Sunday, May 2, 2010

I stopped by the municipal garbage transfer station last week and weighed the car. The GVWR on the door nameplate is 3740lbs. I'm just sneaking by. Here's the original weights:
Front: 1580
Rear: 1408
Total: 2988
and the converted weights:
Front: 1780
Rear: 1880
Total: 3660
In both cases, that includes 230 lbs of me. The only variable was that I went different places for the weigh-ins. The first was a landscape rock yard and the second was a trash transfer station with a longer scale table. Whatever. I'm still going to drive it.

Here's the measurements on the ride height:

Wheel: Orig: Converted:
FrRt 25 7/8 24 7/8
RrRt 24 5/8 23 1/4
FrLt 25 3/4 25
RrLt 25 23 1/4

I do anticipate some stiffer springs in the rear. It's too soft going over railroad tracks.

By the way, that trip down to the scales was also my longest run to date, 16 miles at an average of 35-40mph. That route also included a 1/2 mile 10% grade (up) at mile 12. The car did great, started the hill at 45mph, then watched the ammeter all the way up, trying to keep it between 300 & 400A, and got to the top at 35 mph.

I definitely have a lot to learn about how to drive this thing. I still haven't taken the time to run it all the way down in an endurance test. I need to so that I'll have a little more peace of mind about running it on errands.

I have the Toyota connectors and pigtails to make better connections for the PS pump. The car is headed back to the shop for a couple of things:

  • Change out the control mounting board for a plastic butcher-block panel instead of plywood
  • Paint the front battery box
  • Rewire the PS pump connections
  • Move the PakTrakr CT from the control board back to the rear battery string (liberate space on the control board and easier running of CT wiring back to PakTrakr)
  • Splash shield for Commutator end of motor It's a journey, not a destination right?

Oh yeah, I also finally got around to pricing a new windshield. I was pleasantly surprised, it was only around $200. That will be money well spent. There's some nifty rorschach style cracks running back and forth across the original windshield. All I see is food. really. I think the only thing holding it together is the Lousisana registration sticker and La.State Patrol Supporter sticker (somebody in this vehicle's past was hedging their bets).

So much fun, let's do it again

As mentioned earlier, the next conversion project is my dad's Ford Ranger. The guys at Vision Steel hopped right on it, and already have all the big parts out and have cleaned up the chassis. This should be considerably easier than the BMW. Lots of access to the frame, more depth under the hood, etc. The other benefit is that all of the core electric components are the same and VS already has 2D files for the mounting brackets for motor, pump, etc. Here's some pix. I'll post the design goals in a separate post.