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Old 12-03-2018, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default IMA pack fan issues

I guess I'm in good and deep now...

I read a Craigslist ad around Thanksgiving for a 2001 MT Insight with IMA problems in Boulder. Purchased it the day after Thanksgiving, should be a good car for daughter #2. It's never been grid charged so my first order of business was to order up a harness from Hybrid Automotive.

Got that installed Saturday evening and started grid charging. Finished first grid charge last night (24 hours, 4 hours steady at 176 volts) and started discharging. That finished up this morning, so I hooked up the grid charger again. Flipped the switch on the H/A "saucer" charger and the IMA pack fan was not spinning! It looks like it tries to spin, rotates 1/16 turn or so then back to starting position and repeat. I tried flicking it in correct direction, it'll spin for a second then stop and repeat previous symptom. I unplugged the charger, checked all connections, turned on and off a few times, tried turning off pack then turning on charger all with no success.

This is EXACTLY the same behavior my yellow 2002 exhibited when I first got it. First grid charge/discharge works correctly, then second application of charger the IMA pack fan fails!

So just how common is it that the pack fans fail? I am thinking that both cars had pack failures when I got them, so it's possible that the fans were the root cause. It just seems strange that they would work correctly for the first grid charge and then die. I suppose that if the fan was already wonky, running it 24 hours straight might finish it off...

Meanwhile, I'm looking for a fan.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Seems like just a fan failure to me. They do fail. You have probably just had a bad streak. I think that if you google search (top left) you will find some threads on the subject.

I'm sure there are folks with used fans around, so just put a WTB in the buy/sell section. You might check the new price just for reference.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My wife's 2005 fan failed about a year ago. I didn't catch it for some time, and I attribute the pack's failure to it.

There's a thread about higher volume replacement fans that can be installed with only minor modification (grinding off the flange and splicing wires)
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for replies.

I did find a higher volume fan that I installed in the yellow car.

I just ordered another higher volume fan (Delta AFB1212VHE-F00) on E bay. I actually bought two, for $16 I can afford to have one sitting on the shelf and eliminate the week long shipping wait next time I need one. One of Murphy's Law Corollarys says I will never have another one fail if I'm prepared!

I guess it makes sense that these may start failing more often as the cars are aging.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If I was you, I would install an indicator light showing when the fan is on. I have one installed in the LRR, plus the IMA C&C gauge shows when the fan is on also.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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An indicator light is a great idea - It's on my to-do list.
Is there a way to tell if the fan is actually working whilst driving?
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe put a microphone next to the air intake?
The std. fan is pretty quiet. With a good high CFM replacement fan you can hear it running.
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MaxIMA Battery (Serial #2), on 8/25/12 @ 301,000 miles
Another MaxIMA Battery, on 6/25/17 @ 399,252 miles
Use: 438,000 mi. @ 58.2 LMPG.



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Old 12-03-2018, 10:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin-B View Post
An indicator light is a great idea - It's on my to-do list.
Is there a way to tell if the fan is actually working whilst driving?
Buy a fan with a tachometer lead (most fans with three wires coming out of them have this built in)... hook tachometer lead up to microcontroller (e.g. Arduino Uno) and have it turn on an LED whenever the number of pulses per minute exceeds n.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudder View Post
Buy a fan with a tachometer lead (most fans with three wires coming out of them have this built in)... hook tachometer lead up to microcontroller (e.g. Arduino Uno) and have it turn on an LED whenever the number of pulses per minute exceeds n.
I was thinking about making a hinged sail or flap which operates a switch when the fan blows against it. Might give a false indication during acceleration and braking though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'll send you an Arduino Uno for $3 (postage) if you want to learn how to program it... absolutely not hard and a fun way to challenge your brain. I have a few hundred of them .
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