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Beta Don

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Everything posted by Beta Don

  1. I have 3 electric cars - Two 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV's and a 2017 Chevy Volt Bought the first Mitsu new 6 years ago in May of 2012 for $30K less the government $7.5K tax credit. Bought the second one two years later when it came off lease for $8700 . . . . and it had just 3,900 miles on it - The second one had all the bells and whistles and a sticker of $34K when it was new. This shows the alarming depreciation many EV's face as soon as you drive them off the lot. Both these cars were still supported by the factory, with a 10 year, 100K battery warranty as well as extended warranties on the EV drive system The Ford Transit Connect EV was never really a 'Ford' as they never warrantied any part of it - It was Azure Dynamics baby right from the start. The $57.5K sticker meant there weren't going to be many private owners - It was aimed at business fleets. With a 28 Kw battery giving you 50 to 75 miles of range, you would have to put 200K or more on it to recoup the difference in price from the ICE version - You almost could have bought 3 trucks from Ford for the price of one electric one Should you buy this one? That depends on what you can do with it and what they want for it. Replacing the battery would be cost prohibitive, but Lithium EV batteries can last a very long time, depending on the software and how easy or hard on the battery it allows the vehicle to be. I suspect the Transit is pretty conservative, as it gets about the same range from 28Kw of battery as our Mitsu's get from just 16Kw. I personally wouldn't be too worried about the battery, but there could be other parts of it that might cause problems later on - Azure Dynamics built the entire drive train If I had a small business which could make good use of a vehicle able to do 50 or 60 miles each day *and* I could buy the vehicle for $10K or less, I would probably take a chance on it . . . . but you are very correct that it's a gamble and that any major fault could leave you with some very expensive scrap metal - Oh, you could sell the battery bank to someone wanting to build their own EV and get maybe half your money back - You could probably sell the whole van in not running condition and get most of your money back . . . . assuming you found the 'right' buyer and you didn't pay more than $10K for it when you bought it If they're asking more than $10K, I don't think they're going to find many buyers. If Azure was still in business and if it had a warranty still in effect for a few more years, it *might* be worth $15K, but as it is now, it's a real gamble - If the price is 'right' it might be a gamble worth taking, but it all depends on your needs and the asking price, IMO Our Mitsubishi's have been completely problem free (other than 3 factory recalls) for 6 years now and we're really glad we bought them both. Hopefully we'll still be driving them 6 or 8 years from now - There won't be ANY warranty by then, but we'll have got our value from then by then too Don
  2. I added DRL's in the Fog lights - I didn't really want them in the headlights anyway There are several cars which use nearly identical fog light housings as the Gen 2 TC's, but have DRL bulbs in them. I had a spare one from one of my 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV's and I found that some Subaru models used the same housing (as well as a few Fords) so I ordered an extra housing on eBay and installed them - Factory fit using the same mounting screws as the OEM housings. I used an LED in the DRL position and wired them to an under hood fuse which is hot anytime the engine is on. They're down low, very bright, I still have my fog lights and am quite happy with the result Don
  3. Wouldn't be very useful as a wagon if you couldn't roll the back windows down . . . . would it? Don
  4. Looking to get a diesel

    What transmission(s) are offered with the diesel in Europe? Any rumors about which one(s) will be offered in the '19 USA version? Don
  5. Looking to get a diesel

    Not to worry! - The owner of an EV can't do any harm to the battery. The car's computer won't let you, which is why they do last so long You cannot discharge it to 5% nor can you recharge it to 100%. EV's employ a very conservative charge.discharge protocol. If you want a Lithium battery to last 3X as long as it otherwise would, you just limit the charge voltage to 95% of absolute maximum . . . . and if you want it to last 10X as long, limit it to 90%. The discharge voltage is limited even more than that, so no matter what the owner does, the technology is there to ensure a long life Our 6 year old Mitsubishi EV's are used exactly as you mentioned. Since we're retired and have no regular commute, we do mostly run errands with them and recharge a couple times per week - No battery degradation that we can measure in the first 50,000 miles. The total maintenance over the first 6 years has been one new interior air filter replacement and one set of wipers. Now that the tires are 6 years old, they'll need to be changed sometime this year Don
  6. Looking to get a diesel

    Meanwhile, Jiquay can quit worrying about the rare earth magnets - They are neither 'rare' nor are the materials they're made from https://www.magnetsource.com/blog/rare-earth-magnets-what-isnt-in-a-name/ Don
  7. Looking to get a diesel

    I think everyone who has never owned an EV or a hybrid is overly concerned with "what will changing the battery cost?" It's pretty rare this ever turns out to be something you needed to worry about. Most are warrantied for 10 years, 100,000 miles because the manufacturers know they'll very seldom have to make good on the warranty. There is a 2012 Chevy Volt with 435,000 miles on it that the guy commutes 110 miles each way 5 days a week with and he's still going about the same number of miles twice a day on his original battery . . . . after 4,000+ recharge cycles. His lifetime mpg is 59.25 https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1112485_2012-chevy-volt-has-now-crossed-400000-miles-range-remains-steady Hybrid is all about saving gas - Getting back the energy you usually waste when friction braking. We have a 2017 Volt which gets 42 mpg when running on gas alone and that's because it also uses a bit of battery power to go up hills and then recoups that power going down the other side. Overall lifetime 'mileage' on some hybrids us upwards of 60 mpg when the combined number is calculated - Higher if they're driven more in the city and less on the freeway I like diesels too - Have a turbo Yanmar in my boat and a 3 cylinder Kubota in my garden tractor. For me, it's all about the best power plant for the job and when you have something that makes a complicated, expensive, prone to repair automatic transmission no longer necessary, that's a BIG plus. Our two Mitsu BEV's have the motor directly coupled to the axle with a 7 to 1 reduction (you can hold the entire trans-axle in one hand) and can go from zero to 80 mph without changing gear ratios . . . . and don't need a reverse, or a clutch To each his own - There's something out there for everybody to love Don
  8. Ramps modification

    Mine are the original Rhino Ramps, probably 20 years old. Molded plastic, rated at 12,000 pounds with a 17 degree angle they raise the car up 6 1/2 inches. A little rubber pad on the underside leading edge grips the floor when the tire first contacts the ramp so it doesn't try to slide forward They used to be cheap - $25 per pair or so, but of course that was in last century dollars http://allgaragefloors.com/5-best-car-ramps/ Don
  9. Ramps modification

    I have a set of the molded plastic ramps and my 2014 SWB goes up them without the front air dam touching. I've had them for many years and some cars with even lower front lips fit fine Don
  10. Looking to get a diesel

    Diesel engines have a lot going for them - Always have. They are especially good for constant RPM uses where multi-speed transmissions aren't needed, like boats and trains, heavy farm machinery and especially generating electricity. There are still many places where much of the electricity is generated using efficient single low speed diesel engines - Hawaii is one For transportation a diesel still makes some sense for heavy long haul trucks, but even for them the new rules are making diesels more problematic and we're going to be seeing more and more battery powered trucks in the near future - Even for long haul trucks. Emissions systems and regulations are making diesels less practical. For smaller vehicles, IMO, time and emissions have pretty much passed them by. You'll be buying yesterday's technology if you buy a 2019 van with a small diesel in it. For an around town grocery getter, a BEV or a hybrid makes much more sense . . . . and she won't get that smelly diesel on her going to church clothes The days of cheap diesel fuel behind us too - It will never be as cheap as gasoline again here in the USA, and as more regulations are put on it, the cost will only go up. Justifying a diesel because it's cheaper to run than a gas or especially a hybrid vehicle is gone too. Even a new Chevy Volt gets 40+ mpg running on gas alone and if you compare the total cost, using both gas and electric, it's much cheaper to run than any diesel If she liked her mini-van, she would love a small hybrid van which can do many of her trips not burning any fuel at all. You can forget about transmissions because electric vehicles with their high torque motors don't need to shift gears . . . . one less expensive part to fix or replace I can understand coming from an old diesel rabbit and then a newer TDI why you think you want to stay a 'diesel guy' for as long as you can, but I think your past positive experiences are probably coloring your judgement going forward. Times have changed . Is she really (be honest now) a 'diesel gal' too . . . . or would she rather drive something more practical? Don
  11. Should I change transmission fluid

    I change every fluid in any used vehicle I buy shortly after the purchase, assuming the vehicle has been cared for like most people care for their cars, which is to say, not at all I waited to change the trans fluid in my new to me 2014 until it hit 25,000 miles and I'll be doing it every 25,000 from now on. I would venture to guess that for RWD cars with a rear differential, 90% of them have never had the gear oil changed - Probably a safe guess TC transmissions don't have a very good reputation for making it to 100K without a trans fluid flush, let along 150K. If I had just bought an older one, getting that done would be my first priority, but I'm not sure I would use your proposed method - I think you would run the pump dry doing that and it may cause you problems. When I changed mine to full synthetic, I used about 18 quarts, draining 4 and refilling 4 several times. Was still cheaper than taking it to Ford for their flushing procedure Don
  12. I see somebody else owns both a TC and a Chevy Volt! Don
  13. This issue has been around for 40 years or so on any engine with an aluminum head. It is caused by dissimilar metals corrosion and any mechanic worth his salt knows that when you change spark plugs, you must coat the threads of the new plug with something . . . . usually an anti-seize compound specifically made for spark plugs which keeps the corrosion from 'eating' the least noble of the metals . . . . the aluminum in this case Recently (the past several years) NGK, Delco and possibly some others have begun coating their plug threads with a trivalent plating (looks like chrome) specifically to reduce the corrosion - If your new plugs have the coating, don't use any other compund on them too - The two together act like a lubricant and will cause you to torque them too tight As always, with an aluminum head, be SURE to use a torque wrench when installing plugs and err on the side of sliightly under torquing them, rather than over torquing them - Just enough to crush the washer is all that's needed. The aluminum is soft, the threads are pretty fine and it's not that hard to strip the threads, especially in an older engine which already has corrosion present Don
  14. The battery is enclosed on all 6 sides in a nylon/plastic case, so if the battery you want will fit inside that case, there is zero chance of anything getting anywhere near the terminals. The battery case in our TC's has LOTS of unused space in it which does allow for a larger, more powerful battery to be installed. So long as you can fit it in the case, properly clamped down, there's no danger . . . . actually much less danger installing a sealed AGM than you would have with a flooded battery which can vent hydrogen gas If you had an AGM battery that 'outgassed' and caused corrosion, you had a pretty serious charge problem with the vehicle. AGM's are sealed, though they do have pressure relief valves to keep them from exploding when the charging system goes amok and tries to destroy the battery - If you had a flooded battery in there instead of the AGM, it would have quickly boiled it dry, under those conditions. Not a problem with either battery, but with the vehicle (and it's charging system) that the battery was installed in Don
  15. New TC Owner - Hi Everyone

    Nice looking van! - It's what you really wanted . . . . you know it is! I *think* the cargo versions without all the interior trim that comes in the wagons can handle 4 x 8 sheets laying flat . . . . someone will correct me if I'm wrong I'm sure Destiny reared it's beautiful head and save you from a fate worse than death! - Driving a MoPar!! Don
  16. If the Motorcraft is a "100 month" battery, they should have given it to you for less than half price - Your OEM one didn't live half that long. Pretty poor performance from a modern battery, IMO That's certainly what Ford wants you to think, which is why they started selling their vehicles with a 'Ford specific' battery yers ago - They make you think nothing else will work, so you have to go to the dealer for a battery. The Sam's Club AGM that we've been discussing here fits perfectly - No modifications needed and I guarantee you it's a much better battery than the one Ford sells Hopefully it will last much longer than 48 months - I've had several Interstate batteries over the years and I would rate them as superior to most OEM batteries That alone would have made me want to find something better for my money - 4 or 5 years from a battery isn't particularly good. It will be very interesting to see what happens next time when you try to invoke your 100 month warranty. I'm sure it's a pro-rated warranty, so they should at least give you a few bucks off . . . . but then you'll be stuck with another Motorcraft battery Don
  17. First Ford in Many Many Years.....

    It's an excellent transmission and really gets the most out of the little 2.5 liter engine . . . . but, they do have a history with some early failures I was just like you - Did lots of reading about them before we bought one. Ford claims it's a 100K 'maintenance free' transmission and I believe that's a big part of the problem. We bought ours with 13K on it and I dumped the trans fluid and refilled it with full synthetic Castrol Transmax at 25K. I plan on doing that every 25K and we'll see how it goes. The initial 'flush' takes about 16 or 18 quarts to get a 95% exchange. The next one will be quicker and simpler Ford designed much of this vehicle to encourage owners to visit their service departments for every little thing, which really rubs me the wrong way. The omission of a trans dipstick in favor of the convoluted process for checking the trans fluid level is just . . . . ridiculous We had a tiny Mitsubishi van which also had a history of transmission problems, but at least they gave it a real drain plug and a dipstick. I dumped the trans (only about 3 quarts) and refilled it after every other 3K oil change and we never had any transmission problems over the 150K we owned it But, other than the transmission concerns, we're pretty happy with our 2014 after our first year with it. Hopefully with a little extra care, it will turn out to be a reliable vehicle long term Don
  18. Loading and unloading in the rain (or hot sun) I wouldn't have anything other than the lift gate But, the real reason for me was . . . . I drove a cargo van with the cargo doors and never did get used to the restricted visibility from the inside rear view mirror. I know it doesn't bother everyone, but I would never get used to it Don
  19. That's a nice lookin' van! Big, bold and RED!! Worth the wait, isn't it? Don
  20. Just purchased a 2018 Transit Connect!

    Snow tires! - I saw a set of those on a car once a long time ago . . . . or, were they 'mud tires'?? I have a 1994 Miata in the garage that I bought in 1999, so I know a good bit about keeping cars for a long time. It still has it's nearly new factory ragtop, 'cause I very seldom drive it on the rain - Top down all the time!! Our '14 TC will no doubt last me until I'm gone - We only drive it for what we bought it for . . . . long distance trips which are too long for our EV's. Unless we're headed out of town, it might go 6 weeks between starts. Since 2012, about 90% of the miles we drive are in our two electric cars. The Volt should be the best of both worlds . . . . and will help the TC sit in the garage unused for even longer periods of time than it does now - I do keep a trickle charger on it so it will start when I need it to Don
  21. Just purchased a 2018 Transit Connect!

    The '17 Volt gets nearly twice the battery range of the early ones. Mid year of '17 they came out with 'Adaptive Cruise Control' which allows you to use cruise even in city traffic. Set the speed you want and when the car in front of you slows or stops, you match his speed slowing and stopping automatically. Hit 'Resume' after the light turns green and you follow him again, up to the speed you have it set for. You can actually drive in city traffic without touching either the gas or brake pedals! It also has 'Lane Keep Assist' which keeps you in your lane if you tend to wander (it recognizes the center lane markings and the edge of the road) and if you use the turn signal to change lanes, it will warn you of an approaching car in your blind spot. Also has automatic braking which keeps you from running into the car in front of you . . . . which is no problem anyway if you're using the Adaptive Cruise Mid-year '17 or later and you do have to get the Premier Edition with both Driver Confidence Packages 1 & 2 in order to get the ACC There is a guy in Ohio who has more than 400,000 miles on a 2012 Volt - He commutes 110 miles each way, 5 days a week. About 160,000 of those miles are on the battery. Very few problems with the car so far and he still has about 95% as much EV range as when it was new Don
  22. Just purchased a 2018 Transit Connect!

    Unfortunately, most (95%?) of the sales people working at dealerships will tell you whatever they think they need to say to sell you whatever they currently have on the lot and if that doesn't jive with the truth, well, so be it - They don't even give that a thought . . . . they have only one goal, and that's selling you what they have to sell For me, a car remains a pretty major purchase, despite the fact that quite some time ago I finally reached the place where I can pay cash for them, so I always do LOTS of research before I buy. My last 3 purchases have all been quite far from home - When we bought our 2014 TC barely used a couple years ago, I got it from a dealer 300 miles (and two states away) from home, because they had exactly what I was looking to buy (a SWB XLT passenger van, which turned out to be a pretty rare animal) and I got a much better deal on it than I could have locally. That made the 600 mile round trip more than worth it . . . . and we made it a mini vacation and saw some sights both on the way there and the trip back Oh, you can get your local dealer to ship in a vehicle, new or used, from some other dealer's stock several hundred miles away, but it will cost you and you pretty much have to have 'bought it' before they will agree to do it. When we drove 300 miles to get the TC, we could have walked away without buying it if it had been misrepresented in any way, or if they tried to add in any extra charges, and I always keep that option open - Walk away if there's any funny business. They need to sell much more than I need to buy We're currently shopping for a specific barely used 2017 Chevy Volt Premier (with every option) and it's already become pretty obvious that we'll have to go even more than 300 miles from home to get what we want . . . . and it may take awhile. There are very few electric cars available locally (we have 2 Mitsubishi EV's that we've had for years) and few people at any dealers in our state even want to talk to us . . . . but we'll find 'the car' eventually and go get it wherever it is . . . . and it will be a great deal, or we'll keep looking. I never buy anything I'm not really excited about and without researching the vehicle very thoroughly. Good things come to those who wait . . . . and do their homework! Don
  23. You're not very clear, but I'm guessing what you're describing is the same thing I have I installed a double DIN Pioneer Nav receiver and kept the small OEM upper screen for the back-up camera. It also shows the time, date and outside temperature. If you disconnect the battery, the time and date reset and you're stuck looking at the wrong numbers Right? What I do is . . . . I carry the original radio panel with the buttons in the glovebox. I pull the double DIN faceplate off and plug the OEM panel back in and then I can reset the time and date. Unplug it, put the double DIN faceplate back in place and everything's good . . . . until the next time I disconnect the battery Don
  24. Row 2 and 3 seat weights - 2014 model

    I'll take your word for it - Those numbers sound about right to me We remove the smaller seat from our SWB 2014 frequently and it's not TOO bad, but I really hate removing the larger one. It's a real bear to get back in by yourself! Don
  25. Yes, a 1.5 liter turbo diesel mated to an 8 speed trans https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-vans/2019-ford-transit-connect-cargo-van-first-look/ar-BBJX8E8?ocid=spartandhp Don