29 October 2008

It has been quite some time since I last posted. That usually means that the car is running and the builder doesnt care about a build log anymore! It's true. I got it up and have been driving it daily at least 12 miles for a few weeks. I've already put on over 200 gas-free miles.

The Deka batteries were a flop. I got a call from the battery distributor saying that my order is in, except they dont have the posts I ordered. They have combination automotive/threaded posts, like what they normally keep in stock there. I told them I didnt order those and refused to buy them. At the same time my father-in-law mentioned he has a manager friend at NAPA who would get me a good deal on their Exide golf car batteries. I went with the Exides.

In the end I finally got batteries. At first I put two in the existing front racks and 14 in the back. The rear box only holds 10, so 4 of them were just sitting in the trunk area. I drove it like that for a couple weeks. Recently I had my father-in-law add a new bracket in the front and I moved two more batteries to the front. The ride leveled out nicely. I still have two batteries sitting on the trunk floor that I need to find a home for. I might be able to squeeze one more in the front, but then I'll be out of room for the new control boxes that I am building. I have removed the air contidioner. It consumed too much space in my little motor compartment.

I bought 3 Kilovac EV200 contactors on ebay for $84 each, a very good deal! I'm building a control box set like I did for the VW bug I recently converted.

The weather is getting cooler and I notice the batteries being more sluggish. I'm not sure about the Exide batteries to start with. They seem to sag a lot. I can pull it down to 84V (1.75V/cell) under a "normal" acceleration. I dont let it get below that however. I've taken it as far as 15 miles on a charge, and as fast as 60 MPH. I'll have to get some more photos when I have my new control boxes installed.

I'm thinking I want to add some belly pan modifications, close off the front grill, and insulate the batteries. I still need to hook up the heater.. it's getting quite chilly in the mornings!