Archive for July, 2007

Dummy batteries arrive

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

The two dummy batteries (outer casing and terminals with no lead/acid) I ordered from Trojan arrived today, and just in time. All my cumulative adding of 1/8″ here and there has made for too much space, to the point where they almost fall out the bottom of the frames. Need to do a little trimming, but still much better than the other way around (not enough space).


Drilling steel

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

It’s back to school to try to figure out how to drill the holes in the steel frame of the car which will be necessary to hold the battery frames in place. After trying to drill holes in the soft low carbon angle iron with my hand drill, and getting the drill bits jammed into out-of-round holes, I figured out the the drill itself is slightly out-of-round. This tends to make the bit “wander”–and oval-shaped holes.

Not sure how to proceed. Even if I buy a drill press (about $120) I won’t be able to use it on the frame of the car, so possibly better off just buying a higher-quality hand drill.

Like a glove

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The new mount fits perfectly over the holes drilled into the end of the motor, and now the motor is fully supported at both ends. Again, the welder did a fantastic job. It’s a temporary installation — I need to find a 10″ cake pan which I will put over the end of the motor to use as a splash guard, and the mount will need to be powdercoated before it’s permanently installed. In the photos, the mount is the flat piece of metal sticking up. It is welded to the existing engine mount at the top:



Lately everything eerily seems to be going as planned…

Iron in the fire

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Getting the motor mount back from the welder’s tomorrow, front/rear battery racks to be welded this week. Did most of the cutting and shaping of angle iron for the front today, after redesigning the far front rack because of concerns the batteries would not have adequate support. As it is there will be 110 lbs of battery just behind the front bumper — I’m hoping cornering will not be too stodgy. This is one of my pseudo-batteries on the top front battery rack:


Today Nick and I hunted for the ever-elusive “rivnut” in local hardware stores to no avail (a rivnut is a small aluminum tube with threads on the inside which allows you to fasten things to sheet metal when you don’t have access to the other side, and is recommended in Convert It! for wiring). No one had ever heard of a rivnut, so when all else fails I turn to Google (I should have started there) and found them instantly — apparently very popular with homebuilt aircraft enthusiasts, who often need to attach things to tubing.

So I ordered a bunch of them and the tool needed to install them. Hopefully all the expensive electronics will arrive this week. Making good progress.

Front battery mounts

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Motor mount is at the welder’s getting finished, front battery mounts are taking shape (see below — angle iron to left and right will each hold two batteries). They will need to be welded at the corners once bent to the proper shape, then powder coated. Gearshift linkage and speedometer have been reconnected. Largest of remaining necessities will be ordered tomorrow: controller, potbox, contactors,DC-DC converter, charger, metering (high voltmeter, low voltmeter for 12V system, ammeter) and other assorted parts.


Rear battery box

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

has come back from the welder and he did a great job on it. Actually, it’s only the front half of the rear battery box–I’ll be taking it back for him to add the frame for the second row of batteries (see drawing on previous post). He also is working on the motor mount and is great with coming up with better ways to do things than mine.

Here is the half-box dropped into the floor — fits like a glove: