Saturday, April 25, 2015

Looking Good

Things are starting to look good!  There are a lot of parts strewn about, but the truck will start some major assembly this next week.

Progress since the last post:

  • Rob and Jason cleaned up the mess.  Thank you thank you thank you.  This is small potatoes, but sure makes me feel better working in an organized workspace.
  • Greg put holes in the battery boxes and frames for the high voltage cables to pass though.  This was more work than one would think due to the steel and the frame.
  • The battery boxes are powder coated.  The front battery box is mounted.
  • Jesse with Jason's help cleaned and rebuilt the differential.
  • Ted and Mark sandblasted and painted the propeller (drive) shaft and installed it.
  • Rob and Jason painted the engine compartment and cab interior.  it is now grey and much more attractive.
  • I received and installed the Juice Box charging station
  • Rob painted the part of the steering column that sticks into the engine compartment (orange).
  • Jesse, and the team as a whole installed the battery boxes and batteries and truck bed so that we could figure out the stance of the truck.  We will raise the front end 1" (after being lower about 6") and lower the back end 3".  DaveB and Ben will figure out how to do that.
  • Andrew and Greg figured out how to and did mount the radio.
  • Peter ordered some tygon tubing for the cooling system.  It will look great filled with orange coolant.
  • Mark has started building a clear contactor box.
  • Just today, Jesse painted the new parts of the frame which support the battery boxes.

There are quite a few items left, but it is looking good to be road worthy in May.

The next big items are:
  • Paint the differential orange
  • Install steering column
  • Install the front engine mount
  • Lower the back end 3"
  • Final installation of rear three battery boxes
  • Install bed lift and lock system
  • Bottom balance the batteries
  • Finish the build and wire the contactor box
  • Wire the batteries
  • Wire everything else
And then of course
  • Cab interior
  • Graphics
  • Grill
  • Tail lights

Wow... it's a pretty big list.  Five weeks... I think we can get there!

Here are some pictures.

Rob and Jason with the painted engine compartment
Front battery box
A beautifully clean differential
Trying to assess the stance

Look at all those batteries
Ready for painting the frame (with the garage door open)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Creeping up on it

 This has been a week to work on battery boxes.  Battery boxes are probably the biggest hassle of a retrofit EV.  You have to put all those batteries somewhere, and they are heavy.  Cardboard boxes just won't do.

We found a great fabricator who got three of the boxes made up.  Friday we got them installed.  Jesse did a great job on welding some of the support members.  Ben was a man with a mission today.  Welding nuts and plasma cutting the frame to make it all fit.

To the right is Ben welding his nuts to his boxes.

Thanks to Brian for the fancy pictures,

The rear box was abotu 1/2 inch too wide so that meant some plasma cutting and grinding.  We had lots of sparks flying.

This is a mock-up of the cut-out switches.  There are two manual ones and two which are connected to ignition and charging.

Next week we will be painting and finish welding.  The front battery box will be fabricated and hopefully wiring will begin.

Still working to make it to the highway in May!