gholm's Morris J2 Van- 1966

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
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Post by a4x4kiwi » Thu, 29 Sep 2011, 01:15

Brilliant! congratulations. What a feeling eh!

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Post by EV2Go » Fri, 30 Sep 2011, 04:15

Congrats look forward to seeing it at an EV meeting.

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Post by gholm » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 03:20

Ok bit late on updates but have had a reasonably busy month dealing with the damage of someone reversing into my van, the day after the rego sticker went on. Karma perhaps.

Image
They did a good job, it ain't concourse-perfect but it's close enough for me.
Image
Image


Anyway through the necessary panelwork and onward with being electric.

Some more thoughts after driving an EV for a month for every work day.

1) Electric cords are pretty annoying. Plugging in my van every single day has become a chore already. I'd like a lazier option, like an induction pad embedded in floor of my garage. ($$$$)

2) Except for air once, I haven't stopped at a petrol station, and I'm getting myself a 12v tyre compressor for Christmas.
Then to find a year supply of gum and Coke....dammit.

3) I haven't installed the Tacho simply because I don't crave it. The tune of the motor (whirr of the fan) and tyres make a nice aural cue, reliable and easy to determine speed. I can also run a GPS on my phone to see real speed and recalibrate my ears.

It would be nice to have some audio cue for how hard the motor is working. Some deeper growl. I do get a fairly good idea by throttle travel but I'm just used to using audio cues to drive. My drive shaft does have a little bit of vibration under torque, but I'm planning to eliminate that soon.

4) I am building a predesigned shield (module) for the Tacho's Arduino that has a real-time clock and datalogging.   This will allow me to have an Odometer on the LCD as well, and a daily log of travel speed, journey distance etc. I'll also be able to log amps, volts, etc throughout the HV and 12v system, but probably wont bother since nothing is that interesting!

5) Haven't done any more cosmetics except clean, wax and polish. New tyres went on during rego, some Chinese industrial things that are ugly, black, tough and well-hidden down under the body work. I've fish oiled inside every double panel and door so on hot days the van smells a bit, but nothing too offensive and it'll fade eventually :)

6)The kids go nuts for it. A fun ride where they sit up high and can see everything, lots of bumps and wobble. Not sure how they'll go during a proper hot Sydney day though. A Sydney Summer with no aircon is always unpleasant on the roads, especially in the back of a metal van.
I might home-hack an esky ice-based blower for the nasty patches.

7) The van is basically a tractor for the City. It loves speeds under 50kph, stop-start traffic its home, and it's mercifully legal to park in any Loading zone.
Out on the faster arterials, it is different story. It complains bitterly above 70kph, growling around the differential, and generally getting gnarky. You feel every bump, crack, and pothole amplified at higher speed, and its a trade off between wind and diff growl at high volumes.
It doesn't "feel" right so I avoid it.
In peak hour, most Sydney roads are well under 60kph, so I'm sweet.


It's a clanging, squeaking, rattling, jangling pile of bolts that feels good under 60kph, a light commercial vehicle designed to carry around weight and thats about it. It can be definitively said that it's much quieter and cooler than its original ICE version, and the extra 250kg or so of weight in the back is exactly why that van was designed.

It's doing it's job perfectly and with a high driving position and super simple controls (on, steer, stop, go), I'm still in love.

[edited to add photos]
Last edited by gholm on Wed, 02 Nov 2011, 16:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 05:16

gholm wrote: ... the damage of someone reversing into my van, the day after the rego sticker went on.

Aww, man! Image   Surely they can't claim they didn't see that giant van behind them. Image

Glad to see it's all fixed now.
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Post by weber » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 14:21

Hi gholm. Those are great observations of what someone used to ICE vehicles might find annoying about EVs. Thanks for sharing them.

When I was a kid, my dad had a van that I seem to remember looked very much like yours, only it was an Austin. Were they just rebadged?
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Post by Johny » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 14:54

gholm wrote:Electric cords are pretty annoying. Plugging in my van every single day has become a chore already. I'd like a lazier option, like an induction pad embedded in floor of my garage.
That was the feeling from my work colleague after driving the iMiev for a few months. He had to get the cord out of the back then plug it in to two places - both a struiggle. He alerted me to ensuring that plugging in was as simple as I could possibly make it. Is there a way you could make plugging in a bit simpler perhaps?

Edit: spallin'
Last edited by Johny on Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 03:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jeff Owen » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 15:12

weber wrote:When I was a kid, my dad had a van that I seem to remember looked very much like yours, only it was an Austin. Were they just rebadged?


Yes, the J2 was sold as both Morris and Austin.

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Post by gholm » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 19:26

weber wrote:
When I was a kid, my dad had a van that I seem to remember looked very much like yours, only it was an Austin. Were they just rebadged?
Yep, although like every British car story, it's a bit twisted.

The Morris J2 (mine) and the Austin 152 are essentially identical, except for the front grill.

The British-built Morris J2 has a rounded grill like this
British-built Morris J2

yet the Australian-built Morris J2 (mine) has the same front grill as the British Austin 152.
British-built Austin 152/Australian-built Morris J2

No, I have no idea why and it's one of those obscure facts I'll probably never forget.
Last edited by gholm on Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 08:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Johny » Thu, 03 Nov 2011, 20:50

...and then they all look like Commer Vans to me (being a Rootes Group vehicles owner).
Image

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Post by seligtype3 » Thu, 17 Nov 2011, 03:51

Very very impressed and happy for you that's all registered and motoring around! Congratulations! Envious... but getting there.

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Post by AMPrentice » Mon, 20 Feb 2012, 19:43

Johny wrote:
gholm wrote:Electric cords are pretty annoying. Plugging in my van every single day has become a chore already. I'd like a lazier option, like an induction pad embedded in floor of my garage.
That was the feeling from my work colleague after driving the iMiev for a few months. He had to get the cord out of the back then plug it in to two places - both a struiggle. He alerted me to ensuring that plugging in was as simple as I could possibly make it. Is there a way you could make plugging in a bit simpler perhaps?
Edit: spallin'


Simple solution from an EV donkey like myself would be to place a roll down cable from the ceiling so its in position to just pull down to plug.

It can be placed either on the side closest to the charger just hanging or like on a workshop using some air hoses for air tools etc.
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Post by CometBoy » Mon, 20 Feb 2012, 20:31

Nice to see your J2 on the road! Well done....

Agreed about the charger cable, one option I am looking at is a drop down “Curl” cord....

Have a look around this site http://www.curlycords.com.au/

Some normally are rated to extend some three to four times the compressed length. Only problem is the price. Not cheap for 15 amp leads. If you are lucky, you can find these cables surplus in both 10 and 15 Amp. Also if you are using ChargePoint facilities, make sure the 15 anp plug used is NOT clear as the sensors in their bollard will not recognize your lead. It’s a pain using some coloured electrical tape over the plug just to make it work....

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Post by gholm » Mon, 20 Feb 2012, 21:58

yeah, fair call on the curly cords, and the hanging from the roof thing, but a mute point if I currently just park in my driveway with no garage nearby. It's a 15 metre 10amp cord for me.

That said, I've actually worked past the annoyance and now treat it as just another small daily chore. Really, it's not too bad a sacrifice to make to be able to drive an EV.

Oh.. having picked up a recent copy of Wheels or Car Australia or one of the consumer level auto mags, I was astounded to see such a huge number of articles about EVs (whether PlugIn or Hybrid or what not). Amazing amount of scheduled development and releases planned compared to recent years.

Assuming the EV tech kicks off big time for average Joes and Janes, there will be huge money in the winning technology for home charging stations.

Systems that share EV power with the house, charge using Solar, internet connected diagnostics for the vehicle, driveway embedded proximity induction pads or self-connecting paddle/socket/cords. All that tech to make EV adoption seamless and painless.

I do so envy the teams of guys with enough R n D cash available to brainstorm then get it to market. Shedloads of gold in them hills.

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Post by AMPrentice » Tue, 21 Feb 2012, 17:41

if you park in your drive way you can just use it as an excuse to stretch your legs by keeping them straight as you bend down for the cord and lay it out :)

Otherwise a buried cable with an outdoor outlet wouldnt be too bad but you already thought of that.

Great project and again congratulations!
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Post by gholm » Wed, 27 Jun 2012, 03:32

I reached a little milestone this week.

5000 miles as an EV!.

Not bad since Oct 2011, and still rolling strong.

Worked out costs at 9c per KM (14c per mile), whereas full costs were 24c per km on petrol

As soon as I recoup my battery costs, it's almost free driving!! Sweet!


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Post by gholm » Tue, 28 Aug 2012, 03:06

Found an interesting gotcha that might affect other EVers.s

Driving around this last few months, I was noticing a lack of power at the top end. I could'nt pull off at the lights with as much vigour as I used to, and the hill starts were getting a little slower each time.

So I opened up the engine bay, and found that the pedal linkages to the throttle pot had slipped somewhat and effectively made the linking longer . This had the effect that at full throttle by foot only meant 75% by potbox.

This was brought about by my hacked together linkage that had the requirement of having to be electrically isolated. I use a length of fibreglass tent pole and had connected this into the the van's original throttle linkage using those D links ordinarily used to link chains together.
One of the links had slipped along the fibreglass rod, and hence made the linkage longer.

I notched the fibreglass so no slips can occur, then rejoined it at the correct length.Now, when my foot is flat to the floor, the potbox is registering 100% output and I'm back to full power.
So, a simple word of advice. Make your throttle-pedal-to-potbox linkage solid and robust.

Back to it..

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Post by AMPrentice » Sun, 23 Dec 2012, 22:54

hows the Morry going?
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Post by gholm » Sun, 24 Feb 2013, 03:22

Actually it's going great guns... the only thing has been the recent Sydney heat wave has caused me to rethink the controller cooling and I'm very slowly investigating a waterblock solution instead of aircool..so I can still maintain fullpower in the hotter months...
All that said though, it hasn't been too bad since I only drive in mornings and early evenings (to-from work)

Apart from that, it's the perfect van....not one breakdown or hiccup (touch wood), keep getting driving requests from the kids and their friends, and people are constantly telling me how damn quiet it is.

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Post by evric » Sun, 02 Jun 2013, 15:21

Hi James,

I may have missed it, but how did you end up wiring the X-Pert Pro?

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Post by gholm » Sun, 02 Jun 2013, 21:26

I ended up running a HV probe wire all the way back to the pack's positive, bypassing the main contactor. This way, the eXpertPro stays powered up when the van is off, and I have another bright orange wire in my wire route.

Originally I didn't want any unswitched HV up in the control box, but I couldn't get any pack info when the van is powered down, so I changed my mind.

Theres an inline switch and fuse (1 amp) so when I work on it, I can isolate the pack positive using this little switch, and the pack's ground using the main big cutoff switch. I like complete pack isolation when I work inside the control box, even though only 1 break (pos or neg) is really needed.

I haven't connected it into the charge circuit though.. so I do have to manually reset each time I charge.   
That said I'm only charging twice a week, so no biggie

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Post by jonescg » Mon, 03 Jun 2013, 00:52

I have a board being made up which accommodates a gigavac contactor and shunt, and also includes precharge equipment and a voltage divider. You could choose the resistor values accordingly and have a divided 0-5 V being sent up to the front of the vehicle. Then you use this as a proxy for the high voltage. I'm getting the PCB made up anyway so it's no trouble to order a few at the same time.
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Post by gholm » Tue, 11 Jun 2013, 06:22

Hey man, thanks for that offer. I'll keep it as is for the time being. It's all safe and tidied away so no real issues.

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Post by jonescg » Tue, 11 Jun 2013, 06:40

No worries; I got 4 PCBs on the way anyway. It fits inside an Altronics 220 mm by 165 mm ABS box. The tooling cost was $90 and the boards themselves are like $5 each. So there are 3 spares Image
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Post by gholm » Wed, 09 Oct 2013, 02:46

Flamin' sh1tballs, I just realised I haven't done a thing to the j2ev except drive it, for over 12 months.
Haven't lifted a wrench, screwdriver, nothing, haven't even opened the polycarbonate box that stops dumb people from shocking themselves when digging around in the "engine bay".


Damn, it's nice to own an EV.


(edit : its to it's...OCD grammar I know)
Last edited by gholm on Tue, 08 Oct 2013, 15:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Wed, 09 Oct 2013, 04:09

lol

grats

just shows you did a good build

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