the guy secretly working for Instructables?

Thanks! Pretty cool to see it go straight to the front page like that!

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