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ME_Andy 05-06-2017 08:42 PM

ME_Andy's fleet
Figured it's time to start my own thread.

The Leaf we got used for a song just got its first serious mod... A ceramic tint, since temps are getting higher and higher. I figure the $300 will pay for itself eventually, in battery protection. They say it rejects 73%of solar energy.

The Cruze is at 42,000 miles and still driving like new. In fact, an Estonian asked me if it is an electric because it's apparently much quieter than the jalopies he's used to. Its mod are:
Spare delete
Partial grill block
Underbody shield

Eventually I'll put in a lithium battery of some type. I'm also interested in LED headlights and long oil change intervals. An interesting observation... I haven't rotated the tires in about 12k miles, and I noticed the rears are wearing faster. I'm hoping these original tires last 60k.

ME_Andy 05-06-2017 09:22 PM

It's not hard to improve the Cruze LS splash shield with parts from the higher trims.

ME_Andy 06-04-2017 03:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Two of the Leaf's wheel covers were rattling because the plastic tabs were worn down. So I painted some JB Weld on. Yep, I used spaghetti. (Apologies for the low-res image -- the forum max is only 100-some kB.)

Attachment 21908

I have a used oil analysis coming soon... Looking forward to the results of a 6500 mile Castrol Magnatec run in the Cruze.

ME_Andy 06-10-2017 02:20 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Never seen a bad oil analysis from Castrol Magnatec, and here's another sample from my car in its favor. Next up is a 12,000-mile run with Mobil 1 Extended Protection. If wear results are anywhere near as good as those with Magnatec, I'll stick with the Mobil 1 EP because once/year changes are so darn convenient.

At, they say 1 ppm iron per thousand miles is the gold standard -- this came in at 0.7 ppm iron/thousand miles.
Attachment 21941

ME_Andy 03-28-2018 10:56 PM

I finally got the results from a longer run with Mobil 1 EP 5W-30. I did change the filter at 6000 miles but didn't need to add any more oil. Results were very good but not quite as good as the Magnatec on a shorter run. Plus, my mpg seemed to be dropping considerably towards the end. I think I'll stick with Magnatec and ~8000 miles.

The Leaf is doing great. All battery bars remain at 31,000 miles but we had to replace the lead-acid accessory battery. I've also become aware that I should change the brake fluid soon.

ME_Andy 11-22-2018 01:17 AM

Bought a LiFePO4 battery
My Cruze lead-acid battery is about to be 5 years old so I'm pulling the trigger on a Christmas present for myself. Bioenno Power 12V, 500 CCA, 20-30 Ah "lead acid equivalent." 4.4 pound weight. The website says it can handle a brief spike to 625 CCA. I'll put a supercapacitor in parallel, if I have to...

With the BLACKFRIDAY promo code, it's 15% off, so my total cost will be $216. That's about the same as a high-end lead-acid battery, anyway. I'm very excited.

I'm currently googling whether I can charge this battery up with a power supply or if I should spend the extra $15 for a charger. I guess I can charge it with a power supply.

In other car news, I had to replace the Cruze thermostat and the Leaf accessory battery, but other than that, the cars have needed 0 repairs. :)

ME_Andy 11-22-2018 01:34 AM

Here's a good web resource for how to charge a LiFePO4 cell.

It looks like there are 4 cells in series. It's recommended to switch to "constant voltage" charging at 3.65V volts per cell. But to reach the ~13V of a car battery, I will never get into the "constant voltage" charging zone. So I guess I will slowly crank up the charging voltage until I hit whatever final voltage matches the lead-acid battery it's replacing. Unless one of you wise people advises otherwise ;)

That's what intuition would have had me do, anyway.

ME_Andy 12-06-2018 09:09 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The LiFePO4 battery is in! And it starts the car just fine. I wedged it in with some foam blocks and sprayed some anti-corrosion stuff on the terminals.

It took some creativity to make the connections, though. The battery terminals are a lot smaller than the original. I should properly re-terminate the cables one of these days.

I think this is a no-brainer mod when a battery needs replacement because the LiFePO4 should last 2x longer than lead-acid.

ME_Andy 12-28-2018 01:32 PM

The Leaf lost its first battery bar at ~4.5 years old and 39,500 miles. But, we still get a range of 85-90 miles due to efficient driving. That's a pretty good run for a car that spent its life in the heat of Georgia and Texas, I think. The garage will often be 110*+ in the summer.

It was rarely fast-charged which helped a lot, I think. My wife didn't notice the missing bar yet and I'm not planning to spoil her excellent opinion of the car.

ME_Andy 12-31-2018 02:10 PM

A bungie for the battery
1 Attachment(s)
I bought a flat bungee cord to hold the battery down. It works pretty well and the length is adjustable from, like, 6" to ridiculously long. This is the exact one I bought:

There wasn't a great place to clip the bungee so I drilled 2 tiny holes and looped a zip tie through it. The bungee hooks on there great.

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