Archive for September, 2009

I haven’t had any major jumps of progress in the past few months, but I have had lots of small progress which should be enough for an update here.

Mounted Components in Boot
I mounted all the medium sized components to the firewall in the engine compartment of the Beetle.

All the electric components mounted in the boot

All the electric components mounted in the boot

The shunt is what I use to run a lower voltage signal to my meters (because 120V would melt them).

The contactor takes a 12VDC signal, and closes the circuit for the high voltage system.  I hook the ignition to this to turn the system on and off.

The throttle box tells the controller how much voltage to give to the motor.

Good stuff.  It seems pretty simple, really.

Installed Gauges and Snaked New Wires
I kinda messed this one up.  I tried to use a hole saw to cut through the dashboard for these meters, and the results were less than spectacular for many seemingly obvious reasons.

Because I mangled the structure behind the dash, I ended up putting in a piece of wood to back these gauges and hold them in place.  Wood in a car.  Seems wrong somehow, but it works.

Installed Volt and Amp meters in the dash

Installed Volt and Amp meters in the dash

Dave came over and we used a fish tape to run 6 new wires from the back to the front of the car.  2 for the Voltmeter, 2 for the Ammeter, and 2 for the ignition.  This was surprisingly undramatic considering I actually had a fish tape and knew how to use it from my job as a CCTV project manager.

Contactor Hooked to Ignition
From my testing of the 12V system and testing around with a multimeter, I knew that several of the inputs on the fuse box were activated by the key switch.

After some testing around, I figured out that I needed to hook the hot ignition wire we ran to fuse 7, and the ground needed to go to the car frame.  I hooked the other end to the contator inputs.

So I test the continuity on the big heavy connectors on the contactor… no continuity.  Turn the key in the car, hear a huge CLICK, and then… boom, we’ve got continuity.  It works!  I will be able to turn the car off and on.  How nice.

Now, I’ve been reading on message boards about pre-charging and diodes and whatnot so I don’t blow up the controller when this connection is made, but my kit didn’t come with one.  Hmm… maybe it’s optional.

Crimping Tool
So the next step is actually wiring up the high voltage stuff.  Yikes!  I got a tool from eBay for about $20 that will allow me to crimp ends on the huge high-voltage battery cables.

Hammer Crimper for 2/0 gauge wires

Hammer Crimper for 2/0 gauge wires

I’m going to Ace today to pick up some heat-shrink tube to cover the crimped ends, and some heavy rubber gloves so I don’t… you know… die.

Read Full Post »