Friday, September 10, 2010

Catching up - battery connections and dash gauges

I've been neglecting the blog lately (again), but have made progress.  And last night, yes, the car went on the road for the first time!  Very exciting.  Still much to do before it'll pass inspection, though.  More on that later.

Battery connections:
In order to make up the battery cables, I "splurged" and bought an el-cheapo hydraulic crimper from Harbor Freight and went to town.  Following the instructions from the ElectroAutomotive kit, I cut back the insulation on the cable, filled the lug with Noalox, inserted the wire, crimped it, slipped a piece of heat shrink tubing over it, heated it up to shrink it down, and voila.  A completed connection.  Repeat 137 times.  Or so it seemed.

Here are a couple of views with the batteries connected.  The big piece of pink plastic tubing seen in two of the views is 1" heat shrink covering the fusible link for electrical isolation.  The same pink heat shrink is covering the main tie-down for the lower box - during installation that steel tubing has to come very close to terminals!
Next I made the connections to the main shunt and the motor controller.

Dash gauges:
For the 3 gauges supplied with the kit (traction pack current and voltage, accessory battery voltage) I bought a generic 3-gauge pod that mounts on top of the dashboard.  Nothing spectacular here.  I ran the wires up from under the dash and through a couple of small holes drilled in the top of the dash.  For mounting the pod I cut out a small piece of aluminum (.1" thick), drilled and tapped holes to match the mounting holes on the pod, and sandwiched the dash skin between the aluminum and pod.  Very solid.  Here are a couple views of the installation.  Sorry for the dirty windows.

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