Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

mark_hetho wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 09:16 I agree that it is best to sell the car unmodified, unless it is sold directly to an owner who is taking it on as a project. Then I guess hope to find a good buyer for the cells as home energy storage. They'd be a lot easier to put together than thousands of 18650s.

If there was another test project car available I'd be willing to donate to fund the costs of 3 or 4 93Ah cells to see how the project goes (shame about the AUD/USD at the moment). I suspect if it were opened up to crowdfunding from international imiev owners it might get a bit of interest?
If nothing else,I am happy to be co sponsor of a 93Ah cell project.

On a less happy subject, my iMiEV has contracted the virus (anyway that is whom I blame).
It has recently stopped charging about halfway, then fully charged at a second attempt.Thought it was my charge timer,as it charged ok since. But today it charged for a few minutes and then finito. Dashboard shows a few errors, the most disconcerting is the power unit warning light (Item 14 page 8-11/8-15).
Funnily enough I can still drive the car (I did one meter back and forward to test) but the auxiliary battery does not get charged when the car is in "ready".
I will soon have to ask the brains trust what could be the matter,one thing that crossed my mind was the faulty resister mentioned some where (have to try locating that thread again).
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

nuggetgalore wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 20:19 found the thread, doubt it is the same problem

http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php? ... 001#p38001
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg »

The other thing you might want to check is the coolant level in the charger loop. I hear it can get dry and overheat.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mikedufty »

Sounds suspiciously like the same charger/dc converter failure I and many others have had. 50 pages of discussion here http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4079
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

nuggetgalore wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 19:30 the auxiliary battery does not get charged when the car is in "ready".
That sounds like the charger has blown up, taking out the 20 A fuse that is located in the motor controller. That 20 A fuse also connects the HV battery to the DC-DC that charges the auxiliary battery.

So as mikedufty said, it sounds like the classic blue capacitor problem. Mitsubishi USA have actually recognised the problem, and will replace the charger (which costs some US$4000 from poor memory) under a special 10 year warranty, or something like that. But no other country has this deal as far as I know, including Australia.

The parts that blow cost under a dollar, but it's a bit of a mission to get the charger out of the car, and taking the printed circuit board out to work on it is near impossible. Yet many owners have done this repair; see the huge topic linked above. Forum user Kiev in the USA was considering offering a service of repairing or swapping dead chargers for ones that have been repaired. I don't know how far that progressed. I suspect that he personally has a few repaired chargers at his home; his iMiEV has a warranty replaced charger now, and I believe he got to keep the bad one and repaired it. He's also collected a few other dead ones.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m »

Can you swap them about or are they VIN locked?
Last edited by brendon_m on Fri, 10 Apr 2020, 10:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

brendon_m wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 22:54 are they VIN locked?
Some other parts may be VIN locked, but not the on board charger. Fortunately.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho »

I have some photos from the process of replacing the blown capacitors in our charger. Unfortunately I'm also the originator of the precharge resistor thread, as we got some wires crossed when putting it back together. It's actually relatively easy to remove the charger, definitely a lot easier than removing the pack. The board is pretty well stuck down with thermal paste, but it all comes apart ok.

In replacement battery talk, these cells seem like a good physical fit, but probabl wouldn't take a fast charge:
https://www.osnpower.com/li-ion-3-7v-70 ... t_p40.html
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

mikedufty wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 21:53 Sounds suspiciously like the same charger/dc converter failure I and many others have had. 50 pages of discussion here http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4079
Thanks to all who responded to my problem.
I will have to do a lot of reading,lol.
Just to make sure, first thing I did was fit a new auxiliary battery.
No change,except today I noticed that in "ready" mode the power unit warning light goes off and only the Auxiliary battery warning light stays on. The car does drive ok, EvBatMon indicates no traction battery problem ( 60 km left in tank, good to go to Mitsubishi a couple times if I have to).
Connecting a live charge cable or turning the power on from the timer causes the cooling system to operate as normal for a few seconds. The charge lamp flashes then goes dead a moment later.
Might check that 20A fuse tomorrow in the back, I already checked the fuses in the bonnet and drivers feet area (one needs to be a contortionist to get to these fuses!).
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Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by nuggetgalore »

mikedufty wrote: Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 21:53 Sounds suspiciously like the same charger/dc converter failure I and many others have had. 50 pages of discussion here http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4079
Update on the charger failure.
The good news is I cannot find any of the heat scorch marks as shown in some pics in above thread.
https://imgur.com/a/B2A9TQa
The bad news is that the HV fuse is blown. Any hint where and how to get a replacement, some posts in above thread mention it could be difficult (or take a long time from Mitsi).
But any way, my more important question to the brains trust is how much if any risk is involved to just replace the fuse, if the underlying problem is not addressed?
Yes I do charge the car with a timer, in other words the AC from the grid is shut off abruptly if the timer times out before the battery is full. I tend to only charge to completely top balance every so often, it can stay on 5 or 3 amps for quite a long time (as verified by my PLC and EvBatMon).
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

Error attaching pics
Last edited by nuggetgalore on Sat, 11 Apr 2020, 13:45, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m »

I've seen posts of people who replaced the fuse without ever finding the underlying cause and never had another problem.
The theory was that it takes a special set of circumstances (old age, flat 12v battery etc) to cause the fuse to pop. So first my step would be to find and fit a fuse and see how you go.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by nuggetgalore »

brendon_m wrote: Sat, 11 Apr 2020, 13:32 I've seen posts of people who replaced the fuse without ever finding the underlying cause and never had another problem.
The theory was that it takes a special set of circumstances (old age, flat 12v battery etc) to cause the fuse to pop. So first my step would be to find and fit a fuse and see how you go.
OK I try that, have to find out on Tuesday if Mitsubishi have the fuse.
If any of you kind friends have one to sell that would be even better!
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho »

As a quick test you could wire in a more readily available fuse holder with eyelets, and either stuff it under the inverter cover or just leave it hanging out. Obviously longer term that's not vibration proof and might have insulation rub bare.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m »

images (1).jpeg
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

nuggetgalore wrote: Sat, 11 Apr 2020, 13:24 The good news is I cannot find any of the heat scorch marks as shown in some pics in above thread.

Image
Sorry, that's not the right "dog house". The photo above is of the top PCB (there are three, if you count the DC-DC board in the underside compartment). Most of the interesting stuff is on the board under that one:

H8HMxD3.jpg
H8HMxD3.jpg (494.31 KiB) Viewed 1709 times
The above photo shows the usual suspect capacitors (blue-green) intact. Note: in some charger models, the two capacitors are replaced by a small printed circuit board with surface mount capacitors. The fix is the same: replace the capacitors with higher voltage equivalents.
The bad news is that the HV fuse is blown. Any hint where and how to get a replacement
I thought that there was a post about some third party fuse that was close enough to the correct size to be used, but I can't find it now. I'll ask Kenny in a post.

One of the most important considerations is to get a DC rated fuse, rated for at least 400 VDC.
how much if any risk is involved to just replace the fuse, if the underlying problem is not addressed?
My guess is that it would appear to work; the blown capacitors are now almost certainly open circuit. But firstly, will they stay that way, and secondly, they are there for a purpose (suppressing transients or EMI or both), and it may not be immediately obvious that anything is wrong.

I strongly suggest that you follow the instructions in the big myIMiev topic to get the top board out of the way, and inspect the lower "dog house". If you see the blown capacitors, I'd say it would be a really good idea to replace them.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by coulomb »

coulomb wrote: Sat, 11 Apr 2020, 17:54
The bad news is that the HV fuse is blown. Any hint where and how to get a replacement
I thought that there was a post about some third party fuse that was close enough to the correct size to be used, but I can't find it now. I'll ask Kenny in a post.
It looks like this is the best option: Littelfuse 30 A 10.3 mm diameter bolt down fuse. (Thanks, Kenny!)

[ Edit: Kenny stares in this post that the fuse is an exact fit, confirmed by Nuggetgalore below. I was confused by an incorrect PDF of the original fuse. ]

Only the 30 A model is in stock in the bolt-down style. Three other current ratings are available in the bolt down (axial) style, which might be OK. Actually, they have slightly longer tabs, which might be useful. Here is the 15 A bolt-down (axial) part (slightly cheaper, too).

As it comes, the bolt holes are 53.5 mm apart; the bolts are 45 mm apart. So you'd have to bend the tabs to come straight off the fuse (up to nearly 39 mm long), and rebend the tabs right at the edges of the holes. It might still be a pest getting the bolt heads to behave, so maybe bending like this will be needed:

Bending fuse tabs.png
Bending fuse tabs.png (14.71 KiB) Viewed 1664 times
Make sure that there is plenty of clearance above this taller fuse to the fuse cover. A U-shaped piece of clear polycarbonate might make for peace of mind.

[ Edit: added "apart". ]
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by nuggetgalore »

coulomb wrote:
Sorry, that's not the right "dog house". The photo above is of the top PCB (there are three, if you count the DC-DC board in the underside compartment). Most of the interesting stuff is on the board under that one:
Thanks coulomb for starting this dedicated thread.
This morning I hinged the top CB to have a look at the suspect board below.
Sadly it is damaged.
https://imgur.com/a/iQyYHqF
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by coulomb »

nuggetgalore wrote: Sun, 12 Apr 2020, 12:12 Sadly it is damaged.
Image
Despite how had it looks (and yes, it looks pretty bad :( ), it's probably quite repairable. You just need to dig out the soft potting compound from that end of the dog house, carefully cut off the PCB leaving as much length of lead as possible, and replace with new stouter capacitors. If you can't get the board out with enough lead sticking up, you can use Kenny's technique here: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php? ... 380#p39234 :

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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by coulomb »

BTW, Kenny in this post claims that the fuse he found is an exact fit. It seems to me that the Mitsubishi fuse has bolt holes 45 mm apart, and the Mouser fuse has them 53.5 mm apart, so I'm confused, but pleased that no bending is required. [ Edit: I think that the PDF for the fuse on the MyIMiEV index page is wrong, and the Mitsubishi fuse is also 10.3 mm diameter, so that's why the Mouser fuse is an exact fit. ]
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by mikedufty »

Mitsubishi Australia actually replaced my charger under warranty (despite the car being out of warranty) so it is possible. But it took 7 months, so I suspect you are better off replacing the capacitors even if it is covered. I don't know exactly what grounds they agreed to replace it, but quite likely the main factor was that the charger had been replaced in a recall about 18 months before the failure.
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by nuggetgalore »

coulomb wrote: Sun, 12 Apr 2020, 13:23 BTW, Kenny in this post claims that the fuse he found is an exact fit. It seems to me that the Mitsubishi fuse has bolt holes 45 mm apart, and the Mouser fuse has them 53.5 mm apart, so I'm confused, but pleased that no bending is required. [ Edit: I think that the PDF for the fuse on the MyIMiEV index page is wrong, and the Mitsubishi fuse is also 10.3 mm diameter, so that's why the Mouser fuse is an exact fit. ]
I am now registered with myimiev.com and just wrote my first post.
http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php? ... 857#p40857
I hope that is working...
I removed the blown fuse and can confirm the diameter of 10.3 mm and slot pitch is 53 mm.
The bolt is 5 mm dia (M5 but have not verified the thread).
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by richi »

@nuggetgalore how old is your 12V aux battery?
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by nuggetgalore »

richi wrote: Sun, 12 Apr 2020, 16:43 @nuggetgalore how old is your 12V aux battery?
Two days!
Actually I don't know how old it is, I bought the car secondhand three years ago and only replaced the battery now.
It never let me down while driving. But I should have replaced it a long time ago as it went flat a couple times when I left the car parked for several weeks (with the security system active) and my mate (who usually checked it once a week) found it too low to start if he left it more than a fortnight. After he recharged the aux it was ok again.
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Re: Nuggetgalore's iMiEV charger failure

Post by richi »

So the trouble with your OBC started while you had the old battery? Have we yet found a car with a fresh 12V aux battery where the fuse&caps have released the magic smoke?
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