September 1, 2008

In this picture you can see that I left the rear part of the bubble that conceals the gas tank in place. That will provide the basis for a new bulkhead that will separate the battery box and the trunk area. You can also see the source of my latest conundrum -- the structural frames of the car run just to either side of the hole that I've just created. I can either decrease the width of the rear battery box and drop it in between the frames, or keep it as is but mount it above the frames.

This is essentially the high CG / low CG issue I described a while ago, but now we can see the pros and cons of the issue more clearly.

The space between the frames is ALMOST big enough to hold eight batteries, so if I want the low CG mounting position I have to give up 3 batteries in the rear. On the other hand, if I go with the high CG alternative, the battery box will stick up so high that the soft top won't be able to fold completely. I made a nice, careful list of about eight items that are a pro for one approach, a con for the other. I really need to make this decision now as I want to do fiberglassing next weekend. In the end, the path of least resistance is going to be the high CG route. If, one day, the price of lithium ion batteries comes within reach I ought to be able to redo this part of the car following the low CG philosophy.

Just a closer pic of that annoying frame member.

After a bit more trimming and bending and wiggling, here's the battery box in its final position. Well... not quite. Do you see how it's resting on top of the wire looms in the corners?

This view is of the rear wall of the battery box and how it fits up against the cut, bent and otherwise mangled bulkhead at the rear of the package shelf area. I'm going to engage in a bit more creative nibbling and bending to allow the box to shift just a little more towards the stern of the car.

After getting another centimeter or so, and loosening the wire bundles as much as I can, the corners can be positioned so they don't land on top of the wire loom.

The problem is even worse on the left side, where there is a really fat electrical connector and also the cables for trunk and gas lid releases.

I can steal about another .500" from the battery box's fore and aft dimension by reducing the insulation thickness. I'm convinced that doing so is a good idea at this point so I can eliminate the strain on the wiring. Unless! is it possible to do some creative re-routing?

The fall semester starts tomorrow so I am going to be proceeding at an even more glacial pace...