Archive for May, 2007

Back on track

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Last weekend was not that productive but I did get the adaptor plate in the mail to the machine shop to drill some new holes in the um, right places. That put us on hold as far as getting anything done in front, so we started working on the rear battery box. There will be 5 batteries sunken 8″ into the floor in a row, with five at floor level behind those in a kind of split-level arrangement. That was about the best we could do in regards to lowering the center of gravity. Although it will involve a lot more work I believe the car will handle substantially better.

With the sunken 5 we don’t even have 1/2″ to spare in either dimension, so I had to measure carefully. Then came the fun part — cutting the hole into the floor of the car with the jigsaw (if the electric thing doesn’t work out we’ll have a great “Flintstones” car).



Monday, May 7th, 2007

Last weekend we were pretty excited–I bought the engine hoist from United Rentals, thinking I would be using it enough to make it worthwhile then we assembled all the motor parts and fastened them into the car.

In my inexperience I had cut the adaptor plate backwards, so instead of being “rightside up” the motor was canted at about a 20° angle. I wasn’t too concerned at first, but after getting it into the car I realized it was going to be a problem. The terminals on the motor, instead of facing conveniently into corner diagonals, were now facing straight up and to the side, taking a critical inch from both dimensions. We need that space in both directions for batteries. Though they would still fit, it would be tight, and I could imagine a fender bender, or even just hitting a bump, where the batteries were jammed into the motor terminals, destroying the motor and/or creating a high voltage short which could start a fire.

Damn. Damn, damn, damn. The options now are: 1) Leave it as is 2) Attempt to redrill the holes offset the proper angle in the other direction 3) Send the plate back to New Hampshire and let someone who knows what they’re doing do it. The little voice inside my head is telling me #3. I will take at least two weeks, but I can get down to building some battery boxes in the meantime, now that the battery configuration is final.

I don’t know whether anyone is reading this or not. It’s probably not that interesting to anyone but me, but I’m discovering that blogging is cathartic — even since sitting down to write this post I feel a vague sense of optimism returning.