Saturday, August 13, 2016

REMOVING MORE COMPONENTS

This morning  work continued on removing components in the Fiero. The DC-DC converter, shunt and insulators for the shunt were removed, followed by the contactor that was used to shut off power to the charger. The only thing left before dropping the motor cradle is to jack up the car and get a couple of bolts removed that tie the battery end plate to the angle iron battery racks. Then I will be able to remove the battery module. I want to assemble the module out in the driveway and do a discharge down to 90 volts and then charge back up to 136 volts. I will probably do this a couple of times out in the driveway to make sure the module is not damaged so that if it does fail, it will be away from the garage.

I have not decided what motor/controller arrangement I want to go with but will either need to keep the voltage at 120 Volts or 360 volts. Not sure if the HPEVS motors go up to 360 volts so may have to stick with the 120 volt or consider another motor/controller arrangement.

The lessons learned from the controller fire are:


  1. Never assume that because the accelerator is not being depressed that the controller cannot send power to the motor. I had started to exit the car to check the status of the LED lights on the controller and had left power on to the controller. Fortunately the parking brake was on and the car was in 4th gear, so had enough time to jump back into the car and keep it from going into the field on the other side of the road.
  2. There needs to be an emergency cutoff switch inside the car and you need to practice using it so anytime there is a problem, it is a natural maneuver to  use it. After turning the car to avoid the field, after pulling on the emergency and standing on the brakes with no slowing effect, turned the ignition completely off. This did cut power to the controller but also because in the excitement turned the ignition on to the lock position, locked the steering and shut off the vacuum pump for the brakes. Fortunately the wheel was turned enough to miss the car stopped at the stop sign but only luck kept me from rear ending him.
  3. You should carry at a minimum a Class C fire extinguisher in the car for electrical fires. Had I had one the Fire Department and Sheriff would not have had to been called. If the batteries catch fire, you are probably not going to be able to have a fire extinguisher big enough to do anything anyway.
  4. There should be an emblem or decal on the outside identifying the car as electric. I was not injured in the event, so was able to tell the fire department that the car was electric. One of their questions after the fire was extinguished was how could we tell the car is electric if you were unconscious when we arrived at the scene?
I am sure the Warp 9 is going to take a major overhaul, with at least a communicator machining, new brush holders and brushes for it to be used again. Also, before installing a new motor, the transaxle is going to have to be gone over, as it does not shift correctly. Also one of the seals in the axle is leaking and has play when shaken, so believe the bearing is going bad. Additionally, new shift cables need to be installed as the fire melted the ends and the fire extinguisher residue caused corrosion on the metal rods that go inside the sheathing. 

May be awhile before this puppy hit the road again, so canceled the insurance for now. 
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