Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Alive!

Well, sort of.

Last Thursday a storm with fairly high winds knocked down a tree in my backyard which fell on the power lines, phone lines, and the cable line. I and several family members have spent the last three days cleaning up the damage. I was without power till this morning because the tree damaged the power meter as well as the line and I had to have an electrician re-build that. Of course it now has to meet the current code which cost more than just fixing the damage. Anyway, I got to work on the car for a few hours today. I had ordered the connectors from to connect to the serial port on the controller. I connected them today and powered up the controller.

I have only the back part of the car finished and the batteries are still on a shelf outside the car so I connected the cables to them temporarily and tried to run the motor but it would not run. The laptop connection worked so I tried to troubleshoot with that. I read in Ross's and Tim's blogs that the EEXNoIgnSwitch and EE2ShaftDirection variables needed to be set so I set them but it still would not run. After poking around for awhile I found one of the wires on the main interface connector was loose. After fixing that the motor now runs. I ran it up a few times with regenerative braking on and off. With it on it stops the rotation almost immediately after releasing the pedal. With it off the motor takes some time to spin down. I can't wait to try it out on the finished car.

The air conditioning equipment arrived last Thursday but I have not had a chance to look at it much. I'll have pictures soon. I will continue with the work in the front of the car after I make a brief visit to sunny (I hope) Algeria for a business trip. I should be able to continue the work in about a week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rear Battery Rack Installed

Yesterday and today I got the rear battery rack installed and finished installing the motor and transmission.

The rear battery rack turned out to be a challenge because, like others before me, the rack did not fit in the space without some grinding. I didn't take any pictures of the grinding but the rear edges were binding on the suspension support so I ground enough to make it fit. Here it is installed.

The rack gets supported on brackets that bolt to the rear suspension and to brackets in the passenger compartment. This makes it a very strong rack. Here are the brackets in the passenger compartment.

Now I think I can put the backpad back in.

I also spent part of the day reattaching the drive axles and the clutch cable.

I also spent part of the day connecting the motor wiring to the controller. This turned out to be very frustrating. As you can see the big cable on the left is shielded.

The shield is supposed to wrap around a rubber grommet in the connector. This was extremely hard to do and get the nut back on the connector but after a couple of hours of twisting and tweaking it finally went on. The two cables on the right are temporary battery cable running to the batteries for testing. I want to test the motor and controller so I've ordered the pins to add to the connector on the controller from and I hope to get them tomorrow. If I do then I will gently test the motor to see if it runs.

Next up is the front battery racks. The air conditioning system I ordered should also be here tomorrow. I had it made so that the condenser would fit below the front battery rack. We'll see how that works.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Motor and Controller Installed

I have finally gotten the motor and controller installed in the car. I spent several hours getting them lined up and bolted in only to find that when I test fit the battery rack the motor is too high. I used the original motor mounts but they put the motor about 1/2" too high. I'll fix that later. I did not bolt the axles to the transmission yet in case I need to remove it all. Here are a couple of pictures of the installation.

I also got the most of the rest of the engine compartment wiring done. The only part not complete is the battery wiring. Here is the completed interface wiring.

Next up is getting the rear battery rack installed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Progress

It has been a couple of days since I posted but I have been working on the car. I spent Sunday cutting and grinding in the engine compartment. Things like the old battery mount, the old relay board mount, the hood latch, etc.

Monday and Tuesday I worked on wiring in the engine compartment. This is phase one. Notice the three relays. One of them turns on the brake lights when the regenerative braking is activated. One of them is a charger interlock so that the car can't be started when the charger is plugged in and the other one keeps the car from starting if the accelerator pedal is pushed when the key is activated. The blank spaces on the terminal strips are where the controller wiring will be connected.

Yesterday I got the adapter mounted on the motor and installed a new clutch disk and pressure plate. As you can see it doesn't look anything like the old engine but it will mount to the transmission like the old one did.

I also worked on replacing the seals on the transmission. That turned out to be harder than I thought it would be till I got the right tool. A seal puller did the trick.

Today I got the motor and transmission mated together and ready to install in the car. Here's what they look like now.

Tomorrow I hope to get the rest of the engine compartment wiring done and the motor and transmission installed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Work Resumes

Well I made it back from China on Thursday and after resting up I am back at work on the conversion. Today I got the controller and the potbox installed.

Here is the mount before adding the controller.

This lets the controller be slightly recessed so that I can still store the top back there.

Here it is with the controller installed.

As you can see there is no wire yet but that will come later. After getting this done I installed the potbox.

This converts the movement of the accelerator cable into a variable resistance so the the controller can vary the speed of the motor. You can see the cable coming in at the bottom.

Next up is installation of some relays.