Electric-Powered VW Bus Photobooth

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Portland, OR-based photographer Soren Coughlin-Glaser runs a mobile photobooth out of his bright orange VW-EV bus. Cool stuff, but even cooler is that he re-built the e-bus mostly himself using 24 6V golf cart batteries.

Soren's blog doesn't provide full-on step-by-steps, but there are schematics, as well as lessons learned with regard to blown connections and brake woes.

Sadly, all those set backs pale in comparison to this full-on meltdown:

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After the jump, find out what happened and check out some close-up pics...Says Soren:

I am sad and embarrassed to admit it but my shoddy wiring job on the bus led to a fire in the rear battery box. I was playing with the cables connecting two batteries and left one cable too long and forgot I had done that, it must have gotten pressed against another battery terminal under my box lid and the vibrations of driving caused the cable insulation to break causing a short...

I had some foam in the back that was a spacer and when I shorted [the wire] it caught the foam on fire. Not a great place for foam...

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...Yes I replaced the batteries and got rid of the foam and it runs again.

Actually I just stripped a coupling between the motor and transmission so I am having another built so it is out of action for a week or so.

You can't just bring these to a shop, you pretty much have to maintain them yourself. Some things can be bought online and are east to replace, but something are better off custom built by a machine shop, which is where I'm at this week. Just another VW bus adventure.

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On the road again

All photos by Soren Coughlin-Glaser

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