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jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo New Reader
5/30/09 6:01 a.m.

sweet. id love to ditch the torsen bar crap in my 86 Si challenge car, and go with a dual a arm like that. looks killer.

-J0N

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
5/30/09 10:43 a.m.

Awesome, Bryce!

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
5/30/09 4:39 p.m.

That wishbone strut arrangement is very similar to the EV1 front suspension. I guess that makes it sort of OK to use non-GM parts on this GM parts bin project.

Appleseed
Appleseed HalfDork
5/30/09 5:05 p.m.

This has the potential to win the proposed "Smokey Yunick" award.

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/1/09 7:39 p.m.

You were itchin' to post that blizazer, wheren't ya? With the new weight on the front axle, that EV1 electric powersteering might come in handy on the Fiero.

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/1/09 8:49 p.m.
HIDGolf wrote: You were itchin' to post that blizazer, wheren't ya? With the new weight on the front axle, that EV1 electric powersteering might come in handy on the Fiero.

We'll be further ahead stripping the power steering controller off the bottom of that inverter and sending Bryce to the gym.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/2/09 12:49 p.m.
blizazer wrote: ... and sending Bryce to the gym.

Judging by the number of hours I've been spending wrenching/fabricating and how sore I am right now, I don't think any trips to the gym will be necessary. It would be like making a pack mule exercise, kind of redundant.

Bryce

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/7/09 6:25 p.m.

I guess there's always the stock steering wheel, too.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/8/09 3:47 a.m.

Wow, it's been another whirlwind of a week. As with the last update, the days kind of blur together. We've done a ton of metal fab, it's taken a lot of work to use mostly scrap metal to make strut towers, axle pass-throughs, rebuild the front cradle, etc. but all the structure we hacked out has now been put back in. Aaron helped a bunch with some of the prettier sheet metal work, the axle pass-throughs look particularly sweet.

The front suspension is now 99% complete and assembled. I say 99% because I had an oversight with the brake rotors. The front knuckles were machined to accept a rear hub, a rear hub that sticks out slightly more than the front hub. I didn't account for the new rotor offset, so I need to do some homework and figure out how I want to get some front rotors on with the stock calipers. Otherwise, the suspension is ready for a road test.


In addition to the front suspension work coming a long way, the electrical came a long way this weekend also. We now have high voltage hooked up! Al spent a few days thrashing through wiring harnesses, terminal blocks, some copper leftovers, and a pile of batteries and got all of our high voltage stuff into the car and ready for test. We got as far as getting high voltage into the inverter (lots of safety stuff has to work before that part works), but there's still a bug we're trying to work out before we can get power to the motor.


The pace has been pretty crazy, especially considering that about half of the work has been done during the weekdays after the 9-5 grind was done. It's hard to believe it has been just over two weeks since we pulled the car into the shop to start working on it! Once we get the motor to work properly, we've still got a lot of packaging work to do to get the inverter tucked under the hood and cooling systems for both powertrains operational. Right now the focus is to make everything work...once it gets working, we still have a lot to do to make things package better, look nicer, reduce unnecessary parts, etc. I'm really happy with the progress, things are shaping up nicely.

Bryce

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
6/8/09 5:37 a.m.

Wow, that inverter is MASSIVE! I guess that's that happens when you have to make things OEM reliable-they get overbuilt.

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/8/09 6:47 a.m.

Holy Battery Batman!

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/8/09 12:40 p.m.
MrJoshua wrote: Wow, that inverter is MASSIVE! I guess that's that happens when you have to make things OEM reliable-they get overbuilt.

Yeah, OEMs that have major reliability targets don't mess around compared to the stuff you see in custom-EV world. Also, keep in mind this thing was made to accomodate 150 hp and was designed over ten years ago! Another thing that makes this inverter bigger than most is that it's got the power steering control module (high voltage power steering pump controller), DC-DC converter (keeps the 12V battery charged, which is still used for lighting, etc.), and extra hardware for charger wiring that wouldn't be on most inverters. Those things are individual components on custom EVs.

Compared to inverters that just convert the DC to AC for the motor on modern projects with similar power output, the S10e/EV1 inverter is pretty similarly sized. Surprising, considering it's age.

Bryce

P71
P71 Dork
6/8/09 12:46 p.m.

That project is sooo cool Bryce. I'm going to have to go down sometime and help out, even if it's just to make the pizza run.

Matt B
Matt B New Reader
6/8/09 2:46 p.m.

I'll jump the wagon and also give a HUGE THUMBS UP on this project. It is one of the coolest ideas I've seen in awhile. Good luck and keep it coming.

toyokogyo12aturbo
toyokogyo12aturbo New Reader
6/8/09 7:42 p.m.

What control system are you using? Or is it an 300 V on/off switch at full throttle?

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/9/09 12:01 p.m.
toyokogyo12aturbo wrote: What control system are you using? Or is it an 300 V on/off switch at full throttle?

The controls are mostly built into that inverter that's sitting where the radiator goes, the "massive" one that MrJoshua pointed out. It has lots of inputs for temp, throttle, motor speed, motor direction, shift position, etc. and controls the power output appropriately. It's WAY more advanced than an off switch...which is causing me some headaches right now, trying to debug it. I'm hoping that once it's working, it will be a bit easier to drive than an on/off switch would allow.

Bryce

YaNi
YaNi Reader
6/9/09 5:42 p.m.

Whats your plan on making the thing handle? An extra 500lbs of batteries can't help.

You might want to test with and w/o the batteries at an autocross and compare raw times.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/9/09 6:17 p.m.
YaNi wrote: Whats your plan on making the thing handle? An extra 500lbs of batteries can't help. You might want to test with and w/o the batteries at an autocross and compare raw times.

Who voted you Captain Suckfun? The idea is to make an AWD Hybrid Fiero, if I start pulling batteries/motor/inverter out then it would just be a Fiero with a weird front suspension! FWIW, the maximum the batteries will weigh is 300 pounds, but that's likely overkill for the challenge. I'll probably only run about 150 pounds worth of batteries in the challenge. That's not counting the motor and inverter, which aren't exactly featherweight themselves (probably another 250 pounds or so). A local guy has volunteered some dyno time (first electric car on their dyno!) so I can do back to back comparisons with different battery configurations to determine what the power is. I can use that info to decide how I want to balance out weight, power, and cost for the $2009 event.

As you can see, I've got some el-cheapo springs and adjusters up front now. I chose some spring rates (based on the pile I have laying around) based on the stock size (figuring in the added weight) and the slight amount I changed the motion ratio with the new front suspension setup. I've got some stiffer and softer springs available if necessary, and adjustable dampers are easily obtained since these dampers fit a bunch of Acura/Honda cars. Whether I'll be able to get some stiffer dampers in the $2009 budget is still TBD. While the EV stuff is fairly heavy when you add it all up, most of it will be at a very low height (at or below the stock CG) so that helps a bit. I've maintained the stock Fiero control arm geometry, which is fully adjustable in stock form (camber, caster, toe). Also, the Fiero can fit a lot of tire for such a small car, which should come in handy in the future. So, those options will help with making it handle. Time will tell what my front bar needs will be, as with springs/dampers/alignment/tires...until I get it running and test it out, I'll have no idea what changes will be needed.

Bryce

P71
P71 Dork
6/9/09 6:37 p.m.

So Bryce, when you run it will it be AWD or just gas only? Is the idea to have the electric motor for driving around and the gas for power? If it's supposed to be AWD/2 engined how do you connect the two throttlewise?

This car is sooooo beyond my skills.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/9/09 6:56 p.m.
P71 wrote: So Bryce, when you run it will it be AWD or just gas only? Is the idea to have the electric motor for driving around and the gas for power? If it's supposed to be AWD/2 engined how do you connect the two throttlewise? This car is sooooo beyond my skills.

The car will be AWD for the competition, which gives me something like 4000 ft lbs of peak wheel torque (and 250 hp) instead of 2000 ft lbs (and 140 hp) it would have stock. I have the option of running in gas only mode when I drive it down to San Diego, or EV mode when I'm sitting in stop and go traffic or cruising the beach in SoCal. That's the coolest part of this hybrid setup, IMO, I can use either of the two powertrains however I want.

The throttle is simple. The EV wants an electric sensor, the gas engine wants a cable to the throttle body. All I need is to either add a sensor to the stock pedal or, probably a bit easier, use a GM electric pedal assembly (such as those used in Vettes, full size trucks, etc. for a long time now) and attach the stock throttle cable to it. The two powertrains operate entirely independent of each other, they have no idea that the other one exists on the same car.

When you come get your hands dirty helping with stuff, I can explain everything. Once you see it and the parts involved, it will seem simple. Then again, I still haven't debugged the thing enough to get the wheels spinning, so my tune might change depending on how that goes.

Bryce

P71
P71 Dork
6/9/09 7:54 p.m.

The 05-06 GTO has a drive-by-wire pedal, as does the G8 and Camaro. Probably too new to help, but thought I would throw it out there. Especially since the 04 GTO uses a cable pedal (and they're supposed to be the same part, so it might have attachments for both).

The dual-drivetrain setup is way cool. So you'll have front-end power/grip/bite for the auto-x and drags and EV only for cruising the pits.

What if the gas engine out-powers the EV and the rear wheels have more wheelspeed than the fronts? Will the EV go to neutral or will it bog the gas?

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
6/9/09 8:01 p.m.

Im guessing the EV will go into regen, but It would take some MASSIVE power to out accelerate the electric motor. Think of having your car in gear on jack stands and pressing the throttle. Your speedo will outrun a busa on crack.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/9/09 8:28 p.m.

Like Josh says, "out-powering" the EV motor would be pretty much impossible. Look at it this way...for all the EV motor knows, you're going down a steep hill or you have a really awesome tailwind. It doesn't care. It sees the go pedal and the brake pedal and speeds up/slows down appropriately. If I had a bajillion horsepower in the rear and the car went super duper fast, the motor would just spin up to max RPM that much faster....it wouldn't slow anything down.

The drive-by-wire pedal assemblies are cheapest in full size trucks, $25 for one at the local pick'emup yard. IIRC, the newer ones are a bit different and don't talk with my older inverter the same. I believe the newer ones use two sensors instead of three, but I'm going off memory.

Bryce

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
6/9/09 8:33 p.m.

Bryce-you are killing me. I have pulled up Schrams page and talked myself out of calling them about twice a day since you first posted. (if they do happen to have some drivetrains, I can't really afford them right now)

P71
P71 Dork
6/9/09 8:34 p.m.

Ah, so what if the EV motor pulls the boat anchor of the gas motor? Will the gas motor stall?

LKQ in Portland has been kick-ass for newer parts. I just ordered an A/C control unit for my P71 from them, for under $30. Maybe call them on the truck pedal?

The Voltero ought to pull like a Banshee out of tight auto-x corners! Please tell me you will test it out at a local one before the big race?

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