Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

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Stephan
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Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 01:11

Hi

My project is the conversion of my Mazda Tribute, which is an ordinary family car, with AC-50 motor and 12Kwh Leaf battery.
With the conversion the car weight is reduced from 1,500 to 1,300 kg.
For blog details see http://tribute01.wixsite.com/mysite

I am keen to get feedback, both on the usage aspects of driving electric, as well as the technical assembly.
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Johny
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Post by Johny » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 03:26

A few questions to start with Stephan.
You indicate in the blog that you removed a V6 and the auto gearbox. The V6 is good for about 150kw (if my googling is correct). The AC50 may be a little under powered. Are you adding a manual gearbox?

The battery pack at 12kwh. That's OK (mine is 12) but how much current do you expect to pull from it?
I'm assuming a system voltage around 170V?

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Post by Stephan » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 04:45

Hi John - thanks for your feedback. The voltage is calculated to be 112 V and 120 Amp. For this I need 28 Leaf modules. With the 28 I make two series of 14.
What range are you getting with your battery pack and how do you find it driving your car?

Over the last few years that V6 was already not performing well and did cost me an arm and a leg to keep it somewhat on the road. My expectation is not to get a car with max 130 - 150kw - as I expect that I do not need it. Maybe I do need 30-40 kw continues (but I do not know yet), I drive some kids to school, I do some shopping in the weekend and maybe the sport club nearby, but I hope - like all - to get a reasonable range of 50-80km, and a max speed of about 90-100kmh.   
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Post by Johny » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 15:13

Stephan wrote: Hi John - thanks for your feedback. The voltage is calculated to be 112 V and 120 Amp. For this I need 28 Leaf modules. With the 28 I make two series of 14.
So at around 54kw for the AC50 you will be pulling just under 500 Amps at 112 volts. That's similar to the Leaf current for a single string of modules times 2.
What range are you getting with your battery pack and how do you find it driving your car?
Range is around 70k winter and 85k summer. Check my blog (in signature). You can search using the labels - range is one of them.
Maybe I do need 30-40 kw continues (but I do not know yet), I drive some kids to school, I do some shopping in the weekend and maybe the sport club nearby, but I hope - like all - to get a reasonable range of 50-80km, and a max speed of about 90-100kmh.
Are you going to be using a gearbox?

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Post by Rusdy » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 18:01

Stephan wrote: I hope - like all - to get a reasonable range of 50-80km, and a max speed of about 90-100kmh.   


I assume your Leaf battery is the newer chemistry (not from 2011-2012 Leaf)? Your expectation should be realistic.

What I've found from my Leaf, the degradation is quite fast (relative to LFP, like Johny's electric Vogue). Also, the older Leaf chemistry have narrower usable window (maybe the same on the new one?).

In LFP, the battery is quite happily used between 100% all the way down to 5% ALL the time. In older Leaf batteries, for longetivity, you only can use between 90% and 10%. In the Leaf itself, the car is not even allowing you to access the last 10% (only between 90 and 15%), also the BMS is not allowing you to charge beyond 90%.

My Leaf battery is now at 80% SOH (See note below). If you use the same degradation expectation on yours, after 2 - 3 years, you'll only have 10kWh left. Further applying the usable window (between 10 - 90%), you only have 8kWh left. That is 60km range with careful driving (13kWh/100km).

Oh, my Leaf consumes around 15kW at 100kph without wind and elevation. So AC-50 can easily do that too (albeit more with your boxy Mazda).

I hope Leaf newer batteries perform better than that Image

Note:
My 80% degradation to date is after 34,000km and 1100 charges. That is 30km per charge, which indicates shallow charge-discharge. Quite disappointing (although kinda expected).

My SOH to date:
Image

The bump and strange nose-dive on Hx is due to service. Go figure.
Last edited by Rusdy on Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 08:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Johny » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 19:23

Sorry Rusdy I know I'm going to say "Oh yes" when you tell me - but what does the Hx line represent.

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Post by Rusdy » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 19:40

Johny wrote: Sorry Rusdy I know I'm going to say "Oh yes" when you tell me - but what does the Hx line represent.


No idea. I've searched high and dry for the Hx to no avail. Some said the internal resistance, but, after my own experience above, this doesn't make sense.

The original programmer for LeafSpy left the data there as-is I believe.

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Post by Johny » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 20:37

Hmm. It seems to have something to do with health.
This is about the best Mr google has to offer:

"Hx The meaning of this number is not fully understood but it appears to be inversely related to the battery internal resistance. As the internal resistance of the battery pack increases it is thought this percentage decreases. As internal resistance increases more energy is lost within the pack and the pack heats up more under load."

(Other folk disagree but that statement apparently came from "the Author).
Source:
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=19543

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Post by Rusdy » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 21:03

Yup, that's what I agreed as well until I had that graph above. Internal resistance can't simply increased by having a service. Maybe, just maybe, the software update on the Leaf somehow introduce different scaling on how they measure the current, hence, skewing the internal resistance algorithm. Maybe... Image

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Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Thu, 01 Sep 2016, 01:31

What a fantastic stats you guys are showing me!!! I can't believe what a great community in the AEVA with so much experience. I love to be a bit better prepared and with your stats that helps a lot.
I am planning to drive not more than 30k average. Would that mean topping up at 30-50% each time?

> Are you going to be using a gearbox?
Yes. I am planning to put in a manual gearbox from a Mazda 121 or similar. I haven't got one yet but wanna go to a wrecker who has got a 121 which I can use. I expect to use mostly the 3rd gear.
I took out the auto gear box. With the manual I prefer not to have a clutch.
An extra switch to turn off power when changing gear seems recommended to avoid problems with the re-gen of the AC motor. Anyway, that is the plan.
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Post by Rusdy » Thu, 01 Sep 2016, 16:35

Stephan wrote:
I am planning to drive not more than 30k average. Would that mean topping up at 30-50% each time?


Topping up as often as you can definitely help with the longevity. Also, it would be nice if your BMS and the charger can talk to each other, that is to switch off at 80%SOC (around 4.00 Volt per cell) during hot summer days.

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Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by jonescg » Fri, 02 Sep 2016, 02:49

Ask Michael Day (Sydney) about gearboxes with the unused gears removed. He's got an AC motor in there too and doesn't have any difficulty with gear changes.
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Post by Stephan » Thu, 10 Nov 2016, 03:37

Hi guys, Now I am interested to learn if my initial calculations of the expected speed are going to be correct.

An update:
1. Progressing well; as in my first update early Sep-16 I removed the engine and lots of other parts and I am starting building it back up.
2. Replaced the gearbox with a Mazda 3 manual 5-speed. This gearbox BK model has a perfect fit in the Mazda Tribute because the axe in the wheels (the drive shaft) fitted with no further adjustment.
3. The EV motor is now connected to the gearbox. Final assembly of mounts and gear shift, linkage etc is in progress.

Speed max based on following assumptions:

First Gear Ratio (:1) 3.31     
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected max speed is 37 kph

Second Gear Ratio (:1) 1.84
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected Max speed 66 kph

Third Gear Ratio (:1) 1.31
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected max speed 94 kph
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Fri, 21 Jul 2017, 16:09

This car is nearly ready to go for inspection to hit the road. ..

To be fixed is the Instrument Cluster / ODO meter / Tacho meter

1. first attempt with original cluster.
Integration of the ODO / Speed / Tacho meter seems difficult. I stopped trying. The signals seems to come as digital from the computer which I initially removed and thought to be redundant.. For now, too difficult.

2. second attempt, I am trying to use the Cluster from Huyandai Getz 1.6L 2007 model. I have been told this one is all analog and can read the signals directly.
PROBLEM: a) don't have the wiring diagram b) first test with original Vehicle Speed Signal fails when connected the purple and black wire but don't know what to do with yellow/black.

Final option is to buy a standalone meter or GPS meter but that is last resort as I would like to integrate it to look better.

Anyone with recommendations, any people with experience with Blade or Getz Cluster?
Anyone who can provide PDF of Getz Instrument Cluster wiring diagram?
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Thu, 28 Dec 2017, 19:42

The progress on this project delayed significant. I hardly were able to work on this.
Progress in 2017:
Most little problems are fixed and a list of nearly 20 minor safety compliance issues are resolved.
I drove approx. 30km to go to the Engineering Inspection workshop. It failed on little things that just needed some more time to fix i.e. an extra safety cover over the high voltage wires, "ensure that the Airbag is still working" - airbag warning light on the dash is standard in most cars; because I replaced my cluster this became an issue I was not aware off; the cluster is reverted back to original and fine now -, lots of missing clamps and covers, reverse light etc.

After this, a new issue occurred. When driving the motor stopped and is an error code 36 on my Curtis controller which says 'Encoder error". The car first was still driving but failed after 100 meter or less and restart again and again etc to get it back in the workshop. Now even without moving the car it gives the error nearly immediately.
I would love to get support to help me fix the error, maybe some specialists in the EV community?

Troubleshooting and diagnostics to date:
1. Does it happen when standing still and run the motor? Yes. Vibration is probably not causing it. And it seems not intermittent anymore; error now always appear
2. Does it happen when in gears and also when not in a gear (Neutral)? Yes both.
3. Anything wiring related: probably (to further investigate)
4. Measured A and B RPM which I was reading from an handheld device that you use to program or monitor the curtis controller. First this was out of sync: A 600 rpm and B 800-900 rpm. So that could have explained the vibration. But now after some other tests with other motor and other controller I need to retest again once the real problem is fixed
5. Replaced the motor with similar (new) AC50 and with this test motor which was not connected to the gearbox, the same error 36 code problem. From this test it seems unlikely to me that there is a problem with the encoder in the new AC50 as well. So probably not an encoder issue.
6. Replaced the Curtis controller with similar (new) curtis controller, connected to my original AC50 motor, but also the same Error 36 code appears.
7. Next is to check the wiring. When trying the tests as I mentioned under 5 and 6 above the wiring was not changed. Is there a short circuit somewhere? At my last test I noticed the three wires (A and B and ground) for high voltage into the motor were getting very hot (too hot I would think) I could hardly touch (when current was off) as it was very hot. Note that on the day it was 40degrees Celsius but still those wires felt much too hot.
8. Measured the resistance of the throttle. All seems fine and normal. Compared with similar throttle and no difference.
9. The wire loom that connect with about 20 wires into the curtis controller is suspected to be the problem. I checked all individual wires and resistance of each seems fine and measure more or less all the same and okay.
Conclusion is that I haven't found the problem yet.
Planned next step is to start all over from scratch with the wiring and measure each component when reconnecting.

See also more details and specifications of the complete car:
http://evalbum.com/5326
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by woody » Fri, 29 Dec 2017, 08:11

Hi Stephan, it's been a while!
Stephan wrote:
Thu, 10 Nov 2016, 03:37
Hi guys, Now I am interested to learn if my initial calculations of the expected speed are going to be correct.

An update:
1. Progressing well; as in my first update early Sep-16 I removed the engine and lots of other parts and I am starting building it back up.
2. Replaced the gearbox with a Mazda 3 manual 5-speed. This gearbox BK model has a perfect fit in the Mazda Tribute because the axe in the wheels (the drive shaft) fitted with no further adjustment.
3. The EV motor is now connected to the gearbox. Final assembly of mounts and gear shift, linkage etc is in progress.

Speed max based on following assumptions:

First Gear Ratio (:1) 3.31     
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected max speed is 37 kph

Second Gear Ratio (:1) 1.84
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected Max speed 66 kph

Third Gear Ratio (:1) 1.31
Diff ratio 4.1
Wheel diameter 21 inch
RPM 5000
Expected max speed 94 kph
Wheel Diameter I think is closer to 28 inch (215/70R16 - http://www.tyresizecalculator.com/chart ... l-diameter) or 450 revs/km.

5000 rpm / 4.1 * 60 /450.2 / 3.31 = 49 kph
5000 rpm / 4.1 * 60 /450.2 / 1.84 = 88 kph
5000 rpm / 4.1 * 60 /450.2 / 1.31 = 124 kph

Most gearboxes have a 1:1 => 5000÷4.1×60÷450.2÷1 = 163 kph

cheers,
Woody
Planned EV: '63 Cortina using AC and LiFePO4 Battery Pack

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Fri, 29 Dec 2017, 08:39

Hi Woody
Thanks for your calculations. Your calculation seem indeed more accurate.
For now in short term when I get this car on the road I will only going to use 3rd gear and reverse. That is due to a practical constraint with the gear switch lever that I took out of another Mazda tribute and attached currently to Mazda 3 manual gearbox. By doing so the handling is all "mirrored" so when normal 1, 3 and 5th gear are on top they are now on the bottom. I consider at later stage to replace with original mazda 3 gear switch lever and gear stick which I do have but they did not fit perfectly without adjusting the mid console. Another interesting impact of the installation I did was that I had to replace the handbrake which was on the wrong side.

Now my focus is on the error 36.

Thanks
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by antiscab » Fri, 29 Dec 2017, 12:13

The high voltage into the motor should be a, b and c, three phase. There shouldn't be any connection to ground

Does the Curtis have a calibration routine? Either for motor or encoder or both
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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Thu, 12 Apr 2018, 20:44

5 months later, this problem is still not resolved (tragic to see that I haven't progressed since Nov last year..). This curtis does not seem to have a calibration routine, or none that I could find, I checked standard maintenance/tuning functions but I cannot find any calibration.
Note -About the three phase and no connection to ground that is correct there is none. Sorry that was probably just me using the wrong words or misunderstanding.

Curtis = Curtis 1238-7501 controller 96 Volt 550 Amps
AC-50 - HPEVS AC50 single shaft 70HP 3-Phase AC
Error 36 - Encoder error

Geoff who helps me is currently suggesting to cover the cable that has all the wires between the encoder and the controller, to put a metal grounded isolation sock over the cable to avoid interference. I hope it works, would be an easy fix. I had some of this cable side by side with high voltages cables and that is really bad but even now that is not anymore, the issue did not resolve.
If that grounded wrap does not help I am about to take most of the wiring apart and try build it up again with minimum connected to the controller.
I checked with the ohm meter each wire getting into the controller, if any was bad, but I think all seems fine.

The reason I don't think it is actually something inside the controller, nor inside the motor/encoder, is that I tested both with a second new device connected and that resulted in the same problem, encoder error 36, when standing still parked and non moving car after rev goes up.

Some thoughts
a. some of the high voltage cables are 'crossing' close to each other. Is that bad and could it cause it?
b. could I maybe give forward and reverse signal at the same time after I rev up the throttle a little -unlikely though - I got this thought because it error happened just after I modified the rev forward switch. - I hope it is this and if then I don't need it as I use my gearbox for reverse...unlikely but quick to test
c. the relay that switches on my BMS that is supposed to 'not run' while charging, could that play up? This is a relay off which I don't understand much of. it seems always 'on' in my situation charging or not, that seems incorrect configured and I need to check it.
d. throttle input may cause it. I did a basic check with ohm meter and it seems normal but need to try with other throttle
e. purchase a new curtus loom to the controller; I don't have a replacement for this. The one I have is new though (never used other than in this car). Anyone local reseller, what would they charge for it (last resort... as I don't think it will fix it)?


In short, there is a few things I want to do to troubleshoot. If someone with same problem or better understanding would be able to provide further recommendation, please


Cheers,
NOTE- still a fun project though... unfortunate that the car has not been on the road yet otherwise I would have been converting the VW van from a friend!!
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by TCryptos » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 04:43

Apologies if this is a silly / simplistic question (disclaimer: the closest I have come to the controller and motor you're using is seeing pictures on the internet), but:

do you have the correct motor type code set in the controller(s) for the AC50? My understanding is that using a code for a different motor can cause this error.

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by Stephan » Wed, 02 May 2018, 06:02

Hi, thanks for your reply about the motor type code. I don't know yet. Last week I spend some more time with fellow EV club members on diagnosing and there is a new problem with the controller. The 12v to the LCD display or handheld device for checking the parameters is now broken. This is practically a new controller and I am contacting our local supplier in New Castle (Catavolt).
I will let you know once this is progressing further.
Last edited by Stephan on Wed, 02 May 2018, 20:07, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks for your support, Stephan

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Re: Family car to EV Mazda Tribute conversion

Post by jonescg » Wed, 02 May 2018, 09:25

Ah yes - Jon Egg did have some Curtis controllers, and he would know more than most about them.
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