Thursday, October 16, 2008

Preparing for the Adaptor Plate

I have been caught up with many things since my last post but finally got back to work on the motor to transmission coupling. The motor coupler is now finished after making minor machining tweaks and tapping the six holes for the flywheel attachment. In order to prepare for and size up the adaptor, we mounted the clutch onto the transmission side of the flywheel then mounted the coupler to the motor side of the flywheel and carefully slid the transmission onto the motor shaft. Once this was done, we made sure everything was level using wood shims to ensure we had equal distances in the space between the motor face and transmission housing. This gave us an accurate measurement for the thickness of the aluminum adaptor plate.

Here are two views of the Warp9 motor coupled to the transmission (with clutch):

We also decided to design a coupler for a clutchless setup as a backup plan in case things get too tight in the car's motor compartment or in the event that we simply change our minds and remove the clutch alltogether to go clutchless.

While trying to sell some of the ICE parts that were removed and no longer needed, I met a person named Jean who was interested in buying my catalytic converter. Jean drove over from Boucherville only to realize that I mistook the resonator for the catalytic. I felt bad and apologized for making him come for nothing. Jean arrived around 8pm and left around 11:30pm. It turns out we had much in common and a lot to talk about. Jean had also converted a Firefly about a year ago. I plan to meet with him again sometime in the near future.

On my limited spare time I have begun dismantling the dash and hit a bit of a wall. When removing the steering wheel, one must first remove the driver side air bag which is secured with two safety bolts. These safety bolts have a special head and require a special tool to be removed. I will have to get a hold of this tool to proceed further. I have also begun to inquire about batteries and I am coming to a sad realization. I recently spoke to a reputable battery and charger dealer in Montreal who questioned why I was considering using sealed batteries. He went on to tell me that he has sold batteries to EV converters in the past and most if not all of them were disappointed with the performance and longevity of sealed batteries used in this application. He informed that "initial current drop" is a factor that few people take into consideration. He also said that much of the information provided (specs) are falsified and he encouraged me to speak with others who have made costly mistakes in the past and have now switched to flooded/wet lead acid batteries. My original idea was to go with flooded golf cart batteries which have always been highly recommended by many people. Some experienced EV converters have stopped driving EVs because the quality of batteries has drastically deteriorated over the years. This makes things very complicated when one is trying to select the best possible battery. This is going to be the toughest part of the project.

Let me share some words of wisdom I received from Richard Lane:

"All batteries are very sensitive to temperature. Poor charging and high currents cause heating and short life.

Flooded: Will have the highest amount of power available. Cycle life is questionable depending on battery quality, temperature and charging. Drawback is venting and watering. Subject to sulfation if left undercharged.

AGM: Can deliver high current. Cycle life is similar to lead acid but they do not like to be very deep cycled.

Gel: Gel electrolyte will slow the output current causing voltage drop. Three times the cycle life in deep discharge applications of the other types. Charge voltage must be kept below 14.1 volts."

Well, as they say, the batteries are the heart of the EV so I will have to take my time researching even more before making a final decision and hopefully the right one.


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