Electronics Installation (Part 2)

Today’s mission was to get all of the components bolted to the shelf, get them wired up, and get another test in. This sounds like it would go pretty quickly, but it did not. First off, it is a pain making the high voltage cables. They are made from #2/0 welding cable – this is thick stuff. It has to be cut with a cutting wheel. Next you have to “crimp” the terminal ends onto them. Again, this sounds easy, but the ends are pretty thick copper. We ended up just smashing the life out of the ends with a hammer and then covering our medieval methodology with some heat shrink tape. The connections are solid, and they actually don’t look too bad.

Next is getting them from point A to point B. This cable isn’t all that flexible. You really have to pay attention to the direction you put the cable ends on. It can make connecting them much easier. We spent a couple of hours making the cables and bolting them where they needed to be.

Now, the frustrating part. We connected everything as the wiring diagram instructed. Double and triple checked our work. When we were satisfied that we got it right we got some batteries. I grabbed a couple of 12 volt batteries and hooked them up in series with a couple of jumper cables. I then followed the connection instructions and got them connected to the electronics. The light on the controller turned solid green (as it should) and it did so without any funny noises or smells or random explosions. Next we needed to test it by pressing on the accelerator pedal. I hopped in, pressed a little bit, and nothing. Pressed a bit further, and nothing. Put it right to the floor and nothing. I hopped out of the car and double checked all the wiring again. Jumped back in and still nothing.

The next 3 hours or so were spent taking it apart, putting it together, testing wires and leads, and checking our wiring. I checked and checked and checked. No dice.

We ended up leaving the shop in time to catch the 4th quarter of the Pats game (they won!). We were not able to get the car running with the throttle working. We did everything we could to troubleshoot the issue, but I think it is a problem with the throttle box or the controller itself. I don’t have any way to test either of these things so I wrote an email to the good people at E-Volks.com to see if they could guide me. I hope to hear back soon.

I don’t have a lot of pictures from today, but I will have some posted soon. There are pictures and videos from Saturday.