Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Second EMW charger build begins (Very slowly)

So I finally got around to clearing up my den where I have my own PC and do soldering and the like indoors and pulled out the PCB set for the next Non PFC charger build, straight away I noticed that the control board is of a different version V12 and that it has had some “Modifications” to the PCB, some of the ground plane has been drilled out in around 8 places on the board to rectify a ground plane copper flood issue that they must have had with these PCB’s, So I spent a very long time (several hours) catching up on the charger thread on the diyeletriccar forum and much to my dismay the V12 board looks like it might be a bitch to get working, we will see, I have yet to source all the components for the charger build and so I will spend a while collecting resources and parts before doing any major assembly.

Charger fans packed up!

This blog is starting to look like a long list of failures, but then I guess if you take into account that I drive and charge this baby every single working day of the week (5 days a week) and some weekends to boot then the CPU fans I used have probably not done to badly for 18 months of use charging every day throughout the miserable cold & wet winters we get here in the UK, and the last couple have been especially wet, positively monsoon like!
Went to charge night before last and when I powered up the charger the usual fan noise was not present and immediately obvious as such, I left it a while and monitored the temp but it was soon obvious that no fans would mean imminent charger death, So I powered down took the following day off and replaced the 4 small CPU fans I had used in the initial build for a larger single CPU fan and despite its now precarious securing method (zip fasteners) it is jammed quite snugly in the hole cut in the ex-engine bay and secured by a single zip fastener to stop it coming adrift, this is very definitely a temporary bodge and will need addressing properly with 2 new correctly sized fans that are double the depth and preferably a little more robust than the puny CPU fans I have been using up till now, I wonder if you can get IP rated fans I guess so, more research needed.  

RX8 Motor Coupling

Brent called the other day to discuss the motor coupling as it turned out the Kostov K11 that came out of Steve’s MX5 had a splined coupling collar of some sort but Brent had to drill down the length of it and split it open to get the motor detached from the MX5’s gearbox, destroying the splined collar in the process, so much to my partners dismay I will have to purchase further bits to get this sorted.
After discovering that Kostov were going to charge me £235 for the coupling plate (which they incorrectly call a torque convertor for some odd reason) I found a universal coupling plate on eBay that is a perfect fit, ordered this immediately as despite the US duties I will have to pay, It is less than half the price of Kostov’s offering. In fact Kostov seem to charge well over the odds for their parts, I bought brushes for both the motors I own and bearings for the K9 and these also seemed overpriced, I will source all spares I can from elsewhere in future, in fact if I ever get more motors they will probably not be Kostov’s due mainly to the price.
Brent also needs the plastic bush coupler that goes between the K11 coupling pate and the RX8’s diff’s coupling plate.

***Update***

So the parts I mentioned above arrived in good time but unfortunately the motor coupling plate looks more than a little weak to say the least it is split in several places to allow for the easy fitting I guess but this also means that there is only around a 3mm ring of metal that is going to take the full motor torque, Shit that will not do so it is back to the drawing board for this part and to top it off my mechanic gave me the RX8’s coupling plate and this will also need modifying to allow the plastic bush coupler to fit both the RX8 and Motor side.
Still I have a friend who is hopefully going to help me machine up something that will be strong enough to do the job, watch this space ;-)

Monday, 5 January 2015

RX8 Collected by mechanics “The build begins”

Sweet, So after all the fuss the Honda is fine and the mechanics have literally just collected the RX8 for the initial strip down and motor fitting, Once the mechanics have the RX8 in place and stripped I will visit Brent and discuss the build proper.
But at last at least I can actually say that the RX8 build has begun :-) Better get back to the battery testing then!

Blown Gearbox NOT! :-)

Good news, My mechanic took the Honda in this morning and by lunchtime I had a call to say that the problem was entirely their fault and I had not blown the gearbox after all.
When they serviced the motor recently with new brushes and bearings they had welded the splined collar to far along the shaft and this had caused the spline to pop out of the collar.

Funny thing is that this is exactly what I suggested the problem might be when I spoke to Brent recently he assured me that this was impossible as it was clamped in so tightly there was no room for any sort of movement.
So apart from not having the EV on the road for the last few weeks this one has not cost me a penny.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Blown Gearbox?

Ok so now this is starting to wear a little thin but guess what yup I done blew it again!
Basically I have been driving the car no more than 2 weeks since picking it up after its new brushes and bearing were fitted and the day before yesterday I was driving home from a short visit to the mother in laws and POP WHIIIIRRRR! The sound of grinding teeth coming from the gearbox, initially I assumed that the motor has simply popped out of its collar but after speaking with Brent it seems that I may well have blown the gearbox (as my assumptions are simply impossible there is no room for movement in the collar and the motor is clamped tightly to the gearbox)
And now I think of it my worst fears are unfortunately coming true I had initially worried about the fact that I was potentially putting 3 times the torque through this little gearbox and my initial plans were to lose the gearbox completely, however due to the transverse gearbox arrangement it was decided (to my annoyance) that it would be simpler to keep the existing gearbox, I am now regretting that decision.
What I should have done, and will now probably have to do is dump the expensive coupling plate and collar and all the motor mounts again expensively constructed and source a differential that is capable of taking some serious torque and get this and its matching rear wheel hubs fitted under the beat, dump the whole Beat gearbox, axels and wheel hubs and fit the motor inline as I had originally planned.
Alternatively I find out what has broken and replace it like for like with parts sourced on line from somewhere! (this could be difficult or impossible) 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Replacing the LVC/HVC loom

I have been meaning to get around to replacing the LVC/HVC loom with decent ODBC II cables to allow for the removal of the Traction Pack without the need to unwrap and separate 18 spade terminal connections (6 per box) and then re wrap them on reconnect with insulating tape.
Seeing as this would require the complete removal of the entire Traction Pack and cracking the lids (Silicone sealed against damp) I had been putting it off until I had another reason to do it, Well here it came, I was around the mother in laws the other day and when I went to leave the car switched on as normal but when I put my foot on the pedal “nothing” not a dickybird no movement what so ever from the motor, suspected low 12V at first but a laptop conformed the problem was not with the controller at all as far as it was concerned it was all systems go! So this left only one possible explanation, The LVC/HVC loom was preventing throttle.
So I either had another dead cell or there was a fault on the loom and considering the recent damp spell I was suspecting damp in the loom.
Taking a little risk I removed the loom and connected the throttle directly to enable me to drive home (which worked) and the next day (which was a Sunday luckily) I set about the complete removal of the traction pack.
I had previously purchased the required ODBC II cables (4 of them, Three short 1 meter and one long 3 meter) to allow the complete LVC/HVC replacement loom, The huge advantage of the ODBC II cables is the waterproof plugs and sockets that are designed for automotive use and so do not suffer from damp or dirt getting into the connections and causing failures.
After removing all the lids I found that yet again despite my efforts with silicone the front Battery box has been compromised with a little water nothing major but not good all the same, So I took a heat gun to it on low to dry it our properly and after fitting the ODBC LVC/HVC loom cable did a full silicone seal to try once more to protect against water, However I think the under tray is vital now to see if that will stop water getting into this front box.
Strangely and despite there being no rubber grommets at all on the rear boxes they were both dry as a bone so obviously the front is where the water issues are causing problems, let’s hope the new waterproof LVC/HVC cable loom does the trick (Plus the imminent front under tray)