Archive for January, 2008

The rear battery box

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

has been a challenge — from welding steel to powder coating to (last, but far from least) welding polyethylene. I thought I knew every painful way I could burn my fingers, but welding plastic has taught me much in the last few months. Anyway, the good news is the box is taking shape:

batbox.jpg

The key has been to go. very. slowly. Also, polyethylene tends to warp when welded so it is also necessary to weld it in a jig or at least fasten it to something so it maintains some semblance of its original shape (now that I’m almost done, I’m finally getting the hang of it).

img_1368.jpg

But the box will be virtually airtight, and I will mount some kind of tube inside which will allow hydrogen accumulated while charging to be vented beneath the car. And, at least in theory, it will protect the occupants of the car from 600 lbs of flying batteries in the event of a collision.

In general I’ve been proceeding very slowly on this project, but I am way green when it comes to car repair, and I don’t have the time or money to do things twice. Also, because my driveway is my workplace, rain pretty much shuts me down. But I really want something I can drive for years without a lot of rattles and minor maintenance issues and so far the results have been good.

Oh, I almost forgot. Something I finished last month:

meters.jpg

The left is traction pack voltage, the center is amps, and the right is accessory circuit voltage. Mounted on a little sheet of textured ABS they quite coincidentally fit into the dash like a glove (with all the adversity one encounters it helps to take special note of the minor miracles which occur unexpectedly…)