Yes, good idea. It is simple and should be easy to undo if it turns out there ain't much to gain by installing electric power steering and maybe even AC.When you get good at reading pack charge and such, I'd love for you to remove the belt from the power steering and AC.
Another thing you might check is wheel adjustment. I don't know what Paul did in this compartment but it would be prudent to check the wheels are properly aligned and as neutral as it is possible. Ordinary ICE service garage should be able to do it. You might be loosing more than 10% of range here.
I believe in Tesla as a concept, a brand, and a suite of products. No matter who conceived, started, runs, or maintains, I hope it ultimately prevails and lasts.
In reply to the above:
Since the power steering runs off the motor, taking the car out of gear kills the p/s. Last time I had a manual transmission car I did things like downshifting going into a turn. Well, without a clutch, downshifting is very hard, so when, without thinking I do this, I end up making the turn without p/s. And so I can tell you, I am never going to intentionally disable it. I can drive the car without, but it is very difficult and would be dangerous. So I will not be removing the belt to assess the effect on range.
I think I mentioned earlier about the work the local Porsche dealer will be doing, replacing the broken wheel well liner, and fastening both liners and the A/C condenser properly. When those parts arrive and I take it in for that work, I'll also have them check the alignment and toe-in. They will not set it to zero, because a dealer is not going to set anything outside of specs, but I will ask them to check it and set it to the minimum permitted by the specs. I am not sure I'd want to sacrifice handling for range. At present I can go to Coeur d'Alene and back on about 120 ah (of my total 200 ah pack) and that is adequate. I am disappointed that I do not get the range promised, but the car will do what I need it to. Giving up the Porsche handling is too much to ask.
I'll have the dealer check for dragging brakes as well, but the car coasts very smoothly, slowing down very gradually, so I doubt if anything is dragging.
I suspect that the tranny and p/s are the culprits. But I'll see what the dealer says about the alignment.
I'm resigned about the low range. I was promised 125 miles in writing, and that was not fulfilled, but I'm thinking maybe the older cars Paul normally converts are inherently more efficient, and he didn't realize that this one would burn more electrons per mile.
I did a zero to sixty test, and this was even more disappointing. Remember that my contract says in writing that I'd have a 1000 amp controller, and Paul told me verbally that the car would do zero to sixty in "around 6 to 8 seconds."
Well, I put the car in 3rd gear and floored the pedal and it took 43 seconds to get to sixty! That's a far cry from 6 to 8 seconds. The car starts to shake seriously if I keep the pedal on the floor, so I have to let up a bit. I can feel that the acceleration is stronger at low rpms, so I tried again, shifting through the gears. But since there is no clutch, shifting it is hard, and I lose time, and as a result my zero to sixty time was even slower. I believe that I could do it in 30 seconds if I could shift as quickly and smoothly as I did in my old Honda Civic years ago.
Presumably the reason for this is that Paul was unable to use the 1000 amp controller he had originally planned. He told me (after I had the car!) "I knew you would not want me to use a controller that might blow up." That's true. I would not. But I ended up with a car that I would have only paid half as much for had I known what it would actually do.
So I am going to do some checking to see if there are basic things that could improve the efficiency, and I'm going to investigate the practicality of swapping in a bigger controller, and then I'll decide if I want to trust someone to work on it, or just accept the fact that I have a beautiful car that handles like a Porsche and accelerates like a jalopy and cost more than it was worth, and enjoy it for what it is. I bought this car to drive it, not to be someone else's science project. Some folks convert a car for the challenge, and because they like to work on cars. I don't work on cars. I don't even change the oil on my stinker. I just want to drive electric, and there's something to be said for keeping the car and driving it, rather than letting other folks play with it for an indefinite amount of time, in what might be a futile attempt to get it to do more than it can do. Everyone thinks that 330 wh/mi is much too high. But maybe their experience is with older cars that have less stuff and are therefore inherently more efficient.
0 to 60 in 30+ seconds ?! Even people who don't care much about acceleration may find that dangerously inadequate. Do you ever enter onramps and have to get up to freeway speeds to match traffic?
It's not just the lack of 1000 amps, it's also the lower voltage you're stuck with. Even if you had the same 500 amps but higher voltage you'd get better acceleration, plus better efficiency. If you can find someone you trust to do the work a better controller plus a Toyota MR2 electric power steering pump will make a world of difference. Until then you've got a drivable highway capable EV, so you're ahead of most of us. Hopefully I'll have my Fiero going in a month or so.....
Like I've said before Daniel, what ultimately matters most is if you're happy. But honestly, I think you're doing a huge disservice to EVs, EV conversion buyers, yourself and the community at large by paying for something you didn't get. 43 sec 0-60 is ridiculous, the range is 1/2 what you paid for. I think you should make this guy sell you a car that at least comes in the neighborhood of the contractually agreed specs for the price paid.
I think if he continues to be able to sell products word will spread that EVs can't be made with decent range and performance.
Last edited by efusco; 05-29-2009 at 06:07 AM.
EVan E. Fusco, MD
Model S R77/VIN-1267-- Black 85kWh (non-perf), Tech, Lacewood trim, tan interior, Sound Studio, Air Suspension, 19" rims, twin chargers, HPWC
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My old RangerEV does 0-60 in < 10s, (and is rather peppy 0-30) and can hit almost 80mph, so don't try to race me with your Porsche
Last edited by TEG; 05-28-2009 at 10:22 PM.
As harsh as it is I have to agree with efusco.
As for this being the guys first time working with LI, He would know how voltage effects motor speed and controller options. Did he think the trans would allow him to get away with it? Shouldn't he had done the math? I'm a little shocked this guy didnt even use a zilla. Not even a manzanita charger. The one in the car looks like the ones bundled with the china LI packs.
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