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SecondaryDark: #841
TertiaryPale: #eee
TertiaryLight: #ccc
TertiaryMid: #999
TertiaryDark: #666
Error: #f88
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<div macro='annotations'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit text'></div>
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To get started with this blank [[TiddlyWiki]], you'll need to modify the following tiddlers:
* [[SiteTitle]] & [[SiteSubtitle]]: The title and subtitle of the site, as shown above (after saving, they will also appear in the browser title bar)
* [[MainMenu]]: The menu (usually on the left)
* [[DefaultTiddlers]]: Contains the names of the tiddlers that you want to appear when the TiddlyWiki is opened
You'll also need to enter your username for signing your edits: <<option txtUserName>>
<link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS' href='index.xml' />
These [[InterfaceOptions]] for customising [[TiddlyWiki]] are saved in your browser

Your username for signing your edits. Write it as a [[WikiWord]] (eg [[JoeBloggs]])

<<option txtUserName>>
<<option chkSaveBackups>> [[SaveBackups]]
<<option chkAutoSave>> [[AutoSave]]
<<option chkRegExpSearch>> [[RegExpSearch]]
<<option chkCaseSensitiveSearch>> [[CaseSensitiveSearch]]
<<option chkAnimate>> [[EnableAnimations]]

Also see [[AdvancedOptions]]
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It all began in June 7 2008 with the response to craigslist entry for a 1973 VW microbus.
Previous owner had brought the bus about 6 months, earlier ran it for 2 days before blowing the engine (missing cooling tin = overheat). Along with the purchase of the bus came a copy of the standard hippy reference manual for all aircooled engines – John Muirs’ “How to keep your Volkswagen alive”. The pages around Chapter 10 – “Engine removal” the pages were black from oily finger prints, the oil deposit concentration increased through the next few pages, with final pages almost completely soaked. I can picture the scene vividly… next to the bus was a wooden bench with a semi dismantled engine. Happily for this story that will be last we speak of the formal propulsion device.

We got a straight, solid bus, 4 tires and the framework for a good project. All major components in good order, and host of spares parts and a pink ladies bicycle – it amazing the things that you find in a VW bus.
August 21st, 1973 Thunderbird is collected by its new owner from Alabama, now the garage is clear for the next big project.
January 11, 2009: New year, renewed effort…

Met with David Ratliff, he based in Loganville, GA about 15 miles from my house. He has a very nice conversion which he has been driving for about 3 years and is working on a ground up E-trike –

Picked David’s brain about my selection of components, he had the following recommendations and suggestions based on his experience:

[[Motor]] – Net Gain Wrap 9 good choice for the bus, nice motor good reviews – plenty of power.

[[Controller]] – David mentioned Logisystems (formally golf cart controller maker), started a range of “Curtis replacements” about 2x power, same price, with future support. I had previous thought Curtis over Kelly from a keep it simple thought. The more reviews I see about Kelly and initial good reviews about Logisystems. So I leaning towards the 144-156v 750A spec unit. The price is still reasonable and I have option adding an extra battery or two in the future…

[[Charger]] -  David has the Zivan NG 3, his only comment was it not field reprogrammable and you are stuck with output voltage and battery technology. He said that the plug and play then forget was a nice feature. He has just brought Manzanita Micro PCF 30. This is a universal charger, both voltage and battery type. Priced above the Zivan and others but for the ability to accept any voltage 60-250 at the input and switch battery technology and packet voltage in the future (without return to supplier for configuration) make it worthwhile investment.

The only problem now is 20, 30 or 50Amp sizing… the price follows the amp with a fairly linear relationship. 20A or 30A is probably best, since most of the time I will on my 220V at home, and when away I could only grab 10-15A from a friends outlet anyway... So for extra fast charging at home is $500 worth it? Don’t have to make that call just yet..

Safety features:

David also had a manual disconnect – much as I had thought about earlier, one nice enhancement was connecting it to pull cord in the car, so you could from the drivers seat pull on the cable and throw the manual disconnect – Nice safety enhancement.

Extra safety feature not considered was an inertia kill switch, so in the event of an impact the contactor circuit is broken – again good safe practice worth following.

One item I hadn’t put on the list yet but definitely worth adding is a charger interlock, so the bus cannot be driven with the charger connected – for the slow brain mornings.. :)
May 19th 2009: Some designs (40,000ft engineer strikes again)

The new year was consumed with various work projects, but the upshot of flying back and forth across the country is – occasionally – I have some free time to design and think about these projects.
May 30th 2009: Testing exiting systems

Headlights, indicators, side lights, ignition circuit, all basic circuits are working.
Removed fuel pump, fuel lines, heater boxes, couple of lbs of excess wiring hanging around in the back…
Couple lamps to replace, rear left indicator… no major issues…
June 5th 2009: Getting started

Order placed with for major components

|War P 9" Motor|
|156AFX Logisystems Controller|
|Emergency disconnect|
|EV 200 Contactor|
|PB 6 Pot Box Accelerator|
|A 30 QS 500 4 Safety Fuse|
June 17th 2009: Motor arrived 2 weeks early!!!

Very excited. Ben and Billie, managed to move into the shop and store it for the weekend. Half debating driving up just to see it now…!

June 18th 2009: More research on adapter plates

Compiled a set of pictures of professional kits, and some home made ones – see Appendix

Open source controller?
June 25th 2009: Inertia switch arrived!

Considering adding a second contactor, for Main Enable, so the negative line is also disconnected… seems to be common on actual designs. Cleaned up the secondary circuit. I have built the Charger Interlock circuit. I’ll make a small relay box for under the dash to hold the key relays with room for expansion.
Controller, Pot box and contactor arrived.

Converted fuel input from:


Tested reuse of "GEN" lamp on [[Dashboard]] to monitor [[Charger]] status
25 August 2009: Disconnect 2/0 crimps - mmmm gonna need a big crimper + fuse (very large!) arrived.
Borrowed Brads trailer, moved the bus to Stockornaut shop in Cumming, GA.
Brakes frozen front and rear.
Had to remove the front calipers, both frozen - required propane + WD 40 + impact wrench (in various combinations for about 30 minutes...)
Rear drums were also tight

Draft work list:
1. New brakes
2. Rebuild transmission
3. Clean/strip parts of bus
4. Mount motor to transmission
5. Build battery racks
6. Mount controller
Ordered vacuum kit from to replace the vacuum signal for the servo assisted [[Brakes]] on the [[Bus]]
3 August 1009:
Trip to Frys. Bunch of "Bosch" relays, barrier strips, cable GA 18 & GA 16, crimp connectors of various colors.
11 August 2009:
Battery pack arrived, C&D Technology "Max Rate" 138Ah AGM cells, 100 lbs each...
12 August 2009:
Autozone for supplies: Automatic battery charger, 100ft GA 14, 80ft GA 18 (black - as the white was not doing it for me), general nuts & bolts kit (Imperial), extra spring washers, flat washers.
Built "parallel" charging harness to give the new batteries a nice float charge.

15 August 2009:
Completed wiring harness for secondary circuit...

[img[images/IMG_5387-web.jpg]] launched...
Second contactor (~LEV200), 1000A/50mA shunt and some very large crimp connectors arrived from KTA. I can now start on the wiring for the primary circuit on board the [[Controller]] panel.
[[Work plan]] updated: activity last night...
Took out the drive shafts, they need new boots. Need to inspect the CV joints and replace if necessary.
Removed starter from transmission - won't be needing that, to be put in the spares pile for one of the no-EV VW's.
Removed transmission from bus. The late model type 2 is soooo easy verses an early model (w/reduction boxes!)
The input shaft is loose, so needs repair, otherwise the oil was clean, no leaks or signs of other trouble. We give the case a really good clean. Now its out can start working out the final alignments for the motor mount.
Vacuum [[Brakes]] booster pump kit arrived.
Completed mock up and placement of primary components, due to cable bending and physical heights of the connections some components needed to be relocated to keep the wiring tidy.
Added fuses to shunt and voltmeter inputs, so all connections from primary to secondary systems are protected. 3 x 1A fuses protect Ammeter and Traction pack voltages.


Need to add diodes to all relay coils.

Acquired basic 15W solar panel - as a experimental aux battery charger.
Requires addition of a basic solar charge controller to be usable long term.
Evening at [[Stockornaut|]]: Crank shaft end piece back from machine shop

Sourced a large 1.125 diameter sprocket which will be welded and sleeved with the crack shaft for very solid connection.
Will use a resurfaced flywheel (original German) and brand new OE [[Clutch]] kit.
Templates for the transmission and motor being send to metal laser cut shop for the end mounting plates fabrication.

Other component updates:
[[Transmission]] - will replace main seals and investigate loose shaft, believe should be just a Circlip - if we find a whole circlip in the bottom of case - JOY, if not... mmmm...
Drive shafts, CV joints, boots - will replace with all new pre-assembled unit from So Cal, this removes any doubt about the previous condition.
[[Brakes]] - waiting on delivery of mounting brackets for upgraded front disc brakes
[[Batteries]] racks - design modification to balance to load, plan on using basic angle iron to build frame to hold batteries in place bolted through the floor.
Motor bench test, first test of motor. following the bench test guidelines very closely:
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Crank shaft and sprocket welded and mounted

Motor test with flywheel

[[Transmission]] - found intact circlip! JOY.

Transmission cleaned and input shaft repaired.
Measured up for battery racks - ordered angle iron.
Clean the transmission within an inch of it's life - bound to leak now :)
Order in for new drive shafts from ~SoCal
[[Motor]] mounting plates assembled, basic alignment completed.
Connected flywheel (lightened... I might add, very nice), clutch kit and ran on bench with transmission:
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[[Motor]] - [[Motor coupler]] - [[Transmission]] mounting:

Rear battery rack:

Controller panel in place:

New drive shafts:
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Damn Volkswagen's - even with an electric motor they still leak oil! 
Cable arrived from Revolt
10ft of 4/0
50ft of 2/0
It's all bright orange!
Started making first battery and motor cables - needs some heatsink to make these nice and tight.
Hammer crimper is crude but very effective!
Motor mount wrapped, weld, grind, weld, grind, weld, grind, etc and primed.
Reassembled mount onto motor, shaft key inserted and fixed to coupler.
Lightened flywheel bolted on, clutch reassembled (nice German made - quality stuff...).
Transmission resealed and complete.
Attached mount to motor, transmission to mount, support bar to rear of motor and then the whole package was mounted for final assembly to the bus.

Brought heat gun and heat shrink (from Frys) to finish battery cables, heat gun lasted 3 cables and then stopped working!
Decided to reuse the radio slot for the three main meters: 80-180v (Main Pack), 0-1000A (Main Pack), 6-16v (Aux Battery). Brought a very nice trim piece from Bus Boys in CA, can get these to fit without major modification to radio slot.
Front trays completed, Billie and Mike added threaded rod and bar across the top to hold the batteries down - lookin' nice! Completed heat shrink and battery boot assembly for battery interconnects. Located fuse and master breaker, completed front battery tray interconnect cable.

Back tray completed, ready to be bolted.
Completed wiring, positioned all batteries, and fired up the complete system.... *GIGGLE* *HEHEHE*

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High voltage cables on controller

Motor and controller connected and ready to go

Battery wiring setup

Circuit breaker bracket in position

Dash mounting test of main gauges

The bus getting some elevation

Inspection of the brake servo

Cool under bus shot of complete drive train
So the project took a 2 week break, I had hoped to have everything done in time for the big VW show in Tampa, but time ran away from us, anyway managed to get a week of and some time in the sun to recharge the human batteries!

Mounted charger, so can be easily accessed for setup / monitoring. Plan on making an armrest to house the charger.
Spoke to Manzaita orientation of the charger is not critical so I will mount on it's side, using frame metal available.


Upgraded fuel input from 20A to 30A connector, required some metal bending to still be able to mount the plug - it's about 1cm longer than to 20A version.
Re-used some 50A cable from my old range to connect from the fuel door to a NEMA 30-14 socket inside to the bus, which the charger plugs into.


Re-used an old heater box control arm to make a linkage between the throttle cable and the pot box.


Mounted the throttle box behind battery pack, using new throttle cable. Seemed to work, but we have sticking point in cable at low position, moving the throttle guide tube changes the length of the cable, and so after several hours of adjustment and movement I have decided to abandon that design and locate the pot box under the throttle pedal, so we can control the variables much more finely and avoid some of the problems with the long cable.
Added plate for mounted the throttle box under the throttle pedal using the worlds shortest throttle cable!


Ran 8 x 18-GA wires front to back to provide, throttle control (4 wires), ammeter and pack voltmeter connections.
Vacuum pump will be located on the spare battery tray in the back. Will fabricate a base plate to secure the pump in the correct upright position.
Connected controller panel into bus wiring harness. Controller now enables on the stock key, and latches. One problem I found S10 (fuse) switches OFF when the key is in START position. I suspect that is bad key switch, but since it not that critical to the design I used S11, which works correctly.
Mounted throttle, connected wiring to harness.
Bus enabled with original key and motor runs under full throttle control!
New rotors fitted, temporary steel brackets fabricated with plasma cutter, figured out rear brakes mounting.
Completed wiring for PACK VOLTS, AMPS, AUX VOLTS, all gauges operate correctly. Very cool - turn the key and 160v ready to go!
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New calipers fit nicely, these 4 piston racing brakes should control the electric beastie in the back!

Complete basic installation of the vacuum pump, need about 6 inches more vacuum hose and to install the control relay.
Tags & Insurance - the StealthBus is ready for the highways. Have a regular style tag, and an appointment booked for early Monday for the inspection to get the special AFV tag.
Many thanks to my wonderful wife Mindy for the hard work on the legal side and getting all the paperwork in order.

Fixed the passenger side turn signal and brake lights - bad lamps easy fix.
Connected the monster charger and gave the pack it's first charge.
Cool picture of the borg like charger lit up..

The ~PCF-30 is very easy to use and setup, I am very impressed with this charger.

Some battery math to get it set right:
|!State|!Per Battery|!Total|
|Full charge|12.8v|153.6v|
|No charge|10.5|126v|
Controller board - now available in aluminum!

Disassembled the MDF prototype and cut and drill the aluminum mounting board and reassembled.
Vacuum pump wired up - only temporary wiring will clean up and do it nicely.
Found major air leak from hose connected to the servo, replaced and now it sucks correctly and stops very well!

Disaster! - While tightening the nuts on the Main Contactor the stud twisted off, M8 is big, but copper is soft... and I guess I'm stronger than I think!

Good news - I designed my system with a certain degree of redundancy in this regard, I added the second contactor for protection and so in an emergency I could bypass or swap the defective contactor and still drive it. So thats what I did. Bypassed it.

First major outing, took StealthBus from Cumming, GA to Lawrenceville, GA - 26 miles in total.
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Starting pack voltage 154v, finish 143v (pretty close to 80% DOD).
Plugged in for full charge, 5hrs at 13A from wall plug the pack back up to 160v - cutoff set at 172.8v (per specs).

Need to hook up a 30A 220V circuit to the garage, so I can charge faster, but 115A/15A ok for now.

Zero emission inspection... met with James Udi from GEFA.

Received certification from GEFA, so the Stealthbus is officially a ZEV and qualifies for the state and federal tax credits as well as for an AF (Alternative Fuel) tag.
New brake drums arrived, hopefully this will improve the E-brake situation :)
New shocks all around, the old one where creaking and not very happy.
Brought some Euro-style clear lens indicators, now I just need the stealth bulbs !
Also found some original VW smoked rear lens for the brake/reverse/indicator lens.

Spoke with site management at my office, and they are investigating power outlet so I can recharge at work!
Ordered two new contactors from evcomponents
These are the ~EV200 from Tyco, not the ~LEV200. There are several differences but the main one is the coil holding current only 125mA verses 1A for the LEV version.
It also includes a built in coil suppression diode.
Replaced rear brake drums - need to adjust E-brake (not holding on steep hills...eeee)
Replaced all shock absorbers - much nicer ride now.
Added a aux output under the dash, to enable using 12v accessories.
Replaced amber lamps for LED bulbs - no more "fried eggs" - very reasonably priced ($6 on ebay shipped direct from Hong Kong!) - only problem was the flasher ran double speed because the clever electronic flasher "thinks" the lamp is blown because the current draw is too low. 

Brought a new flasher relay from the "Zone of Auto" and with a small modification now blinks at the regular rate... I modified the R/C circuit with a pot so switch back and forth (if required). You can buy special LED flashers (for more money of course) - but five minutes and a soldering iron also works.

Found out the issue with the nearside running light - rotten fuse in S2 position, brought at a complete replacement set, the others are a bit crispy.
So I learned something new today... contactors are marked A1 and A2 - I thought that was very nice... what I didn't know is that A1 is the positive and A2 is the negative, and should be connected thus so the magnetic blowouts work... mmm... looking at my old contactors one was correct and the other was incorrect (happily - for once) the broken one is the one that was reversed... never happens :)
Refitted the controller panel, added 3 mounting bolts (3/8") to firmly hold the panel in place.
E-brake is holding but not as well as I would like, the cable is stretched and will need replacing.
Also I found out that rear brakes are uneven in application, which most likely a bend backing plate.
Low beams are not working, full test of the wiring reveals that lamps themselves are the issue, H4 conversion time!
Drove to work and BACK!!!

Started at 155v, arrived at the office with pack reading 149v (or about 75% DOD)
Plugged into the newly installed charger point - big thank you to Cisco (my employer) for that.
Charged in about 3hrs. Here is the StealthBus charging at the office!

Average speed 55mph for about 4 miles (300A or so at peak). There was a "hot-electrical" smell.

Ordered new e-brake cables, backing plates and H4 conversion kit for headlights.

Intermitant issue with the right hand rear blinker - loose contact in the light cluster I think.
Arrived at 148.8v more less same performance minus the hot electrical smell :)
Fitted floor mat, much warmer than the bare metal...
Ordered new kick panels and door panels,
Third commute, starting to get the feel for the vehicle. No problems keeping up with traffic flow.

Will start a [[Battery log]] to track the performance of the batteries.
Very cold in the snow... happily this probably the worst weather we get in GA, so it will only get warmer from here.
GA officially recognizes the StealthBus as an alternative fueled vehicle.
The title now lists Fuel as "E" for Electricity.

See [[Legal]] for details on registration and inspection process.
Fitted H4 conversion kits, now both hi and lo beams work.
Tested HID kit on one side, very nice! - will need some modication to fit them. Plan on leaving the installation so can switch back to Halogen if required, incase anything happens with the HID kit.

Side by side test of halogen and HID...

Fitted cup holder from Bus Depot - no more tea on feet!

Refitted fuse panel - cleaned up the wiring a bit, still some more work to get it really neat.
Fitted kick panels - very nice hides most of the wires.

Removed old seats, and test fitted Corbeau A4 seats from our other bus. Plan to revert the 67 bus to the OG seats and will swap the Corbeaus across to the Stealthbus.

Blotted down the aux battery with official clamp kit (replacing the block 'o wood that was there originally...)
Ordered uP development board which is a PIC uP with 12 ~ADCs, Ethernet with a build in web server. I have idea to convert this to a BMS system. More to come on that idea.

Adapted my main charging cord so I can place my "~Kill-A-Watt" meter about 4ft away from the power inlet port.

So now I can have it in front of the charger when I'm adjusting the amps... ~Kill-A-Watt + 1 plug + 1 socket = a lot less than $500 for for built in meter on the charger :)
Found an interesting BMS project, that might help me with the ADC interfacing. The module I brought as 12 ADC channels, but the limitations on input impedance means a simple resistor network would require some beefy resistors and waste a bunch of power…

Here is one project with a interesting solution to ADC issue:
This project references another:

My aim is use the web enabled PIC processor, and interface the batteries via opto-isolators so that I can direct read the voltage via a web page.
The web port of the PIC will connected to a wireless router (have an old one kicking around) that my blackberry can connect to. So I can view the battery status on my phone / PC / etc.
Fitted HID lamps both sides
First car show, at Route66 Restorations in Swuanee.

Updated [[Battery log]]

Put cover on starter hole - keep that [[Clutch]] from getting dirt in it.
Mounted starter relay under dash.
Mounted HID packs with Velcro and refitted kick panels.
Cleaned the glass, put stickers on... "Warp powered..." nice!
Moved +12v connection so the aux gauge reads when the key turned to RUN, and not after latching to START as before.
Breaker bar is now in - so I can get on with rear brakes.
Placed order with digikey for the [[BMS]] components.
EV Rally at Gresham Motorsport Park. (organised by
Drove up 3/20 and parked in the pits for a recharge (log entry in the [[Battery log]])

Drove some kids up and down the track in the bus... not sure if they were impressed by the electric power or the 'hippie bus' - most of them we saying to their friends, "look at me I'm a hippie"... good fun round anyway!



Fitted the replacement backing plates and new e-brake cables.
E-brake proper 6 clicks now... but not holding... hummm....

Decoded my VIN - turns our pre 72/12 (which is actually mid way through 73) VW changed the design of rear brake shoes. Guess what I have 73-79 shoes, the reason the e-brake is not holding is the lever is up tight against the hub and not engaging the pads fully on the drums... quick order to bus depot and we'll see if that finally solves this mystery!.

So here goes, look in the picture below '72-early 73 brakes are unique in the fact they have 4 holes on each shoe. So it turns out the anchor pin should be in the top hole (green arrow) not the one it currently attached to (red circle). Later model (and earlier by the way) shows have 2 holes and a slot. Mystery solved, e-brake holds perfectly...
Found out something today... the electric bus runs great even in torrential rain... the charger warning light flickered a bit when I drove through a particularly large puddle... mmmm....
But drove a total of 58 miles, with a 3hr recharge (14A/110v) at Nigel's place... arrived home with the pack reading 140.2v (eeee... that's a bit too low, 100% DOD not good.)

This experience has spurred me to complete a high speed charging cord, so I can take advantage of handy dryer/welder/range outlets that are within 50ft of a parking spot.

Since there is a wonderful range of different connectors for high power connections I plan to make one long cord and a series of short converter cables.

Bus main inlet is turn lock 2P 3W 30A connector
Welder outlet at shop is 2P 50A looks like a "big plug"
I have an old range cord with a 4P 3W 50A looks similar to the welder but just has another pin.
At work they have a 110v/20A with the turned pin, so that would be handy too to get the 33% faster charge.
Coming up on 500 EV miles!

Added to [[Battery log]]

Round trip work is running consistently at about a 4.2kWh recharge both ends. So estimated cost of $0.60 vs $3.00 for my Ford explorer... not bad.
StealthBus official cruise, towed SB to 4th stop and planned to drive last section. There was an accident right in front of us, which basically aborted the cruise (1 mile in) for Mindy and I while waited for the police to give statements. No one on the VW side hurt. SB did some official laps around the hotel with various people - still was a great weekend!
Cable set completed for high speed charging. Connections now possible added to [[Charger]] page

Added to [[Battery log]]
Driver seat fitted, new seat belt.
Passenger seat removed
Fixed interior light - then it stopped, possibly blown?
New aux battery charger (from saveabattery) arrived.
Fitted new aux charger. Connected charge detection box. Need to clean up wiring.
Fitted the extra charger bolt.
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Rosman, NC for the ~BrewBus event long drive up mountains with the StealthBus.
Boxed in the final battery pack.
Fitted the passenger seat and seat belts
German car day at the office.
Vents added in back panel, to allow air flow into rear battery pack:

Danger: High Voltage!

Dugi testing the bed mode, the fill in panel, can be stored under the rear seat or on the rear parcel shelf:

Rear panel with vents for the charger:

Mounting rear 9x6s and Amp:
Started covering the rear seats, upgraded the foam to 4 inch high density:

Back lighting complete for the power gauges:

Adjusted throttle linkage:
Bug Blast 2010 - StealthBus won 2nd in late bus modified! 
First award for the SB.
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center - Open Day.

Can’t believe a whole year has already gone by. On this day 1 year ago the Stealthbus was taking it’s first trips on the streets of Atlanta. 14-Dec-2009 was it’s official inspection for Alternative Fuel status.
Saturday morning, Dugi off to party at friends house. “let’s take the stealthbus” I need to move another car out the way, 
So put Dugi with keys in the bus. 

- 15s later -

Dugi is crying…. “I’m sorry Dad we’re never gonna be able to drive the stealthbus again”…. 


“I dropped the keys down the window vents!”….. 



Next project: disassemble air vents.
Retrieved keys… at last - required me actually being in the country (and an angle grinder applied liberally to the lower section of the heater pipe).

So next the thing… having not driven SB for 3 weeks and the last trip was in pouring rain, found rear passenger side brake pads had decided to weld themselves to the drum. I started by slacking off the adjusters all the way, could not get the drum off the hub (also decided to weld itself). Tried removing hydraulic lines, e-brake lines, nothing moving… So out comes 4lb club hammer… now it rotates, but the drum is still stuck to the hub… nothing for it… el beast breaker bar - rear nut off, hub+drum removed and given beats with aforementioned club hammer.

Much brake cleaner and shop towels later, all reassembled and ready to go… turn around and there on the floor is the small spring… Bollocks!… 10 minutes later were finally (again) ready to roll.

So while under bus, cleaned up some of the aux wiring and wrapped it all to prevent any damage. Replaced the front brake pins with the larger style, no more clicky pads at low speed (joy!).

Still need to finalize the pre-amp mounting and run the cables for the front speakers… more fun for another day.
Bugapaluza 2011 - StealthBus won "You drove THAT from WHERE?" and 2nd place "Special Interest"

Sanded and painting in 1 day! 

Massive thanks to Jody...

Oasis tinting in Lawrenceville, GA applied 20% tint to all 7 pieces of glass for the back.
Windscreen fitted last night. Quick recharge and we are back on the road!

String + soap + sweat = windows in, eventually....
StealthBus - recharging on Main St in Flowery Branch, GA

Won - "Special Interest"
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Edited together some before and after pictures of the paint work
2yrs and 4,000 miles - I'm lovin' it.
Ordered 48 of GBS 100Ah, they come complete with bus bars, straps and handles. They are pre mounted as blocks of 4 cells (12.8v nominal).
Also ordered a Lithiumate Lite BMS to match the set.
Also ordered a Acme ~DC-DC convertor to eliminate voltage sag while driving with all the lights and "accessories" on...
Journeys are relatively short in the bus, but can't be driving around without some tunes...
So during the interior construction I added 2 x 6.5 inch Pioneer 4-way in the front doors and 2 x 6x9 Pioneer 4-way in the rear seat for total of 200W RMS - all driven from a Sony 4 channel amp.
The input is a Acousik pre-amp in the front, which serves to give me volume/fader/eq and source selection, without a full headunit.
One reason is I have already used the dash slot for the EV gauges and is I'm generally using my cellphone (as streaming/mp3/podcast/etc) or my Sirius receiver for satellite radio, so having a CD or FM radio is not really required, so a power amp in the back and pre-amp up front is the prefect combination.
The pre-amp has source selection, so I can accept different inputs. I'll use the Aux to provide a cascade from my high end entertainment in the 67 bus, for camping and shows, etc.

iPhone mounted on dash

Pre-amp mounted under dash near ignition key

Power-amp mounted on back shelf
Lithiumate Lite. Dedicated EV BMS with some very nice integrations.

User manual:

Tied the warning lamp to the "Gen" lamp on dash, so I get early warning of potential issues.
SOC output is connect to fuel gauge on dash, so I get 20%-100% aligned to E - F on the gauge. Never want to go below 20% SoC, but nice to know I have a couple of "limp" miles even at E.

My legacy [[BMS (Home brew)]] is being upgraded - same principle but using Raspberry Pi reading the serial port of the Lithiumate.
!!!Reference designs
I started thinking about a faster method of monitoring the batteries, than the me with DVM on each battery. There are several commercial solutions out there, but they start in the $300 range for a basic system. For those kind of dollars some custom design options could be considered. Some Google research I found some existing projects that had build simple BMS systems for EVs:
!!!High level design
My idea was to try and build a simple monitoring device that would collect the data. Rather than build a custom module to be mounted in the card, I felt it would be nice to leverage other display devices I already own (~BlackBerry, iTouch, etc) which could be used for a variety of other purposes. The simple interface to such device is a basic web server and use the built in browser on the handheld device to display the data.
This approach has a number of advantages, it requires less engineering on the display side (just some basic web page design). It is also less expensive as the display device is always leveraged for other applications.
I found a basic PIC module for around $70 that has 12 ~ADCs, IP stack and even a web server demo application.
There is a mounting kit with a prototype card so that I can mount the interface on the prototype card and have the system nicely boxed up.
Following the generic interface design, I used the basic opto-isolater interface design to connect the battery to the PIC ADC inputs.
I built that circuit up on a breadboard and carried some calibration tests
Measurements from test circuit

Finding the slope:   y = mx + b    (m = -3.2491, b = 18.4115)

Convert to 8bit and 10bit for ADC maths
|!8-bit val|54|77|84|100|116|132|147|163|180|196|
|!10-bit val|215|307|336|399|463|526|590|653|719|782|

8bit conversion formula:
{{{~BatV = -0.06338 * 8bADCval + 18.4115}}}

10bit conversion formula:
{{{~BatV = -0.01587 * 10bADCval + 18.4115}}}
!!!Web interface
[img[images/summary.png]]   [img[images/charge.png]]
!!!Prototype wiring
UPDATE: Second pack deliberations... [[Lithium pack]]

The part of the project that arguably could make or break it. I have thought up two approaches to this issue:
#Buy the cheapest off the shelf batteries in Costco and experiment – run a series of on road tests and get and idea of range / capacity in the real world. From here I would have useful stats about increasing power / range.
#Buy high end batteries (Trojan look good) then put some real effort into getting the battery design right – and try to get right first time.
!!!Option 1, Costco batteries
Costco have a 12v / 115Ah Marine / Deep cycle battery for $84 – trying to determine the OEM so I can run the numbers with evconvert calculator. 
Useful web link:
Using 12 batteries = $1008 + GA sales tax (6%) 
Brought 2 x Costco batteries purchased for measurements / experimentation
!!!Option 2, Using Trojan 6V
Requires 24 batteries @ $130 / each = $3,120
The most important consideration with the batteries is the potential range. I have settled on 144v in the previous discussion about controller and motor. Using 144v will drive using either 12 x 12v, 18 x 8v or 24 x 6v for the battery configuration.
!!!Option 3, C&D Technologies (Dynasty UPS) - "Max Rate"
David offered option for a set of 12 second hand C&D Technologies AGM cell.
Battery specifications:
12v, AGM, 138Ah capacity

Getting their first charge...

Planned layout
!!!State of charge calculations
|!Charge|!Volts per battery|!Pack voltage|
!!!Battery log / management system
[[Battery log]] - Manual measurements of battery voltages before and after various trips.
[[BMS]] - Design and work to build a automatic monitoring systems
!!!Journal entries
[[2009 08 11]] - Took delivery of 12 x C & D Technology, Dynasty Series, "Max Rate" AGM batteries
[[2009 08 12]] - Rigged up a parallel charging harness and to allow a low rate charge (2A) using a standard automatic charger (on AGM setting.)
[[2009 10 19]] - Battery racks in place
!!!Battery log
|Distance|>|10mi|>|23.8mi|>|34mi| |>|10mil| | |
|Battery|Start (v)|End (v)|End (v)|Charged (v)|End (v)|Charged (v)|Charged (v)|End (v)|Charged (v)|Charged (v)|Charged(v)|

|Distance (miles)|26|23.8|34|34|26|10|10|15|
|Charge (kWh)|12.2|11.62|13.9|11.7|11.59|4.18|4.3|6.2|

!!!Battery layout
| | |6|
|7| |5|
|8| |4|
|9| front ->> | |
|10| | |
|11| |3|
|12| |2|
| | |1|
|Cargo door|>|>|
1973 was the one of first years that vacuum servo brakes where fitted to the VW Type 2. The front brakes are discs and rear are drums. The ICE provided the vacuum to power the servo, with that gone an alternative source is required. Some research around the usual suspects and talking to David, a nice quiet solution is being provided by EV Source (

Installation manual (external link to evsource website)

Installation location will be the spare battery tray in the engine compartment, nice amount of space to put the compressor and reservoir tank.

Vacuum pump installed

Upgraded front brakes

Rear brakes - completely rebuilt
!!!Journal entries
[[2009 07 31]] - Ordered kit from EV Source (see [[Links]])
[[2010 01 17]] - New rear drums fitted
[[2010 03 30]] - E brake finally fixed
With battery size (pack = 144v) and cell type chosen the charger can be selected, a common model is the Zivan NG 3, specifications look very good – it is selectable modes for different battery types so if technology changes I can adapt with it. The only problem is the voltage is fixed so increasing is not an option.

I’m interesting in being able to take 220v and 110v principally as I have 220 socket conveniently installed in my garage so could charge faster.
Definitely have to follow the pattern of other builders in replacing the petrol filler with a plug, that is nice up front job that can be taken care of ahead of other steps.

The Manzanita Micro ~PFC-30 is multi voltage input and has a buck enhancement option, so very quick charging indeed. This charger is actually a simple CI/CV type, but very well made.
Monitoring and interlock shown on secondary [[Schematics]].
!!!External input
!!!Charger cords
[img[images/l630p.jpg]] Bus charger inlet is a ~L6-30P 
Since there is a range of connections found at friends homes and workshops I decided to build a cord set with multiple options

|#1|[img[images/515p.jpg]]5-15P|[img[images/515r.jpg]]5-15R|110V 15A|50ft|Used with #2 + #3 for standard 110v/15A outlet charging|
|#2|[img[images/520p.jpg]]5-20P|[img[images/l630r.jpg]]~L6-30R|110V 20A|1ft|Used as above, also with #4 for 110v/20A charging|
|#3|[img[images/515p.jpg]]5-15P|[img[images/520r.jpg]]5-20R|110V 20A|3ft|Used with #1+#2|
|#4|[img[images/l630p.jpg]]~L6-30P|[img[images/l630r.jpg]]~L6-30R|220V 30A|50ft|Used standalone or with #2, #5(#6) or #7|
|#5|[img[images/650p.gif]]6-50P|[img[images/l630r.jpg]]~L6-30R|220V 30A|1ft|Used with #4|
|#6|[img[images/630p.jpg]]6-30P|[img[images/l630r.jpg]]~L6-30R|220V 30A|1ft|Same cable as #5, reconfiguration of pins|
|#7|[img[images/1450p.jpg]]14-50P|[img[images/l630r.jpg]]~L6-30R|220V 30A|1ft|Used with #4|
!!!How to connect to that?
|Outlet|Rating|Cable set|
|[img[images/515r.jpg]]5-15R|110V/15A|#1 + #2 + #3  or  #2 + #3 + #4|
|[img[images/520r.jpg]]5-20R|110V/20A|#2 + #4|
|[img[images/650r.jpg]]6-50R|220V/30A|#4 + #5|
|[img[images/630r.jpg]]6-30R|220V/30A|#4 + #6|
|[img[images/1450r.jpg]]14-50R|220V/30A|#4 + #7|
!!!Journal entries
[[2009 07 11]] - Converted fuel input to electric!
“To clutch or not to clutch that is the question?”

Electric motors will disengage (and free spin) allowing a clutchless gear changes (since the weight of the electric motor is easily overcome by the synchomesh in the transmission). I have seen different companies advocate going clutchless and some keeping the clutch. Clutchless is simple and therefore cheaper. However I listen to the builders that advocate using a clutch and here are the reasons that resonate with me:
#Clutch gives you an emergency disconnect in case of shunt or full on condition.
#Clutchless does place higher strain on the motor and transmission,
#To make the driving experience similar to original petrol engine.
##Clutchless does require adapting driving style to correctly shift without causing serious damage to the motor.

!!!Journal entries
[[2009 09 16]] - New clutch kit ordered
[[2009 10 05]] - Bench testing with clutch mounted
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</html>[[Lithium pack]] upgrade - Lithium [[BMS]]
[[BMS (Home brew)]] battery monitoring system
[[Audio]] installation
I’m planning on a 144v pack voltage to use the Motor in the upper end of it range, giving us maximum power / acceleration potential, especially given the “brick” natural of the aerodynamic profile.

From similar on line projects I found the Curtis 1231C is a very popular choice and also some builders are using the Kelly Controller which seems to be a newer entry on the market 

The Curtis controller is a basic controller and is a little more expensive than the Kelly.
Conversely the Kelly controller has many options and external connections and is a little cheaper.

I like the Curtis simple and easy to use, but the geek in me wants all the status ~LEDs and serial ports of the Kelly controller. At the end of the day the most important thing is reliability and safety. For safety I’m leaning to simple sounds better – less things to go wrong. I will spend some more time researching both models and make the call here.
!!!Journal entries
[[2009 01 11]] - Started looking at Logisystems as Curtis replacement
[[2009 06 05]] - Ordered controller
[[2009 07 08]] - Controller arrived
!!!Controller panel layout
[[Schematics]] updated for Logisystem based on user manual and online research.

!!!Journal entries
[[2009 08 15]] - Secondary wiring completed
Complete dashboard - pre conversion

Close up of warning lamps

|Reuse of existing lamps|GEN|Charger interlock enabled|
||OIL|Motor overheat|
|Additional instrumentation|READY|Indicating main power on|
||AMPS|0-1000A range output from shunt on controller panel|
||VOLTS|Traction Pack Volts (80-180v range)|
||AUX|Volts (6-16v range) - reading aux battery|
|Nice to haves|VAC|Vacuum (30-0) - Reading brake booster output|
||SOC|State of charge - possible re-use of the fuel gauge via conversion circuit|
||RPM|Maybe a "Monster Tach" with the shift light set at 4000 rpm :)| have a very nice digital speedo that is drop in replacement for the VW. They list upto '67, but it should be adaptable. I'm considering my own project to make a similar panel, but replace all the controls.

Removed dash, scrubbed all the gauges. Decided to use the radio slot for the 3 gauges: AMPS, VOLTS and AUX. Need to enlarge top and bottom of the gauge to make it fit. 

Need to clean everything!
[[Project: StealthBus]]
[[2012 02 29]]
[[2011 10 07]]

!!!Project design goal
My daily commute is 8 miles one way, reaching a max speed of 55mph (usually only for 3 miles and only in the morning going to work – never in the evening - ATL traffic!)

Minimum system performance is a range of = 16 miles (round trip to work) reaching a top speed of 55mph for about 30-40% of time. Daily recharge option.

Ideally would like to be able to make a round trip to the airport. ATL international is 40 miles door to door from my house, most of the way is freeway at 55-65mph. The ideal would be able to make the trip there and back (80 mile round trip), but an option could be talk to some of the off site parking lot folks and see if a recharge option could be found. Would definitely be good promotional opportunities here...

Target design range = 80 miles spending 70%-80% between 55-65 mph.
This design would require significant power and capacity to achieve and the question about the aerodynamics of a VW bus becomes serious consideration.

An intermediate design (using recharging at airport parking lot) would reduce the design to 40 mile range spending 70-80% at 55-65 mph – much easy to achieve and similar to existing designs and builds found on the internet.

Starting the design considerations with this in mind will plan on specify components with good ranges above our initial application to allow growth in to hopefully the ideal design if not achievable in the first phase.
Some related projects from the internet: [[Reference designs]]
!!!Key component selection
The key components I focused on the design are:
!!!Design revisions
Based on initial research and reference designs initial design specification: [[Design v1.0]]
[[2009 01 11]] - after discussion with David and more research updated design: [[Design v1.1]]
[[2009 07 11]] - Update for new battery selection and more details: [[Design v1.2]]
!!!Current design
Current version of [[Schematics]] an associated [[Theory of operation]]
[[EV calc model]]
V1.0 DRAFT - Project design

|[[Motor]]|Net Gain Wrap 9|
|[[Controller]]|Curtis 1231C|
|[[Batteries]]|Costco 115Ah/12v  x  12|
|[[Charger]]|Zivan NG 3 110/220 charger|
V1.1 DRAFT - Project design

|[[Motor]]|Net Gain Wrap 9|
|[[Controller]]|Logisystems 144-156v 750A|
|[[Batteries]]|Costco 115Ah/12v  x  12|
|[[Charger]]|Manzanita Micro PCF 20|
|Primary circuit|Fuse, Contactor, Manual disconnect (with driver operated cable)|
|Secondary circuit|Fuse, Key-switch, Inertia kill switch, Charger interlock|
V1.2 DRAFT - Project design

|[[Motor]]|Net Gain Wrap 9|
|[[Controller]]|Logisystems 144-156v 750A|
|[[Batteries]]|Max Rate AGM 12 x 12v|
|[[Charger]]|Manzanita Micro PCF 20|
|Primary circuit|Fuse, Circuit breaker, Contacter (x2), Manual disconnect|
|Secondary protection circuit|Fuse, Key-switch, Inertia kill switch, Charger interlock, (Brake interlock)|
|Secondary warning system|Motor overheat, Charger interlock, System ready, Brush wear warning|
EV calc ( model of the StealthBus.
!!!Motor (Net Gain - Warp 9)
Standard model from EV Calc tool.
|!Horse Power|36|
|!Maximum RPM|5000|
|!Motor a|46239|
|!Motor b|0.4564|
|!Motor c|2436|
|!Motor d|303|
|!Motor k|0.0069|
|!Motor n|1.5845|
!!!Vehicle (1973 Volkswagen Bus)
From various VW specifications
|!Drag Coeff|0.38|
|!Frontal Area|27|
|!Initial Curb Wt|2900|
|!Drive efficiency|0.91|
|!1st gear ratio|17.366|
|!2nd gear ratio|9.40963|
|!3rd gear ratio|5.76277|
|!4th gear ratio|4.06273|
|!Final ratio|4.57|
!!!Battery Pack (C&D Tech Max Rate AGM 138Ah)
From C&D datasheet, converted to Puekerts using EV calc tools.
|!Puekerts Exp|1.082|
|!Puekerts Cap|163.244|
!!!Controller (Logisystems AFX 156)
From Logisystems datasheet
|!min voltage|120|
|!max voltage|156|
|!max current|750|
|!# Batt Strings|1|
|!% DOD|100|
|!Charger Weight|20|
|!lbs Removed|600|
|!Misc Added lbs|500|
|!Tire Section|195|
|!Tire Aspect|50|
|!Tire Rim|15|
|!Rolling Resistance|0.015|
|!Brake/Steer Resistance|0.003|
|!Kwh Rate|0.09|
|!Commute Miles|20|
I have started making quick updates via [[facebook|]] and as well as below in the original format.
!!! February 2012
[[2012 02 29]] - Lithium batteries ordered 
!!! December 2011
[[2011 12 14]] - 2 yrs gas free
!!! October 2011
[[2011 10 07]] - Paint job video
!!! September 2011
[[2011 09 15]] - Bugs at the branch show - Flowery Branch, GA
!!! August 2011
[[2011 08 16]] - Back on the road!
!!! July 2011
[[2011 08 27]] - All rear windows refitted
[[2011 08 15]] - Windows tinted
!!! April 2011
[[2011 04 25]] - Painting
[[2011 04 24]] - Stripping down
[[2011 04 17]] - Bugapaluzza - You drove THAT from WHERE?
!!! February 2011
[[2011 02 26]] - Retrieved keys!
[[2011 02 06]] - Lost keys down the vents
!!! December 2010
[[2010 12 14]] - 1 year of Stealthing
!!! November 2010
[[2010 11 07]] - StealthBus at the GHEC!
!!! August 2010
[[2010 08 28]] - Bug Blast, ~McCalla, AL
[[2010 08 24]] - Rear seats assembled, dash clean up work
[[2010 08 14]] - Interior work, Amp / speakers fitted
!!! July 2010
[[2010 07 03]] - StealthBus in 4th of July Parade
[[2010 07 02]] - German Car day at the office
[[2010 07 01]] - Passenger seat in, more interior work
!!! June 2010
[[2010 06 26]] - ~BrewBus, Rosman, NC
[[2010 06 24]] - Interior building
[[2010 06 15]] - Morning commute
[[2010 06 13]] - Added aux charger + interlock circuit
!!! May 2010
[[2010 05 29]] - Driver seat fitted
[[2010 05 22]] - Completed high speed charging cable set
[[2010 05 07]] - Poker Run @ Helen GA
!!! April 2010
[[2010 04 28]] - Lots of driving
[[2010 04 24]] - Love, peace and bugs show
!!! March 2010
[[2010 03 30]] - E-brake fixed!
[[2010 03 25]] - Rear brake work
[[2010 03 21]] - EV Rally @ Gresham Motor sports Park
[[2010 03 14]] - First car show for SB
[[2010 03 09]] - Fitted HID lamps to both sides
[[2010 03 02]] - BMS project investigations
!!! February 2010
[[2010 02 27]] - Headlight modifications, interior cleanup part 1
[[2010 02 23]] - AFV tag arrived!
[[2010 02 12]] - Fourth commute - in snow!
[[2010 02 11]] - Third commute
[[2010 02 10]] - Second commute
[[2010 02 08]] - First commute
[[2010 02 07]] - Refitted controller panel
!!! January 2010
[[2010 01 28]] - New contactors arrived
[[2010 01 24]] - Replaced front turn signals for LED (fancy!)
[[2010 01 17]] - Replaced rear brake drums & shock absorbers
[[2010 01 15]] - Ordered better ~EV200 contactors to replace the ~LEV200
[[2010 01 12]] - New rear brake drums and shocks arrived
[[2010 01 06]] - Officially certified as ZEV
!!! December 2009
[[2009 12 14]] - StealthBus inspected by GEFA for zero emission status.
[[2009 12 12]] - Completed vacuum pump wring and drove the StealthBus home!!!
[[2009 12 11]] - Completed controller board
[[2009 12 10]] - Connected charger and fixed brake/turn lights
!!! November 2009
[[2009 11 29]] - First test drive - WOO HOO!
[[2009 11 18]] - Re-mounted throttle under pedal and tested with full control
[[2009 11 16]] - Modified bus wiring
[[2009 11 15]] - Mounted throttle and added wiring harness
[[2009 11 13]] - Mounted charger and tested various throttle mounting ideas
!!! October 2009
[[2009 10 25]] - Full system test
[[2009 10 19]] - Battery trays ready for final layout
[[2009 10 18]] - Motor mount finished and primed
[[2009 10 11]] - First cables made - 4/0 lugs are tough!
[[2009 10 10]] - Cable arrived from Revolt
[[2009 10 08]] - Motor in, rear support bar in place
[[2009 10 05]] - Motor mount testing, first battery rack in
!!! September 2009
[[2009 09 29]] - Transmission cleaning
[[2009 09 26]] - Motor bench test, completed coupler, repaired transmission
[[2009 09 16]] - Update on motor mounting and transmission work
[[2009 09 08]] - Completed mock up of primary wiring on controller panel
[[2009 09 05]] - Brake booster kit arrived
!!! August 2009
[[2009 08 25]] - Transmission removed from bus
[[2009 08 20]] - KTA order arrived (shunt, 2nd contactor, big crimps)
[[2009 08 17]] - launched
[[2009 08 15]] - Completed secondary wiring harness
[[2009 08 12]] - First charge of new battery pack
[[2009 08 11]] - Batteries arrived
[[2009 08 03]] - Components for secondary wiring acquired
!!! July 2009
[[2009 07 31]] - Ordered vacuum kit
[[2009 07 25]] - Disconnects, fuse arrived, moved bus to workshop
[[2009 07 11]] - Converted fuel input
[[2009 07 08]] - Controller, pot box & contactor arrived
!!! June 2009
[[2009 06 25]] - Inertia switch arrived
[[2009 06 18]] - Adapter plate research
[[2009 06 17]] - Motor arrived
[[2009 06 05]] - Main components ordered
!!! May 2009
[[2009 05 30]] - Testing existing systems
[[2009 05 19]] - Design finalizing
!!! January 2009
[[2009 01 11]] - New year, new effort
!!! August 2008
[[2008 08 21]] - Selling the T-bird
!!! June 2008
[[2008 06 07]] - Purchase of bus
|!Label|!Description|!Physical location|!Schematic location|!Details|
|MC|Main Contactor|Controller panel|Contacts on primary, Coil on secondary|Controls negative rail to controller/Motor|
|RC|Run Contactor|Controller panel|Contacts on primary, Coil on secondary|Controls positive rail to controller|
|KSI|Key Switch Interlock|Controller panel|Contacts on primary, Coil on secondary|Controls pack voltage to enable controller|
|RL|Run Latch|Under dashboard|Secondary|Latches key when turned to "Start"|
|IS|Inertia Switch|Under dashboard|Secondary|Basic kill switch in case of accident|
|RR|Run Relay|Controller panel|Secondary|Latch "Start" from the existing wiring harness for isolation|
|MT|Motor Thermal|Motor|Secondary|Signals by opening contacts that motor is overheating|
|~MTa|Motor Thermal (a)|Controller panel|Secondary|Connects motor overheat to "OIL" dashboard lamp, and replicate "lamp test"|
|~CDa|Charger Detect (a)|Charger detect module|Secondary|Detects and signals by grounding pin that external power is connected|
|~CDb|Charger Detect (b)|Controller panel|Secondary|Invert logic from ~CDa to drive ~CDc correctly|
|~CDc|Charger Detect (c)|Controller panel|Secondary|Connects ~CDb to "GEN" for charger on state, and replicate "lamp test"|
|CI|Charger Interlock|Controller panel|Secondary|Disables RE & KSI if charger connected|
|RE|Run Enable|Controller panel|Secondary|Provide 1A drive for RC coil, since TPS switch rated at 0.2A|
|TPS|Throttle Pedal Switch|Throttle box|Secondary|Provides safety disconnect when throttle released|
Building a EV is great, but you must ensure you are legal otherwise this will all be a waste of time.

1. Insurance

Most companies will offer "liability only" insurance, i.e. everyone else is covered, you will not get anything for the car if it stolen/burnt/attacked by riotous mob/etc. Not good...
I currently have Geico covering my regular cars and they were very happy to offer for $200/6months increase to extend liability coverage to the electric bus.
The main alternative is "Classic" insurance, which known as "agreed value" - the problem here is most companies (I have another VW covered by Hagerty) will not insure you for daily driver (i.e. commuting) - this leaves you in limbo... The policy you need is called "stated value" here a local office or friend is what you need. I have friend at State Farm who sorted out a plan. I have to provide receipts for the conversion work and proof that the vehicle is street legal.

2. Tags

Initially I registered the vehicle with a standard tag. Following an inspection by GEFA which allows you claim the Georgia state tax credit for converted ZEV (zero emission vehicle) you need that inspection document to take to the tag office, with the original tag and AFV registration form.
The AFV tag allow you to use the HOV lanes with only 1 passenger, very useful for the airport run.

3. Tax Credits

a. Federal tax credit
IRS Form 8910 - 10% federal tax credit for converted vehicles (up to $4000)

b. Georgia state tax credit
I live in Georgia so there are some special codes just for this state, for 2009 the applicable code entry is: GA Code 48-7-40.16 Income tax credits for low-emission vehicles - an additional 10% state tax credit for converted vehicles (up to $2500)
This does require an inspection to prove the vehicle is zero emission and that it is capable of highway speeds.

c. Filing
The federal return does not require you submit anything more than the 8910 form which can be done through e-file. I used turbotax (which is aware of both the federal and Georgia tax credits).
However the Georgia state does require send in the paper certification which cannot be e-filed, so it mail in return.
StealthBus in the media:

StealthBus on forums:

Great EV links: - photos and details of other projects for inspiration - very good forum for ~EVer's, useful information and discussion, I am "chivey" - extremely useful calculators to estimate your vehicle

Components / Datasheets / Manuals: - Warfield electric ~WarP 9 motor - Logisystems user manual - C&D Technologies AGM battery - Vacuum brake kit - PIC uP kit for prototype BMS - ~LEV200 contactor - "Bosch" relay used for all secondary circuits - gauges for Amps and Volts - aux battery charger (100-240v input voltage)

Workshop: - VW restoration shop

EV suppliers: - brought the [[Motor]] and [[Controller]] from here - brought the vacuum booster for the [[Brakes]] and some of the very large lugs from here - brought various components; circuit breaker, voltmeters, ammeter, shunt, second contactor and lugs - brought [[Charger]], primary cables (6, 2/0 and 4/0) and boots from here - brought [[Lithium pack]] and [[BMS]] (now defunct) - brought replacement contactors

VW info: - awesome site with great info

VW parts suppliers: - ordered various interior parts, lens and brake components from here - ordered dash panel for gauges from here - ordered replacement axles from here - ordered sliding windows from here

Other resources: - schematic capture package

Web resources: - a very useful single page wiki engine used to build this site - wiki theme used for this site + with my own (very) minor tweaks :)
2 years of lead abuse and I'm down to probably 10 miles max range. Arriving at the office/home with major voltage sag <110v... :( The batteries were at least 3 years old when I brought them, and in my original plan "buy a cheap set and run them into the ground" so I was expecting not to get this much out of them. In the mean time lithium packs have really started to look really good, very stable, very long life and best of all much lighter. So my plan for the second set is purchase a brand new lithium pack. 
Current pack is 12 x 12v/138Ah Lead Acid weighing in at healthy 1200 lbs in total.
Per my [[EV calc model]] that gives me a 43.6 miles @ 30 mph, 25.7 miles @ 60 mph range. 
The actual should be somewhere in between two (for commuting).
Experience has taught me 36 miles was the best range I ever got, and still arriving 80%, so it within the range.
For the purpose of comparison the relative range is the key factor, as long as the Li pack is equal or better we should be in good shape.
|!Cells|!Volts/Cell|!Pack|!Capacity|!Total|!Weight|!30 mph|!60 mph|
|12|12v|144v|138 Ah|19.9 kWh|1200 lbs|43.6 miles|25.7 miles|
|48|3.2v|153.6v|100 Ah|15.3 kWh|370 lbs|48.5 miles|29.0 miles|
|48|3.2v|153.6v|160 Ah|24.6 kWh|571 lbs|74.0 miles|45.0 miles|
|48|3.2v|153.6v|200 Ah|30.6 kWh|686 lbs|90.5 miles|56.1 miles|

So the 100Ah option should be equivalent to my existing Lead set up, two major factors here:
1, My research indicates that ~LiFEPO4 do not suffer that same Puekert effect that Lead so a Li pack of 60-70% stated capacity of a Lead pack should have the same performance - that checks out.
2. It weights 1/3 of the weight

The cost is more or less linear from 100Ah to 200Ah, and although it would be nice to have 80 mile range, my commute does not require it, so the more cost effective route is best for right now. As new battery technologies develop and as commercial offering expand I expect to be able to extend/replace the pack.
335lbs of Li vs 1200lbs of Lead... this can only be better me thinks...
Li 100Ah cell: W 7.1 x D 2.5 x H 8.6
Rear battery rack is:-
Each battery is W 13.57 x D 6.63 x  H 10.93
Total size is 13.57 x 39.78 x 10.93 = 5900.17 cu in.
Li Pack = 7327.2 cu in. (62% of lead pack)
Lead Pack = 11800.3 cu in.
Will try and fit complete pack under back seat, so can re-purpose the table for cables/tools and behind the driver for a sub... maybe...
Purchased complete battery and BMS from evolve electics, based in Colorado.
GBS 100Ah, come pre-strapped in blocks of 4 (12.8v), so 12 blocks of 4.
Part number: ~GBS-LFMP100AH
Datasheet on batteries here:
!!!Battery Management System
!!!Integration plan
Plan to use the BMS SOC output to drive the original gas gauge.
Will use large relay to control PFC charger AC input to give the BMS control of the charging process.
Plan on connecting throttle control to BMS, to taper drive range when battery low.
Other functions will be integrated as time goes on, will keep original shunt and volt meter for now, as independent measurement.
[[Project: StealthBus]]
[[Site map]]
Motor choice, many projects I found on line (see [[Reference designs]]) had used the Advanced DC 9 inch and it appears to be a very popular choice. Some other projects mentioned using a motor from Netgain have a motor called the War P 9. This motor is designed to be drop in replacement for ADC 9”, aside from have a badass name the specifications look very attractive, and it definitely looks like a step up from the ADC motor.

Netgain War P 9 “Engage the warp engine…”

Diameter: 9"   Length: 14.69"
Actual Weight: 135 Lbs.
Voltage upto: 196V HP at 89v: 28 hp

Netgain offer 2 versions, the War P 9 and the War P 9 Im Pulse, the Im Pulse is slightly cheaper (about $75 less) and offers a single shaft output, verses a double shaft on the Warp 9. The tail shaft is useful if you plan to run A/C compressors, etc.

So I’m farily set on the motor (and not just because it has a cool name, although that does play a small part… *childish giggle*).
!!!Price check on retailers
(Correct as of August 15th 2008)
|Net Gain (MSRP)|War P 9 impulse|$1,675.00|n/a|n/a|
|Cloud Electric|War P 9 impulse|$1,799.95|$   82.86|$1,882.81|
||War P 9 impulse|$1,650.00|$ 210.00|$1,860.00|
||War P 9 impulse|$1,620.00|$ 123.49|$1,743.49|

As you can see from the prices most retailers are within a narrow range, my choice of component supplier is going to be driven by finding someone who can supply all the components give good pre and post sales support - not necessarily the lowest up front cost. Given this is my first project I will need all the help I can get and don’t want to fall into a trap with mismatched components and like to be able to leverage other experience in being successful.
!!!Journal entries
[[2009 06 05]] - Ordered motor from
[[2009 06 17]] - Motor arrived -ahhh...
[[2009 09 26]] - Bench testing
[[2009 10 05]] - Bench testing with transmission mounted!
[[2009 10 18]] - Motor fitted
There are great many kits available off the shelf. They offer bolt together simplicity, but at a price. $500-$1000. 
Here is summary of the off shelf options found on the web:
|EV Source|Yes|848.88||
|E-volks|No|235.00 (coupler) + 255.00 (plate)||
|EV Parts|Yes|1125.00||

Home made, no clutch option: using a big sprocket, like this one:

After discussing with Billie at Stockornaut with aid of machine shop a more cost effective solution can be made from off the shelf components.


!!!Journal entries
[[2009 09 16]] - Crank shaft end piece back from machine shop
[[2009 09 26]] - Bench testing completed coupler
[[2009 10 05]] - Bench testing for final alignment
[[2009 10 18]] - Completed coupler fitted

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|!System|!Component|!Qty|!Supplier|!Part number|
|Drive system|War P 9" Motor|1|||
||156V / 750A Logisystems Controller|1||~AFX156|
||Logisystems pot box|1|||
|Safety circuits|Emergency disconnect|1|||
||~LEV200 Contactor|2|||
||Airpax Circuit Breaker (250A)|1||~JLE-1-1-53-3-B4-250|
||500A Safety Fuse|1||~A30QS500-4|
||Inertia kill switch|1|Transatlantic race parts|
|Batteries|Max Rate Battery 138Ah|12|David Ratliff|
|Charging|240V/20A plug|1|Home Depot|
||240V/20A socket|1|Home Depot|
||~GA12 cord for charging|50ft|Home Depot|
|Brakes|Vacuum brake assist kit|1||#310-~VACP-K-R|
|Instrumentation|Deltec Shunt 1000A=50mV|1|||
||Westberg Ammeter 1000A|1||~A2C6-48|
||Westberg Voltmeter 6-16V|1||2C5|
||Westberg Voltmeter 80-180V|1||~A2C5-53|
|Traction wiring|4/0 cable|10ft|||
||2/0 cable|50ft|||
||Cable Lug #4/0 x 5/16" hole|2||600-~LTC-40-516-H|
||Cable Lug #4/0 x 3/8" hole|4||600-~LTC-40-038-H|
||Cable Lug #2/0 x 1/4" hole|24||600-~LTC-20-014-N|
||Cable Lug #2/0 x 5/16" hole|8|||
||Cable Lug #2/0 x 3/8" hole|4|||
||Cable Lug #2/0 x 1/2" hole|2|||
||Red battery boot|12|||
||Black battery boot|16|||
|Control circuits|Bosch Relays|8|Frys||
||~IN4001 Diode 1A, 40V|10||111-512-1N4001|
||~IN4004 Diode 1A, 400V|5||101-1N4004-E3/51|
||1Kohm 10W resistor (pre-charge)|1||101-~HS10-1KF|
||Fuse block 4 position|2|Oreilly Auto Parts||
||20A fuse|5|Oreilly Auto Parts||
||5A fuses|5|Oreilly Auto Parts||
||~GA14 cable|100ft|Auto Zone||
||~GA16 cable|100ft|Auto Zone||
||~GA18 cable|180ft|Auto Zone||

Rig for silent running… the story of an electric Volkswagen bus conversion project
This site is mainly a place for me to keep my notes, links, datasheets, etc in one place so I can find stuff I need to remember. If it proves useful to you for a another project then that makes me happy. Cheers!

Full documentation: [[Journal]] - most recent updates on facebook feed:
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Also see the StealthBus on EV Album
and DIY Electric Car forums:
|1957 S/Cab|ADC 9”|Curtis 1221|20 x 6v|120|n/s|65|60||
|1966 Split|ADC FB 1 4001A|Curtis 1231C|10 x 12v AGM|120|PCF 50/75|70|49||
|1967 Sundial|Warp 9|Cafe Electric|n/s|n/s|n/s|n/s|n/s||
|1970 Bus|Net Gain Warp 9|Kelly 144V/650A|18 x 8v flooded|144|Zivan NG 3|65|50||
|1971 Bus|ADC 9”|Curtis 1221|20 x 6v|120|n/s|n/s|n/s| |
|1971 Bus|ADC FB 1 4001A|Curtis 1231C|24 x 6v flooded|144|PFC 30|60|45||
|1972 Bus|ADC FB 1 4001|Curtis 1231C|10 x 12v flooded|120|Lester 110/220|65|40||
|1973 Bus|Custom 9 inch|Curtis 1231C|24 x 6v flooded|144|Zivan NG 3|55|50||
|1973 Bus|ADC FB 1 4001|Curtis 1231C|20 x 6v flooded|120|Dual KTA|65|40||
|1977 Bus|ADC FB 1 4001A|Curtis|12 x 12v flooded|144|2 x chargers|65|30||
|1978 Bus|Net Gain Warp 9|Curtis 1231|24 x 6v flooded|144|PFC 1500|60|60||
|1979 Bus|ADC 9”|Kelly|20 x 6v flooded|120|10 x 12v chargers|50|50||
!!!Guide to schematics
[[Theory of operation]] described the flow (or intended flow) of the circuits, and some of the reasons for extra relays, etc.
[[Key to schematics]] contains the decoder for the schematics and some basic explanations.
[[Parts list]] all components used to complete the EV conversion

!!!Primary circuit
High voltage, high current circuit.

!!!Secondary circuit
Low voltage control and warning systems.

!!!Modification to bus wiring
Changes to the original wiring harness to reuse dash lamps and ignition key
[[Project: StealthBus]]
...[[Reference designs]]
...[[Design v1.2]]
...[[Theory of operation]]
...[[Key to schematics]]
...[[Parts list]]
...[[Motor coupler]]
......[[Battery log]]
......[[Lithium pack]]
1973 Microbus conversion to EV
Project: StealthBus
StealthBus n. Ultra quiet VW type 2 for sneaking around the neighbourhood
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Basic plan is to add truck "air bags" to rear shocks, this would increase the total performance of the suspension system and offset the [[Weight]] increase as a result of adding 1200 lbs of [[Batteries]]

A basic air bag is rated at 5000 lbs, so more than sufficient for this project.

Phase 1 of the project will not apply any modifications to the stock suspension. The plan it get the bus driving and then in phase 2, start the extreme modifications.
!!!Primary Circuit

The primary (144v) needs to be fed via the protection systems (fuse, circuit breaker, disconnects) to the [[Controller]] from there on to the [[Motor]] and back to the pack.

In my current design, I have the [[Batteries]] split front and rear in cargo area of the bus for [[Weight]] distribution.

Positive going connection is made from the battery pack to the fuse and then a circuit breaker located behind the drivers seat. This travels back to the [[Controller]] panel, where it goes through the Run Contactor (RC). The RC coil input from from the secondary circuit. The circuit continues to the Shunt (1000A/50mA), this feeds the B+ input of the [[Controller]] and S1 on [[Motor]]. M- is connected via a disconnect to A1 of the [[Motor]]. The [[Controller]] needs full pack voltage for the KSI input to enable the controller, so a Bosch style relay labelled Key Switch Interlock (KSI), connects from the Shunt to the [[Controller]] input. The coil for the KSI is driven from the secondary circuit.

Negative connection from the battery pack, travels to the [[Controller]] panel, and via the Main Contactor (MC), connects to B- on the [[Controller]].

So MC, RC and KSI must all be powered to enable current to the controller and motor to flow.

!!!Secondary circuit

Starting under the dashboard, the "Run" from the ignition switch is connected to the Run Latch (RL) relay as is the "Start" line from the ignition. This is connected such that when the ignition is turned from "Run" to "Start" the relay is engerised latching the 12v from the "Run" of the ignition onto the ignition "Start" line. 
The "Start" line from the ignition is connected via the Interia Switch (IS) to the "Ready" lamp on the dashboard.
!!!!Dashboard to Engine bay connection
The "Ready" light side of the IS is connected to the existing "Start" wire that runs to the rear of the bus.
The "Run" cable is left as-is since it connects to reverse lights and other systems on the bus which we do not want to interfer with.
!!!!Engine bay (Controller panel)
In the rear of the bus the "Start" wire connects to the RR coil. 
Aux battery voltage connects to terminal 12V on the [[Controller]] panel, this fused with a 20A master fuse, this switched via the Run Relay (RR) to the other sub systems.
The switched 12V (from the RR), feeds via secondary protection fuses other cooling systems: [[Motor]] fan, [[Controller]] bay fans and fans on actually on the [[Controller]].
!!!!Charger interlock (behind fuel door)
A small module consisting of a old Nokia mobile phone charger (universal input voltage 100-240v) with 5.3v output, powers a small reed relay (6v coil). The relay shorts the CD line to ground when power is present at the fuel input.
!!!!Charger interlock (Controller panel / Dashboard)
CD drives relay coils ~CDb and CI, these are powered from the switched 12V so only energise if the bus is in "Ready" Mode. ~CDb (N.C.) contacts invert the signal to ~CDc so that ~CDc energised if there is no external power and therefore connect the "GEN" line to 12v, with dashboard light "GEN" is connected to the Run signal from the ignition. This means when switching from ignition "Off" to "Run" the "GEN" light has +12v one side and GND the other(since ~CDc is not energised) and the lamp is lit for "lamp test" mode. Turning the key from "Run" to "Start" latches the RR and then energises ~CDc which switches the GEN line to +12V so the GEN lamp goes out - unless of course external power is present.
!!!!Main contactor (Controller panel)
Unless CI is energised, the Main Contactor (MC) will energise when the bus is in "Ready" mode.
!!!!Run contactor & Key Switch Interlock (Controller panel)
The Throttle Pedal Switch (TPS) shorts to GND and provides a current path for RE and KSI. So only when in "Ready" mode with CI not energised can both RE and KSI be energised. The contacts for RE provide high current path to energise the RC (requires 1A to hold). The TPS is only rated at 0.16A for DC.
!!!!Motor overheat (Controller panel / Dashboard)
The thermal contacts on the Motor (MT) will normally GND to the coil of ~MTa unless the Motor exceeds 120oC. The coil of ~MTa is fed from the switched 12V so is only active when the bus is in "Ready" state. The "Oil" signal line is reused and ~MTa provides the lamp test behivour just as ~CDc does.

!!!Design notes
Considering adding brake interlock switch to interrupt run enable, when brake pedal is pushed, run contactor power is disabled. Will look into bus wiring schematics and see the best location to add this.
Advance timing of DC motors, the [[Motor]] (Wrap 9 included) can be advanced timed, this affects the positioning of the brushes, the gain in performance is offset by only being able to run the motor in one direction. So you need to be connected to a transmission with a reverse gear and you need to be careful when ordering to ensure you have the correct rotation to match the transmission forward gears on your vehicle.

Not sure which way the transmission goes, so I will push the car (forward!) with the transmission in 1st and note the rotation on the transmission spline.

Motors are orientated as CWDE or CCWDE for Clock Wise at Drive End or Counter Clock Wise at Drive End respectively.

UPDATE: Quick check in garage the drive shaft needs to go CCWDE. Found out when the Motor arrived that you can easily adjust the advance timing so no worries here.

!!!Journal entry
[[2009 08 25]] - Transmission removed from bus
[[2009 09 16]] - Repair steps defined
[[2009 09 26]] - Transmission problem found and fixed
[[2009 10 05]] - Bench testing with transmission mounted!
8: Paint job
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7: Morning commute
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6: Driving home for Christmas
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5: Road test
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4: Full system test
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3: Motor and Transmission test fitting
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2: Motor / Transmission test #2
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1: Motor bench test #1
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!!!Original specification
|Total weight|2250 kg|4960 lbs|
|Kerb weight|1380 kg|3042 lbs|
|Payload|870 kg|1918 lbs|
!!!EV conversion
| !|! |!Sub -|!Add +|
|Engine|Type 4 long block engine|311 lbs| |
| |Engine accessories (carb, air cleaner, etc.)|50 lbs| |
| |Netgain Warp 9| |135 lbs|
| |Logisystems controller| |7 lbs|
| |Misc electrical accessories| |10 lbs|
|Fuel|15.8 gallons * 6.5 lbs/gallon (cold)|102 lbs| |
| |Gas tank + fuel pump, lines, filters|20 lbs| |
| |Batteries 12 x 100 lbs| |1200 lbs|
|Sub totals| |483 lbs|1352 lbs|
!!!Post conversion
|EV weight increase|869 lbs|
|Kerb weight|3911 lbs|