241: Saturday 15th December 2012

Not much to report at the moment. Sparkie has been parked up and on stands since September as I have slowly been getting the body completed. I have been re modelling my garage, so now it is a garage with a wall about 2/3 of the way along. If I took out the work benches I might just get a Smart car in here ( the 2-seater). We get a laundry room into the deal and more space in the kitchen to practice my new found love of cooking. Anyway, I have fixed the holes and chips in the rear body kit and fitted one side skirt panel roughly. I need to get this fitting better then I can move onto the other side before tackling the front bumper. This is probably my least favourite part of this project, but it will make the biggest difference to the car's appearance. To start with I shall prime and paint these new panels with spray cans just to get the right colour before going back on the road. All the panels are dull and need painting, so I want to give it to a professional when I have the money. For now though I don't want white panels on a red car, so I shall give them a quick blow over. Still no more recycled batteries, so can't get any decent range. I shall start converting to Lithium before long, but I believe it will be a few at-a-time. My friend and partner for the battery monitor system, Ray, has done a great job so far developing his range of modular boards. They are now approved for sale and CE marked. He is working out a few bugs with the CAN system settings, then should have an example running on the bench soon that will display 10 battery voltages. As this has a touch screen we shall develop a system where touching any one bar shall show greater detail of that particular battery or battery group (depending on the measuring points) including the actual voltage in large numbers.'+' and '-' buttons on the screen can select the next or previous battery, and touching the centre shall return to all 10 bars etc. Also when I select reverse, I want the screen to show a rear view from a colour camera. Now this bit I like.... Hopefully I can get back onto the bodywork again soon, but I still have a load of plumbing to do in the laundry room, move the boiler and install a downstairs toilet. Too much to do, not enough time. I am not in a great hurry, but I do miss my electric drive.

240: Saturday 29th September 2012

I have been having a lot of battery problems recently and been swapping batteries around to get the most from them. I have not been able to get any fresher ones as the battery recycling yard have not had the right types coming in. I ran a seperate pair of wires from the back and mounted a meter on the side of the bracket for the motor controller programmer so I could monitor a single battery. I was surprised to see one of the batteries (the suspect one) go as low as 4v when loaded under heavy acceleration.  So I decided to park him up for a while and work on the body.
So far I have been working on the rear end body kit. It comes as a moulded glass fibre skin. I have removed the structures from the original bumpers and there are foam blocks and an impact bar too. You can see these all in the photo below clamped to the new bumper.
The foam blocks were cut to fit as the contours were different.
The old sub structure was applied to the new bumper.
Then I applied some Isopon P40 glass fibre mix to fix the substructure in place.
I used more fibreglass to fix the other brackets in place too.
I added some aluminium angle section to the tabs on the new bumper to re-inforce and strengthen the fixing point. This was drilled in many places to give better adhesion.
I still need to do some adjustments to the fixing on the side by the wheel arches as they are sticking out a little, but no too much.
I still need to add the license plate lights and the license plate itself. There are a number of scratches and a couple of chips that need repair. At this point in time I am not sure about the finish. I shall add some mesh to the holes for styling as well after the finish is done. I have ordered some red chrome vinyl wrap from eBay to try out on the sunroof panel. If this works out o.k. then I shall do the rest of the car using the same wrap. This has 2 factors; is it easy to apply and is the finish like a mirror? If it is easy to apply, but the finish is not like a mirror, then I shall use a gloss red wrap instead. If it is too difficult to do then I shall go for a paint finish and my brother will help with that.

239: Monday 23rd July 2012

I had a good drive to work and found the battery level to be about the same now that I am not using regen braking. It was comparable with the lower readings that I had on previous runs. I guess if I start hooning a bit more then it will go down, so I have lost a bit of capacity through no regen, but not a lot. It is easier to adjust driving style than refurbishing the motor. Next time something so drastic happens it would probably need a rewind or replacing (I fancy a Warp 9). Today my next project donor arrived (ZEN), a 2004 Mitsubishi Pajero. Now need to source a manual transmission and a few other bits to get started. I have a motor sources and I have spare batteries to test with. I hope to get these replaced for fresh ones some time soon. I am going to run a separate blog for this and have already started.


Check it out. I have one post from April that describes how I got the glider and another from today when it arrived at my house.

238: Sunday 22nd July 2012

Friday evening I borrowed an engine hoist from a friend and yesterday another friend came round to help me get the motor back in the car. As I had hurt my back and was not fully recovered I needed some help with heavy lifting. The motor with the clutch and flywheel fitted is too long to go straight up and onto the gearbox by about 6 mm. The motor goes up at an angle to get the clutch and flywheel in the bell housing and over the end of the input shaft. then we could lift the back end up while pulling the whole lot across. There is about 50mm to spare from the end of the motor to the body when it is all fitted. Once the top bolt was in then the rest went in easy as we could remove the hoist and get to everything easily. We put the charger and contactor plate back in place and then  re-connected them. I made a couple of silly mistakes with the wiring so initially the main contator wouldn't work, and the brake vacuum pump wouldn't stop. A quick trace of the connections and both problems were solved. I dropped the car off the stands and went for a quick drive round the block. All was well, so I went a bit further, then put it on charge. I went and picked up my daughter's friend for a 15 mile round trip, again all was well. The motor is running very smoothly, but where I have switched off the regen and motor braking, the power steering contator starts its countdown as soon as I lift off the throttle pedal and coast, this meant that after 5 seconds of coasting I lost power steering. So I just changed the setting and now it is 20 seconds until the contactor drops out. Touching the throttle brings it on again, and the brake when in economy mode also brings it back on. The economy mode now just limits the power to the motor to half, whereas before it gave me extra regen, but that is switched off now. I do not want to use regen as this caused my brushes to wear out prematurely, so it shall remain switched off now. Also I am going work on getting hold of the Toyota power steering controller and connecting it up so it works as intended by Toyota with speed control and proportional steering power etc. This should save me a little bit of battery power too.

237: Tuesday 17th July 2012

Since I hurt my back there wasn't much I could do, but my friend offered to help and together we re-assembled the motor. I gave the motor a test run with a single 12v battery and it was fine. We assembled all the adapters, flywheel and clutch etc, and now it is ready to go back on the car. Cheers John for the help.....

236: Monday 16th July 2012

I fitted the new brushes in the end of the motor ready to go back on. As I had hurt my back and I am still recovering I thought I would do something that would move it along a bit and not hurt. In the video below I fit 2 new springs and show how to fit the and prepare to take the rotor. Also I tried to show how to fit new brushes when the motor is still on the car etc. So long as you can access all 4 openings in the motor end then it is not too difficult. They are all ready now for me to put the motor back together and give it a run on 12v. Hopefully my back will feel better tomorrow.

235: Sunday 15th July 2012

Today my back is really sore and last night it was worse. I don't know what caused my back problem, but I have not been able to do anything today. So I edited the video that I made. Yesterday I re-cut the grooves in the motor commutator and it should be ready to go back together. I made a special tool by grinding the edges down on a Phillips screwdriver using my bench grinder. I was using a junior hacksaw blade and it was taking forever and making my fingers sore. The new tool was much quicker and less likely to slip out of the groove. The ends of grooves were easier to finish up to. The photo below shows the finished commutator. I am not sure how to test this as all the com segments measure 0 resistance to the next one. I can see the grooves are clear right to the ends. I cannot trace out the coils as they disappear inside the rotor and I cannot figure where the come back out. Am I doing something wrong? It is like the rotor has one continuous winding that exposes all the loops at the commutator.
This video shows the process I used and the tool to clean up the motor rotor grooves on the commutator.

234: Friday 13th July 2012

Today I got my motor rotor back. I had a look at it when it was in the lathe and it needed some more skimmed off. In total 1.6mm had to come off to get past the pitting where the brushes had burnt. This picture shows the rotor when I had just started to re-cut the grooves in the commutator. You can see how the cooper is overlapping.
In this photo you can see the junior hacksaw blade I was using to re-cut the grooves between the commutator segments. I have re-cut one groove here. About 50-60 more to go (I haven't counted them).
I started just using the hacksaw blade, but it was taking forever to get the slot right and to start with I was slipping quite often and scratching the copper. For me, the best way was to tap a palette knife (thin paint scraper) along the groove to lift the excess copper out, then use a Stanley knife to trim the edges and finally the hacksaw blade to finish up. The hacksaw blade gets a good size, slot nice and uniform. The knife was good for hooking the copper out at the end of the slot. Hopefully I won't have too many segments still electrically linked when I test them.

233: Monday 18th June 2012

Wednesday morning I had a disaster on the way to work. I had been having some trouble driving and the motor controller kept cutting out with direction contactor open circuit fault. I managed to get some way to work and I pulled up to some traffic lights on a slight hill and it decided to stop completely. I had loads of cars honking horns as I was stuck. I rolled back a bit then got drive again and moved off the traffic lights, round a side turning, up a hill and into a lay-by. By this time the motor was making a loud whining noise and started smoking heavily. I opened the hood and smoke billowed out of the motor brushes. My travel partner got a taxi the rest of the way and I got a rescue truck. When I got home I went through the motor controller book and read about the fault code and it suggested a problem with the motor brushes not making contact. I stripped back some units under the hood to get access to the motor brushes and it was obvious when I looked into the motor that the problem was a little worse than just worn brushes. It took me another hour or so to get the motor out as I only had a trolley jack, some wooden blocks and some old wire. By tying the wire and dropping it down a bit at a time I eventually got it free. I took the motor apart and marked the pieces at the joins so it goes back together with everything the same. The photo below shows the commutator end of the motor armature. 
This photo shows a closer view of the motor commutator and you can see heavy scoring, grooves, heavy pitting as the brushes must have been glowing to cause this level of pitting. I have found a local company that can undercut the comm for a reasonable price. Most of the brushes were completely worn down to the spring limits and the pigtails were making contact with the commutator.
The photo below shows what is left of the some of the brushes. There is another 2 on my garage floor somewhere, but I can't be asked to find them at the moment. They will get swept up some time soon no doubt. I have found that it may be cheaper to get my brushes from USA as they are expensive here, even from a firm that only does brushes and knew my size exactly just by me telling them a little about them was very expensive. I would save half the price by getting them from USA.
As usual everything in the UK is twice the price than in USA. This is really biting me as I know people who have conversion businesses in USA that are making good money,  but when the parts are generally half price and readily available this is all possible. Over here it would be very difficult to make a profit even with a full order book. I believe the cause of this rapid wear of the brushes is due to the DC regen braking causing bad arcing at heavy loads. This is equivalent to going flat out in reverse on a motor that has the brushes advanced to the field windings. I have turned off all the regen controls now and won't be recommending them anymore, except on brushless and AC motors. The motor is only 3 years old.

232: Sunday 13th May 2012

Last Saturday I put the gear lever back in and I have driven it for a week now and it does make a very slight difference range, but not much. Usually I would be in 3rd gear only.
I exploded a battery on Friday night. I had dropped my daughter off and was on my way back home and was hooning along to try for top speed. As I had kept the throttle pedal nailed to the floor, I was pulling max current for too long (800A) and I heard a bang and lost all power. I drifted off the roundabout and was parked on a small link road to another roundabout. After about 5 minutes the battery pack voltage had recovered and I was able to drive for a few seconds. I had called the rescue service and I was waiting. So repeatedly letting the charge build up then driving forward a few feet eventually got me off the roundabout. The recovery van turned up, but they had been trained recently in how to handle electric cars and told if they were not sure then just don't touch it. He towed me home then hung around while I swapped a battery. It was all running again after about 10 minutes work. These salvage batteries are o.k for now, but I now know that they can only tolerate so much hard driving. They were originally installed in a telecoms back up supply, so not really designed for these kind of heavy loads, at least not sustained for any time. There was no visible sign that battery was damaged, but the voltage did not even register on my tester. Another lesson learnt.

231: Wednesday 2nd May 2012

I made a new panel for the direction switch and stop switch with some hardboard and black felt. I glued some hard board on the edges of the pod so the panel had something to push against. I also painted the edges of the colour touchscreen black, as I could see an annoying thin white line down the edge of my mount. I re-used the old hole for the PAS switch. At the bottom of the photo you can see the panel with holes in it where the gear lever is going to go again.
I had a result today as I found all the parts of my gear lever. It was raining so I thought that could wait for another night. In the photo below you can see this new panel is very neat this time as there are no fixings on show. I like the look of the black felt as it makes things hide.

230: Monday 30th April 2012

After having the new colour touch screen mounted for 1 day it was obvious that I had to move the location. I had to take my eyes right off the road to look at it and there was a bit of glare from looking from the side. I took the display out of the pod and removed the centre console. I took out the right side of the air vent and mounted the display there. It looks more professional and more like it was part of the original car. I had more trouble getting a decent photo. In this one the flash makes everything dark.
This photo has a nasty reflection of the flash. The display is much sharper than the photos are showing.
This photo is out of focus, but it shows more of how the brightness looks in reality.
I am well happy now. I can use the pod space to mount the forward / reverse control like I had it first time, and put the gear lever back when I can find all the bits. I have the gear lever, but it is the gaiter and the panel that goes on the back that I am missing now. I am also missing the panel that I had the switches on before, but I can make another if necessary.

229: Sunday 29th April 2012

I mounted the 2 circuit boards today. Before, they were just hanging on the cables resting on the rubber insulator, but needed fixing properly. I made up a 2 part bracket for the left and right sides of the circuit boards. This was basically 2 pieces of aluminium angle joined together to make a sort of squared U shape. In the photo you can see this going under the rubber insulator on the floor. The USB cable then runs off to the back of centre console.
At the back of the centre console is a convenient panel that is quite easy to just pull off, so I wound the cable up under there and it is now ready for a laptop to plug in.

228: Friday 27th April 2012

Yesterday I took the battery tester my friend gave me and modified it so the connections were nearer to the handle and that gave me real long tips that I could get close together to test these narrow batteries. This is called a "drop test" as it measures the voltage drop with the battery under a heavy load. I believe the load is about 200A as there is a ribbon heater between the terminals with a voltage gauge across them. I tested all 10 batteries and found 3 were running at 6v, 1 at 7v and 1 at 9v. I had 5 spare batteries, so I swapped them and now they were all reading 12v. I took it for a test drive after charging and got 15 miles straight off. Like an idiot I forget to then put it back on charge so this morning I came out and see my cable hanging up and I used the Fiat for one day (bah petrol!). I am hoping this might cycle up a bit. I was only just getting 9 miles and that is what I need if I stopped for swim on my way home form work any day. It was getting precarious getting home with almost no power left on the last stretch. Hopefully I shall be alright for a while now. I have contacted Frank at the battery salvage yard to ask him for some more swappers, but he has none at the moment. Last week we got ZEN' brother running and my friend is going clear out my Mitsubishi Pajero (ZEN) and get him round to me in the next couple of weeks to start the conversion to electric. I have started a blog, but I haven't published it yet. More details when that is available.
Also yesterday I got my display, the processor board to drive it and the dual CAN ports board for receiving signals from the measuring boards. Ray is still working on the measuring boards and the display software needs more development, but I wanted to get it mounted in the car to move things along. I removed the fascia panel from the centre console and took out the clock module panel. I cut a slot in the top of the pod on the clock module panel and slipped the display into it, marked the bottom where the fixing lugs on the display came to and cut out so that the display could slide all the way down. I made a paper template that fitted the pod closely and marked the boundary of the display on it.
I took a piece of hardboard, marked and cut the dimensions from the template, painted the edges black and covered it with black felt using spray glue to stick it.
Very carefully with a very sharp knife I cut round the hardboard to make the new fascia panel for the display to sit behind.
As the new fascia was a tight fit, I put it in position and put the display behind it. It all lined up nicely, so I pushed the fascia into the position, removed the display and glued the fascia all round the back edges to fix it permanently in position with contact adhesive.
Once the glue was dry I put the display behind the fascia and squeezed a rubber grommet behind it to hold it in position. In the photo you can see it powered on my bench. The display looks a bit dark, but that is because of the camera flash. It is actually very bright in daylight.
I refitted the clock and mounted it all back in the centre console. I had rewired the connections from the display to the processor board with about 2 foot of ribbon cable to give me some freedom of movement to mount the boards under the centre console.
In this photo you can see the whole centre console. Again the display looks dark due to the camera flash. I now need to mount the processor and CAN boards under the console and run a USB cable to just under the ash tray so I can program the display without having to pull the car apart every time I want to connect to it with my laptop. 
Other news is that I am going to re-install the gear lever so I can try to drive more efficiently and sometimes go faster on longer stretches of road. Generally with the poor batteries I am topping out at 50 MPH and that is a struggle. I know that this would be real easy in 5th gear instead of 3rd. Also my 3rd gear will be getting very worn. I can make easier pulling away in 2nd gear too. In general it will be much easier to control how I am loading the batteries in relation to the speed I am travelling and the speed I want to be doing. I have learned a lot about this over the last months.

227: Tuesday 17th April 2012

I have not had much to post recently as not much has been happening with the Probatron. I am waiting for a number of things to happen at the moment. When I get my bonus and back pay from work, I can fit the body kit and get it in for paint. I have been doing some more consulting with my friend and colleague Ray who is constructing the circuits for my battery monitoring system. Since I last blogged the design has changed and I shall be getting a colour touch screen instead of a basic single colour screen. 4D systems do a great little 3 inch touch screen that is real cheap. It also has a graphics processor on board, so you can send drawing commands direct via serial link. I shall post some photos soon.

Very importantly though, I have secured my next project car and am nearly ready to get it home. There is a story behind this....

My daughter has a friend who she met through her sister at her football team. Her friend lives some 10 miles away, so to see each other they have to get lifts. My wife Mary had a Cherokee Jeep and loved it, but it was expensive to run and was in need of some expensive repairs so we sold it. She still pines for her 4x4, so I suggested converting a Jeep to electric, both problems solved. My daughter friend's dad had 2 Mitsubishi Pajeros sitting on his front drive looking sorry for themselves, so when he dropped my daughter off one time I asked him what he was planning to do with them and at first he said he would probably scrap them, but had not really thought about it. I saw him again at football and he had spoken to the wife and she wanted to keep one and have him get it working. I then offered to do that for him. I knew it would involve an engine swap and I would get the other car as payment for my time and labour.

He had 2 as one was working , but he got it mainly for the engine and other spare parts as the gearbox was fubar. It would be no good for me anyway as it was an automatic. I did enquire about locking an automatic in 2nd and running it direct just as a single ratio box, but the problem is keeping a high pressure flow of oil through the gears as they are very small for the amount of work they do and would get damaged after a short time if there wasn't sufficient oil flow to keep it all lubed and cool. Even if I could rig up a high pressure electric oil pump, routing the oil through "the brain" network of oil channels is an enigma in itself. In the long run it is easier and cheaper to get a manual replacement gearbox with a 4WD transfer case.

One of the objectives with this conversion is a cheap price. I have set a target of £1000 total. I have already got some batteries to get it going initially and test it. I have a friend lined up to get me an old forklift motor and I am looking at the 1000A re-volt controller for the drive. I shall make my own couplings for the gearbox, but no clutch or flywheel this time. This weekend should hopefully see the other Pajero up and running, so I can then take mine and get it home to start work. I shall have another blog for this. The new car shall be called ZEN. The number plate has CEV in it (Cheap Electric Vehicle!).

226: Tuesday 31st January 2012

Yesterday my body kit arrived. I had a couple of things to do when I got home, so it was late before I got to even see it in the packaging. I started unwrapping and got as far as the side skirts, then gave up. It was too dark and I need to get everything on the driveway to unpack it easily. So I left the front and rear skirts wrapped and unpacked them when I came home today. There was a slight bit of damage with a couple of chips where the pointy bits are by the ends of the wheel arches. I shall need to repair these before they go on, so I need a small fibre glass kit to rebuild these corners. The damage is only a few millimetres, but I cannot overlook it as it would notice for sure. The kit itself in general is good quality and has a good finish to it. I am very pleased with the quality of the parts. It was a shame it had some slight damage.

225: Wednesday 25th January 2012

I went and got new wheels at lunch time today. They are 18 inch diameter x 8 inch width with 225x40x18 tyres. They are from a VW Scirocco, but I got them with Ford badges in the centres. The photos don't do it justice.

224: Sunday 22nd January 2012

Tuesday my new sunroof panel arrived. Saturday I set about changing it over. Firstly I had to remove the old panel and take the rubber strip off the edge. In the photo below you can see the amount of rust on the underneath and this had bubbled through on the outside, right across the back edge. To remove the sunroof I had to open the sunroof a few inches, pull the trim front edge downwards to release it from the clips, then fully open the roof and put a long thin bar or piece of wood between the trim and the roof panel to release the other clips around the sides and back edge. There are seven clips all together. Take the trim away by sliding forward and out of the top of the sunroof opening, then shut the roof, undo the four nuts and the roof panel is free.
In the pictures below I have drawn a green circle to highlight the position of the hole for the trim clips. These needed to be drilled, very carefully. I used a 3mm drill to drill a pilot hole in the centre of each position for the clip holes. Fortunately these were very easy to find as they had been taped over when the fibreglass mould was made and the circle was clear to see. I found the centre of each mark and drilled through very carefully. The fibreglass is very thin and a drill goes through very easily. The risk is going right through and out the other side leaving a hole in the roof. That would be tragic. 
In the next photo the hole has been drilled very carefully again with an 8mm drill. I measured this at 7.6mm on the original roof panel, but 8mm was the nearest I could get. Once again there was a high risk of going right through. 
In the next photo you can see the clips fitted.
Finally, the roof panel is lower into position and bolted down. In this photo it is sitting high as I did not realise the four nuts that were on the panel when it was deliver needed to be removed. I had to go for a drive and the increase in wind noise was incredible. This was exaggerated because electric drive is so quiet and you can hear every noise. When I got back I took the nuts off and refitted the roof panel and then it was sitting up a touch on 2 corners that were diagonally opposite. I took off the rubber shims from the sliding bracket and tried again. It was still a little bit proud of the main roof on the same 2 corners. I shaved the brackets with a grinder as they were aluminium and this brought each them down a couple of millimetres. It is still very slightly proud, but it looks right now. I took it for a drive and there was a bit of wind noise, but this was due to 2 factors; I had not fitted the inside trim and it was a very windy day. I fitted the inside trim back on and went for another drive and it was back to normal, except I had a rust free roof.
I also cleaned all the rust from around the sunroof opening and cleaned all the sliding mechanism. I got everything working perfectly so the roof opens freely now just like new. Idecided to wait a little longer to order some wheels asI have another couple of options  am exploring now. I hope to get the body kit on Wednesday, so hopefully I can get this fitted next weekend.

223: Sunday 15th January 2012

Yesterday I fitted an earth wire from the bolt on the back of my radio linked to a screw on the body under the centre console. The problem was that sometimes the earth through the connector was not so good and I would get a horrible whine from the electric power steering pump. All o.k. now. still waiting for body kit and sunroof. Been holding back on the wheels until paint done, but prices will go up soon, so will order now. I have decided to go for the original red with gold metal flake and heavy lacquer, on the body kit this should look cool. I have emailed the two companies to get my parts moving. Now I'm off to order my wheels.... :o)

222: Thursday 5th January 2012

I had an email back from the people I have ordered my glass fibre sunroof from and they said that the guy who makes them was on vacation for 2 weeks over Christmas, so I should get this soon. I have now ordered a body kit and tomorrow I am getting some new wheels. The photo below (free advertising) shows the body kit in silver, but I am having mine painted bright metallic red with a gold flip. The batteries are holding up well and easily doing my journey to work now. I shall try and do another couple of test runs at the weekend now the batteries are "cycled up". I contacted the battery salvage yard to let them know I had 8 batteries to swap when they have some more come in. I still have 5 spares and 2 more that I know are low capacity, but do work and 2 more that may be recoverable slightly. Hopefully he will get some more soon and we can come to an arrangement for swapping them over for some fresher ones.

221: Sunday 1st January 2012

Happy new year! The people  that were supposed to be fitting the new windscreen didn't come. They were expected by 4pm, so I called them at that time and the call centre guy had no information, so he said he needed to make some calls and call me back. 15 minutes later he called back and the guy who was supposed to fit my screen had gone home sick, but before he went he phoned his Manager who neglected to tell the call centre. Since they schedule the work they could not know it was not getting done. I told them I did not want to pay anything for the next appointment, so they noted that. The new appointment was for 27th December and they came (a little late), and I got the charge for windscreen excess of £60 reduced to £45, so that was not bad for a new screen. They brought the correct trim for a Ford Probe, but it was very difficult to fit and kept popping off. The fitter told me it was a bad design and asked if I wanted them to try a universal trim. They did and the finish is better than the original. Also the edge of the universal trim is easier to lift when the paint person wants to mask the windscreen, cool. Still waiting for the sunroof panel to come so I can fit it and get the car into paint. Today I fitted Aeroquip one piece wiper blades. They look neater and wipe a whole load better. Friday I borrowed my friends volt drop tester. This applies a 275A  load for 12v. I tested the batteries I had on the garage floor. The two remaining red ones I had were reading very low, but all the yellow ones were showing a good charge, and this is after standing for several weeks. Today I swapped the 2 batteries that were lower than the others for 2 of the yellow ones and then went for a drive. Directly my range went from around 9 miles to 11.2 miles. I gave it a full charge and ran it again for 13.6 miles. This gives me confidence for my work commute as this was 7 miles each way, but my passenger has moved and that adds another 2 miles each way. I shall charge up at work, so 13.6 miles is easily more than I need to complete the trip. This will save me over £120 per month in petrol using my Fiat Punto. Also I shall have enough range to take my daughter to football training and loads of other little trips. 1st of January and I am back up and fully running, great start to 2012.