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Disabling the traction battery and running off of the engine only

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by DustinLangston, Mar 15, 2012.

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  1. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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    Hello, My hybrid battery is shot and I do plan on rebuilding it when I can afford the cells. I was talking with Mike at xvipers.com yesterday and he said he could disable the hybrid system and make it run on the engine only for $40. He also says it will get 27mpg that way which is not bad. Does anyone know how one could do this? Thanks-
    Dustin
  2. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    I don't know how it could be done but, I do know this:

    1) the Atkinson cycle engine (used in the Prius) has one downfall, "low torque at low rpm's". That is why the system always uses the electric motor to help at low speeds.

    2) The transmission requires the battery to make it work. It will use the electric motors to set the required "gear ratio" to get the car up to speed. Without it, your dead in the water.

    3) Xvipers is very well respected and they may know something I don't but, I think they're talking about a Honda hybrid (which you can disconnect the hybrid battery on some models).

    My suggestion to you is to fix your battery as Yota93 did (by replacing the bad module). Its not easy but it appears to be about a $40 fix (which is the same as "disabling the battery").
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  3. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    The transmission using energy from the battery starts the engine. Your idea in a no-go.

    JeffD
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  4. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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    Ok thanks for the advice. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best place to get 4 gen 1 cells? Thank you.
    Dustin
  5. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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  6. NinnJinn

    NinnJinn Member

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    or, why don't you cough up the $40 and have it done????
  7. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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    I was able to pull these codes. Are any of these inverter/ecm related?
    p3006
    p3011
    p3013
    p3101
    p3191
  8. electro_pa

    electro_pa New Member

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    Hi Dustin,
    I traced these codes in NHW11 Repair Manual RM771E1-1.
    P3006 Battery levels unusual.

    P3011 thru P3029 Battery Block # becomes weak.
    Describes a block check procedure using the diagnostic analyser to graph the blocks, looking for <2volts swing from charge & discharge, max/min.

    P3101 Engine system malfunction
    Check 'Info Codes'.
    204 Abnormal engine output.
    205 Unable to start.
    238 Does not start, if able to crank.

    P3191 Engine does not start.

    Looks like your troubles are starting in the battery. Engine problems simply ensue from failure to crank effectively.
    Regards,
    Claude Patrick.
  9. yota93

    yota93 Junior Member

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    Hello I live an hour away from xvipers and have delt with them on two occasions. My personal experience with them is the owner is unreliable at best. I bought a pump from them for my prius. I was told by the owner he would be there. He was not and his mechanic had no idea i was coming. It took him a little to long for my taste to find my part. He couldn't even get the owner to answer his repeated phone calls. The second attempt to do business with them was to have them rebuild my battery. After three months of ignored phone calls and a planned delivery that never happened because of the owner not answering his phone. I decided to tackel the battery myself. It turned out great and I saved quit a bit of money doing it myself. I have a post on it but if you have any questions just send me a message and ill help.
  10. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    I've been watching and waiting on this thread to see what would come of it. But so far DustinLangston has not reported back.. I highly doubt it is possible to "disable" the battery in a Prius. If there were some way to start the engine, I could maybe see it being possible. But I would imagine any such modification would be way more expensive than just replacing the battery pack.
  11. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Rather than disable, it may be possible to "mute" the battery. If the battery computer thinks it is hot (but not overheated), then it will scale back the battery duty cycle. It would be a simple hack along the lines of the coolant temperature spoof. So you could conceivably have a situation in highway cruising where the vast majority of propulsion energy comes from the ICE. You may think, does not the battery make it more efficient? The problem is that battery energy spent must be replenished. The round-trip efficiency is maybe 70%. At highway speeds there is very limited opportunity for regen i.e. sustained steep downgrades. From a highway MPG efficiency standpoint, it is best to limit battery use to MG/planetary control, in order to have the ICE spinning at the most efficient level. This avoids the constant dance of providing boost and consuming engine power to have it replenished. I have the clutch switch hack in the Insight (disables battery boost) and it does indeed make highway fuel economy better, just at the cost of power going up hills.

    But in the end, you can't live without the HV battery.
  12. bigblock67

    bigblock67 If we only knew then

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    What is a 3001 code? Is it serious
    Thanks
    Don
  13. electrontechnik

    electrontechnik SFSU BSEE Student

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    DTC P3001 means a problem with the traction battery ECU.



  14. oldnoah

    oldnoah Member

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    I agree with the rest of your post, but xvipers is NOT well respected. They will not honor their warrantee, will not return calls if they owe you anything, have apparently failed to ship items that were paid for. They have lied to me personally with respect to a warrantee over the phone, which evaporated once the transaction went to the paperwork, and then failed to answer phone calls, emails and faxes. If you do a google search on xvipers, Michael Nouri and "liar" you'll get dozens of hits.

    But yes, I suggest the OP should fix his battery as Yota93 did. I fixed my battery over a year and a half ago, and it's running fine. (see http://priuschat.com/forums/generat...85773-p3009-battery-frankenstein-project.html)

    Note that I did a lot of work to verify that the battery modules were matched and in good condition. If (or when) I lose a module again, I will just change out the bad module and put it all together again and let the car tell me if it all works.
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  15. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Thanks for the input about Xvipers. I didn't realize they had those issues. Now I know.
  16. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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    I did not have xvipers do the service. I purchased a set of 38 good used gen 1 cells from a gentleman in St. Louis for $200. They are all holding a charge a 7.4 to 7.6. I'm going to start replacing them today. Wish me luck! If you have any tips I could use them. Thanks,
    Dustin-
  17. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Good luck Dustin. You can do it.:rockon:
  18. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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    Success! I took some photo's throughout the process so if anyone needs them let me know and I'll post a quick guide. It wasn't bad at all. The hardest part was cleaning the corrosion off the buss bars and terminals. The car is running good!
    -Dustin
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  19. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Awesome job Dustin. That's a great deal. A $200 fix. That's what I like to hear. I hope you have many more happy miles with your Gen I.
  20. DustinLangston

    DustinLangston Junior Member

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