The gasket supplied by Mitsubishi wasn't quite right, very close, but not quite right. I had to make another hole for a dowel, and move a hole for a bolt. Hopefully the instant gasket will seal that second adjustment. The gearbox now turns freely by hand and even coasts for a short time. The gasket was about 0.6mm thick and the differential became quite loose. I re-shimmed it to about 0.12mm (specified for 0-0.15mm) using a dial gauge and an old piston ring. I'm not sure why Mitsubishi call for the "fuse" crushing technique there as it's possible to measure the play through the driveshaft holes.
I didn't attempt to measure the preload on the shafts inside the gearbox -- I'll do that when I take it apart to remove the gears I don't need. John suggested that I could use lead wire as the crush "fuse", as pure lead is very soft. I'm open to other materials, but lead does sound like a good option.
My gearbox has been getting hot, 55C after a few km at 20C ambient. I measured the power consumption with the wheels off the ground and found it's using about 3.4kW at 50km/h. This is almost half my consumption when driving on the flat at 50km/h!
When I bought my gearbox in January, after I lugged it out of the shop and squeesed it into the boot of the car, I tried to turn the input shaft. It turned out to be impossible to turn by hand. The reconditioners came out and after turning it with vice grips, claimed this was normal. They also said that no gasket was required, you use instant gasket. I foolishly believed them. Later I broke that casing and bought a second hand one. This gearbox was free to turn before I took it apart and also didn't have a gasket. I suspect it met the same treatment at a reconditioner as it had a collapsed bearing. Since both the reconditioned and second hand box had the same thickness shims, I assembled it without trying to set the preload. The second hand casing with the reconditioned gearset was quite a bit looser.
This week, I got the Mitsubishi Workshop Manual from the library and found that they call for between 0 and 0.05mm end play on the intermediate shaft and 0.15 to 0.20mm preload on the output shaft. You set this up by replacing the shims with what Mistubishi call "fuses" and assembling the gearbox. Then you take it all apart and measure the thickness of the crushed fuses and select an appropriate shim. I suspect the reconditioners are simply reusing the old shims and removing the gasket, putting perhaps 0.50mm of preload on both shafts.
I've got a new gasket on the way from Mitsubishi (only $7!), but they didn't know where I could get these fuses to measure the gap between the casing and the bearings. The internet doesn't know anything about them. They're similar to Plastigauge, but you take them out and measure them with a micrometer rather than measuring the width of the squashed material.
I hope to have the gearbox correctly shimmed this week and dramatically improved range.
Russ Sciville pointed out on the Thunder Sky list that the Tesla was on Top Gear this weekend. You want season 12 episode 7 if you're looking for it online (ie 12x07).
Clarkson was very impressed, it beat a regular Elise in a drag race but
the Elise could take the Tesla in the corners. To me, the Tesla didn't
look very stable when cornering. They had two and ran one flat (of course). While charging, it had some sort of brake failure. The other overheated, is the Tesla's motor
water or air cooled?
The Stig drove it to the same time as a Porsche 911 GT3 and
substantially faster than the Elise on their test track.
They follow this up with a caravan jump, and a very positive and
uncritical review of the Honda FCX Clarity.
I took the car to the weighbridge -- it's 70kg lighter than before I started. The rear axle is the same, all the reduction happened at the front. Note the weights don't quite add up, 360 + 280 != 650, I guess this might be the weighbridge only having 10kg resolution.
I want to add another 100kg of cells, and it's likely I will have to put some at the front of the car, both to improve the handling and to reduce the rear axle weight.
I fixed my EVision -- last week I had the shunt installed backwards so it measured driving as charging and regen as discharging. My current economy is a little more than 1Ah/km, which gives me a range of between 30 and 40km with the small battery.
I'll make a more in-depth post about how much energy I'm using shortly -- I've captured a bunch of data from the EVision, but haven't got my head round analysing it yet. The instantaneous Wh/km readings from the EVision are difficult to quote because they vary significantly depending on whether you're going up hill or not. It needs a trip average function.
The only problem I've got is that my gearbox is sick, it's quite noisy and it gets hot. I believe there is too much preload on the bearings. If anyone knows how to set up an 80's Mitisubishi gearbox, I'd be interested in some advice.
A few friends and I are going electric go karting at Formula E on Saturday 6 Dec at 1:15pm. We're doing the $60 or $70 team thing and have room for 7 or so more people if you're interested in coming. I will have my Mini there too if you want to have a ride in a full sized electric car.
Email me if you're interested in coming so we don't overbook.