Sunday, October 11, 2009

Video: Driving Clips

My wife recorded a short video of the car driving away - and yes I can touch the ground without my butt leaving the seat!

And coming back!

(Don't worry, the dog landed fine. He's only 2 feet off the ground when standing on the car after all.)

Main Cables Pt. 2

The hole for the main cabling in the trunk was pretty tight and had very sharp edges around it (a Dremel cut it after all!). I was afraid that over time the sides of the hole could cut into the main cables and then hilarity (er, major disaster!) would ensue.

I disconnected the main cables and moved the battery charger out of the way to widen the hole a bit more. I then found a 1" diameter flexible hose in my storage room that was from when the car was still gas. I cut a piece the same distance as the circumference as my hole and then a second cut lengthwise so it would fold open. I wish I had pictures, but I was just playing around with it to see if it would work!

I then stuffed the rubber hose inside the hole...

And pulled the main battery cables through...

It's actually a very nice tight (but not too tight) fit! The rubber is very thick so I feel much more comfortable with the cables being protected from the sharp edge now.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Legal!

I called up the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles and asked about getting the car registered. I'm actually a Texas resident and am moving back to the Great Republic of Texas in December. Rather than having it registered in Arizona, I was able to get a 90 day nonresident permit, perfect! Only $15, no emissions inspections/waivers, and no hassle. When I get back to Texas I'll have to mess with getting it inspected / re-registered, but that's not for a couple months. :-)

Immediately after registration I called up USAA - within minutes I had an e-mail with proof of insurance! They really had no problems at all insuring a converted car.

I still have lots of clean up items to take care of before Bumblebee is a daily driver, but he should have his first out of the neighborhood drive this weekend!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


This past weekend I installed the charger permanently into the car. The floor of my trunk isn't very level, so I used some extensions for the back bolts of the charger to get it mounted.

The charger requires a signal from a BMS to operate, but I don't have a BMS installed yet. As a workaround until then, I installed a 9V battery with a switch.

I'm still working on the controller cutting power when I throttle up. Once that's worked out though, I'll venture into the process of getting the car legal!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video: First Drive!

The first test drive!

The drive went pretty well. Throttle control was very smooth, but acceleration from a stop was very poor (sub 20 amps). I used 1st gear only, in 2nd gear the car barely moved. As speed increased, available amperage also increased (up to 150 amps at 15 mph), which gave me significantly better acceleration. I've sent an e-mail to the motor controller manufacturer for help.

Video: Wheels Off Test

Video of car running full battery pack and controller, wheels off the ground.

(Nearly) Final Wiring

My pictures from yesterday weren't very clear, so here are some new ones! The car is basically completely wired (excluding the charger).

Under the hood...

In the trunk...

Behind the rear wheel...

Under the car...