Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lots of progress...

Behind the seats, where the fuel tank used to be, is a new compartment where 6 of the 12 batteries now reside. Also included in this compartment is a circuit breaker, which can be reached from the driver's seat in case of an emergency.

The AC plug has been installed behind the fuel flap. The charger will be powered from a standard 115 V outlet.

This view is underneath the car from the rear and shows the conduit made from 1& 1/2 diameter PVC. It routes the two high power cables and the AC cord from the rear to the front compartment.

The remaining 6 batteries mount on top of the motor frame. Rather than fabricating brackets that secure the batteries across the top, I designed the frames such that 5/16 bolts and large washers could clamp the base of the Optima batteries along their base.

Here is a closer look at the washers. Under each washer is a 5/16th nut that is the same thickness as the battery's base. Each battery is secured by 4 bolt / washer assemblies. So far so good!

This view of the passenger side of the front compartment shows where the electric vacuum pump is mounted. It hangs upsidedown below the motor/battery frame. The pump provides the vacuum brake assist. Each time the brake is pushed, it turns on for a few seconds to get the vacuum level back to a factory setting.

Most of the electronics is mounted on a bolted aluminum angle assembly, and drops onto the motor/battery frame. A safety enclosure was fabricated from melamine coated hardboard, and the clear cover was made from lexan.

One of the electronic components provided by Belktronix is the "PotBox" which translate the pressing of the "gas" pedal into more current for the motor. I harvested the old engine's carburator buterfly valve which the pedal linkage originally drove, and added a delrin cam that depresses the PotBox plunger as the butterfly valve rotates. This allows the "gas" pedal to have the same "feel" and resistance under the driver's foot.
All I need now is the battery management cards, Charger and the DC/DC converter which are due to be delivered from Belktronix.