Monday, September 27, 2010

Chargers Away

One of the tough things about building this car was the extremely tight spaces I had to work with and in. Getting my arms back there to turn the screws and bolts that held the charger in was so difficult. It took me the better part of an hour, but I finally liberated the charger from it's home.

Here's the charger, which looks totally fine.

I packaged it up very carefully and handed it to UPS this afternoon. In an email exchange with Rich from Manzanita, he said that assuming nothing other than the input AC rectifier is damaged, they should be able to fix it up in a day or two for around $200. How great is that?!

As I've mentioned before, I need to raise the height of the front of the car. I found a place that will build new springs for me, but they want one of the springs and some measurements off of the front suspension. Well, I can't take a spring off the car and mail it away, I'm using them at the moment. While looking around on eBay for a spare spring I can send off to Kansas, I came across an item that I had always felt sure must have existed, but I'd never seen. A quick search in Google and I found these items.

These are spacers that you can slip between the coils of a spring to give it up to a 1" lift. The springs on the Z3 were already riding low when I bought the car. The car was riding about 3/4" lower than stock. With the extra weight of the batteries and motor, it dropped another 3/4".

I took a look at the springs and the bottom 2 coils were very close to each other. I jacked the car up one side at a time and slipped them in, wedging them as far down in the coil as I could. I sat the car back down, drove it around a bit and then measured the ride height. It gained 2cm, or .79". That's more than I lost from doing the conversion. It looks much better too.

Of course that means I've lost a bit of spring travel, but not 2 cm since the gap I squeezed the rubber piece into was more like 1 cm high when the car was on the ground. The real question is will that loss of 1 cm of spring travel cause me problems. I don't think it will, I already drive it very carefully and slowly over bumps. But it's the bumps you don't see that get you. The good thing is that if the spring should collapse all the way, that big grommet is rubber and will flex. Hopefully enough to protect the pillar.

I think it's a good band-aid solution, but I'm going to continue my efforts to get the car sprung properly.

No comments: