Thursday, October 22, 2009

Electrical Work

Today I spent a good deal of time locating places for some of the electrical components and installing them in the area I call the electrics bay. First I mounted one of the fuse boxes. This one will be reserved for items that will be switched on only when the ignition is on. I have a second fuse box for items that will be powered all the time, but I haven't installed it yet.

Next, I found a location for the main contactor. That is a really big relay that turns the car on and off. It has an input for a 12 volt positive line and ground. When power is applied to that, it closes a contact that lets the full 160 plus volts through to the controller. That way, a small switch (the ignition) can control a very big load. Mounting it was a breeze, but I haven't run the high voltage lines to it yet.

There is plenty of space in the electrics bay, but it's mostly volume rather than surface area. I need surface area to mount the various components, so I built another small tray to hold them and it will sit below the controller's tray. Here's the tray and the components I'll mount to it.

Traveling clock wise around the tray from upper left, we have...
1. The off delay timer. It will turn the electric power steering pump on when it receives a signal from the positional switch Len sent me. I'll set it so that once the pump comes on, it will stay on for a minimum of 1 minute. This way, I avoid "short cycling" the motor and burning it out.
2. The heavy duty relay that will deliver up to 85 amps to the power steering pump.
3. A self resetting breaker to protect the power steering pump from drawing too much current.
4. A 30 amp relay that will be wired to deliver power to the fuse box. When the ignition comes on, it will trigger the coil in that relay to turn on power to all the devices wired to it (i.e. the motor blower, the vacuum pump, the ceramic heater, the water pump to cool the Zilla, the pedestrian horn and a few other odds and ends).
5. And last, the relay to provide power to the ceramic heating element. With no engine to provide hot water to heat the inside of the car, I'll be using something similar to the guts of a modern space heater. They draw a lot of current, but fortunately, I live in Arizona so I won't be needing it very often :)

I also sealed the drain plug for the transmission and filled it up with fluid again. Lets hope this time we see no drips.

Last, I gave the car a new model name. When it was new, it was the 2.3 version of the Z3, which I thought was odd because the motor was a 2.5 liter motor, same as the 2.5 model. Anyway, on the back of the car, opposite the Z3 badge was a smaller 2.3 badge. It has been replaced.

Seemed appropriate.

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