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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
sounds like bull to me. I'd want some independent testing in the US before I considered spending a dollar.
Yep, I'd be deeply distrustful that they even consider sales before independent testing.

Darn right. That's why they delivered the first batch to the US for independent testing! From time to time, I find that reading more than the first four words of a sentence can really put things in perspective. :eek:

J/K. For clarification, the company is Korean/American co-owned. They've delivered some units to their US facility which are going to be used for independent testing, presumably by an independent US lab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Racks and Mounting hardware.

Moving on with the build, I am in the works of developing my racks/mounting hardware for the motor, batteries, etc. I'm not too sure on any of that. In fact, if there's anyone in the Portland, OR or Sherwood area who knows about this stuff, PM me because I'd love to have some help with all this before I commit to any ideas.

Also anyone with any advice at all on racks/mounts/battery boxes...please speak up!

Thanks
 

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Re: Racks and Mounting hardware.

well..... here are some tidbits to consider.

1x1 angle iron makes good 'edges' for your rack, you'll need somebody to weld... Aluminum is lighter and won't rust, but far more expensive and trickier to weld. If you have a local steel wholesaler, you can often get pieces less than 4' long for 'scrap' prices, or check for local recycle/salvage yards too.

in design, leave room for insulation, or at the very least plan on space blanket and bubble wrap layer for winter. If you can swing it, plan on either flat pad heaters, or SOMETHING to add a little heat to the battery boxes to retain your capacity.

the box itself can be 5/8 marine plywood, or 1/4" polypropelene plastic screwed to your edges. plywood will need paint... steel edges should be undercoated...

If you have a box that opens to the interior, it should be sealed up tight so gassing doesn't get into the cabin, and small vent holes to the OUTSIDE for venting. fans optional during charging, but MUST be brushless if you use fans to prevent sparks.

I would HIGHLY suggest planning to install a watering system if you are using FLA batteries. Consistant watering is key to long life, and not dealing with individual caps and cell filling is the key to long life and happiness. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Yes, a watering system will be installed. I went with the US12v XC batteries, 12 of them. They have been ordered and should arrive next week sometime.

Also for the mounts, I've gone and got myself some paid help from a cool guy who's a welder/fab/structural engineer/all around problem solver. It's definitely costing me, but better to pay the bucks than to procrastinate and have an inferior design.

He should be coming over today and we'll work through to get all the mounting hardware done and done, but as I write this he's two and a half hours late...dang.

Anyway, I'll update with pics when I have the racks/hardware in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Frankencar Build Thread Cont.

Long overdue update -

If anyone cares, I'm sorry that I'm bad with keeping the build thread up to date, plus a major problem with starting tangents (no more CNT comments here!)

So I've got all the welding/fabrication done, and due to a slight curvature of the underlying frame, I will be fitting seven batteries in the rear box and five in the engine bay. The rear box has been painted with truck bed liner to make it nice and tough, and the seven batteries are laid in, just awaiting wiring and the watering system. The box has fans on two sides, which also need to be wired. Currently working out details so the fans current will connect when the gas door is open.

Speaking of the gas door, that's done too. I've installed a 40 foot cord reel on it's side poking out the gas door (cut down to maybe 30 feet now) and put a male plug on the end. So instead of an extension cord, I just pull out the cable, and reel it back in when I'm done! I like it.

To make a very very very long and extremely painful story ridiculously short: The motor is almost mated perfectly. Everything is linking up, but when I try to run the motor, the clutch is slipping. Next step is to pull the motor out (for the seventh time, I think) and reduce the spacing between the flywheel and pressure plate, tighten that guy down, reinstall the motor, and bleed the clutch.

Also, don't use ElectroAuto (I told you its a long story but I'm NOT going into it right now. I'll do a post on my blog at frankencar.org in the future about it).

Next goal is to get the motor mounted and working, then get the rear box finished, then I'll start on the safety fuses, main contractor, etc. Getting excited! If anybody has cautionary advice for this point in a conversion please let me know. Otherwise, I'll try to keep you posted!
 

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Re: Frankencar Build Thread Cont.

First, I just want to say, awesome avatar pic!

Speaking of the gas door, that's done too. I've installed a 40 foot cord reel on it's side poking out the gas door (cut down to maybe 30 feet now) and put a male plug on the end. So instead of an extension cord, I just pull out the cable, and reel it back in when I'm done! I like it.

If anybody has cautionary advice for this point in a conversion please let me know.
One caution on using a retractable cord reel is that the rated current typically applies when completely unreeled, so keep heat issues in mind. I'm installing one in mine that I plan to use mostly reeled (I don't want to pull out 30 feet to reach a plug 10 feet away) but I cut a bunch of holes in it for passive ventilation, and will be adding a PC fan for a little active cooling.
 

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Re: Frankencar Build Thread Cont.

First, I just want to say, awesome avatar pic!



One caution on using a retractable cord reel is that the rated current typically applies when completely unreeled, so keep heat issues in mind. I'm installing one in mine that I plan to use mostly reeled (I don't want to pull out 30 feet to reach a plug 10 feet away) but I cut a bunch of holes in it for passive ventilation, and will be adding a PC fan for a little active cooling.
That is very true and important. The extension reel can melt and catch alight itself or something else, seen it happen.

I am planning on having maybe two or three leads of different lengths so I can completely unravel the one I use or possibly join two, but only in emergencies and under supervision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Okay, more trouble on the clutch front. I have got the flywheel/clutch to install correctly, the clutch disc is engaging the splined shaft...but when I put power to the motor (12V), the clutch is slipping (I think). Sounds like the flywheel and clutch cover/pressure plate are spinning freely, but the wheels won't turn.

I've been playing with spacers between the pressure plate and flywheel, but if I tighten it down any more than it is, the splines start pulling in, which would actually make the grip on the disc loosen, wouldn't it? Any clutch masters out there, I need your help!
 

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Unless the Mazda flywheel/clutch assembly is completely different from all the other clutches I've ever worked on, there should be no spacers between the flywheel and the pressure plate. When assembling the thing, the flywheel is bolted to the crankshaft (motor shaft or coupler in your case); the clutch disc is set onto that, with an alignment tool to hold it centered relative to the motor shaft. The pressure plate is then installed over top of that, and you evenly and gradually torque the six or eight pressure plate bolts to 20-25 ft-lbs (depends on the bolt spec) and you're done. In the process the clutch spring is compressed about 1/4 inch, and that provides the clamping force to transfer the motor torque to the transmission.

If you don't already have one then get the Mazda (or Haynes or Clymer) shop manual for your car; it will address that topic in the required detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yeah, I think you are right normally, but without the spacers the clutch spring (is that the big spines on the back of the pressure plate?) compresses all the way in, so that they are pointing inwards toward the clutch disc. I showed it in that state to a Mazda guy (runs an rx7-only shop in a nearby town, he is the one who got me the right flywheel) who said that needing spacers on aftermarket parts is not uncommon.

However, if they are supposed to compress somewhat, then maybe I have this figured out after all... should those spines/clutch spring be more parallel to the clutch disc? If so, then I'm close with my spacing and hopefully that should work out.

I just ordered the Haynes manual, so I'll see what that says too ;)

Thanks all for the continued support!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Great googaly-moogaly....it has been a long time since I've updated. And in that time... I got a test drive in! It is really rough right now, needs a ton of work still, but it moves, finally! This is a huge day for me! Now on another note, there are a lot of noises coming from the car, most concerning of which is a high-pitched squeal coming from what seems to be the motor. It only happens when I am going very slowly. After I pick up speed it stops. But before the car starts moving up until I stop crawling, it happens. Any thoughts? Here is a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JpXTSfLhqY
 
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