Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Steel Cutting, Sort of

I did spend a bit of time cutting some more steel this week, but unfortunately I fell ill early in the week. As a result, not a lot of information to post. I also discover that my original plan for supporting the back battery box won't work. I have to come up with a plan B and get a bit more steel. Now, excuse me while I go find some Sudafed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cutting Steel

Today I cut the steel to support the three battery boxes that will go in the engine compartment. I've been using a blade on my miter saw that is specifically for steel. As I was working, I came to realize that clearly the way to do this would be to use a torch. The only down sides I can think of are 1. I don't own a torch, and 2. it's conceivable that I would blow up myself and my house trying to learn. It would be a real bummer if my wife and kids came home to a cater. I think this is probably one of those things that you should be taught by someone who knows what they're doing.

Still, progress is good, and things are moving along. Next week, I'm hoping to finish the frame for the back battery box, weld up the frames, get them ready for paint and even put a coat or two on them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Done With the Fuel Tank

Finally finished cutting the fuel tank out today. All the chunks above comprise about 75% of all the plastic that made up the tank. For those of you thinking I was crazy for doing it this way instead of the proper way, let me just say, you may be right. But, how long would it have taken one person without all the proper lifts, jacks, tools, etc. to remove the entire sub frame? This way ended up taking me about 5 1/2 to 6 hours. Man, did it suck though.

I'd really like to use all that vacated space for something. It would need to be something that I don't need to access regularly and can afford to be stuck away from the engine compartment. Right now the only thing that comes to mind is the DC/DC converter and perhaps the auxiliary battery. If I decide to put any electrical components in there, I'll have to build something to keep them dry and clean. Hmm... What to do...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Odds & Ends Part II

This last week has been spent doing a variety of things.

1. I've been working on removing the remnants of the gas tank, as promised. Loathsome, horrible work. Still, it's coming along.
2. Spent time measuring out and calculating how much 2/0 cable I'm going to be needing. I need to measure it out carefully because the stuff is $4.50/ft on a good day.

3. Worked on fitting the big battery box under the trunk. I have to work out how I'm going to suspend it from the frame and keep everything secure. This frame has to support just over 250 lbs of lead, so it better be up to the task.

4. While out looking for some steel to do #3, I happened to park near an automotive paint store. Though I knew I'd have to paint all the bare steel, I really hadn't given it much thought beyond picking up some spray paint at Lowes and going at it. I thought it would be nice if I could make most of the visible parts the same color as the car, but figured that would be too costly. On a whim, I stopped in and asked if there was anyway to paint some bits to match the car and not pay for a 1/2 gallon of paint, spray gun, etc. He said well I could put it in a standard "rattle can" for you. Apparently if you're in the biz, that's the lingo. I walked out with 2 cans of BMW Hellrot (Bright Red, for those of us who don't do German) for $14 a pop! I did get some primer and clear coat as well, but what a deal! This will help make things look real nice.

5. Look at the pretty sparks! Started measuring and cutting steel. I was hoping that the 10" abrasive wheel I got for my miter saw would do the trick, but no such luck. It cut through a couple of pieces then just stopped cutting. It would seem their claims that it cuts metal are a bit over stated. Looks like I'm going to have to buy a real steel cutting blade.