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1997 Force with dead charger and pack, need some advice

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  • colin.nankervis
    Hello Solectria folks, I ve been a happy Force owner for a couple of years now, but I have run into some problems and need some advice. A few months ago the
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 27, 2010
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      Hello Solectria folks,

      I've been a happy Force owner for a couple of years now, but I have run into some problems and need some advice.

      A few months ago the charger died and my pack has gone flat. A new job is going to require freeway commuter miles outside the useful range of the Force, so I need to get it out of my garage.

      My plan is to prepare the car for sale. I have received a quote for a Zivan (NG3) from ElCon, which seems to fit the bill. My plan would be to replace the pack with the same model Deka Dominators (8G27M) that are in the car now. I estimate repair cost of approximately $4k.

      I am giving the list the first right of refusal out of gratitude. Solectria_ev has been invaluable to me operating the car. I just been a lurker until now, but I must say that the list is very educational. I would like to use the list to sanity-check my purchases, and I also will probably need some assistance installing the charger and pack when the time comes.

      If anyone is interested in purchasing the car as-is, I am willing to entertain offers. Since I'm between contracts, I am willing to take a loss on the car instead of paying out repair costs.

      The car is in good condition otherwise, with ~15k miles. The car is clean, the body is straight, and it is equipped with kerosene heat. The underside does have some rust on the struts but not serious. The dash is sun faded, but is not cracked or deteriorated. Interior upholstery is clean and has no rips or tears. Has stereo/CD player. The car has given me no problems until the charger failed. The truth is I will miss it when it is gone. Within its limits it has been an excellent vehicle. Oh, the car is in Houston, Texas.

      Thanks a lot,

      Colin

      colin.nankervis at gmail
      (713) 524-2059 home phone
      (713) 724-3388 please text or leave message

      (I generally don't answer calls from numbers I don't know, so please leave a message. I promise to get back.)
    • Neil Blanchard
      unsubscribe Sincerely, Neil http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 27, 2010
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      • d. Bouton Baldridge
        Hi Colin, Since you really seem to like the car, and since you are going to all of the trouble to fix it, you might want to reconcider your choice of battery.
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 27, 2010
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          Hi Colin,
          Since you really seem to like the car, and since you are going to all of the
          trouble to fix it, you might want to reconcider your choice of battery. You have
          been following the group's activities but you somehow have missed the huge
          difference by the advent of the Lifepo4 cells. If your new job was too far for
          the old batteries you can refit your car with lithium vey easily to get you
          further for just a little more than your budget. The Force lends itself to the
          lithium very well and will weigh less.   Once you have it upgraded and you drive
          it you may decide not to sell, but if you don't you will have a much better car
          to sell,
          FWIW

          Bouty  




          ________________________________
          From: colin.nankervis <colin.nankervis@...>
          To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 1:47:37 PM
          Subject: [solectria_ev] 1997 Force with dead charger and pack, need some advice

           
          Hello Solectria folks,

          I've been a happy Force owner for a couple of years now, but I have run into
          some problems and need some advice.


          A few months ago the charger died and my pack has gone flat. A new job is going
          to require freeway commuter miles outside the useful range of the Force, so I
          need to get it out of my garage.

          My plan is to prepare the car for sale. I have received a quote for a Zivan
          (NG3) from ElCon, which seems to fit the bill. My plan would be to replace the
          pack with the same model Deka Dominators (8G27M) that are in the car now. I
          estimate repair cost of approximately $4k.


          I am giving the list the first right of refusal out of gratitude. Solectria_ev
          has been invaluable to me operating the car. I just been a lurker until now, but
          I must say that the list is very educational. I would like to use the list to
          sanity-check my purchases, and I also will probably need some assistance
          installing the charger and pack when the time comes.

          If anyone is interested in purchasing the car as-is, I am willing to entertain
          offers. Since I'm between contracts, I am willing to take a loss on the car
          instead of paying out repair costs.

          The car is in good condition otherwise, with ~15k miles. The car is clean, the
          body is straight, and it is equipped with kerosene heat. The underside does have
          some rust on the struts but not serious. The dash is sun faded, but is not
          cracked or deteriorated. Interior upholstery is clean and has no rips or tears.
          Has stereo/CD player. The car has given me no problems until the charger failed.
          The truth is I will miss it when it is gone. Within its limits it has been an
          excellent vehicle. Oh, the car is in Houston, Texas.

          Thanks a lot,

          Colin

          colin.nankervis at gmail
          (713) 524-2059 home phone
          (713) 724-3388 please text or leave message

          (I generally don't answer calls from numbers I don't know, so please leave a
          message. I promise to get back.)







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • colin.nankervis
          Hi Bouty, I have been reading about lithium iron phosphate. It seems like a worthwhile conversion to do if I were going to keep the car. The expense of the
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 27, 2010
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            Hi Bouty,

            I have been reading about lithium iron phosphate. It seems like a worthwhile conversion to do if I were going to keep the car. The expense of the new batteries plus the management system on top of the charger make doing the conversion unattractive if I am not going to keep the car. The Deka gel batteries can be had for around $200-$250 each. Have the prices on lithium come down that far? The last time I priced out lifepo4 pack it was closer to $10k than $5k.

            Considering that I'm between jobs at the moment, I am pressured to liquidate the car. I don't really want to invest any more into it other than what is necessary. If I can sell it as-in, I will.

            I appreciate your input and I may regret selling it later, but this is the situation I find myself in now.

            -Colin

            --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "d. Bouton Baldridge" <cfrkeepr@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Colin,
            > Since you really seem to like the car, and since you are going to all of the
            > trouble to fix it, you might want to reconcider your choice of battery. You have
            > been following the group's activities but you somehow have missed the huge
            > difference by the advent of the Lifepo4 cells. If your new job was too far for
            > the old batteries you can refit your car with lithium vey easily to get you
            > further for just a little more than your budget. The Force lends itself to the
            > lithium very well and will weigh less.   Once you have it upgraded and you drive
            > it you may decide not to sell, but if you don't you will have a much better car
            > to sell,
            > FWIW
            >
            > Bouty  
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • d. Bouton Baldridge
            Hi Colin, Bottom line- yes! Right now many of the lithium are going fo about $1.10 -1.20 per AH. Now if you factor the three major  differences: higher
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 28, 2010
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              Hi Colin,

              Bottom line- yes!
              Right now many of the lithium are going fo about $1.10 -1.20 per AH. Now if you
              factor the three major  differences: higher voltage,: less weight, more capacity
              usage you can get greater range on a smaller capacity pack. So before you had 90
              AH gels that maybe gave you at best 50 AH of use or less than 50 miles, that was
              the best you could do @1-2AH per mile and if you did that every time you drove
              it you'd be really lucky to get more than two years of use out of them at that
              rate. With the lithum not only do you have less mass to move for the same
               capacity but you can get greater use of that capacity; both factors improve
              your range. I chose to match the original range of my force with 40 AH capacity.
              I am getting pretty much the same range and performance as with  90AH AGMs. If
              you want greater range then you pay more  but with 48 cells of 40 AH my cost was
              very little more than new gels a year ago about $3000. and now the price is even
              lower. I did not put in any BMS and maybe I'll pay for it latter, but so far I
              am getting very impressive results and consistant voltage.  I have learned so
              much from this experience, it would still be worth the investment if they went
              tomorrow, but with the claims from the manufacturers I think they will last as
              long as the lead and more. I will never go back to lead. 

              To wrap things up, you will spend $3000 for the gels and another grand for the
              ng3 for 90AH that will only give you 50AH of use, Why not spend $3200 + the ng3
              grand for the same range with 50 Ah lifepo4s? . If you like it great, if not you
              can sell it with the better battery for more. Don't forget EVs are coming and
              some will be competing with yours, who wants to have a Pb EV anymore?  Nobody.
              These little forces were very high quality innards to very cheap cars, but they
              are still running and a simple upgrade makes them even better at about the same
              cost. Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.
              Bouty 




              ________________________________
              From: colin.nankervis <colin.nankervis@...>
              To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 3:05:08 PM
              Subject: [solectria_ev] Re: 1997 Force with dead charger and pack, need some
              advice

               
              Hi Bouty,

              I have been reading about lithium iron phosphate. It seems like a worthwhile
              conversion to do if I were going to keep the car. The expense of the new
              batteries plus the management system on top of the charger make doing the
              conversion unattractive if I am not going to keep the car. The Deka gel
              batteries can be had for around $200-$250 each. Have the prices on lithium come
              down that far? The last time I priced out lifepo4 pack it was closer to $10k
              than $5k.


              Considering that I'm between jobs at the moment, I am pressured to liquidate the
              car. I don't really want to invest any more into it other than what is
              necessary. If I can sell it as-in, I will.


              I appreciate your input and I may regret selling it later, but this is the
              situation I find myself in now.

              -Colin

              --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "d. Bouton Baldridge" <cfrkeepr@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Colin,
              > Since you really seem to like the car, and since you are going to all of the
              > trouble to fix it, you might want to reconcider your choice of battery. You
              >have
              >
              > been following the group's activities but you somehow have missed the huge
              > difference by the advent of the Lifepo4 cells. If your new job was too far for
              >
              > the old batteries you can refit your car with lithium vey easily to get you
              > further for just a little more than your budget. The Force lends itself to
              >the
              >
              > lithium very well and will weigh less.   Once you have it upgraded and you
              >drive
              >
              > it you may decide not to sell, but if you don't you will have a much better car
              >
              > to sell,
              > FWIW
              >
              > Bouty  
              >
              >
              >
              >







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • sol2spirit
              Colin, I would concur with the sentiment that lithiums will be comparable in price to the Gels. If you re able to get the 8G27 Gel batteries at $200 each new
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 1, 2010
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                Colin,

                I would concur with the sentiment that lithiums will be comparable in price to the Gels.

                If you're able to get the 8G27 Gel batteries at $200 each new then that would amount to $2600 total.
                If you use Thundersky or equivalent LiFePO4 at $1.20 per AHr, your cost for 48 cells of 60 AHr cells would be $3456.
                I would recommend not going below 60 AHr because the Force can pull up to 200 Amps (at least mine does with the DMOC445 controller) and you don't really want to get much beyond 3C discharge due to voltage droop.

                With regards to the BMS, the most important part is ensuring that the cells remain in balance. That is, when charging you want to make sure that each cell does not get above 4.0V (or 3.7V to 3.8V the community seems to be saying). When discharging, you want to make sure that they don't get below 2.5V (resting voltage and if you limit to below 3C discharge, then even your operating voltage shouldn't really get below 2.5V per cell if limiting to 80% depth of discharge).
                There are now various single-cell balancers out there between $10 to $20 per cell that will do the trick. So you might be able to get away with below $720 for the balancers. So your total cost would be around $4176 (and possibly less if you look around).

                I would argue that technically you need a balancer with *any* battery stack unless you are willing to monitor all cells and individually balance cells when needed (including Gel batteries). Any battery in series will vary slightly in impedance and respond differently to charging, discharging, temperature variations, etc. Either you manually monitor the stack and be prepared to balance when necessary or you get circuit boards to do it for you.
                For simplicity as an example (for the DIYer), the cell balancers by Lee Hart or Mark Hanson (look on EVDL) work nicely.

                Good luck with your project.

                Sol

                --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "d. Bouton Baldridge" <cfrkeepr@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Colin,
                >
                > Bottom line- yes!
                > Right now many of the lithium are going fo about $1.10 -1.20 per AH. Now if you
                > factor the three major  differences: higher voltage,: less weight, more capacity
                > usage you can get greater range on a smaller capacity pack. So before you had 90
                > AH gels that maybe gave you at best 50 AH of use or less than 50 miles, that was
                > the best you could do @1-2AH per mile and if you did that every time you drove
                > it you'd be really lucky to get more than two years of use out of them at that
                > rate. With the lithum not only do you have less mass to move for the same
                >  capacity but you can get greater use of that capacity; both factors improve
                > your range. I chose to match the original range of my force with 40 AH capacity.
                > I am getting pretty much the same range and performance as with  90AH AGMs. If
                > you want greater range then you pay more  but with 48 cells of 40 AH my cost was
                > very little more than new gels a year ago about $3000. and now the price is even
                > lower. I did not put in any BMS and maybe I'll pay for it latter, but so far I
                > am getting very impressive results and consistant voltage.  I have learned so
                > much from this experience, it would still be worth the investment if they went
                > tomorrow, but with the claims from the manufacturers I think they will last as
                > long as the lead and more. I will never go back to lead. 
                >
                > To wrap things up, you will spend $3000 for the gels and another grand for the
                > ng3 for 90AH that will only give you 50AH of use, Why not spend $3200 + the ng3
                > grand for the same range with 50 Ah lifepo4s? . If you like it great, if not you
                > can sell it with the better battery for more. Don't forget EVs are coming and
                > some will be competing with yours, who wants to have a Pb EV anymore?  Nobody.
                > These little forces were very high quality innards to very cheap cars, but they
                > are still running and a simple upgrade makes them even better at about the same
                > cost. Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.
                > Bouty 
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: colin.nankervis <colin.nankervis@...>
                > To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Fri, August 27, 2010 3:05:08 PM
                > Subject: [solectria_ev] Re: 1997 Force with dead charger and pack, need some
                > advice
                >
                >  
                > Hi Bouty,
                >
                > I have been reading about lithium iron phosphate. It seems like a worthwhile
                > conversion to do if I were going to keep the car. The expense of the new
                > batteries plus the management system on top of the charger make doing the
                > conversion unattractive if I am not going to keep the car. The Deka gel
                > batteries can be had for around $200-$250 each. Have the prices on lithium come
                > down that far? The last time I priced out lifepo4 pack it was closer to $10k
                > than $5k.
                >
                >
                > Considering that I'm between jobs at the moment, I am pressured to liquidate the
                > car. I don't really want to invest any more into it other than what is
                > necessary. If I can sell it as-in, I will.
                >
                >
                > I appreciate your input and I may regret selling it later, but this is the
                > situation I find myself in now.
                >
                > -Colin
                >
                > --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "d. Bouton Baldridge" <cfrkeepr@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Colin,
                > > Since you really seem to like the car, and since you are going to all of the
                > > trouble to fix it, you might want to reconcider your choice of battery. You
                > >have
                > >
                > > been following the group's activities but you somehow have missed the huge
                > > difference by the advent of the Lifepo4 cells. If your new job was too far for
                > >
                > > the old batteries you can refit your car with lithium vey easily to get you
                > > further for just a little more than your budget. The Force lends itself to
                > >the
                > >
                > > lithium very well and will weigh less.   Once you have it upgraded and you
                > >drive
                > >
                > > it you may decide not to sell, but if you don't you will have a much better car
                > >
                > > to sell,
                > > FWIW
                > >
                > > Bouty  
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
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