Two YugosEV EmblemUnder Hood ChangesMotor plateSprocket for connector w/hubChain coupler Neg pack solenoidsMotor bottom viewDash area
OwnerGreg Coleman
LocationMilledgeville, Illinois US map
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Vehicle1991 Yugo GV Plus
Two door sedan, two passenger hatchback now. Was a 4 passenger. Removed the rear seat for future battery possiblity. Also, now used to haul eBay packages to the Post office.
MotorBaldor 8 horsepower, 3000 rpm rating Series Wound DC
170 pounds with a quad brush setup. Also tunable, but don't have the info on that.
DrivetrainStandard 5 speed front wheel drive.
No clutch.
ControllerAlltrax AXE-7245P
New 24-72 Volt 400 Amp programmable. Installed the newer 72 volt unit on 8/11/07. Works great and saved $50.00.
Batteries6 Deka MK Power M24SLDGFT 12 Volt GEL 73.4AH, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Gel
These are the sealed Gel batteries that are used in mobility scooters/chairs etc.
System Voltage72 Volts
Charger Motor Appliances Corp., EVP 7220
Bought a 72 Volt, 20 Amp. charger on eBay. It is a 220 volt unit and charges the pack well.
Heater110 volt. I heat the car in the morning, with a small 110 volt oil heater, while I feed my horses. The rest of the day, I park it in my shop, or if sunny, I leave it out in the sun.
DC/DC Converter
None. I use a separate charger for the vehicle battery. Vector Smart Charger. I also put another deep cycle battery in for the car circuits. Much better for the wipers, headlights etc.
Best move I have made in the design of the car. Over 10 days without charging.
InstrumentationSpeedometer, clock, digital voltmeter and ampmeter.
Top Speed57 MPH (91 KPH)
Since I put a new battery pack in, I have hit 57 mph on flat road with no wind, in 5th gear. The warmer weather is also a big help. I am using 4th gear a lot nore now.
AccelerationAlmost as good as the original 4 cyl. when at 2800 rpm.
Range15 Miles (24 Kilometers)
Found that out when I forgot the keys to my shop and had to drive back home to get them. 15 mile round trip.
Watt Hours/Mile440 Wh/Mile
I only use about 15% of the voltage per 5 mile run.
EV Miles
Current:13,374 Miles (21,518 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity2 adults
Curb Weight1,822 Pounds (828 Kilograms)
Car weighs less now than when gas powered, but not by much.
I hadn't weighed it since the new pack went in. The newer on-board charger is heavier also.
TiresRegular 13" Cooper radial tires that were bought new in 2010. Pressure raised over stock to 38 psi.
Conversion Time3 Months spare time
Conversion CostThe car was free. Licensing and title work cost $350.00. Complete running conversion was under $1,000.00. Bought most of the costly parts on eBay at 1/3 new prices.
Additional FeaturesOriginal fuel door is fitted with a male plug, so drop cord plugs in there.
The grille is blocked off, so rain can't come into the motor bay.
No clutch.
Separate charger for the vehicle original battery to run all power needs, other than propulsion.
Added a new AM/FM Cassette player as the controller makes a buzz when listening to AM.
FM/cassettes keep the country western music flowing.
update. With the new pack running 72volts, the AM portion of the radio works well.
I put 1400 miles on the original Baldor 5 HP motor before I burned up a brush. Replaced brush so it can be used around town at 30 mph or less.
I have never had to push it yet. I have either have made it back to my shop, under low power, or coasted to the front door and crept in.
Thanks greatly to Jerry, I installed the new (to me) 8 HP motor and sold my 48 volt controller and charger to a friend building his first electric truck.
A second battery pack is planned for the rear seat floor area to double the range. I go to a lot of sales in this area and if I can drive my Yugo there, it makes a better expense ratio. I can buy more stuff with the saved gas money.....and that seems good to me.
I love driving by Casey's and not having to stop in.
2/18/07 Update.
They tell you not to mix batteries and I should have known better. I used a larger deep cycle battery as the 6th battery in the set.
Tried to do a distance run and found out that the bigger battery was not as good as I thought. It drug down the whole pack and distance was short. It had 2 weak cells.
Found a 72 Volt new battery charger that I am going to purchase soon.
Removed the heater box to make room for the new charger and the 2 extra batteries.
I plan to put a battery pack in the rear, as soon as I find out how well it works with the front pack.
Had problems with the front disc brakes locking up. Fixed that this morning. The calipers weren't sliding well in the brackets and made way too much brake drag.
The car has had to set outside while some projects in the shop needed space.
Illinois rust took over....
7/12/07 Update!!!
One thing I taught myself to do was ALWAYS put the transmission in neutral and set the parking brake.
I had just topped off the battery pack with my new charger (eBay $98.00 with shipping).
Well, today as I was hooking up a different voltmeter, something went awry and I had full-on motor and wide open speed.
My emergency switch shut it all down, but not before the Altrax controller and the 2 contactors fried themselves.
I still haven't figured out what triggered it, but if the car had been in gear, it would not have been pretty.
So now I am looking for another 72 volt Altrax controller and a pair of sealed contactors.
Be careful out there as there is no warning, when something big might be about to happen.
8/06/07
Found out that Alltrax will warranty their controller and a new one has been sent out to me. New contactors have been purchased and will be installed with the new controller.
8/11/07
New controller arrived and is installed.
Road test feels fine.
1/19/08
Not driving it much because of the snow and a couple weak batteries.
2/15/08
Had to take a tire from my truck down for replacement and used the Yuglet. Charged up the pack and drove it around a bit after dropping off the tire.
Cold out, but sun was warm.
It felt good to get it out and about.
2/17/08
Watching the rain come down and soon, new snow.
Just remembered that I have never run the car with a good 72 volt pack. I just kept adding batteries to the original 48V pack, two of which have died.
I am going to get 3 new batteries soon and do a run with a full 72 volt pack.
3/07/08
Got the last of the 3 new batteries and now have a full pack ready to test.
The weather has been very cold every morning, 0 F to 5 F above, for the past 10 days or so.
I will start to run it home for lunch and see what the performance is like.
I bought a timer, to put in the 220volt line, so I can charge it just before I go to work, (about 1 hour to start).
The electric oil heater works great.
3/08/08
When I got home tonight with the car, I still had 72.5 volts showing. I am charging it for 2 hours tonight and then will charge it, in the morning for an hour to top it off. Temp is 10 F above zero tonight. The car is in a building with an open door.
This should give me a good idea of how the new, full pack will do in cold weather.
I am doing horse chores for a neighbor. Their driveway is solid ice, covered. The front wheel drive works good on ice, but be sure to take the park brake off!!!
That rear end can come around fairly fast, when you are not expecting it!
3/09/08
Even though it was about 15 F degrees this morning, the car ran fine. Looks like I am set for this year.
The DOD is only 20% for each run, so 3 hours of charge brings the packup just fine.
3/12/08
Turned over 2600 miles today.
This new pack is really turning into a good deal.
I was running in 3rd gear most of the time, but it is strong enough to go to 4th and run 40+ mph.
The amps I am pulling are still under 200 at 40mph.
The starting voltage is 80.1 and after a 5 mile run in 4th it still shows 72.3 or so.
Going to have to do a range check soon, as it feels ready to go farther than 15 miles.
Changed the 9 volt gauge, battery today also.
The gauges are isolated from either the accessory battery or the main pack. Keeps things simpler. You can tell when the battery starts to go, as the gauges read very high erratic numbers.
3/16/08
I now charge the pack for 3 hours as soon as I get home in the evening.
Then in the morning, I top it off with 1/2 hr of charge, then go to the shop. Haven't had to add water yet.
3/17/08
Ran the car 30 miles today, running errands, with an hour charge between the 3, ten mile runs.
2710 miles as of tonight.
Checked the tire pressure and the water (non added) and not much else to maintain. The car can't even be greased. Did oil the chain on the coupler.
Checked the setscrews on the motor coupler "just in case", but they were tight.
This is nice, plug it in, clean the windows, shake out the floor mat and drive!!!
3/18/08
I set a new speed record in the Yuglet tonight coming home from work!
I topped off the pack and came home on a rolling blacktop that I don't use much.
It was feeling very strong, so I went into 4th gear and got to 45 mph, shifted to 5th and hit 53 mph on the last flat straight stretch!!
If I had lithiums, I could cruise @ 55mph with no problem. Oh well, maybe some day.
Gas went to $ 3.34 this week. I haven't driven my truck for 4 days.
3/20/08
Car is running well. Used the truck for a 30 mile parts run, but other than that it hasn't moved for 7 days.
2808 miles as of tonight.
Started charging the pack for 6 hours each night and it is doing well.
3/24/08
I thought I had ruined my new pack.
I only showed 48 amps when I pulled into the shop this morning.
I charged it all day and it seemed ok. I now charge it 10 hrs each night. This gives it a good charge plus I charge at noon for an hour.
3/26/08
The pack seems to be doing alright, as the car runs good in 4th gear @ 40 mph.
2848 miles as of tonight. Used my truck for a run home while the car was charging, a couple of times.
I haven't had to add water, so I am not overcharging it.
3/27/08
Even with the cold weather (30 F tonight), it runs fine.
Put some more errand miles on it today. It figures out to about $4.00 per week, for the 7 days for electricity.
4/16/08
3303 miles and running fine...Pack stays up better with the warm weather. Not using any water so far. The gauges eat up a 9 volt battery about every month and a half.
Rain-X works well on the car now that it is going faster.
You can run the wipers less and save battery power.
4/28/08
Put another F&F deep cycle battery in for the vehicle bat. This lets the wipers, radio, turn signals, headlights etc. run a lot stronger and longer between charges.
5/02/08
3505 miles
5/14/08
3610 miles. Still haven't had to charge the vehicle system battery. I have been running the wipers, lights and radio. The battery still shows 12.27 volts after 12 days! I should have done it a couple years ago.
I bought a used tow dolly for $75.00, so I can take the car to an energy fair.
5/19/08
3700 miles. The vehicle battery needed charging after 2 weeks, not bad.
5/22/08
Replaced the 9 volt gauge battery today.
5/26/08
3880 miles. Running well.
6/06/08
4020 miles with no change. Just wash the windows and drive. Checked water and none was needed.
6/19/08
4235 miles. Grinning along.
6/25/08
4306 miles
7/09/08
4425 miles. Pack is slowing down.
Bought a MAXX29 at Wal-Mart to get the size, so I can change my battery trays. The MAXX29 is 125 AH @ about the same price.
Update
The Maxx29 is doing well. I also had a friend give me 4 MK POWER batteries from his wheel chair. 2 are 3 years old and 2 are 2 years old. These are truly DEEP CYCLE and even though they have less AH (73.6), they still out perform the 95 AH lead acids.
7/25/08
4520 miles and put in a new 9volt battery for the gauges.
7/27/08
4557 miles. Going to replace another F&F battery tomorrow, with the last GEL. I think I found a place to get either used MK Power bats or new ones at a good price. My regular charger is doing good on charging the Gels.
7/31/08
4626 miles and running well.
8/08/08
The Gels are doing fine. I ran them down a little more today and they popped right back up with a 3 hr, 20 amp charge.
8/20/08
4909 miles and all looks good.
8/27/08
Found another 13" whitewall!
New battery for the gauges.
5021 miles
9/7/08
5209 miles, F&F marine cells swelling, starting to sag a bit. Maxx29 is doing well, slight swelling.
9/15/08
Gas hit $4.29 here today. 5325 miles and enjoying driving past Casey's.
9/20/08
Drove to my first auction today (only 6 miles from my house), but felt good to not use gas to do it.
5403 miles and no change. Gas is 3.99.
9/25/08
Changed the 9 volt battery for the gauges again.
I could shut them off while driving, but like to watch how my driving is doing = volts per amps per mph.
9/26/08
5505 miles. F&F battery getting weaker. Maxx29 a little weaker also.
Another tire going bad. Left rear losing tread.
10/20/08
Car has been setting for a while. The two last farm & Fleet batteries have died.
Can't seem to find more of the Gels.
Got a couple SLAs, but they are not charging up as well as I thought they would.
11/01/08
Not driving it much as the last F&F battery is lagging and the SLAs I put in aren't doing the job.
I put an ad for the GEL batteries on Craigslist and in 7 local papers, with a picture....nothing has turned up yet.
The medical supply houses won't sell me any used GEL batteries, just $ 229.00 each for new ones.
Not ready to spend that much yet.
11/30/08
Still not finding a couple of good used batteries.
Snowing tonight. Gas is at $1.89 gal.
Can run my truck for a while at that price.
1/4/09
Happy new year....or it would be if I had 2 more batteries.
Found a price of $191.00 each for the Gels.
Gas prices are still low enough that running the truck is not too bad.
Bought another 13" whitewall tire for $2.00 (auction). The tread is lifting on one of the rear tires. Just have to have whitewalls, 1960s thing....
1/5/09
Tested the batteries today after they have been setting for 2 months (with no charge).
The Gels still show a full charge.
3/3/09
And the GELs still show 13+ volts.
The price for the last 2 GELs is down because of the price of lead coming down, about $150.00 each now.
The 9 volt battery went dead for the gauges.
Driving it to the post office, my Mom's and other errands around town. Gas is 1.95.
5/01/09
Bought 2 new Deka Gels and will put them in tomorrow.
Will begin testing the all GEL pack next week.
5/7/09
Been running it short (2 mile) trips and recharging to bring the new cells up to the broken-in stage.
One of the oldest ones was lagging after a run a couple days ago.
Since the run short/charge cycles, it has come back up a bit. The newest pair are not quite there yet.
5647 miles.
The 8 HP motor doesn't even begin to get warm.
The controller is a little warm, but not bad.
The most amps I am pulling, around town, are 160A.
Voltage back in the shop after a run has been 74/75 volts.
The voltage after a charge has been 84V.
5/11/09
The 2 new batteries still aren't quite at peak charge yet.
I have been going on some 2 mile runs and to the post office. The voltage is staying up better.
6/08/09
SUCCESS!!! I bought a battery powered scooter
chair, today at a sale in Polo. In it were 2 Interstate deep cycle gel batteries. Purchase price was $15.00.
Got it home and pulled the batteries. Both hold a charge well and show 12.68 volts.
Tomorrow I will be putting one in with the Dekas to see how it runs. Also selling the scooter at another sale.
If they both check out good, I will have the start of the rear pack.
6/10/09
5700 miles and running well.
The new batteries are coming up well and the 0ne "new" used one (although a lesser AH) is good also.
After a 6 mile run @ 40 mph, there is still a battery reading of 72.3volts.
These batteries put out amps way longer than the LA marine deep cycles that I started with.
I am running it to work and back for a total of 20 miles per day, @ approx 20% DOD.
Motor shows no heat, controller a little and pulling less than 200 amps @ 40mph, (level road).
6/11/09
Had to put in a new 9volt battery for the gauges.
Ran 45mph home on the highway tonight and it ran well.
It only takes 3 hours to recharge the pack, with the 20amp charger.
6/18/09
5804 miles.
Was interviewed today by a local newspaper. Will see how that turns out.
6/24/09
The article came out today and the writer did a good job on it.
6/25/09
5909 miles.
The Gels are working fine. I really like them.
I started with 84 volts - fresh charge. Drove a few extra miles going home (8). Voltage at end 75.4. Ran 50 mph most of the way home in 4th gear.
With these 90 degree days the motor is showing some heat, but not bad. Controller is a little warmer.
I really like the fact that no battery water needs to be checked or added to.
7/02/09
6010 miles. Gas is 2.66 gal. regular
The gel batteries are all running well and very close on voltage. Even the new 50AH bettery is holding the same voltage. A load test on it, after a run, shows the same percent of reserve power left as the 73AH.
7/08/09
6112 miles. Gas is 2.55 gal. regular
Pack is performing very well.
I showed the Interstate battery rep my car the other morning. He was pleased with the deep cycle battery's performance, but he was more impressed with the 5 year old Interstate battey that is the chassis battery.
(I had to remove the F&F deep cycle as it died also.)
Said that it shouldn't have lasted that long, being it is not on a generator all the time. I charge it up with a smart charger, every other day or so.
He said more people should be building EVs. I agree...
BAD NEWS!!
7/18/09
Went to go home and when I turned on the car, the controller went up in smoke.
Sent it back to Alltrax (2 year warranty) to see if they will repair/replace it.
I have the car scheduled to go to the Ogle County Energy fair on the 8th and 9th of August. The tow dolly is about ready. Hope the car is ready by then.
8/04/09
The new Alltrax controller came today!!!
8/05/09
Installed the controller, new resisters and a new diode.
Ran it home tonight and it ran fine.
6260 miles
8/27/09
6680 miles and running well.
I think the Gel batteries are great.
Gas is $2.49 for reg.
Controller is running well and cool.
Had a good time at the energy fair.
Even jump started a Prius!!
9/12/09
7011 miles and running better and better.
Using 4th gear more and running 45-50 mph.
The Gel batteries seem to not only give better cruising speed, but hold a charge longer.
It only takes 1 1/2 hours to recharge to 14.8 volts, from 12.40 after a good run.
Amps draw is less @ 40mph.
10/13/09
7503 miles and running well.
Temp was 20F the other morning.
The trip to town was a little slower, but not too bad.
Changed the 9volt for the gauges.
8015 miles, 11/13/09
I now have a full set of GEL batteries and the car has been running well. $150.00 was the cost of the last one.
29 F degrees the other morning didn't slow it down much.
Oil heater in the back seat feels really good.
Enjoying the car a lot.
1/01/10
The low temps have me using the car at noon only if the roads are clear.
8526 miles on it and the pack is holding up well.
3/13/10
Weather is getting warmer (40F) so I am driving it to work and back.
The gel pack is doing well and ending up with 74.4 volts at the end of a run home.
No maintenance so far except tire pressure and clean the windows!!
4/7/10
Found a torque bracket broken. Fixed it for about $20.00. 1st mechanical repair since building it.
4/9/10
Turned over 9006 miles today. 3350 miles so far on the Gel batteries. Working fine.
4/26/10
9275 miles
Put the first 2 new Cooper whitewall tires on today.
Steers at slow speed better. Checked the front brakes and they are fine.
5/3/10
9389
Put on the two rear tires. Goes down the road nicely.
Batteries doing great. Just clean the windows and enjoy.

6/11/10
New milestone!!
10,000 miles and running great.
Lowest maintenance vehicle I ever had.
Gas is 2.65
8/19/10
11260 miles and running great
Gas is 2.79

9/30/10
12,000 miles and running great
Gas is $2.74

11/22/10
13003 miles and running good. Cold air slows it a bit but not bad. Oil heater installed in the back seat. Makes driving to town very comfy.
Gas is $2.89

1/5/11
Took out the motor as I noticed the coupler going bad.
13200 miles

1/12/11
Put the new chain coupler on the motor and reinstalled it. The brushes and armature show no wear. The bearings were good also.
I am going to put the batteries inside the car behind the seats. That way I can heat them with my oil heater. Should boost my range in winter.
They will be in a row so the cables will be shorter. The long cables to the front, are going to be 2/0 welding cable. Bought on ebay for 1/2 the price of local shop.
Gas is 3.19
1/04/2012
Battery pack is getting low. Just driving around town for errands and taking parcels to the post office.
Trying to make a deal on new batteries, but they are still quite high priced.
Gas is 3.29
3/10/12 Dropped the insurance until I can get the battery pack back up again.
Gas is 3.55
7/25/12 Got 2 more GELS and now the pack looks good again.
8/14/12
Gas hit 3.99 last week. 3.85 this week.
Will be putting ins back on next month as I need to work on the truck for a bit.
5/5/13
Checked the batteries since it has been setting for so long and all showed 12.6 or better.
Bought a new GEL charger and gave them each a good charge the past few days.
All came up and look good.
Hoping to put license on and insurance before the end of the month.
Gas is 3.69 and rising.
6/5/13
gas hit 4.19 at casey's.
Got the license renewed and np for the insurance.
8/5/13
Gas is 3.65
Brought the Yugo up to the shop and found that the master cylinder went away while it was resting.

Called NAPA for a rebuild kit. They were surprised by the request.
Found a rebuilt cylinder on eBay for under $40.00.
Should have it back on the road soon.

8/11/14 Gas is 3.39
Car has been sitting for over a year. Charged the batteries and moved it to my shop as am selling Mom's house. Car moved well and the disc brakes didn't drag too bad. Charge meter shows 84.3 volts.
Going to use it around town for a while to check range.
The 9 volt battery is still good and the 12 volt interstate
sealed battery inder the hood was only down on charge 50%.
Charged it up to 100%.

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