Monday, June 1, 2009

He's baaaack...

After a hiatus that turned out to be much longer than expected, I'm back at it. This weekend was the first chance to actually do anything - I had to get the garage cleared out after the Voltwagen insanity.

First thing I did was mod the hood. It had not been closing very well with the top on the front rack. So, I took a Dremel cutoff wheel to it and surgically removed part of the support (the grey splotches are primer to keep it from rusting):

Next, I finished the interconnects in the front rack. Six months ago (!) I was in a big hurry to try to get it kind of running so it could move in and out of the garage. So I did not put the heatshrink on the interconnects, nor did I have the PakTrakr fully attached. That has now been corrected:

Finally, I got the charger re-installed. You may remember that it died a few months ago and I sent it in to be repaired. I never did figure out what killed it - my best guess is that a transient voltage spike killed it. Don't know where the transient came from - turns out I had a flaky AC plug that was sparking when plugged / unplugged - maybe that was it? I've replaced it the plug.

A few things of note on this picture. First, I also installed a kilowatt hour meter from EKM Metering (just like on the Volt914) so I can track wall-kWh-per-mile. Second, inside that gray box the meter is sitting on is a 12V power supply. This will provide a few things - a light that shows on the dash when the Jeep is plugged in; and a relay that will tie a signal to ground to tell the controller not to run when it is plugged in. Eventually it may control other fun 12V systems that are needed when it is plugged in. Third, I've provided a ground to vehicle chassis (black wire in foreground) per the Manzanita Micro instructions.

Lastly - next to the gray box - you can see that I have replaced the 5/16 bolts with longer 3/8-16 bolts for the rear hold-down. I was not convinced that the 5/16 bolts were heavy enough. And I could not get a good grip on them with the nuts - they were not quite long enough. So I drilled them out (a lot of fun - hardened hex cap bolts do a number on drill bits) and put stainless steel 3/8-16 bolts in their place, held down by wing nuts.

Short list of things that *must* to be done to make it safe / really driveable:

  • Hook up power steering
  • Hook up power brakes
  • Replace instrumentation (especially speedo)
Short list of things that *should* be done before it is driven regularly:
  • Install DC-DC converter
  • Replace some of the dual 2-gauge cable interconnects with triple 2-gauge interconnects (makes it equivalent to 2/0 gauge)
  • Bolt down some loose electronics boxes in the engine compartment
  • Put in the add-a-leaf kit for the rear suspension (it is sagging quite nicely...)
  • Get the clutch working (hook up hydraulics, fill & bleed)
And there is a nearly infinite list of things that can be tweaked after that, including big items such as 4WD.

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