Friday, October 5, 2007

Nearly done - sleep is strictly optional

Wednesday morning, Oct 3, 2007

Did a couple of miscellaneous things before going to work this morning. I cut a hole in the side of the charger mount to provide a place for the cabling to enter. I later installed a computer cable grommet here to prevent the cables from fraying on the sharp edges:

I also installed the feet on the bottom of the tray. Just like TimK, I found that the feet were not quite tall enough to prevent the charger mounting bolts from protuding. So, I did two things - I ground the bolts down to the smallest possible size, and I added washers to the feet to make them taller. As you can see, no interference issue any more:

Here is the assembly going in. I supported the mounting board with 2x4s so that I could drill & bolt the tray to the mounting board more easily. And that was it for this morning:

Wednesday Night, October 3, 2007

Back at it, I wired up the inlet plug. I did not feel like cutting a hole in my shiny new exterior paint, and I don't plan on installing fog lights ever, so my solution was to use the fog light mount as an access point for the plug. Here is how the wiring goes from the front relay box to the plug (the rubber bumper molding is temporarily pulled back during this process). The cord goes through one of the pre-cut holes in the front of the trunk, and out to a newly drilled hole in the foglight cutout plug:

Here is the plug installed:

Next, I installed the gauges and tested them. As you can see, the green "power on" light is lit, and the gauge lights work. Harder to see is that I have also hooked the speedo up (although I cannot calibrate it accurately until the car is on the road):

I also installed the rear box (drilling holes and bolting it together per the instructions):

And here is a shot of the middle boxes installed. You will note that the charger is installed with the AC cord facing the passenger's side of the car, contrary to the instructions, since I have only so much 10-gauge charger wiring to deal with (you can see it sticking up right in front of the charger - you can also see the wiring grommet and excess silicone adhesive - the tube burst as I was squeezing it so I just put it all on :-)

Next, I "hauled lead" as TimK put it. Here are the batteries in the front box, installed as Tim did:

Here are the batteries in the middle. I originally installed them as TimK did (as shown here) - but had to rotate them 180 degrees - see lower down:

Here are the rear batteries installed. These were by far the most difficult, since it is very difficult to lift a 70-pound battery up high enough (unless you are a bodybuilder). So I used a stepladder to assist the process.

At this point, I was tempted to go to bed (I took the previous picture at 12:51 AM). But my obsession was in full bloom, so I pushed on. Next up - installing the copper interconnects. Like TimK, I had to bend just about every interconnect. I have a different solution to the straight bar, though - I twisted the ends so that the flat bar could then pass under the speed cap:

This was originally a "["-shaped piece - TimK cut his down and drilled it out to make a flat, apparently - but I did not feel like running my Sawzall at 2:30 AM - so I just bent it in this pretty "V" shape:

And here is everything installed in the rear box, except for the fusible link. Note the cable in the lower right - it is attached, but I detached it before installing the links, since the instruction call for that cable to be the last thing installed. Probably because it is the most easily accessible point, and you can install it without touching anything metal - this is high-voltage and high-current, after all - it can kill:

Here are the front & middle battery boxes. Remember the picture of the middle box from before? I was blithely following the instructions (it was 3:00 AM, remember) and cut the cable to go from the middle battery box, when I realized - the post the DC instructions wanted me to connect to was negative, but the post close to that side was positive due to the different batteries. TimK apparently solved that by cutting longer cables. But I had already cut my cable. Evaluating my remaining uncut cable, I realized I did not have enough to cut longer cables for the middle box. So I rotated the batteries 180 degrees so I could use approximately the same instructions as the DC kit (I did cut the cable to the positive middle post 5 inches longer to give room to attach since the 8 volt batteries have a different post layout than the 6 volt batteries from the DC kit):

So, with all the wiring and interconnects in place, I double checked the voltages. 144-volt pack at most-positive and most-negative posts: check (150 volts). +12V input at motor controller when key was turned on: check. I jacked up the back (much harder with 1200 pounds of batteries installed), put the car in neutral, triple-checked the connections, and turned the key on. And...

Nothing. Next up: attempted debugging with a computer.


Joe said...

Wow, thats a lot of work for one day. I must admit your very brave to be playing with that kind of voltage and amps that late night(or early in the morning).

Good luck tonight on getting the wheels to turn.

TimK said...

Wow Ross. That's amazing progress! I'm rooting for you to finish by parade time on Saturday. Good Luck!


Ross Cunniff said...

Thanks, guys. I did not make the parade - see the next post - but having a deadline made it so I actually completed the project.