Sunday, July 11, 2010

EV Controller Installed

July 11, 2010 - I've installed the first EV Component, the controller. Woohoo!! This is a major milestone as I've been in restoration mode for almost two years. The controller is a proprietary design by Mark Hazen of Mark has a patent-pending on his design where instead of a straight bus of MOSFETs, they are arranged in a circle he calls the "Power Wheel". This arrangement allows the power to flow uniformly and heat to be transferred in the same way.

Due to the size of the controller, mounting plate, and heatsink, I had to alter the firewall by cutting out a piece of the shelf. I drilled a couple of holes at the bottom of the firewall and installed 1/4" rivnuts.

I had never heard of a rivnut before but I'm doing the majority of my install from ElectroAutomotive's VoltsPorsche installation manual and Mike Brown uses them whenever he can't get access to both sides of a mount point. I got my Rivnut kit from Harbor Freight for about $15.

Here's one of the bottom mount points with rivnut installed, both of them required rivnuts as I couldn't get access to the other side of the firewall.

Here's a shot of the controller installed, nicely snuggled into the lower right portion of the hellhole firewall. You can clearly see the controller terminals (B+, B-, and M-) and the control terminal which accepts connections from the Control Box. Mark's controller comes with a control box of his design which ensures that the parking brake is off, foot is off the accelerator, and foot is on the brake pedal before power is supplied to the controller.

Here's a closeup shot of the left lower mount point with standoff. I may have to use longer standoffs and bolts to allow enough room for air to flow between the firewall and heatsink. But I remember Mark saying he added the heatsink to ensure adequate cooling of the MOSFETs.

And a shot of the top of the controller showing the upper mount points and standoffs. I was able to install the bolts from the cockpit and use nylock nuts to fasten the controller's mount plate.

Another shot of the top of the controller but looking down into the hellhole from the outside.

And finally, a great shot of the entire firewall showing the nestled controller. You can also see the rear battery rack suspension mount posts mounted onto the control arm pivots aka suspension ears. I test fit the battery rack onto the mount posts to make sure that the controller would not interfere with the rack installation later. It's a tight fit but it works.

I'm going to try and mount the potbox assembly to the lower left portion of the firewall next weekend. Caio!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mounting the rear wheel hubs

July 5, 2010 - It's been a nice long 3-day weekend, mostly rainy here in FL, and sad to say but I don't have a lot of progress to show for it. I have been able to mount the rear wheel hubs back into the trailing arms. As the wheel bearings have already been pressed into the trailing arms and the trailing arms have already been mounted onto the frame, pressing the hubs into the wheel bearings posed somewhat of a problem. Alas, the solution was documented on a forum, the Garage.

The solution was a straight forward and low-tech. Use an allthread of appropriate length and width, and washers and nuts that fit the allthread. Sandwich the trailing arm/bearing and wheel hub with the nuts and washers, and then slowly draw the hub into the bearing by tightening the nut/washers on the outside of the hub. Upon inspection of the setup, it was obvious that I would need a couple of pieces of 2x4, one inside the inner bearing well, and one outside the hub.

So here's a pic of the required components. The block in the foreground was cut to fit into the inner trailing arm bearing well where the driveshaft connected to the cv joint is usually located. The vertical 2x4 acts as a stabilizer because the allthread is approximately 3ft long. The allthread is 1/2in x 3ft.

I needed 2 1/2in nuts, 2 1/2in washers, and 2 3/4in washers.

Here's the allthread and inner block located just inside the trailing arm bearing well. The vertical 2x4 stabilizer keeps the allthread centered and from damaging the bearing.

Now here's the setup with the hub already seated into the bearing. A couple of things the forum recommeded was to freeze the hubs and coat the inside of the bearings and the outside of the hub race with grease. The frozen hub is then just pushed onto the bearing and the outer block, washers, and nut mounted. The nut is tightened relatively easily with a wrench and the hub drawn into the bearing due to the hub metal having contracted with the cold.

Here's a three-quarter view of the hub fully seated into the bearing. The hub really was easily pressed into the bearing after being frozen. I was quite surprised at how easy it went in considering nothing has been easy on this car.

And finally, the hub fully seated inside the bearing.

Next step is to mount the rear rotors. Then mount the calipers and brake pads on both front and rear rotors. Then bleed the brake system and ensure that the brakes actually work.