Archive for April, 2009

So I finally feel like I’ve really rounded the corner.  The winter is over, the weather is nice, the “I don’t know how to weld” confusion is passed… it really seems like at this point all I have to do is wire up the stuff, and it’ll roll.  I can do this!  Probably.

Rack Installation

I found Hastings Welders on craigslist in a posting for “mobile welders”, and I’m glad I did.  They came over and looked at the plans, and took the time to understand what I was doing… they made the parts, brought them over on a Saturday, and welded them into place in the car.

I set a budget of $300 for this process… and they came in under that, so I’m really happy about the whole deal.

The battery racks installed in the VW

The battery racks installed in the VW

This was the part I really had no idea how to do, and I’m really happy with the results.

So, with this completed, I jumped forward into the next steps!

Installing electrical components

I decided that the next step was mounting the controller, throttle box, contactor, slow-blow fuse, and umm… anything else… in the back like it shows in the picture on the kit.

I tried the self-tapping screws, but I think I might be dumb, because I couldn’t get them to work.  Bolts!  Bolts are good.  So I bought some bolts in the wrong size, then bought them in the right size, then I finally got the damn thing mounted.  Three trips to Home Depot to get 6 bolts.  Sigh.

The controller installed in the boot

The controller installed in the boot

So, the throttle box will go to the left of this, and the throttle cable will pull down the little spring, then the throttle box will tell the controller how much voltage to send to the motor.  Yes, I’m explaining this like I’m telling it to a 4 year old, because I’m just figuring it out myself.

I really ought to join a local electric car club, because I bet I could ask some really dumb questions to some people who know more than me, and then I’d become moderately less clueless about this all.

It’s all coming together now!!!

Major challenges ahead:

  • Not electrocuting myself or blowing anything up
  • Figuring out how to read wiring diagrams for all the electrical components
  • Getting all the lights and wipers and stuff working
  • Upgrading the rear suspension to accommodate an extra 500 lbs or so

Read Full Post »