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Old 09-08-2015, 09:48 PM   #51 (permalink)
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bummer, I ASSumed that the Volt was like my i-MiEV, which can do 16A on both 120V and 240V. Strange impediment to have, since the car-side components are already sized for 16A current...

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Old 09-08-2015, 09:54 PM   #52 (permalink)
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make the trailer hitch cargo container streamlined

The cargo container could look like a bob tail to help cut down the turbulence. Make the cargo container should be as wide as the car but can taper as it gets further away from the car. That should cut down on turbulence
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:15 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyDrew View Post
That's the kind of suggestions I'm looking for. I have been thinking about mirror deletes but not sure how to go about it without ruining the appearance. Maybe a molded fg cap similar to the mirror base. Just looking for mods that won't permanently affect the car negatively. Gm already got most of the low hanging fruit but left some for fear of the general public acceptance I'm sure.

Check your state laws . Rhe mirrors may be required for safety .

Fender skirts ?

Jack the car up & look . Maybe some plastic / sheet metal can be added for streamlining ?

God bless
Wyr
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:10 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Ideas for extending Volt range

If price was no option, I'd say give it a better battery. Maybe you could find a wrecked electric, and put another battery in parallel.
Offer to run another conductor to the electrical outlet you use at work, and make it 240 VAC. Materials wouldn't cost much. If it's in conduit it would be very easy. You could put a gang box on it, keep 120, and add 240 beside it.
Use 0W30 Mobil 1 in the engine, and put Tufoil in it. I use it, and it seems to work. If the Volt has any sort of gear box or differential, use the lightest multigrade oil you can, and add tufoil.
Try Bosch spark plugs with the four electrodes on the sides, I think they call them "crossfire". They increase engine efficiency by allowing better flame propagation. You could use less spark advance, since the electrodes run a bit cooler, predetonation is a bit less likely. You could also run a bit leaner fuel air ratio, since they give better ignition.
The manufacturers of hydrocarbon refrigerant replacements claim they increase the thermal efficiencies of heat pumps(air conditioners). I tend to believe them, since a lower mass of refrigerant is used. People will tell you they are dangerous, but the refrigerants are much less dangerous than the gasoline already in the car.
Use some sort of baffle, or louvers to modulate air entry through the grill based on whether the AC is being used, the engine is running, or the weather is cold. Not only will this improve aerodynamics, you'll have faster warm ups, and the engine and batteries will stay warmer when parked. Battery performance is related to temperature, try to find what you can about your battery.
According to Wikipedia, the second generation volt(beginning model year 2015) has a better battery, with different chemistry. Find if they are the same size, and shape, and keep an eye out for a totaled one.
Based on WikiP, the battery is made of individual units, that should be able to be swapped out. You may be able to swap some, most or all your units for the new ones. Presumably, the cells are all in series, so you can mix them, if any are in parallel, you must keep the same chemistries in parallel. Since battery voltage changes with temperature, and age, there will be flexibility built into the inverter(s). Some parameters might need to be changed in the computer that monitors the battery.
Try to come up with a way to dump the engine waste heat into the passenger compartment in the winter, rather than using resistance heaters. I think the electric motor is liquid cooled, the inverter may be too, so a small fan/coil unit with associated piping. You may be able to use the ones for liquid cooling computers. There will already be a pump in the system.
LED lighting wherever possible.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:22 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I love streamlined hitch-mounted cargo boxes, but it's hard to build one that actually improves overall mpg compared to no box. A box cavity, on the other hand, offers better return on effort than a removable boat tail. It should also be easier to fab either for a slab-sided ride with sharp rear corners like the Volt!
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1987 F250 Diesel, 6.9L IDI, goes on anything greasy
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt, 170 kW "Gone Postal" twin
1983 Mazda RX-7 electric, 48 kW car show cruiser
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:08 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Just thinking outside the box. I am not to familiar with all the volt mechanics so...
I wonder if you can run the charger while car is motion.
You could make a pack of say four 16000 mAh li-po packs and run the charger/pack from the trunk. Battery weight is 1290g (2.85 lbs) and around $80 us each. 10c discharge on 4 packs would be over 600 amp capability
So 64000 mAh pack @ 16 volts = 12 pounds. Maybe 5-10 pounds for an 12v to 110 inverter. You could charge this pack up while at work with a 110 volt charger.
Also how are the accessories run, 12 vol motors or higher off the main pack as the accessory pack could help run fans etc and save on keeping the 12 v battery charged(does it have one)
Anyhow just throwing out a bone

I was going to make an electric car but the Quebec Government made it impossible to legally safety it so lost interest these days. Personally a Zenn with a lith pack is all most of us need (just take the speed restriction out of the programming lol).

Cheers,
Paul
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:31 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Hacking modern EVs like the Volt, LEAF, i-MIEV, etc.. is a big challenge. The vehicle software is a big unknown, and physical modifications can lead to unforeseen consequences. (Even changing brake lights out to LED has caused trouble codes. That being said, battery boost packs have been added to a few cars using aftermarket chargers. Inputting amps to the battery while the car is in motion is indistinguishable from driving downhill. Same for using a mechanical pusher trailer- the car just sees reduced or load or regen, and doesn't complain.
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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 112 MPGe
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel, 6.9L IDI, goes on anything greasy
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt, 170 kW "Gone Postal" twin
1983 Mazda RX-7 electric, 48 kW car show cruiser
1971 VW Karmann Ghia electric, 300 kW tire-smoker
1965 VW Karmann Ghia cabriolet, 1600cc
Have driven over 100,000 all-electric miles!
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:58 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
It's also worth checking the undertrays. I don't know about the Volt, but OEM ones I've seen (Mirage, 2g Prius, Insight) often leave a lot of room for improvement. And since they're plastic, there's no harm in putting screws into them to add more/smoother coverage with sheets of plastic (eg. coroplast).
The 2011/12 model year Volts have more complete undertrays than 2013-2015. Unfortunately while they will physically fit, the 13/14/15s don't have the mounting studs welded in place as with the 11/12s.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:04 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnorb View Post
I'm also a recent Volt convert...

IIRC, the grill block is shuttered and automatically opens to cool the electronics, battery cooling or ICE radiator as needed. I've never seen mine open... So far I haven't burned a drop of gas.
No, there are no moving grill shutters on 2011-2015 Volts.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:19 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
If not, you could do a partial or even full lower grille block, depending on cooling location/requirements of the electronics.
I do that routinely in cool to cold weather, using urethane water-pipe insulation; the split slips right over the horizontal grill ribs. Two lengths will block most of the lower opening, with one piece alone for temps up to 60 deg F or so.

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