My Final Dealings with Wilderness EV

This is the company that I bought my electric components from. As you may have read before I had some problems with my battery charger.

Over the past couple of months, anytime I had a question I contacted Allen Grover and he would email me back within a few hours with a solution or at least some sort of response. I emailed Wilderness EV Monday about the problems I was having with the charger. On Tuesday I got a response that Allen no longer worked for the company and my question had been forwarded to Brian Bennett for resolution. Wednesday I hadn’t heard anything so I emailed them again. By Friday I still had not heard anything from them so I picked up the phone and called the # from their web site. I left a voicemail and still have not heard from them. Because of this lack of communication, I am retracting my endorsement for this company. I would instead like to pass on my many thanks to Allen Grover and to Allen Grover alone.

Back to the issue with the charger.

Since I was getting nowhere with the company I decided to call the manufacturer of the charger – Schumacher Electric. I spoke with a nice man who suggested replacing the fuse on the back of the charger. This seemed odd, I would think that a blown fuse would render the charger completely useless (it was still charging at 1 amp). I went to the hardware store to grab a 240volt 30 amp fuse. They did not have the 240volt variety, so I had to settle for a 125volt 30amp fuse. Later that day I stopped over to the shop and hooked my charger up to one of the test batteries lying around. BAM! (I mean that in a good way, like Emeril.) The charger started charging at 12volts and about 11 amps! I was pumped! I could now finally get to driving my all electric car!

That was all earlier this week. Saturday we stopped out at the shop around noon. I knew the shop was busy this week and most likely would have some heavy equipment parked inside. Sure enough, a skidder, logging truck, a couple of motors and one giant transmission stood between me and the lift. Without the lift, there wasn’t too much we could get done this weekend.

We made the best of the time we had. We hooked up the charger for a while (of course), and we took care of some other odds and ends. We replaced a headlight, added a piece of hard foam to the front battery support (just to give it a little padding), hooked up the transmission light (there’s a wire coming out of the main wiring harness that connects to the transmission – this is what turns your backup lights on when you put the car in reverse) and we also modified the negative terminal on the wiring harness. The existing terminal for the negative lead was a clamp on terminal. You’ve probably seen these in your car, they just slide down over the battery terminal – the ones you have to wiggle to disconnect. This was all good and well except it didn’t clamp down on my battery too well. When we were driving it last weekend the airbag light and the engine light kept flashing and beeping. The check engine light didn’t bother me so much, but the airbag light made me a bit nervous. So we chopped off the clamp on terminal and replaced it with a bolt on terminal. The name says it all, it bolts on to the battery terminal. This provides a much more stable connection and got rid of the check engine light!

After that it was off for some more driving. I finally managed to get it across town to NAPA to show Doug (the owner). He’s been great to work with, and I’m sure I’ve been pretty good too (spent a small fortune in there).

We took it back to the shop and put the car on the charger for the rest of the afternoon.