Friday, October 10, 2008

Testing Clearance on the Front Battery Racks

With the motor and transmission in, I started to re-install the firewall battery rack to see if there were any clearance issues. The space between the passenger-side shock tower and the brake fluid reservoir is rather tight. There is also very little clearance between the top of the batteries and the underside of the hood. (see the dent I made in this post).

Since I need to slide all the firewall batteries as far left as possible without raising them over any bolt heads, I have to countersink the left-most bolt holes and use tapered allen-head bolts. These bolts are rather large, so I need a 3/4" wide countersink (typical 82 degrees).

Whoops! With the new motor mount in place, I have interference on the driver's side of the firewall rack. I supported the motor with a vertical 2x4, unbolted the mount and cut a reasonable notch in the angle iron to allow the firewall rack to fit again.

The rear of the firewall rack is held up by two pieces of galvanized pipe 2 3/4" long (remember this post). I purchased two long bolts with lock washers to hold the rack in. Tightening these bolts on the driver's side is rather tricky with all the brake lines and reservoir in the way. I had to use my longest socket extension to properly tighten the bolt.

Whew! With the firewall rack re-installed, I found out that the motor adapter plate interferes with it in the center, so I temporarily raised the driver-side part of the firewall rack with some spacers. I probably strained my back putting in all the 70 pound batteries, but they do seem to fit reasonably well.

While vertical clearance on the passenger side is tight, I have some extra vertical clearance on the driver side of the firewall rack, so I'll probably raise that end 3/4" to properly clear the adapter plate in the center of the rack. I also need to figure out how to better support the batteries and provide a platform for the motor controller and other electronics.

I spent some time figuring out where I could mount the vacuum pump and where the controller and charger might go. My cohort Ian Lomax is coming out on Sunday to help with the project. Perhaps we'll work on battery hold-downs or come up with a working design for the firewall rack.

Next up: taking off tomorrow to go hiking and going at it again on Sunday.

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