Saturday, November 8, 2008

Installing the Circuit Breaker

Remember that huge Airpax circuit breaker that I got in the mail? Well, it's time to install it.

I learned how to remove the center console cover by reading the Civic shop manual. Here I've removed the cover and am holding back the driver's seat to show a better view. In hindsight, I had to remove the driver's seat and it would have been a good idea to do it right at the start. Things were really gross under here with spare change, coffee spills and lots of garbage. Ick!

After vacuuming things up, I cut out the rug piece just behind the mounting bolts.

Here's the rectangle where the Airpax will be mounted. The left edge (towards the front of the car) is 3/4" rearward from the center-lines of the mounting bolts. The rectangle is 1 1/2" wide and 2 5/16" long. I released the parking brake and unbolted the handle (with cable still attached) for easy access to the console metal. The green wire is the parking brake switch, so don't forget to reconnect it when you're done.

After drilling four holes in the corners, I used a sabre saw to cut out most of the metal plate. At this point, I've removed the driver's seat and dumped it on the rear seat so I could get the sabre saw in there. Looking back, I should have removed the seat from the start.

Okay, after half an hour of filing (grrrrr), I got the Airpax switch to fit in the hole.

The airpax has two small threaded holes in the top. The holes are centered on the front and back edges, 1/4" from the edge.

I was lucky enough to have two bolts with washers from my last EV project that fit. Here is the Airpax circuit breaker installed and flipped to the "OFF" position.

I put the console plastic back on and cut out a plastic rectangle to enable flipping the switch. If I had rotated the circuit breaker 180 degrees, it would have sat forward another 3/4", possibly making it easier to access. The downside to turning it around is that the "OFF" position would have been forward. It's much easier for me to flick the switch to the "OFF" position if I can flip it towards the rear of the car, so I went with the above orientation.

Since it's just me working on the car, I had to hold the Airpax in place while I bolted it in. I used a stack of 2x4s with a long vertical one to accomplish this.

Okay, time to relax and think about how to install the vacuum pump tomorrow morning...

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