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Good news, bad news...

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  • Tom Hudson
    Good news: I got my amp-hour meter back up and running using the repair procedure discussed here a couple of weeks ago, and while I was at it took the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 2, 2011
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      Good news: I got my amp-hour meter back up and running using the repair procedure
      discussed here a couple of weeks ago, and while I was at it took the instrument cluster
      apart and installed the combined volt-amp meter I bought from Solectria several years
      ago. Installing that meter in the instrument cluster is not a job for the faint-hearted!
      I had to do some MAJOR surgery to the plastic housing and the flexible circuit board that
      carries signals to the lamps in there, and had to notch one of the three connector plugs
      that run to the cluster. I took a few photos and if anyone is interested I can post those
      with some comments/descriptions. It all works great, and is about as close to
      built-in-looking as I think you can get.

      Bad news: Took the car out today on a trip to nearby Grafton to pick up some stuff for our
      new tandem bike, and with the voltmeter in place I could see that there was a fair amount
      of voltage sag under load. The NiCDs in there are 9 years old now and have been losing
      power for some time, but now they are really starting to look bad. Was seeing almost 2
      amp-hours per mile energy consumption, which is pretty awful. Got over into Grafton and
      started smelling something hot, but we were right next to a Charcoal Grill restaurant and
      behind a big SUV, so I was hoping the smell was not our car.

      Made it to the bike shop and when I got out could still smell the hot smell, so I knew
      something was up. Opened the hood and the motor is really hot. Something is not right,
      because I know when I drove the car 150 miles in one day, every time I stopped I popped
      the hood to check the temperature of the controller and motor and they were barely warm.

      So I guess it's possible that the bad Ah/mile numbers could be somewhat attributed to
      something being bad in the motor, because obviously a lot of energy is being lost in the
      motor.

      Some questions:

      * I haven't been hearing anything like a squeal that would indicate a problem with the
      motor bearings, but could this be a bearing problem?
      * Could it be an electrical problem, like a bad winding?
      * Any other failure modes that could cause this heat?
      * Does anyone know who can work on this motor? Would Azure mess with it? I'd rather get
      it repaired locally if possible, but would want it done right.

      I do have a spare motor on hand from a New York Force I got back in 2003, so I suppose I
      could just swap that in for the time being and get the other motor repaired without having
      to worry about a rush job.

      So on top of the battery issue, which I knew was coming up, now this motor thing is going
      to have to be dealt with. I guess I'll call my local mechanic tomorrow and see if he is
      willing to tackle swapping out the motor. What fun!

      And speaking of the battery issue, I had been thinking of trying lithium-ions in this car,
      as the NiCDs have generally been a disappointment and I'm not crazy about having to deal
      with the plumbing for the liquid cooling again, but my wife and I discussed it today while
      we were driving home and I think that we will probably drop back to a cheap set of
      lead-acids this time and see where the state of battery technology is in a few years.

      -Tom

      --
      Thomas Hudson
      http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power& More
      http://klanky.com -- Animation Projects
    • Fred Fischer
      Hi Tom, On the 99 Force I used to own, there was a bad squeal from the transmission. Solectria wanted both the motor and tranny returned as a unit since they
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 2, 2011
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        Hi Tom,

        On the '99 Force I used to own, there was
        a bad squeal from the transmission. Solectria
        wanted both the motor and tranny returned
        as a unit since they shared a common bearing.

        You might ask Beth S. at Azure Dynamics
        for a recommendation. My only bad experience
        was that repair took over 5 months.

        Fred

        Sent from iPhone

        On Oct 2, 2011, at 1:40 PM, Tom Hudson <tdhudson@...> wrote:

        > Good news: I got my amp-hour meter back up and running using the repair procedure
        > discussed here a couple of weeks ago, and while I was at it took the instrument cluster
        > apart and installed the combined volt-amp meter I bought from Solectria several years
        > ago. Installing that meter in the instrument cluster is not a job for the faint-hearted!
        > I had to do some MAJOR surgery to the plastic housing and the flexible circuit board that
        > carries signals to the lamps in there, and had to notch one of the three connector plugs
        > that run to the cluster. I took a few photos and if anyone is interested I can post those
        > with some comments/descriptions. It all works great, and is about as close to
        > built-in-looking as I think you can get.
        >
        > Bad news: Took the car out today on a trip to nearby Grafton to pick up some stuff for our
        > new tandem bike, and with the voltmeter in place I could see that there was a fair amount
        > of voltage sag under load. The NiCDs in there are 9 years old now and have been losing
        > power for some time, but now they are really starting to look bad. Was seeing almost 2
        > amp-hours per mile energy consumption, which is pretty awful. Got over into Grafton and
        > started smelling something hot, but we were right next to a Charcoal Grill restaurant and
        > behind a big SUV, so I was hoping the smell was not our car.
        >
        > Made it to the bike shop and when I got out could still smell the hot smell, so I knew
        > something was up. Opened the hood and the motor is really hot. Something is not right,
        > because I know when I drove the car 150 miles in one day, every time I stopped I popped
        > the hood to check the temperature of the controller and motor and they were barely warm.
        >
        > So I guess it's possible that the bad Ah/mile numbers could be somewhat attributed to
        > something being bad in the motor, because obviously a lot of energy is being lost in the
        > motor.
        >
        > Some questions:
        >
        > * I haven't been hearing anything like a squeal that would indicate a problem with the
        > motor bearings, but could this be a bearing problem?
        > * Could it be an electrical problem, like a bad winding?
        > * Any other failure modes that could cause this heat?
        > * Does anyone know who can work on this motor? Would Azure mess with it? I'd rather get
        > it repaired locally if possible, but would want it done right.
        >
        > I do have a spare motor on hand from a New York Force I got back in 2003, so I suppose I
        > could just swap that in for the time being and get the other motor repaired without having
        > to worry about a rush job.
        >
        > So on top of the battery issue, which I knew was coming up, now this motor thing is going
        > to have to be dealt with. I guess I'll call my local mechanic tomorrow and see if he is
        > willing to tackle swapping out the motor. What fun!
        >
        > And speaking of the battery issue, I had been thinking of trying lithium-ions in this car,
        > as the NiCDs have generally been a disappointment and I'm not crazy about having to deal
        > with the plumbing for the liquid cooling again, but my wife and I discussed it today while
        > we were driving home and I think that we will probably drop back to a cheap set of
        > lead-acids this time and see where the state of battery technology is in a few years.
        >
        > -Tom
        >
        > --
        > Thomas Hudson
        > http://portev.org -- Electric Vehicles, Solar Power& More
        > http://klanky.com -- Animation Projects
        >
        >


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