Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Motor installed

Since the coupler and single plate setup is so simple the installation was really easy. I had to cut 1/4" off the motor shaft with a hack saw and I used a grinder to cut 1" off the drive shaft. Tony warned me about going really slow so the shaft didn't heat up and damage the bearings. It took about 2 hours. But, I got a lot of work done on the motor mount waiting for the shaft to cool.

Zach and I slide the motor under the frame with the front end on jack stands. We used a cable hoist suspended from the garage rafters to lift the motor into place once the coupler and plate were mounted. Because the transmission only has 2 mounts we put the jack under the adapter plate to level the motor for a test spin. I expected that wiring the motor for CCW would be correct... but I was wrong. The wheels spun backwards in first gear. The FB1-4001A can be wired for either direction so the jumper can just be switched.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coupler and Adapter plate

The coupler and adapter plate are done and ready to be installed. I'll have to cut the drive shaft and maybe the motor shaft to get them to fit together. Tony Smith did the machine work and I would highly recommend him again. The plate is 1" to get around any future movement from spacer rings and the clutch splines have been welded on to a keyed coupler that fits the motor. This will eliminate almost all the weight from the flywheel, clutch and pressure plate of the original setup. According to EV America, every 7 lbs taken off the flywheel equals 100 lbs. of vehicle weight. So, that should be about equal to 600 lbs. Nice!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Motor choice

The information I have wrestled with the most is from the evparts.com site, http://www.evparts.com/img/mt2114peakmotoroutput.PDF

This basically shows that at 120v and 400 amps, which is low for racing but high for a range minded vehicle:

Motor size T HP
X-91 6" 87 36
L-91 6" 60 42
203-06 8" 63 47
FB1 9" 80 50

The first thing I noted was the torque to hp ratio is highest in the X-91. If I understand torque vs. hp (which I might not) a high torque would provide acceleration but not a great top speed or hill climbing capacity. The next thing to note is that the FB1 has larger torque and hp for the same voltage and amperage. Even without looking at the torque curve, this indicates the FB1 is more efficient. I would like to see this same chart at a more realistic current like 100 amps or 80 amps.

Since the del Sol has these original values:
Torque 98(s) 106(Si) 111(VTEC)
HP 102(S) 125(Si) 160(VTEC)

At 144v and 400 amps (max.) I calculated the torque at 111 ft.lbs. and hp at 68, which actually comes pretty close to the original, only a little shy on the HP. So, the FB1-4001A at $1450 from cloudelectric was a pretty good fit. Also, there were a few folks who have already done this, mitigating the risk factor.

68.72 HP = (400a * 144v * .89 Eff) / 746
111.6 ft.lbs. = (5252 * 68.72 hp) / 3282 rpm (back calculated from the evparts chart above)

Adapter Plate Mock-up

I had a local machine shop laser cut a mock-up of the adapter plate in acrylic from a design on the net. It took about 10 minutes and cost $32. There are 2 holes off and the basic outside template shape is way off, but with a little cutting it fits. I'll use the outside shape of the old template and the holes of the new one to build the adapter plate from a 1" alum. plate of 6061, which should eliminate the need for spacers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blank slate

Everything is removed now and I'm ready to start building parts.

  • Motor mount: This transmission is only mounted on 2 points instead of 3 (like the '88 civic) so a really solid motor mount on the auxilliary side of the motor is needed. That will probably be a 1/8" steel plate bolted to the original motor mount.
  • Starter hole cover - I picked up a 1/8" alum sheet for the controller and have enough on the end to cut the starter hole cover.
  • Adapter plate - rough cut for the machinist.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Towing it

Troy helped me tow it to the corner station to have the engine pulled and manual rack installed. It is funny how hard to move these things are when they don't run. I mounted the regular tires instead of the studded winter tires that were on it. Basically it was a $150 car with 2 sets of $50 tires.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gas tank and exhaust are out

There was 9 and a half gallons of gas in the tank. I filled up my car and the lawn mower and gave our neighbor 4 gallons too.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heading home

Snow on the mountain tops in the distance.

This is were it sat in Wolf Creek.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trailering it home

The craigslist add said "Fast car + 80 mph + no oil = blown engine". The engine seized up near Wolf Creek and was just sitting there. A couple guys from the gas station helped me get it on the trailer. "Jerry's got a come-a-long!". Anyway, it'll sit in front of the house until I can get the engine out of it.

1988 Honda Civic Wagon

This is a conversion of an '88 Honda Civic Wagon to a 72 volt electric vehicle. This EV has a maximum speed of 45 MPH and a sustainable speed of 25-30 MPH. Its range is 18 miles. The onboard chargers can be plugged in to any 110 outlet and charge up the batteries overnight. The total cost including the donor vehicle was almost $4000.