Saturday, December 3, 2016

Schematic revised

I am told I went a little fuse crazy.   Please give your comments, did I swing back too far the other direction?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Still on the battery boxes

The fitting of all the batteries in the car is proving a little challenging as the fits are very close to the car dimension limits.  We have been building prototype cardboard boxes to represent the parts and stacking the system together.

We have concluded in the interest of getting the car moving yet this year we will build the front battery box first as opposed to the original plan to build the rear box first.  In placing the rear box we would need to cut the floor plate and reroute some brake lines.  The front box will influence the placement of many of the electrical components in the motor bay.

YES, I KNOW the image is too wide, but the blog would not let me make a clickable expansion that I figured out and otherwise it was too small to read anything.

The current configuration has 2x11module top facing vertical stacks for 22 modules in the front pack leaving 26 modules or the rear pack.  The new development allowing us to build half the pack now is Wolftronix has figured out how to control the Nissan Leaf BMS by replacing a chip, allowing less than 48 modules to be safely monitored and controlled.

We hope to complete the 3D design of the front box and order material yet this week.   Check back soon for images of the design.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Back to battery boxes.

Fitting all the batteries in without having exact dimensions on the motorbay and under the contoured rear seats is a challenge.  Everything is still subject to change, but here is where we are at.

1/3 of the original pack getting ready for disassembly.
We have learned that the individual modules need to be kept under compression during cycling to maximize longevity.  These modules should be squeezed to 1.33" per module.

Oui this is going to be fun to rewire...
We have not figured out why, but all black leads go to the intermediate connectors, and all purple leads to actual power connections.  The plates are different sizes so this end would be tough to do wrong.  We mapped the connector to the module connection location expecting the pins in the connector to be of minimum potential to the next pin.  That is not what we found.

Any suggestions on materials to use when we reconfigure to protect all the connections from shorting?

Rear battery box, 26 modules.
The cursor points to were we hope the contactor will fit.

Front boxes, 22 modules
The cursor points to where we hope to place the front contactor, heater relay and pre-charge circuit.
We are not happy with this yet, and are considering moving the DMOC forward to get another vertical stack of 12 above the motor.  We would then use the space over the DMOC for the contactors etc.

DMOC adapter test box made.

We have made a box to interface with the DMOC for trouble shooting.  A "REAL" version can be found at  The real version has two circuit boards in it and is very "clean".

Our version is a little more home grown from scrap parts, a lot of little wires, several hours, and  just a choice word or two.  Labels have yet to be added.

Trust me, the layout is totally logical ;)  Can you tell we are making this in a house that had kids?  Popsicle sticks can do anything.

Motor mounted and delay explained

A little delay, but we have the motor, transmission, and DMOC mounted in the motorbay!

We had two incidents delay our progress for a little bit.  First a storm came through and took out multiple healthy trees in the neighborhood.  Our TV antenna was still attached to the house and reception was great for a distant PBS channel.

A little reinforcement in the attic with 4x4's.
The antenna may get folded in the future, but the attic and siding will stay.

Our next "quick" project was on the main car.  The trailer tire valve cut 1.5 miles from home with a load of pavers onboard.  I was offline at the time and a large portion of the load was put in the family station wagon.  The rear springs and jounce stops were not happy.  The springs took a permanent squat.  Just get new springs right?  We often have 4 and 5 in the car with gear in back so I decided to look for a slightly stiffer spring.  The VW springs are weight classified and given color codes.  The actual spring stiffness values are not listed.  Our code was 1 green dot, 2 brown dots "P".  Arghhh.  After several weeks I found a listing on a Russian website :) yeah!

 I went to the local recycle yard and drove across the scale.  Front axles 2020lbs, Rear axles 1440lbs, whole car 3460lbs, with a 143lb driver.  We now have new jounce stops and the 1 green/2 blue "AD" springs installed, the intermediate "T" springs were not available.  The back of the car came up an inch and looks much happier now.  Amazing how the eye can see an inch.  FYI, the 1BE springs are about an inch shorter than the 1BA springs.  Anyone need a set of used 1BA with a 1" set is them?

This has been a good exercise for us as the GOLF will need new springs to deal with the added battery weight.  I have not found the above charts for the GOLF spring colors and weights.  ANYONE have it?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Aw nuts

Well, we almost got it in...

Transmission lowered onto the motor, AREN"T engine hoists nice...  Slipped right together! 
On the hoist and waiting for help and a motor mounting plate.
A little welding touch up action on the motor mounting plate to help me sleep better.
A long time friend of my son that has recently taken several welding classes came over to touch up a part and teach my son a first lesson in welding.  HOT!  He gave me some refresher comments too.  P.S. auto tint welding masks are awesome!
Some post weld heat treatment to account for weld pull during cooling.

Aw nuts, the original VW mounting bolts are M12x1.5 not M12x1.75 like all the other bolts on the engine.  A quick trip to the hardware store to get the right nuts and then mounting the transmission and motor will be complete.  If you look hard you can see the halfshafts are already connected back on.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Welding and machining complete of motor mounting hardware.

Motor mounting plate welded and bolted.  Still needs some grinding on the weld to clean it up.

Spline coupler welded to the old clutch plate, mounted, bolted and thread locked to the motor.  The welding turned out better than expected the second time.  (There is a story here, check orientation before welding...)

Adapter plate plate ready to receive the motor.

We will be putting the motor in for the second and last time this weekend!  By Monday turning the motor will turn the wheels!  Maybe even a video of the install.  Anyone out there have a favorite free software for creating time-lapse videos coming off a Samsung galaxy running cyanogenmod?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Will it fit?

We checked some measurements today before welding the motor mounts.
Ready to mate the tranny and motor.
Motor to frame isolation mount plate.

Motor and tranny mounted together and headed toward the motorbay.

Note the 1/4" gap between the motor plate my hand is on, and the frame of the car.  I told 'em it would fit.

  Oh, don't forget the torque reaction bar.
It was a good check, after aligning the motor and tranny back into the bay, the lower reaction bar mounting holes aligned to the tranny well.

Next step, Weld and bolt the angle iron to the motor mounting plate.  Weld the clutch disc to the motor spline coupler and put 58 screws in the clutch plate to give an RPM readout.

After that.

Working on the battery box for the front.  We need to get 22 modules in the front battery box.  The back box will hold 26 modules.

Motor mounting update

Motor mounting plate 2nd operation
The plate started as a piece of 6061 Aluminum 14"x 14"x 1.25" thick.  First operation was to water-jet the outside profile and inside clutch-plate clearance hole.  The known location mounting holes were also put in 1mm undersized.  The second operation shown above was to remove 0.25" from teh motor side to create the raised boss that can be seen in the center.  This boss aligned the motor during install.  The plate then went to another shop with a large lathe to finish the boss accurately.  Then to a fourth location to drill and tap all the holes.

Adapter plate being aligned to the transmission.
At the fourth shop we used the center boss to center the plate on the transmission and then bolted, drilled, and inserted two pins to permanently align the plate to the transmission input shaft.  We got the plate aligned to ±0.00125" TIR.

Monday, June 6, 2016

General Update

We worked on the battery and Motor this week.

We disassembled the Leaf battery pack into its major components.  The rear pack will go under the rear seats of the VW, the other two packs will go in the engine compartment.  Only the power connections are shown, there are many more wires not shown that connect to the Battery Management System (BMS).  The battery pack was obviously built in a modular fashion, and the wiring connectors were very well placed for our needs.  We did not need to disassemble any part of the actual packs so all the safety shielding in still intact and we hope to keep them as is in the new configuration.  We will create some long "jumper" connections from the front pack connectors to the rear BMS connector so we will not need to actually change any of the pack wiring.  Hurrah!

BMS, note the 5 multi-pin connectors bringing in voltage readings from each pair of cells in the entire pack, 96 pairs.  We have a few cables to build up to bring the data from the front of the car back to the BMS or vice versa...
The rear pack came out very easily, the + and - power connections, and two heater plate connectors.
The rear pack, 24 modules, 48 pairs, 96 cells.  MUCH heavier than it looks, we used their lift points and lifted it like a deer but with a 2x4.  Two of us could get it airborne, but it took four of us to be able to maneuver it.

Main disconnect.
Underside of main disconnect, note the huge fuse.  And yes, we played it chicken, note the rubber glove and only one hand in the pack at a time.
Under the main disconnect we found the heater relay.

Labeled Panasonic are the + and - main disconnect relays.  Between them are the pre-charge resistor and relay under it.
Wolftronix programmed our DMOC 645 (AZD), his DMOC adapter (black box to left) and we confirmed that everything works once you remember to disable the charger interlock safety circuit (prevents you from driving away while plugged in).

A Big thanks to Wolftronix.

All the modules are plastic wrapped.  Next step is to measure the packs more closely, and the area under the rear seats to create a battery box.

Creation of the motor/tranny adapter plate is in progress.  There was a concern that the front bearing in this motor needed to share lube with the transmission, but the data I have found suggests that the previous version did require lube, this version should be a sealed unit with a 5 year, 20k hour maintenance interval.  for us 20k hours is 30 plus years...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

General update

A couple of things are going on right now.

A. We have received the raw metal stock for mounting the motor.  We are checking and triple checking dimensions for the motor/transmission adapter plate.  We hope to water jet the OD, ID and many of the holes yet this week.  Then mill and tap the holes next week, and maybe get the motor boss machined next week too.

B.  The DMOC adapter controller is under construction and hopefully within the next few days we will get the DMOC programmed and spin the motor to confirm operation before mounting to the transmission.

C. We have been finding the wires in the car that need to be rerouted to the DMOC adapter for I/O
      Cruise control
      Brake pedal
      Fuel sensor
      Coolant temp
      Oil pressure
      Reverse lights
D.  We are trying to figure out the CAN bus addresses for several of the instrument panel lights.  HELP please!

I am trying to keep the inside of the car as stock functioning and looking as possible.
I am trying to integrate as many systems together as possible to prevent duplicate parts.

The BIG change; I am adding an adapter computer to control the motor, batteries, pumps (steering, cooling, vacuum, heater, A/C).

The adapter is fully programmable (C++) and can control the car via I/O analog, digital, and CAN. The dashboard in the car is CAN.

I plan to use the OEM road speed sensor, locks control, wiper control, radio, airbag control... through the OEM ECM.

I wish to transfer some new outputs from the adapter to the dash: My understanding is that I need to find all the addresses below so the adapter knows where to send the information.
I have looked at the schematic and removed from the list below all the direct non-CAN inputs. So I am looking for the addresses for the following lights in the dash.

to "analog" tach gauge: dial selectable output
      motor RPM
      current flow output/regen
to MFI digital display: dial selectable output:
      scrolling battery cell voltage readout
      charge rate
      pack total voltage
      other adapter outputs...
      regen mode state on/off
to cruise LED
      cruise state on/off
      EITHER ECM or adapter error
to brake system warning LED
      vacuum level warning
to glow plug LED
      charger still plugged in state
to oil level warning LED
      pack pre-charging state

Analog/Digital direct input required, i.e. non-CAN bus input
to fuel "analog" gauge
      battery charge state
to fuel low LED, this may be automatically triggered from within the instrument panel based on the        fuel gauge reading?
      battery low warning
to "analog" coolant temp gauge
      coolant temp, scale changed 30-90-150F I think. Instead of x-190-2xx? [Jetta, 97 says a 120ohm         resistor should read 90F]
to generator warning LED
      DC-DC convertor failure
to oil pressure warning
      adapter ready to drive signal, light out = ready to drive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Water pumps, which one to use and hose routing

We have several water pumps, we need to choose between them and route the lines appropriately.

The motor and motor controller (DMOC) need cooling water, the radiator and heater core are still in the car.   We figure we do not want to connect the motor/DMOC to the heater core as during the winter we will want to heat the cabin and not waste heat in the motor/DMOC.  The plan is to route radiator > pump> DMOC>motor>radiator, any reason to route otherwise?

For the motor/DMOC we suspect we will want a continuous low flow of coolant to prevent hot spots, but should not need the maximum stated 16L/min continuously.   So we have been looking at pump control strategies.  The initial plan was a low flow pump always on, with a high flow pump on a temp controlled relay.  That was until we noted one of the pumps seems to have signal wires.

Size reference, 4" dia.

Looks like it may be able to CAN communicate and maybe spin at different speeds?  But I have not found on the web yet any specifications for it.  Help please.

UPDATE [We have learned that this is a CAN controlled pump.  The Yellow wire is 12v+, the White is GND.
We have been told the red is LIN, and the blue ASD, but that does not jive with CAN.  We have also been told to hold the blue to 12v+ to do a power on test, but that was given by the same informant as the LIN and ASD information which seems incorrect.]

Other choices I have on hand are:

Size reference, 3.5" dia.

Size reference, 4.5" dia.

Size reference, 3" dia.

I figure one of the little ones for the heater core, when the heating element is on, the pump is on+a minute or two shut off delay.