Saturday, January 29, 2011

Front and Saddlebag Battery Racks

Having attacked the engine battery rack, I moved to the front.  Simple, right?  Just drop it in, drill a few holes and stick in some bolts.  Well, close but no EA cigar!

I positioned the rack in the compartment and found that no matter what I did, there is a 1" gap between the front mounting tabs and the bottom of the car.

A helpful person on the 914EV forum said he also had a gap that he filled with a long bolt and a stack of washers.  I will do the same with some washers and a short tube.

Now we move on to the excitement of the saddlebag battery racks.  Surprisingly, it went very smoothly.  I used the templates to mark the outline and drill the mounting holes.

I then cut the shape out with a jigsaw with a metal blade.  I taped the opening to avoid marring the surrounding paint.  It took several test fittings and trimmings to get the rack to fit, then I filed the opening smooth.

Due to the ribs, EA supplies shims to give a level surface for the rack to mount to.

Luckily for me, Lowes carries the special metallized silicone specified in the EA manual.  It said to use a lot of sealant around the hole and the bottom of the rack to make a complete seal.  Well I went way over the edge on the first mount and had a lot of nasty cleanup.  I used significantly less on the second rack and it went in nicely.  I used a lot of paper towels to clean up the excess, on the top and bottom of the hole, and mineral spirits to get it perfect.  I was surprised to find that the bottom of the rack is only about 3/8" above the CV joint bracket where it bolts to the transmission.  You can see the CV boots below.  Neither of these should move while driving so theoretically it should be fine, but I may end up putting in some spacers to lower the transmission a smidge.

I also added the hydrogen gas vent to the rear trunk compartment.  The battery boxes will have tubing and fans installed to get rid of the gas generated by the batteries as they do their battery thing.