Sunday, July 11, 2010

Didn't Make it to Laguna Seca

Well, the REFUEL event at Laguna Seca went off today, and sadly I could not get there to participate. Over the last couple months, I reinstalled the motor and redid the front battery racks, getting the car fit and ready to participate. Where it all fell apart was in trying to arrange transport to get the EV Z3 to the track to participate. I don't own the right equipment and the cost of renting it was just not in the budget.

I'm hoping that there will be similar events here in Arizona in the future, but I'll just have to wait and see. I'd really love to get the car out on a track to see how it does.

On a better note, I took the car out for an extended drive early yesterday and found some interesting numbers. While here in the neighborhood, the car averages about 350 Watt/hours per mile (dismal). However, when out of the neighborhood, on surface streets, it averages about 250 Watt/hours per mile (better). The only thing that I can figure is the constant stopping and starting required by the high number of stop signs in the neighborhood take their toll quickly.

I believe the numbers can be better though. The transmission already has Redline transmission fluid in it, which reduces friction in the drive line. After I sent the transmission away to have the adaptor plate made, I filled it with Redline. I haven't yet put Redline in the differential, so I still need to do that. I don't know how much difference it will make, but it can't hurt. I'm keeping the tires at 45 PSI. The tire's maximum pressure is 51 PSI, so I'm well below the threshold, but they are certainly more firm than the normal 32 PSI.

There are two big things I need to do yet to help with efficiency. First I have to get the front end re-sprung. That won't affect the drive line, but it will get the ride height to the correct level. Once that is done, then I can have the front end aligned and take out any toe-in that's there now. I expect that will make the biggest difference of all.

So, why haven't I had the front end re-sprung yet? A couple reasons really. First, I had to take the car apart recently, you may remember. That hampered my ability to drive it anywhere. Second, the shop that can do it is in the middle of Phoenix, about 23 miles away. Now, the distance isn't a problem for the car, it can do 60 miles. However, the heat is a problem. It's been over a 110 °F lately, which makes for miserable driving when you don't have AC. Second, the little radiator and associated fans used to cool the Zilla have a difficult time keeping it cool in such high temperatures. I could drive the car there early in the morning, but by the time the car was done, I'd have to limp back home in the heat, doing my best to protect the Zilla. At this point, I'm inclined to wait until cooler weather comes so that I can get it there without any risk to the controller. After all, the car works great now, it just uses a bit more energy than I think it needs to.

Oh, and did I mention how much I love that new vacuum pump?


Gam0ra said...

You need to get one of those super cooler suits that mascots use.

Tim Catellier said...

That's much better than my plan of sitting on a block of ice.

Michael said...

I think that 350W/Mile (218W/km) are OK to such a "heavy car". 22kWh/100km is a normal average, comparing with a VW Golf Citystromer for example.

Tim Catellier said...

You may be right Michael, and I won't be too disappointed if that's the case. But I intend to squeeze as much range as I can out of the car. Of course I'll let everyone know what happens.