Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The I-Beam is in.

The main new load bearing member is in the car permanently.  From a Civil Engineers perspective, "This is so cute," as the beam is 2.33"W x 3"T.  I have no idea why they make one so small, but it works for us! 
Positioning the I-Beam into the frame for welding.

You can see at the top end of the I-Beam that we added a plate.  The plate allowed us to do the difficult welds out of the car, and better match the thickness of the car sheetmetal to ease the welding in the car.  The in-car weld goes around all 4 sides of the plate.  Thank you to Keith for the insight in making the engineered system more manufacturable.

James welding in the I-beam
We caught James Brownfield in action and had a bit of fun with him.  No matter how many times we told him that the welding helmet would darken automatically he obviously has been using the traditional welder mask all his life and would twitch his head to flip the helmet up and down for each weld.  Constantly expanding his horizons, I learned during this visit that in addition to being a precision instrument maker, that he also does real estate brokering.
As opposed to my plan for some coarse and messy good old fashioned stick welding, James preferred TIG and they are much prettier than I could ever do.

Z-Bar battery frame with doubler plates tacked in position.
 I was not convinced the welds on the Z-Bar would hold as predicted and James had the suggestion of adding doubler plates to the sides spanning the welds.  We welded the joints, ground them flat, and then TIG welded the doubler plates all-around.  The image also shows the addition of the spanner angle iron.  These angle parts serve two functions, they significantly stiffen the Z-bars for side loading and they provide the lower attachment points for for the battery boxes.

Z-bar doubler plates
I-beam in, front battery boxes in place.
In the above image you can see the water pump and vacuum pump resting on the I-beam.  We are now int he process of determining the exact placement of the pumps.  They will hang from the underside of the I-beam,  Above the beam will be the DMOC controller and the 12V battery.

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