Archive for June, 2007

Part design

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

The bulk of the last three weeks have been spent designing several pieces for the car which must be welded. They are: the rear battery box, the engine mount, and the front battery racks. The rear battery box frame will look like this:


Five batteries will sit below the car floor and five will sit behind them, in a row, on the car floor. The box will have a welded polypropylene liner which I am going to try to weld myself. I discovered you can order dummy batteries with no lead/acid in them to check sizes, so I’ve got two on the way (who would have thought?). The steel welder already has the frame design and is working on it; in the meantime I’ve pulled out the seats, done some re-routing of brake lines, and discovered the joys of a hand grinder (for only $40 you can make a LOT of sparks). I’ve also located someone here in L.A. who apparently will be able to fabricate a new, longer parking brake cable–a relief.

Another relief was getting the motor re-installed with the terminals in the proper locations. With a little car like this, an inch here or there can dramatically alter your possibilites, but I’m still on for 14 bats/112 volts.

Parking brake

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

The parking brake cable on a 1997 Ford Aspire runs straight back from the lever between the seats, through the floorboard, and makes a little loop over the rear torsion bar before tying out to both rear brakes. Unfortunately this space is already spoken for–by the soon-to-be assembled battery box. The only option appears to be to run the cable around the box, and the only way to accomplish this is by finding a new cable that is similar but 2 ft. longer…then transferring all the miscellaneous fittings from the old cable to the new.

There is no rushing these challenges. They are terrific tests of not only patience but perseverance–the cable will get made on its schedule, not mine.