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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I finally bit the bullet and put down a deposit on the 10KW lithium ion pack. Gonna try to install ourselves and Ill do as others have here and document the process. While I am waiting for the pack to be ready, I have a few questions for the folks that have done the upgrade: 1) how hard was the install, and how hard is the Sevcon controller to remove? The charger looks simple but the controller seems in the middle under alot of metal structure. 2) Are there any charging tips or tips in general for cold weather? Will the pack charge under 32 degrees? Mine will be used in the mountains of WV, very deep terrain and it does get pretty cold in winter. 3) are there any maintenance tips and what range do you guys with lithium keep the pack in? Ive been reading that lithium ion batteries like to be around 50-60 %, was thinking 20-80% is a good range to try to keep them in unless you need that extra 20% for something - similar to what they recommend for Tesla or other EV cars. Any info you guys can share is great and Ill post more thru the process too.
 

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Subscribed. Being in WV does your EV cut out now going up steep terrain? I know you have the hills to fully test it. Lol

I’ve been curious if moving to Lithium would solve this issue. All of our carts cut out now going up very steep terrain. Look forward to watching this thread. Thanks.


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Controller is easier to get out than the charger for me. Just be sure and disconnect the MPC. Mark and take pictures of cable connections. Be careful to not touch any pos n neg cables, the connections on the controller are close together. wrap wrench for removing cables w black tape.
 
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All straight forward if the battery pack is removed. If not remove the ign key. Remove the 35 way ampseal by lifting the small catch on one side then pulling it off the Sevcon, You can slide a small screwdriver in the side of the catch to release it. DOnt use force, you dont have to. Now the vehicle cant go live and turn on the contactor. Remove the cable from the contactor to Sevcon (Positive) Leave the feed in place its safe and held out of the way. Take off the assorted cables connected to the negative post. I would put a small cable tie through so none are lost/ dropped. Remove the negative cable and again tie to one side away from the battery pack. If unsure wrap the crimped end with insulating tape. Cable tie to the plastic of the front of the seat is a good place to get it out of the way. The Motor cables are normally marked to match the sevcon connections. If not mark on masking or insulation tape, or use a thin paint marker pen on the cables. Even if its simply front , middle and back. or . .. ...
4 Bolts hold the sevcon to the vehicle frame, or take it out with the right angle frame attached in the center of the seat.
Of all of the steps the most important is the release of the catch on the 35 way Ampseal, it can get broken, I have a customer vehicle at the moment wher it has previously been snapped off. The connector simply falls out . Its now cable tied to the frame. Its a real pain to replace the connector / housing, but not impossible.
 

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Yours is a 2016, so it may be different than my 2013 dashboard, but I kept the hour meter and the flashing charge indicator.

Here is the link to my install for those that haven't read it: Ordered The Voltronix USA 160Ah Lithium Ion Kit
 

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Ask Voltronix for a copy of their installation booklet. They rightfully do not release it to anyone who asks, but if you have started the purchase process I think they might send you a copy. I think your confidence in your ability to self install the kit will be greatly increased by reviewing it.

2) Are there any charging tips or tips in general for cold weather? Will the pack charge under 32 degrees?

My 10 kWh Voltronix pack was installed in 2014 and is still functioning well. I do not keep it plugged in; I charge it and use it until the battery is at about 30% (according to the SOC ribbon indicator) then charge it again. The BMS will reduce or prevent charging depending on the temperature of the battery cells. I have found that if our Ranger EV Li is in an insulated garage the temperature seldom gets below 40 F even when it is below 20 F outside. Charging is impacted at about 50 F. You can use the vehicle in cold temperatures but charging might be an issue. The battery pack does "heat" up as it is used so one strategy is to use it before starting to charge. Again, if the temperature is not right the BMS will not turn on the Delta-Q charger, or will allow only low current, so no harm. If you can keep the Ranger EV Li in an insulated garage these issues are much reduced. Even an un-insulated shed is better than parking it in the open. Also, remember the temperature that matters is in the battery pack where the sensors are mounted; it is not a reference to the ambient air temperature. Please do post your progress as we will all learn something from your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Subscribed. Being in WV does your EV cut out now going up steep terrain? I know you have the hills to fully test it. Lol

I’ve been curious if moving to Lithium would solve this issue. All of our carts cut out now going up very steep terrain. Look forward to watching this thread. Thanks.


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We do have some really steep terrain there, I drive mostly on the gravel roads and it will slow down at some of the steeper hills, Id guess some are close to 20-25% grade, but the EV never stops. If it is in low it will climb same speed no issues but for the roads we dont use that mode only off road. one time we had four people (2 in the back) and it slowed down almost to a crawl so I hit low and it almost dumped them out LOL. When you say cut out you mean it just stops? what if you flipped to low when it did that I wonder. My cabin is at 1200' and the rest of the development where we drive it higher for the most part (up to 3000') so we can go to 40% and then only use less than half coming back, cause it will regenerate 5-10% coming down those steep hills.
 

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Ask Voltronix for a copy of their installation booklet. They rightfully do not release it to anyone who asks, but if you have started the purchase process I think they might send you a copy. I think your confidence in your ability to self install the kit will be greatly increased by reviewing it.

2) Are there any charging tips or tips in general for cold weather? Will the pack charge under 32 degrees?

My 10 kWh Voltronix pack was installed in 2014 and is still functioning well. I do not keep it plugged in; I charge it and use it until the battery is at about 30% (according to the SOC ribbon indicator) then charge it again. The BMS will reduce or prevent charging depending on the temperature of the battery cells. I have found that if our Ranger EV Li is in an insulated garage the temperature seldom gets below 40 F even when it is below 20 F outside. Charging is impacted at about 50 F. You can use the vehicle in cold temperatures but charging might be an issue. The battery pack does "heat" up as it is used so one strategy is to use it before starting to charge. Again, if the temperature is not right the BMS will not turn on the Delta-Q charger, or will allow only low current, so no harm. If you can keep the Ranger EV Li in an insulated garage these issues are much reduced. Even an un-insulated shed is better than parking it in the open. Also, remember the temperature that matters is in the battery pack where the sensors are mounted; it is not a reference to the ambient air temperature. Please do post your progress as we will all learn something from your experience.
Thanks for the info Jack - its a cabin so no garage, the EV stays under the porch out of the elements - but I had thought the same as what you said, to charge it after using it when it would warm up, w longer range this sb doable - with the lead acid I basically plug it in after every ride to leave at 100% but I know the strategy is diff for Li-ion.
 

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We do have some really steep terrain there, I drive mostly on the gravel roads and it will slow down at some of the steeper hills, Id guess some are close to 20-25% grade, but the EV never stops. If it is in low it will climb same speed no issues but for the roads we dont use that mode only off road. one time we had four people (2 in the back) and it slowed down almost to a crawl so I hit low and it almost dumped them out LOL. When you say cut out you mean it just stops? what if you flipped to low when it did that I wonder. My cabin is at 1200' and the rest of the development where we drive it higher for the most part (up to 3000') so we can go to 40% and then only use less than half coming back, cause it will regenerate 5-10% coming down those steep hills.
Believe it or not putting it in “Low” makes it cut out more. From what I can tell all of our machines perform better in “High” on steep grades. No idea why??


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Low has a max RPM of 3000, but high torque, Medium has higher RPM and slightly loiwer Torque, High has Max RPM (around 6500) but lower max torque. So using low you will always appear to cut out as it is limited to 3000rpm,
 

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Well not exactly what I mean. When I say cut out I’m saying all our machines are well below the 3000 rpm range when they all the sudden start jerking and or suddenly stall out. It’s pretty scary to when your on severe inclines.


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As far as cutting out in hills mine only did it when in low w pedal on the floor maximum torque reached. After converting to lithium and loosing the battery weight the hills I couldn’t climb in M mode I could easily do in M even with load of corn in the bed. You will see a big jump in response to pedal. No faster but lot more peppier. Your hill ascending may improve a lot
 
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Well I finally bit the bullet and put down a deposit on the 10KW lithium ion pack. Gonna try to install ourselves and Ill do as others have here and document the process. While I am waiting for the pack to be ready, I have a few questions for the folks that have done the upgrade: 1) how hard was the install, and how hard is the Sevcon controller to remove? The charger looks simple but the controller seems in the middle under alot of metal structure. 2) Are there any charging tips or tips in general for cold weather? Will the pack charge under 32 degrees? Mine will be used in the mountains of WV, very deep terrain and it does get pretty cold in winter. 3) are there any maintenance tips and what range do you guys with lithium keep the pack in? Ive been reading that lithium ion batteries like to be around 50-60 %, was thinking 20-80% is a good range to try to keep them in unless you need that extra 20% for something - similar to what they recommend for Tesla or other EV cars. Any info you guys can share is great and Ill post more thru the process too.
Just curious where you are in this process. Did you do the install yet?


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Discussion Starter #16
Hi All - Needless to say the whole pandemic has slowed everything down, including my Lithium Ion upgrade. I am sure parts etc come from China - the good news is that I got an email last week that the pack is ready and they were ready for me to ship the charger and controller back. The removal process was not too bad, esp once you get the side panels off and batteries out. Thanks Grumpyb for the heads - up on that clip, we got a screwdriver in there to open it. So, this past Monday I shipped both parts UPS and paid extra for the fragile shipping and insured it as well. They said about a week and Voltronix told me re-programming/testing would not take long so they may be able to ship back by the 29th or 30th - really looking forward to getting my ATV back in use and the good news is we are in isolation here during the pandemic so will have plenty of time for the install. I'll try to attach some pics, the buggy needs a good washing and Ill do that while its out of commission and remove the plastic lead acid battery trays.

Oh! Also if anyone is interested in the lead acid pack, I will be giving that away to anyone that is able to get it either from the DC area or WV panhandle. It is the original pack but I have taken very good care of it and I'll throw win the watering kit (watered every 10 hours), and even a desulfinator as I wont need those after the upgrade of course. The lead acid pack was still getting me 12-20 miles depending on terrain and it is very mountainous here.
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Thanks for the pictures. Our pack is not due till mid to the end of June. I will start my own thread also because I am doing some of my own upgrades. I see that your tires look just like mine. :)
 

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Thanks for the pictures. Our pack is not due till mid to the end of June. I will start my own thread also because I am doing some of my own upgrades. I see that your tires look just like mine. :)
yeah that back drivers side one is getting pretty tread bare.. the back passenger one is new, the original one leaks around the stem, maybe Ill try ti fix it - need to rotate them occasionally too which I have not been good about doing. Good luck w your upgrade!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I will pose these questions to Voltronix too, but while I'm waiting I am just curious for those of you that have the Li-ion packs, are there any maintenance/charging recommendations you suggest? I know that Li-ion batteries like to stay around 50-60% instead of 100% full and plugged in whenever possible like lead acid. I assume that at first you should charge to 100% so it learns the range? I know for EVs such as Tesla you can set it to only charge to 80% or so, knowing there is not that feature on the Delta-Q charger do you guys just unplug it before 100%? Just curious if y'all have any tips - thanks.
 

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I have been thinking about the same thing. For our Tesla, we usually charge it to 80%. Mainly because it is a car we want for a very long time. If we were to take a long trip, I would have no issue charging to full. Then again, if we were going on a long trip, we would most likely take the minivan or the truck. For our Ranger, I am just going to charge it 100% and recharge around 20%. We bought it as a work horse and I see no reason to baby it.
 
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