BYD Atto3 install automatic front window wiper installation with rain sensor

After over six months of driving my Atto3, I still have 2 “residual” issues that  bother me.  (2023-05-12)

1) The climate control.

It is still not as I would like it to be. The temperature in the car still varies, despite a fixed temperature setting. But it thankfully no longer varies as much as it did when the car was delivered. I always have the car set at 19 degrees Celsius, and the interior temperature varies between 16 and 22 degrees with that. Interestingly, when driving at longer constant speeds, the temperature does stabilize after about 5 minutes at the set temperature. But when I leave the highway or get in a traffic jam, the temperature rises immediately and then it takes about 3 minutes before the temperature returns to the set temperature. If I then drive faster again for a few minutes or more, it gets about 3 degrees colder than the set temperature and only then does the temperature stabilize back to the set value.

After I figured out this “behavior” of the heat pump system, I never adjust the temperature again and learn to live with the increases and decreases because the temperature will eventually be readjusted. But the way this works is very annoying. It has been filed as a complaint with BYD Amsterdam, also because of the constant fogging on the inside of the car’s windows after parking at outside temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius.

2. The lack of an automatic rain sensitive wiper controller.

Due to the lack of automatic wiper control, I am going to fix this myself. So far I have done that with my cars on which no sensor or control of the rain sensitive automatic wiper control was installed off-factory.

Previously I used the rain tracker RT-50A kit from Hydreon/Sonic for this purpose and since it is no longer available I use similar systems that are available in the market.


29-07-2010 Pont de Normandie, France with the Rain Sensor sticker. The installation is neatly concealed and the sensor sits against the inside of the windshield of the DS, just behind the mirror….



Vehicle-Specific Installation Notes RT50A

Actually, I would prefer to install an OBD2 system, but so far I have not been able to find an after market system for that. And building something like that all by myself will be too much work for me, also because I am not sure if the BYD Atto3’s wipers are indeed controlled with an addressable proprietary OBD2 control module.

Therefore, I will go for the old school solution with standard wiring and an installation on the existing wiper switches. But then in the wiring harness under the dash. I know it’s not practical to “hack” such a drastic solution into the car in a relatively new auo but my irritation with the absence of this option is so high that at one point I seriously considered trading in the BYD Atto 3 for a Hyundai Kona or the like for this alone.

The standard wiring requires, in addition to the power supply from the switched 12V on-board voltage, an intervention in the connections between the wiper switches and the wiper motor. I am going for the simplest solution where I use the new module as an assistant for the existing installation. Then I can activate the new module with 1 extra switch that I neatly tuck away flat in the underside of the steering column. And then all the functions of the existing switches will remain intact. The new module then works in parallel with the original ‘single-wipe’ switch. So that means I will NOT have the ‘HIGH SPEED’ option automatically activated by the new module, and the new module will only use the default wipe speed for both single-wipe and continuous wipe.

This is the new module I ordered from FRUUGO (China):


Raise the HD Heritage FLSTCI (2004) 2 inches for improved ground clearance

Whenever I drive off something higher than 4 inches,, I crash into the ledge that I drive off with the frame of the bike. Also, When driving on- and off the small typically Dutch roundabouts I often crashj both the Left- and the Right hand sided floorboards and also the jiffy on the pavement.

Coming from my previous bikes (HD-FXRS and my last was a Buell Ulysses), I never experienced these problems with those older bikes.

Therefore, I decided to raise the Heritage a bit and see whether this solves my problems. If not, I’ll sell the bike and buy me something else.

For the rear opf the bike I bought me a pair of adjustable “Ultima softail 2000-UP 116=233” shocks that I hope can be adjusted to be a bit shorter than the standard shocks.

For the front, I bought me a set of Zodiac 2 inch 41mm front forks lengtheners.  See the attached photo’s:


BYD Atto 3 – user’s experiences after 8000 km and 6 months (mid November 2022 => end of April 2023)

Finally, I can share the user experience of my BYD Atto3, after 8000 miles of use.

From my original list of UPS and DOWNS, much just stayed put. The self-thinking wiper is just not on it and neither is the dashcam. I mounted a Garmin mini dashcam myself and as for the windshield wiper, I decided to install an automatic after market system myself.

My car (first batch) has no tow bar homologation BUT for use with a bike carrier the solution has been found at Burghof tow bars.

Possibly future ATTO 3 types do get tow bar homologation with a towing weight credited to the car’s birth tag.

The experiences:

The car drives, springs, steers and brakes fine in my opinion.

As with all EVs, the battery pack drains faster in cold weather than at an average of 20 degrees. I clearly noticed that this winter because I could only get about 320 kilometers far with the full battery. While I never drive faster than 105 km/h but always highway driving.

Now that the average temperature is 11-14 degrees I notice that I drive just a bit more economically than the WLTP estimate of 420 km on a full tank of over 60Kwh. The gauge on the dashboard shows a consumption of about 14kwH per 100 km and I drive mostly highway at 95 kmH maximum speed. Often with the ACC on I stick behind a car in front that drives approx 96km/h which is very relaxed driving. I keep the ACC at a distance of 3 lines.

Fast charging I usually do at Fastned and at about 20- 50% empty tank.

Then the battery is back to +40-45% capacity in 20-25 minutes.

The Atto3 then recharges about 25-30 kW with 88kW in those 20-25 minutes and with that you can drive about 150-200 km (if you take it easy).

And while the car is recharging I feel the need for coffee, so the charging/coffee time passes quickly.

This formula works fine for our travel and driving pattern. Kind of like being on vacation on a motorcycle, where I have to stretch my legs every 200 km and fill up the tank at the same time.

Notes on using the BYD Atto 3:

About the use of the car I do have some remarks in the meantime:

Lane assist: This is often not very useful on secondary roads. The car keeps ‘searching’ between the left and right side of the longitudinal stripes and is constantly steering with jerks. This results in continuous additional steering, not comparable to normal manual steering. So I always turn this function off when using the cruise control outside of straight roads and highways.

Open roof: unusable with the roof fully open, this only works below 80 km/h. The roar of the wind creates such a nuisance that with my then the roof always stays closed. Even on the ajar position with the roof slightly raised in the first automatic position, above 80 km/h it is unfeasible in terms of noise, especially with headwinds or partial headwinds. In any case, the navigation and radio are then no longer usable.

Automatic steering corrections: It took a lot of getting used to, especially that it cannot be turned off except to turn it off again each trip. As I noticed, the steering corrections are based on regular roads, with regular road lines. On N roads in the Netherlands, in our area (e.g. Kamerik, Kockengen, etc.) there are roads with no center line and broken side lines. If the traffic on both lanes obeys the side stripes you will collide with each other, due to the limited road width. So you have to drive just over the broken stripes, on the right side of them. Then you can drive normally past the oncoming car. The car cannot handle this and persistently corrects the car back to the left in left turns. Because it is done structurally by the car, I have gotten used to it and am no longer startled by these corrections, which I immediately correct again. By the way, as I can see on the road, it does scare oncoming traffic.

Navigation: the ME-MAPS navigation does not have an integrated function with charging points for the car. That means I have to search for (Fastned and/or Shell recharger) charging points on my phone, and then look them up and set them as my travel destination in the car navigation. Missed opportunity as far as I’m concerned. When car android is finally available for the BYD Atto3, just transfer everything from the phone right away! NB: Apple carplay is available for the Atto3 but I always have Android phones. UPDATE 2023-04-16: The Atto’s navigation does (by now?) have the ability to navigate to the nearest charging point, configurable by capacity, both along the route and fastest reachable. The charging points are just not in the route on the screen. You really have to search separately. With the exception when you get below 50km charging range: Then the navigation would like to navigate you to the nearest charging point as a suggestion.

Air conditioning/heating function: The heat pump provides air conditioning/heating for both the interior and the battery. Apart from the somewhat unfortunate set up of controls with touch screen after touch screen before you have found what is needed, the settings do not appear to work. Setting a temperature does not lead to reaching and maintaining that temperature and the setting automatic does not work at all. The ‘defrost’ button works but none of the function buttons remember the previous usage setting. That seems very strange to me. On the road I am constantly adjusting between very hot and very cold. Only after half an hour of driving can you reach a more or less stable temperature. Why not just a temperature knob that does it? and an A/C knob that can be turned on/off would also be better. By the way, what is very important in our climate and really not possible in the Atto 3 : THE setting of the windshield fan and thereby also the dehumidifier button on/off. These are just not there as a button or setting. What you then have to do to operate this though :: Press the defrost button and then set everything manually each time. temperature, feet and/or body aeration: all can only be set on or off and the fan can only be set for all 3 outlet options AGAINST each other. I experience it as unworkable.

In my previous cars this was always available, therefore I do not understand what is going on here: Did BYD not take our humid and sometimes cold climate into account in the design of the A/C/heat pump controls?

In my opinion, it should be fixable with a software update, so I will also inform the importer about this.

Just a little additional comment about the Atto3’s heat/cool system: : The temperature is not adjustable below 16 degrees, then a LO comes into the picture. While I like to drive in a car in winter that is 10-14 degrees inside the car. Then I like to keep my coat on and the car feels nice and warm in frost when it is 10 degrees inside as well. No problem. But lower than 16 degrees just can’t be set.

After an hour’s drive I park the car and when I get outside in the morning after 5-10 minutes at about 10 degrees the whole car is fogged up, and it takes quite a long time to get ready to drive again. According to BYD this is a known problem that can be solved by locking and unlocking the car twice when parking. Tried that but didn’t solve it for me. See the pictures:



Starter motor Traction Avant (12 Volt) repair with new carbon brush

And suddenly the Traction Avant wouldn’t start.

It had been struggling a few times, as if the battery was dead but it was nicely full.

And suddenly just a click instead of a running starter motor.

I have a Paris-Rhone 12V ID starter motor in my Traction Avant

-which fits the flywheel of my long stroke Citroën ID (DW) engine once mounted in the TA.

See photo below, The starter motor is under the exhaust manifold of this engine, in the same original location as on the Traction Avant 11D engine.

You can also remove the starter motor from underneath, but putting it back in is really easier from the top. Unless you have a bridge, of course.

As a possible emergency measure I mounted the original Traction Avant 6Volt starter motor, but it does not engage the Citroën ID flywheel. So quickly removed again.

The repair:

When you remove the two M6 nuts and locking plates on the back of the 12 Volt Paris-Rhone starter motor, you then slide the aluminum back including both carbon brush holders off a bit.

The carbon brush on the armature side (+) was the culprit, it was worn down pretty crookedly. It seems that one of the connecting wires had just a little too little space to allow the brush to move straight.

I then measured and ordered the carbon brushes.

The starter motor is otherwise in fine condition, the rotor and collector also look good.

The carbon brushes are the same size (about 7×17.8 mm) , and they have the same kind of soldered wire connections.

In the end it was only necessary to replace the carbon brush on the armature side, the other carbon brush which is on the minus is barely worn.

Above with the pre-soldered wires already mounted, and below AFTER soldering, after mounting the carbon brush in the carbon brush holder.

The collector of the rotor was completely flat so having it reworked in my lathe  didn’t seem to make sense.

After cleaning and assembling it, I first tested everything using a small battery from my motor bike, gave everything a little grease, secured the back with the 2 locking plates and reinstalled the starter motor in the TA.

Immediately started and everything OK again!

BYD Atto 3 – 12 Volt battery stays in better condition after software update of February 20, 2023


please also read the epilogue at the end of this post

My Atto 3 is doing very well, had no problems or crazy things from mid-November 2022 until now, Feb. 3, 2023. And I don’t expect to have any problems with the car either….

On weekdays I usually drive 100 to 200 kilometers with the Atto 3 and therefore my 12Volt battery is always charged.  But I also store the car sometimes for longer periods in the parking garage.

This electric Atto 3 only charges the 12V battery when the car is started, as most EV’s do- so I have understood.

When the car has not been started, the 12V battery is not charged and can slowly drain the 12V battery, even when you are actiively connected to the car’s charger.

The issue is how much that 12Volt battery drains, because there is only a relatively small battery in the Atto 3, since there is no need to operate a heavy starter motor.

As a precaution, I installed a measuring system on the 12 Volt battery in early February. With that I measured the voltage and discharge.

The discharge seemed to be a bit on the high side but I never had any problems with this myself.

Below my experience and measurement data is shown before and after the latest software update of 20-2-2023.


Above the updated screen in my Atto shows the new software revision.

On the left on the SOC (state of Charge) printout above from my Battery measurement system you can see that BEFORE the software update the battery still runs down quite a bit in 1 day.

But AFTER the software update which I did at 8am 20-2-2-23 the battery runs down much less and much slower.

You can see that very well in the above picture of 3 days with the old software on the left and the new software on the right.

This is the voltage chart, this shows even more clearly what has changed.

My conclusion is that the 12 V battery will discharge slower after this update.

This will result in better 12V battery oerformence and will certainly prevent  starting problems which could have occured with the old software.


The old article on the how and why of 12Volt battery discharge with graphs and explanation is still available below and at the end our epilogue is added:

Possible problems I would like to avoid. Therefore, among other things, I provided a spare tire in the Atto 3 and made a battery guard ( Battery Guard)) on the 12 Volt battery voltage.

According to, ADAC has the following experience with failures in EVs gained in 2020: “The breakdown statistics of the German roadside assistance organization ADAC for the year 2020 revealed that even in an electric car, a faulty starter battery is responsible for 1 in 2 breakdowns. ”

Believe it or not, but the 12 Volt battery is very important in the EV because all on-board functions are provided from that 12 Volt on-board voltage. Actually, the high voltage traction battery is only used to power the car.

Everything else you see that moves or makes noise, everything else is powered by that 12 Volt. For example, even the power steering and power brakes, heat pump (air conditioning), seat heater, all fans and yes, even the battery management system (BMS) of the traction battery is powered from the 12 Volt voltage supply.

So-when that 12 Volt battery is dead nothing really works anymore.

You often can’t even get in then, unless you also got a regular key with the car. I think the BYD Atto 3 luckily has such a key, although I don’t really remember where I put it. Probably still in the dealer folder. Hmm. just put it on the big key ring anyway and don’t leave it in the car.

I once saw on Youtube how that works on an old model Tesla S, when the 12V battery is dead. There are then pull wires under the car to be able to open the hood and charge the 12V battery, then you can operate the doors again.

I am going to make a standard charging cable for my Atto 3 under the car as I did with my motorcycle. At least then you can easily charge the battery. At least when you have a suitable cable to the (external) battery charger.

Anyway, I have recently installed a mini sweater pack 12Volt in the back. With that you can always jump start an empty battery on the road. These packs do not run empty because they are Lifepo batteries. So minimal self-discharge.

A battery measuring system on the 12V battery

As a precaution, I mounted a Battery Guard with bluetooth on the 12V battery. Via bluetooth you can have diagnostic signals pushed to your phone via the app but you can also see for yourself at any time what the status of the battery is. Of course, you have to be within the bluetooth range of the device of about 5 meters.

This Battery Guard is cheap and easy to install. Costs about 20 Euros and it always keeps track of the battery voltage so you can read it with your phone whenever you want. In addition, it gives alarms via the app on your phone when the battery voltage is too low or has been too low. You can also get and/or view graphs from it: This way you will know in time when your battery needs replacement!

Above you can see the daily summary of the voltage of the 12V battery of my Atto3 after I mounted it at 1:00 pm, 2-2-2023. (recorded at 8:00 pm). The first small peak on the far left is from my spare battery, in my garage. That one doesn’t count. (12:00-12:30)

What I notice is that the car charges the 12V battery with 13.8 Volts (left peak while I started the car) and at rest with spikes every hour the car discharges the 12V battery slightly. 13.8 Volts seems on the low side as a charging voltage for a lead-acid battery but is OK in principle, if indeed the battery is already reasonably fully charged. This differs per type of battery.

It is a SCEM-3703010 battery and it has another number on it: 38B20L. According to the sticker, it is a regular 35 Amp-hour (Ah) lead-acid battery. This battery costs about 75 Euro from VMF, among others.

“This battery is also often used in the Suzuki Vitara, Kia Picanto, Honda Jazz, Nissan Figaro, etc. for example to replace the original battery Suzuki 38B20L”.

A word about battery discharge when not driving the car: I am of course very curious as to the reason that this discharge occurs every hour as a kind of peak charge. I have now turned off all communications in the car overnight (sim/OTA, wifi, bluetooth) to see what the effect is. The car is always on the charger in the evening and at night, and during the day I usually drive about 100-200 km. Enough to charge the battery, it seems to me. Next morning there was no difference from before so I just turned the communication back on.

The voltage curve was like this without wifi, bluetooth and OTA SIM:

And (below) as of 07:00 after parking Feb 3, 2023 it looks very much the same with OTA connection enabled, and wifi and bluetooth all on.

Between 06:10 and 07:05 I drove the car, then the system charges the battery nicely. That gives the voltage range between 13.6 and 13.8 volts. Then parked and then the 12V battery discharged so again a bit between 07:05 and 15:20. During the return trip home between 15:15 and 16:05, of course, the 12V battery is charging again.

This weekend I am not driving the car, curious to see what it will look like then in terms of discharging the 12V battery: See below.

The car is discharging quite a bit and the voltage is almost to 12 volts.

Driven for hour in the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 3, the battery charged quite a bit and then idled for over 2 days and discharged to almost 12 Volts. Then hit the road a few times on Monday, Feb. 6, and parked again overnight, as shown on the right on the graph below.

A shame in itself that at this rate the car discharges the battery when stationary, but it is all still good enough to get the car back on after 2 days.

No worries

By the way, I experienced with our Christmas vacation of 2022/2023 that the car also just turns on after 20 days of idling without any problem.

So I’m not worried at all. Nice to see what all is going on in terms of 12 Volt battery usage of course.


Why does the voltage level of the 12V battery actually drop?

Of course, it is normal for a 12V battery to lose charge. This already happens because of the self-discharge of these lead-acid batteries but also because of all the bells and whistles we need in modern cars.

There is actually always about 5 milli-amps to 20 milli-amps running from the battery to an average modern car at idle. I have no idea (yet) how that is with the Atto3, I’m going to measure that.

My 2010 Volvo V70 had a resting current of 20 mill-Amps and after half an hour it dropped to 8 milli-amps.

That caused a self-discharge where after 5 to 6 weeks of idling you could no longer start the car with its own battery.

I then put a manually operated ground switch between them for longer idle periods.

I’m going to do the same with the Atto 3.

As a precaution, for times when we travel by other means and are away for a few weeks.

That idle current is caused by such things as the internet connection, key receiving system, alarm and so on. So on average, within a month to 6 weeks, the 12V battery of a modern car is so depleted that successful starting becomes questionable.

In the case of an EV, the idle battery drains even faster simply because it is relatively small.

How does your EV charge the 12V battery?

In an EV there is a DC-DC converter that converts the voltage from the high-voltage traction battery back to a charging voltage of 14-15 volts for the 12V battery.

In almost all EVs, the 12V battery only charges when the car is “on.

That seems to have been copied from ICE ‘traditional’ cars. Those also charge only when the engine is running.

But with the EV, you have to have the car turned on, either with the START button or the ON button.

This means that an EV at rest does charge and maintain the high voltage traction battery but the 12V battery is NOT charged at all in that situation, indeed: The charge of the 12V battery is NOT controlled at all when the car is at rest and/or being charged. Actually, this is very similar to a conventional ICE car.

If you do not drive your EV very often and/or only for short distances and you have many electrical devices on such as 2x seat heating, rear window heating, heating and air conditioning, windshield wipers and so on, then you will experience the problem with a flat 12V battery sooner than if you regularly drive longer distances.

In that sense an EV is somewhat similar to traditional ICE cars, where a dead battery is also more common with more short trips on average.

The Solution

The solution to this possible 12V battery problem in EVs does not exist (yet). The easiest way, of course, is to add a ground switch to the ground connection of your 12V battery when not using the car for long periods of time. But I never really know in advance when that will occur.

The best solution would be to have a circuit available that automatically disconnects the battery just like a ground switch but when the battery voltage drops below a critical value.

Then you can still start but the battery will not drain further.

Maybe I should develop something like that myself… Or maybe from Aliexpress?



With the latest software update of 20-2-2023, there does not seem to be a problem anymore, except maybe when the car is not used for a long time. Then it is indeed better to disconnect the battery, but it is still unclear when you should do that.

The logging below shows that the battery does still discharge quite a bit.

I left the car for 4 days (etmalen) after the 12V battery was completely full. Well at the charging station but that does not benefit the 12V battery.

In those 4 days, the battery voltage dropped to about 12.3 volts, enough to start the car again.

But- the State of Charge gives an indication of just above 40% starting capacity after 4 days of downtime. And personally, I do not think that is good enough.

I had already made my decision to install the ground switch “just to be sure” so I am definitely going to do that. The switch will be under the front of the car on the bulkhead, so I can just reach it and don’t have to open the hood. It’s a waterproof surface-mounted switch that can handle 250 amps, with thick ground cables pre-mounted to it.

And I’m assuming I’m only going to use the ground switch when we don’t use the car for more than 1 week, like when we’re on vacation and don’t need the car locally for longer than a week.

As is shown in the graphs above, the 12V battery discharge after 4 days of downtime is too much to get the 12V battery back to normal (12.8-12.9V)  discharging starting voltage after a 1-hour drive.

The discharge voltage directly after stopping with charging is then as the graph indicates only 85% at 12.6-12.7 Volts.  After 1 day, the SOC now already reads 60%.

Under these specific conditions, the 12V battery may  discharge somewhat faster than when the 12V battery was fully charged.

Driving a bit more every day will make the charging results better, obviously.

NB:  All measurements are done in my parking garage where the car is always parked which is at -2 levels, where the temperature is always between 8 and 15 deg C.


If you are worried that your 12V battery may discharge during long periods of not using the car, the following will be possible as precaution:

You can remotely turn on your start button with the app by starting up the A/C system.  This will also start recharging your 12V battery.

This can not be automated, but it is a way to actively prevent draining the 12V battery.

I have tried this, and it is only helpfull if you have preset set the A/C period at the longest possible period.

Do this daily (after the initial 1 week of not-using the car) and it will certainly help conditioning your 12V battery.

It might also work if you do it every other day, I did not test this for all possible intervals.

Only do this of your car is continuously connected to a charger OR when you have charged the car at more than 80% when parked.



BYD Atto3 -Spare tire in the trunk

Above the filling of the space at the bottom of the trunk of the Atto3 is shown.

I like to drive around with a spare tire, because I drive on construction sites quite often, and so far I have had 2x tire damage because of that.  And such a damage is not always fixable with a fluid repair kit.

It’s going to be a home-bringer also used on a Toyota RAV4 : R17 165/80/17 tire and a 5X114.3X60.1 rim with the same circumference, pitch and center hole as the BYD Atto3.  The RAV4 is still a bit heavier than the Atto3, so it should be fine.

At the bottom of the trunk the available space for a home-bringer is only 57 centimeters in diameter for a spare tire.

This means that the spare tire will be slightly higher mounted, on a mounting bracket.  Under the spare tire there is then room for the jack and the likes.

The trunk cover had 2 positions, and this shelf at the bottom of the trunk therefore only comes to one possible mounting depth, i.e. in the highest position.

So- that’s how I positioned the spare tyre (from a Toyota RAV4, 17 inch) in the boot of the car.  Not the nicest way but it works OK. The shelf that comes with the car can be positioned in the upper position no problem.  I added a hydraulic mini jack and a wheel bolt wrench, since this was not part of the car’s accessories.

Silencing my HD Heritage

If you look at the current rules for noise and noise pollution from motorcycles, it seems like a jungle that you can’t get through.

What is clear is: If you do not meet the noise standard, there is a chance that your motorcycle will get impounded OR your registration of the bike gets invalidated and you will no longer be allowed to drive on public roads.

Noise and older engines
For older engines it is in usually not known what the maximum noise allowance in dB(A) is.

This does not mean that you can produce an unlimited level of noise.

Therefore, general guidelines for this type of vehicles  have been drawn up  y the Dutch government.

The cylinder capacity of the motorcycle is leading in those guidelines.

These sound values are of course always dependent on engine revvs.

For example, in the Netherlands the sound of engines built before 1960 should be measured at 2000 rpm (4-stroke) or 2250 rpm (2-stroke). For motorcycles built after 1960, these rpm’s are respectively 4000 and 4500. For a Harley, at 4000 rpm it is actually only possible to stay under the standard of 106dB(A) with well damped exhausts.

Measuring motorcycle noise by the police
The Dutch police measures sound output stationary.

The microphone is placed at 50 cm from the exhaust mouth at an angle of 45 degrees (may deviate 10 degrees).

The rpm sensor is placed on the spark plug wire. If that is not possible the police measures the pulses of the ignition coil.

The RPM is entered into the measuring equipment.

The law-enforcer then turns up the gas three times and the highest noise level counts.

Just to average: If you get above 110 dB(A) with a heavy engine at 4000 RPM, it costs money.

An after market exhaust may (according to the rules) not produce more sound than the original exhaust.

But in practice, especially in the past, many open exhausts were sold and mounted.

And with such exhausts it is impossible to get below the legal noise standard with any kind of dB-killer.


And now what?

If you want to avoid all this misery, it is better to make your exhaust system meet the required test standard or at least the standard that applies to your bike.

This can be done in various ways:

  • Either you mount on your motorcycle an original exhaust system, as present at the original delivery and stay within the license plate related standard;
  • Or you make sure that exhausts are mounted with the E4-Dutch approval standard, appropriate to the year and type of motorcycle and stay within the vehicle’s registered standard;
  • Or if there is no testing standard for your motorcycle: Make sure the exhaust meets the ‘general’ Dutch testing standard of 106 dB(A) at 4000RPM (for engines of more than 1000cc).


My solution for less noise:

My 2004 HD Heritage FLSTCI originally had European approved exhausts  with E4(NL) approval when delivered.

But when I bought it in 2019 it had an aftermarket ‘real dual’ V&H eliminator 400 open exhaust system mounted without baffles:

I tried reducing the noise by mounting an original baffle set from V&H with silenced baffles, including a damping pack with fiberglass mat, rolled up around the baffles.

Then I mounted everything and indeed much less noise, but above 1000 RPM still much more noise than the allowed 106 dB(A) as stated in the licence papers of the bike.

So, this did not solve the noise level in the end.

Final solution

Finally I was able to get my hands on a used set of original HD cruiser exhaust silencers, one of E1 (German origin)  and one E4 (Dutch).

These I will mount, even though the mounting brackets have to be moved on the silencers.

Many of these silencers have been intentionally demolished internally, so you should be careful what to buy!

The bike, still with the V&H silencers mounted.

Below the existing mounting points of the Vance&Hines Eliminator 400 brackets and mufflers are shown:

With these HD Catalist E1 marked exhausts I am now in whisper mode, which is very much appreciated when driving through big cities

Traction avant 1955 big trunk conversion to wheel

Recently (9-2021) I was able to buy me a tailgate and wheel cover from a wheeled TA version.  This was the start of my project to convert my 1955 Citroën Traction Avant into a wheeled version.

It’s a matter of taste of course, and I just think a wheeled version is much nicer than such an imposed trunk.

Below you can see what my car would look like with a wheel instead of a trunk:

And, for comparison what my car looks like BEFORE the conversion to wheel:

Picture  dates from 2007

The trunk hangs from the part of the body directly under the rear window.

On a wheel version, there is still a section of sheet metal under the “kink” in the sheet metal that is under the window.  That is completely missing from the trunk model.

And the underside in terms of sheet metal runs all the way through (gray) , including under the trunk lid (gray lid with black wheel cover).  This should be constructed anyway, and connected to the existing trunk floor plate. Everything under and behind it has to be removed so also the spare wheel well and the existing extra extension of bumper brackets and the ‘standard’ extra bolted-on sheet metal.

The fender points L and R are connected with a piece of sheet metal, under the fixed body (grey). This sheet metal part is still readily available as an aftermarket part.

THE APPROACH – is planned for mid 2022, after finishing the ID20 –

LPG tank out, gasoline tank out from under it.


First, a fender edge is made that follows the exact shape of the trunk lid of the wheeled version.   Then a sheet metal edge is made that fits in the hole created when removing the existing boot lid.  After that, it’s going to be a lot of fitting and measuring.  Temporarily the new sheet metal part with sheet metal edge for the lid is fixed with U-strips instead of the lid.  This makes everything a lot easier to handle.


Next, the new sheet metal part is fixed in place and secured with small MIG dots.
Then mark where the excess material needs to be removed.
Grinding off the new sheet metal, and
everything to size, strip the edges and reposition the new part
Welding the new part in place, measurements and dots.
Weld in the 2nd round of dots.
Then fit the valve.
Mount the valve and fix it (by MIG welding the dots to the edge of the plate).
Then weld the plate to the body with a few spots at a time, and keep cooling with air.
Weld in further and further until everything is welded in, and wait and cool with compressed air.
Then without heating grind flat with flapper wheel and
Then use fiber 2-K waterproof filler to seal the weld and immediate area.
Then bondo over the whole, and
flush with 60 grid.
Filler primer over it,
spray contrast on,
manually level with 200,
then spray again contracts
and flatten with 400 etc.
Remove pinholes and again after
Contrast spray and sand with 800.
Waterproof sanding with 1200 and
then to the painter.

CAUTION to use light gray filler, bondo etc. of the same hue/color, this will save possible misery afterwards when spraying.

Traction Avant fully electronic ignition

Really crappy, I don’t have another word for it: The old contact point ignition with its coil. I tried 3 of them on 6 volts and the combination of 6 volt battery, starter motor and points always gave me trouble, both with cold and hot starts. So I installed an electronic one, and NO 123 ignition. Just an English ignition, specially for 6 Volts OR 12 Volts. First installed with the 6 Volt installation and it worked perfectly. Still does, but now on 12 Volts.

From 60 to 83 HP with a DW engine in the Traction Avant 11BN

In the TA I have had 3 engines from 2006:
1) The original TA engine that turned out to be cracked at the corner of the lower block;
2) An ID19P long-stroke lower block that I  assembled with the parts from the original engine such as the overhauled ID11 TA head, TA sump, etc.
3) The final DW long-stroke engine from a donor Citroën ID19 (early DS model 1), including the ID19 head, carburetor, manifold, oil pan and modified (=shortened) crankshaft.
Below I added an overview of all of my engine exchanging photos: