Friday, June 26, 2009

Gauges, and legal to drive!

Over the past week, I've squeezed some 12V wiring work into odd moments here in there. This all culminated in getting the dashboard gauges (mostly) in place. It all started with the main cluster. Before putting it into place, I needed to splice connections into this connector, which fits into the gauge cluster to make the lights work:

The connections on this connector are as follows:

Gnd -+ 1 | 18 +- Illum
Left Turn -+ 2 | 17 +- Hi Beams
n/c -+ 3 | 16 +- Right Turn
Gas A -+ 4 | 15 +- Keyed +12
Oil -+ 5 | 14 +- Gnd
Gas C -+ 6 | 13 +- Illum
Illum -+ 7 | 12 +- Batt
Gas Tank? -+ 8 | 11 +- Water
Gas Tank -+ 9 | 10 +- Illum

I spliced in connections for the new gauge lights (the red and black cables - into wires on pin 1 and 18), and a connection for the gas tank light, which will light up when the Jeep is plugged into the wall and the key is turned on (i.e. - don't drive away you idiot!):

I then hooked in a 3-way wye into each of the illumination splices (there are three new gauges):

I also pulled all the wiring through the bulkhead into the gauge area. It made quite a spaghetti mess. Note the circular "thingy" toward the left side (inside the oval hole in the white surface). That is the original mechanical speedometer cable. It was the source of much, umm, "amusement" down below...

Underneath, I needed a good source of keyed +12V. Turns out this orange wire is keyed, and normally drives power door locks and power windows. I have neither, so this wire is actually very under-used. So I spliced into it for the brake relay and 312V ammeter:

Back in the engine compartment, I made looms out of the control wires, and put flexi-guard around them:

I removed the original bulkhead grommet, and enlarged the hole so all the wires could pass through it. Removing the grommet was highly entertaining, as it apparently was molded into place on the original wiring harness... but with enough cutting & hacking & cursing, I got it out and modified:

And here it is back in place, with a generous dollop of silicone sealer around everything. I also added sealer to the original hole where the throttle cable had gone (the square hole toward the lower right):

Back in the cabin, I neatened the spaghetti explosion into a loom and added flexiguard here too. This is especially important to protect those 312V wires that control the volt meter - although they are fused, I hate to risk more damage than necessary:

And here is the gauge cluster snapped into place. This was actually a *lot* more work than it sounds. It was a real pain to get the gauge cluster electrical connectors plugged in - despite the loom organization, the longer 16 AWG wires kept getting in the way. And then, the speedo cable was a *real* royal pain to get back into place. I finally found that unscrewing a mounting screw down under the engine gave me enough slack that I could pull the cable forward and get it to snap into place. It took me 15 seconds to type that. It took me 2 hours to figure that out and do it:

I then put the cluster face on, along with the 12V ammeter and 12V voltmeter. Here is everything plugged in and lit up. Note the ammeter showing about 40A - that's power steering plus power brake pump plus headlights plus turn signal plus brake light. Not too shabby. The DC-DC converter puts out 55A. I should almost never tap into the aux battery:

With all that in place, the ElectroJeep is now fairly road-worthy. So I took it on the road. I took it down to our local Jeep dealer and had a VIN verification done. I then took the paperwork down to our local county courthouse DMV, and got the Jeep retitled as Electric! Note the circled "FUEL E" designation. Unfortunately, they will mail me the actual title, so I don't have an image here, so the registration will have to do:

And here is the license plate with its new registration tags - all ready to drive legally on the roads!

One more note - I drove it about 11.6 miles round-trip to get the VIN verification done. It took roughly 4.6 KWh to recharge the batteries after I got home. This translates to 400 watt hours per mile from the wall - which compares pretty favorably with 379 watt-hours per mile for the volt914. Of course, I was driving 25-30 MPH the whole time, but I do not have the regen braking hooked up yet. So 400 is probably the right number. This translates to a range of roughly 50 miles at 80% DOD. We shall see...


David said...

Congratulations, Ross! A long time in coming...

Ross Cunniff said...

Thanks! It's amazing how much more fun it is to have it operational, instead of just an interestingly-shaped heap of steel, lead, and plastic in my garage.

David said...

Yeah, nothing like having a "pile of car" in your front yard...