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Old 02-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car went belt commando today... prelim. +10%FE

I've been plotting and planning to quit using my serpentine belt for awhile now. Basically since I started looking for a FE toy car - I like the 1.9l engine in my car because the water pump (like many 4cyl cars) is driven by the timing belt, and the engine is a non-interference one so when the timing belt breaks, (I'm pushing it with 160k on this one) I'm just out a few hours, not a motor.

Anywho.... (I like to write)

I installed my fully automatic battery charger and yellow-top Optima (deep cycle) a month ago and have been plugging in nightly. I was going to wait until I got my mpguino dialed in exactly, but I started getting impatient.

I removed my belt today as I left work - it takes about 2 minutes, since I can take it off the alternator and when I release the belt tensioner, it stays in place against the side of the alt. pulley. My serpentine belt spins the power steering, alternator, and air conditioner.
Comparing against my identical commute on Friday, with near identical temperature, I realized a 10% increase. Not as high as I had hoped, but it's only one trial, and it's only going to be better when it's warmer!!

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Old 02-19-2009, 12:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to another "AlterNAUGHTer"

Good on ya!

I've been a bit of a alternatorless evangelist so I'm happy to have another convert.

10% is huge when it come to ecomods. Nice work.

Just by coincidence, I finally installed my ammeter and voltage gauge today and boy do those brake lights eat up amps! LED's coming up.

My soon to be realized plan is to run three 6 volt deep cycles. 18 volts is a bit high, I know, but I think there are more gains to be had from keeping the voltage well above 12. Better yet would be 2, 8V deep cycles but I'm getting some t-105s for free so I'll take what I can get.

Good that you can pop on your belt so quick. I usually keep a yellow top for my backup because I have removed my alt. completely. Idealist? or fool?

What's your resting voltage after a commute?

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange4boy View Post
Good that you can pop on your belt so quick. I usually keep a yellow top for my backup because I have removed my alt. completely. Idealist? or fool?

What's your resting voltage after a commute?
re: idealist or fool? BOTH! We all are!

To be honest, I haven't checked yet - am planning on checking tomorrow. I knew that even without my trickle charger, my car should be able to make it to friday getting home without re-charging since I took the belt off Wednesday leaving work. (idealist, fool, trusting calculations!)
I only have a 20 minute drive and I minimize starter use by light timing my clutch starts - I only crank it once or twice per commute besides initial startup.
I'll report tomorrow with the voltage after going to work and back. My goal is to get some of the cheapie harbor freight solar panels and drop them into the roof. Just pricey. I look forward to taking the reciprocating saw to the car while the neighbors watch in terror.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You absolutely MUST photograph the surgery!
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds promising. Looking forward to more details ... and surgery.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Haven't purchased the PV panels yet. It is a definite, though.

Voltage was at 12.05 today when I got home. I think it was fully charged when I left, but I'm not sure. I had to make both trips with headlights on since I stayed late at work.

I have a 175 mile trip Sunday-Tuesday; I will test on the way home how far I can go without dropping below 12V on a straight road trip.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Exciting stuff, looking forward to hearing more.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just got my Optima yellow top last week. Don't know yet what difference it's going to make, but couldn't really trust the 7 year old battery in the cold anyway. I also got a cigarette lighter volt meter, which I can't find a link for now, at Wal-mart for $15. My trucks got three belts instead of a serpentine and I'm trying to modify it so I don't need them one at a time. The big thing I want to know is how all you alternatorless guys keep the car from constantly complaining about the battery being low, since any thing under 13.5 sets off the dumby light? I see how oranges idea would work, but I didn't want have to carry around 3 6v bats and I question whether 2 8v bats would even maintain enough juice to keep the voltage above 13.5 for long.

As for the solar panels, don't mess with the cheap Chinese panels you get from Harbor Freight. They don't have the energy/surface area density that the more expensive samsungs or GEs do. I suppose that may not be important if all you want is trickle charging a not oft used battery sans alternator, but if you want to work your way into the most power on a cars surface area you're going to have to pay for. At least that's what I found when I looked.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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gascort -

I shake your virtual hand.

Hows does the powerless-steering feel?

CarloSW2
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Extragoode - I haven't gotten a solution to the dummy light. It's fine as a reminder that I have the power turned on to the ignition and computer though. I agree; cheapie panels won't do much, but I don't need them to do much, and this car will likely never be propelled as an EV. (Of course, that would be cool!!!) If I could use the extra juice to feed my house or garage after the battery's charged, it might be worth getting better panels, but if not, a big waste of money...

CarloSW2 - powerless steering is easy in this car. I only notice it below 5 mph. Probably not gaining me much by having it not running either, because it's not used much.
I might loop the lines together soon, bypassing the pump, to make it even easier.
Thanks for the handshake!

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