Check out the first test drive video below:
On Saturday the EV had it's first test drive moving under it's own power. We ran into one SNAFU, we had the motor leads switched so that the car ran backwards due to a faulty Curtis Controller diagram. When it was in forward gear the car moved in reverse.
Check out the first test drive video below:
Today we fixed our mistake after a quick call to the motor manufacturer, Advanced DC motors. Now the car runs beautifully except for the whine of the controller at low speeds, but this is normal to most electric motor controllers. We also got the windshield re-fitted and cleaned up for looks.
All that is left to do is install the DC-DC converter, fabricate the front electronics rack and cover, fabricate some water resistance features, upgrade the suspension, and install a better heatsink for the motor controller. Besides minor fine tuning and aesthetics we are almost there!
The battery trays are complete, installed, and painted. The six front batteries are installed and wired and the PakTraker, battery monitoring system, has been wired.
Now that we have installed the forward batteries, we have found that the suspension system will need to be upgraded with stiffer coil springs to compensate for the extra weight up front. With stock springs the Spitfire is riding pretty low.
We also got the electronics board wired with the circuit breaker, main contactor, amp meter, and main fuse. We used 1/4" copper to wire the components together.
The battery trays are coming along nicely. We have two mounted in the rear and are working on getting the 4-pack rack mounted in the front.
At this point we are planning on the first powered test drive taking place in a week or two. However, we still have to run all the main power cable between the batteries, controller, and motor and finish installing all of the 80 lb batteries.
We continued fabrication of the ten battery trays today, and nailed down our battery configuration for installation. Next week we will purchase the ten 80 lb Trojan batteries so that we can double check our clearances before finalizing the installation.
We also finished the installation of the motor by fine tuning the final 1/2 inch aluminum motor support and bolting it to the frame. Fabricating the motor support was difficult since the existing engine compartment structure was neither symmetric nor aligned.
Finally we got the new disc and drum brakes installed and bled. It will be a huge step up from the rusted out rotors we had before.
Work continued on the Spitfire conversion today. We continued work on the battery trays. Two trays out of 10 have been cut and welded so far. The battery charger has been placed for installation in the trunk.
The throttle control (potentiometer) was installed and connected to the existing "gas pedal" linkage.
A tie down bracket was fabricated to secure the accessory battery to the firewall.
Several team members also started fabricating the motor support plate. We should be able to finish it up in the next session.
Let there be light
Today we finished up the 12 Volt Electrical System. We replaced most of the wiring and reorganized the system. Doing this allowed us to get headlights, running lights, turn signals, and horn working. We also installed a green dash light to tell the driver when the car is "hot" since there is no engine noise.
Another successful work day gone in the books. Today we focused on finishing the motor/transmission mating. We finished fabricating the adapter plate as well as welded the clutch spline to the key way collar to create a spline to key way adapter. It turned out very well.
We also started on the battery trays. 1" angle iron was cut at 45 degrees to prepare it to be welded into rectangular trays. Then the trays will be grouped and welded together according to the different battery placements (i.e. 4 over the motor, two in front of the motor, and 4 in the trunk over the rear axle).
And finally we started work on the car's 12 volt electrical system. The wiring is a mess and we decided to pull most of it out and start over to repair the damage. Looks like there was an electrical fire at some point.
Advanced DC Electric Motor
The 8" Advanced DC Electric Motor has arrived. The motor weighs approx. 100 lbs so it will take some elbow grease to get it and the transmission installed in the car. Now we have all the major components except for the batteries. But we still need to fabricate the battery trays so they can wait.
The first shipment of parts arrived today, including the Curtis Motor Controller, Charging System, DC/DC Converter, Cable and Lugs, PakTracker monitoring system, Circuit Breaker, Main Fuse, and Throttle Control. We also picked up a 16"x43"x0.5" Aluminum plate to fabricate the Motor/Transmission Adapter Plate, Front Motor Support Plate, and Motor Controller Heat Sink. The motor should arrive later this week.
University of Colorado Denver - ASME
In the summer of 2009 a group of University of Colorado Denver Mechanical Engineering students completed an ASME sponsored conversion of a 1967 Triumph Spitfire into an Electric Vehicle.