ELECTRIC CAR PROJECT 9311 DIARY, JAN 97
Removed the seats. Installed the rear battery loader. Slid the rear
battery box to the appropriate position. Removed Battery #8 just as
planned. There was still some slightly acidic "water" in the bottom
of the box. Flushed the box with about a quart and a half of baking
soda solution and vacumned out. While moving the three remaining
batteries around, dried out the bottom of the box and spread fresh
The replacement battery arrived but had wrong type of terminals.
Decided to add an additional battery. This will require installing
a battery rack in the engine compartment, reprogramming the charger
for 108 volts and recalibrating the state-of-charge gauge. Figured
out how the rack in the engine compartment would work and made sure
that it would fit. A battery box will not be used. Ordered battery.
Started design of the rack. Two batteries would fit into the engine
compartment but this would require adding a Line Booster Unit to the
charger which would require too much work. Adding a second battery
would completely block access to the components installed in the
engine compartment. Rerouted the positive power cable to the left
side of the engine compartment.
A battery arrived. Installed as #8. Installed vinyl tape over the
drain slots on the ends of the batteries in the rear box. This will
keep any acid expelled through the cap vents on top of the battery
rather than having it run down inside the box. Plugged the hole left
on the right side when the positive power cable was relocated to the
left side. Made and installed new plywood spacers in the battery
box. Reconnected the battery interconnect cable and pushed the box
back into the rack.
Another battery arrived. It is the replacement for #8. Removed the
rear battery loader. Reinstalled the battery box except but left the
cover and holddowns off to let some paint touchups dry.
Reinstalled rear battery box cover and holddowns. Reinstalled seats.
Drove once around driveway to orient the car head in and put it on
Cleaned up the front batteries. Put tape over the drain slots as was
done on the rear batteries. Checked the voltage and water level of
all batteries. No boil out in rear pack. Battery 2 Cell 3 acid level
was at the plates. Same for Battery 3 Cell 5. Added water. Voltages
range from 12.89 to 13.05 volts. What does all this mean? Adjusted
the charger again. The changeover to contant voltage occurs at about
108 volts. Could not adjust to 113 volts at the changeover as the
manual specifies so adjusted for about 120 volts near the end of the
charge. Drove around the block 7.1 miles then put on charge.
Decided to add two batteries even though it will require redoing the
front accessory mounting plate. Ordered battery. Ordered the charger
booster and a voltmeter. Started the design of the battery rack for
the engine compartment.
Finished design of the engine compartment battery rack and cut parts
except for the holddown stuff.
Cut pieces for holddown brackets.
Disconnected and removed the circuit breaker and the front accessory
mounting plate. Rerouted the negative power cable to run along the
back of the front battery box.
Cut pieces for the holddown.
Took pieces to Foreman's Welding for assembly. The rack and holddown
weigh about 29 pounds. Really lucked out on the holddown design. The
engine compartment lid's hinges clear the holddown brackets by 1/8"
on each side! Didn't even think about it. The holddown did not turn
out too well. Will redo.
Removed the engine compartment lid. Removed the baffle plate below
the grille and its mounting brackets. Made a new set of brackets
that are 3/8" shorter than the existing ones. This will provide more
clearence above the batteries. Reinstalled the baffle plate using
the new brackets. Reinstalled the lid. Installed the battery rack in
the engine compartment using 5/16" hardware. The crosspieces of the
rack attach to rivet-nuts installed in the top surfaces of the sheet
metal frame pieces on either side of the engine compartment. To add
extra strength, the rear crosspiece is attached to rivet-nuts in the
sides of the frame pieces via bolted-on brackets. The frame pieces
are rectangular cross section tubes made of relatively thin (maybe
0.030") sheet metal. I hope they are strong enough. Note: Whilst
installing the rack the first time, the right front rivet-nut came
loose and fell inside the frame where it will mysteriously rattle
around until the end of time.
Cut new pieces for the holddown and welded them together. Warped but
not as badly as before.
Located and drilled four 1/4" holes in the forward crosspiece of the
rack for cable ties to secure the battery cables. Made a new most
positive cable and changed the lug on the old one so that it can be
connected properly to a battery terminal.
Another battery arrived. Installed a 1/4" rivet-nut in an existing
hole on the left side of the engine compartment. Installed a bracket
at the rivet-nut and secured the left-side power cable to it with a
cable tie. Put the rear of the car on jack stands. Installed cable
ties where needed. Removed car from jack stands. Cut a notch in the
plexiglass shield atop the contactor to clear the new routing of the
most positive power cable. While playing with the cable from the
rear battery box, the lug, installed yesterday, fell off! Replaced.
Took battery rack to Industrial Plating for powder coating.
Removed the state-of-charge gauge from car. Determined the voltage
equivalents of the gauge's 0% and 100% readings. In per cell terms,
0% is 1.88 volts and 100% is 2.10 volts. For a 120 volts battery,
0% would be 112.5 volts and 100% would be 126 volts. Installed the
120 volt programming resistor in the charger.
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