Prelude conversion project - some questions

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 15:48

Try pulling fuse 17 with the key on and see if the fan starts up again

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 15:49

Just confirmed when the thermoswitch circled in orange is shorted the fan comes on when the ignition is turned on, but so does the condensor fan. Upon turning the ignition off, only the condensor fan stops, while the radiator fan continues to spin. The only way to break this is to disconnect battery (+) and reconnect it. The fan doesn't spin until you turn the key on then.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 15:57

Oh, and pulling fuse 17 does nothing - before or after turning the ignition on.

What I do notice, is when I disconnect the battery (+) to stop the fan and reconnect a second later, the fan continues. If I disconnect and reconnect 2 second later, I hear one of the main relays in the under-hood fuse box un-click, at which point reconnecting the battery (+) does not restart the fan.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 16:00

That's probably the fan relay, try using a multi meter on the coil terminals of the relay and see if there is a bit of voltage floating around. It wouldnt be much. Also try swapping the relay if you have one the same. I've seen water inside relays causing them to track and latch on

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 16:10

Interesting - I pulled the radiator fan relay out and sure enough it stops. But upon putting it back in it re-starts again. Might check for stray voltage and bad grounds...

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 16:15

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Sorry but I'm busy finding out the hard way why welding blankets aren't made of oil soaked cardboard...

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 16:18

Hahahha! Yeah we all learn that once...
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 16:21

I wish it was only once. I'm still using it... :?

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 17:10

OK so I had a minor breakthrough - I pulled fuse 12, reset the system, and the problem went away. Because fuse 12 shares BLK/YEL it was probably getting a back feed. Since everything on fuse 12 is no longer needed (all ICE stuff) I'll just leave fuse 12 out.

Strange I didn't notice this before though :?
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 21 Jul 2019, 20:22

Well that was a fairly productive weekend for this car. The weird thing with the fans threw me for half a day. No idea why I hadn't noticed it before. Maybe I never turned the car right off?
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This was a close run thing - if you really stomp on the throttle you might hear a 'tink' as this bolt head hits the support member...


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All the plumbing is in place behind the engine bay now.

The motor is effectively in permanently now - I just need to top up the transmission with oil and replace the front engine mount (should arrive by Wednesday). Then the next steps are going to be interesting. I need to put an aluminium floor in - just above the motor but somehow supported by the subframe and chassis. This serves as a splash guard for the electrical components, but also a convenient place to mount the following:

Two 19 kg battery modules (with 50 mm2 cables going to the main HV distribution box)
HV distribution box
Charge control box
Air conditioning compressor
Motor speed controller
7 kW charger
DC/DC converter (these two ^ might be able to be double-stacked... will see)
Brake vacuum pump
Drive train coolant pump (motor, inverter, charger)
Battery coolant pump (front and rear batteries, via the heat exchanger)

To be honest I have my doubts that everything will fit...
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 23 Jul 2019, 21:31

New front mount installed.jpg
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New rubber is in and the clutch hydraulics were reconnected. My dear wife pumped the clutch a few times while I bled the air out (those hand pumps are awesome). Feels good, not too difficult and the flywheel spins freely when the clutch is fully in. Perfect :mrgreen: Just need to add transmission oil and I can finish the job of re-connecting the driveshafts to the CV joints. That takes a boatload of grease and some new hose clamps... And a bit of swear and tear as I wrestle with the suspension hardware.

Time to finish the HV distribution box so I can test spin it!
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Wed, 24 Jul 2019, 21:11

Yep, I knew it would be tight...
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The two pieces of aluminium represent the last two battery modules to be mounted in the front. The inverter will probably have to go at the front because there's no room for it to go anywhere else. The ABS boxes filled with components (HV distribution, charge control, BMS etc) might have to be double or triple stacked, as I can't see them going anywhere convenient. Unless I build another shelf to go on top of the battery modules, which is feasible - but leaves about 60 mm of clearance.
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Then there's the 7 kW charger and the DC/DC converter, brake vacuum pump (might have a spot for it under the brake master cylinder) and coolant pumps.

And then there's the aircon compressor... which could possibly go underneath the LHS engine mount, but would be awfully close to the left front wheel at full lock. :?
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 28 Jul 2019, 19:28

Well this was a fairly productive weekend for the Prelude. Spent most of Saturday hooking the driveshafts up to the CV joints and rearranging some of the power steering hoses. They obviously had to get around various bits of ICE but now I can run single hoses to most things. I'm only working on the low pressure return lines at this stage. The high pressure lines need to be doing with special hose and fittings, which I hope to get done at some point this week.
CV joints hooked up.jpg
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Now the hard work begins - trying to fit a mountain of stuff into an already tiny engine bay. I started by trying to pick up on existing chassis mounts - a few M6 threaded holes here and there to get going with, but for the most part I will be getting creative. I put some Riv-nuts in the front subframe member for supporting the stuff on top of the motor, so that will be done shortly. But the other side is tough. It makes for quite a shallow space once you clear the various transmission parts.
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As you can see - there's not a lot of space to work with. I will be struggling to fit the charger and DC/DC converter at this rate.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 04 Aug 2019, 22:06

Another productive weekend with the Prelude. It's taking much longer than I'd hoped, but its not like I didn't see this coming.

I decided to finish the left hand side equipment shelf 0 the one destined to hold the inverter and two battery modules. I'm mainly using existing M6 pickups on the subframe, but the front of this one needed some riv-nuts to secure it. The space between the shelf and the motor was available - so the brake vacuum pump snaffled up that opportunity.
Frame and vac pump.jpg
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I drilled and tapped M6 threads through the steel frame and used countersunk M6 screws to hold it down.
LHS shelf construction.jpg
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When the whole lot finally goes together it will be fairly straight forward to work out what goes where.
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If I can fit the charge control box on top of the inverter I will, even if it means modifying the bonnet to make it work. With this box up here, I am left looking for a spot for the HV distribution box, the charger, DC/DC converter and auxiliary battery. The DC/DC would fit perfectly where the 12 V battery would normally go, so I might look into an LiFePO4 option of modest size so that everything can reasonably fit. The charger is huge - the size of a business briefcase. I have started work on the RHS equipment shelf now. Much tighter as the speedo cable pickup is right in the middle of it, and the water heater plumbing isn't exactly elegant.

The HV distribution box needs to come together before I can do any sort of testing. I won't be using MDF ;) but will probably get a sheet of 6 mm polycarbonate for mounting fuses and the like. This layout also gives me the option of leaving out two battery modules if push comes to shove.
HVDC dist box layout.jpg
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I can't grind and weld on a weeknight, so I have to work on other things of an evening. Like getting rid of the original accelerator pedal assembly and installing the new potentiometer one. I will run all the internal wiring including the BMS data line, throttle wiring and possibly the heater on-of switch if I can't modify the butterfly choke on the heater core. They can all go through the firewall beside the speedo cable.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by 4Springs » Mon, 05 Aug 2019, 15:43

Ah, you're taking me back to that summer when I moved the charger from under the bonnet to under the tray where the fuel tank used to be. It's really nice to work on under there, lie on the ground and it's all laid out in front of me. I had enough room to add a second charger I had lying around, and left enough connections to add a third if I ever go that way.
Worked in my case because I had the 240V coming in at the rear. I had to run 150V cables up to the front, but they were fairly thin as they only had to carry 15A.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Mon, 05 Aug 2019, 16:05

Well if it was just the HVDC and the AC wiring it might almost be bearable, but it's plumbing as well. It's a 7 kW charger, so there's a fair bit of waste heat to shed too.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Mon, 05 Aug 2019, 22:17

Just some tweaks to the charge control box. It's fast becoming an everything box, so let's call it the Vehicle Control Box...
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 14:16

I think I can make it all fit, but geez it's tight...
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It means sitting the DC/DC converter on top of the HVDC distribution box, and rearranging the HVDC box so the front battery modules enter from the same side as the main drive leads. It also means I need to find an aluminium equivalent to the ABS box...
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If I sit the DC/DC converter on top of the charger it probably won't clear the bonnet, plus the airflow there is lousy.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by antiscab » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 16:14

File down the fins and see how hot it gets?
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 17:23

How water tight is the dcdc? Could it squeeze under the aluminium plate and hang between the motor and radiator? Or maybe the gearbox and radiator. Hard to judge by pictures but it sort of looks like it might fit.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 17:34

I was just thinking this afternoon that I might be able to secure the HVDC box with some kind of over-arching structure, and bolt the DC/DC on top of that. To remove the DC/DC, it's just four M6 bolts and disconnect two cables. So long as the heat can't make it into the ABS box below it should be fine?
Hopefully the DC/DC and the charger are IP66 because that's what they'll cop on a rainy day at 100 km/h.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 18:09

Oh, needless to say, I will be looking for a new spot for the battery :) Or use a motorcycle starter battery which will fit in the remaining space available.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by coulomb » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 18:38

jonescg wrote:
Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 14:16
I think I can make it all fit, but geez it's tight...
Spare a thought for the designers of ICE or hybrid cars. Thousands of moving parts, many that get hot, the rest mustn't get hot, and you might be using an engine from another model or even another manufacturer, so you have no control over where all the many pipes and gizmos go.

Or better yet, for the designers of the Tesla Model S. The bonnet is almost all froot (a front boot that they call a frunk), there is a huge boot, and you don't see any mechanical or electrical gizzards. Yet it's packet with a huge battery, electrically adjustable everything (including suspension height), ladars, many cameras, quite possibly one of the most tech laden cars ever made. But you don't see any of it. Hopefully, it's still serviceable. Ok, it's a larger vehicle, but still.

Please pardon my off topic musings.

Assuming you do manage to pack it all in, it should get interesting soon! Thanks for allowing us to follow along with the conversion vicariously.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 18:53

Thanks Mike :)

Yeah, I'm pleased we managed to maintain all 4 seats and retain all boot space. This is a zero compromise conversion, and costs accordingly. But it has everything a EV should have - as much seating and storage space as a regular ICE, and ~150 km range. The 7 kW charger will make it entirely functional in a sprawling metropolis like Perth too.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Thu, 08 Aug 2019, 10:53

Perhaps a question for @coulomb - is it possible to open up the TC charger and add some remote LEDs to the charger? I'd like to have the two LEDs on the charge port indicate what's going on with the charger. I have a three wire supply lead going to the LEDs on the charge port, with resistors in there already. So it will work from a 12 V supply. However the LEDs on the charger (seen on the top left and bottom right corners of the charger) might not have the voltage to make it work. TC used to supply a pinout for the LED but this doesn't appear to be the case on the big charger.
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