EV Motor Won't Run

by Warren Davidson
(Manti, Utah)

Chevy Sprint (EV In Training)

Chevy Sprint (EV In Training)

I just bought an already converted 1986 Chevrolet Sprint EV that "just needs new batteries installed."

I had a man that has an electric vehicle like this tell me how to connect the potentiometer, the four, large, commercial, deep cycle batteries and the charger.

I did all that and now have 50 volts (a 48 volt system) showing up at the controller when the key is turned on. But when I push on the accelerator, nothing happens. I called the manufacturer of the controller, Logisystems, and was told that I should hear the solenoid click when I push on the accelerator. I don't. I am at a loss.

I can send the controller in to Logisystems for them to look it over, which I may end up doing, but I wonder if there are some tests I can do to see if the solenoid is good or if the motor is good. I haven't heard the motor turn at all.


Hi, Warren -
I sent your question to Dan Bentler, helpful electrical motor guy. This is what he said:

1. Dig out the manual and read it.
2. Study drawings of circuitry
3. Check what is installed against drawing to ensure properly connected.

IF no manual and drawings
1. Trace all wires
2. Make own drawing
3. Check to ensure it is correct (can be tough with no manuals)
4. Check for bad fuses
5. Check for bad connections

I assume you're talking about the acceleration pedal. It may have a microswitch in it such that when no foot is on it the switch opens the circuits -- called a dead man. Anyway this switch may not be shutting (or not connected) to activate the solenoid. Disconnect and check with ohmmeter when activated.

Also could be bad solenoid - check for resistance across it. Could remove the solenoid and bench test against known good voltage source. If no activate then either bad coil or stuck linkage can differentiate by reading current when activate - if current draw coil is good and look for stuck linkage.

Hope this helps, Warren - keep us posted.


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12 volt or 48 volt system?
by: Anonymous

I'm not an expert in electric car conversions. I do know that if you are reading a 48 volt system this means you have connected the 12 volt batteries in a series by connecting the positive terminal of one battery to the negative terminal of another battery. If it is supposed to be a 12 volt system connect the batteries in a line by connecting the positive terminal on one battery to the positive terminal to another battery. And negative to negative terminals. So that all batteries are jumping positive to positive and negative to negative. The same way you would jump a dead battery of a regular gas car using another vehicle.

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