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The Queenslanders' excellent adventure

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    Posted: 13 October 2013 at 5:28pm
Well, four Queenslanders travelled together to the 2013 AEVA Festival and AGM: SuziAuto, Yurgi, Weber, and Coulomb. Oops, I'm forgetting Glen George, who drove even further than we did, and under his own steam, err, charge, as well! well done again, Glen!

But what is this? Can the MX-5 truly be impounded with all these crashed cars? I hope she is OK!!

We find out what happened to her later in this series; stay tuned!



Edited by Yurgi - 13 October 2013 at 5:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2013 at 5:38pm
I'm starting the topic again here. The upside down image above is an "Apple will do that" thing; it displays right way up on the iPad, and upside down on all other computers.

Four Queenslanders travelled together to the 2013 AEVA Festival and AGM: SuziAuto, Yurgi, Weber, and Coulomb. Oops, I'm forgetting Glen George, who drove even further than we did, and under his own steam, err, charge, as well! well done again, Glen!

But what is this? Can the MX-5 truly be impounded with all these crashed cars? I hope she is OK!!



We find out what happened to her later in this series; stay tuned!



Edited by coulomb - 17 October 2013 at 6:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2013 at 6:16pm
Oops - the above was posted my me, borrowing Yurgi's IPad.

I've logged in as coulomb for the rest of the posts.

Our story begins in Eagleby, on the outskirts of Brisbane. That's where towme.com.au has an outlet, where they had a trailer that was 14 .3048ths of a meter long (hey, I'm an SI unit, ok?). That is good, because at their other outlet, the trailer is only 12 .3048ths off a meter long, and the MX-5 is 3.96 m long (almost exactly 13.0 .3048ths of a meter, as it happens).

Weber drove it from Bardon to Eagleby, some 40 km, longer than we've driven the MX-5 before. There was no incident.

     

The image on the right was obtained from the future, involving a deal with a certain dark angel.

The MX-5 is being towed by a white Pajero, kindly supplied by a friend of Yurgi, and driven by Yurgi. Earlier, Yurgi's scooter was ridden to Suziauto Auto, where they made up a bracket to hold it at the end of another car trailer, which also held a green Suzuki conversion. As well, Yurgi had brought along his "BigDaddy" skateboard, for a total of 6 vehicles, including 4 EVs, and 2 trailers.

The adventure begins!

Edited by coulomb - 17 October 2013 at 6:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2013 at 11:57am
The first drama happened soon after we were underway. Weber phoned to say they had an issue. A kind Samaritan that happened to be following them noticed clouds of smoke pouring out of the trailer wheels, and waved them over. Yurgi had noticed that the Pajero wasn't pulling well, and wondered how it would pull all that weight up hills. The trailer had recently been serviced with new wheel bearings, which may have disturbed the brakes. With the Samaritan's help, they were adjusted to not be always on, and the Pajero pulled much better. Phew!

Our destination for the first day was at Christmas Cove Caravan Park, at a small town called Laurieton, half way from Brisbane to Canberra. Shortly before we got there, we had the second drama. I received a call from Weber, but the call dropped out. As I was calling him back, suziauto checked behind and found smoke. Smoke again! But the other trailer this time. We stopped and found that one tyre had exploded, and the shredded remains caused the smoke.



Slight problem... There is no spare, and the spare on the other trailer, which has the same tyre and also 5 bolts, has a slightly different bolt pattern.    So what to do? We were close, so surely we could hack something up. We ended up taking the Suzuki EV and the electric scooter off the trailer, and tied up the wheel-less hub with a newly freed tie down.



The scooter went back on the three-wheeled trailer, and I drove the Suzuki EV to the caravan park. It was my first time in a clutch less EV. indeed, I had no trouble shifting gears. We got to the caravan park without further incident. The tyre was repaired in Laurieton the next day. We modified the cowling of the trailer to avoid rubbing the tyre, which we suspect may have been at least part of the problem.

At Christmas Cove, we were keen to recharge the MX-5 and continue the process of balancing the B half-pack. We were pleased to find that the air conditioner was plugged into a 15 A outlet (with a 10 A plug). This meant we could use the recently purchased rugged 15 A extension cord, even before we modified it for 10 A operation (by chopping off a small amount, adding a 10 A plug to the short end, and a 15 A socket to the long end).

   

You can see Queen's Lake in the background. It had swans, a jetty, and some walking tracks; quite a nice area.

Edited by coulomb - 17 October 2013 at 6:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2013 at 12:17pm
When we arrived at Queanbean, near Canberra, the priority for Weber and I was to unload the MX-5 and clean her up. For Suziauto, the priority was food. After Weber lathered up the car with all-in-one polish and cleaner, I was tasked with finding a hose or near equivalent. The rubbish bin was a generous size, and had a removable insert like a bucket. There was a tap outside, so we could splash the soap off. Later, Suziauto returned and cleaned his EV with a proper square bucket and brush that we hadn't seen. Oh well, our way was more fun.

Once again, there was a 10 A air conditioner plug in a 15 A socket, though the whole cabin was plugged into two 15 A outlets at a caravan style bollard. I checked and found that three of the four outlets were provisioned, so we had our own outdoor 15 A outlet with dedicated breaker. Woot! At this point, we only needed a trickle for continuing the balancing of the B half-pack, but we'd need it after the ~ 40 km round trip to Canberra.

With all this fussing and preparation, we skimped a bit on planning the journey there. We paid for that, driving around Canberra's amazing ring roads before we found the festival.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 October 2013 at 12:42pm
Now to the Festival itself! Here is the MX-5 on display:



The venue was rather nice, the City Walk in the heart of Canberra.

   

The Suzi Auto green machine, next to the Australian Greens stall, and the MX-5:

   

Here is a local entry by Peter Campbell:

    

This one I saw back in 2009, so it's good to see that it's still going strong. Peter does a good job of showing it off well, with the labelled perspex cover and paper notes. I love the daisies in the exhaust pipe area; nice touch, Peter!




Edited by coulomb - 17 October 2013 at 6:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 October 2013 at 12:56pm
Here is another Queensland exhibition:



This is Glen George's electric MG. As you can see, it is now towing a camper trailer with extra batteries, in matching blue. You can read more about his travels elsewhere, e.g. The Great CO2 Race.

Some other photos:

    

That's Yurgi on the left, with his Big Daddy skakeboard partly visible. He's leaning on a hoverboat that may one day be converted to electric.


    




Edited by coulomb - 17 October 2013 at 6:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 October 2013 at 1:22pm
There was a gap of a few hours between the end of the Festival and the start of the AGM.

    

We recharged the A half-pack, but mustn't have given it enough time. On the way back from the AGM, we found ourselves running out of power rapidly. This is a good thing - it shows that our BMS is successfully saving the A half-pack from excessive discharge. But we needed to get back to the cabin, which we thought was about 3 km away (actually more like 5 km). We don't have any sort of SOC meter working yet, and really should have been using the trip meter. Pfft - EV newbies.

So we have the B half-pack, but it's never been used for traction and it's not balanced. We decide it's our best option. "All" we have to do is to undo one of the A half-pack anderson connectors, and do up the B half-pack anderson. The latter is easy enough; we've done it many times. The A half-pack is not too bad either, unless you've done up the metal cover to make the car look neater, as we did. We didn't take any tools with us either.

Still, there are other A half-pack connectors; perhaps one advantage of having so many battery boxes. One of these is almost accessible from the front through the "mouth". It took us about a quarter of an hour, but finally we managed to disconnect one.

We made it to the cabin without incident, at least that we know of. The transfer of battery stress data from one DCU to the other over the CAN bus is not working at present, so really the B half-pack isn't being protected by the battery management system yet. We figured that with the amount of charge that even the weakest cells have received, even 10 km of driving should be safe. We immediately checked the blue lights; all of them were visible. This is a very crude check of cell voltage; if the cell is very badly discharged, it will not have enough terminal voltage to light a blue LED.

We left both half-packs on charge all night, feeding some cables through the window, having removed the insect screen. We could close the window to within abour 12 mm. This allowed us to close the door against the cold Canberra night (the day was hot; much hotter than recent days). It also reduced the chances of someone tripping over the cables.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2013 at 5:33am
Yurgi (George) on the skateboard:



Unfortunately, we only have the last few, low speed seconds, and it doesn't show the speed and grace of this thing in action. Awesome, George!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2013 at 7:24pm
I've added several photos to the posts above; check them out if you are interested.

It's now the Sunday after the Festial. We managed to hook up with Woody for lunch, at MacDonalds because the "Rubber Ducky" mini truck stop was closed.

The next stop is Christmas Cove again, but we never got there. Early afternoon we got a call from Weber telling us to pull over; they have to check something with the engine. After a few minutes, it becomes obvious that it's not a trivial check. SuziAuto and I walk back to the Pajero, and when we get near it we are treated to the smell of hot metal. SuziAuto, owning an auto shop, is pretty handy mechanically, so he tells Yurgi to turn the engine over. It cranks quickly without starging, meaning that there is no compression. Likely the timing belt, he pronounces. Nothing we can fix on the side of the road. They report having heard a bang and some smoke; smoke again!

Yours truly looking sour:



We figure we need to tow the Pajero off the highway, preferably to the nearest mechanic. But what about the MX-5 and trailer? SuziAuto pointed out that many tow vehicles are of the tray type, and have towballs for just such a situation. So we see this:



So this is the view from the second tow vehicle, towing two EVs, showing the tow truck, carrying the first tow vehicle, and towing the trailer with the MX-5 on it. Got that?

It took the MX-5 and trailer to a holding yard in the small town of Wyong:

   
The tow truck driver assured us that this yard was quite secure; it has 24 hour surveillance and is where the police hold vehicles from accidents that need forensic examination. However as you can see on the right, it doesn't seem that secure in reality. But we had no choice but to leave it there.

We spent the night in a local motel; that's where this thread was created. The next day we visited the local mechanic. It turns out that this mechanic is familiar with Mitsubishi engines, and also turns out to be an acquaintance of SuziAuto. Small world. This is what he had to show us:



Quite a mess, as you can see. The timing belt was supposed to have been replaced 2-3 years ago; both mechanics declared that this was most unlikely. Alas, this engine is of the type that when the crankshafts are free to turn, the valves contact with the pistons, bending the valves and making it a more expensive repair. The mechanic asked around for a reconditioned engine; it would cost $5k to install. The Pajero had been on the market for $2k and not sold for a year.
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So now we needed a new plan. It was decided that the Pajero would be scrapped; the owners received a few hundred for it. Would we all fit in the Vitara? It would need to carry 2 extra people and two extra sets of gear.

We considered the options again, e.g. hiring a tilt tray truck and dropping it off in Brisbane. But again, all these options were well over $1000.

In the end, we managed to fit the people and a little gear into the Vitara. To minimise the weight on the Vitara's rear axle, we moved the green EV back as far as it would go (alas, only about 100-200 mm), nearly touching the scooter. The green EV was packed almost to the ceiling with the rest of the gear:



Weber had a function to go to that Tuesday night, so the plan was for him to drive down on the Wednesday, and back on the Thursday. SuziAuto kindly offered the Vitara for this purpose. Weber was able to have his father come with him for the journey, for company and sharing of driving.

Just before the AEVA Brisbane meeting, I phoned Weber to find him 3 hours north of Wyong, staying overnight. The plan was to get up very early and still get to Brisbane by Thursday night.

Today (Thursday), I received a text message asking me to tell Towme that he was staying overnight near Iluka, and that the trailer would be back by 5pm Friday.

I guess that means that tomorrow's EV day has been cancelled...

[ Edit: fit all the people and a little gear into the *Vitara*. Rest of gear into green EV. Added photo. ]

Edited by coulomb - 18 October 2013 at 2:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonescg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2013 at 9:11pm
A petrol car can have an electrical problem, but you'll never have a petrol problem with an electric car T-belt failures are always catastrophic... An exciting adventure, but perhaps not so excellent?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acmotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2013 at 10:11pm
What a series of unfortunate events !

Almost like the ICE vehicle was blurting out its last cries of a dying technology while the new technology rode on its back.

Well done for taking your EV to Canberra !

I bet you pondered a gen set on a trailer behind the MX5 after (before) the Pajero gave up !

Excellent adventure !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 October 2013 at 9:21am
Originally posted by acmotor acmotor wrote:

I bet you pondered a gen set on a trailer behind the MX5 after (before) the Pajero gave up !


I was thinking the very same thing after hearing the cost and drama of this adventure. The lt - 100km consumed to move the weight and drag of both the tow car, trailer and EV would be a lot more than a generator would consume recharging a EV battery for 100km worth of charge not to mention it's way more cool. Think of it as the diy hybrid.

I think I did some rough calculations using the data from my relatively inefficient kubota diesel generator charging my Imiev works out at 4.5lt of diesel burnt for every 100km range equivalent of charge.

Perhaps next years adventure could be done this way. You can hire a generator that's already on a small trailer. Though it takes a good 10kw of power to sustain 100kph. Some kind of compromise that just gave additional range perhaps a 400km a day option. Sure it's fossil fuel but for the odd long distance adventure it's less fuel being burnt that towing EV's on trailers.

Fast charging is the answer though.

Kurt


Edited by offgridQLD - 18 October 2013 at 9:23am
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Originally posted by offgridQLD offgridQLD wrote:

Sure it's fossil fuel but for the odd long distance adventure it's less fuel being burnt that towing EV's on trailers.

Yes. The first fuel fill was $114.97 for 71.9 L. That was the Pajero. The Vitara was cheaper at just under $100. I can't remember how many fuel stops there were, and it's probably not quite over yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 October 2013 at 2:53pm
If that was the Excellent Adventure, I guess my dad and I have just completed the sequel we weren't supposed to have, the Bogus Journey, to rescue the MX-lightning from the police holding yard at Wyong where her former tow vehicle (a Pajero) expired.

The loan of the Pajero reminds me of a story my father-in-law tells about a keg of beer in the airforce during WWII. This keg was delivered to the Sergeants' mess as a gift from the Officers' mess. The next morning an officer asks a sergeant, "How was that keg of beer?" The segeant replies, "It was just right. If it was any worse we couldn't have drunk it. If it was any better we wouldn't have got it."

After getting back from the Canberra Festival [did we mention that Queenslanders provided about half the EVs that were there] I kept a date with my daughter at the Matt Corby concert in the Brisbane Convention Centre. My daughter and I both agree with the following sentiment: "I'm sick of people comparing Matt Corby to God. I mean he's great and all but he's no Matt Corby."

Then early the next morning (Wednesday) my father drove down from Maleny to Bardon, transferred his gear to my Tarago and we drove to Suzi Auto at Springwood, swapped the Tarago for Graeme's Grand Vitara [Thanks Graeme!] and headed off down the New England Highway. I'd just done the Pacific Highway twice and knew I would have to do it again with the trailer so the change of scenery was good.

Snapped this at the Caravan park we stayed in at Murrurundi. No, not an EV, but would be a fun conversion.



Edited by weber - 18 October 2013 at 7:22pm
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Thursday morning, what I estimated to be a 3 hour trip from Murrurundi to Wyong turned out to be 4.5 hours thanks to the Hunter Valley section of the New England Highway being mostly 60 km/h due to towns, road works and traffic jams. So we didn't get to Vanderpoel Smash Repairs at Wyong until about 11 am.

I went into their office to tell them I was here for the trailer with the red MX-5 on it. John, the tow truck driver who had brought it, and the Pajero, in off the Sydney/Newcastle freeway, said "Oh that. We sold it." I replied, "So I won't have to pay any storage charges then." Actually, I had already seen it safe, and they were kind enough not to charge for the 4 days of storage, despite the framed price schedule including storage charges, that I could read on the desk.

I took this shot out the back window of the Vitara, with my dad watching while John moved the trailer out with a forklift so I could back onto it.



Then we headed off back up the freeway, this time pulling nearly 2 tons of aggregate trailer mass, about 20% more than the Vitara itself. I began to have even greater respect for Graham and George (suziauto and yurgi) who had driven the vehicles and trailers the 1200 km from Brisbane to Canberra, and one of them back again, at speeds up to 110 km/h.

As I was driving down the first long hill and the speed got up to about 100 km/h we could feel a severe case of "tail-wagging-the-dog". Feeling it was one thing. Looking in the rearview mirror and seeing the wild gyrations of the trailer was quite another. Some kind of resonance was just building and building with apparently nothing to damp it. Dad said "Brakes!" and I eased them on very gradually until the speed dropped to about 80 km/h and the lurching from side-to-side finally ceased. I think I may be suffering from PTSD (Post Trailer Stress Disorder) for quite some time after experiencing that. I'd better warn my wife not to worry if I wake up screaming. "It's just another trailer nightmare", I'll say.

We drove more slowly after that and texted Graham for advice. It came back as "Move the MX-5 forward 6 inches on the trailer". So at the next rest area we stopped and did exactly that, despite the fact that there was alread considerable down-force on the towball, and despite the fact that the present loading had worked better with the Pajero than more forward loadings. It worked! No more death wobbles at 100 km/h. But we still drove most of the way home at 80 km/h. It was easier on the tyres, the engine, and the nerves.

But we seemed to leave a path of destruction in our wake. As we passed Masonite Road near Newcastle (yes masonite, not melamine-coated MDF ) we saw a sign saying it was closed due to bushfire. We learned the next day that shortly after we passed through, the Pacific Highway itself was closed there, due to the bushfire.

We decided to stop for the night at a place called "Woombah" -- kind of like the sound of an elephant farting under water. The "Woombah Woods" caravan park is a few hundred metres off the Pacific highway along the road to Iluka, and the sound we heard the next morning was far more disturbing than an elephant fart.

Edited by weber - 18 October 2013 at 9:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2013 at 8:11am
Yesterday morning as my father and I ate our breakfast in a cabin in the Woombah Woods caravan park and the gentle rain droppeth as mercy from heaven, we heard 3 loud noises a fraction of a second apart. Crack-crack-BOOOOOOMMMM! The first two could have been gunshots, but the last was a serious explosion that shook the cabin. Was it a nearby lightning strike (but there was no flash), or blasting in a nearby quarry? A while later we heard sirens and noticed that traffic from Iluka was backed up, apparently prevented from entering the Pacific Highway.

We finished packing, and as we were paying we were told there had been an accident at the turnoff -- "We think a car exploded" -- and that the Pacific Highway was blocked to the south, but we would be OK to travel north. Here is a photo from the local newspaper's website yesterday, taken from the Pacific Highway just south of the intersection.



So with this, and the bushfire closing the highway near Newcastle, you can see what I mean by "leaving a trail of destruction in our wake". When we got to the intersection we saw firefighters spraying water into the back of the still-steaming body of a burned out car on the back of a towtruck, and what appeared to be the chassis of a caravan that had burnt completely to the ground being pushed off the road by a bobcat.

More photos, story and video here.

Information on what actually happened is sketchy. But we figure the two cracks must have been two successive collisions and the BOOOOOOMMMM must have been an LPG-air explosion due to the caravan's gas cylinder. My guess is that the car was towing the caravan south on the Pacific Highway and braked hard and swerved to avoid running into the back of the milk tanker which had just turned onto the highway from the Iluka road. The intersection was oily from a long period without rain, but now it was wet. I suspect the first collision was the caravan smacking into the car as the assembly jackknifed, forming a "V" that continued point-first, or caravan sideways, down the road with the car being dragged backwards. The first collision presumably ruptured the gas tank on the front of the caravan and sprayed LPG into the air and onto the road as it went. The second collision, a fraction of a second later was probably the caravan hitting the back of the milk truck and then the BOOM a fraction of a second after that was due to sparks from the second collision igniting the LPG-air cloud.

Amazingly, the newspapers say there were no fatalities, only 4 people treated for minor injuries!

Here's the official story. It seems I guessed wrong. http://www.nbnnews.com.au/index.php/2013/10/18/couple-walk-away-from-fiery-multi-car-crash/

Edited by weber - 20 October 2013 at 6:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2013 at 9:07am
The good news is that the MX-ϟ is safely back in Bardon and sucking some of that legendary Queensland sunshine into her batteries after driving the last 40 km from where we dropped off the rental trailer, 3 days and $221 late. Not to mention the additional $383 for petrol and $114 for accommodation and the additional 1730 km we travelled. Making a total cost of $718 for the Bogus Journey. We're still waiting on some peoples' figures for the Excellent Adventure.

My advice to anyone considering taking an EV on a trailer to next year's EV Festival in Melbourne is: Just say no.

I must say again how extremely grateful I am to Graeme Manietta of Suzi Auto for the loan of his Grand Vitara, and to my father for accompanying me at such short notice and sharing the driving.

Edited by weber - 20 October 2013 at 9:54pm
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 October 2013 at 10:38am
Thanks guys. Great story telling as always. Sorry to hear that the cost in dollars and time was so high - but you will look back and laugh/cry...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Damnthematrix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 5:27am
What a BRILLIANT idea.........

I am planning to convert an old Mazda ute that is in remarkably good structural condition. I need a ute for moving big heavy stuff occasionally, and it doesn't get driven much. It's also ideal for a conversion because the batteries can go under the tray (and the bonnet) leaving the car's carrying volume at least, untouched.... But I have to say I had never thought of carrying a genset ON the tray if I ever needed to drive distances longer than the batteries range......

Thanks for that...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 7:57am
The tale of our Excellent Adventure and the subsequent Bogus Journey (which really was also an excellent adventure for me and my dad) would not be complete without a big thankyou to George Christoph (yurgi) who made these adventures possible by borrowing the Pajero in the first place, and who drove it all the way towing the MX-ϟ, and who insisted on paying all the additional costs incurred after the Pajero broke down. We un-insisted, on the basis that there was no way any of us could have suspected the ticking time-bomb of the past-its-time timing belt, and that we still got out of it cheaper than any of the other options we had looked at. But we did gratefully accept a donation from George for half those costs. Thanks George!

In response to some earlier comments: Unfortunately there's little possibility of the MX-ϟ being allowed to tow a trailer, or carry a generator and fuel in any way, except maybe bolted in place of the passenger seat (!), given that its unladen mass is 1350 kg and its maximum laden mass is 1530 kg.

Another option we considered was to eliminate the mass of the car-trailer and the resulting high center of mass, by towing the MX-ϟ on an A-frame, like this.



But we didn't have time to get it built and approved, and it would probably have cost around $2000 including engineer approval, even using this kit http://www.whitfieldhallfabrication.com.au/gallery/A-Frame%2Band%2BBracket%2527s/aframe-towing-system/197083.

If we take the MX-ϟ interstate in future, maybe we will just take our time driving it. Charge it at caravan parks or motels at night and hopefully find some place with interesting stuff in walking distance to get another charge in the middle of the day, say from 8am to 4pm. But that will require a lot of careful planning in advance.

Yes, the answer for the future of EVs is a combination of fast charging and increased range on a single charge. I think 250 km would be enough. Even on the Nullarbor it's only 200 km between service stations. The Telsa Model S is already available with a 480 km range (85 kWh battery). We just need the cost of those batteries to come down.

One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).
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