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Old 01-31-2009, 05:29 PM   #111 (permalink)
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I got one of these rather than the stand, Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices Nice stand.

Food processors have a lot of 55 gallon barrels, Mine had grape juice in them. Another option is to ask the restaurant to put the oil back in the Cubes. And SOMETIMES restaurants will buy cooking oil in 55 gallon drums, if you find one you are all set.

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Old 02-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #112 (permalink)
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While this thread has come to talking about bio-diesel, the real focus is getting off gasoline.

I am realizing it's going to take more time than I think to convert the truck to diesel, and I will still need to get around while I am doing that.

Rather than trying to beg, borrow, or steal transportation while I convert the truck, I think upgrading my Electro-Metro may increase its range enough to satisfy most of my driving needs.

That is to say that between an upgraded Electro-Metro and occasionally borrowing my wife's car, I shouldn't need to buy a a different car or borrow one for the whole summer.

My plan is to build two battery boxes sunk into the Metro so that I can carry a total of 12 batteries. That will give me two strings of 6 batteries - a 72 volt system - the most that my charger and controller will support.

While the car won't drive any faster, I will have double the battery capacity, meaning I will be able to drive twice as far.

If by some chance, I can get an inexpensive 120 or 144V controller, all I have to do is swap some cabling around to run the batteries in series. (Which means more range AND speed!)

I should be able to knock out the Metro upgrade in the spring and really hop on Bio-dieseling up the truck after that.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Well, if you're keeping the truck as is, and improving performance on the E-Metro, why not keep the Mercedes to just play with? If you don't require it for travel, you can do all sorts of Unholy Mods to the Mercedes chassis, suspension etc...in the name of SCIENCE!

Seriously though, why not? Take out extraneous weight, grab a friend with a cutting torch for any serious work, plot out Bodymods in Coroplast and execute in Fiberglass-heck, even I can do fiberglass panels and i'm an idiot...

All this will(naturally) take a little money and a lot of labor, but if you don't need the Mercedes you can take your own sweet time with it. I mean, you BUILT YOUR OWN EV! Ecomodding and tightening a Mercedes should be sweet, sweet cake...if nothing else, trim and shorten the frame and make a Kit-built out of it.

Mmm...cake. S'cuse me, I need to make a snack run...
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #114 (permalink)
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I am much more interested in driving a bio-diesel truck than I am in driving the Mercedes at all, but I LOVE your attitude about it!

Besides the truck conversion to bio-diesel, I am also planning an aerocap, and lowering it, probably wheel covers and rear wheel skirts too.

All that's getting pretty fancy though.

I need to get some other things in order first. Improving the Metro seems like the thing that would get me the most improvement the quickest.

Besides that, the group working on the bio-diesel is really ramping up, and I need to get in that while I can.

I just got BIODIESEL: BASICS AND BEYOND by William Kemp from the library and I am plowing through that.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:28 AM   #115 (permalink)
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Ok, Ben... the last post was Feb when it was cold and snowy, now it is May and should be warm and toasty. What is the next plan on the time line!!!!
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #116 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lectruck View Post
now it is May and should be warm and toasty.
Warm and toasty! Where do you live? FLORIDA!? (Oh wait!, you do!)

Seriously though, we are finally starting to get decent weather. My only workspace is my driveway, so having some decent weather is very important.

A big thing is that I needed to get my alternative vehicles working well enough to be able to get around while my truck is on blocks.

I have had some problems getting the Metro really going for decent range. I took all my used gel batteries in to a battery shop to have them charge/discharge and load test the batts to tell me which ones are best.

Once I get them back and know which are the best to pick from, I should be able to FINALLY get some decent range out of the Metro.

I have also been busy with various projects helping others get going with electric vehicles and working on a home greywater system which should save me over $300 a year on water bills!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:38 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Raine View Post
ok, i just had an idea after reading this. i was going to suggest the "4x4 front axle driven by electric motor" idea again (for the s-10, with the existing drivetrain going to the rear), but i got to thinking.....


hook it to a transfer case instead. find a transfer case from a 4x4 s-10 (and some parts off the 4x4 transmission). hook the electric motor to the output that would normally go to the front wheels. shift transfer case into 4x4 and transmission into N to drive on electric only. that would make a 1 speed electric for around town. shift transfer case back into 2wd to drive on gas-only.

i don't know, i may be way out in left field, but thought i would throw it out there anyway.
Had a similar but different idea from left field: Use a transfer case, but the other way round: hook where the motor would normally go to the s-10's rear wheel driveshaft, then the Merc diesel to the xfers front wheel driveshaft, and an electric motor to the xfers rear wheel driveshaft.

You could then use the transfer case's shifter to choose between electric only (2hi) both electric and diesel (4hi), and 4low, since it's backwards, would give you a super high range for the highway.

The easiest way (ha ha!) to use a transfer case like that would to have the diesel in the bed, and the electric motor running through your current s-10 transmission. You'd loose some of your bed space, but I think you were talking about covering your bed anyway, and this way, you'd still be able to tow long distances, unlike with my first thought, which was turn the Merc into a pusher trailer and convert the s-10 to electric.

The placement of the diesel in the bed is for 2 reasons: The electric uses the existing transmission; to line things up correctly to use the transfer case in the above mentioned manner. (plus there's just something about a rear engined truck: I've pondered (though never seriously considered doing) putting a front-wheel drive engine, drivetrain, and wheels in the back of a pickup to replace the rear wheels and drivetrain.)

Totally out of left field, but might spur some different ideas too.

Last edited by Hugh Jim Bissel; 05-13-2009 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: clarity and additions
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #118 (permalink)
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I actually briefly entertained the idea of doing something like a rear engine/front motor hybrid.

The trouble is that hybrids make everything at least twice as complicated, and the engine would end up in the bed, taking up all my cargo space.

The current plan is just straight bio-diesel for the truck, and I am going to work on a Hybrid Generator trailer that I can use on the motorcycle or Citicar.

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