EV-1 Conversion

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.

Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby Matthijs » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:18 pm

From Craig Osterday, the designer of the EV1's brake system.

"The EV1 did have Hydraulic front brakes (standard hydraulic aluminum
calipers), but they were pressurized by a modified ABS6 actuator, which was
activated by the PFE (pedal force emulator). This provided hydraulic
pressure to the front calipers. It was still brake-by-wire, as there was no
direct hydraulic linkage between the pedal and the calipers. The ABS6 was a
motor - ball screw actuator which Delphi used to make, and was on many GM
vehicles. The rear brakes were all electric, using a motor/ball screw
actuation to expand the drum linings (the drum was a special
carbon/metallic/aluminum composite for weight savings. Hope this helps.

And it was a very high-tech car, and a blast to drive. (It even would lay
rubber). The weak link was the batteries. I drove it home when it was 25F,
and barely made the 20 mile drive before the batteries died. Thank goodness
it had REGEN braking to help the charge."


I found this info on a thread at the apteraforum.com: http://www.apteraforum.com/showthread.p ... 05&page=12

You can also contact the poster of the messages because she has contact with Craig Osterday.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby Matthijs » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:23 pm

Chelsea Sexton says this on the conversion at the apteraforum.com

There were about 40 of them that were gutted and donated to museums and universities (Smithsonian has the only intact donated EV1). Three universities: BYU, University of WI, Madison, and W. WA Univ (above) have all rebuilt theirs, but all as pure EVs so far.

Can't wait to see what happens with this one!


The others made theirs pure electric why not ditch the generator? :wink:
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby paultrafalgar » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:22 am

Welcome to the Sphere Jason, and thanks for the links.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby GCinDC » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:23 pm

TylerDurden wrote:
vanilla ice wrote:Make a mold of the body so we can make kitcar EV1's.

That is a great idea.

The New GeeEmm EeVee-Wun. :twisted:


Mold or model? If model, I'd be happy to volunteer... How could it be done? Special equipment?
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:35 pm

Chelsea - welcome, welcome. We'll try to do you proud with this project. I'm back to trolling for money again but things continue to move forward.

Thanks for those links Matthijs. I'm getting close to taking off the rear wheels and tracing the electrical lines going to those rear calipers. I'll try applying a set DC voltage from a power supply - should be interesting. Right now they spin freely.

Greg, I've read about people using 3D cameras or something like that to take a physical object and then get it into a CAD program. Never done it before though!

Probably time for a mini update, picture heavy as usual.

I spent the time waiting for the HV hardware to arrive by installing the capacitor modules into the battery tray. Here's the general schematic for laying them in.
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I installed the #1 module, and it fit in with minimal adjustment. The zip ties will hold it down and centered.
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Modules 2-5, which are arranged back-to-back laying on their sides, took a lot more work. These posts were about 3/16" too far in on each side:
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Drilling, hacksawing by hand, etc. allowed me to get them in. They're secured to one another with four bolts per pair.
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Here's modules 1,2,3,4,5, and 8 installed. 6 and 7 are the ones I assembled cell by cell, so I'll be building a plastic case for each of them before installing.
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Here are the contactor and the fuse (in a fuse holder). The contactor is a Kilovac EV200 series, operated with a 12 V coil. The fuse is Ferraz-Shamwut, 400 A, 500 VDC semiconductor type. They'll both go mid-pack, between modules 4 and 5. I'll have access to them through the hole behind the driver's seat.
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Here's the inverter, still in the box. It's got a monster connector receptacle (type 32-1), which uses two 1/0 connections. This is the main DC power input to the motor inverter. The smaller wires aren't used anymore.
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The connector plug needed those 1/0 cables to be soldered in, and since I only ordered one I had to do it myself. Here's the slideshow. I'll spare you the description for now.

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The outer cap is on it now. If I can finish wiring up the capacitors and remake my charging supply (220 VAC line, 220 V variac, bridge rectifier), I can get 300+ VDC to the inverter and light it up.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby fechter » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Wow!, now that's a connector! 8)

Wouldn't want to see that sucker short out (well, acually I probably would if it was on a video). :twisted:
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby lrdbyron96 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:42 pm

Hi I was wondering if you would reply w/the last 3 digits of the VIN, back in the 90's I was involved w/ EV1's and I'm wondering if I know the one you got there?

Thanks
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby aminorjourney » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:20 am

Wow!

It's good to see another classic EV getting rebuilt and put on the roads! I'm feeling guilty seeing how much work you're going to that my CityStromer EV isn't going to have her original controller when she's recomissioned in a few month's time. Sadly, 1980s wiring and circuit diagrams are so complex and tough to trouble-shoot (and we're not sure what goes were!) that we're going to use a contemporary controller.

Had you thought of using a detachable towing mechanism to do the hybrid bit?

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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:13 pm

Byron - the last three VIN digits are 524. I checked the entire VIN against another online database a couple of years ago, no hits however. Let me know if you find someone who used to own this one, they might like to know it isn't destroyed (yet).

Hi Nikki - well, if the generator set (and fuel tank) won't fit in the trunk, the trailer idea is the only other option. Sure hope it doesn't come to that though, I don't think it'll be easy rigging a trailer hitch to this car. Anyway, good luck with your CityStormer!
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby evchels » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:47 pm

The EV1 you have was actually a promo used by the EV Specialists in CA. Was never privately leased.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby lrdbyron96 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:26 pm

Hi again, I was hoping you had 100, at least now you know a little more about the history of that car you got there, seeing it taken apart brought back memories.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby swbluto » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:41 pm

Quite a recent spate of <10 post posters. Image
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:12 am

evchels wrote:The EV1 you have was actually a promo used by the EV Specialists in CA. Was never privately leased.


Interesting - low miles! Thanks for the intel. Also, if there's anyone you know who might be familiar with some of the stock systems who wouldn't mind getting a question or two as this thing gets pieced back together, just send me a note.

Job for now: making some plastic boxes for the last two cap modules... might have an update to post next week.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby liveforphysics » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:07 pm

Just making sure you're aware of this, but all those caps together combine to have 432watt-hrs if you charged them to 389v and discharged them all the way to 0 volts. I don't know at what point the voltage feeding the controller is too low to be useful, but I'm pretty certain of that 432whrs, you've got 250-300w-hrs that are usable...

My E-bike's normal around town pack uses 5 times this amount of energy storage, and seems inadequate.

You can easily put more energy storage into the pockets of your pants, and not need a belt to hold them up still by using LiPo.

The controller electronics has a current limit, so it doesn't make any performance difference if your pack can discharge at 300amps, or 3,000,000amps, and the same of course goes for the re-gen rates.

If you're expecting to be able to climb up hills longer than a few blocks, the caps are just going to be dead-weight, and you will be running off the power of the little gas engine alone, and the EV1 doesn't come with pedals. ;)
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby oatnet » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:26 pm

Hey, didn't E:S member "Jeff" do a complete restore/rebuild of one of those university-donated EV-1s?

I'd love to do one of these as a pure EV with the a123 prisimatics. Or at least one of Vanilla Ice's kit-cars.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:45 pm

Hi Luke - check the top of first post of this thread for the power scheme. The genset is sized for continuous power delivery with a liquid fuel, which beats the crap out of any battery from an energy density perspective (by weight or volume).

LiPo: 200 Wh/kg, 300 Wh/L
Ammonia (option A): 5167 Wh/kg, 3194 Wh/L
Biodiesel (option B): 11764 Wh/kg, 10353 Wh/L

The caps will always float between about 230-389 volts, which is within the controller's 200-400 V range. The car won't get far on them alone, but won't need to with the genset running.

In case anyone else missed it, the general idea is:
Caps --> sized for peak power (acceleration), 100 kW
Liquid fuel/generator --> sized for continuous power (cruise), 30 kW

The generator engine we're targeting now is 45 hp, two cylinder, 18:1 compression.

Hey, didn't E:S member "Jeff" do a complete restore/rebuild of one of those university-donated EV-1s?


Hey Oatnet - maybe, I'm not sure I know that Jeff, unless it's BYU's Jeff (Baxter). If it is, then he's already been a big help!
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:43 pm

Update time again - plenty going on in the garage during spring break.

It was revealed to me (earlier in the thread) that the EV-1 was designed with a unique braking system. Electric-hydraulic in the front, and electric only (brake by wire) in the rear. This would have been less of an issue if GM had not removed the Brake and Traction Control Module (BTCM) before donation. But, here we are. Looking around online showed that the rear brake was part of the 12 V (auxiliary battery) system, so we wanted to try and actuate them and see what happened. I worked with Eric from EVA/DC to inspect the rear brakes.

They turned out to be electric drum brakes. There were a couple of wire bundles leading from the rear of the backing plate, up into the trunk, and down to the driver's kick panel.

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Here's the plug that used to go into the BTCM, right next to the parking brake button:

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By testing for electrical continuity between the plug terminals, we were able to confirm which wires went to which rear wheel (driver's or passenger's).

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Putting 12 V across the proper leads engaged the parking brake.



A couple of notes about these brakes - they are an odd size, I think 226 mm. Definitely metric. The bolt circle for the wheel is also 5X100 mm. Finally, the drums themselves are aluminum, meaning that although the brake shoes contacted the drum's inner ~226 mm surface, they were very thick - measuring about 270 mm on the outer surface. This is very thick relative to cast iron drums. GM did all this (electric instead of pneumatic, aluminum instead of cast iron) to save about 4 kg on a 1400 kg car. Very dumb idea if you ask me (not worth it). At any rate, this means that the wheels, which have about 12" of free diameter inside the rims, could have fit a bigger drum and achieved better stopping power.

So, we were able to apply the parking brakes using 12 V on each side, and to lock the brake by putting 12 V momentarily across two other wire pairs also going to each hub connector. But, attempts to do gradual brake movement by applying a range of lower voltages didn't pan out. I therefore decided to order a couple of electric trailer drum brakes (with a controller) that are 10" in size. The trick was finding a drum (cast iron this time) that fit the small bolt pattern for the existing wheel. Searching some catalogs online, I found that the 1966 Plymouth Barracuda used front drum brakes that were 10" and had a bolt circle of 5x4", which is just about the same as 5x100 mm. Raybestos still makes the drums, thank goodness. Two are on the way - should be able to check things out by the end of the month.

In other news, the high voltage system is complete. I made PVC and pine housings for the two modules I assembled myself, and placed them into the tray. Everything was braced, secured, and tied down. This picture was taken before re-installing the rear tray cover, which is where I mounted the contactor and fuse. Note the office chair wheels bolted on the bottom so I can roll the tray around.

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Next was connecting them all in series using 4/0 cable and hammer-crimped lugs. I had to bend some of the lugs to fit them in. In the next image you can see the contactor and fuse mounted to the tray frame above the capacitors at the lower right.

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Here's the lug connector at the ultimate positive terminal. The one at the ultimate negative is the same kind. There are two set screw connections, as one line (1/0 in size) goes to the motor inverter/controller, and the other line (4/0) comes in from the generator's rectifier.

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I wanted to power up the caps in order to see if anything exploded. Here is the setup: (bottom right) digital voltmeter, running on 120 VAC input and measuring total capacitor voltage, (bottom left) capacitor leads (1/0) supported on a PVC plate. The clamps go to the (center left) rectifier, which has its output measured by the (center right) clamp multimeter. The rectifier is fed AC from the (top left) step-up transformer, which acts as a doubler. The transformer is fed by the (top center) 110 V variable transformer, with boost coils. It can put out 150 VAC at 100% from the 125 VAC line voltage from the wall outlet. Current-wise, it's the weak link in the system. I used the clamp-on meter to maintain a charging current of less than 10 A.

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When the variac was at 50%, the capacitors stopped charging and settled at 218 V. This is enough to light up the inverter/controller, when the time comes.

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At 85%, I got to 350 V. That was enough for me!

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For discharging, I used my trusty heater element. I had to pulse it on and off since the input voltage was over 230 V at first. In the future, I'll use a 480 V, 2000 W quartz heater tube (arrived today). I connected the element's leads to two PVC tubes with ring clamps to contact the capacitor leads. This kept me safe from becoming a path to ground. I opened the contactor to knock out the pack's voltage, touched the wires to the leads, then closed the contactor to start the drain. It took about 30 minutes to get down to a voltage safe enough to short the leads by hand.

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In preparation for spinning the wheels for the first time, I made up a control panel. It fits nicely into the place where the cupholders were! The regen brake will be hand actuated.

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Then I cleaned the dang place up!

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Tomorrow I'll wire all the switches, lamps, and buttons on the control panel to a terminal strip, and then that to the controller, etc. Motor spin-up is scheduled for March 26. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby paultrafalgar » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:16 am

It's really great to see all this progress JCG! Well done! :D
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby JCG » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:00 pm

Thanks Paul - also, I think that the drum brakes (and brake drums) just showed up... way ahead of schedule! Next week could be just as exciting.
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby GCinDC » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:12 am

JCG wrote:Motor spin-up is scheduled for March 26. Keep your fingers crossed.


Tickets on sale yet for this? Can I get a press pass? I'll bring vidcam... :D

I'll ping you on email for details.

Amazing work!!!
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby Mesuge » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:24 pm

JCG> Thanks for your diary, as you are working on the caps pack and it's not permanently mounted, would you pls. stand up to this great opportunity and consider meassuring some of the basic internal dimensions of the tunnel/chassis from within?

The idea previously discussed on this thread to eventually 3D scan this vehicle is not that far fetched..
You have to take into account that currently among mass produced vehicles only Daimler claims "the best" drag coeff. around 0.24(25), next is Prius etc. And as you may noticed even the Aptera has been recently botched by its new management in the aero department to the worse. So the EV1 aero shape (0.19) and the overall appealing arrangement: compact coupe, t-shaped battery pod in fact still represents the cutting age. Don't fool yourself, the mainstream OEM manufs. won't go there, they are in eternal love with their shitty 4000lbs boxes, and the madness continues as there are still some last efficiency% to be squeezed out of the ICE physical limits and put into more power and more weight..

Theoretically speaking, to have inspired reproduction in some kit form would be most feasible/desirable, obviously with few limitations (like hard to source extreme shaped windows etc.), but even with that it still could attack very low drag numbers.

There are many ways how to proceed, but just for the kick, look at this hard core '46 Tucker Torpedo project, basically they took the original small scale model from museum under 3D scan and imported that into CAD, which exports CNC files for frame (or foam) structure. For our consideration, in the next step a negative mold could be developed for the plastic body parts ala boat building etc.

http://www.robidaconcepts.com/torpedo.html
http://www.robidaconcepts.com/videos.html (first clip, rewind 5:00time)

In terms of the chassis this would have to be done in cooperation with some quality company (racing safety pedigree a plus) not a mom & pop outfit. One of the dream type solutions, would be to launch global net donation campaign, and from this budget hire someone as good as for instance the Factory Five Racing to help design and produce the kit (released as much opensource as possible for locally manuf. parts) with contempory advanced tooling, prolly the only real independent U.S. car company of today.

Speaking of the ultra efficiency, I think there has been Solectria Sunrise (0.17) revival project underway by Lee Hart et al, but the progress seemed rather slow, and they use heavy components like complete donor Ford subframes, not ideal..

And the drivetrain, ~100kW AC drivetrain could be sourced now from mix of opensource and general industrial production base.

PS a message to GM - after two decades Impact-EV1 has become world heritage stuff, so you can't crush it again in case people wanted a revival..
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby todayican2 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:20 pm

Just wondering out loud if there is a potential market for EV-1 "kit cars"...

Hmmm
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby todayican2 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:33 pm

Ok, Mesuge, its time to admit to the extreme serendepity of my previous post, I had "glanced" the earlier pages of the thread and decided to post about doing this as a kit, and the post just before mine was you making the same point.

I really should read the whole thread in the future lol.

fyi, the process of 3d modeling and 3d "large format mills" are becoming quite feasible at making full size reproductions of existing cars, there is a guy in Michigan I was talking to who said basically, "Give me a 3d model and I can feed 40 to 50 4'x 8' sheets of mdf through my mill and it will build the outer car body in "slices" and also drill dowel holes to assemble it"

Very cool!

For what its worth, chassis design in my opinion has an arc of difficulty. For a car traveling at 120 mph and turning hard, the newest tech and spot on numbers are a must, but (as evidenced by hundreds of Porsche 550 replicas on the road) you can do a lot with even a vw beam and transaxle with a mild steel frame.

Id bet I could build that rolling chassis (including molds) for 30k and have a rolling chassis for a replica that was 85 to 90% faithful to the original at least in outer dimensions.

16k or so for subsequent builds

another 10 for drive components and Voila, EV-1s :-)
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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby TylerDurden » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:16 pm

Have a Nice Day,

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Re: EV-1 Conversion

Postby Mesuge » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:08 am

Thanks for the Insight -full comments, in terms of chassis, I'm afraid that the basic bathub kind of kitcar (VW pan or tube skateboard for vintage Porsches), although the cheapest option won't ultimately do it on the market, this would be basically visual wannabe EV1, but effectively potential suicide roller kind of joke. I was thinking more in terms of super secure racing type of chassis as made by Factory Five Racing and other real deal kits who actually race (smash full speed into walls/other cars) can offer. There is much more market for such a platform, which has inbuilt crash protection and professional suspension and steering setup (for the tear drop shape) and what have you..

My way of thinking is that the approach with the highest potential for success in reasonable time, would be to raise funds, and then hire some of these top companies, who have got the know-how, CAD/CNC tooling, software sim tools, to develop such a chassis platform, that's what matters the most, the final body panel and drivetrain stuff is the 2nd - 3rd priority, which could be dealt with the diy - open source community in next steps. Without the quality roller in place similar project won't fly and I doubt its development could be in meanigfull fashion distributed around the globe.

Is this going to cost in agregate a lot of money, is this perhaps above our potential to organize (find enough people), yes, but again if you commission some of the industry leaders, the chances it will go into blackhole are minimal, at least you get in the end quality roller with EV1/Volt style t-shaped battery pod as secure and tested kit platform package for say ~$10k pricetag or less if released as opensource, and what you put above it (body) and inside it (drivetrain) can go into various different 3rd party projects with different levels of finish quality/performance specs and budgets.

So, it the end it could develop into a whole spectrum (3rd party circus) from top luxury version featuring exact matching cast alumium wheels, 3D scanned interior panels (+display console), carpeting, power windows and climate control. Or on the other end of spectrum just maintaining the very rudimentary general body shape replica with completely different simplified spartan interior/options and overall priorities put on low budget ultra efficient platform.

chassis at least along these general lines (secure frame cage & alu paneling):
http://image.kitcarmag.com/f/9418393+w7 ... a_13_z.jpg
http://image.mustangandfords.com/f/Must ... pecial.jpg

PS around 5k-10k individual donors chipping in small donations ($100-200) could make it, that's almost in the reach of some of the EV podcasts audience, reputable figures on the board (think Paul Allen, EVChels types), ext. advisors from the former Impact-EV1 programme, .. heh one could dream on..
Last edited by Mesuge on Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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