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!).

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