Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery? - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 07-01-2010, 08:38 PM
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Default Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

I'm copying the contents of a thread that is gathering dust in the MMH section, because I would like to see if it can get some more interest and responses over here.

With two identical 06 MMHs that are BOTH far north of any warranties (100k+) I am less interested in what the vehicle has been "allowed" to do by FMC, than what it is CAPABLE of when turned loose on society.

Without further ado:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russrdh View Post
I would love to know if there are people out there looking to increase the performance of these vehicles by actually tinkering with the battery capacity for range and the software for speed?

My Mercury Mariner would be so much better with extended range and if I couold travel at real city street speeds of 35-45 without the ICE starting up. After all; it's not downhill everywhere you go.
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Originally Posted by Billyk View Post
You will kiss your warranty good-bye with what you are asking. Ford's hybrid system has been designed in a conservative manner and done so for durability issues. The taxi cab's in New York City have over 250,000 miles without any issues. You didn't mention what year vehicle you have but the newest ones (2009) go into EV much quicker and frequent. If you have the bucks, one can drop $32,000 at Hybrids-Plus for a Plug-In conversion. Otherwise, it is looking like late 2012 the Escape will feature a Ford retail OEM plug in hybrid electric vehicle.
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Originally Posted by Russrdh View Post
Thanks for the advice. I have a 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid with AWD with 16,000 miles on it. Last week in the first 17 miles of driving around town on mostly flat side streets (with a couple of hills) I managed 52.2 mpg (next time I'm going to video tape it) without really being a nusiance. I'm getting about 33-37 in combination city/hwy. I keep to the speed limits or slightly below and never in the fast lane on I-15, Ogden to Murray, Utah. Oddly enough I can get 31 with my Volvo Cross-couuntry in city/hwy combo in the same trip.
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Originally Posted by wwest View Post
One big somewhat radical one.

Buy a swivel wheel "tag-a-long" trailer on which to mounted ~5KW (7HP) NG fueled genset. Use the genset to automatically fire up and recharge the hybrid battery.

Less radical:

Find a 2010 "salvage" Toyota HSD drive train and do an engine swap. As of 2010 the HSD uses extended VVT-i to dynamically transition the engine from Otto mode to Atkinson mode. 13:1 static AND dynamic compression ratio for low cylinder charge volumes, 10:1 dynamic CR with HIGH charge volumes. Or you might wait a year or so and the HSD engine will have been adapted to DFI. Then within another year or so the HSD engine displacement will get downsized pretty radically and use a positive displacement variable speed SuperCharger. No throttle plate and the engine will be able to transition for its static compression ratio of 15-16:1 all the way down to 8-9:1 under full boost.

As long a Mullay continues to drink the TwinForce/EcoBoost cool aid I'm afraid we will have to rely on Toyota for continuing HSD improvements.
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Originally Posted by Geordi View Post
Billy - I have 2 '06 MMH vehicles and BOTH are over 100k. You say that the taxis are over 250k without problems... But how many battery changes? Ford and Toyota won't say, which makes me think they HAVE had issues.

But at the same time, the Prius owners have the option for a plug-in switch (Plugs into an existing wire in the car already) that gives them more control and an EV-only mode... That wasn't allowed for the NA market. That kind of nonsense where things that ARE technically possible elsewhere in the world aren't "technically possible" here in the USA really burns me up. Our hybrids ARE capable of high speed EV mode. It is only a question of battery life and the wherewithal to USE that battery.

Case in point: I have been driving one of my two MMHs around for a while recently and watching the battery SoC on my Scangauge. It ranges between 50 and 54%, NEVER higher or lower. I don't know why it is behaving like this, other than the computer is programmed to believe that instead of 120 D-cell batteries (~3.4 amps each) it believes that it only has 120 AAAA batteries (~.5 amp)?

Care to elaborate on why I have a big battery pack if Ford's "high efficiency" design won't USE the dang thing at all? Their warranty can go spit, if I have to lug around all the extra tech (MECS etc) for this, when it won't offer me any benefit other than making me hot at lights by cutting the engine. I can do that myself without a battery system. I desire EV mode controls. I know it is possible... The question is how to enable it.
To further elaborate on EV mode desires: I'm not especially worried about the charging life of the pack, or the total amperage. In fact, I wouldn't be adverse to collecting enough D-cell batteries to build a SECOND pack and wire it in parallel if I could have full EV from it, and actually USE the full range of SoC. That would double the existing range and not change the charging characteristics at all (except for time). I could even set up a separate NiMH charging system at home that would top-up the EV pack... Just like those guys charging 12k offer. But they are also changing everything to more-volatile LiON power... I don't need that. The system works on NiMH, it just needs to work to its full potential now.

The lead-acid powered GM Ev1 had a top speed of over 180mph (the guys testing it chickened out on the salt flats at 180, the car would have kept going) so it isn't a limitation in the motor. I don't think I'm asking too much to be able to be in full EV at up to 55mph. The city streets of Savannah Ga and South Florida really only have 2 speeds anyway - Stopped (lights badly timed) or 45mph. I've been watching with my ScanGauge lately, and noticed something interesting: The throttle pedal has a minimum position reported to the computer of 12% with no foot on it. With the barest of presses, I can accelerate in EV but ONLY to 30mph. If I move the pedal more than about 1/8" or so, the TPS reading JUMPS to over 20%, and the ICE starts up. At the same time, the LOD (Load) on the ICE reads at 90+%, so IT is doing all the acceleration, NOT the battery anymore. This is NOT an electric-vehicle preference design... This is an oil-burning preference design. Maybe there is a way to separate the throttle input a bit more, moving a switch if there is a second TPS for the electric only? I'm just shooting ideas out here, but this can't be that difficult of a hack.

So... Thoughts from the masters? Someone has to have rooted around in this computer by now...

Last edited by Geordi; 07-01-2010 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

In some states like CA the FEH drivetrain has a 150K mile (pretty much lifetime) factory warranty which pretty effectively kills off interest in tinkering with the drivetrain or aftermarket mods like EV only switch or a plug-in conversion. That and most people who pay north of $30K for a new vehicle probably don't plan to drive it more than 150K miles anyway.

Maybe when there are a lot of cheap high mile FEHs around in another 5 years, the aftermarket will have some cool hacks. By then there will be a few EVs around which will probably get more interest though.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

Geordi is asking for a software hack of the Ford system opposed to a hardware modification. I wish him the best of luck in trying to find such information that does not exist on this site.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-mac View Post
In some states like CA the FEH drivetrain has a 150K mile (pretty much lifetime) factory warranty which pretty effectively kills off interest in tinkering with the drivetrain or aftermarket mods like EV only switch or a plug-in conversion. That and most people who pay north of $30K for a new vehicle probably don't plan to drive it more than 150K miles anyway.

Maybe when there are a lot of cheap high mile FEHs around in another 5 years, the aftermarket will have some cool hacks. By then there will be a few EVs around which will probably get more interest though.
If California offered such a warranty guarantee, wouldn't people be making noise about it? Not saying they don't insist on a 150k coverage, but this is the first I've heard anything about that.

As for your second statement, I have to politely disagree. My family (and many others in this economy now) drive our vehicles WELL beyond the warranty, specifically BECAUSE of the purchase price. Just b/c I pay 30k for a vehicle, I shouldn't want to drive the snot out of it? What if I bought a $50k BMW? Would I only be expected to drive that for 60k miles, then sell it at a huge loss?

The comment doesn't make logical sense, and it also doesn't make mechanical sense either. I have a LONG list of cars that my family has owned (and still do in 8 cases) and with the exception of a Jeep diesel and my motorcycle... All are north of 100k miles. Several are above 200k.

What one person defines as the "lifetime" of a vehicle is a lot different from someone else. That is why I take a very dim view of so-called "lifetime" parts or fluids in an engine. What is their "lifetime" then? Usually the term of the vehicle warranty, plus 1 week.

For the intellectual investigation and thought exercises however, I would hope to prod the smart people to at least think about this if they haven't already. I'm relatively new to hacking a hybrid, but an old oiled wrench at modding vehicles in general.

I'm not asking anyone else to try anything real with their warranties. I'm from Florida, we don't get any extensions on anything... So no matter what I do (or nothing at all) it's out of my wallet anyway. I'd like to have some fun now that I'm free of the nanny, and find where the edge of that envelope actually is for these vehicles. I know Ford hasn't bothered pushing ANY envelope on this design. If they knew how much I have ALREADY towed with my hybrids (4500lbs+ at 70mph for 500 miles... Several times) they would probably have a conniption. So I just won't tell them.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geordi View Post
If California offered such a warranty guarantee, wouldn't people be making noise about it? Not saying they don't insist on a 150k coverage, but this is the first I've heard anything about that.

As for your second statement, I have to politely disagree. My family (and many others in this economy now) drive our vehicles WELL beyond the warranty, specifically BECAUSE of the purchase price. Just b/c I pay 30k for a vehicle, I shouldn't want to drive the snot out of it? What if I bought a $50k BMW? Would I only be expected to drive that for 60k miles, then sell it at a huge loss?

The comment doesn't make logical sense, and it also doesn't make mechanical sense either. I have a LONG list of cars that my family has owned (and still do in 8 cases) and with the exception of a Jeep diesel and my motorcycle... All are north of 100k miles. Several are above 200k.

What one person defines as the "lifetime" of a vehicle is a lot different from someone else. That is why I take a very dim view of so-called "lifetime" parts or fluids in an engine. What is their "lifetime" then? Usually the term of the vehicle warranty, plus 1 week.

For the intellectual investigation and thought exercises however, I would hope to prod the smart people to at least think about this if they haven't already. I'm relatively new to hacking a hybrid, but an old oiled wrench at modding vehicles in general.

I'm not asking anyone else to try anything real with their warranties. I'm from Florida, we don't get any extensions on anything... So no matter what I do (or nothing at all) it's out of my wallet anyway. I'd like to have some fun now that I'm free of the nanny, and find where the edge of that envelope actually is for these vehicles. I know Ford hasn't bothered pushing ANY envelope on this design. If they knew how much I have ALREADY towed with my hybrids (4500lbs+ at 70mph for 500 miles... Several times) they would probably have a conniption. So I just won't tell them.
The 150K / 10 year warranty is for CARB states. I don't recall that FL is a CARB state. It is a Federal law affecting hybrids. Non CARB states are 100K / 8 years.

EDIT: At least I think it is 100K for Non CARB, it may be 120K.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

You are correct, Florida isn't a CARB state. Of all the other hare-brained ideas that Florida has tried to make living here more annoying, they skipped that one in a rare flash of common sense. In a state where the air is changed about every 15 minutes by the ocean wind on both sides of us, the idea of true smog like exists in LA or Las Vegas is comedy indeed.

Regardless of the warranty in CARB states however, all I have ever heard of for us is 100k. Even at 120k... I'm just about out of that too. One of the '06 MMH has 115k on it, the other one is probably a little higher. May be over 120 already.

So I'm not scared of messing up what I no longer have. At this point, it is more of a thought experiment anyway, just trying to determine what is POSSIBLE based on the systems in place.

On that vein - Let me look at the one system that is very difficult to install non-hackable nanny-devices in: The flesh control interfaces. Is there a second set of sensors on the gas pedal for the gasoline engine, versus the electric motor? The reason I ask this is what I observed with my SG - The pedal never dropped below 12%, even when my foot was completely off the pedal. The TPS should read to full zero. Also, there is a "jump" when I DO put my foot on it, very light pressure (that would normally IMHO be less than 20% pressure) does NOT create any change of the TPS reading, until it instantly jumps from 12% to 22% or higher and starts the gas engine.

This seems like there might be a second contacter on the pedal that engages when past the "20%" mark, and if there was a way to move / fool that switch, the engine might stay in EV longer / faster.

Changing the top end for EV faster than 29.9 mph seems like it would be a computer adjustment. Not impossible, but more difficult than this low speed activation thing.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

You keep asking for software changes and these do not exist on this site.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:19 AM
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Exclamation Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

Let's get realistic here.

#1 every FEH/MMH is capable to go to 39.9 MPH on electric only.
#2 It is fairly easy to drive 0-30 in EV, but increasingly difficult to above 30.
#3 As RPM goes up, available torque of an electric motor goes down.
#4 While in EV mode, the computer needs to hold back enough reserve battery power, and motor torque, to start the gas engine when needed.
#5 It's all about the watts.
#6 We carry around 1600 watt hours of battery pack. That's it. It's a SMALL pack really. That means 1600 watts for 1 hour ( 2 horsepower for an hour )
Or that = 16,000 watts (20 horsepower for 6 minutes)
Or that = 32,000 watts (40 horsepower for 3 minutes) which is typical in our hybrids.

Now, with a hack that allowed FULL BATTERY DRAIN ( bad idea ) you could get a maximum of 40 horsepower for 3 minutes. Ford has wisely, yet conservatively limited the drain to about 20% of capacity to make the battery last in excess of 15 years. So now, you get less than a minute of powerful EV drive, or about 1 to 1.5 miles of conservative EV drive.
You just don't have much battery on board to even hack into!!!!!!

Why do hybrid batteries last 15 years and laptop batteries last 2 years?
We drain our laptops frequently, and hybrids are not allowed to do that.

You are correct in one assumption. This is not an electric only car1! It was never meant to be.

A hybrid, is a GASOLINE CAR with a downsized engine.
The battery pack is only meant to aid in acceleration, to make up for the short comings of the under sized engine. It was never intended to drive on electric only for longer than a trip around a parking lot.

Even with those limits, tanks over 700 miles are very possible.

HTH,
-John
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

OK Billy, where can folks like Geordi and me find software / firmware hacks to get us what we're looking for?

Ford designed the thing conservatively, and on flat ground. I drive my FEH hyper-conservatively - WHEN I CAN, but not on flat ground.

GPSMAN your comments and 1-6 in the immediately preceeding post are pretty sound, except for 700mile tanks... or have you installed a 20 gallon tank on yours?

I don't believe anyone has ever gotten 700mi on the 13 or 14 gallon tank in a FEH. The claim tells me far more about the claimant than the vehicle.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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Default Re: Enhancing (hacking) performance of the FEH EV battery?

[quote=hcbflash;

GPSMAN your comments and 1-6 in the immediately preceeding post are pretty sound, except for 700mile tanks... or have you installed a 20 gallon tank on yours?

I don't believe anyone has ever gotten 700mi on the 13 or 14 gallon tank in a FEH. The claim tells me far more about the claimant than the vehicle.[/quote]

I don't know that GPSman1 can get a 700 mile tank but I have only 6 tanks out of 32 that I've not hit over 700 mile tanks. I expect the tank
I'm working on now will break 800 miles with only 13.6 gallons of E10 in my '09 FEH. http://www.cleanmpg.com/index.php?pa...9&viewcar=2612

The only way I know to improve this mileage is a LI-ION plug-in conversion in the present and older FEH.

GaeyG
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