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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Chevy Volt drivetrain

I actually bought the entire EV drivetrain from a 2013 Chevy volt with 7k miles. After 3 attempts of buying a new volt battery (paying for, waiting months, and then getting a refund from the dealer) I just went with a scrapyard unit. A few weeks ago I started tearing apart the Chevy volt pack and video taped the tear down and here are the links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00tTckGUv7I&list=UU1haWsGv-HcI10lapf4MBgg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00tTckGUv7I&list=UU1haWsGv-HcI10lapf4MBgg


It's my first time shooting and editing video so future videos should be better quality


Here is a picture of the drivetrain sitting next to our daily driver volt (30,000 EV miles and going strong):​





When I bought all the parts I made sure to get all the important wiring bits.​






For those that don't know, the motor and inverter are very interesting, the motor is actually 2 motors. One is nested inside the other in a coaxial configuration and the inverter is actually two in one as well. It will take quite a bit of work to figure out how to talk to the inverter and very likely outside my capabilities (I am a ME not a EE for a reason :). But a 111kW AC drive system for well under $1000 is a big opportunity for the DIY community.​






Here is the engine side of the gear box. And on the bottom you can also see where the passenger side axle shaft comes out:​







The Volt pack has a disconnect mounted on top. It is not the easiest to pull but I am pretty sure it is fused.​







The pack cover is easily removed and the the whole pack is easy and straight forward to work on.​







The pack is configured in 3 modules that are made up of 48V and 24V modules. The pack measured 370VDC total and is likely near a "full" charge. Keep in mind that chevy's version of a full charge is actually 80% SOC.​




I took video of the whole process and will post it up on youtube once I get it all edited. The modules are pretty easy to breakdown and I will upload the pics from that process next week.​
 

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Yup it's fused, 350 amps. Mine will deliver that for at least 2 minutes so far. Full Charge is rumored to be 400 volts. Lower limit 240 volts

The big thing would be to hack the battery for bms and other controls.

Chevy seems paranoid, everything inerts the pack.

Where did you get yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got it from a junkyard. It took me a bit because I didn't find one locally and it took a few attempts to find a yard willing to ship everything. Once I got a deal worked out on the battery the other parts were cheap. Even if I just end up scrapping the motor I won't be out much money. Because right now there is 0 market for them. If you wreck a volt enough to damage these parts it is going to be scrapped and with 8 year and 100k mile warranty there is no real replacement market.

As far as the BMS, I know there are some on the forum looking at making the OEM BMS work which would be very cool but in the mean time I want to wire it to my Orion. With the right harness it should be a simple plug and play from the Orion to the individual modules. I have been talking to a few people about buying a harness (including Andrew at Orion) but nobody makes this so I am designing up my own.
 

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I'm guessing you have yours apart so you've seen the Orange bms tie points. Just whack the control board side off and add your own connection scheme. Just unplug them from battery first as I believe they are live. Should even be a standard spec connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm guessing you have yours apart so you've seen the Orange bms tie points. Just whack the control board side off and add your own connection scheme. Just unplug them from battery first as I believe they are live. Should even be a standard spec connector.
Yep. That certainly is an option. Ideally a cable could be made available that would allow anyone to plug straight from the modules to the Orion without even picking up a wire crimper.

I have been searching for a connector but in the mean time I could just depin the original connector a repin it.

Here are pictures of the 6 and 12 modules.




Also I forgot to mention that there is a current sensor located in between the front and middle modules


 

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Sensor is lem product dhab s44 a 0 to 600 amp inductive coupled DC. Runs on 5 v ref. Darn kindle won't paste the pdf here.

I'm lusting after modifications to the mains relays after I figure out what they break. 350 amp one shot perhaps.

Also many assorted imbedded thermocouple, and looks like a 600 watt heater element
 

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kerrymann,

I'd like to use the Volt pack, but I'd like to break it up so get 190V and twice the Ah.
Question: Do you think the inter-module cabling can handle more than 300 Amps?

Looks like inter-module connections include HV cabling, cooling fluid and BMS cabling. Am I right or is there more to it?

Thanks. You are doing an excellent job at documenting this effort. Can't wait to see the vid.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You could actually do that pretty easily. There are 7 of the 48v modules and 2 24V modules. They can be reconfigured into 2 192V packs (or 4 packs depending how it will be cooled) in parallel. The design of the modules will not handle high currents but putting in parallel will double the current and get you the voltage you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sensor is lem product dhab s44 a 0 to 600 amp inductive coupled DC. Runs on 5 v ref. Darn kindle won't paste the pdf here.

I'm lusting after modifications to the mains relays after I figure out what they break. 350 amp one shot perhaps.

Also many assorted imbedded thermocouple, and looks like a 600 watt heater element
Thanks. If you can upload the .pdf that would be great! I have not noticed the heater yet. Where is it located?

Each module has a TC. Not sure what type though? (maybe a thermistor for all I know yet)
 

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Good luck kerrymann.

I got outbid on a couple online auctions but not giving up. I need the battery for my conversion using a Prius motor and inverter but I plan to hack the Volt drive train as well if things go as planned.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
And here is a great video that i just found where GM shows how the volt system works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX5ZwzNwTc4

Much better job then I would have done with some shaky camera video pointing at things under the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, you're made of stouter stuff than I am- that drivetrain is frighteningly complex based on the video...
Not really. Take the engine out of the mix and you only have 2 modes and there is nothing that says that you can not just operate in one mode.

I started this for the battery and the price for the rest was too good to pass up. Trying to get the inverter and motor is a long shot but rewards are not without risk.
 

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kerrymann,

Are you sure that the Volt inverter interface is CAN bus only? The Prius inverter/motor that I am using does not use CAN bus and hacking it is very different than just CAN decoding.

Have you come across a wiring diagram of the Volt? This might give some insight into the interconnections and type of hacking required.

Thanks
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #20
kerrymann,

Are you sure that the Volt inverter interface is CAN bus only? The Prius inverter/motor that I am using does not use CAN bus and hacking it is very different than just CAN decoding.

Have you come across a wiring diagram of the Volt? This might give some insight into the interconnections and type of hacking required.

Thanks
Jeff
No I am not sure at all. That is in fact my biggest concern. I have not found any wiring diagrams yet but right now I am focused on the battery. I am worried that the only way to get it work is if it can communicate with all of the other controllers on board. You see this a lot in engine swaps and it is can be a mess unless you can reflash the ECU.
 
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