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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As a next step I wanted to see if anyone new a US-based high voltage safety course or other materials; I've already stripped my donor car of unnecessary parts, listed them for sale, rebuilt my donor car's suspension, am already in the process of modernizing the 12V circuits I plan to keep on this car with a new fuse-relay panel, and have already ordered my EV parts,

Put simply, while I do have a BSEE and spent the last 10 years working on a track car so I have some skills, I'm aware that there's plenty of stuff that "I don't know that I don't know" so I'm not adverse to paying a few bucks for a high voltage safety course AND/OR a course that talks about converting an EV using a telsa LDU and AEM (or similar) ECU/VCU/control systems (vs "hacking a Tesla/Leaf into your new donor chassis).

The one recent book I found (Convert It!: A simple step-by-step guide for converting any classic car into an electric vehicle) was a waste of $13 and despite its recent publication date was more about using overgrown forklift motors than more modern tech.

While I suspect the former must exist, finding the later may be a stretch. Honestly, I think I have a good enough idea on the second item BUT knowing more how the HV junction box is setup would be useful for me.

I did find ONE sample course but the material is from AU. While the material looks decent at first glance, I'd prefer materials that someone has actually used before burning whatever $400 AUD is in real money (googled it: $285 for the combo course)

Thanks in advance,
-G
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just googled what a popcorn thread is and are you seriously going to poop on me for asking for guidance?

I know a friend who went through his ASE mechanics certification had to take a high voltage class. Outside of a pandemic, I'm sure I could find a community college class to take but I'm not inclined to join a bunch of random folks in person right now.

Instead, I'm hoping to find an online class.
My chassis is getting ready and these EV parts will show up soon.
Now, I don't want to accidentally kill myself.

Is that a bad thing?
 

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I didn't mean it like that. I was anticipating some interesting responses from other people.

I would add - having to look into HV systems as a mechanic (don't cut into that wire) is different from effectively engineering one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't mean it like that. I was anticipating some interesting responses from other people.
Sorry for being sensitive, I googled "popcorn thread" and this came up

That's why I was like WTF - I didn't see how my questions could be "controversial" so I was trying to understand why it would have been "ignorant" since I was showing that I'm not just some rando who is daydreaming; I actually have started this project and just don't want to kill myself.

For example: I know I need Class 0 gloves. the AEM VCU manual says so much.
However, do I need a hook? at what point would I want to have it ready(and need a friend/wife ready to pull me away)?

Perhaps this is a separate thread I should start but I'm looking for recommendations for this stuff, plus a Class III multimeter, and whatever non-conductive tools I should buy.

THIS is the kind of safety info I'd like to understand.
 

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There was an EV conversion company at the Novi Battery Show last September that had a EV conversion course but they wanted like $10,000 for it... He didn't seem to like it when I laughed. Let me see if I can find them again.
 

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For example: I know I need Class 0 gloves. the AEM VCU manual says so much.
However, do I need a hook? at what point would I want to have it ready(and need a friend/wife ready to pull me away)?

Perhaps this is a separate thread I should start but I'm looking for recommendations for this stuff, plus a Class III multimeter, and whatever non-conductive tools I should buy.
I don't know the details of your build, but is there a chance you can engineer it so you don't have to work on live HV components ? Like when building a battery, have a sufficient number of insulated disconnects in the string so when wiring the contactors there isn't any HV near them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, I agree that the LegacyEV cost seems pretty high esp since the tuition for an ASE mechanic seems to only be $5-20K.
Thanks for the tip on the tools thread. That's EXACTLY what I was looking for.
 

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Yeah, I agree that the LegacyEV cost seems pretty high esp since the tuition for an ASE mechanic seems to only be $5-20K.
Thanks for the tip on the tools thread. That's EXACTLY what I was looking for.
Basic insulated tools can be useful, but try not to get carried away. Buy stuff only after you determined you actually need it. Engineer the system with safety in mind, and you should be able to avoid a lot of situations where you'd be playing with fire.
 

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I took the Phase I: High-Voltage Safety Training course from Weber University. Not too expensive and it gives you some good tips on what to do and not do when working with HV systems.
+1 on the Weber University course. I took it last summer, and it was great. A full week surrounded by more EV parts than you can image and with the very gifted John Kelly as the instructor. (of YouTube fame). The course is part safety, part theory and part hands on tinkering with Bolts, Volts, Prius and Tesla. Wjile the course is really geared for mechanics that might work on these cars, there is a LOT that applies to DIYers, especially the safety part.

John is a rolling encyclopedia of EV cars and their high voltage systems. You would be hard pressed to find someone that knows more about Hybrids and BEVs.

And not to be morbid, but John won't be physically able to teach forever. Its just the nature of Lou Gehrig's. So go take the class, you will be happy you did.
 

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I'm a part-time instructor for Switch Vehicles, and we have a week-long, in-person program that covers all the basics of EVs including high-voltage safety.
It is primarily geared towards automotive tech program leaders and instructors, but workshop participants are often EV hobbyists. I don't want to sound like I'm just trying to sell you something, but thought I'd mention it as one example of something out there. It really is a good, thorough program.

Although I don't have experience with it myself, another program out there that I've heard some people speak of positively is this:
He also has on-line versions of his program.

This book is about 10 years old, but still has a lot of good basic info in it including some (albeit not much) HV safety:

Finally, just a comment about working with high voltage. @gunns you are definitely wise to think about it before you get too into all of this. Even though you won't find many stories on this forum about people hurting themselves and that sort of thing, the risk is very real and very dangerous. Using HV gloves and tools is an absolute must when you get to the particular points in a build when the HV risk becomes legit. I don't want sound like a nagging nanny, or that I'm trying to scare you, but there really are no second chances with this stuff if you make the wrong mistake. It doesn't take that much effort to be safe around this stuff, so I really recommend doing it. It's much more about being mindful and not making any assumptions about what is live and not, rather than relying on any particular tool, gear, or training.

As just one quick anecdote, when contactors fail (which if you don't know, are basically high-power / high-voltage relays), they generally fail in a "closed" (or "on") state; basically because they weld shut. Sure enough, I had that happen to me once, and even though everything was seemingly shutdown (including having the safety disconnect off), a portion of a battery circuit was still live that I had assumed was "off". Luckily, I figured it out without hurting myself, but it was a close call, and I took the lesson to always confirm that a circuit is actually open with an (appropriate) volt/multi-meter, and to never just assume that it is not live because things are "off".

Hope that helps some.
 

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As just one quick anecdote, when contactors fail (which if you don't know, are basically high-power / high-voltage relays), they generally fail in a "closed" (or "on") state; basically because they weld shut. Sure enough, I had that happen to me once, and even though everything was seemingly shutdown (including having the safety disconnect off), a portion of a battery circuit was still live that I had assumed was "off". Luckily, I figured it out without hurting myself, but it was a close call, and I took the lesson to always confirm that a circuit is actually open with an (appropriate) volt/multi-meter, and to never just assume that it is not live because things are "off".
"All guns are always loaded", but also that's the reason there are auxiliary contacts in many contactors such as those from Gigavac, and contactor diagnostics built into Sevcon and Curtis motor controllers. And then of course contactors weld because they closed with a load present, which is a question of its own...
 

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"All guns are always loaded", but also that's the reason there are auxiliary contacts in many contactors such as those from Gigavac, and contactor diagnostics built into Sevcon and Curtis motor controllers. And then of course contactors weld because they closed with a load present, which is a question of its own...
Yup, yup, and yes. But still ... @cricketo you're exactly right! "All guns are always loaded" is a great axiom to live by when working with high voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I suspect I'll be posting on this website more as my 83 Mondial project shifts from donor chassis stripping (done), unneeded parts sales (in progress but engine sold), upgrading/repair of vehicle specific components (headlights, 12V wiring, suspension) and now I'm getting into the EV bits
 

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You should only have high voltage for the last five minutes of your project...after you plug in the service disconnect.

Take a look at the proposed wiring diagram of the battery box in the 1962 Corvette thread.
 
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