Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Installing the Charging Outlet

At some point, I guess we have to charge this thing. Most people like to be clever and put the charging outlet under the gas tank cover. I don't like this because it's near the back of the car, away from most charging station outlets at parking spaces. It also requires more routing of wire to get to the charger.

Instead, I chose to simply cut a hole in the side of the front bumper and use a charging outlet from a boating store. The cable from the outlet to the charger is only 24" long and this is more convenient for plugging into a charging station with the cord dangling lower to the ground.

I purchased the charging outlet from West Marine (my favorite overpriced EV parts store) for $27. It required a 1 7/8" hole. I had a 1 3/4" hole saw, so I used it and then just used a rasp file to enlarge the hole as needed.

Here's a piece of leftover cord from my 914 EV and the Marinco charging outlet (upper left in picture).

You need to make sure you thread the ring nut and sealing cup on the cord BEFORE you slide it through the hole so that it will mount correctly.

With the cord through the hole, I can put the wires into the socket and screw them in tight.

Here's the final installation of the socket with lid. I like the clean look of this.

Back up over the passenger-side headlight, we can see the orange cord dangling over the edge. I cut off most of the charging cord from the Belktronix charger and used female blue crimp connectors to splice in the two tiny black fan wires (coming down from the top left in the picture) into the 120V line. By crimping blue male fast-on connectors to the orange cord, I connected everything together. I'll test this out later.

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