Archive for January, 2008

PHEV Conversion #80? something continues…

Posted in PHEV on January 29, 2008 by wizbandit

The past few days were spent building the rear electronics and battery jumpers.  I decided to use two PVC J-Boxes to house the pair of HV contactors & control board.  The second J-Box will house the regen-diode, 60 amp DC fuse and a cooling fan operated by the control board.

Here is the first box.


The second box is not complete yet, I still have to install the fuse holder and diode on its heat sink.


Now, copper terminal lugs for #8 wire are not cheap.  I went to Home Depot Sunday to get 40 of them and decided a dollar each for copper bolt type was a bit too much.  The crimp version was even more expensive at over $1.50 each.  I opted to make my own.

I used #8 THHN stranded wire and 1/4″ soft copper tubing.  I cut the tubing into 3/4″ pieces and slide them onto the skinned ends of the wire after applying a liberal coat of rosin flux.  I then used vise-grips to flatten the tubing onto the wire.

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I then used a big soldering gun to flow solder into the crimp.


I used a hand drill to drill a small 1/8″ pilot hole in the center of the new terminal. Next I clamped it in a drill vise and drilled it out to 3/16″ to fit the battery terminal bolt.

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The finished jumper after a bit of touch-up on the grinder and wire brush.

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These bolt up nice and cost a lot less.


PHEV Conversion #80ish

Posted in PHEV on January 28, 2008 by wizbandit

This weekend was exciting, I started tearing into our 2008 PRIUS to convert it to a PHEV (Plug In Electric Vehicle)  I decided on using 18Ah SLA batteries from MK.  The MK ES17-12 cost me $37.50 when they came in even though I was quoted $34.50 when I ordered them.  Seems Battery prices are climbing daily.

The first step, using instructions from the open source project at was to add the traction  battery tap.  This required a bit of dis-assembly including removing one rear seat.  This was done a few months ago in anticipation of the addition of the PHEV battery pack.

First, the battery tray bottom is constructed using 1 1/2″ x 1/8″ Aluminum angle with 3/8″ aluminum channel stock as battery separators.  I started out to get the angle at Home Depot but oh my gaud, $40 for a 8 foot piece!  I went next door to the local aluminum supply house and bought what I needed cut to length for $2.42 a foot.

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The ends are 3/4″ x 1/8″ aluminum angle.  This was chosen because these will be used to bolt the tray to the floor of the car.

I had to chisle some sound-junk off the floor to allow the frame to sit down on the floor.


The frame was bolted to the floor using threaded 1/4-20″ pop-rivet inserts, four on each side.  I may install washers and nuts on the underside to insure they don’t pull out in a crash.


I cut 1/4″ off one bracket to allow the frame to sit as far to the right as possible.


After bolting the tray down the next step is hooking up the 20 batteries.  They are wired in series for a total nominal 260 Volts DC.  I still have some jumpers to make up, I ran out of steam and it was getting a bit chilly in the steel barn last night.

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The next step is to construct the HV control box and connect it to the computer mounted up on the dash.  I also need to construct the battery top that will bolt the batteries down and hold them in place.

FEDEX issued a Check…

Posted in Problems on January 10, 2008 by wizbandit

Finally I found out Fedex issued a check in the amount of $79.89 to ZIPZOOMFLY !!!  Now ZIPZOOMFLY has cashed the check and didn’t bother to contact me.  Now how screwed up is this?  My claim for for the $2.99 extra shipping for 2nd day and a 15% restocking fee from  comes to just under $15 and Fedex pays THEM for the full amount of the laptop hard drive I ordered that Fedex sent back for no good reason!!!!  No phone numbers for ZIPZOOMFLY, only email.  I submitted a letter via their web site this morning to see if I can get my money.  Now only about $15 of the $79.89 is mine so now what do I do?  How much hassle is it going to be for me to get Fedex back the difference that is rightfully theirs?  I will persist untill all parties receive their due.

Check # 2678502 from Fedex was cashed by

ZIPZOOMFLY on 12-4-2007.

 10005073  SEAGATE ST9120822A 120GB PATA/IDE 5400 RPM 8MB HD $79.89
  Sub Total:  $79.89 
  Discount:  $0.00 
  Sales Tax:  $0.00 
  Shipping:  $2.99 
  ORDER TOTAL:  $82.88