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News Archive

 

May 6, 2005
• I have reassembled most of the trim on the truck, and it looks even better. I will post some more pictures later today or tomorrow.
• I have 'run-in' the brushes on the electric motor in preparation for the arrival of my transmission and adaptor plate. This process involves running the motor on a relatively low 12v, unloaded, for 24 hours. This helps to break in the brushes and commutator, and prepares the motor for heavier use. Another plug for Netgain Technologies and their WarP motors, and the awesome support that I've already gotten a taste of, and thanks to Mark from Matches Motors for his patience and help.
• It's looking like it might be as much as a month and a half before I recieve my adaptor plate. This is a generous estimate; I'm hoping it will be sooner. A thank-you goes out to Mike at Electro Automotive for donating the design/prototyping time necessary to produce my adaptor.
• The controller has been built, and it's on its way! Thanks to Otmar from Cafe Electric for his patience, as well. I'll take a picture of this when it arrives.

Thank you to all my sponsors so far for their support! I promise we'll be putting decals on the truck soon.

Just a reminder, there will be a car show for Seniors at the Wells Fargo lower parking lot tomorrow (Saturday), starting between 10:00 and 11:00 AM. Everyone and anyone is welcome to bring their own car to show, or to just take a look!

April 28, 2005
The news that I promised on the 25th was about a deal which has fallen through. I was all set to acquire a complete Honda Civic, which had a perfect engine for running the generator. I would have also had the advantage of having all the components from the car; clean, catalyzed exhaust system, fuel injection components, gas tank, etc. At this point, I'm looking for another car to pull the engine out of because it seems like a good idea to use a clean, efficient car engine.

In other news, the truck has been painted bright red, and it looks great! There are also more pictures in the newest batch added to the pictures page. I'm now going to be able to move into more exciting work on the truck. I'm due to receive more parts any time now, so stay tuned!

April 25, 2005
I only have time for a very brief update, but the WarP Motor arrived today! Here's a picture of it's bigness. I have some more news that I'll go into detail with tomorrow or wednesday.

April 22, 2005
The paintjob has been postponed until early next week. I'll take plenty of pictures and put them up ASAP.

Also, Dennis from Netgain called and informed me that the motor should arrive on Monday. Thanks, Dennis, for all your time and help! Also, thanks to Mark at Matches Motors.

April 21, 2005
Carquest / East Penn Battery will be donating HALF of the batteries needed to do the conversion! A special thanks to Marge at Carquest in Steamboat for this one! This is close to $1000 of lead.

In other news, I have to send the transmission to California in order for Electro Automotive to make an adaptor plate for the electric motor. I had hoped that they had a template for my transmission, but they don't, and need the entire transmission to take measurements off of. I have removed, cleaned and packed the transmission in the past few days, and I hope to have the adaptor in my hands sometime soon. Thanks to Mike Brown at Electro Automotive for working with me on this.

The DC-DC converter arrived today, and I'm still waiting on the motor and controller.

As of Saturday, the truck will be bright red! Friday is going to be a long day, spent sanding and preparing...

April 18, 2005
A quick overview of the parts currently on their way to me:

•Netgain WarP 9" series-wound DC electric motor -- This will be connected directly to the existing transmission
•Motor-Transmission adaptor plate from Electro Automotive
•The previously mentioned Zilla Z1K-LV motor controller -- this component handles all the electric current going to the motor. Without this, the motor would be either 'on' or 'off,' presenting some obvious drivability issues. Click here for some more information on what motor controllers do.
•Vicor DC-DC converter -- this component acts as the alternator in my electrical system, supplying the 12-volt accessory battery with power from the 120-144 volt main battery pack.

I will be ordering more parts soon (hopefully some less expensive ones!)

April 9, 2005
It's been a while since the last update! Some recent developments:
• Phil from Russell's Auto Salon will be providing some time in a spray booth so I can spray the truck. I hope to have the vehicle's exterior work finished (including the paint) within two weeks.
•I've started ordering parts for the conversion. I will be using a Zilla Z1K motor controller from Cafe Electric for the traction motor. I hope to have plenty of parts in my possession by spring break to begin some serious fabrication.
•I havecontinued sponsorship work, and the $5000 barrier has been broken!

March 29, 2005
Some pictures of bodyworking and the newly installed windshield are up. Also, I have made the decision to go for a DC system for the time being. After hours of research, I realized that it will be much more cost effective, and that I'll always have the opportunity to upgrade. Going DC will allow me to get the vehicle on the road sooner, which is a definite plus.

March 24, 2005
I'm preparing for the soon-to-come paint job of the vehicle. Miscellaneous bodywork and sanding the entire truck down has taken up much of my time recently. Also, I've been doing some serious research regarding what kind of electrical system I want to use. The big choice is AC or DC. AC is quite a bit more expensive, but has some very enticing built-in features (like regenerative braking.) DC is simpler and less expensive, but will require a bit more work on my part in order to make it control regenerative braking, and is (supposedly) a little less reliable. More info on the choice I make will be up just as soon as I decide!

March 22, 2005
Ernie at Bruin Banner and Sign has generously donated the graphics for the vehicle. This means that contributor's logos will go on the truck without additional charge! Thanks, Ernie!
 

March 20, 2005
The bed tilts! This will provide access to the batteries stored beneath it for periodical maintenance. It will also make it easier to show them off!

March 16, 2005
Pictures of the removed bed have been posted

March 14, 2005
In the past two days I've removed the bed from the pickup, along with the (huge) gas tank and the exhaust system. This has freed up lots of space for batteries beneath the bed. Additionally, I've been working on massaging the metal that makes up the windshield frame back into place. Pictures of these processes should be up soon.

March 11, 2005
The article in the pilot was printed and exceeded all expectations. A scanned copy of the print version is here.

March 10, 2005
Doc's Auto Clinic has generously donated a replacement windshield for the project. Thanks Bryan!

March 9, 2005
Tom Ross from the Steamboat Pilot and Today is going to run an article on the project! Look for it in this Friday or Saturday's paper.
Also, pictures of the replacement body panels are up.

March 8, 2005
The engine in the truck has been removed as of Sunday, 3/6. Here's some pictures. Also, the replacement driver's side door and fender showed up today and are already mounted. Before and after pictures up soon!

March 1, 2005
Body work has begun on the donor vehicle. Several images of the vehicle are now up on the pictures page.

February 28, 2005
I've finally found a vehicle for the project; a 1994 Ford Ranger. It's precisely what I was looking for: four wheel drive, extended cab, and manual transmission. I'm very excited to have the vehicle in the shop; I should have the current engine removed by the end of the week. Pictures will be up soon!

February 22, 2005:
Sponsors page has been updated.

February 20, 2005:
The Yampa Valley Community Alliance is providing the project with assistance by providing shelter of their 501C3 (nonprofit) status. More information on this to follow.

February 18, 2005:
The site is officially ready-to-go! The sponsors and pictures page still need updates, but feel free to browse the rest of the site.
I'm still looking for a donor vehicle, so please contact me if you can help or if you have any ideas. This donation can also be made tax-deductible.

     
 
   
 

 

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