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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 8:47 PM Reply   
GEM.
Well it's been in the works since November 13. I'm finally ready to share my latest obsession. It's a 2002 GEM car. I have become quite ficksated buy these funky little cars and in the process I have picked up quite a bit of knoldege as most do when they tackle the UN knowen. Ok enough I'll try and share as I go along.

This is what I started with. It's a Early model 2002. I found it on Craig's list and I was able to horse trade it for a Home Gym Set up.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 8:57 PM Reply   
So with age comes wisdom. Normally one would start on the odvious. "paint & appearance" Ya know wheels and tires seats and all the flashy stuff. Well Homie has finally learned over the years. Get all your mechanical stuff handled and then think about paint. The first thing that became painfully Odvious is that the stock drum brakes are a Joke. I mean they are fine if you live in the flats but if your going down steep hill and any sort of speed with 4 people in the car good luck trying to stop. So a disk brake kit was installed. These brakes turned out to be super powerfull and were Orignal equipment on a VW GTI.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:01 PM Reply   
Ok once we got the car to Stop it was time to "wheel it up" these are Honda Civic wheels. 4x100 bolt pattern with a 38mm offset
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:06 PM Reply   
You might be saying "wait you said you were gonna take care of mechanical b4 Bling" why did you get wheels so soon. Well that would be a good question. I can't say I planed it this way BUT I'm glad I added wheels right away because I totally underestimated the effect adding heavy automotive wheels had on this light weight car. I ended up having to do a bunch of mods just to make these wheels work.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:13 PM Reply   
So my little stock 3hp Electric motor was haveing quite a difficult time getting around the hilly Aera my lake house is located in. I had to start thinking about a Motor upgrade. Some hills and drive ways were to steep and the car would NOT make it up the hill. So here is where my journey started. It was time to swap out my stock transmission gears for Lower hill climbing gears. I went from 8:1 gears to 10:1 gears.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:19 PM Reply   
At the same time I decided to take all my sub frame apart & sandblast all my suspension and upgrade the motor to a 9.5 Hp torque motor.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:21 PM Reply   
Motor
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:25 PM Reply   
Well it wasn't long before the extra amp draw from the new High Hp electric motor blew up the stock 300 amp motor controller. I upgraded the controller to a 500 amp controller.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:32 PM Reply   
I also got to learn how to "program" these controllers are fully adjustable you can program or adjust everything for take off speed to armature current to regenitive braking current. Crawl speed and a bunch of other features. You simply plug it in and customize how you want the car to respond.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:39 PM Reply   
So now it was time to tackle the charging system and new batterys. I found a charger that will charge each of the 6 12volt batterys individually and Independantly. It was a big long monster with 6 12volt chargers mounted inside it. I had to completely re-make the firewall of my car to fit this charger where I wanted it. That Ment removing all the stock electronics and mounting the charger and then re locating all my componets back on a new fire wall.

Here is the Before
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:42 PM Reply   
And here is the after.

The long black box against the fire wall is the new charger
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-24-2015, 9:48 PM Reply   
I'll post more later for some reason the sight is not letting me post pics from my phone now
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       03-25-2015, 6:13 AM Reply   
Subscribe for updates, awesome so far.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:00 AM Reply   
Then it was time for some new batterys. Ironically the reomended battery to use in these cars is the exact battery Im using in the boat. Decka Gell batterys. And other funky fact the Gem car uses 6 Gells linked together to make 72 volts. I'm running the exact amount of batterys in the boat 6 who would of thought
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Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-25-2015, 7:00 AM Reply   
Grant how does the charger separate the batteries to charge them independently?
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:06 AM Reply   
So now the Car is running and its proved to be reliable but the ride is pretty harsh. It's time to look into some shocks. Thing is they don't make any after market shocks for these cars. I decided to retrofit and install 4 Honda gold wing motorcycle shocks. They are Air ride adjustable. The rear shock blolted right up
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:10 AM Reply   
But the front shocks need'd custom mounts
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:12 AM Reply   
With new air ride on all 4 corners the car now rode and handled WAY better.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:16 AM Reply   
So now that the car was runnjng and driving Exactley the way I wanted it to it as time to break it all down and start doing somthing about the body. So I took it all apart
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:20 AM Reply   
I changed out the week stock headlights from Round recessed incandesant to Flsh mounted LED's
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:44 AM Reply   
A little casting resin and some body filier and I had myself a square headlight bucket
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:48 AM Reply   
I also decided to upgrade the power wires to deliver more current. Stock Vs Upgrade
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 7:57 AM Reply   
So now it was time to do somthing about the stock seats. I got these out of a import car and will re cover them to match my car. The stock seat tracks needed to be cut off and new ones fab'd up
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:02 AM Reply   
I wanted a custom roof rack and didnt like any of the racks that were avaliable so I took the roof off and brought it to my fabrication guy
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:09 AM Reply   
Here is a pic of the roof rack profile we are going to build. The Rack is gonna hold a 30inc light bar and a solar panel
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:19 AM Reply   
So back to the body work. Lots of sanding and prepping it seemed as if every panel needed crack repair or some sort of reinforcement. Any crack I ground out and plastic welded and then fiber glassed from the back

All the weight bearing mount points I fiber glassed so cracks would not appear later on down the road
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:23 AM Reply   
Then I sanded and painted the back side of all the body work
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:32 AM Reply   
So I could not make up my mind on the color. I had spent so much time getting to this point and i was at a complete loss. I even drew up a bunch of possible different color combinations to try and help me decide. I must had colored like 20 different ones.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 8:45 AM Reply   
And at about this time I had sanded myself to death. I had reached burn out. My friend Harold came to the rescue. Even thought I had not picked a color I knew I wanted the interior tub black'
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Old    Ian Brown (onlyinboards)      Join Date: Oct 2014       03-25-2015, 8:59 AM Reply   
more please....
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 9:04 AM Reply   
After much back and forth and humming and hawing I decided to go with Ford's Grabber BLUE. It's a original color from the 60's that Ford brought back. Some of the 2014's have it and it caught my eye.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 9:09 AM Reply   
So I finally got to start hanging some parts. This is where I'm currently at. I should have the roof in the next 2 weeks and be finishing it up
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Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-25-2015, 9:17 AM Reply   
How do you have so much free time

Great work
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-25-2015, 9:26 AM Reply   
Grant, that looks pretty awesome. You've done a lot of work there. My only minor suggestion would be to paint the polished part of the wheel faces to match the blue.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 9:41 AM Reply   
Shawn: The charger has 6 Individual charge Leeds. The way the battery's are wired in a way that they are ONLY grouped in a 72 Volt configuration. But in the 12 volt configuration they are independent.

Here is a pic of the charger.


The 2nd pic is a custom display the company that makes the charger made for me. Each LED represents each of the 6 battery's. The led's change from Red to Orange to Yellow to Greed depending on each battery's state of charge. This LED display mounts behind the lower dash
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Old    Boarder85 (fouroheight68)      Join Date: May 2006       03-25-2015, 10:17 AM Reply   
Awesome, but wheres the STEREO?
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 10:26 AM Reply   
Dave ; you're the second person to mention painting the brushed lip of the wheel to color match the car. Although it sounds like an easy task I could see that being a pretty intense project to do correctly. But I'll take that modification into consideration because I agree it might look very cool I wish I knew how to Photoshop so that I could see a concept of it
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 10:28 AM Reply   
Boarder; Have you seen the wet sounds stealth 10 sound bar?
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 10:39 AM Reply   
Here is a picture of my battery pack monitor. Combined pack voltage. Overall state of charge. And individual battery voltage. You can see exactly which batteries has a higher state of charge this helps in identifying a weak battery
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Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-25-2015, 10:59 AM Reply   
Grant. Ask and you shall receive.
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Old    Jason (corerider)      Join Date: May 2008       03-25-2015, 11:10 AM Reply   
Grant, I wish you didn't half-ass everything and just do something right for once!

/HEAVYsarcasm

Nice choice of body color!
Old    Red (Redheadd)      Join Date: Apr 2014       03-25-2015, 11:26 AM Reply   
Seriously you are pimp.
Old    Jordan Maxymek (Jmaxymek)      Join Date: Feb 2012       03-25-2015, 12:19 PM Reply   
Why didn't you just build it from scratch and keep the home gym??
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 12:38 PM Reply   
Dave : Thanks for the Photo Shop, They look good.
^^^^^ LOL: As low budget as these cars seem they are pretty well designed. To the point they still make this car in 2015 its design has changed very little. And I doubt "I myself "could build a better one for any kind of reasonable amount $$
I wanted to share some Pic's of Harold's GEM, This GEM is one super sweet ride. One of the nicest I have seen.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 12:44 PM Reply   
Seeing as the stock motor was a whopping 3 Hp the guy that sell's the Motors provided some chrome badges to show off the car's current HP I used everyone's fav spray paint "The Dreaded Plasti-Dip" to give the badges that matt finish. from this angle the letters don't look straight but they are the panel is very curved right here and it throws your eye off
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Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-25-2015, 12:51 PM Reply   
So.
Effing.
Cool.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-25-2015, 1:07 PM Reply   
That's some grade A MS Paint work right there.

This is a pretty sweet project. I've always wondered about these though, what do you use this for? They aren't street legal are they? Do you just drive them around a gate community, down to the boat ramp, golf course?
Old    Dax Jolly (volzalum)      Join Date: May 2009       03-25-2015, 1:35 PM Reply   
Looks great!
Old    Miguel (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-25-2015, 1:51 PM Reply   
Straight G!!!!!
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 2:07 PM Reply   
Surf: The "GEM" & the Ford "Think " are both street legal. Around 1999-2000 they created a new category of vehicle called LSV stands for low-speed vehicle. They are street legal on roads marked 35 miles an hour and below. They have a plate and registration. Golf carts are Exactley that "Golf Carts" and are NOT street legal. Although I'm sure you added the safety equipment required it wouldn't be all that difficult to get a plate for your golf cart. Most gated communities don't care if your golf cart is street legal or not. My house is located in and I use the county roads and I'm wouldn't want to Be caught with out a plate. Otherwise it could be considered and off-highway vehicle and who knows what they could do with your cart from that point. This is our family car and I often use it to go get groceries.

Depending on the quality of your batteries and the terrain and your payload they have about a 20 mile range
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Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-25-2015, 3:34 PM Reply   
That's actually pretty awesome. I had no idea, I thought they were just little fun cars people had to mess around with. I love how yours is turning out.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-25-2015, 3:52 PM Reply   
Here is the rack being Made
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Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-25-2015, 10:58 PM Reply   
http://www.speedhunters.com/2013/08/...eet-project-g/
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-26-2015, 8:34 PM Reply   
Ok well we got the roof rack finished
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-05-2015, 4:17 PM Reply   
So I got the roof back and had the rack powder coated. I installed a rack mounted LED bar.
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-05-2015, 4:19 PM Reply   
Then we got the roof re-installed
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-05-2015, 4:21 PM Reply   
The floor comes in next week and then I'm gonna get the seats done and a new steering wheel. I'm looking for a floor mounted High / Low beam switch I will use that to turn Ina bs off the LED light bar
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Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-05-2015, 5:40 PM Reply   
Grant, that is awesome. But you have too much time & money...!
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-05-2015, 6:58 PM Reply   
Its been a long road to get here. And I'm not rich by any means, if I was I would have some one do it for me, save myself the hassle of the learning curve. Same go's for all the other stuff that I decide to tackle. I want a cool cart but I don't have 20k to just go buy one, and seeing what's out there even if i had money to burn I still would wanna get in there.
Old    Eric Scott (phillywakeboarder)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-05-2015, 8:39 PM Reply   
Grant, I don't say this to many people (in fact, now that I think about it, I haven't said it to anyone), but would you like to have my boat for the summer? Ha! Great job man.
Old    Jordan Maxymek (Jmaxymek)      Join Date: Feb 2012       05-06-2015, 1:18 AM Reply   
That's the most badass light blue golf cart I've ever seen, and I don't just say that to anybody! Seriously that's an awesome build and I'm completely envious.
Old    Tom (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       05-06-2015, 10:04 AM Reply   
Holy crap, nice work. So when are you going to beef it up some more to handle pulling the boat....
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       05-06-2015, 10:53 AM Reply   
cool car! tons of floor switch options
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-06-2015, 1:05 PM Reply   
Nacho: what could u recommend
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       05-06-2015, 10:40 PM Reply   
Grant, what do you do for the 9-5 job? You have some amazing skills that seem to span a lot of technical trades.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-06-2015, 11:57 PM Reply   
Grant is a gigolo.
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-07-2015, 8:12 AM Reply   
Needs a red "kit car" light in the vents in the front..
Old    Red (Redheadd)      Join Date: Apr 2014       05-07-2015, 8:21 AM Reply   
Pimpin aint easy,but it's necessary,grant pimps lil cars like Tom chases jerry.
Old    Clubjoe (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       05-07-2015, 8:26 AM Reply   
Wow...
I'm impressed and creeped out at the same time!
Lotsa labor in that but it shows! How bout a train horn to announce your arrival?
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-07-2015, 8:35 AM Reply   
Not like I'm gonna change my wheels BUT I saw these the other day and thought of Daves Idea/suggestion. The blue is the wrong shade of blue, but if they were spot on I would swap them out
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-07-2015, 8:44 AM Reply   
BTW I have already been day dreaming about building a 2nd one. I wanted to do a AWD version. I could take the entire front end off a doaner car and graft it to the rear of the build car. That way the car would Have IRS as well as duel motors Kind of like a Tesla P-85 D. I have spoke to a guy that made one and he said the battery draw was pretty much the same as with a single motor and that supprised me. He used the car OFF grid in the mountains and charged it via solar so it needed to be AWD to make it up the steep gravel roads. The car came stock with a 3 Hp motor and it moved along pretty good. I wonder what 2" 9.5 hp motors and AWD would feel like when you launched!
Old    J Easy (JEasy37)      Join Date: Apr 2013       05-07-2015, 10:21 AM Reply   
G You need to do this as a side business. I want one! Is there a bigger motor alternative? Can you share some of the websites you got your upgrades from? This is so sweet! Keep the build pics posted, I love this man
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-07-2015, 11:45 AM Reply   
J:Easy their is a guy out of Arizona that has quite a business fixing up GEMs. His website is innovationmotostorts.com ( I'm not recommending him) just pointing you in a direction. His cars sell in the 20k range, most of the stuff I have seen him produce is Mostly cosmetic. Ha know paint and wheels. He seems to vear away or not have the demand for Performance stuff. But I do like some of the cars he has produced and he says he has done over 3 thousand of them. I can't verify that I'm just repeating what he told me???

Just like anything the Market drives demand. I have found that Gem cars sell for a few thousand more in LA , Arizona & Florida. Average price for a beat down gem is in the 3-4 k. Good ones with new bats are in the 6-7k range and then you have the cost of what ever mods? The real fixed up ones like mine people seem to hold on to. But it's pretty easy to find a stocker that needs work.

I wouldn't mind building them for people that don't mind spending $ and I have a few people that have expressed interest so I may be busy here.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2015, 2:50 PM Reply   
Look what showed up today
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2015, 3:32 PM Reply   
The floor showed up today
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2015, 3:33 PM Reply   
Floor;
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2015, 3:34 PM Reply   
Natural with Blue line
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Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-08-2015, 3:36 PM Reply   
It totally changed the look and feel of the car. It feels closer to boat now then car. With the blue it reminds me of the sky and the brown floor gives a earth tone/ feel
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Old    Trey (Treybiz)      Join Date: Nov 2014       05-08-2015, 4:00 PM Reply   
Always impressed with your stuff... Well done.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-08-2015, 4:18 PM Reply   
Can't wait to see the seats and what you end up doing to the steering wheel and pedals!

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