Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rear Suspension Upgrade - For my Electric Powered Festiva

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rear Suspension Upgrade - For my Electric Powered Festiva

    Hi. I'm new to the list, but have been reading it for a while as a non-member. And, yes, I am the guy with the Electric Festiva (at least one of them. I know of at least 4 others out there, all different from mine). I found some references to my actual car and two of the others in the archives from over the years. People saw it on various web sites. Anyway, I have had this car since 12/06. It was converted to battery power by some people at BYU. I didn't build it. Ever since I have had it, I have had one major issue - rear suspension. The suspension is all original as is most of the car. It only has 13,700 original miles on it. But, it has had a lot of weight on it. When I got it in 06, it had 2 batts in the front and 11 in the rear. We are talking 60+ lb golf cart batts. That is a lot of weight on an old Festiva. No way, it could handle the weight with the stock suspension. So, I put in smaller 12 V batteries to take some weight out. It worked well. High performance, but the range was poor. That was about 2.5 years ago. I only got 10-15 miles range and the batts died in a year. I was mad at the car, so I decided to sell it. That was sometime in late 07 or early 08. I never did sell it. So, I put back in a new set of golf cart batts (6/09) - too much weight. This time, I put 9 in the hatch area and 4 under the rear seat. Seriously way too much weight. The car was a total low rider. Probably put a set on the springs leaving it like that for the past year. The only mod I did to the suspension was adding 2 custom coil spring spacers on each side. None of the stock parts would fit, so I machined my own to fit. Last week, I took out the 4 batts under the rear seat. Now, I have 9 in the back and 3 under the hood. Only 72 V. The speed isn't as good, I don't know the top speed as that I am a little worried about taking it on a highway at only 72 V. Probably right around 55 MPH, but I need a low traffic day to test it out. Acceleration is worse than a stock Festiva. It used to be better at higher voltage. Anyway, I've got to get around this suspension problem. If I could get it to carry more weight I could put back the 4 batts and be up and cruising highway speeds with no problem and have pleanty of range 30-35 miles. But, I've never managed to be able to fix up this suspension problem.

    I've searched the archive, but no one seems to have thirteen 60-65 lb golf cart batts in the back of their car, except me. Most of the other Festiva EVs are 72 V (12 batts), 84 V (14 batts), or 96 V (12 eight V batts). There is one at 128 V (with 16 eight V batts), but I don't know how he got it to work exactly. So, I'm looking for advice on how to make this better. I need something a backyard mechanic can do - I'm talking about a bolt on solution - true bolt on solution. And, it can't break the bank (or my back installing it). I'd spend maybe $750 if I had a guaranteed way to improve both the front and rear suspension and make the car handle better. Don't know if anything can be done for that kind of money. Hopefully, you guys can help me out. My other alternative is to just get rid of the car to someone who doesn't care it only goes 55 MPH and 20 miles and move on to a bigger car that can hold more weight. My old electric car could hold 20 batts, did 60 MPH, longer range, and had seating for four. The Festiva was supposed to be better because it is smaller and lighter. Also, it isn't 30 years old, so I can get parts. But, even since 06, this suspension has been giving me grief. I hope you guys can help with some good advice. I really don't want to strip it for parts. There has to be a way to make it take that weight and still handle the road decently. It probably needs suspension work both front and rear to make this happen.

    Steve
    Atlanta, GA

  • #2
    You could try this...
    http://www.fordfestiva.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=26958

    And just use a much higher rate spring (like 500lb) in the rear.

    The most stock, bolt-on, least-work thing I would say is get aspire rear struts and use kia rio FRONT springs. It wouldnt be *that* much of an upgrade but far better than old festiva struts and springs.
    91GL BP/F3A with boost
    13.79 @ 100, 2.2 60' on 8 psi and 155R12's

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd do the coil overs. Huge selection of springs and you can adjust the ride height.

      With all that weight, a heavier duty strut would help. Check out this thread on quaddawg's coil over setup.

      http://www.fordfestiva.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=12779

      I'd do what he did in the back with the Mirage struts
      Festiva: Because even my dog can build a Honda.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

      '90 L. B8ME/Kia Rio 5 speed. Rio/Aspire suspension swap.
      '81 Mustang. Inline 6, Automatic.
      '95 Eagle Summit Wagon. 4G64 Powered.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed, Aspire rear springs/Strut or coil overs would be easiest.

        But, what do you think about a dedicated trailer?
        Something like a small motorcycle trailer.
        This give you another axle to spread the weight over.
        Harbor freight and Northern tool sell a small trailer 40"x48" that supposedly has a weight capacity of 1076 pounds.
        It's so small I literally can not see the trailer from the divers seat, in any of the three mirrors, when towing it.
        Best of all it less than $200, less if you catch it on sale.
        '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
        '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
        '92 Aqua parts Car
        '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
        '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

        "Your God of repentance will not save you.
        Your holy ghost will not save you.
        Your God plutonium will not save you.
        In fact...
        ...You will not be saved!"

        Prince of Darkness -1987

        Comment


        • #5
          ^^ that sounds like a good idea and all but dont you think that would end up being too much of a hassle in the long run tho?? I mean thats the most easiest route to take as far as installing goes but I'd much rather go with the coilover set up...little bit of work and much better handleling

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 92festie View Post
            ^^ that sounds like a good idea and all but dont you think that would end up being too much of a hassle in the long run tho?? I mean thats the most easiest route to take as far as installing goes but I'd much rather go with the coilover set up...little bit of work and much better handleling
            The only real hassle is getting a hitch that will bolt-up to the festiva that is better than the crappy ones that bolt-up to the bumper.
            I had mine made and it bolts to the tow points.
            Weak point of this setup is the tow point welded mounts.
            That said I've towed a festiva nearly 1K miles up/down mountains so its not that weak.
            I seriously doubt the handling would be better without the trailer!
            The rear axle itself is probably overloaded , irregardless of the springs used. Batteries are heavy.
            Never checked, but I suppose Ni metal hydride or Li-ion cell backs (huge number of D-cells wired together) are waaaay too expensive?
            Energy density/unit mass is much better verses the lead acid units.

            As small as the trailer is you hardly know it's there.
            I stand by the idea of the extra axle via a small trailer.
            Pu241
            Grand Poobah of the pain train!!!!!
            Last edited by Pu241; 06-27-2010, 12:49 PM.
            '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
            '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
            '92 Aqua parts Car
            '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
            '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

            "Your God of repentance will not save you.
            Your holy ghost will not save you.
            Your God plutonium will not save you.
            In fact...
            ...You will not be saved!"

            Prince of Darkness -1987

            Comment


            • #7
              Or a trailer with a diesel generator.

              Karl
              '93GL "Prettystiva" ticking B3 and 5 speed, backup DD; full swaps in spring!
              '91L "AquaMutt" my '91L; B6 swap/5 speed & Aspire brakes, DD/work car
              '92L "Twinstiva" 5sp, salvage titled, waiting for repairs...
              '93GL "Luxstiva," '94 B6 engine & ATX; needs overhauled
              '89L "Muttstiva," now a storage bin, future trailer project

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pu241 View Post
                The only real hassle is getting a hitch that will bolt-up to the festiva that is better than the crappy ones that bolt-up to the bumper.
                I had mine made and it bolts to the tow points.
                Weak point of this setup is the tow point welded mounts.
                That said I've towed a festiva nearly 1K miles up/down mountains so its not that weak.
                I seriously doubt the handling would be better without the trailer!
                The rear axle itself is probably overloaded , irregardless of the springs used. Batteries are heavy.
                Never checked, but I suppose Ni metal hydride or Li-ion cell backs (huge number of D-cells wired together) are waaaay too expensive?
                Energy density/unit mass is much better verses the lead acid units.

                As small as the trailer is you hardly know it's there.
                I stand by the idea of the extra axle via a small trailer.
                What I meant by the "hassle" is, if it were me, I wouldn't wanna keep pulling a trailor whenever I was driving. But to all thier own I guess....lol

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 92festie View Post
                  What I meant by the "hassle" is, if it were me, I wouldn't wanna keep pulling a trailor whenever I was driving. But to all thier own I guess....lol
                  Not to mention that poses a bit of a safety issue.
                  And parking.
                  And I can't imagine a golf cart battery being terribly cheap, I wouldn't want to leave the car unattended with a couple of those on a trailer.

                  Seconding the aspire rear w/ Rio front springs. You can also play around with the bump stops that sit on the strut piston (maybe toss in a drilled-out hockey puck or two) to create a rising rate effect.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ^^^
                    Actually, alot depends on how this vehicle is used.
                    If just for commuting and the occasional grocery trip then parking probably isn't an issue.

                    As far as safety, how safe is a over loaded vehicle, weight wise, with a max speed of 55MPH?
                    I suspect the original poster will have to weigh the pros and cons of each approach.
                    Hell, could conceivably implement both (trailer and suspension mods) neither is too expensive!
                    '93 Blue 5spd 230K(down for clutch and overall maintanence)
                    '93 White B6 swap thanks to Skeeters Keeper
                    '92 Aqua parts Car
                    '93 Turquoise 5spd 137K
                    '90 White LX Thanks to FB71

                    "Your God of repentance will not save you.
                    Your holy ghost will not save you.
                    Your God plutonium will not save you.
                    In fact...
                    ...You will not be saved!"

                    Prince of Darkness -1987

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ^^agreed

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like the idea of the trailer to put a few batteries back there and with a little enginuity become a hybrid by encorporating a small generator for longer/harder trips.

                        If all he'd want to do is put-put up to the grocery store, disconnect the trailer and weasel on over with a few less batteries. If you wanted to get onto the highway, kick on the generator and pull up to 55mph!
                        -Zack
                        Blue '93 GL Auto: White 13" 5 Point Wheels, Full LED Conversion, and an 8" Sub

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          on the other hand how much would you sell it for????
                          91' Festiva GL <AKA> "Little Boy Blue"
                          --------------------------------------------------

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They are starting to use Lithuim batteries on these conversions now. The price is coming down. You can browse some conversions at www.evalbum.com

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X