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 reecho » Mon, 04 Mar 2019, 19:33

In regards to the IGN and SRT wires go for the higher gauge wires like coil feed and starter motor solenoid feed but fit appropriate fusing for the items connected. That will avoid any volt drop with lighter gauge circuits.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sun, 10 Mar 2019, 21:25

Well Electrikhana occupied Saturday so today was my day to finish the fibreglass touch-ups on the battery cover.

Luckily the underside of the car is greasy and tacky with black gunk, so it showed up where the cover was fouling the chassis. I cut these out with the dremmel and sized it up.
Offending patches.jpg
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Double-checked there was room for the cables and hoses...
heaps of space.jpg
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And put it in place while the patch cured
Neat fit.jpg
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I need to do the remaining patched and obvious leaky spots, but this battery will be sealed and fixed into position by Wednesday!
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by francisco.shi » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 06:56

This is looking really good. The battery fits so well in that spot.
Makes you wonder how hard would it really be for car manufacturers to offer an electric drive train on standard models as an option like they do with diesels and LPG.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 14:39

I think a 19 kWh battery can be made to work for most vehicles with fuel tanks in this spot (in front of the rear axle line). Its not the full compliment of cells though, if you are shooting for 355 V nominal there's still 6 kWh to go somewhere up the front. If I built the modules as 16s10p, I could almost fit all 24 kWh back there.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by francisco.shi » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 17:02

6kw isn't much. It would easily fit in the engine bay. I am just thinking of the viability of manufacturers to offer electric drive as an option to standard cars. That would make the development cost very small.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 21:40

Unfortunately Daniel is just too busy with other work, he wasn't able to get around to the adaptor plate in a reasonable time frame, so I decided to take the motor and transmission up to Mike McCarthy's workshop in Chidlow. He managed to pop the old flywheel hub off (it was originally destined for a BMW) so we can make a new Honda hub.
We tried this earlier, but without the right tools it was kind of futile.
old hub off.jpg
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Once the pack is in and this is ready to drop into the engine bay, the rest, as they say, is paperwork!

...

Lots and lots of paperwork...
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by mikedufty » Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 09:51

francisco.shi wrote:
Mon, 11 Mar 2019, 17:02
I am just thinking of the viability of manufacturers to offer electric drive as an option to standard cars. That would make the development cost very small.
Are you saying you think the conversions manufacturers offer like the i-Miev, minicab miev, eNV-200, e-golf, e up, e focus, fiat 500e, should be cheaper?

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by francisco.shi » Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 10:21

I am saying they could easily offer say a Nissan Mira or a Honda civic or a Toyota Corolla with electric drive train and a 25kwh battery without having to develop a new car just bolt an electric motor instead of the petrol engine and a battery instead of the petrol tank.
Just consider how much it costs us for the parts to convert something like this prelude. The car manufacturers would get everything for half the price. Then take away the cost of the petrol engine and all the other infrastructure required to run it and they could offer electric cars very quickly (very short development time) for not much more than the petrol version. They would continue to get all the investment back from making the body of the car which is the most expensive part of developing a new model.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 10:37

I have often wondered why it's not done that way, but the main reason is that the car will be pretty ordinary. It will have an odd weight balance and it will be too short a driving range for most people. In the end it's better to make a purpose built car for the job.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 11:12

Also manufacturers would have to make sure everything is reliable for 100's of 1000's of kilometres and crash tests etc. They have to put their name up there next to it and if it bursts into flames and burns a skyscraper down they can't really just say "oops". In terms of cost is basically what's happening anyway. Take a Nissan pulsar (about $20-30k) add $20-30k of pack and you have a car that's about the same size and cost as a leaf.
Short of tesla most electric cars are just hack jobs where they have ripped a ice out in the design phase and put a motor/inverter combo in its place. Even if it is a "new always electric" model, lift the bonnet of the ionic, leaf, kona, etc and it looks like an ice because that's what would go in there in other options ( I bet there are drawings somewhere at Nissan of a leaf with a petrol motor as a possible option)

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Fri, 15 Mar 2019, 09:55

The cover is almost done. I have patched up the parts which were fouling the chassis and made sure water can't collect on it or leak through. A few points were on the thin side, so I figured I would use some intumescent silicone as a sealant. It has the added bonus of being an effective fire-stopper should the pack ever go into thermal runaway. It expands as it's heated, creating an insulating barrier between the heat source and anything behind it. Basically it buys you time while you get out of the way. Last job is to paint it black, drill holes for fixing it to the car, and adding some anti-fretting rubber to the top layer of the battery cover. Fiberglass reinforced resin is pretty soft and any fretting would rub through in short order.
Intumescent.jpg
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Hope to have the battery installed in the car this weekend ready to move to the front end for the last stages of conversion.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sat, 16 Mar 2019, 10:53

cover painted.jpg
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Things always look proper when painted black.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sat, 16 Mar 2019, 17:55

Well the application of Sikaflex and foam went well. The aligning of the pack with the subframe was tougher, and a couple of holes needed re-drilling, but we got there in the end.
Sika goes off rather quickly, hence the mess...
Battery in place.jpg
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I started to route all the HV cables up to the front of the car. The 4WS rod is right in the way, but I found a gap. AC charger supply goes up to the LHS while HVDC goes to the right.
HV cable routing.jpg
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Now that there's about 130 kg botled in where there used to be 65 kg, it sits a bit lower. So I think we'll need to replace the springs with stiffer ones to get it back to a decent ride height.
Sitting a bit lower.jpg
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As it sits there is still 135 mm of clearance at the lowest point, but we can probably get that up to about 150 mm without too much trouble.

From now on we're working on the front of the car. Last thing to route is the coolant lines to the battery. Crazy, but I was detecting a 200 V potential from the positive battery terminal and the rubber (yes rubber!) hose! Purely capacitive, as a piece of wire between the terminal and the rubber hose saw it drop to 30 volts after half a minute.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Thu, 28 Mar 2019, 14:41

Quick update on the Prelude - I took the motor and gearbox up to Mike's workshop in Chidlow because Daniel didn't have the time to do it. After two weeks, Mike now tells me he doesn't have the time to do it. I'm rightly annoyed at this.

So I have tried a few other machine shops around Perth - the two I called immediately said, look we're so far back with work we can't help you, before I even explained what the job was!
And I thought we were in a recession...

Anyway, if someone knows someone who can get the job done well by Friday next week, please let me know!
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by francisco.shi » Thu, 28 Mar 2019, 15:29

I may be able to help but I am in Brisbane. I can machine the flange and possibly cut external splines.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Thu, 28 Mar 2019, 16:07

Without drawings it will be tough to come up with something reliable. Alignment needs to be 100.000% accurate.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Fri, 29 Mar 2019, 10:28

So it turns our the CanEV guys have an adaptor plate for the Honda B series engines and transmissions. Sounds like I should have gone straight to them, but now I realise why this wasn't as easy as it seems.

First up, the motor bolt hole pattern matches that of the Warp-9 / HPEVS / AC50 motors, which use a NEMA-B bolt hole pattern. Basically four bolts at 90 degrees from each other at a 213.36 mm PCD (8.4 inches in the archaic measure). I'm trying to confirm, but the Greatland motor has a 222 mm PCD, so if I were to get one of these plates I would need to machine 20 mm from it, and bolt the new adaptor plate to it - yes, an adaptor plate for an adaptor plate.

Secondly, and more serious for Honda converters around the world, it seems the adaptor plate has the reverse bolt-hole pattern :shock: What do you think?
Prelude Transmission.jpg
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Honda B adaptor 5162 drawing.JPG
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Honda B adaptor 5161-1.jpg
Honda B adaptor 5161-1.jpg (15.9 KiB) Viewed 908 times
Maybe they forgot Hondas have the transmission on the other side?
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by francisco.shi » Fri, 29 Mar 2019, 12:50

That is for the left hand drive version :lol:
Ask for the right hand drive version. :lol:
I bet they didn't put on the drawing if it was the engine view or the gearbox view.

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Fri, 29 Mar 2019, 15:07

Ah - since discovered this Del Sol conversion: https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/s ... ostcount=6
It does fit although it's not a great fit. So that's problem two solved. Problem 1 is the motor attachment. Greatland motor seems to have a 220 mm PCD. So I presume I will need to make an adaptor plate for the adaptor plate. Yay.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Sat, 30 Mar 2019, 21:34

Okay, so some interesting things going on with Honda B series engine adaptor plates.
First of all, if I did want one, there would be a 3 week lead time, and another 2 weeks to get to Perth. Nobody in North America has one in stock. So what can we muster in 5 weeks here?
Secondly, it would appear that the 1988 Prelude gearbox was slightly different to all of the B series vehicles CanEV have worked on in the past. Mike still has the gearbox at his workshop, so he put a ruler across the two dowel pin holes and measures about 12" (his measure, not mine). Now, the CanEV adaptor suggests there's a 13.48" distance between them.
So it would seem the CanEV adaptor plate would be a waste anyway :? Mike seems to think he's got a bit more time now, so hopefully he can make a start. Daniel might also have some more time, but I'll go for whoever can get it done sooner.

Dylan Doxey on a facebook group posted some pictures of his CanEV adaptor plate on his Honda B series (a 1992 Ingetra).
CanEV plate in use1.jpg
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CanEV plate in use2.jpg
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CanEV plate in use3.jpg
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*******
Meanwhile I keep trying to get as much done as I can on non-motor and gearbox related matters. Today I spent my time fitting the new electric power steering pump. The power steering rack of the Prelude is complicated, and while I was expecting to simply find a pump output and a return - I found an output and two returns. I think the idea is there's fluid recirculating through the small radiator tube at all times, while the other pump fittings do the work...
Power steering diagram.JPG
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Since the mechanical pump is gone, along with the speed sensor and the reservoir, the new Holden Astra electric PS pump and reservoir is much simpler. I had to add a couple of brackets to the chassis and get creative with existing attachment points, but at least now the pump is held in its rubber cradle and mounted firmly to the chassis where all the plumbing is.
20190330_203228.jpg
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You can see I have also put the new radiator in, and re-installed the cooling fan and condenser fan - more on that in another post. Highlighted in green is the original PS pump connection - this took high pressure fluid to the steering rack via a long path around the engine bay. Circled in blue is the output of the new pump. I plan on removing this bit of plumbing and making the path a whole lot shorter - taking it around the LHS of the engine bay instead.

The new pump only has one return (highlighted in blue):
20190330_203210.jpg
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So I took the two original return hoses and added a T-section (circled in green above) and plumbed a loop of 3/8" rubber hose into the return of the new PS unit. This shouldn't be under any serious pressure, but I put hose clamps on nice and tight just in case. There are still barbs without hoses on the PS rack which I presume were hooked up to engine vacuum lines or something*. Unfortunately the manual only helps you fix a problem, not explain what each part does.

I supplied the new PS pump with power and touched the enable wire to battery +. Sure enough it slowly winds up, eventually pulling about 10 A at 12 V. It drops back after this, and presumably responds to pressure drops accordingly.

* I see it appears to be part of the speed sensor plumbing. I might just need to blank these off.
** Since learned that the transmission has a speed sensor in it, so I will hook it up once I the adaptor plate is done. Soon hopefully.
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 09:43

I spent last night trying to track down what's going on with the aircon wiring. Pressing the AC button on the dash did nothing (no clicking relays, no fans etc) so I investigated.
Aircon wiring.png
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I followed the shop manual troubleshooting chart and everything seemed to be checking out. The two compressor clutch relays appear to be fine, but they weren't getting power to either coil from the compressor control unit. On another troubleshooting line, I tried to seek out why the fans weren't coming on. The cooling fan thermal switch (radiator) definitely enables both fans to run when its inputs are shorted (representing 90'C) but pressing the dash A/C button didn't. The trusty manual highlighted a fault with the dual pressure switch - when its inputs were shorted with a jumper, the A/C button diligently fired up the fans. Partial success!

However, compressor clutch relays A and B, and the compressor clutch were not being energised. I figure relays A and B are seeking a 12 V input from the compressor control unit on the yellow AND the red/yellow wires. With them in series, clearly the control unit needs to know that both conditions must be met (whatever those conditions are). Back inside the glove box, the compressor control unit had nothing on red/yellow and yellow when the A/C button was off, and when turned on, barely put out 350 mV - not enough to close the relays and enable the compressor solenoid to engage.

Then I realised the compressor control unit is seeking an input from both the alternator and the ignition coil. Alternator supply is assured - the white/blue wire has 12 V on it as long as the ignition is ON. But the coil was removed. So I wonder, is the compressor control unit looking for a sign the ICE was running via the ignition coil? If so, how shall I spoof this?

I hope there is a temperature sensor in the blower unit, otherwise there is a risk the evaporator will ice up pretty quickly...
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 10:47

jonescg wrote:
Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 09:43
I hope there is a temperature sensor in the blower unit, otherwise there is a risk the evaporator will ice up pretty quickly...

The part on the diagram labeled thermostat is the low temp control for the evaporator

And yes the module will most likely need a coil negative input (so a signal that switches from 12v+ to ground) possibly just pulling that wire to ground will work but I think itll need some sort of frequency. Arduino nano?
Might want to check the coil/alt diagrams to be sure. The alternator one may be a phase pickup as an rpm sense but it's probably connected to the warning light so 12v is what it probably wants

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 10:57

I will check the thermostat tonight. I doubt it would prevent the compressor relays from energising even if it was faulty, but it's important that I utilise it. I might be able to totally bypass this compressor control unit since the sensors are pretty basic (NC sensors).

The blue wire from the ignition appears to be sending engine speed data - if the tacho needs the same information it's probably an engine speed sensor of some description. The resistor between B and D is about 2K so I assume its job was purely to send rpm information.
Prelude ignition.JPG
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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 11:05

jonescg wrote:
Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 10:57
I might be able to totally bypass this compressor control unit since the sensors are pretty basic (NC sensors).


Yep, you can bypass it/replace it its only there to make it so the a/c only works when the motor is running (ign coil input) and the alternator is charging (alternator input)

jonescg wrote:
Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 10:57
I assume its job was purely to send rpm information.
Thats exactly right

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Re: Prelude conversion project - some questions

Post by jonescg » Tue, 02 Apr 2019, 12:32

So I might end up doing this:
new Aircon wiring.png
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I can re-purpose one of the relays for supplying the aircon compressor with +12V enable while retaining all of the safety switches and sensors, and at the same time, use the other relay for the battery thermal management system to enable the compressor to fire up while it's charging.

The +12 V supply for this will be from the relay board, driven by the Arduino AT Mega (see earlier post).
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