Tuesday, October 28. 2008
Installing the circlips on the cut driveshafts turned out to be a nightmare. The driveshaft is prevented from going too far into the CV joint by a nasty circlip with no method of removing it. Not shown in the photos is the gap between the ends which let me pry it apart with three screwdrivers (one acting as the fulcrum) and get a punch under the clip. After much effort with punches, hammers, 4 hands, screwdrivers and surprisingly no injuries, one clip came off. My supply of driveshafts was somewhat depleted so I had to take the clip off the other end where it's mounted away from the spline, this was even more difficult as you couldn't use the spline to lever against.
Installing the clips on the new shafts was not easy either. After squashing them down to the correct size again, they wouldn't go over the end of the new shafts. Much effort with the press and various implements of expanding was required.
There is an issue with the driveshafts -- they were made a little smaller than specified. My measurements were close, but obviously not exact because the right hand shaft is probably acceptable, while the left hand shaft is a little too short for my liking. I'm not looking forward to moving the circlips again.
Even before the 5 hour circlip adventure I had given up getting to the Nationals in time for the Motorkahna. After spending so much time on the circlips, the schedule to get it running in time for the show and shine on Sunday looked unlikely. A nasty weather forecast combined with rapidly waning energy lead to more sleeping than working on Saturday.
I'm quite happy with the number of short cuts I took to get to where I did. Really the only thing I have to undo is installing the rear subframe. My next goal is to install the drive system at the front, wire up the 1/3 battery pack I have installed and take it to the weighbridge. Knowing the weight distribution will help decisions about how many cells I can install in the rear.
Friday, October 24. 2008
Thursday, October 23. 2008
Last night I measured up the required driveshafts, checked by making a plastic one (good thing I did as the clearance I was using wasn't enough) and this morning took the measurements to F40 Motorsport. Unfortunately, the shafts are very hard, apparently over 60 on the Rockwell Scale. A new spline can't be cut without first annealing them and then hardening again after the cutting. This process takes 3 days minimum. The hardening house hasn't made any promises but might have it ready on Friday.
Phil & Ed came over and found a MUCH better method of holding the cells down. I was planning to use aluminium T between the cells, but this is dangerous since you have a conductor very close to the terminals. The solution we came up with was to put a LARGE nylon rod along the top of the cells and drop bolts through the cell ribs down into the floor of the box. Note the photo shows the nylon between cells when it should be in the middle of the cell, providing some level of idiot proofing as a bonus. Having a block of plastic between the two terminals means it's much harder to short them. We marked the drill locations by sticking a rod covered in paint down the cell ribs and painting the box floor. Phil drilled the holes and everything appears to line up.
I pulled all the bearings out of the two gearbox casings I have in preparation for installing the reconditioned gearset from the blue gearbox with the mangled casing in the replacement casing with worn out bearings I got from pick-a-part. Pulling one bearing in particular was very fiddly, requiring that I cut up my puller to avoid an interference with the gearbox wall. Cleaning the casing ready for assembly took much longer than expected, I think it's time to replace my degreasing fluid. The adapter plate machining filled some deep recesses with swarf, luckily I prepared some compressed air earlier, as the neighbours wouldn't like my noisy direct drive compressor running late at night.
Ed installed the EVision shunt in a box, doing a much better job than I did on the brains (no I won't show you a photo). Once we have the battery cabling and shunt location sorted, we'll drill the holes for the main power cables. The shunt will get warm in a box, hopefully it won't get too hot.
I started assembling the input shaft which I took apart so many months ago. I thought I could leave out the baulk rings for reduced drag. Unfortunately the selector detent mechanism relies on the baulk rings. I only worked this out after much fiddling and wondering why the detent pins always popped out when selecting a gear. I now have to press the selector mechanism off the shaft and install the missing baulk ring.
Wednesday, October 22. 2008
Tuesday, October 21. 2008
Monday, October 20. 2008
Part 4 of a 6 part odyssey! I now have the lip folding finished and I've holes drilled around the edge for plug welding into the car. I've also added plug welds between the spot welds around the base, they were about 7cm apart. During the folding exercise I cracked a couple of the spot welds in the seam up the side of the box, be sure you don't weld this back together and then find you want to drill through the weld to attach it to the car. MIG weld is very hard and your drill bit won't be the same again.
As predicted, I have now suffered a finger caught between the box and the hole. It was less unpleasant than expected.
When plug welding the box to itself I used 6mm holes, Power 6, Timer 5, Burn Back 0 & 9.5psi Supergas Argmix 52. The metal in the car is thinner so I expect to use less power.
Stay tuned for part 5, where you may enjoy stories of welding the box into the car and part 6 where I expect I will tell you how I covered myself in paint.
Saturday, October 18. 2008
Thursday, October 16. 2008
I've don't think I'll have to resort to heat to fold the battery box. A big hammer and a couple of steel plates do the trick. At first I tried clamping the plates with the side vertical, but that was fiddly to set up because you have to hold everything roughly in place and tighten the clamp at the same time. Setting the edge to be bent on the bench and clamping through it is much easier to set up. I'm about half way through the folding.
I've charged 24 cells. I'm charging 4 at a time and the box holds 36, so I've got a few more days of charging. I'll be down on power, but the car will run just fine at the nationals on 115V. This is a good thing as I don't have time to make racks to hold more cells.
The blood letting now stands at two small nicks from sharp edges and a finger pinched between cells. The ribs on those Thunder Sky cells sure make them hard to squease into tight spaces. Both the somewhat inevitable hammered thumb and finger caught between box and hole are holding back for now.
Tuesday, October 14. 2008
After much help from Lee at Minibitz my battery box arrived, unfortunately they made it from almost 15ga instead of the 18ga requested. This makes it about 30% heavier and harder to bend. As you see in the picture, I've had some luck bending it with my drill press vice. I had to bend the lip in two stages, first to about 45 degrees all the way along, and then again to get the right angle. I'm not sure how I'm going to do some of the more complex curves, but I can see it involving quite a lot of cutting.
Fitting it into the hole is also going to be difficult I would like to hang it off the existing floor, so it has to go in from above. The rear seat back is reclined and gets in the way.
Monday, October 13. 2008
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