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Old 05-05-2009, 03:21 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Sorry, this will be long, you should check your batteries before you give up, if you want to replace with non-miles batteries you will need to do something similar to what I've done either wiring them into the back of the rear seat or clearing out your spare tire area for extra battery space.

If you do decide to get all new and trash the old batteries LET ME KNOW as I WILL TAKE THEM!!! I will pay the scrap value for them if you are nearby should you decide to get rid of them.

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Originally Posted by mspradz View Post
I bought a 2005 Miles ZX40 electric vehicle in July and I think the batteries are dead. It worked a little in July and August but then it died and I had to have it towed back to my house. I have been searching the net to find out how to purchase new batteries and it has been difficult to find this information. Any suggestions?
First, Did you try contacting Miles itself? Doug Rosen (the owner) is very helpfull.
Miles Electric Vehicles
310-390-4890

I am very tempted to order one battery myself (yes they do sell them), the batteries aren't as bad as some describe them to be but they work best if used which yours and mine probably weren't. I think they are an OK value for large capacity AGM's and they obviously fit without any "work"

Anyway I myself received a car with 4 "bad" unused batteries, I eventually brought them into a local mom & pop battery mart and they ran them on an automatic high amperage charge/discharge desulphating charger for a few days and 2 of the 4 came back. On my own I brought back 1 more battery and the last just keeps dropping in voltage down to around 11v and is probably shot.

If you know of any small locally owned battery places (especially ones that service golf carts) find out if they will cycle and desulphate your batteries for a small fee, state that you think they are probably on their way out. The place I brought mine to did it free.

Also I would strongly recommend before you buy any batteries that you do the following.
1. Buy a multmeter
2. Buy a cheap 10-20 amp automatic DIGITAL 12v battery charger.
(or a pair of jumper cables to hookup to your car whiles its running if you aren't afraid of doing it that way)
3. Buy a cheap battery tester/ discharger from harbor freight (or some place similar)

These batteries are fairly durable but once they get "screwed up" you need to charge them rapidly then discharge rapidly.

To check your batteries....
(the miles website has a file on how to fix bad batteries, you can ask them for access when you call)

After your vehicle finishes charging, check the voltages of each of your batteries, if one is significantly lower than the others hookup the 12v battery charger and let it charge until it finishes.

Let the batteries sit overnight with the charger unplugged, check the voltages in the morning. This reading will be your resting voltage, it should be around 13.2 volts if the batteries are in really good condition, around 12.6 volts if they are moderate to good conditionl. Below 12.6v and the battery is likely failing but don't give up on it instantly, cycling it with the small 12v battery charger (or better yet a pair of jumper cables and your cars alternator) and then discharging it with your battery discharger can make it start coming back. Or like I said there are places that can do it more quickly and effectively if you look around

My guess is if you check you will probably find only a few of your batteries (possibly one) are not up to the proper charge level (which is around 13.2v for these batteries)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
Replacing the batteries is easy. Pull one out. Measure it. Go to Walmart and buy a bunch of the same size!

Put them in. It's real easy.
Its easy but not that easy, you will need to put some styrofoam, plywood or whatever to hold up/hold in the batteries you buy as the ones in the car are very odd large 12v batteries (6.4"x18.35"). The size is such that 2 normal 12v are way too small, need to be mounted 90 degrees differently (a c-clip and wire routing has to be changed) and you need to tie them down (and the range sucks from them compared to the 101lb Tianjan AGMs) And the 4x 6 volt batteries are too wide/long to fit in the compartments for the pair of 12v miles batteries.

Anyway if you don't like the miles battery the cheap models you can get at wallmart and other places will need to be 6 volt or 8 volt to get any range, take care on what you select as they likely won't fit without some effort AND the car has 2 24 volt bins of batteries one in the front and one in the rear under the seat, THEY MUST BE 24v as there are 24v electronics hooked up to each pack separately.

I've found that if you take out the top metal battery holdown rack and put a piece of plywood under you can fit 3x 8 volt trojan T-875/895 batteries in place of each 12v set. This is probably the easiest (albeit not perfect) way of replacing the batteries with non-miles batteries. If you go with 6 volt batteries look at the picture of my car. (that is what you will have to do)

Or you need to clear out the spare tire area.

(also remember non-miles batteries will require the copper bus bars replaced with a normal battery cable for terminal type batteries available from any Fleet farm or store that sells deepcycles as the bus bars are sized specifically for the lug spacing on the miles battery)

Good Luck, if you have specific questions feel free to ask, I have been there done that and yes batteries ARE available from Miles.

But you can get cheaper batteries elsewhere but DO NOT BUY 12volt deepcycles as you will be VERY dissappointed.

I also have some email addies I should give you of dealers that are more helpfull providing mods and suggestions.

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Last edited by rmay635703; 05-05-2009 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #32 (permalink)
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WHile I am here I might as well post a progress report on what I've been doing, the main thing is USING THE VAN, but I have done a few minor things.

I have purchased 4 junkyard Trojan t1275 12v batteries the place I bought them from added acid to make them appear to be much better than they are.

What I've done is I use the 2 original Miles 12v 150ahr AGM batteries in the front bin and a set of (now 5) 12v batteries in the rear bin, I have drug my feet on converting the batteries or dumping the acid as I would do with a 6v battery because 12v FLA batteries love to short out during the rejuvinating process.

Right now my range is around 18miles techinically I could drive a little further but it would be very hard on the poor batteries in the back.

I also found that inflating the tires to 60psi, replacing the gear oil with synthetic and a little moly on the bearings I can keep and sustain my speed around 30-32mph depending on my battery level on flat ground.

At the moment the van is sufficient for everything we do locally Oh, and here are some pictures.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:21 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Is there a certain "size" on those batteries? Group 34 for example?

I looked on the MIles web page, and only saw that the batteries are listed as "150ah AGM". That DOES sound like a weird size.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:17 AM   #34 (permalink)
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They are a cross between Group 2E and a 97r (lol, the closest size is 2E but they are wider and taller)

On the batteries is L2404 and on the front GFM150 my guess is they are a chinese standard and something worth noting the 150ahr seems to be the UNDER LOAD capacity with peukert figured not the nominal capacity which is why its hard to get a battery that performs similarly to these gigantic batteries.

If he wanted 4 6 volt batteries in the rear pack he would need to remove the battery charger and reroute it up front, one of the dealers said to remove the front grill and slide stuff around to fit in the 4 6 volt batteries but some new battery hold downs would need to be made as they just float there over the motor on a few carefully placed strips of metal.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:42 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Well, I have finally done it, sadly its temporary.

I placed 3 of my ancient trojan T-875 8 volt batteries in place of the two 12v 1275's in the back of the ZX40 and my range went from roughly 18miles to 40 miles (possibly a little further but one battery goes lower than it should around 40 miles and I need to reduce speed)

With a 40miles range I can go two towns over and back, I can go anywhere in wausau and back, I can go to Mosinee and back. This is nice.

Sadly my top speed dropped from a peak of about 30-32mph down to around 28mph, the batteries have more capacity but at a slightly lower voltage so my speed is lower, that and they weigh more. If they didn't have 18,000 miles on them they might have a higher voltage

I stole the batteries from my C-car which has some shredded unlabled white wires that I am still trying to sort out (my C-car was running with burnt wires, very strange as I don't know what the disconnected devices did)

Now I really need to get a pair of replacement chinaman 101lb 150ahr AGM batteries @ $250 each I am waiting Funny thing is I think I am drawing more than 150ahr 9.6kw used on a 48v pack and still 50% battery capacity something just aint right.

Too bad no one locally has a good test station, I would like to test one of these for its real capacity, it appears 150ahr is the rating under load to 50% capacity, if that is true we have a 300ahr AGM which at $250 is a steal.

Cheers
Ryan
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:18 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Did you ever get your speed conundrum figured out?

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Old 03-09-2010, 07:36 PM   #37 (permalink)
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We have just been using the van AS-is. Though I added an ammeter and 12v meter.

We have purchased a new set of greensaver 6v 250ahr batteries which seem to be working "OK" thus far

When we do want an occasional increase in speed I have a field reduction setup which can move the van up to about 35mph or so but only during "optimal" conditions.

Normal speed is stuck between 28-33mph depending on the temperature outside.

Ideally we would move to 72v and regear into 3rd, sadly the transmission is just too expensive and far away to justify and 72v won't work since I have a nice and expensive 48v set of greensavers in the van for testing. Also voltage moves require

1. New controller
2. New charger
3. Royally messed up battery box configurations (not sure where to put them when using 6v golf cart type)
4. Very strange inbalanced wiring to the dash and contactors

I would love to have a transmission (more than 72v actually) but can't justify it.

Since it does what we need it to do at 28mph around town why mess with a good thing? Also at 48v at top speed we are only using 144 watt/mile

Which ain't half bad!

I have considered a bypass contactor, sadly though the batteries for the bypass would have to go in the back of the vehicle REALLY far away from the motor, bleh! And I already have 3 sitting on the ass end of the car now which makes for more drag and wear on the rearend.

Cheers
Ryan
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I guess I'm not really familiar with the DC cars. Our Miles is a 72 volt, AC drive. It hits the 35 mph legal limitation without complaint. I'm sure it would do a brisk 40 mph.

Have you reprogramed the controller?

~Jimbo
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:46 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oval_Overload View Post
Have you reprogramed the controller?

~Jimbo
LoL, A curtis 1204 either works... poorly or not at all

In any event my car is serial number 29, it is one of the very first made and is so early it does not even have the "Standard" heat that is supposed to be included.

Anyway Series motors only go faster at higher volts or with a transmission (gears).

Although it would be rather interesting to install a 48v AC drive motor & controller in there or a perminent mag motor. Any volunteers to build a controller and locate a motor that can spin high RPM at 48v

I never have found the proper spec for the motor shaft, from what I hear it is rather odd and non-standard though.

Cheers
Ryan
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:58 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Well I ended up replacing the hacksaw blade field reduction resistor with a long section of heavy guage wire and sucess!

I now can hit 38mph on flat ground with a slight tail wind, 35mph is reliable under most conditions and 33mph into the wind on a slight incline.

Trouble is my amps are around 125amps at 33mph into a headwind up an incline and about 100amps at 38mph with this new resistor.

I really wish a decent variable field reduction schematic would be made, depending on the situation more or less field reduction works better.

Cheers
Ryan

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