August 2020 – A functional battery containment, wiring & controls
August 2019 – A moving chassis
This time last summer the chassis came back from powder-coating and was put back together mechanically with all-new suspension, brakes, wheel bearings etc.
Since then, I’ve switched to (used) Tesla batteries, and I’ve figured out how to get ~100kWh of them into the car. That sounds a lot simpler than it has been, these cells are pretty awkward at 38″+ long, but they’re in. I’ve also found space for the two motor-controllers and the dual water-pumps. Now I need to fit the radiators/condenser and the front end rebuild will be complete.
In parallel (April/May was the rainy season) I’ve started the work on putting the 12V system for lights, accessories etc together. The DC/DC converter from 275V -> 12V is up and running, I have a programmable control-unit (PLC) controlling all of the electrical bits and pieces, and it’s looking really promising. I’ve posted the details on which PLC etc on the
Using a PLC (instead of all hard-wiring) will let me control additional tail-light functionality, day-time running lights, it lets me run a heat-pump style AC/heater circuit, and I get interval wipers not just really slow wipers. All of the modern conveniences in a classic car.
From last year:
The latest is that the frame w suspension, brakes etc has been re-done and is looking pretty good. I’ve gone from a typical 60-year-old chassis like this
to a blasted & powder-coated frame and suspension.
All of the moving parts have been replaced, the front end has been rebuilt, and I have upgraded from the original drum-brakes to a set of disk-brakes in the front. So far, all of it has been bolt-on so I’m still within the outline I set myself of not destroying anything original. I’ve used spring-reinforced rear shocks to offset the add’l battery weight under the trunk, it’s only a few hundred pounds but still, and ride-height should be as originally designed.
One of these days I’ll get a glamour-shot of the whole setup that lines up to the sales brochure of the day, but for now it is looking OK
The CAD modeling of the whole get-up with the 2 Azure motors, the coupler plate, plus the Torquebox reduction gear unit actually paid off when the 2nd motor stayed clear of the steering arm by 1/2″…
Now it’s on to putting together the motor supports & vibration cushions, that should be finished this week, and then I can try bouncing it all to see if it all holds together like it’s supposed to.
The slowest part in all of this is making the battery pack. I’ve got the first 4,000 of the lithium cells in the garage, and spot-welding them together is a task that is taking a LOT longer than I figured. The final battery has close to 13,000 of them, and for that I might just cave and buy a terminal-welder….