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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-14-2015, 12:03 PM Reply   
I installed the adjustable Shocks and now I'm not having rubbing issues
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-14-2015, 12:05 PM Reply   
I was only having issues when the cart was fully loaded. It would be nice to have room to re-install the air shocks with the coil overs to give you that extra load capacity when you need it
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-29-2015, 9:45 AM Reply   
So I Abandond the teak floor mats and went with black matts. I wanted to like it but no matter how I looked at it I couldn't say I loved it. O well!
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-29-2015, 9:48 AM Reply   
Not a surprise to anyone but my fav option is the LED headlights and the Floor stomper on and off switch. The overhead Light bar is awesome! Code name (death ray) especially fun on dark sections of road.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-29-2015, 9:52 AM Reply   
It's rediclous how much time and mone you can put into these if you choose. A Lithium Ion battery pack is now on my radar.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-29-2015, 9:55 AM Reply   
I just happens to have like 4 rolls of RGB and like 4 controllers in a box looking for a project. So the GEM car got some RGB's (I think I remember saying I wasn't going to do this mod)
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-29-2015, 9:57 AM Reply   
The car is so smooth and quiet. Last night on a Drive on a dark section of road I turned off all the lights and just had the Blue lights going. It felt like a space ship or some sort of magic carpet. Super fun!!!
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Old     (wakesk8er2)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-01-2015, 8:39 PM Reply   
I was at a customer's house today and they had the two seat GEM car sitting in the back corner of the yard uncovered, etc. Looked like it had been there for 5 years. I was thinking it would be fun to snag that thing and give it the G treatment.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-02-2015, 10:27 AM Reply   
^^^ Wake^^^

If I could offer any advice it would be to PASS on the 2 seater version for a "Make Over". The reason why is. It will cost you just as much money to fix up a 2 seater & Just as much effort to fix up the 2 seater as it would a 4 seater. For some reason the resale on the 2 seaters is 1/2 of what the 4 seaters sell for. + I think the 4 seaters look better I have been coming across plenty of 4 seaters fixer uppers in the $1000 range. If you are serious about a "Fixer upper" then go for the 4 seater.

in many ways these things are just like classic cars where 1 model the car is worth bank and the next model same year it's is worth 1/2 as much.
Old     (wakesk8er2)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-02-2015, 7:27 PM Reply   
Thanks for the heads up, Grant.

I agree with you on the looks, plus I could not fit the whole herd in the two seater. I'm pretty sure the only way I would do anything with it is if they told me to haul it off because they're tired of looking at it. Got a jet ski project and a 1/5 scale RC build going right now those are eating all my money.

Have enjoyed your projects for many years. Keep them up for all of us that can only dream.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-03-2015, 12:47 PM Reply   
Someone in this Thread said somthing like "Project's like these never seem to be done" LOL he was right. Just like here on W/W I have met a lot of cool and interesting people in the Electric Car hobby. Many of these people make their own products or patches or Fixes, It's pretty cool. I have become quite
involved in a few products.

One of my Gem car buddy's just recently made his Own Lift kit for gem's. He shipped it to me as a (Try it out thing)

Here is a Example of what a 4-inch lift looks like on a Gem. The car in the Picture has SMALL 14inch wheels so in this Picture the lifted Gem looks kinda "off road ish" I think a Lift will look nice on my GEM because I have the "17's"
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-03-2015, 1:37 PM Reply   
Here is a Pic of the "lift Kit" It's just a bunch of metal piece's that bolt into the car that lift it' It's a 1/2 day job to do it. I hope it look's good. Here is a side shot of my car you can see how it almost looks Lowerd compared to the 4inc lifted Gem. The Newer Gems have a taller ride height then the Older gems so in some ways it Updates the look of the Car IMO.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-03-2015, 1:40 PM Reply   
My car looks Lowerd IMO.
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Old    bigdtx            12-04-2015, 9:53 AM Reply   
Hey Grant,

You should post a video of you running that thing around at night with the LED underlights going - and the lightbar too. Would like to see it in action.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-04-2015, 11:24 AM Reply   
Tex there is a Video of the Lightbar in action on YouTube. And I'll make a video of the Car rolling with the blue lights at night soon. I wanna tackle this lift kit this weekend.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-03-2016, 4:11 PM Reply   
Well I got the lift kit installed. It's a 4inch lift. I have to say at first I didn't like it but it's growing on me.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-03-2016, 4:13 PM Reply   
I do like the fact that I'm not having anymore inner fender well rubbing.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-03-2016, 4:15 PM Reply   
I'm working on a getting a lithium kit together for my GEM. I really enjoy the car but hate that I to keep a constant Eye on the range.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-03-2016, 4:16 PM Reply   
A Lithium kit would or should give me a 50+ mile range.
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Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-03-2016, 11:46 PM Reply   
I think it looked better before the lift but, if it saves you from rubbing, it's worth it. Can you run it while charging? For example, could you have a super small, quiet generator in the back to bail you out in an emergency? it looks like the cargo carrier in back could hold what I'm talking about. Oh wait. Maybe that's where the batteries are... Duh.
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-03-2016, 11:49 PM Reply   
Rooftop generator with a matching shark-fin-like shroud to conceal it... Now we're talkin...
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-04-2016, 1:23 PM Reply   
LOL: I'm not familiar with the in's & outs of a Hybrid system. A roof top or trunk mounted gas generator IMO would not work out to well. Ya see the absorption rate of flooded lead acid batterys is way to slow to have a gas generator running all the time. I mean it wold work if your commute was let's say 20 miles one direction and then when you got to work or your destination you fired up the gas generator and let it run and charge of 6+ hrs that would work. But most places have a plug.

The biggest advantage of the Lithium kit would be #1 weight loss. The 300+ pounds the car will looze with the new battery chemistry is huge. Then the car will also be able use more of the available battery storage with a lithium system. A flooded lead acid Battey bank only real offers 50-60% of its total capacity. Lithium is in the 90+%
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       01-05-2016, 2:59 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by grant_west View Post
Nacho: what could u recommend
man you don't wanna hack your floor up to put a switch there. put an illuminated rocker somewhere handy

rear tires sit in the well a lot better with the lift. looks good!

Last edited by denverd1; 01-05-2016 at 3:01 PM.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-06-2016, 9:06 AM Reply   
That thing looks awesome Grant. I do like pre-lift as well but I understand rubbing issues. I think you should bag it instead. Best of both
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-06-2016, 4:23 PM Reply   
Thank's for the complements, I wish I would have drilled the lift for 2 different heights B4 installing. It would have been no problem to make it a adjustable 2 inch or 4 inch lift as far as the shock mounts go.
The Frame mounts and the Steering column would still need to be cut down but If I would have just done the drilled the shock mounts 1/2 my work would have been done.

2 Inch lift seems like it would have been a great compromise. But That's another project for another day.
We will see if El Nino lasts and it might get put on the To Do list!!!!

Nacho: I ended up installing a floor mounted High Beam Switch. I love it! DEATH RAY! I'm getting a Blue lenses cover for the light bar ( I know its not very legal) but I wanna just throw it on and see what it looks like and then take it off.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-06-2016, 5:27 PM Reply   
I came across these pic's. I found my Gem car has a Brother. For the record I did my car months b4 this one existed. That said I think the guy did a great job and I like the 2 tone. I might even copy it I was thinking a Flat black carbon fiber vinyl in place of where this guy has the gloss black.
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Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-06-2016, 11:43 PM Reply   
Well... That does it... Pull it all back apart and paint it red to match the Nauti. Can't have some poser tryin to be you. The nerve!
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:39 PM Reply   
Well Project G has not stopped evolving. I have become quite involved with GEM cars. I decided I wanted to do a Lithium upgrade in my car. I got a battery from a Nissan Leaf, and worked it into the Gem car.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:40 PM Reply   
Lots of soldering and a little wire action and you have a pack.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:41 PM Reply   
This is what the pack looks like in the car.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:44 PM Reply   
Well after I took the flooded lead acid batterys out of the and ejected like 400 lbs from the car it was so lite that the shocks were WAY to hard, I went back to the Air Ride! And the car Now rides great now.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:47 PM Reply   
I am still trying to figure out the right amount of air in each shock to get the ride Dialed in. Its been so long ago since I worked on street car shocks and sway bars I'm scratching my head now. I could use a refresher on Sway Bar 101. I think if I get a custom away bar made I can have the best of both worlds.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-24-2016, 5:51 PM Reply   
My problem seems to be that the extra 400 pounds of battery weight down low helped keep the car stable. Now that the car has no ballast down low like it used to and the soft shocks the weight transfer is quite a bit. If you let the air ride pressure down real low It handles like a Desert Truck! Lots of sway. If you add air to the shocks the ride gets stiffer and the sway go's away. I'm thinking a sway bar will fix the sway and I can keep the caddy like ride!
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Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-25-2016, 2:08 PM Reply   
Looks amazing Ram. Is it much quicker with the weight reduction?
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-25-2016, 2:12 PM Reply   
Rather than stack the battery's and put them in the trunk could you make side by side rack and hang them under the floor? Might make the handling a bit better to spread the weight and put it as low as possible? Covert the trunk to a cooler. ...
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-25-2016, 2:53 PM Reply   
The Battery is mounted on the floor under the back seat, its NOT in the trunk. The trunk now has a very small battery that powers the Light's & Sound system.

Yes the weight reduction made it much quicker. I have a Hill that's pretty steep in front of my house it's about 1/2 mile long to the top of the hill. The car is over 30 seconds faster to the top of the hill with the Lithium then with flooded lead acid.

Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-25-2016, 4:11 PM Reply   
Ah, that makes sense
Old    Raffit78            06-04-2016, 12:35 AM Reply   
how's the battery life with the new lithiums?

Awesome build! interested in building one of these! We live in a small community and would be nice to drive one of these around from friends houses.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-04-2016, 8:17 AM Reply   
Range: I would say my range is 3x what I had when the car was flooded lead acid. If I discharged to 50 or 60% my range with flooded lead acid was 5-6 miles here in the hills.

This is how I came up with that number. I have a route I take here around my community. It's about 5 miles around give or take. 1 loop would discharge my batterys to around the 57-60% discharged. (At that % the car is very sluggish) remember this is in very steep terrain. When I removed the flooded lead acid and went lithium the car would do 3 loops and still had power like it was FULL and still had more battery power to go. So that's 15 miles. I didn't want to "try" a 4th loop of the hood but I'm sure it would make it.

Steep terrain and big wheels , changes everything and honestly GEM car lies about the stock range of the car. I have NEVER heard of anyone actually getting 20 miles range even with a stock gem in total flat terrain. I'm sure it's possible in a 2 seater in total flat flat terrain on roads under 25 mph. 35 and up Mph really eats up the battery. But if your driving in roads like the El Camino and your trying to not get run over you have no choice but to go with the flow of traffic 30-40 mph and then your are burning up your battery. So I would say a good rule of thumb is if you live in the hills like most Lake communitys see what your stock range is with a new set of batterys is and then I would say your ranges with the lithium would be 2-3 times more.
Old    Raffit78            06-05-2016, 5:20 PM Reply   
thats quite a bit better then regular batteries thats for sure. Ya, the area we are in, it's about a 6-7% gradient for 3 miles or so. Then the way back is all downhill. So if i recall, you have one extra battery to run your stereo and lights correct?

Was the Lithium battery install fairly easy to do? Do they sell a kit?

Since we do live near the hills, do you recommend the bigger motor and a better gear? The speed limit is mostly 35-45 around here. What would be your recommendation?

Any other forums you would suggest to check out ideas of builds? To be honest, wish I can just buy yours. ahahahah, same me time building! lol
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-05-2016, 7:49 PM Reply   
As far forums and info. Nothing like here info and help is scarce. Polaris is not really Intrested In supporting older product 2011 and below. So you have to look outside of dealers for tech help and info. So I have met some really cool people at it's not full of helpful people like here it has 3-4 people that seem to do the lion share of tech help. My Advise is buy a Newer car 2007 and above. The gear ratio will be good and the ride and electronics better. And if you decide to do a lithium kit the install is much easier.

As far as a DIY or some sort of lithium kit Nope! They don't have one you source your own parts and build the battery yourself. PM me I have 2 2007's right now that I'm fixing up and gonna sell. Let me know if your Intrested I could build a lithium kit for it and set it all up and ship it to you depending on where you live no problem u is pretty cool.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-05-2016, 7:55 PM Reply   
Ok back to the Project.

I built some small "I'm talking VERY" small boxes to try out the Wetsounds Ss-6.5 subs. I had no room for the subs. So they went under the rear seat. They worked but the box was so small you couldnt expect much.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-05-2016, 7:58 PM Reply   
So after the flooded lead acid batterys were removed I had space to make boxes more to Spec. These 2 new boxes are right in between what wetsounds calls for a sealed box and a ported box. I went seald. Let's just say the thing is boomin now. I'll run them for a few weeks and make sure they are good then clean them up and rhino line them.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-05-2016, 8:08 PM Reply   
As far as the Sound system and Light bar and acessories. Yes I have a battery located in the trunk that powers all the extra stuff. I started with a group 31 Kenettik this monster was 70 lbs. after doing the lithium kit I was like The battery that pushes the entire car weighs 90 pounds and the battery that powers the stereo weighs 70???
So I got this 20lb BOSH battery for the 12v stuff so far so good.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 10:44 AM Reply   
The NEVER ending project V2 is still underway. It seems like I'm always adding new tricks. After I did the lithium kit I went back to Air shocks and did the front sway bar.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 10:49 AM Reply   
The stock rear fender braquet mounts to the rear sub frame and moves up and down with the suspension. It causes the fenders to eventually crack. so after my rear fender started to crack and I had Harold re paint it I decided to completely re design the way the rear fender mounts, and made my own rear fender braquet, now the fender is solid and well supported. Super overbuilt and fully adjustable
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 11:08 AM Reply   
Backing this thing up at night is tricky so I decided to add some LED back up lights .
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 11:11 AM Reply   
They tuck up under the fender nice and you can't see them from directly behind.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 11:12 AM Reply   
Lice plate light
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2016, 11:15 AM Reply   
And I still have more tweeks to do
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-23-2016, 8:24 AM Reply   
The never ending project continues. This addition is a Battery Balancer. I'm dealing with 20 individual 4 volt cells and or batterys all tied together to give you 81 volts. Keeping them all charged up evenly and discharged evenly is something only a balancer can do. This device discharges High cells and uses the voltage from high cells to charge up low cells it's pretty cool. Down side is it need to be mounted real close to the battery so you can't see this cell information unless you lift up the rear seat.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-23-2016, 8:25 AM Reply   
We are hacking the balancer now to move or relocate the LCD to the dash. The high and low cells show up
In red.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-23-2016, 8:26 AM Reply   
It also has some simple heads up information like Total pack voltage and Amps being taken out and put back in.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-21-2017, 8:01 AM Reply   
So I have met some very creative people in the Electric Car Fourms. Many creative DIY inventors & such. I have been working with a guy to develop a drop in Lithium kit that includes a BMS ( battery monitor system) & battey Balancer. The battey monitor I showed above has been working out great the problem is it has to be mounted close to the battery itself. The need to open up the BMS and hack into its system and create a "remote dash display" so that the driver can put to use the info the battery monitor displays.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-21-2017, 8:03 AM Reply   
Custom circuit boards were made so that the 24 High current battery Leeds can be converted to Cat 5 and then transferred to the dash where the BMS display converts it back to ribbion cable and displays the info.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-21-2017, 8:08 AM Reply   
I thought working with 22 Agw wires on a RGB Led strip was difficult. LOL amateur Hr. Check out the solder joint on this expanded photo of where the ribbion cable is converted or attached to the custom circuit board so the cat 5 can be converted. To give you a Idea of how small it it look at the photo above of the where the white ribbion attaches to the circuit board (very small) soldering under a microscope
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-21-2017, 8:14 AM Reply   
This the High current Inline Shunt. This measures Amps and voltage betwent the battey and the system. It will also display voltage and current back into the battery on the display.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-17-2017, 3:35 PM Reply   
Well I sold the Gem car today. If you see it in Hermosa Beach CA say hi to the new owner Greg.
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Old     (deneng)      Join Date: Feb 2005       06-17-2017, 4:55 PM Reply   
I think i saw that in the movie Tron. Great job looks so futuristic. Everything looks perfect. Rat Rod.


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