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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2010, 11:58 AM
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Joe Wiggins
Posts: 149
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Jack,

How is your car doing? I'm interested in doing this down the road sometime on my '09 Camry hybrid. Now that the weather is cooling off, I'm hoping your mileage went way up without the A/C running.

Also, have you gotten any guidance on Toyota warranties with this conversion?

Joe
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2010, 05:40 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Jack
Location: Houston, Texas
Hybrids: 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
Posts: 373
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Through a series of foreign trips and equipment changes I have not done a significant amount of plugged-in operation since the intensely hot weather left, but expect to be "back in the saddle again" by next week.

I will post on 30 days of cool weather (hopefully minimal A/C) plugged-in experience in about a month.

PM me for more.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2011, 04:22 PM
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Real Name: John
Location: Vancouver
Hybrids: 2008 toyota Camry
Posts: 3
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Any more news on Camry conversions? I have a 2008 and am intererested in hearing about other's experiences. I am in Vancouver Canada and have a daily commute of 30kms. Thanks
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:22 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Jack
Location: Houston, Texas
Hybrids: 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
Posts: 373
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

There have been a few more since mine.

I Vancouver, as you are, are you already using a block heater?
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:32 PM
Enthusiast
 
Real Name: John
Location: Vancouver
Hybrids: 2008 toyota Camry
Posts: 3
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Hi, thanks for the quick response. I was just looking at block heaters on eBay. Not too many cars have them In Vancouver. How is you kit holding up? My current mileage is not so great, 7.7 l/100k in cold weather, heavy traffic commute. I have only blocked my grill at the moment. Nice to hear from you!
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 08:07 AM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Jack
Location: Houston, Texas
Hybrids: 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
Posts: 373
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

The Enginer unit is still under active development.

It is a bit more of a hobbyist's or enthusiast's unit than a stable consumer product.

But it can give huge gas savings.

Mine saw several upgrades before it became stable about a year ago.

Users with later models and upgrades than mine early this year did not have as good results, and several important design changes were in the works, but I have not kept up with how well those worked out.

I can not emphasize this too strongly:

Before you get into equipment like this, make sure you get the best you can out of the unmodified car. Several things are crucial:

1. Make sure you have learned how to drive the TCH for best effect. search this forum for techniques.

2. Keep the "ECO mode" on. Leaving it off will cause the engine to run in situations in which it would not run with "ECO" on. And watch out: Certain changes to climate control settings will cause it to turn off when you did not intend that.

3. Make sure your tire pressures are not low. Many members here have reported significant benefit from raising tire pressures, even a bit above the recommended.

4. Make sure you are using 0W20 oil. Several members here have posted experience of immediate and significant rise in fuel consumption after they had their oil changed because their Toyota Dealer put in the wrong weight oil. I had this experience twice myself. The second time was AFTER I told them that they got it wrong the first time !!!

5. Get a block heater and use it every day summer and winter (twice a day if you can plug in at your destination). These cars will not even turn the engine off at all until it is well warmed up, and they make limited use of hybrid benefits until it is FULLY warmed up. The quicker you can get fully warmed up, the more fuel you can save. In addition, of course, you get the benefit that you would get even without a Hybrid; i.e., a cold engine uses more fuel because it runs a richer mixture; so, any avoidance of a cold start and long warmup saves a good bit of fuel. I try to use my block heater daily here in Houston, Texas, even when the outside temperature is close to 100F. That measure alone saved me nearly as much fuel as the plug-in conversion did - and at a fraction of the cost. Get the Toyota heater specifically designed for the car. It installs into a well in the block specifically designed to receive it. The part costs only about US$40.00, and it is easy to install.

I guarantee that if you take care of these things, you will be astounded at the fuel savings you will see, and then you will have a robust baseline against which to judge additional savings possible from a plug-in conversion.
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  #77 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 01:55 PM
Enthusiast
 
Real Name: John
Location: Vancouver
Hybrids: 2008 toyota Camry
Posts: 3
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Thanks for all the tips Jack

I just ordered a block heater, set me back $78 with shipping. Tire pressure is good, I seem to have a very slow leak in one of the michelins that I have to watch for.

I have to be aware of driving better - I find this takes some focus. I was getting under 7l/100k in the summer without a/c but I do find it takes some concentration.

I am currently using 5w20 synthetic because I could not find 0w20. I will keep on looking for it. I was always loyal to 5,000 km oil changes. The Camry manual recommends 10,000km. I think I will go with 8,000 km.

Do you or anyone here have any suggestions for some good oem parts suppliers that ship to Canada or that are located in the Vancouver, BC area or Washington area?

I have been searching around to find some more stories on the enginer kit in a Camry to no avail. Is it much more work than installing it in the prius? Your install looks great from the photos that you posted!

Thanks!
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  #78 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:11 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Jack
Location: Houston, Texas
Hybrids: 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
Posts: 373
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hthought View Post
Thanks for all the tips Jack
..............
.............

I have been searching around to find some more stories on the enginer kit in a Camry to no avail. Is it much more work than installing it in the prius? Your install looks great from the photos that you posted!

Thanks!

There have not been too many Camrys done. For me it was a little more work than the typical Prius installation, because I needed to work out some things for the first time, but I think that others, following my posts and pictures, would have found it to take essentially the same amount of work as a Prius installation.
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  #79 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:15 PM
Enthusiast
 
Hybrids: 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE
Posts: 10
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

I wonder if your Camry experienced more power with the added 4KWH battery? The electric motor in the Camry is spec at 105KW but battery limit power to only 30KW (40HP or so). However, it seems with the additional battery you could get full power (for a total of over 250HP or more).

Have you experienced such (e.g. more acceleration etc - though it depends on tires grip which will spin and fail to accelerate faster unless different tires are used and/or traction control is not off).

Looks nice.. (not that I will try it.. just got a new 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE last week but after 10 years when battery warranty is gone or even before that when car value is low, who knows). They have bigger capacity batteries there (10-15KWH) but I assume such are more expensive as well as bigger (however, will allow you longer distances of all EV driving of course)
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  #80 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 06:32 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Jack
Location: Houston, Texas
Hybrids: 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
Posts: 373
Default Re: The First Plug-in Camry Hybrid Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamryHybrid2012 View Post
I wonder if your Camry experienced more power with the added 4KWH battery? The electric motor in the Camry is spec at 105KW but battery limit power to only 30KW (40HP or so). However, it seems with the additional battery you could get full power (for a total of over 250HP or more).

Have you experienced such (e.g. more acceleration etc - though it depends on tires grip which will spin and fail to accelerate faster unless different tires are used and/or traction control is not off).

Looks nice.. (not that I will try it.. just got a new 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE last week but after 10 years when battery warranty is gone or even before that when car value is low, who knows). They have bigger capacity batteries there (10-15KWH) but I assume such are more expensive as well as bigger (however, will allow you longer distances of all EV driving of course)
After about a year and a half my Enginer conversion is holding up reasonably well. Many components were replaced or upgraded at no cost to me, and fortunately, I never did "upgrade" to any of the early-2011 component versions which were troublesome for some of those who did.

Enginer's plug-in conversion unit does not add power. it does not deliver elactric power directly to the car's traction motor. It merely transfers its plug-in charge to the OEM battery pack. In that way it increases the EV range, increases the % of time spent in EV mode and generally keeps the OEM traction batteries at a higher state of charge. (the higher the state of charge, the more effectively the OEM system utilizes all aspects of its Hybrid operation.

It seems unlikely that the Enginer system could interfere with your warranty or cause any damage to the OEM batteries. It seems more likely to me that the use of the Enginer system to maintain a generally higher state of charge should actually extend the life of the OEM batteries.

What, exactly is a Camry Hybrid XLE? I always maintained that the TCH should be comaperd to an XLE v6. Only an XLE would usually have all of the equipment that is standard on a Hybrid, and the power of the Hybrid is much closer to that of a V6 than to that of a 4-cylinder. Sticker price on my 09 TCH was actually a few hundred dollars cheaper than a comparably equipped XLE V6.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:32 PM
 
 
 
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