People Who Have Purchased the Enginer PHEV conversion kit!!

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by plugmein2, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Very interesting, hopefully there will be more updates on Summertime ranges and MPGs. Is it possible to download the steps necessary to convert?
     
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  2. dan2l

    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    Hi Andy,
    I also would like to see some current updates. I have not seen many lately.

    You can download the Installation manual from the Enginer web page.
    Enginer | Prius Plugin PHEV Conversion Kit with Lithium-Ion | Hybrid

    Thanks,
    dan
     
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  3. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    I can't answer your questions definitely but I thought I saw a complete address of the Chinese firm directly involved in the manufacture / sale of batteries and/or parts. Look at all PHEV threads and the Ebay sales site. You should not have to ship a kit that originally comes from China, back to China. That would be absurd. OR: Are you saying only the batteries come from China???
     
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  4. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Thanks Dan, I ran across the directions immediately AFTER asking the question. The directions seem to be sufficient.:cheer2:
     
  5. plugmein2

    plugmein2 New Member

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    Hi newbies,

    Sorry I haven't been here for a while. Life got crazy. Feel free to ask any questions about the Enginer PHEV kit. I have had mine for 4 months now. Had one converter go out, but got a new one. Jack with Automotion is awesome.

    JOANNA
     
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  6. dan2l

    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    I have purchased 3 kits and plan to do the installs myself in the next couple of months.

    I have done lots of research and I was surprised that no installers are avilable in the Portland Or area. I went to Pacific EV in Seattle to see their shop. The have a lot of expertise. I want to thank everyone that has put information on Priuschat. This information has help to give me the confidence that I can do the install, and that Enginer will stand behind their product.

    My first Kit scheduled to be shipped on Monday.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  7. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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  8. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I was worry about the dog being accidentally electrocuted.
     
  9. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    I ordered my kit last week. Not sure when it will arrive, but I'll be putting it in a Gen-1 Prius and making a video about it.
     
  10. plug-it-in

    plug-it-in Active Member

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    I love the Engineer PHEV solution! But I would like to see a removable implementation to have access to the 'doughnut' spare. When one gets stuck on the 401, trans Canada or on Interstate 75 with a flat - a tire shop is far away. Even if flats are rare these days and even if I have to lift the battery package out, access to the spare would be a nice enhancement. Here are some ideas: reduce weight by using aluminum instead of stainless steel for the housing, provide ability to quick disconnect and re-connect of the extra battery pack and secure the enclosure with latches instead of bolting it down to the frame. (Bolt the latches to the frame.)
     
  11. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    With the current Enginer kit, technically you can still access the spare tire. I wouldn't want to do it, but since the kit's case is held to the mounting brackets with removable wing bolts, it is possible. Once the wing bolts are removed you'll still need to heft the case out of the way of to access the spare tire.
     
  12. dan2l

    dan2l 2014 Prius v wagon

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    Hi Plug-it-in,
    I have personally lifted my kit out by myself without help. It took some wood blocks and less than 5 minutes of lifting one side at a time. This is posted in a separate thread. I will make a pair of brackets to make this easier and then post that.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  13. Rest

    Rest Active Member

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    I am very interested in this kit but wonder how such an inexpensive kit can be as good as others on the market costing much more. If I go this route, I would be installing it myself, as I enjoy tinkering with my vehicles. How many here have installed it themselves and how difficult did you find it to be?
     
  14. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    The high-end system it is closest to is something like Hymotion, although even that is not a fair comparison since the Hymotion kit is much more developed/tested. For example, the Hymotion system has been crash tested and has been out for several years. Also the Hymotion system is much more robust, can provide more power at a time, and is more integrated into the car's software.

    As Enginer puts in on their web site, "The Enginer kit makes compromises between cost and short range EV performance. ". It also explains, "Although it does connect the EV mode switch, Enginer PHEV does not go after maximizing pure EV drive. Enginer’s control strategy is to release energy in a well-controlled manner... ."

    The Enginer system uses off the shelf, interchangeable components to make this possible, and at time some of those components have failed and been replaced. At this stage in the game, Enginer is still making adjustments to try to improve reliability of the components and improve the experience for customers. For example, in February 2010, they added overcharge protection at the cell level, rather than just at the pack level. Also in the near future they are moving to a 16 cell balancing system, rather than the 8 cell they had previously been using.

    It fits a nice niche for the hobbyist who doesn't mind a few hiccups along the way and is willing to put some work into the system once in a while if/when an issue comes up.

    It will take you a good day to install for the first time. I suggest you don't make any plans immediately afterwards until you have had some time to test it out. You don't want to be pressured to hurry through the install. Slow, easy, and double checking along the way is best.

    From a wiring perspective it is as hard to put in as a custom car stereo, with the exception that you are working with high voltage at times. You will need to feel comfortable being able to taking panels and interior parts out of your car without damaging them as well as feel confident about drilling holes in the body and underside of your car.

    From a weight and maneuvering perspective, you'll definitely need a second strong person around or maybe even an engine hoist to get the kit's box into the car without damaging your paint or car body.

    Feel free to call me if you'd like to talk about it ahead of time. My number is 608-729-4082.
     
  15. linuxpenguin

    linuxpenguin Active Member

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    The short end of the story is this: If you're looking to maximize EV usage (that is, drive prodominately as an electric vehicle) the higher end systems such as Hymotion or PICC (particularly PICC given it's unique conversion style of actually replacing the OEM battery all together) will provide a great deal more electric power for sustained electric only travel and maximize gasoline displacement (/significantly/ higher MPG ratings than what you'd see with an Enginer system as certified by federal laboratories).

    I don't know how else to explain it--the stock Enginer system is capable of transferring 2.8 kW between the two batteries with one converter. Even with two converters it's still short of the ~8 kW of the Hymotion system and certainly short of the raw 21-25 kW of the Plugin Conversions system.

    The big cost difference is the quality and size of the batteries in question. By using cheaper batteries, the Enginer system is able to cut its cost way down. Additionally, by using a smaller DC/DC converter and a cheaper method of monitoring individual cells they are also able to cut costs.

    If you don't care about meeting 100 MPG then yes you can probably get by with the Enginer system if you're willing to tinker. People have come up with some....creative...methods for extending mileage like leaving your car on for 30 minutes before driving it to allow the Enginer system more time to charge the batteries.

    Know this too, no conversion system on the market will earn you a return--even the cheap ones. Gasoline would have to be $8 a gallon to see a return within the life of the system (and while I believe this will happen, I doubt it will happen within the life of said system). Only the higher end systems are rated for that kind of longevity anyway. Don't buy any system with the expectation of it paying itself off, buy one with the expectation of lowering gasoline consumption.

    I realize some of you will probably rant me out because you think I'm being hostile towards Enginer, but I'm merely trying to state the facts as I understand them (so rant away if you wish =P).

    PS: Eric--what off-the-shelf components are you referring to? Everything besides the balancers / batteries are custom manufactured in China, and even those are still made in China ;).

    Andrew
     
  16. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Maybe it would be better said that that the components are interchangeable with other off the shelf components. So, for example, you can buy the kit without batteries, and source your own batteries. Or perhaps you decide that later you want to exchange the Enginer charger with a different charger you like better; No problem. Or maybe you want a different Battery Management System; You can do that, too.

    In the beginning (last year) the kits came with Thundersky batteries (that were available any where), a Thundersky charger (also available anywhere), and the Chargery battery monitors (available anywhere as well).

    I certainly don't think you are being hostile on Enginer. I think what you point out is very valid and are things that people need to know. I am trying to stress to people that it is NOT an apples to apples comparison. Each company has a different way of doing things and I believe people need to realize they are giving up certain features by choosing a less costly system.
     
  17. Fibb222

    Fibb222 New Member

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    Hi Gang,

    I'm looking for advice. Last night my check engine and exclamation point lights came on on the dash and I couldn't get them to clear. Took my 2004 Prius to the dealer, even though the car appeared to be running normally.

    They said a long list of codes were tripped and it was probably caused by my Enginer kit. The codes they wrote out for me are:

    P0A90 INF 605 P3102 INF 581 ABS C0215 C1242 C1313 TRANS C2300 C2318 POWER SOURCE B1412 B1421 POWER B2286 GATE B1200 B1207

    Could this be a one-time event? If it happens again, is there anyway I can clear the codes myself, as this cost me $118?
     
  18. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Get a ScanGauge...
     
  19. Fibb222

    Fibb222 New Member

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    Or I can just disconnect the 12V for a while too right?
     
  20. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    It is my understanding that many auto stores like Pep Boys or Auto Zone have a scanner that you can borrow for a few minutes and take out to the parking lot.

     
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