It's been a while since the last update, but a lot has been happening. I made decisions about most of the major components and have placed some orders. In fact, I have already received the motor - here is is:
As for the decisions .. for the motor I decided on the ADC FB1-4001A and I ordered this from Cloud Electric. It looks like they had the best price and I didn't see any horror stories about this company on anybody's car conversion site. Also, Bruce, Bill, and Brian used this same vendor for the Kart motor (D&D) and didn't have any complaints. So I ordered that and already received it as you can see from the photo above. I had little interaction with the folks at Cloud Electric and about all I can say is that the order was fulfilled promptly and without any problems. I asked that they have the shipper contact me so the motor could be unloaded at a loading dock at my office, and that went fine as well.
The other major piece that I ordered is the batteries. But before I get to that let me explain the build vs. buy decisions that I made. Originally we wanted to build as much of the electronics as possible. This definitely includes the controller and the BMS, the system controller/display, and also maybe the charger. As you may know from reading the other posts on this site, the motor controller we are working on is inspired by this "open source DIY controller". We have made a lot of progress and I will have another post to discuss that. For the BMS I have been experimenting with charging and discharging some small LiFePO4 hobby cells (1.5 Ah) along with a couple of different battery management chips from different chip vendors. So I think I know how to design the BMS and I really wanted to do my own. But based on how long it is taking me to make progress on the motor controller, I felt like I had to make the decision to buy a BMS just in the interest of getting something drivable in a reasonable amount of time. From that same logic then follows the decision to also buy the charger (although I don't think that there was really much possibility I was going to build that). I am still planning to build my own system controller/display computer but that is still a way off in the future so I will post about that later.
EDIT (2010-05-27): see this post about EV Components which is mentioned below.
Having made the above decisions I went ahead and placed an order for batteries from EV Components. I ordered 40 of the 160 Ah Thunder Sky cells (these) along with the eLithion battery management system and the Manzanita PFC 20 charger. Now, the people at EV Components seem like they are really busy. They have not provided a lot of communication about what is going on with the order, but they have responded quickly when I make inquiries by email. Also, I was able to talk to Dave by phone (and someone else - sorry don't remember) during the time when I was getting ready and placing my order and Dave was able to answer all my questions to my satisfaction. Anyway, when I first placed my order I think the intention was for delivery around end of March. In response to my last inquiry it now sounds like it will be mid-late April. This is fine with me since it is not holding anything up on this project. But the lesson I learn here is to make sure and place the battery order for delivery well in advance of the need date.
In case you are interested, here are the unboxing photos of the motor:
A couple of friends mentioned to me that they can't tell the motor scale from these pictures. So here is another one with a tape measure. Also note that in this picture it is hooked up for testing. More to come later on that topic.