Thursday, April 9, 2009

We're Number 1

I'm picking up my replacement battery on the way to work today, so the Duster will be back on the road again tomorrow. In the mean time...

I have a "Ride Page" over at Rob Einaudi, Editor-In Chief of CarDomain, likes my car and has written about it several times on his site. The latest article is HERE.

A while back I was looking at the CarDomain categories that my Duster might fit into. Just for the fun of it, I put it into the "Green Machine" category. Today I noticed that we are the "TOP RIDE" in that category. Hey, that's pretty cool!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another Setback

Well, I certainly hate reporting the failures, but they are a part of the whole story of this conversion. Maybe the information will help someone else avoid some trouble. The first several mishaps were due to defective parts. The last two failures were totally my fault.

Yesterday during the test driving I smelled a slight burning smell. When I finished driving, I took a quick look around and checked the controller and contactor connections with my infrared thermometer. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary so I attributed the smell to just new parts "burning in". Today I was installing the new Link 10 meter and turned on the main contactor. I immediately heard a "snapping" noise in the trunk. I could also see the unmistakable blue flash of arcing, since there is no back seat in the car.

Upon opening the trunk, I found that one of the battery terminals had gotten so hot that it had melted the lead around the post. I assume this happened yesterday during my two miles of test driving. I am taking the blame for this because I have neglected to check the rear battery terminals for tightness in quite a while. After discovering this, I checked the other terminals on the rear battery pack and found a couple others that were somewhat loose. I believe this one just got too lose to handle all of the current. So I guess this means I'll have to replace the battery since the threads on the post got messed up as well. This is another lesson learned.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

On The Road Again

I welded and installed the motor coupling adapter today. Then I put the car all back together and did some more successful test driving. I'm still unwilling to stray too far from home until I am certain of its reliability, but I easily got her up to 40 mph in second gear.