Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Odds & Ends Part III

Today and yesterday I did a number of small things that are of no particular interest make for riveting reading.

1. Torqued down most of the bolts mounting the drive shaft to the transmission. That was fun. Working alone under a car with almost no room trying to torque down bolts to 74 ft/lbs. I recommend it to anyone in search of a hernia. I still have to torque down the nuts that mount the drive shaft to the differential. Unfortunately, the space is too tight. I can get a socket on the nut, but not when my torque wrench is attached to it! Makes it a bit challenging. Fear not, I have a clever plan...

2. Fitted some of the cars cross bracing back in place. After all, we all love a firm chassis.

3. Worked out some spacing details, locating where exactly to put the battery trays. Still need to work out how to affix them to the chassis and brace them properly. It's astounding how well each of them is fitting at this point. They're exactly where I need them to be with just enough clearance to make it all work.

4. Took some measurements and made cardboard templates to help cut some aluminium sheets. I'd like to create a floor under the engine compartment to help keep dirty air and water out of the space, and to improve aerodynamics under the car. Plus, given the right bracing, some of the equipment can be bolted to the plate.

5. I got the remaining battery trays back. Thanks for welding them up Tim (no relation), they turned out just great! I ground down some of the welds, took a wire brush to them remove all the rust and gave them a good coat of primer.

That's about it for now. I'll be doing more paint work on the trays tomorrow. I need to sort out how to mount them in the chassis. I could use a second brain or two for that. Especially one with experience in this sort of thing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good News Everyone!

After carefully measuring and re-measuring the positions of the transmission, drive shaft, motor and their relative position's to each other and the chassis, I've come to the conclusion that everything is lined up nearly perfect. I had been concerned that because the motor was resting on the sub fame, once I put the motor/transmission assembly in place, that it was tilting the whole assembly up. It turns out that while it's resting on the sub frame, the assembly is angled down ever so slightly. I will need to determine how much it needs to come up from the sub frame and then construct the front motor mount to create and maintain that space. Good news indeed!

Also, Futurama has been picked up by Comedy Central for 26 new episodes! Not really relevant to the EV, but cool anyway.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Motor In the Engine Bay

Here's some shots of the motor in the engine bay, as promised. Although it's small compared to the original ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), that is one big electric motor!

And a second angle for you...

I still have to sort out the issue with the fit of the motor, but no time today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hoisting the Motor

I put the motor in this afternoon/evening. It all went pretty well. Here's a shot of the assembly hanging over the engine bay. By the time I finished, I was pretty tired, and it was too dark to get a good shot of the motor in place. I'll shoot that tomorrow.

At this point it looks like I may have a problem I was hoping to avoid. The motor extends far enough forward, and is big enough in circumference that it is resting on the sub frame. Actually it's resting on the power steering rack that's bolted to the sub frame. It looks like the transmission may be pitched up slightly. I connected the gear shift arm to the transmission, but there is another bar called the "selector link rod" that I'm having difficulty with. I can't quite tell if it's because the transmission is pushed too far back into the chassis, or because it's tilted up as I suspect.

I had forseen this potential problem when I started the project, but the best measurements I could make at the time showed that I was going to be either ok, or as much as 1/2" short of the space I needed. The worse case scenario is that I have to remove the front sub frame and put spacers between it and the chassis. Id certainly rather not do that, but I may have no option. I'll try to figure it out tomorrow.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Transmission is on the Motor

Check it out!

Not a big post, but an important step non-the-less.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Transmission Arrives

Well, the transmission arrived today, as I'd hoped it would. It was in good condition with one minor exception, a guide plate that's bolted to it used for two hoses was bent. A couple careful whacks with a rubber mallet and it's good as new.

In the mean time, I needed to torque down the flywheel and attach the clutch and pressure plate. Realizing I needed to lock the flywheel in place, I started looking around for some way to do it. I ended up using a leftover piece of channel iron, a long bolt and a C clamp to hold the bolt down.

I realize this means I'm dangerously close to achieving the status of "redneck", but BMW wanted crazy money for the "official" tool. Anyway, here's a good picture of the whole assembly.

Next, I have to get some replacement hardware to bolt the tranny up to the motor assembly.

Adaptor Plate Mounted

This morning I attached the adaptor plate, taper-lock hub and flywheel to the electric motor. The tricky part was making sure that the distance from the friction surface on the new flywheel to the back of the adaptor plate was exactly the same as the distance from the back of the engine and the original flywheel. I took my time, was very careful, and got it right the first time. Believe me, I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of tying to get that taper-lock hub apart if I messed up.

Here's a shot of the beautiful WarP 11 motor. With the voltage I'm putting to it, it should develop approximately 220 ft/lbs of torque at 0 RPM. I'm going to have secure this to frame very well.

Next I mounted the adaptor ring, adaptor plate, and taper-lock hub. This required the most care, but really wasn't that bad.

Last, the flywheel goes on. What a stunner. 11 lbs. of sexiness, that's what that is!

Hopefully, the transmission arrives today. I need to get the hardware to mount it up to the motor, but once I get that taken car of, then the whole assembly goes into the car.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Back Battery Box is Complete

I said I'd try and finish it today and I did. It's late at night, but the rear battery box is done. Here is a shot from inside the trunk. You'll notice the foam insulation surrounding three sides of the box. That's to keep water out. I ran out of foam, so I need to get a bit more to finish up the front edge.

Here is a shot of the back bumper from roughly ground level. You can see the battery box from underneath. It's about even in height with the trans axle. Once the car is on the ground, I should have plenty of clearance for normal driving, but I think I will have to go down steep curbs carefully.

The Adaptor Plate Arrives!!

Well, it took way longer than I'd hoped and was promised, but it's here. Check out this aluminium loveliness.

Here's a close shot of the taper-lock hub that mounts to the output shaft of the motor. That is one fine piece of machining. Notice the little raised ring where the idle bearing for the transmission shaft will rest.

I still need to wait for the transmission to arrive. Probably tomorrow or Thursday. Then I can mount the whole thing up to the car. Before that though I can start working on getting the hub and plate mounted up to the motor. When I measured everything earlier, it looked like the Warp 11 motor should just fit over the subframe. Only installing it will tell.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More metal work

I admit I've been pretty bad about posting to the blog lately. There's only so many ways you can make working with steel sound exciting! I do have a couple things to report, so here goes...

1. I'm nearly done with the battery box and all the supports for the trunk space. The truth is, that I would have been done yesterday except when I went to bolt the whole thing into the car, I discovered that I'd drilled one of the pieces wrong. There was simply no way of recovering that piece, so I had to build a new one. I did that this morning and it currently has it's first coat of paint on it. Tomorrow, I should be able to get the piece onto the assembly and bolt the whole thing up to the car.

2. I finally got word from Electro Automotive that they've finished the adaptor plate. The transmission and the other parts are on their way home, albeit 5 weeks later than promised, but who's counting. Man, did that hold me up. Once that's bolted in place, I can get the motor mounts taken care of. Then it's just a domino effect clearing the way to do all the other mechanical stuff I've been held up on.

Pictures of the completed back battery box tomorrow. Hmm, that sounds dangerously close to a commitment.