Tag Archives: Dash Cam

Gazebo Gatherings Summer Concert Series Season Finale

Gear lubricant draining from differential

I’ve been trying to flush the differential fluid in my cars axle. It’s been more than six months since the car came off of the production line in 1976. I’ve been unable to do it without the proper tools to open the fill plug.

My Allen wrenches arrived today. I opened the drain plug and removed all of the differential fluid. After cleaning the plug, I tightened it back on and started pouring gear lubricant into the fill plugs hole. A quart was not enough. I put in an order for some more and filled the old bottle back up with the fluid that just came out.

Drain Plug5/16″ hex
Flow Plug3/8″ hex
Fluid75W-90, 1½ quarts
Gear Lubricant


* Check differential fluid level. Use 90 weight Hypoid gear oil. Fill to top. In cold weather lighter weight fluid may be used. It is not advisable to mix different weights. When changing types of oil, flush system. Use no lighter than 30 weight oil.

Section III – Maintenance, Sebring-Vanguard, CitiCar 1976 ½ Owners Manual, page 21-22

Teddy and I hopped into the car with a destination of Gertrude Miller Community Park. I positioned the dash cam so that it had both Teddy and myself in full view, as well as the dashboard. I heard something wearing a bit along the way. I wasn’t sure if it was the rear driver breaks, the motor, or something to do with the differential.

We spent some time at the park and then headed to Advance Auto Parts to pickup the gear lube. I brought the old bottle back with the 45 year old oil that came out of the car. They had me follow them into the back of the store and dump it into a large metal bin with a mesh over the opening. They wouldn’t take the container itself.

ICE parking at an EV charging station

With that, we headed over to the town square, only to find a large event with live music playing. It was the big summer season finale of the towns summer concert series. Vinyl Tracks was playing Beatles songs in the gazebo.

While looking for parking, I saw a big ICE truck parked at an EV Charging space. I got a little annoyed that this vehicle was ICEing an EV charging spot. Although the CitiCar that I was driving is an EV, I wouldn’t park there unless I was using the charger. No parking was available at the town square, so we went to another parking lot nearby and came back to enjoy the park.

Blue Ridge Arts Council Flyer for 2020 Summer Concert Finale featuring Vinyl Tracks
Social distancing at a concert

The concert was enjoyable to listen to as we walked through the park. Everyone was spread out and practicing social distancing. A few people wore masks. We walked past someone enjoying the music from their car.

Teddy and I went across the street to get some ice cream at C & C Frozen Treats. The little shop was packed with people due to the concert across the street. We didn’t bother going inside.

Ice Cream!!!

On the way home, I saw an ice cream truck in my community. I stopped the CitiCar on the side of the street and waved the truck down. I purchased an ice cream sandwich that looked like a big Oreo cookie. I got my ice cream after all!

Differential flow plug on a CitiCar

We arrived home at last. I checked the mileage, voltage, reset the kilowatt meter, and plugged in the battery chargers. The axle was a bit hot. I gave it some time to cool down. I came back and topped off the gear lubricant in the differential pan through the flow plug.


CitiCar trip to the park
Gertrude Miller3.2
Advance Auto Parts1.2
Town Square0.4
RatekWh9.85¢0.60 mph
Total2.30 kWh23.4¢14:30
Per Mile265 Wh2.7¢01:40

Other News

The motor bumper arrived today as well as a torque wrench.

I had made about 15% profit in my dividend portfolio that I started out late last year. I sold off everything I had invested in it, so that it only consists of profit now. I’m investing the majority of the money into my other portfolio consisting of disruptive tech and a couple EV companies that I follow almost daily.

Things Mentioned

Mobil1 Synthetic Gear Lubricant LS 75W-90, 1 Quart
REXBETI Hex Key Allen Wrench Set, SAE Metric Star Long Arm Ball End Hex Key Set Tools, Industrial Grade Allen Wrench Set, S2 Steel
TEKTON 3/8 Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft.-lb.) | 24330
Blue Ridge Arts Council (BRAC)
Vinyl Tracks
Klondike OREO® Sandwich
Club Car Electric GE Motor Bumper (Fits 1982-Up)
AUKEY Mini Dash Cam 1080p Full HD Dash Camera with 1.5” LCD Screen Car Camera with 170° Wide-Angle Lens, G-Sensor, WDR, Motion Detection, and Clear Night Recording


Motor Performance Test

I heard back from D&D Motor Systems this morning. It seems the motor is a stock motor – no temperature or speed sensing. I’ll need to figure out what to do in regards to the speedometer.

One of the other CitiCar owners I’ve been speaking with mentioned he was considering using a speedometer based on GPS. My concerns with GPS is in situations that you are unable to receive a signal. I want to know my speed immediately, in real time, with accuracy, regardless of where I am. I’m lacking in the accuracy department at the moment where my speedometer seems to think I’m going 4 miles faster than I really am. Perhaps I need to inflate my tires.

Along with a few answers to my questions, D&D Motor Systems also sent along a performance report of the motor.

Engineering Performance Test for ES-40D-56

The stock motor that came with the car has the following information on its plate:

Ratings Plate on a stock 6HP CitiCar Motor
Time RatingINT
MOD5BC 49 JB 327 C
Serial NoAMN
CitiCar specifications on a 6HP motor

I’m not clear on how to compare motors. At first, I thought it was simply comparing which motor had the most horsepower. However, HP is variant based on the load. Voltage is similar. RPM’s… Let’s just say there is so much involved when comparing motors. I had to start reaching out for something to compare.

ComparisonStockD&D Motor
RPM40001444 – 5020
Amps12552.5 – 583.5
Horsepower6in: 3.34 – 30.70
out: 1.90 – 19.24

I feel a bit confused. The motor is both better and worse… I’m certain I’m comparing apples to oranges here since I don’t have a similar table for the stock motor. I’ve heard from another CitiCar owner that the amps can shoot up pretty high on the stock motor while going up a hill. This brings me to wonder, how did General Electric know what to stamp into the motor plate?

As stated in the owners manual, the CitiCar has a 250 amp fuse on the motor.

The same is true driving up long, steep hills. By driving in first speed, and sometimes second speed, under these conditions, you are likely to blow the Citicar’s 250-amp fuse located in the controller box behind the seat.

CitiCar 1976 ½ Owners Manual, Sebring-Vanguard, 1976, page 19

The Mother Earth News article about the CitiCar in Israel had also mentioned the range of amps with the stock motor.

Although initial current draws can reach 500 amps, the average pull at cruising is around 100 amperes.

Israel’s Solar Powered Car, The Mother Earth News, September/October 1980, page 120

Even at that rate, it appears that the new motor will have cruising speeds at 50 amps; half of what the CitiCar can do.

I plugged the performance numbers for the ES-40D-56 motor into an excel spreadsheet and started making some graphs. I like visuals, and I thought it may reveal a pattern and help to compare against with the stock motor that came with the CitiCar.

I saw lots of compounding curves. I wasn’t sure if I was onto something, but I started out comparing RPMs. At 4000 RPM, I assumed the CitiCar motor would use 125 amps and deliver 6 Horsepower – the ratings on its motor plate.

I tried to make a few formulas in the spreadsheet. At 4000 RPM, the new motor would be using around 75 Amps and 4.7 HP. If that’s the case, it’s got a much higher efficiency at only half the amps with less HP to maintain that load/speed. Unfortunately, I’m thinking in a linear scale, so at 4000 RPM’s, it would be just a bit higher for HP and amps – but not by much.

I’m learning about electric motors, and slowly grasping at how to compare them. I believe it will be an improvement. If my calculations are correct, this means that the motor can go further on the same amount of energy.

Coupling the improvement in the motors efficiency with an actual motor controller will further extend the range. I also purchased two more batteries last week to double the range and lessen the load on each of the Chevy Volt batteries.

Other News

In other news, the garage has been cleaned to a point that it is actually organized. Shelving units for indoor gardening have been broken down and moved back into the garage. I have a whole shelving unit dedicated to CitiCar parts. I even have my screw drivers all in one place. Usually I’m having trouble just finding one screwdriver – but now I’m having trouble fitting them all into one container.

Holding CitiCar motor in place

After a great deal of effort, the stock motor is back on the car. The thing is very heavy and difficult to move around while you are laying on the floor.

Battery terminal with nut

A battery nut arrived in the mail, but again – it’s too small. I decided to order nuts that are 7/16 in size, as well as in metric for M8 and M10. I feel like one of those has got to work.

I started on replacing the differential fluid over the weekend, but I got stuck trying to remove the breather cap – which you shouldn’t do. After watching a few videos, I found the filter and drain plugs. I had three #8 Allen wrenches to remove the drain plug, but I had to order a #10 for the filter plug.

I purchased an old General Electric Motor Bumper for a club car to put inside the armature after I saw a video of someone mentioning not to forget to transfer the bumper into your new motor. It’s supposed to help make the motor a little quieter. Maybe… we shall see. I like the wine the motor makes. I just didn’t see it inside my motor and would like to try it out.

I also started playing with an Aukey DRA5 dash cam.


D&D Motor Systems ES-40D-56
25 Qty 7/16-14 Zinc Plated Serrated Flange Hex Lock Nuts (BCP272)7/16″ > 3/8″
Flange Nuts Hex Lock Self-Locking Metric Thread Serrated Nut 304 Stainless Steel Assortment Kit 125Pcs,M3 M4 M5 M6 M8 M10 M12Metric #8, #10 > 3/8″
Pico 0852PT 3/8″ Stainless Steel Battery Hold Down Stud Nut 2 per PackageToo small
EKLIND 14620 10 MM Long Series Hex-L Key allen wrenchFilter Plug
Chevy Volt BMS w/Bluetooth for 48v 12 cell battery w/cell balance & charger contgoes with batteries
NEW Lithium Ion Chevy Volt 48vdc 2kwh 50ah battery Golf Cart Off Grid Solar EVmore range, shares the load
Club Car Electric GE Motor Bumper (Fits 1982-Up)Curious on quiet noise
AUKEY Mini Dash Cam 1080p Full HD Dash Camera with 1.5” LCD Screen Car Camera with 170° Wide-Angle Lens, G-Sensor, WDR, Motion Detection, and Clear Night RecordingFor fun…
Stuff I’ve purchased / ordered


A few packages arrived over the weekend for modernizing the CitiCar. The majority of items that arrived support the 12 volt accessory power supply using the batteries that drive the motor, instead of a separate battery.

Fuse Block

The majority of fuse blocks look the same to me. It all comes down to choosing between having a standard number of six fuses or twelve. The car has seven fuses, so I went with the larger size.

Some of the features I like are that the LED’s will turn on to indicate that a fuse has blown. Another thing I like is that the negative terminals are all at the top. It came with a variety of 24 blade fuses, stickers, and a cover.

12-Way Fuse Block With ground, 12 Circuit ATC/ATO Fuse Box Holder with negative bus, Protection Cover & LED Light Indication, Bolt Terminals, 70 pcs Stick Label, For Auto Marine, Boat,With 24 pcs Fuse

Voltage Reducer

I previously purchased a Buck Transformer that could supply up to 5 amps at 12 volts. It worked, but the amps were lacking in what I needed.

I found a DC-to-DC power converter that could step voltage down anywhere from 48 to 120 volts, and bring it down to 12 volts. The output current is rated at 30 amps.

Besides the amps, I like the ability to disconnect the power easily with the connectors that the provided, and the added feature of having a key switch turning it on so that it doesn’t drain the battery while the car is not being used.

Pro Chaser DC-DC 120V 108V 96V 84V 72V 60V 48V Volt Voltage to 12V Step Down Voltage Reducer Regulator 180W 15A for Scooters & Bicycles Golf cart (30A 360W)

Power Switch

I wasn’t too happy when I saw sparks in my previous experiment with converting a high voltage to 12v using the buck converter. In turn, I found this power switch that I can press to toggle it on and off.

I’m going to see if I can run two different voltages through it if the LED terminals are separate from the switch terminals. I’ll wire up the LED directly to the Buck 12v output, and let the switch terminals control the 48v feeding it.

I picked out this switch because it came with a wired harness that could be disconnected easily, and the LED lights up. From what I saw, the LED and the switch could be wired up in multiple ways.

Quentacy 19mm 3/4″ Metal Latching Pushbutton Switch 12V Power Symbol LED 1NO1NC SPDT ON/OFF Black Waterproof Toggle Switch with Wire Socket Plug (Blue)

Portable EVSE

I’m setting up the vehicle so that it can recharge and public charging stations that support J1772. This EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) takes power from a 120 and 240 volt wall outlet and provides a Level 1/2 power supply to my vehicles onboard charger.

At 240v and 16 amps, I could charge up to 3.84 kW. Using just 120v over 16 amps would be 1.92 kW. My current battery setup takes 12 hours to supply 3 kW. However – they are lead acid. With the new Chevy Volt batteries, I’ll be able to charge much faster, and have a demand for more watts to be supplied.

Being portable, I can put this in the back of the car and charge up at a friends house or a friendly business willing to let me have a few kilowatts.

I got this specific kit because it came with a case, supported 120 & 240 volts, had an adapter to work with both NEMA 5-15 and 6-20, hook to hold the cables, and a holster to hold the end of the plug when not in use.

Megear Level 1-2 EV Charger(100-240V,16A) Portable EVSE Home Electric Vehicle Charging Station Compatible with Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Fiat, Ford Fusion (NEMA6-20 with Adapter for NEMA5-15)

Dash Cam

This one is a bit of an experiment. I’ve been interested in dash cams for a few years with all of the odd things I see on the road, but never jumped into actually getting one.

This camera was fairly cheap and I figured I’d try it out as a learning exercise. I don’t expect much from it, but for using it with the CitiCar, I think it might be perfect. If anything, I’ll have a few videos to post on YouTube.

Besides the cheap price, it seems to have gotten good reviews on YouTube and the quality appears to be reasonable.

AUKEY Mini Dash Cam 1080p Full HD Dash Camera with 1.5” LCD Screen Car Camera with 170° Wide-Angle Lens, G-Sensor, WDR, Motion Detection, and Clear Night Recording