Friday, August 6, 2010

A Quick Recap and A Few New Objectives

We're back from vacation and feeling great. Northern Arizona is beautiful country.

For those of you following along, you know I've been trying to sort out some apparent drain on the high voltage battery pack when the car is off. To do so, I've decided to test each, individual component, adding them one at a time to the system to see if I could determine the culprit.

What I was seeing, before the motor problems, was that when the car was sitting in the garage, off (or anywhere else for that matter), the Link-10 meter would report that approximately 1 kWh per day was being drawn off the pack. Through careful testing, I've discovered that the Link-10 is responsible for about 700 W/hours of that. That leaves about 300 W/hours yet to find. I say "about" because I didn't track the drain that carefully. It's just my recollection that it was about 1 kWh.

Anyway I've tested all the components, except for one, and found each draws no measurable power from the pack. Even the Link-10. It reports 700 W/hours per day, but it doesn't really use anywhere close to that. The only thing left to check is the DC to DC converters. Well, until summer ends, and the thermostat in the converters is happier with the air temperature, any test is not going to duplicate what I saw back in February and March. But I guess that's not entirely bad.

I've decided I'll go ahead and run the test with the DC to DC converters hooked up and running, even though the cooling fans will be spinning constantly the whole time. I'll still get some data, and it could be useful. I'll keep you posted on that.

By-in-large though, I think I've got most of what I was looking for. I know that the apparent draw off the battery pack, when the car is off, is a phantom. It doesn't exist. I wish the inaccuracy weren't there, but it is.

Now, there are still a few things that I need to do to the car. Some more important than others. I thought I'd share them with you now.
  1. Get the front end ride height adjusted.
  2. Get the front end aligned to remove any toe-in.
  3. Replace the differential fluid with Red Line (I did the transmission during the main build).
  4. Add an expansion chamber for the Zilla's coolant. You read that right. I didn't put one in when I was building the car. I realize now that wasn't the smartest thing, so feel free to mock me.
  5. Fit and adjust the v-belt for the compressor.
  6. Remove the AC lines and have them redone.
  7. Install a rubber membrane to the underside of the hood (bonnet, for my European friends) to keep the battery terminals off the steel in case of an accident. Let's hope that turns out to be a complete waste of time.
That's about all I can think of right now. You may have noticed that most of this list would require working on the car. In a garage. Well, it's 110 °F in my garage. It's going to take some time to convince myself to get out there and get going.

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