I just joined after searching LifePO4 Conversion for a Gem. I own a 2002 Gem eL Longbed pick up, I added the Gem “Stakeside Kit” which really dressed it up (Dressed down my wallet, at the same time)
I already have added one post on converting the gem to ALL LED lighting, well worth reading, as well as making the high mounted running lights on the back of the seat, stop/turn, this is a must safety upgrade, these are already set up for this, GEM just did not wire them !
I bought my Gem when it was about 4 years old from the USG. They bought a fleet of 13 RED eL Longbeds in 2002, for trial testing. It was a failure, because the Govt employee’s would never plug them in ! They then blamed the car, as such they were always running off the bottom of the batteries, a big no-no with lead acid !
The govt (REALLY) started buying K-Mart Rv/Marine Group 27’s, another huge mistake, and was replacing batteries hourly, the cost too high, they abandoned the 13 Gems in a high plains desert, 40 below winter, 100 summer where they sat for 3 years.
I had my eye on them, knowing really nothing about them at the time.
I heard they were up for sale, BUT the bidding closed when I heard about it, and the “HIGH” bid was $35./vehicle, they were being sold as one lot, the govt rejected the bids, this was about the time I heard they were up for sale, in talking to them, I was told a bid of $1,300. would buy them all , FOLKS that’s only 100 EACH !
Hindsight is 20/20, and I was a fool, instead I talked them out of one for a couple of hundred bucks, AND got the pick of the litter !
We of course love our GEM as anyone who owns one will tell you. GEM was a great company to deal with, till bought out. ANYONE who owns one will tell you, you could call GEM and get UNLIMITED free online tech and parts support, this is no more.
I acquired and installed the “RECALL KIT” of which it is a big secret of the GEM world as 9.9 of all GEM cars on the road, HAVE NEVER had this recall done !
It is a VERY large box of parts, including a new fully potted DC-DC Converter, wiring harness, new fender liners, new motor covers, new rubber battery and under the dashboard flaps, plus much more, and a very thick instruction book to install it all.
It is very difficult to install, and takes some concentration to figure it all out
Most of it is waterproofing, and to prevent road spray, as well the old DC-DC Converter was trouble prone, low efficiency and susceptible to water entry/damage.
As well I acquired a the set of hard bound GEM parts and service manuals, intended only for dealers. Most don’t know these exist.
3 years ago we moved from a VERY small town (USA) to a very large city in Mexico, our GEM has been in storage all this time. In the small town it was only 3-4 miles one way to all shopping, dinning and errands, HERE it would be 10 miles one way and we are worried about range.
So I would like to do the LifePO4 conversion, and this is why I joined, I see one member has a post of the details, I would like the 180-200AH cells, but am confused by the 25 ?? (One bundle of 5, 4 bundles of 4 cells ain’t 25 ??? as well another company has 10 36.4 volt cells they are about 2/3 the size , but the exact same shape of the old lead acid, no one talks about these ? They offer 5kw of energy as opposed to the lead acid at 1.2 kw typ.
We would like to convert and bring to our home here, anyone offering help on conversion or group battery buying ? Thanks