Friday, June 20, 2008

Scoping out the Trunk

I registered the Civic today at DMV and washed it to get all the grime off. The car is quite zippy as a gas car and is fun to drive.

I also removed all the upholstery from the trunk and took some measurements to see just how I could mount six batteries back there.

Here's a center view of the trunk.

Here's a closeup of the right side where I intend to mount the sixth battery for the trunk.

I'm not completely decided on the battery for this project, but I'm targeting a group-31 size so that people can use Optimas, Dekas, Odysseys, or even Wal-Mart deep cycle specials (they're only $75!)

In the spirit of keeping the kit simple, I'm seriously considering not having the builder have to cut into the floor of the trunk. This keeps water and other road debris out of the car and maintains the structural integrity of the trunk in the result of a rear-end collision.

With that in mind, I figure I have 36 inches between the two shock towers in the rear trunk, providing ample space for five group-31 batteries lined up. If I place a sixth battery in the right nook of the trunk, I get the six batteries in the rear trunk without compromising much trunk space or losing the spare tire. (On a side note, the "doughnut" spare tire had no air left in it...)

Just inside of the two rear shock towers, there's a hump just about 1.5 inches high that I have to clear to get the batteries to fit. If I bolt two pieces of 1.5" square steel tubing to the chassis just inside the major frame struts, I can clear these humps and bolt a rectangular base to the square steel tubing (perhaps with countersunk bolts) to mount the batteries in. The sixth battery in the right-hand nook fits tightly enough that I may forgo the frame and just install battery hold-downs to secure it to the frame of the car.

This intended design may not be as elegant as some, but it's sure simple and easy to install. I'll review these plans with my colleague Ian, since he's much more of a mechanical guy and is more knowledgeable about structural things.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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