Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Destruction Day Four

The ICE is out!!! There were quite a few stubborn bolts, but none broke and the engine came out with little fuss. On it's way out it got stuck on the air conditioning pipes so it took a little wiggling to get it out completely.
Tonight I am posting the left over ICE on craigslist and hope I get something. If not, I will be stripping some stuff off and junking the rest.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Destruction Day Three

The engine block is ready to be removed! Yesterday I removed all the tubing in the engine compartment and took off part of the tail pipe system. I didn't get to remove the engine block yet because of the lack of a chain, and then rain again.

Here is my setup. I have the car parked under a large tree branch that I will use to remove the engine, and I also put my canopy over the car to work in the rain. I have a stack of wood that I am using as a bench for the junk ICE parts and the soda bottles are full of oil and antifreeze.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Destruction Day Two

The weather cooperated today, but I spent most of it shopping for home construction materials and sockets for my conversion. But I did take out a few more small items and drained the oil and most of the antifreeze. The main reason for the slow progress is because I was trying to take things apart slowly and carefully so I can put them back together after the left the engine compartment. The keyword is WAS. After about 4 hours of slow progress I realized that these ICE components probably wouldn't sell anyways because they have 243,000 miles on them! The engine needs a timing belt, oil pan gasket and a general tune up, but who knows how long it will actually last, so I decided to just rip out the engine and related components and sell them as a pile of Civic Parts. And if they don't sell, I will just junk them.

Tomorrow I will drain the last antifreeze bolt and rip out the engine tubing and hoist out the engine. It should go much faster now that I have decided to just junk the engine and tear it out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Destruction Day One

Today was another lousy, rainy day, but I did get a few things done in between down pours. I set up my canopy and started destruction. Here is the engine compartment before I started:

And now this is what it looks like now:

I only had about an hour of usable time due to rain and removed the 12 volt battery, air intake and unplugged most of the wiring on the engine. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I plan to drain the oil and antifreeze and remove the engine. I am quite surprised how little I am actually removing because I am keeping the A/C, power steering and power brakes. I also am keeping the radiator because the automatic transmission needs it. It's my esitmate that this whole process would only take 2-3 hours assuming everything was setup and the weather cooperated.

I am still awaiting my coupler and it's final cost. Depending on the final cost of the coupler, I may order up a vacuum pump for the power brakes. Hopefully tomorrow I will get some inclination on the status of my coupler. I am also working on the aluminum plates for the motor to transmission adapter.

Silent Enemy

Yesterday I spent the morning getting ready to start gutting the Civic, then it started to rain so I went inside to work on some programming. I spent a few hours creating a program from scratch and testing it, and I was so involved what I was doing that I didn't see the water collecting around me! Ever since the yard was landscaped water finds it's way through one of the basement windows and floods the place.

Hopefully today I can start some gutting in between rain storms and I might even set up my 10' x 10' canopy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Update

My coupler should be done midweek, which is great news. I also hope to start gutting the Civic, but the weather is not cooperating. Today I cleaned the car out and there is a very small amount of gas left, so I am ready.

I have also took the time to go back and learn some more PIC Programming. I have found a few tools to help me along, and I will be able to make a decent programmable controller. I am thinking of getting an LCD display to use with it and have a monitoring system. One feature I plan on making is an Economy/Performance button. The Economy mode will have a low current limit to lower battery consumption and the Performance will raise the current limit to increase acceleration. The Ecomony Mode will probably have a current limit of 100 AMPS from the batteries, limiting the motor to about 10 HP, and the Performance Mode will limit the current to 300 AMPs, or 35 HP.

I am going to have to design this on paper to make programming easier. I have been doing some programming, but a visual drawing with the features, ports and limits would make it quicker. And maybe a larger protoboard for testing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Worst Part...

I have come to the worst part of my EV project. Waiting. I have to wait for the coupler to be machined, the Civic to have an empty gas tank and a paycheck so I can purchase my batteries.

It's driving me crazy that I have run out of things to do on this project. I am actually grateful that I took a summer class because the optional homework keeps me from going crazy just sitting around. I have even gone back and redid all my motor, battery and range calculations from scratch just to make sure and keep me busy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coupler Progress

The coupler is at the machine shop and with any luck it will be done by the end of the week! I also gave them the small plate that will mount to the motor so they can CNC machine it to be exactly what the motor is.

Now that the coupling is finally being made, this weekend looks like the start of the destruction of the ICE. Nearly nine months of planning and collecting components has come down to a 3 inch chunk of steel, the smallest, yet most complicated part of the whole project!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back From Vaca!

During my vacation I came to a realization that I have designed every aspect of my conversion, from the controller to the adpater plates and I overlooked the most important thing: The on switch.

So I have designed up a circuit that will use relays to turn on the 24 volts to the controller, the 48 volts to the contactors, a few fuses for them and an interlock relay so when the car is plugged in it can't be turned on and driven away.

On Monday I am going to call the machine shop again to see if they can make the coupler this week. They were busy before I went on vacation and I never got around to calling them and dropping off the components before I left.

As for the car gutting, there is still 3/4 of a tank left so we are going to drive it until its empty, try to find a place to steam clean the engine compartment and hopefully start the gutting on Saturday.

And finally I have gotten my controller test video up! It's running off the DeWalt batteries for a total of 66 volts (some cells are shot), and using a tiny weed whacker motor that was made for a much lower voltage, but serves it's purpose of a low-amp tester.