06. November 2005

Brakes completed: I have brake line pressure! The brakes are operating! It has been a long, long road to this day. I have installed, torn out and replaced the brake line and connections twice. 

Lessons learned: 
(1) Convert everything metric with adapters to standard American "inverted flare" tubing, the parts are much easier to obtain. Bubble-flare line looks like it will connect directly into control valves, but it will leak, and a pipe-thread adapter is needed. 
(2) If you need to cut tubing to the right length, buy a quality flaring tool for $50 or else cut the line in the middle and use compression fittings. Compression fittings are not acceptable on stock automobiles, but on a one-off home-built vehicle, it they don't leak, they're good. 
(3) Attach the line to the frame with rubber-lined wiring harness clamps and self-drilling hex-head screws. Drill a pilot hole anyway, and drive the screws in with a variable-speed electric drill and a hex-head driver bit. Putting phillips-head sheet metal or self-tapping screws into the steel frame by hand, even with the correct hole-size, is extremely difficult. 
(4) Buy some expensive, titanium or oxide-coated drill bits specially designed for drilling steel. Regular steel bits will dull in less than a minute.

Front brakeline "T"

All parts to the brake lines had to be replaced several times before all junctions would seal under pressure. Standard inverted-flare parts are more easily obtained, especially for adapters to metric parts.

Brake line proportioning valve

This valve is necessary to regulate pressure to the rear disc brake so that it does not lock up before the front drum brakes reach maximum braking. Most after-market brake line valves seem to use pipe-thread fittings.

DC converter

The DC converter steps the 72 volts of the propulsion system down to the 12 volts needed to operate auxiliary equipment. It is mounted on a heat sink with an air gap behind it.

Accelerator pedal assembly

In order to adapt a stock, after-market pedal to the potbox, which controls the voltage to the motor, I had to get just the right diameter and length bolt along with an improvised bushing from a spring.

Controller mounting board

The mounting board is resting in place in the rear of the vehicle. The ammeter shunt allows the meter to read the current running to the motor without having the entire current run through the meter.

Edge view, control board

A small 12-volt fan blows air through the board against the heat sink, an aluminum plate sealed to the controller with a special heat-transmitting compound.

Windshield blower mounting

This board has the blower hanging underneath, and will have coated fabric attached around its edge to create an enclosed manifold under the dashboard.

Dashboard top

A nice piece of mahogany door skin. A cardboard pattern was first cut, and then the wood piece was fitted into place.

April 2006  

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