Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What To Do, What To Do

I realize I haven't posted anything in a while, but that's because I haven't really done anything. I'm waiting for the motor to find it's way back here, and until it does, there isn't much to do.

However, there are a few things, and there's some news to share. A friend of mine responded to my requests for suggestions about where I might get some hard rubber for a new motor shim, or more specifically what I could use. He'd suggested using a piece of a tire from a lawn mower. I went to the hardware store and found a 14" hard rubber tire that looked like it would work perfectly. At only $14 and change, I decided to go for it.

I realize this my not be the most glamorous looking thing, but I think it's going to work out very nicely. At the bottom of the shot, you can see the piece I cut out of the tire. I cut the rubber off of the inside diameter exposing the inside of what was the hollow space in the tire. Once I press it flat, it's the perfect height to shim the motor, and it will provide some of springy support. The bulk of the motor's weight will still be supported by the original motor mounts that supported the original engine just like before.

I also spent some time making some cardboard cutouts of battery layouts. I simply placed the batteries on the card board in configurations I think will fit in the car, and cut them out. I want to fit the original 31 batteries that were up front, back in, but I want to get them all oriented so they are vertical, not prone like before. It's going to be a tight fit, but when has anything in this car not been? It's tough dealing with tight fits in millimeters, especially when you're only 5 millimeters short for what would other wise be a perfect fit.

I mentioned that there's some good news as well. One of the things that has surprised me, is the number of people that have contacted me to tell me how much they liked the car, or admire the work I've done. It's always great hearing from different people, and to hear their stories. I hate to be so bold as to think I might have influenced some people to undertake a conversion, but in the long run, I hope it does. Even with this little set back, it has been an incredible amount of fun.

Just last week I was contacted by someone who is writing a book of some sort about electric cars and conversions. He wants to include pictures of the EV Z3 as an example of an interesting conversion. Let's face it, there are plenty of Ford Rangers and Chevy S-10's that have been converted, and while they are interesting, they are no Z3 ;-) I'm in the process of getting some photos together for him. We'll see how many make it into the book. I'll be sure to keep you all informed.

On a slightly related note, I did receive one bad piece of news today. Now that I've finished the car (current issues aside), I'd really love to charge it with solar power. I called a local company that does solar PV systems so I could get a quote and find out where I stand. It looks like my home may not be a good candidate. My roof doesn't have a surface that faces South. It does have surfaces pointing East and West. Apparently in lieu of South, West is most desirable. Unfortunately, because of a bend in the street, mine is actually angled a bit toward the North. It would still work, but if it's too far North, it will greatly reduce the incentives paid by my local utility to help defray the costs. I'll know more when the representative can come out and actually measure the azimuth.

That's all for now. I've got a few more things I can do while waiting for the motor's return, so I'll be working on them as I can, and I'll post all the details.


Gam0ra said...

You would have definitely inspired me to do a conversion if it weren't for one small problem. Roughly half of the things you list as having done for the conversions are things I think "Uh...nope. Couldn't do that."

Tim Catellier said...

In a perfect world, I'd hire myself out as some sort of conversion consultant. If the commute weren't so bad, I could help you out. My rates for friends are cheap too; a chicken sandwich :)

Gam0ra said...

Yeah, the commute is pretty bad. Maybe when I'm rich I'll spend a winter down there paying you to make me an EV. heheh

The "word verification" for this post is "trucks".