It's been quiet for a while again but finally there is some news today. After 4,5 weeks of waiting I finally received the new registration document today. :) Fuel type (Brandstof in Dutch) is now E for Electric. I can now finally go out on the roads with the quad bike legally.
I'll make use of this right away tomorrow. :) But the first few times will only be short test runs so I can try to fix the motor temperature issues. Only once that is fixed I can try some longer distances. But that will hopefully happen very soon already.
After the weekend I'll probably have some pictures and a video again for you all. ;)
Posted on 30 June 2015 at 11:38 pm (CET)
Today I went to the RDW again together with my sister to get the quad bike approved. We left a bit later than last time since I had to wait for a very long time back then. Now we arrived there at around 7.40 am.
The approval test started quickly after we arrived already. In the beginning we weren't really sure yet if all would go well. I had no idea which things they were still going to check exactly. They also measured things that I haven't even measured myself yet. But it seemed to be going into the right direction.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures during the approval test since there was a certain familiar British car manufacturer that makes sports cars who were testing their new model. It was really great to see but because of this I can't really show anything they've done with the quad bike for the approval. In any case, they did try to measure a few things, including the voltage of the batteries, isolation resistance between positive, negative and the chassis, and also if all components were properly grounded. This last one however didn't really work out so well since all of the enclosures I used are made of plastic. They can't measure anything there so they just skipped them. :) Only a few things that are made of metal (motor, charger and contacts of the charge inlet) they were able to measure.
After all these measurements it was already almost certain that the quad bike would be approved. Everything was tested and they weren't able to find anything wrong, they were even impressed with how well it's put together and that everything is perfectly protected. I didn't even get to see the notorious test pin or test finger they use to check for any voltage.
But then the inspector wanted to do a drive test to check the handling, determine the top speed and see if the tachometer is properly calibrated. Now I did know already that the motor still has some problems with the temperature and the outside temperature was already pretty warm today. So the motor also got too hot pretty quickly already and the inspector had to keep waiting for the motor to cool down. I was really afraid that this would affect the result of the approval test in a bad way. But thankfully not, this also went good. :) I explained that I will ofcourse fix this by adding some sort of active cooling onto the motor. But he really had a lot of faith in it, for the rest he just couldn't find anything that was wrong.
There still was another small issue though which I really have to look into. Apparently the tachometer shows double the actual speed after reaching about 90 km/h. I didn't even see this myself yet since I haven't actually been able to reach the top speed myself. I think the magnet of the speed sensor just isn't positioned properly which makes the sensor see it twice on high speed. This could've also killed my chances for getting it approved but since the tachometer displayed the speed just fine otherwise and was also calibrated properly he apparently was okay with it. Or maybe he did actually reach 190 km/h? :D
Eventually he told me I could place the quad bike back onto the trailer again. And then I finally knew for sure, the quad bike is approved! :D After the 2,5 years I worked on it my patience finally got rewarded and my end goal of getting the quad bike road legal has been accomplished. I'm really very happy with this and I think I won't forget this day for a long time to come. Now I just have to wait for the new registration documents, these will probably come within 5 working days. Then I can finally go out and enjoy riding it. :)
These pictures we still made on the way back home, we really did come home with a very happy feeling. :D
Posted on 21 June 2015 at 09:17 pm (CET)
This weekend I worked on the quad bike again. I had some issues with the brake system again. Every time after bleeding the brakes the brake pressure was good but a few days later the brake pressure was suddenly much less. I already wasn't satisfied with the brake pressure of this new brake cylinder. Probably because the piston is much smaller than with the original brake cylinder. But I thought that one was broken, so I just wanted to try a different one.
To be sure I tried again with the old brake cylinder and as it turns out it's still working great. I also discovered why I wasn't getting any brake pressure with this brake cylinder last time. I totally missed this one washer that apparently comes with a new banjo bolt with built in brake pressure switch. It has exactly the same color as the banjo bolt.
I placed an extra copper washer between this which made the banjo bolt not thread into the brake cylinder deep enough. Because of this the distance between the piston and the banjo bolt was too big to be able to build up any brake pressure. I removed this washer now so the banjo bolt is threaded deeper into the brake cylinder. While bleeding the brakes I already got brake pressure very quickly now. After the bleeding the brake pressure is also much better than with the smaller Brembo brake cylinder. So for now I'll just keep using the original brake cylinder again.
Since it always took pretty long before I had the quad bike attached on the trailer I bought some new clamping straps. With these I can get it attached on the trailer within 5 minutes. Also placed 2 wheel blocks on the trailer so I can't drive forward too much and damage the bumper while doing so. This nearly happened once. ;) The quad bike is also always exactly in the middle like this.
Now I just still have to wait for the approval test. Meanwhile I do finally have an appointment. The approval test will be in 9 days already, on June 30th. Will have to be there at 8 o'clock in the morning again. It's going to be very exciting again, but I have faith that everything will go just fine this time around. :) I also really hope so cause I finally want to go out on the road and ride it. ;)
Today I made one last modification. At the RDW they said the visors on the headlights are too sharp. They're right about this but it's standard so it probably also got approved like this.
To keep them happy I placed some rubber profiles on it. The sharp edges are gone now and it still looks pretty good.
There's also some good news. I don't have an appointment yet, already trying for 2 weeks but can't seem to get a hold of the one who schedules the appointments. I did still come in contact with the inspector though.
It was still a bit unclear if a seperate EMC test for the whole quad bike would be needed, which normally costs around 1500 euros, or if the certification and test report of the controller would be enough. Thankfully the inspector told me that it won't be needed and that the certification of the controller is enough right now. So the EMC part of the approval is finally done and over with. This was also the hardest part but I won't have to worry about it any longer.
But there's also some bad news, thankfully not for my own quad bike though. At the RDW they're planning to sharpen the regulations for EMC even more. This will already happen very quickly since for my quad bike they discussed if it would still fall under the current regulations. So in the future it'll become even harder to get an electric conversion approved at the RDW. I think an EMC test for the whole vehicle will be mandatory then, or all of the components should be approved. But for my quad bike this is not a problem thankfully.
Now I just have to wait for an appointment, the quad bike is all ready for it again. Hopefully I'll hear something from them this coming week.
This weekend I've made a few modifications so the quad bike will hopefully pass the approval test without any problems soon.
The brake system is completely original again. The footbrake brakes on all of the wheels now. Both brake lines are connected to the brake cylinder now.
The mechanical handbrake is back on it as well.
I've also made a system that gives a warning signal when you get off the quad bike while the drivetrain is still active. I've done this with a switch in the left foot peg.
The drive mode buttons will all 3 flash when you get off.
Since the flash relay I'm using doesn't work well with only LED's I wanted to hide a normal light bulb somewhere which also flashes together with the LED's. But it turned out I couldn't hide this, the light just shines right through the plastic fender. I actually like the effect it gives and it makes it even more clear that the drivetrain is still active.
Since I modified the brake system I wanted to test again. Because it was necessary ofcourse, not because I just wanted to or something like that. :) But in any case the brakes seem to be working just fine.
Made a quick video. Even our dog really likes the quad bike. ;)
Everything that had to be modified for the approval has been done now. There are still a few things where I'm waiting on a reply from the RDW. But hopefully I'll hear something about that this coming week. I'm also looking to make a new appointment already for the approval test.