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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Well, Well. After about two years, and many excuses, I think I might have finally finished the project. Over the holidays (11-2010) I painstakingly placed and wired the 20 Crown battery # GC 225’s in the truck. These are 68 lb lead acid batteries @ $109 each (I lucked out with no core charge and free delivery), you do the math.
I placed 4 in the front compartment and the other 16 in the bed. The technical problems that I encountered were in figuring out how to mount the tie downs for the batteries. I initially measured out rows across the bed at 7 ¼” ( most deep cycle batts. Are 71/8th) apart and welded angle iron onto the bed itself. I alternated the rows of angle iron (20g garage mounting material that is perforated at 1” intervals with a 5/16th hole) with rows of the bed so that I could mount 4X2 (8), next 3X2 (6), and finally the last 2 batts.,in the end. The thing that escaped my planning was in planning for the holes in the iron to match up with the hold downs for the batteries. This ended up being solved by using ¼” all thread as apposed to the usual j type tie down. Fortunately for me, I was able to place the all thread posts in the bottom holes of the angle iron between the batteries and make a nice tight pack. For the top mounts I simply made cage squares that fit on top of the batteries and bolted these with the all thread and j bolt tie downs.
After I had the parts of the pack assembled I could begin wiring the Batteries. I used Thomas and Betts bolt on terminal lug (#BTC 3104-B2) and 2-0 welding cable for connectors and all wiring for the traction pack. If I were a better engineer, or designer I could have planned for a standard length of these connectors. As it were, I had to custom measure and manufacture every cut and fit, one at a time, this was quite time consuming and tedious. Finally I had all of the pack wired and after double checks, and measurements of the system I was ready for a test drive.
I’m happy to report that the system has performed flawlessly to this point. Some of the accessories have had issues. The switch for the heater system welded closed (a 750 watt salvaged heater coil from a space heater) this was disconnected, and the voltmeter doesn’t want to work, the brake lights are out (I trouble shot the system and discovered a faulty brake light switch), and I think that the truck needs and alignment, BUT, all of the major components, controller, motor, batteries, charger, connections, wiring, all are working coolly, and as designed. I have now had 4 test drives to a distance of 15 miles round trip and speed up to 60 mph without mishap or any sign of trouble. After a section of hard run I pull over and thoroughly inspect all components of the system and have yet found any hot spots or areas of concern.
So next, I will focus on fixing all of the accessories, and optimizing the EV, hopefully, I will realize the potential of using this EV as a work vehicle ( 28 miles one way) and beyond..


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