Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Boxes Drilled

I found a spare hour today to drill the access / ventilation holes and mount the fans and aux battery tray:

The boxes originally had rivnuts inserted for the 1/4-20 bolts that held this hardware on. I reused the ones I could (the lower fan rivnuts were reasonably positioned to become the new upper locations) and then used T-nuts without the "teeth" for the rest of the bolts. This provides a fairly flush surface inside the box - not quite as nice as the rivnut, but easier to find at the local hardware store.

I'm told the charger is on its way. Also, I've got just about everything I need to wire up the Rudman mk2 regulators.

My goal is to have the car on the road after this weekend. We shall see...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Battery box mods

On Sunday I got a little time to work on the battery boxes. As you can see from this picture, the boxes are about 2 inches too tall for the batteries:

Although I could have kept the boxes the same size and just used the existing tops (which have plastic cylinders to hold the batteries down), I need those two inches as a place to keep battery regulators and a larger charger. So, off come the top two inches of all the boxes:

The batteries now fit pretty exactly:

And here is the rear box test-fit with a single battery. This fits a lot better than the original taller box:

Still remaining to be done on the boxes is to drill vent holes - although AGM batteries normally don't outgas, it is not impossible if they get overcharged. I'm currently debating hooking up the original battery box fans. Due to the extra safety, I'm leaning toward just installing them similar to how they were installed originally.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Out with the bad batteries...

Yesterday was a lot of heavy lifting. I pulled out the 18 old batteries and cleaned them up:

And worked on cleaning up the mess they left behind. The baking soda in the front clearly did its job:

I have some more cleanup and painting to do, perhaps this afternoon. And then, I need to adjust the battery box sizes for the new (shorter) batteries and I can start putting things back in.

P.S. Anybody know something useful to do with 18 8V golf cart batteries? Craigslist does not allow posting them for sale / free. I can certainly recycle them, but they only have about 400 or so partial discharges and generally seem in good shape. It seems a waste not to put them to some good use - solar array energy store? 18 golf carts? Something.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Meet the new boss...

...not quite the same as the old boss. Yesterday, this showed up on my doorstep:

1050 pounds of lead, acid, and packing material. Just like on the ElectroJeep, these are the Concorde AGM-1280T. They are very similar in volume to the US-8VGC:

About an inch shorter, about 10 pounds lighter (56 vs. 67 pounds), and, of course, 12V 80Ah instead of 8V 160Ah. This means my nominal pack size is 17kWh, down from 23kWh, but the convenience of no leaky batteries plus the peppiness from almost 20% lower battery weight and 50% higher voltage will hopefully make up for it.

This weekend will see major operations toward getting back on the road.