bennelson
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:01 pm
Contact: Website

Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:30 am

Hi Everyone!

I bought a flood-damaged Mitsubishi i-MiEV, sight-unseen through an online auto-auction.
I've worked on a number of DIY electric vehicle projects, including building my own electric motorcycle, car, and hybrid, so I was hoping I could figure out what was wrong with the car and fix it up.

I was really hoping that the flood damage would be relatively minor, but NOPE, turns out it certainly was a Super-Storm-Sandy vehicle which got saltwater inside, including inside the battery case.

At this point, I'm pretty much just taking the entire car apart as time and space allows. It's very interesting to see how the car is assembled, what parts go where, etc. etc.

I have a number of videos on YouTube on the project already, ( http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmHss3DBZUikU6Iae3UlaNH73UojlDIkM ) and the official place for this all is at my personal transportation blog http://300mpg.org/ (Check through the dates of the last couple weeks for numerous updates.)

In a nutshell so far - the BODY looks great! (It should, it's a 2012 model year with only 10 MILES on it!), but unprotected circuit boards are most-likely not salvageable, including the BMS boards and other boards inside the battery pack. I have dropped the main pack, opened it up, and have started testing some individual cells inside. Looks like those may be usable (although at lower than stated capacity) for some other EV project.

I also talked with pretty much the only i-Miev certified repair guy in my state, and he said that besides the obvious hurdles to making the car run as stock, there are some others such as the fact the the EV-ECU and some other computers have to be "matched sets" or factory flashed to work together.

It's unlikely that this car will ever run again as a factory stock car (replacement costs on the required parts would be cost prohibitive) but it has the potential to make a pretty cool electric-to-electric conversion. Otherwise, there are plenty of brand-new parts on this car that could be used to keep others on the road and looking good! If I sell parts off this car, I will make them available through this forum first.

I'll try to answer questions as I can on this forum, but I would prefer taking comments through YouTube and 300MPG.org. If I answered questions on every forum I'm on, I'D NEVER get anything done! ;)

For now, enjoy watching me take the car apart and see what's inside! Just think of it as CSI: i-MiEV!

-Ben
300MPG.org

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:08 pm

I don't know what you paid for it but the cost to replace the batteries, BMS and Controller could be up to $10k dollars and more. Trying to integrate all of the cars systems (ACS, HVAC, etc.) into the new BMS and Controller would be another problem. When I saw video of the batteries, my heart sunk knowing this would be a killer to fix. Its too bad the BMS boards weren't coated to prevent the corrosion or other steps to prevent water from entering the battery compartment.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:02 pm

Hi Ben,

I think you might be like 7 years ahead of us in the sense that once our battery warranty runs out or if new battery/controller options exist, then we will have to go throughtt the same process as you know.

Just a thought, find yourself a US company which makes a new breed of Li xxx (sulphure...) batteries and Make a deal to give you free batteries as a means of promotion of how much more range their battery can do versus the original iMiev Battery.

That would be usefull for them to on road testing for a fraction of the cost. Plus the way you are documenting, half the planet will know about how good their batteries are and once a good upgrade solution is put together, there will be thousands of iMiev driver thought the world that will be interested.

Here are the targets, I would aim for. Range should be about three times present range. Longevity in term of cycles could be half, price should be half or less of present 10K price.

If you come up with that solution in about two years (witht the help of the sponsor) then you, we all have a winner.

Thanks

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2763
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:26 pm

Many of us have been following you on your adventure from the very beginning, Ben - Thanks so much for the wonderful documentation! We're probably going to learn more about our cars from you than we have from all other sources combined

I'm hoping the drive train, inverter and charger can be cleaned up and used - If so, maybe you could stick a $5K set of Optimas under there and have a usable car??

Good luck with your project - I hope it turns out to be well worth your time, effort and expense

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:47 pm

Ben, having been an unsuccessful bidder for this car, I've been following your wonderful blog and videos closely. Thank you so much for posting them. My own take is that if you cannot salvage sufficient cells then you'll need to put in your own charger/BMS/battery pack. I hope your motor/drivetrain are intact (I thought they're sealed) in which case some other brand of ac controller/throttle may be all you need to get this puppy back on the road. All the best!
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

bennelson
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:01 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:39 am

Here's all the videos I've done so far on the car.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL ... 73UojlDIkM

Yesterday, I cracked open the motor controller to take a look inside. There was salt-water corrosion inside on the battery connections, but the rest of it looked fine. All other copper and electronics was clean.

Image

Image

My friend, Tom, is an electrical engineer and knows WAY more about AC drives than I do. I'm planning on having him stop over with a known good VFD. We can run that from wall power (240VAC) and if the motor is good, we should be able to control the motor directly and spin the wheels with the car jacked up in the air. At least if we can, we then know that the motor itself is good, and can work from there. Having all the little circuit boards in this car ruined means this car can't be fixed just by replacing the battery. I think it would still make a good "sleeper" conversion, or if nothing else, the body is in perfect condition, and could be sold for parts.

PV1
Site Moderator
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:13 am

Thanks for the update. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but there is a vent on the motor that goes up near the access lid. It would be a good idea to move the vent down to the ground and see if any water comes out of the motor.

You could also lift one rear wheel off the ground (with the front wheels blocked so it won't move), put the car in any gear as long as it's out of park, and see if you get any voltage from the motor when you spin the wheel.

What shape is the car itself in? Where all has it rusted and how damaged is the interior?
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

Dropbox maintenance in progress. If any of my links aren't working after November 17, please PM me and let me know which one isn't working.

Thanks.

bennelson
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:01 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:49 am

The car body and frame are actually both in really good condition. Rust only happened in places that are normally NOT painted. For example, under the front seats, the mechanism that lets you slide the seat forward and back is rusted up. The steering column has rust, but that doesn't effect it's use at all. The key was in the ignition, and the action of the different metals seized the key in place. (Although the ignition turns, you just can't pull the key out.)

There is also silt in many places, but that is washed off pretty easily for the most part.

The interior is in good condition overall. I pulled out the back seat, rinsed it, air-dried it, etc.

PV1
Site Moderator
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:57 am

What are your plans with the car? Take a wrecked i-MiEV and transplant the electronics? Siai47 did something similar; the only thing was the airbag controller had a deployment recorded (though I don't think any airbags actually went off) and encoded VIN meant a new one was needed.

Did any of the cells survive?
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

Dropbox maintenance in progress. If any of my links aren't working after November 17, please PM me and let me know which one isn't working.

Thanks.

siai47
Posts: 360
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:54 pm

Re: Taking Apart a Flooded i-MiEV

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:25 pm

There are tons of places on the internet that will reset your airbag controller for $75.00. When I was looking at a wreck to transplant some of the front end parts from my "donor" car, I needed the controller. Not only is a controller from the dealer $$$$, there was only one available in the US. I found at least two different places that would do it, both the same price. Unlike GM and some others, the Mitsu controller isn't potted and therefor easy to repair and clear.

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