|Location||Pullman, Washington US map|
|Vehicle||1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet |
Great little car. In the ICE
configuration, the car had been previously
lowered about two inches. After
conversion, I had springs wound that would
maintain that ride height.
|Motor||Warfield ImPulse 9 Series Wound DC|
9.25"; 129 lbs; 60 ft/lbs torque;
|Drivetrain||Standard VW 5-speed manual transmission. |
Synthetic gear oil used.
Works well in this car. Mounted on 1/4"
aluminum plate supplied by Electro
Automotive. I may later add a 6' DC
fan, that I have on-hand, for cooling,
if it seems needed. Can't have too much
cooling. For now, no problems, even
with a heavy foot and 90+ deg. air
|Batteries||16 Interstate US125, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded|
Good reliable reasonably priced batteries.
(I would rather have Optima Yellow Tops,
but I'd also "rather not" spend the
|System Voltage||96 Volts|
|Charger||Manzanita Micro PFC20|
Good piece of equipment by Rich Rudman.
I usually charge from a 120VAC 20-amp
outlet I installed. I find that after a
25-mile run, it recharges the pack in
about five-six hours, including an hour
of low current "balancing" at the end.
UPDATE: July 2011. Using 240 VAC, I
find it takes about one hour to
recharge for every ten miles driven. I
also have a 2.5 kW grid-tie solar
system, which just about offsets the
car charging cost. Did I say "Free
Travel?" Well ... almost!
|Heater||None yet. I removed and saved all the |
original VW heater/AC housing and
hardware. This fall I will build a 120V
electric "quartz type" ceramic heater
into the heater box. I will use the
original VW heater fan to circulate the
UPDATE: July 2011. Still no heater. I
am going to drop the resistance heater
idea. Instead, I will re install the
hot water heater system hardware, using
a new heater core. I will heat with a
1500 watt, 115v, "winter type" coolant
heater and an El-Sid 12v circulating
pump. I can pre-heat the cabin and
switch over to internal power upon
departure. This seems safer and easier,
|DC/DC Converter||CC Power C400|
A little "pricey," but looks nice and
seems to get the job done. What more can
|Instrumentation||State-Of-Charge (SOC); Amps 0-500; Volts: |
|Top Speed||60 MPH (96 KPH)|
Maybe higher: Since both the battery
and motor are new, I haven't pushed it
the limit yet. So far, easily cruises
the nearby state highway at 55 MPH ...
even on modest hills.
UPDATE July, 2011: Top speed a solid
|Acceleration||Acceptable, but no dragster. I can |
with traffic just fine. Again, with a
motor and battery pack, max.
is yet to be determined.
UPDATE: July, 2011. Acceleration quite
acceptable. Quite similar to original
car, up to about 30 MPH. Best
acceleration is using 2nd gear. (1st
gear "runs out of breath" too soon.)
|Range||40 Miles (64 Kilometers)|
So far, runs of 25 miles are easily
handled. Upon return, the SOC meter
usually reads 50%+ remaining. (I
haven't determined if that's a "real"
50% or a "mythical 50%" that evaporates
much quicker than the first 50%. Stay
|Watt Hours/Mile||Using my "Killawatt" and recharging at |
the limiting 15-amps, I usually put in
about 5-7 KWH after a 20-25 mile run.
(Our current electric power rate is
$.05/KWH. Pretty cheap driving!) Later
I will experiment with solar charging.
UPDATE: July 2011. Level cruising at
50-55 MPH, I draw about 200 amps.
|Seating Capacity||Four, however because of the increased |
weight, I try to limit back seat
passengers ... very hard to do!
|Curb Weight||2,939 Pounds (1,335 Kilograms)|
Left front: 851
Right front: 834
Left rear: 600
Right Rear: 654
(Measured with a Longacre "Accuset"
|Conversion Time||I bought the car in 2004 and drove as a |
ICE. The conversion started in April
2007 and was substantially completed in
August 2007. The parts were ordered in
January 2007, however they didn't start
arriving until April. VERY frustrating!
|Conversion Cost||Total cost: About $13,000, including |
the $900 I paid for the car. (The paint
is as I bought it. Someone paid a lot
of money for a beautiful deep purple
job.) I put about $1,500 into
suspension and steering repairs,
including custom wound springs.
|Additional Features||I have installed XM Satellite radio. The car had been |
previously lowered about 2" and I maintained that ... looks
|I love the car and the way it ended up. The performance |
is better than I expected with a 96-volt pack of 6-volt
batteries. I think the larger Curtis controller and the
new ImPulse 9 motor made the difference. Pulling 500 amps
is a piece-of-cake, but I am careful not to exceed the
500 amp/2-min controller limit.
I discovered, after conversion, that the vacuum brake
booster had a leak, causing the vacuum pump to short
cycled ON/OFF. For now, I'm driving with no vacuum boost,
but I have ordered a rebuilt booster, as new one's seem
no longer to be available.
FOLLOW-UP REPORT: July, 2011.
I have put 8500 miles on the car. I drive it pretty
consistently, mainly a 20 mile round-trip to Pullman and
back. From about Nov 15 - March 15, it stays in our
unheated barn. I top the batteries off every few weeks.
Last year, I thought I would need to replace the battery
pack, as it seemed to be getting pretty tired. I am
surprised that this year it is stronger than last year! I
attribute that to two factors: First, I stopped
"equalizing" the pack on every charge. I thought I was
doing the right thing, but I attended a Battery Seminar
(hosted by Electro-Automotive) least year and learned I
was probably killing the batteries. Now, I equalize once
a month. Next, I have switched over to 240vac charging
with my Rudman PFC-20 charger ... which I can charge at
better than 25 amps DC. This added "kick-in-the-pants"
stirs up the batteries and seems to have partially
rejuvenated them from my prior mistreatment.
The car runs beautifully and is a joy to drive. It always
draws favorable comments. There have been no problems or
unexpected maintenance. I did learn a valuable lesson
when tightening battery connects with an uninsulated box
end wrench. It shorted out across half the pack and
created quite a display! Fortunately, no damage done to
either me or the car. The wrench didn't come out as well.
Using the stock VW 5-speed tranny, I have developed
slightly different shift points than I initially used. I
have found that the ImPulse 9 is not a high-speed motor
at 96 volts. I now use 2nd gear from zero to about 25-30
MPH, than shift to 3rd. At around 40-45 MPH, I shift to
4th and cruise at 60-65 MPH, with ease. If I go faster
than these new shift points, the amount of amps I can
pull drops off, with a resultant loss of power.
I changed the leaking vacuum booster, vacuum switch
(better ON/OFF characteristics) and added a "soft-start"
resistor to the circuit. These changes made the vacuum
pump more polite.
I have the hardware (Electro Automotive) to add two more
batteries under the rear floor. When I change battery
packs, I will then add those batteries, making a total of
18. (108 V)
Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! Right now I'm working on
converting a John Deere L110 riding mower to electric.