Rebuilding a 2008 lead acid battery conversion to LiFePo4
Sunday, December 23, 2012
SWEEPING OUT A SPACE IN THE GARAGE
Over the last month I have been selling and trashing much of the clutter that seems to collect in garages. Today I finally was able to clean out a space and actually get the Electric Fiero inside the garage.
The money from the items I sold on Craigslist went into my fund for lithium batteries and hopefully by Spring, enough funds will be available to make the purchase. Currently there are about six battery manufactures or vendors emailing me on a regular basis offering to sell me batteries and I believe competition is good. It was a common perception that as volumes grew that battery prices would come down but that does not seem to have transpired. They have come down from where they were when first introduced but seem to kind of hit a plateau and just stayed there.
The lead acid batteries currently in the car are a couple years old but may be good enough to use as a solar storage bank. They will be pulled and individually tested to see if they can be used to fast charge the lithium batteries in the event the car was needed quicker that a regular charge would allow.
The interior of the Fiero needs work and after pulling the batteries, is where I am going to start. I have a set of seats that are better than those currently in the car but I kind of have my heart set on leather. They would really set off the interior and lend some class to the Fiero. The headliner is also in poor condition but I have been able to put headliners in myself so that shouldn't cost much. While doing the interior, I am going to work on the instrumentation and heater. The speedometer works but not the tachometer. Also, my JLD404 is not reading current correctly either from not being hooked close enough to the controller or noise on the line. I have good voltage indication but am not able to count amps. The JLD404 has a common ground and I am thinking that the shunt and voltage grounds have to be at the same potential for the meter to read amps properly.
After the interior is finished, the rear drive cradle is going to have to be dropped. The last time I drove the car there was some pretty severe clunking back there and it seemed the car would not move for a few seconds after the noise. I originally thought the cradle bushings were worn but am thinking it may be a transmission problem. While I have the cradle out I am going to check the clutch and motor coupler to make sure they are still good. Also the transmission and motor mounts need gone over. The previous owner recommended I go with solid mounts as the electric motor does not have the vibration an ICE would. This will also be a good time to put the Helwig H60 split brushes in and rebuild the brakes. There are currently 900 lbs of batteries, so I may need to do some suspension modifications as there will be less weight now. Also, the tachometer sensor will need to be mounted and some kind of hall effect rotor added to the motor shaft.
With any luck by early summer I should be ready to start building the battery boxes and installing the batteries.
Looks like I have my work cut out for me so better get out to the garage and get started.