I find out this morning from Ross Cunniff (who also recently completed the 914 AC kit), that he has had ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS with his CCPower DC-DC converter. I guess I've been working with a faulty unit for the duration. Since I finished the first kit, Electro Auto didn't want to replace my unit because they wanted me to find out more information before I simply blew up another one. In my opinion, technical support from CCPower was crappy at best. They didn't respond to my e-mails and their response to Electro Auto was along the lines of "there's nothing wrong with our DC-DC converters, it's your problem. We've been doing this for 20 years and know far more than you do."
This frustration led me to do some searching on the internet for other DC-DC converters today and I found one on the EVParts website called the Iota DLS-45. This puts out 45 amps of current instead of the CCPower's 30 amps and costs a third as much. It's slightly larger than the CCPower C400, but still fits in the same space on the front of the battery box. Out of sheer immature emotional spite, I don't want to see another CCPower DC-DC in my EV. The technical support person at Iota was extremely responsive and provided accurate information. I ordered one and it should be here later this week. The added output current should also provide some extra amps for powering a 15-amp 12-volt cabin heater if this cold weather keeps up.
Since I'm on an irritable roll now, I came up with some additional rants about improvements to the 914 AC kit from Electro Auto that I think would be good:
- Why not go with the Iota DLS-45 DC-DC if it puts out more amps and costs less?!
- If EA provides upgraded suspension parts to handle the extra weight of the batteries, they should also provide upgraded BMW 320i machined calipers to improve braking too. I don't think I could stop this heavy car quickly enough in an emergency situation. The rear shock absorbers also don't have any adjustment to them, so the back end of the car sticks way up in the air.
- The Azure Dynamics AC24 motor fits nicely into the chassis, but is way underpowered for the weight of the car. It provides less than 50% of the original ICE power. The 9" DC motor from ElectroAuto's kit 20 years ago provided more torque. This is a Porsche for _____'s sake! Why can't the AC55 motor fit?
- Given their lack of response and technical support, ElectroAuto should provide a list of online resources that people can go to for help in 914 conversions. There are many from the 914ev Google group to the 914club.com and 914world.com groups as well as the EVDL.
- ElectroAuto scrimped and shipped 2 gauge cable with the AC kit instead of 2/0 gauge cable, possibly thinking that the AC kit would pull less current. It still pulls 300 amps, similar to the DC kit and greatly benefits from the thicker gauge welding cable.
- Despite being listed as part of the kit, ElectroAuto provides no hardware (i.e. bolts, nuts, hood pins, etc...). I actually didn't mind purchasing my own hardware, but I had no idea where to get some of the more obscure items. EA should have provided part numbers or sources to buy these extra items at.
- I think ElectroAuto should maximize the capability of the internet to help its users and help reduce it's own level of tech support. Provide more FAQ sheets and have an online forum or group so that people doing the conversions can help each other instead of relying on Mike or Shari to answer every single question. I suppose the 914ev Google group is good for this, but having a pointer to it would be helpful.
- ElectroAuto should sending out instructions and drawings in .PDF instead of AutoCad .DXF format and MS-Word. Not only would it help everyone viewing it, but it would also protect ElectroAuto's original digital documents. A .PDF print driver is free off the internet.
- Helpful hints to the user such as "make sure you rebuild your transmission" and "keep your flywheel when you get rid of the engine" would be most useful.
- My biggest beef with ElectroAuto that's tainted me from day one is their lack of accuracy in reporting delivery times. If they had told me directly that first parts would arrive in eight weeks and the remainder of the kit would take an additional six months, I would have groaned but ordered it anyway knowing the wait ahead. This would have allowed me to plan my time accordingly. In reality, I never got a straight answer when parts would arrive and waited anxiously for months expecting parts to show up. I don't see why telling the truth would hurt in this case.
Enough flaming for today. If I can get through the week and get the new DC-DC from Iota soon, I should be back in business. I can actually drive the car without the headlights for quite a while, but with the headlights on, the DC-DC can't take the load and the 12V accessory battery completely drains after 30 minutes.