It’s been a while since I last posted an update on my electric car conversion project. I’ve been busy making progress (delaying), but I wanted to wait until I had something significant to share.
The good news is that I’ve finally managed to make some forward progress. I finished the contactor box, and everything in the engine bay is done. I’m currently stringing the 12V system for the car while I await parts to finish the battery boxes.
The contactor box took a huge amount of time to finish. Since it’s the location where all the inputs and outputs for the car go through, I wanted to make sure I got it right. I made a long spreadsheet hyperlinked with the with the signals/wires and corresponding cables/terminal boards. I was able to ring out the signals and verify that at least there aren’t any shorts or miswires according to the plan. We’ll see if I planned it right in the first place once more parts start being connected.
Speaking of more parts though, the engine bay is practically done from the high-voltage standpoint. I have the contactor box finished and mounted, I have the charger mounted, and I have the high voltage cables run from the contactor box to the motor controller, and from there to the motor itself, in addition to the two cables coming that will eventually connect to the battery pack. It’s a huge step forward, and a big motivator. It’s all coming together!
Accordingly, the next step is to get those pesky batteries all put together and installed. I’ve continued purchasing the necessary equipment and parts, and I think things are going to go smoothly. I have a design for the battery boxes that I believe will work. While I have not performed something like finite element analysis, or something similar, my intuition tells me that for my purposes they’re going to be satisfactory. I wasn’t willing to shell out thousands of dollars on battery boxes if the car isn’t going to race, or be taken on the highway, or anything of that nature. The car is meant to be a downtown, show-around, beach cruiser. The kind of vehicle you take on secondary roads to get where you’re going when you’re not in a rush. Not the kind of vehicle to stand up to the god-awful lifted trucks on the highway tearing up the freeway at 90 miles an hour. Anyway that was a little detour. Here are pictures.
The parts for the packs are still streaming in, but I’ve gotten my mockups made up and I can see some difficulty already that I’ll face during installation. I hope it’ll all work out smoothly, and I’ll know once I start cutting out the floor pan and etc. Luckily, the rear battery pack will be able to simply mount where the gas tank used to be. That’s going to be the safest and happiest battery pack of them all. I’m still going to be keeping ALL the cables out of and insulated from the chassis, of course.
In the meantime while more parts come, I’ve turned my focus to the 12V system of the car. I can’t run without brake lights and headlights! Or even a key to turn it on! I toyed with the idea of having a nonstandard key, like a keycard, or a special rfid token that gets placed in the vehicle, but at the end of the day it was easier to just use the key switch that had come with the vehicle in the first place. So, look forward to that being in a ready condition soon enough!
Thanks for reading!