rigged for a test runAutocrossUnder the hoodAdaptor plate1000 lbs of leadUnder the hood before batteriesDash before reconstructionPotboxDash back together.
OwnerPaul Kirchman
LocationSarasota, Florida US map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet
The EV parts have been removed for transfer to
Electron Transport II and the car was
sold to an artist who is going turn it into
works of art.
MotorNetgain Impulse 9 Series Wound DC
Drivetrainclutchless coupling to 5 speed transaxle.
Shifting without the clutch has been no problem.
ControllerLogisystems 550 amp
Original needed to be sent back for repair. It
returned better than before - smoother start.
We'll see if it holds up.
Batteries16 Trojan T-875, 8.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
with automotive posts
System Voltage128 Volts
ChargerManzanita Micro PFC-20
Great charger.
DC/DC ConverterIota 45
$100 on Ebay
InstrumentationGPS speedometer, tachometer from bicycle
speedometer, pack volt meter, battery current &
motor current ammeter on toggle switch, 12 volt
Top Speed68 MPH (109 KPH)
In 4th gear, drew about 200 battery amps, but
only about 150 when I drafted off a big truck.
I am now routinely going 58 mph on the highway
in 3rd gear at 4800 RPM and drawing about 100-
110 amps from the batteries.
AccelerationGood from first, but because it is clutchless
the shift delay to second is too long so I
usually use 2nd, which is OK with close to a
full charge.
Range50 Miles (80 Kilometers)
Went 45 miles of stop and go with speeds up
to 45 mph. By the end the voltage sag on
acceleration was dropping below 112 volts,
which is the lowest I want to go. The
specific gravity showed only 50 DOD after
this, so theoretical range is higher, but 50
is realistic.
Watt Hours/Mile180 Wh/Mile
@ 35 mph in 2nd gear, no passengers, top up,
windows closed, level road, no wind, 40 lbs of
air in the tires.
EV Miles
Current:6,050 Miles (9,734 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity4 and a dog
Curb Weight2,980 Pounds (1,354 Kilograms)
TiresP18560R14 stock tires
Conversion Time10 months
Conversion CostAbout $11,000 including everything.
Additional Featuressatellite radio
The engine is out. Replaced power steering with manual.
Constructing the rear battery box from 2 1/4 X 1 1/2 slotted

Made adapter plate and motor to tranaxle coupler with Steve Clunn
of Grassroots EVs. He had a front battery rack and motor mount
from the voltsrabbit kit that I was happy to take off his hands.

4/20/08 - Got the motor mounted and the axles back on. Took a
test drive by rigging up a 12 battery controlled by the passenger.
Everything seems to work for the 50 feet we were able to go.

4/22/08 - Did a test drive on 24 volts with Marc Hill, who has
been a big help. Everything working so far. Had a small fire when
the insulation on a wire that was too small burned up, but fine
otherwise. Kind of exciting manually connecting the batteries on
the passenger floorboard, lots of sparks. Here are some

5/30/09 - Installed Logisystems controller, Curtis PB5 potbox, and
EV200 contactor. Started high voltage wiring.

6/20/08 - Installed Iota charger and small 12 volt battery.
Removed a lot of wires formerly used for the ICE. Removed seats
dashboard and carpet. Threw out firewall insulation, which
weighted a lot.

6/27/08 - Waiting on battery charger so started de-wiring and
rewiring the dash. Cleaned and replaced carpet. Installed the
radio and wired the speakers.

7/26/08 - Dash back together with volt and ammeters in the former
radio slot. Radio now in former AC vent slot. Satellite radio
mounted under dash. GPS speedometer/odometer (Garmin street
pilot) in place of former speedometer.

8/7/08 - Charger shipped today. Trojan T-875 batteries ordered
today, $135 each! Tachometer installed and working. Mounted the
magnet in a rubber backing plate for a rotary sanding disk, fits
right over the tail shaft. Here is a link on how the tachometer
can be made: WebPage /> a-bicycle-speedometer-cycloc

8/17/08 - Charger installed. Inertia switch installed. Just need
the batteries now...

8/28/08 - Batteries arrived! Now for some wiring and to figure
out how to secure them all.

9/7/08 - All of the batteries are in. It sits low overall,
especially in the back. Put some rubber coil spring spacers in
the rear, which raised it almost an inch on each side. Pretty
good for $20.

9/12/08 - Finished making all of the connecting wires and mounted
the fuses. Just need the front to rear wires and some way to
encase them. Also need to get the new master cylinder and brake
vacuum pump installed. May have it running by Sunday!

9/20/08 - Done! Well at least to the point of drivability. Went
for a test drive today. Still need an alignment, the vacuum pump
connected for the brakes, a license plate, and insurance so we
just stayed in the neighborhood, but everything seems to be
working! Here are some videos from

10/1/08 - Got vacuum system for brakes working. Stopping is much
easier now. Got up to 36 mph in 3rd gear. Ordered another shunt
to hook up to measure battery amps in addition to the one I have
for motor amps. Some kind of short seems to be happening between
the controller and the body of the car, it keeps tripping the GFI
on the charger...may need to get a new controller...(nope, just
need to isolate the controller and motor from charger.)

10/11/08 - Got an alignment today. The car was very popular at
tire kingdom! I thought I needed a new wheel bearing, but I gust
didn't tighten the lug nuts on one of the wheels...Doh! Handles
much better with aligned tires and tight lug nuts! Got up to 45
on the main road. Wiring the battery ammeter today. Need to set
up another contactor to isolate the controller from the charger,
and also the precharge system.

10/18/08 - A second contactor on the negative side to isolate the
charger from the controller solved the GFI problem. Got a heavier
extension cord, but can't get charger to put out more than 6 amps.

12/17/08 - So still in test mode, controller went. Fortunately it
is under warranty. It seems that Logisystems controllers are
having this happen a lot. Hopefully it will be back soon.

1/24/09 - Controller is back. They sent it with 2 cooling fans
for installation on top. So far, so good. Start up is smoother
than before so they must have made other adjustments besides
repairing it. Just need to reinstall and test in time for debut at
Battery Beach Burnout on FAU Jupiter campus on the 21st and 22nd
of February.

2/14/09 - Staying in the neighborhood so far to test out
controller. Got a direct connect for the satellite radio. The new
version of the Logisystem puts out a lot more radio frequency
interference than the old one. Fortunately it does not interfere
with the satellite signal and the direct connect fixes the
transmission from the satellite unit to the radio. I never use
terrestrial radio since I got satellite (can't stand all the
commercials any more) so that is not a problem.

2/22/09 - Got everything installed an participated in the Florida
Electric Auto Association's Battery Beach Burnout on the Jupiter
Campus of Florida Atlantic University. Saw lots of great
conversions and did the autocross. Logisystems working fine.

3/1/09 - Finally installed the plug into the former fuel filler
hole. Cut a doughnut piece of plexiglass and put a marine outlet
into it.

3/10/09 - Went 45 miles today. Home - work - pick up kid 1 - home
- work - pick up kid 2 - home. That is about the limit to the
cars range, even though the battery's specific gravity showed only
50% discharge the voltage sag on acceleration was dipping too low
(1.75 volts/cell). If I was willing to accelerate at a snail
pace, kill the batteries, or didn't need stops and starts it might
be a higher range. Fortunately that is about the most driving I
ever need to do in one day.

7/2/09 - Sending the Russco charger back to repair a problem with
the automatic shut off, but just passed 3000 miles and still
working great otherwise. Looking into replacing the heavy
"clipper kit" bumpers with what are called euro bumpers. Should
cut about 80 lbs I think. Also thinking about some lighter wheels
(and a paint job, and a new top, etc.....)

8/20/09 - Well my charger got lost in the mail so I ordered a new
PFC-20. In the mean time I have been using a homemade charger
that I borrowed from Steve Clunn. It works great, thanks Steve!
Much faster charging and more complete. I think I was under
charging previously.

8/21/09 - Went 54 miles today, mostly on the highway averaging 50
mph. The loss of efficiency of the higher speeds are made up for
by no need to stop and start.

9/12/09 - Routinely commuting 20 miles round trip with an 8 or so
mile highway portion. Typically I go about 56-58 on the highway.
Get passed some, but not terribly slower than everyone else at
rush hour due to the heavy traffic. Easier than surface roads
because no stopping.

9/15/09 - Took out the rubber spring spreaders and added 750 lb
helper springs to the rear along with some new struts. The rear
end now is at the original height, so it looks and is a bit low in
the front now.

9/19/09 - Put the rubber spring spreaders on the front struts.
The lower control arms are now straight across, ride height is
back to original and the handling seems better. The rear springs
are a bit noisy, but only over speed bumps. Not bad for a $30 fix.

4/3/11 - Showed the car at an event for girl scouts on FAU campus.
I think it went well, they all liked the ride in the convertible.
Range is not what it use to be anymore and the top voltage is not
what it once was. Looking into lithium batteries.

6/21/11 - Made a seat cooler that really works to keep me cool.
It's just a bilge pump in a cooler circulating water that I cool
by putting a frozen bottle of ice water in the cooler. It stays
cold all day while I am at work (8-10 hours). Here are a links to
the instructables that I used:
WebPage /> body-with-the-Back-/ and this one too:
WebPage /> babies/#step1 I just connected 6 1/4 tubes to a drip irrigation
system head and sewed the tubes to an old shirt that fits right
over the seat. It looks kinda crappy, but it works almost too
good. I could try putting the seat cover back on, but that might
cut down on the cooling.

The EV parts have been removed and the car was sold to an artist
who is going turn it into works of art

code by jerry