Adventure EV

Tag: Fabrication

Battery Box Progress

by on Nov.18, 2009, under Batteries, Battery Boxes, EV Land Rover, Fabrication

I certainly expected to learn a lot embarking on this endeavor, and I have.  But something I didn’t really need to learn was that cutting 1.5″ x 15.” x 1/8″ angle iron with a 12″ mitre saw and an abrasive cut-off wheel… takes FOREVER!!!

So far I’ve cut pieces for three of the four battery boxes… 12 pieces for each box, two cuts for each piece, for 72 cuts altogether.  45 degree angles are the worst.  It’s like cutting thicker material.  The wheel just spins round and round… and round… and round before it cuts through.  I thought it would be like butter,  but it’s more like cutting through a can with a nail file, metal dust everywhere.

Cutting Angle Iron

And the abrasive cut-off wheel doesn’t cut cleanly at all.  Every time I complete a cut I have to de-burr, bevel, and smooth the edge with a 4″ angle grinder.  It just gets tedious.  Took a couple of days.  Word of advice, don’t do this without ear defenders and other normal safety gear.  You’ll go mental without the ear protection… and deaf.

I’ve heard of chop saws that use carbide-tipped metal blades that do cut metal like butter… and cleanly.  If I was doing it for a living I’d purchase one in a second, but they’re ex-pens-ive.  Another word of advice, get one of those!

But then it was on to welding, and for some reason welding is far more enjoyable.  I dunno, there’s something about melting two pieces together by brute force… and a lot of electricity… and sparks.


So after the past couple of days, the two frames below are the result of the fruits of my labor.  And what do you know, they actually kinda fit.  Tomorrow I complete the rear box frame… the big one.  That shouldn’t take long.  The welding is relatively quick and painless.  But I’ve run out of shielding gas… wish me luck trying to find some.

I purchased some thin gauge aluminum sheet which will act as the box walls.  That will be sealed in and riveted, not welded, and I can cut that stuff with electric metal shears.  Hopefully this time it will cut like butter.

Side Box Frames

I also pick up my motor spacer tomorrow…  hopefully.  It’s Taos.  Every time I call to see if it’s done it hasn’t been started.  Life moves at a different pace out here.  Luckily I’ve been preoccupied with the fabrication work, and I haven’t been pushing the machinist.

I dropped my flywheel off earlier in the week to have the starter teeth and a bit of the back side shaved off.  Maybe I can cut its weight by a third.  It’s a heavy bugger, so any weight savings would be nice.  It was a spur of the moment decision, so I failed to weigh it prior.  Oh well… heavy.  That’s how much it weighed.

Maybe I’ll never see my parts again…

For those looking for sources for parts and pieces:

1.5″ x 1.5″ x 1/8″ Hot Rolled Steel Angle – 80 ft @ $87.75 ($1.10 linear foot)

60 sq/ft .040″ 5052 Aluminum Sheet – $140.19 ($2.34 sq/ft)

Purchased at Metal Supermarkets in Albuquerque, NM.  You might find an outlet near you, or you can order online.





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First EV related setback.

by on Nov.14, 2009, under EV Land Rover, Fabrication, Motor

I guess it’s been a bit quiet for the past couple of days.  There are a couple of reasons for that.

Turns out that the motor adapter pieces I have don’t exactly fit entirely.  The adapter plate itself isn’t the problem.  The bolt holes in that match up just fine with both the motor and the clutch housing.  The problem is with the flywheel adapter.  Basically, the flywheel adapter puts the flywheel at the wrong depth for my transmission.  You can see the difference (maybe) if you look at the two pictures.

Original Flywheel Mount

Original Flywheel Mount

New Flywheel Mount

New Flywheel Mount

The first image is of the original flywheel adapter on the back of the engine with the clutch housing in place.  The second image is the new flywheel adapter in place in the motor using the same clutch housing sitting on the motor adapter plate.  The clutch housing is the large cast aluminum case surrounding the round bit with eight holes, the flywheel adapter.  It’s hard to see, but the adapter in the bottom image sits farther away from the clutch housing.  Using this would put the flywheel and clutch completely in the wrong space when mounted to the transmission.

This is not entirely unexpected.  The adapter kit I purchased was for a Netgain Warp9 motor which turns out to have a different shaft length from my Kostov.  But until I could actually get the pieces in place, I didn’t know how different they’d be.  Luckily everything else seems to be the same… bolt holes on the adapter plate, etc.

Measuring the distance between the clutch housing and the top of the flywheel adapters results in a difference of 0.75″.  I have to reduce the depth of that flywheel mounting surface by 0.75″.  There are a few ways to go about this.  One solution is to cut the motor shaft down by 0.75″,but I don’t really want to mess with the motor. Another would be to shave 0.75″ off the face of the flywheel adapter, but that would leave too little of the adapter itself.  So, I’m opting for a third method.  I’m having a spacer machined to set the motor 0.75″ away from the adapter plate.  Here’s a mockup in Photoshop:

Motor spacer

Motor spacer

This adapter will sit between the motor and the adapter plate, essentially reducing the depth of the flywheel adapter within the clutch housing.  Again, much like trying to find a custom color of automotive paint, being in a small town doesn’t give me a lot of options when it comes to machine shops, but I eventually found one that will do the job for a reasonable price ($60), and I should get the piece on Tuesday.

Once I get the flywheel on with the clutch, everything may appear more evident.

This put some of the vehicle work on hold for a bit, since I can’t mount the motor without the spacer.  So I spent Friday down in Albuquerque buying bits of aluminum and steel angle iron for the four battery boxes that I need to fabricate.  More on that later.

If this is the only issue regarding the mounting of the motor to the transmission, then that’s fine by me.  However, I have to look forward to securing the motor in place by coming up with a motor mount that will work with the existing frame mounts.  More on that, too, when the time comes…

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