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Posts posted by Blaine

  1. This might help also.   I have the front off ours to replace the spoiler.    You can easily see the speaker placement and retaining bolts.   Canadian unit.


    My wife wants me to rebuild it to make Ferrari noises...



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  2. 1 hour ago, Willys said:

    The problem live in a country where size and space is an issue, in North America it isn't....period.

    Canada has more trees than people and vehicles and is a negative polluting country, but we are expected to saddle to burden of the rest of the world when the rest of the world, maybe not England is still polluting like it's 1930 or later?  


    These assertions are just ignorance and misinformation. 


    Canada produces 19% (2016) of its electricity from coal and petroleum.   We burn massive amounts of gas to extract bitumen from the tar sands.  Most of the resulting crude is shipped to the US to be burned for electricity, heating or to power ships.   That is massive pollution, and we're not even talking about transportation. 


    Canada is hardly the lilly white paragon of virtue that you're painting it to be.


    On the other hand, the UK has consistently ramped up renewable energy.   Their production of electricity from fossil fuels has dropped 50% from its peak a decade ago.   They are now going weeks without using coal to generate electricity.   If only Canada could say the same.


    You can't always blame "the other guy" and demand they do things first.   Especially when they are doing a better job at it than Canada.


    Leadership means helping others find the way to a better future.   It doesn't mean whining and burying your head in the sand.

  3. 1 hour ago, Willys said:

    The whole issue is rediculous.....there is no way you can demand this to be will delivery companies get produce from one depot to another and make their deliveries using only electric powered vehicles?


    The idea is good but it's simply not a capable sensible solution...YET....and to put a date on it before they have developed the technology is rediculous to say the least!   Get the tech there first then work the kinks out......not say this is what's happening get used to it...because that won't work out well.


    Your assumptions and assertions are based on ignorance and simplistic thinking.   You seem to believe that adoption of EVs has to be like a switch.  On or off.    Which is just foolish. 


    The transition away from internal combustion engines, like all technology transitions, starts off slowly and then accelerates dramatically as production costs drop.   You may remember the personal computer revolution, or more recently the transition to mobile phones.   Both were impossible, unrealistic and unaffordable.   And yet 95% of adults now have a mobile phone with massive computing power.


    Between 2010 and 2016 lithium ion battery costs fell 80%.   Between 2016 and today they fell another 50%.   All new EV models are coming with hundreds of kilometers of range.  While EVs are expensive, they are affordable for many car buyers today.      Those prices will continue to drop, just like in any previous technology transition.   


    EV vendors cannot produce vehicles fast enough to meet demand.  Every vendor has wait lists that are months or even years long.  All major vendors are investing billions in securing battery supply *today*.   If you look at the sales growth of EVs in the past decade, the growth rate is about 50% per year.   ICE sales are falling or at best in the single digits. 


    The majority of daily driving in North America is less than 50km.   All BEVs and most PHEVs on the market today will exceed that range.


    EVs have fewer things to go wrong.  There are no oil changes, no spark plugs, no complicated transmissions.   Cheaper maintenance.


    Electricity costs 1/4 the price of gasoline for the same distance.   The vast majority of EV charging is done overnight, when electricity supply is plentiful and cheap.   The electric grid is well able to handle EV charging.  It certainly seems to support electric stoves, which use the same kind of circuit.


    About 50% of households have two or more vehicles.  Even if those people sometimes need to drive more than 150 km they can certainly benefit from owning an EV as their daily driver.    At a minimum that's 40% of the vehicle market. 

    I travel to other provinces and countries in jet planes, but I don't use them on a daily basis, and I certainly wouldn't claim that I needed to own a jet.


    Class 8 trucks are used for long haul transport.   At least four companies are bringing class 8 EV trucks to market.  They wouldn't be investing billions to do that if the tech was "impossible".    Class 1 to class 7 trucks are smaller, used for shorter delivery routes, generally within cities.   Less than 150km range is required.  75-85% of the population lives in those cities.


    Shenzhen in China is running *all* 16,359 municipal busses on electricity, servicing a population of 12 million people.  I have a hard time believing that they have some secret technology sauce to make that possible.  


    So while you personally may be in the tiny percentage of the population that drives 400 km per day (God help you), and lives in a remote community without electricity, 95% of the population isn't in that situation. 


    Not only can the majority of people benefit financially today by owning and using an EV, they can help eliminate the 30-40% of CO2 emissions that are caused by transportation. 


    And yes, our household has been driving EVs daily for over 5 years.  It does work, it is cheaper, and more than that, they are a blast to drive!




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  4. Willys comments apply to the 12V lead acid battery.


    If you are talking the HV battery on a 2014 Smart ED then I don't know anyone who has done this kind of work.   Ideally it would be a case of: drain the coolant, disconnect the HV battery connections, removing the retaining bolts, lower the battery out of the bottom of the car with a suitable support / jack.   Then reverse the process with the new/old battery.   You will need to drain and refill the main coolant loops that pass through the battery and the AC.


    However, I would expect that the ED firmware would give you some trouble about a battery replacement.   You're likely to need access to a Mercedes Star/diagnostics system to reset something.  Which seems to be available aftermarket / ebay etc.


    It does sound like an interesting project!   Not for the faint of heart though.


    Before you start the swap I'd make / buy one of these:


    It will give you a cell by cell status of the original battery.    Which would be good to know before hand.    Someone might be interested in your old battery, but only with some data about its condition.


    Similarly you'd want to do the test on the new battery once it is in place.


    Keep us in the loop. 


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  5. On 2/10/2019 at 1:17 PM, marchanna said:

    So I replaced the rear right wheel bearing yesterday because it started making a metal on metal sounds. And just for s**ts and giggles I decided to cut it apart and take a look inside.  The races looked good but the cage was completely disintegrated. The balls where in pretty decent shape but several were fused to the remnants of the cage. Not a spec of grease in there, it was bone dry. 




    Out of curiosity, what bearing did you purchase?     We're coming up towards 85k and I was thinking of buying a set and storing them until I need them, which won't be all that long from the looks of it...

  6. Jocko,


    We bought one of these:

    Although it was C$ 369 when we got ours. 


    It works, it does 240 and 120V input which I take as a big plus because we have both types of outlets in our garage.   However it is only IP55, so I'd be cautious if it is very wet or raining heavily.   Or protect it somehow.   If you're planning on using it outside regularly it may be worth applying some silicone caulking.    I'd have no reservations if the main body was protected and the cable was in the rain.


    We don't use it daily, so ymmv.


    A quick look on Amazon does show cheaper "similar" units now.   



    I suspect that this winter we're going to use it to give our other EV regular power,   While it's in the garage, keeping the battery from getting cold seems like it might be a good idea.


    Keep wishing my wife's company will install a charger for her.   sigh...


  7. Very sorry to hear about your problems with the ED.   We've had ours almost 5 years and it's been very solid.


    I would highly recommend the open source battery tester  (     It will give you a list of the cells, capacity etc.  Much more than I believe the stock MB tester provides the service center.   It is quite easy to assemble. 


    Worst case you'll have bought an Arduino and some extra bits that only get used once, but it will be much less than the cost of the battery.   Plus it will give you the ability to verify what the service folks are telling you. 


    I think all the ED owners would appreciate hearing / seeing any details about your problems.   Dead HV batteries have been rare. 


    Good Luck!    If I were nearby I'd lend you my tester, but it's been quite a few years since I was over that way. :)


  8. The mini-house for the EVSE body is a good idea.


    I'd second the heavy duty recommendation.   We're using 12 gauge cords in our cars for when we need to charge away from home. 


    Our original unit that came with the car failed about 18 months back.  MB replaced it after running some tests and finding that it was bad.     We had used it outside in the rain and snow 4 out of 7 days for a couple of years.    So I'm pretty sure they are not entirely weather sealed.     It had similar faults. 


    The current one is ok, but has shown that kind of fault, and it might have been water related. 


    We bought a backup 120/240 portable unit for peace of mind, although there are now about 20 public level 2 chargers near my wife's office so it's less of a concern for her.



  9. On 8/18/2018 at 2:41 PM, marchanna said:

    I found some on Rockauto for $60 each but I’m not sure about the quality. 


    The $60 ones do look a bit cheap from the pictures.  The $80 ones definitely look like they have better machining.   Should still be cheaper assuming you don't have to deal with significant duties and/or brokerage fees

  10. When our tail light failed I tried to replace them with an LED unit that ostensibly supported CANBus.  Failed.  Thanks for the no questions asked return Amazon.   


    While I was at it though, I installed a set of cheap LED headlights.   $40 for a pair.   Working fine, whiter, and they seem a bit brighter.   Quoted at 9600 lumens, but I'd guess more like 6500 because they don't seem to be that much stronger, and they are definitely not the blinding types you see on some cars.   Installation was trivial, and the orientation was easy to adjust.   Wattage is supposed to be 60W vs 110W for the OEM.   So perhaps they will save us a tiny amount of drain.  


    Still trying to figure out what I'm going to do about the rubber covers.   Probably buy a second set and puncture them for the LED fans. 

  11. Glad yours is running well.     We're far behind you at 70,250 km.   Everything OK now that we've had the rear qtr panel and bumper replaced (thanks BMWer <sigh>).   We had a tail light fail and I spent $7 for a new set from CTC.   Everything else is perfect.



  12. 5 hours ago, Huronlad said:

    2013 and up panels are all the same but I do not believe any of them can be purchased painted from M-B. 


    Thanks.   We have black panels so that may not be a problem.   Still, from what I see on ebay the 2012 and prior panels aren't the same, even for the 2-3 I need.

  13. So this morning a BMW pranged our 2014 Smart ED's rear quarter.   A couple of the panels were folded, mutilated and generally abused but the car is still running fine.  The other guy's insurance company is going to cover the repairs :)


    While talking to the repair folks I queried whether they'd be ok with me paying extra and getting a full panel kit for the car.   The hood has a bunch of road rash and I figured that all around things would look better with a matching set.  They were generally receptive but wanted me to make sure they'd be ordering the right kit.


    Anyone know if there would be a specific part number?


    Between me and the repair guy we've had two answers from different MB parts counters. 

    1. Not available any longer
    2. There's one for 2012 gasser but not the ED.


    The only reason I could see for the 2012 kit not fitting would be the DRL insert on the front.    


    I'd appreciate any concrete advice 






  14. Ours is working at the moment, and I noticed that they did a software update sometime in the last month.   Perhaps you just need to do a cache flush?


    Other than the climate preconditioning, which has always been erratic, I mostly use the reporting from the fleetcarma dongle.


    When we got the car they said, iir, 4 years and then you'd have to pay.     Of course with the 2G retirement by the carriers it's likely to be out of service soon regardless of what MB does.


    It would be nice if they published the specs on the monitoring unit.   Then we might reverse engineer it.

  15. When I was at the Toronto Autoshow this year the GM folks were still quoting 6-8 months delivery from deposit.    Last year they failed to meet their 30k vehicle target (~25k) and this year they're slowly ramping back up at a slightly better production rate.


    It looks like they may manage to beat the 25k production level this year but at this point I'd estimate 35-45k units.   


    Tesla is producing 2000 Model 3 per week so they should be able to exceed that in about 3 months.   


    New Leaf production is already at about 10k per month.  


    GM just doesn't seem to be serious about producing the car in volume.



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