Convert It! by Michael Brown is one of the top electric car conversion manual on Amazon.com. This is one of the books that I bought from my last trip to Borders bookstore. I also bought another EV conversion manual by Seth Leitman and Bob Brant, the Build Your Own Electric Vehicle paperback book. The book title is a little plain though.
In this post, I decided to do a very quick review on Convert It! The following is a list of 14 quick review points of the book.
1) Introducing the electric car – In this chapter, Brown introduces the reader to the concept of electric car as the transportation for the masses going into its history and its future.
2) Facts about electric vehicles – Here, the author debunked some myths about the humble EV. It is expensive? Does it have low driving mileage? The questions are answered in this section.
3) Safety – Even though electric cars are clean and efficiency, you cannot forget about driving safety. Basic driving safety stuff such as seat belt, tire thread, speeding etc are covered in this chapter.
4) What you need to get started – This is the starting point of a DIY electric car conversion project. Some basic things you need to get before you begin are ample work space, the right hand tools, lifting and welding equipment etc.
5) Choosing a chassis – When you are building your own EV, you need to decide on the type of chassis so you can start sourcing for a donor car. In this chapter, Brown goes through the criteria in choosing the ideal donor car.
6) Removing the internal combustion engine (ICE) – This process is like heart surgery. In essence, you are removing the heart of the car (ICE) and replacing it with an electric motor. The proper step to hoist out the engine is covered here.
7) Installing the motor and adapter – How do you install the electric motor on your donor car? In this chapter, the author covers the delicate process of connecting the motor to the existing transmission unit. Here, you will be introduced to the metal adapter plate.
8) Batteries and containment – The next section is the batteries or the power unit of the EV. How many batteries do you need? Where do you store them and how to link them together? All the questions are covered in this chapter.
9) Installing EV components – The is where you will learn the multiple EV components such as the controller, throttle box, volt meter, amp meter, inertia switch, main cut off switch etc.
10) Wiring – Understanding the veins of the electric car system. Readers without any wiring or electrical science experience will find this chapter a bit challenging. Not to worry, Brown did a good job explaining the EV wiring concept.
11) Final hookup and bench testing – You need to test all the system in your DIY electric car before you drive it on the road. There’s a useful check list included.
12) Suspension and tires – When you remove the internal combustion engine, the weight distribution on the car is different. You are also adding a lot of dead weight because of the batteries. To carry all the weight safely, the author delved into the suspension and tires of the electric car.
13) Road testing, driving and paperwork – Now that your EV is built, you have to get it tested by the authority to be certified as road worthy. Brown explains the type of approval and paperwork you have to go through for this to happen.
14) Charging and maintenance – The EV has no need to fuel up. It does have to be charged though. In this chapter, you learn about the science of battery charging, care and maintenance. This chapter is very important; missing it will reduce the life of the deep cycle battery on the electric car.
Related web pages:
1) Golf Cart Battery Maintenance Guide To Extend The Life Of Electric Golf Cart Batteries
2) Samuel Watson Premium Electric Car Guide Review