Sunday, November 3, 2013

WEEKENDS ARE TOO SHORT

Last weekend I made some progress on wiring the controller but had to remove 10 batteries to start figuring out how to mount the contactor and shunt. I went into work Monday, wasn't that busy, and couldn't keep my mind off of the Fiero build, so took vacation Tuesday and Wendesday.

Tuesday morning I walked around the front of the car while drinking a cup of coffee, trying to come up with a plan to clean up and connect all of the components in the front trunk. Currently, there is no air conditioning but the tubes were just sticking out in space and it doesn't look very good, so I removed the evaporator/blower cover and removed the evaporator. There is also a rectangular hole where the heater cable goes into the interior and the original builder just stuffed red rags to fill the space, so I am going to need to make a cover. The positive control lead of the blower relay has a wire spliced on it that runs back into the interior but I am not sure if it is to energize the heater relay or power the vacuum pump, so will need to trace it out.


HEATER POWER CABLE

The vacuum pump was originally mounted on the fender well of the car and I think that amplified the vibration, so am going to try to mount it under the battery pack on the more solid frame. This will also hide it under the batteries and clean up the front battery compartment.


VACUUM PUMP INSTALLED
A bracket will be mounted on the front battery tray to mount the contactor and shunt and should make a  pretty clean platform for the component connections to the batteries. There was a metal plate left over from the original build that I cut to size and bent a right angle on the top to mount the contactor and  shunt. There will need to be some trimming and adjustments in the placement to clear the heater blower cover,  as when it is reinstalled, will cause some clearance issues.

All of the wires on the controller have been connected except the pack leads, so I am going to need to get the 12 volt system connected to test the the vacuum pump and main contactor power. I should be able to power both of them off of a switched 12 volt source from the fuse panel inside the car.

I picked up some stands that I could use to mount the shunt but they are really too tall, so am considering picking up some rubber expansion nuts to mount to the bracket I am making. I would use copper studs and  nuts to mount the shunt.


RUBBER EXPANSION NUT

 Friday I stopped at Ace Hardware and picked up fasteners to connect the power cables to the controller and the rubber expansion nuts to hook up the shunt. Then mixed up some body putty to fill the holes in the evaporator cover where the tubes exited. While the putty was drying, I fabricated a cover for the heater power cable where it comes out of the interior and painted it. To make sure the paint and putty were fully dried, I called it a night.

Saturday morning I started by mounting the heater power cable cover and cleaning up the evaporator and heater blower cover.


 HEATER POWER CABLE COVER

 Before installing the heater blower/evaporator cover I painted the vacuum pump black and ran a black rubber hose from the vacuum tank to the power brake assist chamber to make them dissapear.


VACUUM PUMP PAINTED BLACK




BLACK RUBBER VACUUM HOSE

 Recently we cut back our satellite  package as we only watch about 10 of the 210 channels on our previous plan. As luck would have it the Buckeye's game was on the Big 10 Network and that was a channel not included on our new package, so I changed cloths and went to Biggs Bar to watch part of the game against Purdue. When I got there it was almost halftime so I had a sandwich and a couple beers then went home at the end of the third quarter. 

Upon returning home I filled the holes in the heater blower cover where the evaporator tubes went into the duct and after applying a coat of body putty over the holes, went inside to watch football while the putty dried over night. Sunday morning I painted the putty filling the holes in the cover and after the paint dried, bolted the it back onto the heating duct. Then on to fabricating the bracket and platform for the shunt and contactor. 

I had a piece of sheet metal that was used to mount the controller in the original build and cut it down to size with a cutoff tool. Then an angle was bent on the top to mount the components. The platform was test fitted and some trimming was done to one corner so it would clear the heater fan relay bracket. After that the shunt and contractor holes were laid out on the platform and holes were drilled, before drilling the holes in the battery racks to mount the whole assembly. Some final adjustments were made, then everything was disassembled to paint the bracket. After the paint dried, the shunt and contactor were bolted back to the platform and the whole assembly was bolted onto the battery rack for the last time. Then orange heat shrink was put over the exposed parts of the cables going to the controller in the rear of the car and the terminals were connected to the shunt and contactor.

 SHUNT AND CONTACTOR MOUNTED

Some black terminal boots would be nice to help identify the polarity of the connections, so I will probably order some and change the red one on the negative terminal out. 

My charger is fixed but has not been tested, so it looks like I got done with connecting the contactor and shunt, just in time.

Thanks for reading,

Randy
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