Saturday, November 8, 2008

Installing the Powdercoated Racks

The past two days have been productive. I went to Class Act to pick up the powder-coated angle-iron and installed most of it.

Here are the powder-coated pieces all nicely wrapped up to prevent damage.

Here are the pieces unwrapped. Yep, all 39 pieces are there and in good condition.

I started by installing the rear battery rack. The two cross pieces of angle-iron sit on top of the two square tubes. The bolt going down through the angle iron sits several inches away from the end. I taped the bottom face of a box wrench and inserted a nylock nut (see picture above) so that I could tighten the bolt into the nut.

Here is the rear battery rack installed, without the wood insert. I cut 10" pieces of 5/16" all-thread for the hold-downs and installed them. I had difficulty installing the two pieces of all-thread between the shock-towers due to lack of clearance under the angle-iron for the nylock nuts. I had to use two thinner "jam" nuts in order to install these last two all-thread pieces.

Here's the rear rack with the batteries on top of the wood plank and hold-downs installed. I still have to devise a system to hold down the extra battery on the right, but I think there are off-the-shelf automotive solutions for this.

The next step was installing the rear motor mount plate and bracket to the driver-side engine mount. I bolted the rear plate on with 5/16" bolts (threads had red loctite) and lock-washers. With the plate on, I could use the engine hoist to raise the whole assembly into place. After bolting in the transmission on the passenger side, I bolted together the bracket on the driver-side. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it blends in with the black chassis of the car.

Here's the motor/transmission assembly fully installed. I have a portion of the original engine wiring harness plugged in to get a feel for what I'll have to deal with electrically. I'll add more pictures in the future after I figure out how to tap into this.

Here are the firewall-rack angle-iron pieces installed. Are are some dry details about what I used to hold it together:
  • 6mm bolts (20 mm long) with lock washers hold up the vertical bars to the shock towers
  • 3/8"-16 bolts, 1" long with nylock nuts hold the left and right angle-iron supports to the vertical bars
  • 5/16"-18 bolts, 3/4" long hold the four horizontal angle-iron pieces to the driver-side support.
  • On the passenger side, the horizontal pieces are bolted in with 5/16"-18 bolts (3/4" long) only on the two middle pieces.
  • The rear-most and front-most horizontal pieces are bolted to the passenger-side support with 5/16" all-thread, 10" long, which also serves as hold-down support.
  • The front-most and rear-most horizontal pieces have 5/16" holes 27" in from the passenger side. I inserted 5/16" all-thread to serve as hold-down support and to attach the control-board support that juts out towards the viewer in the picture.
  • The remaining control-board piece that points toward the viewer in the center of the picture is held up by two 5/16"-18 countersunk flathead bolts 3/4" long with nylock nuts on the bottom. These have to be countersunk because the top surface needs to be flush with the angle iron to support the batteries.

Here is a top view of the front rack installed with hold-downs in place. I also used 5/16" all-thread 10" long for this. I probably should have used 9 1/2" long pieces. The driver-side all-thread closest to the grille has very little clearance, so I had to screw it downward in order to fit the small nut on the top (as opposed to wingnuts on the remaining three corners). Note: for some reason, Blogger is acting up and magically rotated the bottom picture. It is horizontal for easier viewing on my hard-drive.

Next up: installing the potbox

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