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Flooded Salvage Attempt: Another How-To

Discussion in 'Model S' started by satoshi, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    #1 satoshi, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    Hi TMC!

    I'm new here, so let me first introduce myself and my technical background.

    I'm an electrical engineering student and my part-time job involves the design of power electronics at a plasma physics research group.

    While I am young, I have significant experience designing, troubleshooting, and fixing high-power electronics such as that found in a model S Tesla.

    To be explicit, the current project I am finishing up is the control & safety hardware that operates an 80kV 3-phase power supply.

    Soon, I will be expected to do a complete re-haul of the power systems that operate the experimental fusion reactor in the basement.

    Which will make that previous project look like child's play... oh boy, I'm excited for that, and on the side though I'd like to attempt a flooded tesla salvage.

    On the topic of salvages, in a different thread I noticed this:

    These are challenges I am eager to attempt using the variety of programming skills I have developed in my time at the research department.

    One such example is Hardware Design Language... with an $80 FPGA card and A LOT of reverse engineering (read: time), I could take a salt-water damaged card and re-implement it in it's entirety on new PCB. Provided it is mostly digital logic... if things get analogue it may get more expensive/complicated, although I can certainly ask for assistance from a professor who specializes in analogue logic if I get stuck. I have a university of enthusiastic professors at my disposal, I might as well use it.

    Another example is Real-Time programming, which is a course I recently took receiving an A. Real-time processing is particularly relevant to the auto-pilot functions of the model S and most likely many other system critical parts of the car.

    Damaged battery pack? Open it up, find the broken cells, and replace them... although I have to be careful to re-seal the pack appropriately afterwards.

    For mechanical problems, my father is an experienced (30+ years) diesel engine mechanic. He was in the air force fixing planes, then when he came back fixed semis. My family has not paid a dime to car-mechanics except for parts for the entirety of our existence. I have not paid for service from a mechanic for the entirety of my car ownership, and I don't intend to start. Similarly, he has an auto-shops worth of tools available to me.

    As you can imagine though, I don't have a whole lot of money lying around because college is expensive! At the moment I have about $5k I can invest in this project, but most flooded salvages go for about $10-$15k.

    The neat thing about flooded salvages is their biggest problems lie in fried electronics, and not in the body. If you are curious as to why, I can explain how the chemical properties of the frame actually prevents this from being a problem.

    Basically, a flooded tesla is perfect for me to salvage because it removes all the mechanical engineering and all I have to fix is things in my kind of engineering... electrical engineering. That said I welcome any and all mechanical engineering challenges the car may throw my way.

    So I'd like to ask if the community would be interested in providing some financial aid.

    In exchange, obviously, I would carefully document every single step needed to get the car functioning. Much like Btr_ftw's thread. If anything, I'd actually make a separate blog so it's easier to read.

    Once the car is functioning, (I'm a cocky bastard, I know), I'd then have a Tesla to start hacking and figuring out how to program keys, run diagnostics, and so much more.

    Please post a reply with your thoughts. It is absolutely understandable if you are hesitant to trust me with any amount of your money, and if you have questions to help alleviate this concern, please feel free to ask. I am a very understanding person so I take no offense to even the most probing of questions.

    Alternatively, if you're ready to make a donation please turn to this GoFundMe page I setup: https://www.gofundme.com/floodster

    ---

    Why do I want to do this?

    I'm frankly disturbed by Tesla's decision to try and create a monopoly on their parts and service. Tesla's code of ethics is otherwise amazing, but this is a step in the wrong direction. Tesla doesn't want to listen, so giving the community the information it needs to fight back is my goal.

    While I am disturbed with Tesla's current decision, I do actually want to work for them in the future. Gaining an intricate understanding of a Tesla vehicle that a project like this requires would make me a very promising candidate. It could also serve as a double-edged sword, and completely blacklist me from job applications. I am willing to accept that risk.

    Another thing:

    If I get the car working, and then while hacking the car find a bug that earns a bounty. I would use the funds to refund those who gave the initial financial assistance.

    Please and thank you for your time!

    Satoshi
     
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  2. ElectricTundra

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    For Tesla's survival and for the promotion of EV's the stance Tesla are taking is critical and is the correct way to move forward for the time being.

    First, Tesla cannot afford the costs or distraction of supporting a hobbyist environment. They have to draw the line somewhere. They need to continue to focus on producing high quality cars, on getting the X up and running, the 3 out the door, and the gigafactory producing. At this very early stage in viable EV's and Tesla they need to control their world.

    Second, EV's have a long steep hill to climb with the general public. A bunch of frankentesla's with a variety of problems will make the hill much longer and steeper.

    There's a lot more to Tesla and the world around us than engineering. I do wish you luck with your project. Perhaps you can appeal to your professors for funding as a uni project?
     
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  3. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    #3 satoshi, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    I will be doing so, just it's Saturday so they're not in the office right now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I do not support hobbyist activities, such as the stretchla, either. I am in agreement that EV brand control is of critical importance.

    However, I also think that limiting parts/service this much can be just as detrimental as allowing complete freedom of the matter.

    Furthermore, allowing people to operate on their own cars would enable the general population to become more understanding of how EVs work, and make them more versed in safe practices around EVs.

    I would place particular emphasis on teaching electrical safety as the blog went on. Why particular components are of significant importance, and what implications improper repair may have on the function/safety of the car.
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    The Strechla was awesome.
     
  5. Redmiata98

    Redmiata98 Member

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    Second, EV's have a long steep hill to climb with the general public. A bunch of frankentesla's with a variety of problems will make the hill much longer and steeper.


    I agree, they have enough on the plate now that needs to be fixed, they do not need any more variables, I'm diging out my torch and pitchfork now to hunt down frankentesla.
     
  6. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    If I somehow manage to obtain a flooded Tesla with only $5k, I'm definitely naming the project "Frankentesla" it really is quite clever :).
     
  7. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    You don't believe that people should be able to do what they want with their own stuff?



    Cars like the Stretchla do absolutely nothing to hurt the EV brand. Everyone that looks at that project would know it's a home-brew. If anything, the Stretchla gets eyes on EV vehicles that otherwise never would have been.



    While I agree with this, PR is Tesla's problem. If people want to fix salvage cars and they can do so, more power to them. That said, Tesla has made every effort to make this as hard as possible. I don't necessarily blame them for that for the same reasons you mention.
     
  8. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    #8 satoshi, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    I think the project was quite impressive for what was accomplished, but most of my concerns are surrounding the safety of the vehicle. One particular thought that comes to mind is the lack of head-on or rear-end collision protection via a crumple zone. The vehicle uses a body that pretty much lacks any crumple zone whatsoever unless you're sitting in the dead-center of the vehicle.

    I am absolutely for the right to repair, but am less supportive of custom cars of this nature.
    Politics are complicated, and are not my field of expertise. I will say though, that the Stretchla is already kind of the stereotype one might conjure in their mind of an EV vehicle, and they might also think of the 1960's while doing so. We need to push the brand towards a modern, refined, and approachable look that is appealing toward the majority of the population. The Stretchla, while certainly, again, a very cool project car does not serve this purpose well unfortunately.

    Well, no, PR should be the collective responsibility of a community of people. I want to contribute by making EVs more intellectually accessible to the general population. Some people might be intimidated by not understanding what is happening in their car, and I hope to bridge that gap for those that take the time to read/watch the blog entries.

    Essentially, I want to try and establish what responsible, safe, and economical repairman-ship looks like. Not all repairs should require the expertise of Tesla's authorized service centers. Furthermore, I would think this would help Tesla expand the effectiveness of its repair shops for when they go mainstream via the model 3. As a person who lives in a state with no Tesla service center, I most certainly can't afford a tow to another state every time my car breaks down.
     
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  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I hate how every time anyone dares say that they plan to fix a damaged vehicle, we get a chorus of people not only saying that it can't be done, but that it should never be allowed.

    If you don't want anyone to ever repair something they own, or ever actually own anything at all, that's fine, but stop getting in everyone's way when they start these threads, get your own thread to preach that nobody should have any control over anything they own, and leave the tinkering threads for the people who actually want to tinker.

    Nothing is accomplished by jumping all over these threads telling people to stop.
     
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  10. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    The other big issue, if Tesla continues this anti-salvage stance it will most definitely make it's cars almost impossible to insure, and thus really damage the resale value.

    That's even more harmful to the mission!
     
  11. ElectricTundra

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    In the long term I agree. At some point in the next year or three they'll need to start loosening up but I think up until now and for the near future they're mostly doing exactly what they should. It will likely be with the 3 that they'll need to focus more on that. BTW, McLaren is no better to deal with than Tesla.
     
  12. pmadflyer

    pmadflyer Member

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    unrelated, kinda, but does Tesla use the most energy dense cells available in the 90 kWh pack? If not, I would love to see someone replace all the cells with the most energy dense 18650 cells available and make a 100+ kWh Model S. I think it would be cool, and since the rest of a flood car is going to be replaced anyway, why not? Just a fun thought.
     
  13. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    I don't think that is possible/practical. There are 7,104 individual cells and they are welded and "glued" into the modules. (Then of course there is the software issue of how would you let the BMS know that the cells are different.)

    When WK took one module apart he ended up damaging at least one cell that then overheated and caught fire...
     
  14. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    #14 satoshi, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    Note to self: Place battery in the middle of concrete driveway, and if fire while servicing RUN!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    If the funding is there, it's certainly worth attempting. Re-programming the BMS probably would be the least of my concerns... I'd be much more concerned about making sure the cells are installed correctly and safely.
     
  15. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    I think the BMS will adjust to the greater capacity. It's constantly calculating the Amp Hours (CAC), which normally slowly drops, but there's no reason it can't rise!

    The BMS will adjust the calc'd SOC by watching open-circuit voltage periodically (and it sets an info code when it does this). On several of my revived cars where the pack was powered down for a really long time before I got to it, the first few use cycles had a lot of SOC Recal events, then it stabilized.

    The only problem would be if you used cells with a different voltage profile.
     
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  16. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    I disagree, I think they need to loosen up now. Creating this giant rift between "the investors" and "the tinkerers" is not going to do Tesla any favors for mass-market incorporation. Creating an internal conflict in your support base like this puts the viability of the product in a very vulnerable position. You need to welcome people of all economic and technical backgrounds in order to really solidify your hold in the industry. Tesla is 60% of the way there, and the decision to close off a whole market segment is only going to slow them down on getting that last 40%.

    The community supporting Tesla needs to be a collective whole of various backgrounds, not just people who have money. Waiting too long to incorporate the technically skilled, but financially restricted segment is a surefire way to make it more difficult for the non-technically skilled AND financially restricted segment to feel comfortable when the M3 comes around.
     
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  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    So you've decided that YOUR activity is okay, but you've decided Otmar's Stretchla is not. -smh-

    @Otmar has been an asset to the EV community for a very long time.

    Did you decide it was time for them to "loosen up" right about the time you acquired a salvage vehicle?
     
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  18. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    Bonnie, if you read the original post your question was already answered:

    It has been, from the beginning, a protest against this monopoly. Pointing out the blatant violation of anti-trust laws.

    This post is dated February 6, 2016. I acquired the salvage vehicle March 23rd, 2016. The acquisition of the salvage vehicle can not travel nearly 2 months backward in time to have influenced my opinion.

    Originally, I thought Tesla had an amazing code of ethics with this parts-ban being the one exception, but Tesla's unethical practices in handling the P100D situation have completely proven this wrong.

    ---

    Re: Otmar

    If Otmar conducts a crash analysis of his proposed design in relevant engineering software, I will have no complaints.

    That's a significant and noteworthy distinction between "my activity" and "Otmar's activity" at this point in time.
     
  19. tom66

    tom66 Member

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    And you are saying your bond-glue'd Tesla will be better than his Stretchla?

    So much doublethink.
     
  20. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    Think of it this way:

    If Otmar does a crash analysis in relevant engineering software, it makes it much more difficult for Tesla and others to claim "Consumer Ignorance on Safety" as their argument for a parts ban.

    I don't care who Otmar is or what he's accomplished, I'm purely focused on pointing out the fact Tesla is covering up their illegal parts & service monopoly with a lie that if the right lawyer got involved could slap them with an anti-trust lawsuit.
     

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