I'm so excited. I've searched the web and found a junk yard that had four motors, not one or two - FOUR! Even better, they were selling them for $510 a piece. This is going to be great. I can't wait! I looked at typical shipping prices and they look like they are going to charge approximately $250 per motor to ship them. I looked at the map and see a 1800 mile road trip. My truck gets 17 mpg and maybe more on the highway so about $200 in gas. Another $100 on hotels and maybe $100 on food. Approximately $400 seems better than $1000 in shipping fees. My son says he can go with me! This is awesome as I don't always get to spend as much time as I'd like with him. I called the junkyard 7 days before the trip (the longest I could reserve them for and I had to wait till my son was finished with his first college semester) and reserve the motors. Everything is good and I'll pay $2138 for all four of them. Can't wait and looking forward to the trip.
A few days go by and again I called the day before I leave to verify my motors are ready for pickup. This time, I got someone else on the phone who explained that I talked to a new guy and they only had two motors that have a 90 day guarantee and one motor that is damaged. Talk about a let down... Now my math on shipping savings doesn't look as good. I asked him to send me pictures of the damaged motor. Bad news, one of the water jacket outlet/inlets is damaged. I called him back, and re-negotiated the price. We settle on $1300.00 and I decide that having a few motors is better than having no motors. Besides, I get to take a road trip with my son who just finished his first semester of college. Score!
The trip is going to be 894 miles one way. We're planning on driving all the way in one day. Pick up the motors and drive back the next day. It's going to be some long days but we plan to switch off driving and that should make it somewhat bearable. My son and I start off around 4:30 in the morning headed to Carrolton Georgia. Cousin John T, and cousin-in-law John C, Bruce, Jeff Quick, truckers, I don't know how you guys do that day after day. We saw some nutty stuff where a car cuts off a truck (the lanes merge and the truck has no-where to go) and the car is beeping like crazy at the truck who was slowly moving over. I'm amazed we don't have more accidents with all that power, mass and driver rudeness. Yikes! Enough talking, what happened when y'all got there?
We got up early the next morning (eastern time zone) and had to heat the truck up because there was this crazy stuff called frost (We live in Texas where it rarely freezes) all over my poor truck. We show up right as the junkyard opened up and were first in line. I pay the agreed upon price and the lady tells me I have to a a VIN number to have a valid warranty. Wow, I think, I wonder if she'll take the VIN number from my Ford F150? So now I probably don't have much of a guarantee. I drove back to the junkyard warehouse to pick up my motors. We had to wait because there are company trucks being loaded with parts to go to local repair business. I walked in the warehouse to look at my motors. The first thing I noticed is there is no trans-axle attached. The pictures I'd seen on the web implied the engine assembly piece included the trans-axle so I kind of expected one to be attached. My fault for not verifying. Then I found that someone had tried (or succeeded) to take the top off one of the non-damaged motors! Now I'm getting unhappy and very unsure of what I'm paying for. My son probably didn't see the frown cross my face. The lady in the warehouse was paying attention when the fork truck driver picked
up the motor. She saw my frowns and let the fork truck driver to be careful with the connectors.
We loaded the motors up and they fit nicely 3 across in the bed of the pickup. We pull out out of the loading bay and my son and I re-strap the motors for traveling. My son did a great job with little guidance from me. I'm a very proud dad to have helped raised such a useful and helpful young man.
We set off to go 894 miles back from where we came from. Home sweet home.
My son had tunes on his phone and we played 'Sweet home Alabama' as soon was we crossed the state line into Alabama. We talked about when he first learned to play guitar (that was one of the first popular songs he learned). Around three in the afternoon and not quite 1/2 way there, my son and I decided we weren't going to be truck drivers for a living. We made it back safely and postponed unloading to the next day.
Unloading was definitely interesting, to say the least. The motors have lots of wires hanging out. Some of the connectors were smashed and it's obvious that the junkyard personal tried to separate the inverter, power delivery module and the motor, but they may not have been aware of the internal connections. As always, you get what you pay for, and these motors looked "used".
Let's look at the 12V connector. On motor 1, we have the stud where the 12 volt connects. On motor 2, the stud and connector are broke off. On motor 3, we have the entire connection intact. Overall, I'd say we have about 2.5 motors plus or minus a little bit.
The good news is all motors spin freely and feel about the same indicating no physical damage to the internals.
Wow, how are we going to turn this pile of junkyard stuff into a running electric car? Hah, that's a story for another day. Stay tuned for the adventures of E-Miata Team.