Electronics Installation (Part 1)

We got in the shop around 1. First thing was to get the motor in the car so I could start arranging the electric parts. Didn’t take too long and we got that in the car and bolted to the transmission. I was itching to apply some power to the motor, so we ran a chain under the motor and over the channel iron to hold the drive train up. Then we put the car up about 6 inches on the lift so that the wheels were off the ground. Next, I got an old 12 volt battery off the shop floor and got a pair of jumper cables. I checked my connections a couple of times and finally connected the last jumper cable to the last battery terminal. Nothing. Dead Battery. Ok, so I found another battery to use for our test and hooked that one up. Nothing. Another dead battery. I grabbed a third battery and hooked that one up. SHAZAAM!! That one had some juice in it and the tires started spinning. That was a pretty good moment right there.

Most of the rest of the day was spent cutting, cleaning, and positioning the Plexiglas shelf and the throttle box. The throttle box was a bit tiring, but didn’t really take too much. It was difficult to find a flat section of firewall to mount it to. Eventually I settled for an un level section and got to boltin’. I had an “L” bracket that was used for something when the gas engine was in there that I used for the throttle cable mount. I took the grinding wheel to it and cut a groove so the cable would tighten to it. It took a little playing to get the throttle cable connected to the throttle box correctly (meaning had the right amount of travel) but we got it. When we were all done it worked as good as I could have hoped for. A tip to anyone else building an electric car: use an “O” terminal on the end of the throttle cable. That way you can just bolt the throttle cable to the throttle box lever. Check out the video for a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Next we worked on getting the shelf cut and placed. This was a 1/4″ piece of Plexiglas that my Dad picked up somewhere for free. It’s in pretty rough shape, but this is a project on a budget. The plexi needed some work straightening out the edges and smoothing them out a bit. We took our time doing this to make sure it was straight, and to make sure it came out pretty smooth. I think we pulled it off.

Next came the placement of the shelf. This was pretty simple. Found out where I wanted to put it, clamped it down, and drilled the holes. I decided to put is right in the middle of the channel iron. This way, I can disconnect the battery cables from the electronics on the shelf, unbolt the motor mounts, and the channel iron will just swing up out of the way to I can get to the motor if I need to.

We wrapped up the day by placing the components onto the shelf where we thought they should go. It was a pretty long day, we didn’t leave the shop until about 7:30pm. It was 6.5 hours well spent!