Right FrontTilting BedMotor, Controller, and DC/DC CnvtrDashboard GaugesBattery CompartmentRear ViewIt is a truck too!
OwnerEd Thomas
LocationPearisburg, Virginia United States map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1985 Volkswagen Vanagon / Crew Cab
Vanagon GL. with rear body removed and tube stub frame installed.
MotorAdvanced DC FB4001 Series Wound DC
Drivetrain4 Speed Manual, Clutchless design using EV America adapter plate and motor coupling.
ControllerCurtis 1231C-8601
Batteries24 NAPA 8144, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Napa part number 8144. Manufactured by Deka, East Penn Mfg. Same battery as Deka GC-15.
System Voltage144 Volts
ChargerQuick Charge 144 Volt 110/220
Robust (heavy), but very nice charger. Works great!
HeaterPropex heatsource campervan heater. WebPage
distributed in the US by:
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Excellent heater and excellent companies to do business with. Westyventures ships fast!! I ordered at noon and had the tracking number before 5:00.
DC/DC Converter Chennic JCDI-14412
Chinese made DC/DC convertor. Works well so far.
Added a contactor and switch to allow the converter to be turned off and on from the driver seat.
InstrumentationWestberg 400 amp ampmeter
Westberg 180 volt Voltmeter
Sun 12 volt voltmeter
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Actually 70+. It was pulling 325 amps on a long flat road to keep 70 mph.
AccelerationAcceleration to 40 is faster than a gas vanagon. After that it reminds me very much of a 1968 VW Westphalia I used to own -- especially on the hills. Also, I don't "peg" the amp meter. I usually try to keep the amps between 200 and 300 on a hill and when accelerating. It could go faster, quicker.
Range65 Miles (104 Kilometers)
I drove 32 miles at speeds around 45 to 50 and climbed a total of 1600 ft and the batteries were about 40% discharged. On the flat I would guess I could easily 65 miles traveling at similar speeds.
The greatest distance was 45 miles starting out with a 80% charge. On this trip the batteries were about 80% discharged at the end.
EV Miles
Start:100,721 Miles (162,060 Kilometers)
Current:114,454 Miles (184,156 Kilometers)
Total:13,733 Miles (22,096 Kilometers)
    As of 4/11/2012
Seating Capacity5 adults
Curb Weight4,100 Pounds (1,863 Kilograms)
About 900 lbs was removed by the body modification and engine removal. The weight without batteries is 2590 pounds This is about 700 pounds under the stock curb weight. The battery pack weighs 1500 lbs. So, about 37% of total weight is batteries.
TiresUniroyal 205/70 R14
Rolling Resistance (0.08)
See WebPage
Conversion TimeWay too much time (Many, many hours) spent on body work. But shed about 900 pounds. So far about 40 hours stripping out motor, radiator, fuel tank, clutch pedal, slave cylinder, heater cores, etc. about 8 hours to install the motor.
Additional FeaturesAluminum belly plate to improve aerodynamics. Wolfsburg series ground effects fiberglass bumpers to improve weight and aerodynamics. Front lower grill removed and filled.

6-29-10 Conversion is completed!!! Put 6 quick miles on it today on the first battery cycle. Got to 50 on a slight incline drawing around 250-300 amps.

8-10-10: Need to extend the belly plate back behind the front wheels to see if I clean up the air flow on the bottom.

12-20-10: The cold lately has a definite impact. Less range a little slower acceleration, but still much fun to drive. Had it on ice and snow and it did very well.

2-13-11: Added pack heaters to keep the battery pack nice warm to regain my range.

5-15-11: Removed pack heaters, batteries were getting warm (Approx 100F) due to the heaters insulation properties. Needless to say, but the pack heaters worked great in late winter and early spring.

5-18-11: Replaced broken speedometer/odometer.

6-2-11: Iota DC/DC converter packed up today. Will just charge the accessory battery separately till I find a better DC/DC converter.

7-6-11: One Year and 7,675 miles!!!

9-15-11: Finally installed a replacement DC/DC converter. Completely sealed unit with a heavy surrounding heat sink. Hopefully, it will hold up for a while.

9-21-11: 10,000 miles! Still on first battery pack. When the truck is used during the week, for the most part it is either running or on the charger. It sees about 60 to 70 miles a day. I still wonder if this type usage is good or bad for the pack -- it never cools off.

11-29-11: 12,000 miles. First battery pack is still performing good. Now have proper heat. Installed a propex heatsource propane camper heater last week. Keeps the cab toasty warm even on the coldest mornings. I also re-installed the pack heaters to keep the batteries warm.

12-20-11: 12,589 miles. Brush holder ring broke and contacted commutator. 6 of 8 brushes totaled. Commutator deeply scored. Propex heater worked well while I waited for a tow in freezing weather at 5:00 am. Contacted local electric motor shop and was quoted $740 for repair.

12-23-11: 12,589 miles. Realized that ADC has 2 year warranty on motor. EvAmerica closed for Christmas till January.

1-29-12: To make a long story short. ADC seems to have a very dis-functional warranty service. If it wasn't for Bob at EvAmerica, I would have been out of luck. But thanks to his persistence, I finally received new parts about three weeks after ADC said they would ship them out. I put the motor in a large lathe at work and turned the commutator smooth. Had to take away more material than I had hoped to get a smooth surface. I think the wobbling brushes wore an irregular pattern on the commutator surface. The cracks in the brush ring had definite aging signs. INSPECTING THE BRUSHES AND BRUSH RING ASSEMBLY WHEN YOU WATER THE BATTERIES is a very good idea.

If anyone has had a similar situation with a brush ring failure, I would like to hear about it.

2-6-12: Installed repaired motor. Let transmission down to far to make install easier and let a CV joint slip apart un-noticed. CV joint promptly shattered as soon as I tried to move the truck.

2-20-12: Installed new CV joint. Motor seems stiff too. Removed motor. Need to research this.

3-8-12: Wasn't sure that bearings were fulled seated in the case ends. Supported motor in hydraulic press and applied very gentle pressure. Motor made a loud popping sound as one bearing took its proper seating. Motor turns easily now. No wobble or excessive end play on spindle ends.

3-16-12: 12,589 miles. Installed new axle on passenger side it lives again! One CV was very loose, it fell apart as soon as it was unbolted from the truck.

3-19-12: 12,709 miles. Little trucks first commute back to work since December. Removed battery heaters from pack yesterday. Did several small cycles on batteries over weekend to give them some exercise. Everything seems to be working well. Thanks again to Bob at EVAmerica for all his help and advice.

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