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Old 12-20-2008, 10:01 PM   #801 (permalink)
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MMMM doing donuts in the show is fun good to see your having fun with your car after the mishap with the inspection station

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Old 12-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #802 (permalink)
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potentiometer

I had the same problem, maxing out around 3500 Ohms. In my case it was dirt around the gas pedal lever. My curtis pot box maxes out at 4500, so don't feel bad if you don't get the full 5000.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:32 PM   #803 (permalink)
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Ah yes, another missed hybrid meet for me. Family Christmas to attend. It would have been awesome to see the metro, dang!
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:36 PM   #804 (permalink)
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No DONUTS for Doax!
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:15 PM   #805 (permalink)
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Dump a little graphite powder into your locks while they're warm, work them a few times in both directions, and that shouldn't happen anymore. If it persists, you can get lock de-icer (keychain sized) for about $2 from a hardware store.


Somewhat on topic - Green channel, at this very moment, "Gadget's Electric Garage" is going to be building a '67 E-Camaro for Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Great channel.. I love it.

Ben - I'm checking up on this build frequently, finding that I get more and more interested in doing something like this every day... although I see in my head right now, something more like a kit car, rather than a conversion. Thanks for potentially helping to provide the inspiration!
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #806 (permalink)
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EV Build Day 12-21-08

I headed over to Tom's today to work on our cars.



Rich was already over there, and Swee and Lloyd both stopped in for a bit. Right after lunch, Mike showed up and helped out for a while.



Mostly, we worked on our electric throttle controls.

On Tom's Neon, the original car throttle body already has a 0-5K pot box built in. Although his controller isn't expecting a 0-5K pot, the way a Curtis or Alltrax controller does, it sure is handy that his gas car already has an electronic signal built in it.

On his car, the gas pedal goes to the throttle body, which will send the signal to his AC controller.

Rich worked on rigging a microswitch to the throttle. The idea is that this microswitch will turn the AC controller on and off. This should allow the car to be set to regenerative breaking any time your foot is on the gas, but the car is moving faster than the throttle would make it go. Think engine braking that recharges the batteries.

With the foot totally off the gas pedal, the AC controller will turn off and allow the car to do a true coast. Nice to have the option to either regen OR coast based solely (ack! a foot pun!) on what you do with the pedal!

Last week on my car, I threw in the new Curtis PB-6 potentiometer. Since then, I hadn't been able to hit a great top speed. I checked it with an ohm-meter, and sure enough, I wasn't getting all the way up to 5000 oms. It was topping off around 3500.

Since the original throttle cable threaded straight into a part no longer in my car (the ENGINE!) I needed a new way to pin down the end of the cable. It seemed like the easiest way to do this is to drill a whole in some sort of small box, and run the cable into that.

Tom dug up a decent-sized project box, complete with gasketed seal. I measured how tall the potentiometer was, and marked that height on the side of the box. I drilled a hole right there to run the throttle cable through.



I ran the cable through it and attached the cable to the arm of the Curtis PB-6 potentiometer using a "throttle accessory" nut from the hardware store. That added another $3.40 to my project cost, but it sure was handy to be able to directly attach the cable.



I ran the ends of the pot box cable to an ohm meter to be able to measure the resistance at different positions. Mike ran the gas pedal, while Rich moved the potentiometer inside the project box until the ohm meter read 0 with foot off the gas, and 5K with it floored. Then I marked the mounting holes of the PB-6 on the box in that position.



After drilling the holes, I mounted the pot to the project box with M5 metric bolts and re-attached the throttle cable. Now we could use the nuts on the threaded end of the throttle cable to fine tune the distance between the box and the arm of the PB-6, and again measured it with the ohm meter.

Once it was all set, we used self-tapping screws to mount the Pot Box directly to the firewall and finally pinned up the vacuum canister in a semi-permanent manner.

Tom also found the right plug and grommet to cover the hole in the bottom of the box and to go around the cable that comes out of the box to the controller. No snow or slush is getting in there!!

When all was set and running again, Tom and I went for a spin around the block. The response and speed of the car is much improved. The car actually handles pretty well on the snow-packed roads. I don't have very good tires on the car, only what came with when I bought it, but it seems to handle pretty well. The car sits low and solid, with plenty of weight on the drive wheels.

Tom also commented that it sounded much better than it did before.

The Metro is back on the road.

Now I just have to deal with that speeding ticket and emissions testing!!!!



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Old 12-21-2008, 10:19 PM   #807 (permalink)
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Speeding ticket?!?!? You mean they didn't let you off for having fun in an EV? Of all the lousy... stinkin!... I tell ya!!

I'd like to see more about that microswitch throttle thing... the regen engine brake. Where might I find information on it?
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:29 PM   #808 (permalink)
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Oooo! I have to check the ForkenSwift's pot. Maybe there's some more free speed in there...
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:51 PM   #809 (permalink)
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Christ: Tom's car uses an Alternating Current motor. AC costs lots more, but is more efficient, and regenerative braking is practically built in. Do a web search for "AC regenerative Brakes" for the theory of how it works.

All modern hybrid cars use AC motors.

DC electric conversions often use the microswitch on the pot box to connect or disconnect the main contactor. I think all that clicking would drive me crazy! Seems like overkill. I did get the potbox with the microswitch with the idea that I could rig it up like that later if I want.

MetroMPG: yeah, check your pot, it's pretty easy to be mid-adjusted. Just check it with an ohm-meter and make sure you are getting the full range.

That would be fantastic if there was a little more power hiding in there!!!
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:57 PM   #810 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
All modern hybrid cars use AC motors.
So that requires the use of a DC/AC convertor, right? All electronics I've ever fixed use DC current... so I'm kind of wondering how it would be more efficient to have DC batteries converting to AC voltage... is there a lossless convertor out there somewhere? Or is it more like a rotating contact switch that alternates the current...

I guess I'll google it and hope I can find a diagram somewhere....

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