I do want to buy a used car

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
I LOL'd.

Wait a minute! Maybe this is DD's secret upcoming venture he's looking into. "Drop in electric drivetrains."
That might not be a bad business to be in. There will be a combination of carrot/stick approaches to get ICEs off the road. That could include outright bans on ICEs in large cities, probably starting in Europe/Asia first, but eventually coming to North America. The end result of this could be vehicles with perfectly sound bodies which the drivers still like, but in need of being retrofitted with an electric drive train. Anyone who can produce drop-in electric drive trains for a reasonable cost might be in a good place in the next few years. Granted, David's goal here seems to be more power/speed than the current offerings, but in general I see this as a major growth industry. Think something along the lines where you could take out the engine/transmission, bolt in the electric motor and associated controller, which in turn interfaces to the vehicle's throttle/brake wiring. Put the batteries wherever they fit, connect to the controller, and you're done. There would probably also need to be a small screen in the car which tells you what the motor and batteries are doing. Not as elegant or efficient as a purpose-built electric car, but to the driver it should feel more or less the same. Probably smoother without the vibrations and jerky characteristics of an ICE.
 
Last edited:

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,438
Location
Michigan
You're utopian delusions are always entertaining to read. That's not going to happen in the US on any appreciable scale. There's too much money to be made selling everyone a new car.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
It is certainly possible, but not economical or efficient to convert a car from gas to electric.
Modern vehicles are tightly integrated at all levels of construction, mechanicals and electronics. Maybe you could do so more easily with a Jeep or 1960s car, but it will never be as practical as a properly designed electric vehicle. In the 2020s most cars will still use gas, but there will be more electric options than now and the gas cars of today will be crushed at the scrapyards at end of life as usual.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
You're utopian delusions are always entertaining to read. That's not going to happen in the US on any appreciable scale. There's too much money to be made selling everyone a new car.
Last I checked fewer and fewer people have money to buy new cars. There's also a demographic shift. But my point here is today's car bodies last a really long time. If someone is happy with their vehicle, why wouldn't they want to convert it to electric, instead of taking chances buying something new they might not be happy with in the long haul? My brother's driving a 1997 Mark VIII. He's talked about converting it to electric when the engine goes, so long as the body is still in good shape. The reasons are that he's happy with it, and he can't afford a new car. Heck, he couldn't even afford a decent used car at this point. Why electric instead of just putting in another engine? One, engines for that vehicle are getting harder to come by given the age (and given their age, who knows how long a used engine will last). Two, electric is cheaper to operate, and the range is adequate. He normally does a 30 mile round trip to work. The longest regular trip is to my sister's, which is about 120 miles round trip. The aerodynamics of that car are already very good. With an electric conversion he could put in a floor pan to make them even better. The range would probably be phenomenal.

The only key is how hard is it to do this? I don't think it's as hard as Lunar is making it out to be.
 
Last edited:

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
It is certainly possible, but not economical or efficient to convert a car from gas to electric.
Modern vehicles are tightly integrated at all levels of construction, mechanicals and electronics. Maybe you could do so more easily with a Jeep or 1960s car, but it will never be as practical as a properly designed electric vehicle. In the 2020s most cars will still use gas, but there will be more electric options than now and the gas cars of today will be crushed at the scrapyards at end of life as usual.
Sure, something designed from the ground up as an electric is going to be better but conversions are certainly feasible. People are already doing it.

Another problem is have you seen the new car choices? It's really more like new SUV, pickup, and crossover choices. If you like real cars, as opposed to the other crap, the pickings are pretty slim. Yet another reason to convert old stuff as far as I'm concerned. Dave is absolutely right about SUVs. Besides the issues for the driver, they're dangerous to everyone around them, especially pedestrians. Most of the new car choices aren't exactly all that appealing, either. That's one reason my brother wants to keep his Mark VIII.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
I'm not looking to do it alone. Finding local people with similar interests and sufficient skill-sets. I wouldn't say that I'm getting them to build my electric car, but rather collaborating on a fun hobby producing something that will be mine. Of course, this means the timeline and end result are colossally uncertain, but that's fine.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
Whatever you're doing sounds interesting. Totally agree about not going it alone. I've had loads of ideas over the years but never put anything into action for lack of contacts who were knowledgeable. Another thing stopping me was the patent situation. I can't afford to patent anything, and I know the minute it got out there some Chinese company would copy it and sell it for a fraction of what I could.

Now I'm pretty much at the end of my working life since I'll be caring for my mom until she dies. That could be ten years or more from now, maybe even longer. I'll be in my mid 60s to 70s by then, well past any reasonable working age.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
I may or may not have a model of an RX-8 that has been converted to a 1+2 seating arrangement a la McLaren F1.
I'm confused. Are you building a one-off resto-mod type vehicle for person use, or is this part of the business scheme mentioned in another post?
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
Last I checked fewer and fewer people have money to buy new cars. There's also a demographic shift. But my point here is today's car bodies last a really long time. If someone is happy with their vehicle, why wouldn't they want to convert it to electric, instead of taking chances buying something new they might not be happy with in the long haul? My brother's driving a 1997 Mark VIII. He's talked about converting it to electric when the engine goes, so long as the body is still in good shape. The reasons are that he's happy with it, and he can't afford a new car. Heck, he couldn't even afford a decent used car at this point. Why electric instead of just putting in another engine? One, engines for that vehicle are getting harder to come by given the age (and given their age, who knows how long a used engine will last). Two, electric is cheaper to operate, and the range is adequate. He normally does a 30 mile round trip to work. The longest regular trip is to my sister's, which is about 120 miles round trip. The aerodynamics of that car are already very good. With an electric conversion he could put in a floor pan to make them even better. The range would probably be phenomenal.

The only key is how hard is it to do this? I don't think it's as hard as Lunar is making it out to be.
Do you really want to be saddled with an old car for daily driving? Most people are driving to work, dropping off and picking up the kids, doing activities and visiting places on the weekends, etc. They want cars to work, not break down or require frequent maintenance. An electric motor system is only one part of a vehicle. Do you know what it costs to fully resto-mod a vehicle to modern standards? Just take a look at the feature sheet of a 2019 vehicle. None of that will make the vehicle as safe as modern designs either.
 
Last edited:

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
Do you really want to be saddled with an old car for daily driving? Most people are driving to work, dropping off and picking up the kids, doing activities and visiting places on the weekends, etc. They want cars to work, not break down or require frequent maintenance. An electric motor system is only one part of a vehicle. Do you know what it costs to fully resto-mod a vehicle to modern standards? Just take a look at the feature sheet of a 2019 vehicle. None of that will make the vehicle as safe as modern designs either.
It's not a question of wants. It's a question of what people can afford. Lots of people I now can't afford a new car, or even a relatively new used car. Heck, a lot of people, me included, never had money to afford a car period, although at least in NYC you really don't need one. They're driving 10, 15, 20 year old vehicles. In most cases the body is still in decent shape. If at some point the drivetrain is no longer feasible to repair it might make sense to convert these vehicles to electric. Electric drivetrains are inherently much more reliable. Look at transit agencies running 40 or 50 year old electric trains, for example, while their buses typically need to be replaced every 10 years.

As for "safe", with 40K annual deaths on our highways, plus about 2 million injuries, I'm not sure anything about road travel is safe, new cars or not. The problem is the idiot between the seat and the steering wheel. When autonomous vehicles are perfected and human driving is no longer allowed on public roads then road travel will be safe. Until then, it's more like 2019 vehicles are less dangerous than older ones, but hardly safe.
 
Last edited:

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
I would suggest a used Civic, Corolla or similar economy car.
David can tell us what it costs to update an old Mazda to electric, but I don't suppose it was cheap. 😉

Robot controlled cats will be unreliable since the projects and programming involves people, often of limited competence. Under difficult situations AI will create spectacular accidents. 130 million airplane crashes, so you expect a Volkswagen will be perfect. :LOL:
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
Robot controlled cats will be unreliable since the projects and programming involves people, often of limited competence. Under difficult situations AI will create spectacular accidents. 130 million airplane crashes, so you expect a Volkswagen will be perfect. :LOL:
I don't know if they're working on robot-controlled cats but that would be very interesting since cats hate any attempts to control them. As for cars, it would be an evolving thing. Every time something happens, they analyze why, fix the software, and update every car. It may never be perfect, but it doesn't have to be. If we go from 40K deaths to single digits that's a huge improvement. Even now AI cars are already much better than the average driver.

I don't keep abreast of airline statistics but if there's been 130 million airplane crashes then I suppose my decision to never fly makes sense.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
I meant "cars" and $130 million. ;)
Probably the autonomic vehicles will get there eventually, but they still suffer numerous deficiencies. For example I was at a site recently where they tried to implement an autonomic vehicle, but it could not handle ice or snow or differentiate a bag blowing in the wind from a broken crate.

I had no problems on the Max8 the one time I was a passenger, but it will be out of service for a long time.
I suppose you trust the shitty design and software that automatically crashed the planes and the crooks that produced it?
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
I meant "cars" and $130 million. ;)
Probably the autonomic vehicles will get there eventually, but they still suffer numerous deficiencies. For example I was at a site recently where they tried to implement an autonomic vehicle, but it could not handle ice or snow or differentiate a bag blowing in the wind from a broken crate.
Right, they're a work in progress. They're not ready prime time now, but probably in 5 to 10 years they should be.

I had no problems on the Max8 the one time I was a passenger, but it will be out of service for a long time.
I suppose you trust the shitty design and software that automatically crashed the planes and the crooks that produced it?
The difference here is software and automatic control on planes is supposed to take some of the workload off the pilot, not replace them. For a lot of reasons I would want a human in control of something like an aircraft but the primary reason is pilots are highly trained and regularly retested to high standards. This contrasts with the driver's licensing schemes in this country where it's not much of an exaggeration to say all you need is a pulse to pass. There are low standards to start with, no retesting, no mechanism to remove bad drivers, or those whose age makes them incompetent. That's why autonomous vehicles would be a huge improvement. They need to be better out the door. By definition they will improve collectively as every incident would be analyzed and the software updated periodically.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,438
Location
Michigan
The difference here is software and automatic control on planes is supposed to take some of the workload off the pilot, not replace them. For a lot of reasons I would want a human in control of something like an aircraft but the primary reason is pilots are highly trained and regularly retested to high standards. This contrasts with the driver's licensing schemes in this country where it's not much of an exaggeration to say all you need is a pulse to pass. There are low standards to start with, no retesting, no mechanism to remove bad drivers, or those whose age makes them incompetent. That's why autonomous vehicles would be a huge improvement. They need to be better out the door. By definition they will improve collectively as every incident would be analyzed and the software updated periodically.
That's not at all how the modern autopilot systems in commercial planes work. The plane basically flies itself and the pilot is there to babysit the automation.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
That's not at all how the modern autopilot systems in commercial planes work. The plane basically flies itself and the pilot is there to babysit the automation.
Yes, very true but at least the pilot is capable of safely flying the aircraft should the autopilot fail. I can't say the same about the majority of drivers on the road who can't drive their way out of a paper bag AND usually get worse as they get older. Both my parents were frightening behind the wheel by the time they reached 70. And yet we have no way of vetting out when people can no longer safely drive thanks to the AARP coming out against retesting people over a certain age.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,438
Location
Michigan
Yes, very true but at least the pilot is capable of safely flying the aircraft should the autopilot fail.
There are several crashes in the past 10-15 years that suggest fairly strongly that this is not the case. When the computer(s) started making erroneous flying decisions (based on faulty, malfunctioning, or damaged sensors) the pilots were unable to either understand the situation that the plane was in and how to correct it, or weren't able to disengage the computer and assert control.
 
Last edited:

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
Yes, very true but at least the pilot is capable of safely flying the aircraft should the autopilot fail. I can't say the same about the majority of drivers on the road who can't drive their way out of a paper bag AND usually get worse as they get older. Both my parents were frightening behind the wheel by the time they reached 70. And yet we have no way of vetting out when people can no longer safely drive thanks to the AARP coming out against retesting people over a certain age.
70 isn't that old for normal driving. My grandfather was driving just fine well into his 80s, then deteriorated in the late 80s.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
70 isn't that old for normal driving. My grandfather was driving just fine well into his 80s, then deteriorated in the late 80s.
The problem is neither of them drove all that frequently. It was mostly short local trips. As a result, their driving skills weren't that great to start with, especially my mother, and got worse due to the problems with age. In the case of my mother, she had joint and other issues which prevented her from being able to control the car properly. My dad was on a bunch of drugs due to his first heart attack, including Lipitor. He experienced just about all the known side effects from that drug, including confusion/memory problems. Thankfully my mom stopped driving in her early 70s. Now she can't even walk without assistance, never mind drive.

I've had severe carpal tunnel syndrome since my late 20s which would have prevented me from driving for more than a few minutes. As it is my hands get numb about 30 minutes into a bike ride but since the movements to steer a bike are very little compared to turning a steering wheel I can at least still ride a bike.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
When did you have surgery, later on? At least our generation had power steering. Until the 60s most vehicles were manual.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
When did you have surgery, later on? At least our generation had power steering. Until the 60s most vehicles were manual.
I haven't had it treated or even medically diagnosed. I don't have insurance. I'll get the operation when I'm on Medicare in about 8½ years.
 
Last edited:

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
I'm not the best at getting immediate treatment for non-critical issues, but medical conditions rarely resolve on their own.
I've been lucky that all my surgeries were essentially successful, though some had complications. My body will never be what it was in my 30s, but at least I can hike a few miles with 35 lbs. or handhold a 500/4 II IS and feel OK about it.

I was thinking about buying a few year old 4Runner or similar as a summer back road vehicle for the 2020s when I probably wont' be traveling much internationally.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
Well, if I had coverage I would have had it treated. For what it's worth, for a lot of relatively minor stuff, the Internet is a great source of information. Back in early 2006 I was having terrible foot and joint pain, to the point I was walking like I was 90 years old. I read up about it, and many sources suggested a B12 deficiency. A week after I started taking B12, the problem was gone. A lot of health issues nowadays are likely caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies even though the current line of though it's that it's not possible for a person in a first-world country to not get enough nutrients. Evidently by my case that's not true, and I was on a pretty balanced diet at the time.

As for the CTS, I know that's a physical issue which won't resolve on its own. I can mitigate it by avoiding any activity which I know makes it worse. It's mostly stuff involving pressing and pushing motions, like scrubbing floors. Using the mouse for long periods can also aggravate it. Surprisingly, typing usually doesn't, although at most I type the equivalent of a few pages a day.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
Not interested in business, just fun. Flew down to LAX and drove to Newport Beach to hang out with some friends for the weekend. Rented a Model S P100D. So much better than the Model X I rented a month or so ago. Low car, great ride. Mind-blowing performance. One of my friends has a bit of a Ferrari addiction, and I think his confidence was shaken a bit when I nailed it.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
I would be unhappy to say the least if my friend's rental car collided with mine, and I just have a normal car. :(
 

sdbardwick

Storage is cool
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
557
Location
North San Diego County
Heh.
Even more pedantic: Throttle is not exactly correct either, as no fluid flow.
Accelerator not exactly accurate, as it can also cause braking (one-pedal driving).

Edit: Ok, I guess accelerator is fine; - or + delta V is still technically acceleration. [Yes, I have been awake too long, why do you ask?]
 
Last edited:

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,438
Location
Michigan
Heh.
Even more pedantic: Throttle is not exactly correct either, as no fluid flow.
Accelerator not exactly accurate, as it can also cause braking (one-pedal driving).

Edit: Ok, I guess accelerator is fine; - or + delta V is still technically acceleration. [Yes, I have been awake too long, why do you ask?]
IMHO, throttle is acceptable. It is ultimately the input to the control system that governs/limits the flow of current to the motor(s). The "fluid" flow to the motor is electrons rather than a combustible fluid or something like steam.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
Consumer vehicles have an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal. This is not an engineering problem. :)
Of course there are various slang terms as well and a vehicle may also have a clutch pedal, parking brake pedal, etc.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
Technically speaking, "throttle" more accurately describes the function as it's something which varies the power output of the engine or electric motor. "Accelerator" is really a slang term. If the term were strictly accurate, you would only hit the accelerator to accelerate. When you let off, the car would automatically maintain whatever speed you reached.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,123
Location
USA
Heh.
Even more pedantic: Throttle is not exactly correct either, as no fluid flow.
Accelerator not exactly accurate, as it can also cause braking (one-pedal driving).

Edit: Ok, I guess accelerator is fine; - or + delta V is still technically acceleration. [Yes, I have been awake too long, why do you ask?]
Well, if one nails the Ferrari with the electric sedan then the latter will likely stop accelerating. :LOL:

I'm still not convinced about the incident. I prefer to rent a large vehicle like the Navigator, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV since there are so many crazy drivers out there.
 
Top