Posted on 1 May 2015 at 10:21 pm (CET)
Yesterday I woke up very early to place the quad bike on the trailer so I could go to the RDW.
It was a very long trip and I arrived there safely and on time. Was just a bit too early, no one was there yet so I had to wait at the main entrance for a bit.
It was all still very exciting, but then they started with the test. Unfortunately it quickly turned out that it would fail the test because the chassis number wasn't clear enough after sandblasting and spraying of the frame. You can still see it but it's hard to read it by just looking at it. According to them the chassis numbers are never really affixed deep enough with Chinese vehicles. It's a shame really but it is what it is. I will now get an identity check on the frame where they'll see if the frame is still the original one. I'm just going to assume that this will all go well and then the chassis number will just get affixed again.
But even if the chassis number was all good the quad bike probably still wouldn't have passed the test. At the beginning of this project I already seperated the brake system so I could operate the front and rear brake independently. Much safer this way, just like on a motorcycle. I also removed the hand brake since this wasn't working, I had this hydraulic after seperating the brakes so there's still a hand brake present. But that's apparently not allowed, the brake system has to stay original, even if it's actually worse then. So I'll have to change this back again before going back for another test.
They also checked a few other things and I'll have to modify some small things. But that all isn't much work, the main things are definately the chassis number and the brakes.
That was it for the less fun things of the approval. What actually was fun is that they weighed the quad bike. The total weight turned out to be 271 kg (597 lbs). Way more than I expected, thought it would be around 240 kg (529 lbs) somewhere. But it's still below the maximum allowed weight. It's just that the amount of seats will be adjusted from 2 to 1 on paper. Have no issues with this since no one fits on the back anyway.
But they actually weigh the weight seperately on the front and rear axle. This was very interesting since I was really curious about the weight balance. And what do you know, the weight balance is a perfect 50/50. On both the front and rear axle they weighed 135,5 kg (298,5 lbs). This was a nice surprise, I didn't even try to get the weight balance this good.
But that's about it for the approval. Have to wait and see now when I can go for the frame. This might just take a few weeks.
For the rest there are still some problems with EMC (electromagnetic compatibility / noise) and it's definately possible that I need to get a seperate EMC test done which will cost around 1500 euros. Not really looking forward to that either but I still don't know everything about this. Will probably know more about this next week.
Posted on 29 April 2015 at 10:13 pm (CET)
After a few busy weeks of only making drawings and documents everything is finally ready for the road approval test at the RDW. And just in time as well, the approval is already tomorrow. :) I'm very excited and really wonder what they'll say about it. And ofcourse if it'll pass the test. I hope so and have a lot of faith that it'll go just fine. But ofcourse there can always be some small thing that needs to be improved, we will see.
Here are a few of the drawings that I have to take with me tomorrow. I also have a lot of pictures and a folder filled with documents of all the components that are used. I really have no idea if they need all of this but it's always better to have too much than too little.
What I also had to make is an instruction manual. But just for the electric drivetrain. How it all works and needs to be operated.
Everything's ready and in position for tomorrow. Just still have to place the quad bike on the trailer and I can leave right away.
Hopefully it all ends well. I'll let you all know right away tomorrow evening. :)
Posted on 17 April 2015 at 12:00 am (CET)
The day before yesterday I already said that today would be very fun. And indeed it was, I met some very nice people and was able to ride on an electric 4x4 ATV and also drive in an electric 4x4 UTV. ATV-Europe came to visit today. They're from Zeeland (Most south-west province of the Netherlands) and they sell these ATV's and UTV's throughout Europe. They were very interested in the quad bike I converted myself and were also very curious what I would say about their ATV and UTV. It was all really great, they both were very nice to ride and drive. Ofcourse the ATV was the most fun for me.
Now you might be wondering how they got these things here. Well, just with 2 Dodge RAM's. The ATV on the back and the UTV on a trailer. The whole terrain was suddenly full here. Was really great to see.
The cars were awesome already but I really liked the ATV and UTV very much as well. Just didn't really know where to actually test them so we just put them in the field together with our ponies. This was really fun, they weren't even afraid since these things didn't make any sound but once you'd get a bit close they all started running.
Ofcourse they also checked my own quad bike and thought it was really awesome. They even think that this might be able to sell if I were to put these kind of models on the market for a good price. So who knows, maybe something for in the future. But yeah, lets first see if I can get it approved so I can actually start testing it on the road.
It was all really fun, unfortunately the time just flew by very quickly as well and they had to return home again. But I will definately see them again some time.
And to close off the day even better I just got a response from the RDW that the EMC certification for the controller is okay after all. The directives for this turn out to be pretty much the same for a quad bike and car. This was more or less the only thing that had me worried so I again have full faith now that the rest of the approval will go fine as well. Just 2 more weeks to go, very exciting!
Not a lot of news anymore, right now I'm only busy with all of the documents and drawings that the RDW will need for the road approval test. Unfortunately I already have a few problems with this. The certification for EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility or in other words interference) of the controller is apparently only for the categories of personal and commercial vehicles. Quad bikes fall into a different category so the certification actually isn't valid. Thankfully the RDW is checking if there really is a difference in the directives and if the certification might still be good. If not I'll have to get a seperate EMC test done which will cost as much as 1500 euros. So I'm not really looking forward to that and hopefully it won't be needed. Will have to wait and see.
Meanwhile I did make some modifications to the motor. I cut out the rubber seal completely so this can't make any contact anymore with the copper wires of the carbon brushes.
I also advanced the brush holder by about 3 mm. The motor should run a bit more efficient now while going forward so hopefully less heat build up as well.
I've already noticed that the motor runs much smoother now, the sound is very different as well. I'm also planning to place an air duct on the side of the heelguards which will guide air from outside of the quad towards the motor. While riding there should always be sufficient cooling then. But this is something for after the approval since I want to be able to test this on the road.
Tomorrow and Thursday will be interesting as well. Tomorrow an appraiser will come here who will determine the value of the quad bike. The quad bike is ofcourse worth a lot more now than original so I want to have it insured properly.
On Thursday I'll get some other visitors. Since I really like this myself and I'm looking forward to it very much I'll wait to tell you exactly what it's about untill after Thursday. It's something American and English but still Dutch as well. :)
Since I was having problems again with the gauge that shows me voltage and current I replaced it. It's the same one again though (EV Display), just a newer version. I think I won't have any problems with this anymore, quality and build of the circuit board is much better than with the version I had before.
All wires already connected.
And placed in the enclosure. I did have to modify a few things to make it fit since this circuit board is a bit bigger.
The new gauge is nicely showing the voltage and current again, hopefully it stays like this now.
I did have a small problem where it kept showing 10 V while everything was turned off. The cause turned out to be a layer of rubber that I added between the circuit board and contactor as isolation. I found out that the rubber I used (EPDM) is slightly conductive. That's never a good thing so I removed it immediately.
Then there's still the problem with the motor that's getting too hot. Coincidentally there's also that same layer of rubber (EPDM) on the protective cover and a few copper wires of the carbon brushes actually touch this. It also looks like the rubber got pretty warm at those spots, it was kind of sticking to the copper. So this could already be a cause for the motor getting so hot.
I also checked the carbon brushes and you can see really good that they've been very hot on the inside.
This definately isn't good and I'll have to find a solution quickly before I can use the full power again.
I also have confirmation from the RDW that I can go there on April 30th at 8 in the morning for the road approval test. So I still have a few weeks to completely finish everything. It will definately be very exciting but I'm still very confident that it'll be okay.