The converting, maintenance, and operation of a Suzuki Samurai conversion to Electric power.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The New Underhood

Here is the view under the hood.
Upper Left is the contactors. Blue box in front is the controller. The stove connector is for the external charger. In front of that is the panel so I can test or charge each of the 18 batteries in the pack. Several of the fuseholders for  connections from this panel to the individual batteries are visible kind of hanging off the battery terminals. You can also see the end of the motor below the batteries.

The little box in the center of the firewall marked DATEL is a 12v to 12v dc/dc. The power supply for the Trimetric gage needs to have the same negative as the pack, but the pack negative can't be connected to the chassis. I tried using 16v from the 2 most negative batteries, but the tiny drain all the time made these two batteries more discharged than the rest. I wouldn't have guessed that 16 or 30 milliamps would matter. It did!

I haven't figured out how to format these posts, so the detail photos are in separate posts to follow or is that precede? Anyway, they end up down below. :-)

15 comments:

Wet and Cold said...

I love your blog and have shared it with many friends. Someday i might convert my samurai into an Electric. A few questions though, what are the costs of lithium ion batteries compared to lead-acid? And how many miles could one go on a single charge with them? I have ready 35-50 miles on lead-acid but is it possible to get around 200-300 with the lithiums(like the tesla)??

input appreciated!

thanks again for the blog!

storm said...

Last I checked, $10,000 would cover lithium batteries for the Samurai. The two things that are needed are cells and a way to package them and a battery management system to handle charge and discharge so you don't kill them. The Tesla approach of using thousands of laptop cells would not seem a reasonable approach. Larger cells are coming on the market. In my opinion, lithium is not a viable option yet. It is getting close!

Whether you are using Lithium, NiCad or one of the varieties of Lead/acid, you really have to evaluate your needs. To buy a battery pack that will take you 200 miles is a real waste of money if you seldom really go over 25. I don't think that a battery powered car is suitable as your only vehicle. The Suzuki is used for 90% of my trips. There are times when it is not the best tool for job at hand.

Glad to hear that someone is finding my blog interesting. Did you see the pictures on Picasa?

Wet and Cold said...

I actual saw this electric datsun on TV here in portland on "oregon field guide" and found it really interesting. Major and instantaneous torque is awesome!
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php

I then found your samurai on EVAlbum.com
It would be amazing to see a true offroad wheeler fully electric, especially with all that torque that an electric motor supplies! my samurai has a springs on top lift and 30 inch tires so it would be a challenging and unique conversion!

I like to take long road trips and do a lot of driving. Electric would be great if the availability and cost were down on the lithiums i'd jump right on it!

storm said...

White Zombie is something else! Electric should be good for off roading since a lot of time is spent idling.

Do you take long trips in the Suzuki?

Wet and Cold said...

i plan on taking long trips! i live about 60 miles from the coast and its a trip i make frequently! I haven't taken a long trip yet but i like to make a few trips down into california which would be the ultimate goal!

dariel said...

IMHO Jeep like vehicles aren't too good for long trips. Neither are EVs at the current level of development. My solution was to make a towbar for the Suzuki.

Wet and Cold said...

no they really aren't. the samurai is hardly aerodynamic but definitely FUN

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Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read that blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

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storm said...

It sure is frustrating that some folks seem compelled to put Viagra ads in as comments. And not just once! Do they really think anyone would buy from the ad?