Sunday, March 24, 2013

Small update

On Friday I had a couple of hours to work on the Robin. Me and Ben managed to get the engine out after which I removed the engine from the gearbox. I also removed the exhaust and fuel line. So everything that has anything to do with gasoline is gone!

The goal was to make the Robin electric but now that I have easy access I think I'll work a bit on the chassis and replace some parts to make my three wheeler last for at least the next 20 years! 

I'm thinking cleaning the chassis and repainting/tectyling it. Changing the 

shocks, some rubbers, refurbishing the springs and other things I'll find on the way. I'll probably have time for all of that while I'm thinking about the electrical part of the build ;)

The big parts and the overall things to do are clear to me but there are some questions about the details that are not answered yet. Luckily I have great help from the and 
Reliant forums, Jan from 
and the guys from E&R Autobedrijf!

After dealing with the engine and thinking about the chassis and other bits I started to try to get my head around the one off parts that need to be made for the car. Coupling between the electric motor and gearbox(using the clutchplate), cover plate for gearbox with or separate motor mount to the gearbox, motor mount to chassis and battery box  The rest of the components are going on the body in the engine compartment of near the batteries. 

The last couple of weeks I made a lot of visual progress which I'm very happy with, now it will be more details, thinking and slowly building. I'm still exited and looking forward to the next steps!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A bit closer to the beginning

On the second day of stripping the car the goal was to separate the body from the chassis and so finish where I started last week. But first things first! The first parts have arrived. After some discussions on different forum about the EMC, 5v throttle box etc. I bought the kit I wanted form EV Drives and a Hall effect throttle box and fuel gauge from EV West. The kit arrived this week with the motor, controller, contractor and some small stuff! I'm a very happy man today :D ---------------------->

Last week I wrote some stuff that needed to be done before I could start the ´divorce´. I removed all the small parts like break line, grounds, handbrake etc. and I removed three large parts. The radiator and altimeter to make the separation easier and the fuel tank to finally be done with it ;) 

Then we (me and Arjon) used the lift in the garage to lift the body up, blocks on the polyester besides the chassis beams. Worked like a charm although I mist some small stuff of course and it was quite difficult to balance the body on the lift, we had no idea about the weight distribution without the chassis. But we got it done it the chassis is free!

The chassis looks great! No big rust spots, a couple of rubbers are a bit dry. So it will need some attention but not to much. 

Next week I´ll remove the exhaust and the engine. Get the gearbox free so that I can mock up the new electric engine. 

I have to start thanking Ben and Arjon from E&R autobedrijf. Just perfect to be able to work in there garage!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

First day

Today was the first day of the conversion. I started with weighing the car, left was 130 kg and right 123kg. Front tire was more then 150kg but the scale did not go further... But it will get lighter at the front and heavier at the back so that's no problem. 

For now the goal is to separate the body from the chassis for easy access to the motor and later installation of all the new electric parts. I started with the interior, the seats, back bench, steering wheel/column, volt meter, clutch cable, speedometer cable, seat belts, gear leaver, center console and some lose bolts attached to the chassis. 

Then I began in the motor compartment removing the battery and heater. After that I undid the two bolts in the front of the compartment, heater/choke cable, ignition cable, break line, fuel line, and the radiator hoses. (next time gas cable, starter motor cable and radiator, rest of the earth connections) 

From the bottom of the car I removed the fuel tank, fuel pump and some more bolts holding the body and chassis together. (next time 5 bolts of back chassis, handbrake, break line bottom of motor compartment, reverse  light switch)

It was a good first day, nice to take things apart (except the rusty stuff..) and getting a basis from which I can work towards the full electric goal :)
I'm hoping to get the parts this week and separating the body and chassis next weekend. Then I'll see what really needs to be done.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Drive 'home'

Today I tried to drive the car from the storage garage to the garage where I can work. A 100km drive for a old English car that didn't drive for 6 months. First couple of try's no power, no ignition but the engine turned over so there was hope. After 10 min the car started but old clutch problems started. A loud rattle and when I pushed the clutch the engine stalled. So no driving but a friend joined me so we towed the car to it's new home. 
The real work will start next weekend, looking forward to it!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Start of the EV conversion

Since some years I´ve been planning to convert a Reliant Robin 850 to electric power. This is my blog about the conversion that I start tomorrow. In my mind is the Robin a perfect platform because its very light (400 kg incl. ICE) , a very simple set-up without complex Airco, power steering or even a radio and a separate chassis/body for easy access when the body is removed. 
I bought my Reliant 1.5 years ago and drove it quite often and semi rebuilt the engine because it blew up on me... But it's still a very lovable car, I know it pretty good by now and only more reason to make it a EV!

For my conversion I'm going for a DC setup with a clutch less coupling to the electric motor. I want to build it on a budget so I want to keep it as simple as possible. Here a scheme of what I have planed:

As you can see in the scheme the current plan is to use 6 battery's (accus) of each 12v for a total of 72v with one 12v battery for the auxiliary power. This runs trough a Alltrax AXE 7245 controller that breaks up the full power in to as much as the throttle tells it to. This controlled power goes to a D&D ES 15-6 motor which turns it into motion that goes via a coupler and adapter plat to the transmission and eventually the wheels. I'll some safety features, charger, link to 12v cables a fuel gauge and I should have a working EV.

I’m hoping on a top speed of around 80 km/h and a range between 50 and 100 km depending on the battery’s that I install. With 12v deep cycle battery’s as the cheap, easy, heavy and low range option and lifepo4 battery’s as the best option. For now I’m sticking with the cheap and easy option for the first try always leaving the door open for an upgrade.

The motor/controller combination on 72v has a less horsepower than the internal combustion engine (ICE) but more torque. Both horsepower and torque are peaked at low RPM with the electric set-up instead of relative high rpm. So it should be good from 0 km/h.
39 at 5500 rpm
25 at 1600 rpm
Torque ft/ib
46 at 3500 rpm
65 at 1600 rpm

I'm not so good at all the electronic calculations so I'll see what happens when everything is in. It's all theory now.

First things first, the car has to come to the garage before anything can be done. Then I'll check if the plans are feasible and if the first parts are ordered there is no turning back!