Sunday, July 27, 2014

INSTALLING THE BATTERY MODULE WAS QUITE A SHOCKING EXPERIENCE!

Today I was out working on the Fiero by 7 am and had to finish the outboard end plate. The wire feed welder I have is a cheap Harbor Freight Chicago Electric Welding model with a 10% duty cycle, so after welding for a minute, you have to wait 9 minutes for it to cool down. After tack welding the clips in place and marking where the holes to bolt down the tie straps, the end plate was removed. When starting to drill the holes that were going to be tapped, both of the clips broke loose, so the end plate had to be bolted on the module again and better tack welds re-applied. 

Finally, all of the clips were welded in place, the holes drilled, the plate ground, to clean off all of the splatter, and a coat of paint applied, so it was time to start putting the first cell in place. The leads from the existing battery pack in the front of the car were in the way so I had to disconnect them. When working the first cell with the end plate and the rods, my arm came in contact with the negative terminal and I got quite a shock, so stopped and taped both of the leads. It had rained and I had left the trunk lid open, so there was a bit of water inside the engine compartment. I have been chasing a ground leak but have not found it yet, so it will be interesting to see if it goes away with the new module installed. With the rods inserted through the end plate and a cell, it was a struggle getting the hold down clips to go over the battery rack angle iron but with some twisting and prying, finally got both of them over the angle. Then I started the second cell on the rods and started working it toward the outboard side of the car to mate with the first cell. I am going to have to move the controller about a half an inch for the cells to clear it but was able to work the second cell around the protruding fan housing to slide it toward the first cell. My arm came in contact with the negative terminal of the controller and again I was shocked! I really don't understand this, as the leads were disconnected from the controller and the positive pack voltage lead was disconnected. Also the contactor on the positive lead of the battery was de-energized, so there should not have been any voltage there.


GETTING SHOCKED!

I would have disconnected the battery terminals on the battery pack in the front of the car but the Allen socket that I needed was no where to be found. I had a set that fold out but none of the sizes were correct. It slipped out of my hand and created a ball of fire when it contacted the negative and positive terminals, so the negative terminal of the controller was just taped so I could continue installing the cells. As my luck would have it, just as I was getting ready to put in the third cell, there was a giant clap of thunder and after getting shocked twice and shorting the battery pack terminals, decided it is time to pack it in for the week, as about the only thing left was to get struck by lightning!

Still looking for a tow dolly on Craigs List but the only seller to respond was too far away, so the search continues.

EVCCON or Bust!

Randy
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