It has been cold like it always does this time of year but more so it seems ( especially with the economy and all). I drive the SS Saturn everyday to work and on weekends. Five degrees f in the morning has not stopped her. Snow, slush and rain either. Maybe lots of snow might worry me. So far no problems with the weather affecting the electric vehicle except the batteries are not as quick when it is cold. As I write this update the Saturn has over 1200 electric miles. I have run low twice but made it OK.
Almost there on using the original tach. Dave Koller is getting me a gear and I believe I have, with his help, all the rest figured out. Will be getting the tachometer going in February. See other tachometer entrees http://saturn.lynnautorepair.com/?q=node/304
I checked all the levels and added 2 gallons of distilled water to the 18 thirsty Exide lead acid batteries. None of the cell plates were showing (exposed). I checked each cell’s specific gravity with a hydrometer and recorded the figures. The diagram that showed the battery layout in series helped and I just labeled each one on the printed drawing and a spreadsheet, numbering from 1 to 18 and each cell a,b,c,d (remember it is a 8 volter). Recall from the old days (1980’s) when I used to test batteries before the no maintenance batteries.
When ya use the hydrometer, air bubbles want to stick to the float and give a false reading, showing better or higher specific gravity than actual. Tap the tester on the side with something to release the bubbles. I used my pocket flashlight that was also needed when filling the cells, so I wouldn’t overfill. I actually held the funnel and flashlight in one hand and could see down in the cell and top off each one with the other hand and jug.
In the front battery boxes, I had to remove one battery and the cables in the top box to access the lower 3 batteries and fill and test them.
Some of the vent or cap release levers hit the positive or negative terminals. So I trimmed the ones that did. Next time there will be no problems there. See the photo and arrow.
Bigger Charger and Wiring Change-
Purchased, but have not wired up a 240 VAC Quick Charge QPWX 20 amp charger. My plans have changed but as of now it will not be a on board charger but I will leave the 120 charger in the trunk and this big charger will stay at home and charge overnight. I will have to make some changes to the Saturn.
One, the battery cooling fan is AC and fed off the plugin going to the onboard charger. So for it to work on both overnight and opportunity charge I will need to have its own plugin. So I will have 3 plugins, one a DC anderson connector for the Big charger, two the same AC plugin for the smaller onboard charger and three a plugin for the cooling fan. If anyone has a better idea let me know.
14 Volt gauge-
Still need to install a low voltage system gauge.
Another Toggle Switch-
My motorcycle battery keeps going down especially if I do not drive it the next morning. I tested the parasite drain and it is within specifications (.03 amp draw). So I added a toggle switch that shut off the ground side to the 12 volt motorcycle battery and all is well now (except the radio channels will not set).
Painted the plastic rear bumper cover black and the four door handles. They have turned grey over the years.
See Cheater Heater