Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I wanted to make sure that some of the existing sensors that I planned to reuse would still register properly. The of which would be the VSS or vehicle speed sensor. I decided to create circuit that would simulate the sensor output using a Basic Stamp microprocessor. These are very handy little guys for doing various tasks quickly using a simple basic language.
Here you can see the simulated sensor working. We are doing 40 Mph in my garage! Ugh, is that the odometer going up? Just as if you were really doing 40 Mph everything still functions and responds normally including the odometer. Don't leave that circuit running for too long :)
Ah yes and last but certainly not least is that small delay that I mentioned before. He was born July 22nd. Mom and baby are doing great!
In the next couple weeks I will be continuing the electronics conversion. The next major step is properly recreating the engine speed pulse. This signal is needed for the RPM gauge, electronic power steering, and cruise controls circuits to function properly. I've ordered a small handheld oscilloscope to make the remainder of any signalling circuits I need to build easier so this step is on hold until that comes in.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Removed items (lbs)
Catalytic converter: 13
Gas tank: 25.5 + 79.2 (full tank 1.3 gallons * 6lbs / gallon)
Misc (hoses, brackets, emissions): 65.5
I've also removed, at least for now the spare time, jack, and tools. These will go back in later but for the initial tests I wanted stripped down: 30
The engine and components still attached is somewhat unknown. The specs say 325 but I'm pretty that is without the intake, starter, etc. I'm going to say 350.
That makes for a grand total of just under 650 lbs removed. Not bad but you always want more on a project like this :) The car originally weighed 2800 minus the 650 puts as at 2150.
Speaking of waiting I found out the motor is going to take longer to come in than I originally expected (up to 6 weeks). I'm going to start working on a few side projects that need to be done at some point anyway to pass the time.
Here is a shot of the rear sub frame. This includes the differential, suspension, etc. I tried lifting it...damn too bad I can't remove some weight from that thing.
My neighbor George who helped with the first dismantling steps came over and found my camera. Here is an "action" shot of the tank bolts being removed. Please notice the all-purpose 5 gallon bucket from Home-Depot. Today its purpose was to make up the difference between my floor jack and the gas tank which was pretty high off the ground.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Here is a shot just after removing some of the intake system, alternator AC compressor, and cooling system.
Success! Look at all that room in there. The new electric motor is only 9.1" diameter and 15" long leaving a lot of room for batteries up front.
As much I want this to be successful I've planned for the worse. I plan to be able to reinstall the gas engine if by chance the conversion goes south. I bought a couple of plastic storage tubs, lots of Ziploc bags and a label maker. Not only will this be helpful for any parts I can recycle into the build I will be able to reverse the process if needed...lets hope not!
It doesn't take much in regards to tools to get the job done and you can buy a few things as you go if you find you don't have just the right tool. I have a good set of ratchets, wrenches, screw drivers, torque wrenches, etc. Also a floor jack or two and four or more jack stands are a must. You'll also need to rent or borrow an engine hoist. I was originally thinking I could do all this in a one car garage spot, which is possible, but two spots is just right and gives you room to move things around and not trip all over yourself.
Get the service manual for your vehicle! There is nothing worse than wasting time trying to figure out how to remove or reinstall something and it's usually time wasted in trial and error.
Get a friend to help. It's possible to do the conversion yourself but it'll be much easier if you can get some help, especially on removing or installing the heavier items.
I currently spend a minimum of $300/month just to get to work assuming I don't drive anywhere else. Cutting that cost in half with a Prius 20-30k would take awhile to pay for itself. The conversion I've estimated at around 6k. Monthly costs being about $30 in electricity. So in theory I can recoup this investment in a of couple years. Not bad compared to the 10+ years for the Prius purchase. Now we know gas prices will continue to raise so it would actually pay for itself in less than that amount of time but not needing gas at all is the real solution and it's just cool!
I haven't changed this post because I wanted to keep the real history of the build. Many are reading this post and not understanding things change. Gas was over $5.00 a gallon when I started and to my surprise it did drop and drastically. I originally was just hoping for 45 mile range and on lead acid batteries. This wasn't feasible so I had to change to lithium cells which blew away my original estimate of only $6k.
Recouping the cost was based on the original estimates and gas prices. I haven't done the math but I'm guessing it will take a very long time to pay for itself if ever. It's now just a project that I've thoroughly enjoyed.