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Thread: 1994 Suzuki RF600 Senior Design project Leaf conversion

              
   
   
  1. #21
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    New Batteries!

    Christmas came early this year yesterday as I heard the rumble of a freight truck outside:



    The driver scared me good when he rolled the 600 pound leaf battery onto the lift gate full speed after just having said "man this thing is heavy". I thought I was going to see a good chunk of change end up on the pavement much quicker than it should. With a little help from me and a strap we got the battery up into the garage.



    I noticed some damage to the right rear corner, which came into play later when splitting the case. Additionally, the left side vent hole was totally open to the inside of the battery- meaning if these things were sitting outside at the salvage yard someone could get electrocuted... I still have to call the yard to let them know about that/ see what they can do about the damage.



    Splitting the case was a bear. I ended up buying an air hammer for $15 from Tractor supply and sharpening the chisel to cut away the gasket around the case. There is a good tall lip to the case, so you don't have to worry about accidentally punching through and hitting anything scary.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/z-...vo2NO_sPg=w400

    When it came time to lift the cover off the damaged corner was stuck, and I realized one of the bolts from the rear battery stack had punctured the case and was getting hung up- another area where the waterproof seal had been breached. Good thing no one bought this to actually put in their car!!





    Disassembly was done carefully after checkng the full pack voltage. I removed the service disconnect, which splits the pack into 2x 200V packs. Then unhooked the orange cables from the rear pack to get to one 200V pack still hooked up (the front stacks). Then it was a matter of removing bus bars to keep splitting them up into smaller voltages. I made sure to wrap my tools in electrical tape and wear 500V insulated gloves. They do a fantastic job of keeping all the shocky bits covered in orange plastic, though.

    without an engine hoist, getting the modules out was a work of leverage. I used the steel crossbar from the middle of the pack as a lever to lift one 6 module stack up, then snuck a small block under it to keep it high enough where I could undo the terminal covers and bus bars. Once those are off you can unbolt the modules from their stacks and take them out one at a time. This was the same for both sides.


    The rear 12 module stack was a real pain. I stopped my timelapse recordings because I realized it would have been a video of me thinking for about an hour and a half on how to get it out LOL! I ended up using leverage to my advantage again. After unbolting all but two of the bolts that hold down the big stack, I rolled the entire battery case end over end onto a piece of plywood with a towel for cushioning. Then I unbolted the last two bolts and used an ATV jack as a dolly to lift the battery case off of the 12 module stack and roll it out of the way.



    This may seem like a lot of writing for a simple disassembly job, but the whole process took about 11 hours! I'm no stranger to tools and taking stuff apart, but adding in high voltage and a lack of schematics really slows it all down.
    Last edited by jhaggerty; 13 November 2019 at 1238.

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  3. #22
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    I realized today that I left this thread hanging. After the new batteries arrived last year I swapped them out with the 1st gens by splitting one of the double modules in half. I've got pictures somewhere, but basically you pop out the fasteners on the aluminum casing and use some rubbing alcohol and a spatula to soften the adhesive between the two modules that are glued together and split them apart. Then repopulate the Gen4 module into two gen1 casings. Then you can make a pack with, say 3.5 Gen4 modules which are the same form factor as 7 Gen1's.

    With the battery swap I immediately saw huge range gains. The longest ride I remember doing was just over 60 miles in the Santa Cruz mountains in California... yup yyou read that right- the bike moved 3000 miles west, and so did I! After using this project as my main talking point in a number of EV related interviews, I was lucky enough to be offered and accept a position working for ChargePoint, Inc as an Interconnect Design engineer. I moved out to the bay Area just before thanksgiving last year, which is why I never got around to updating this thread.

    Building the bike introduced me to a few other electric motorcycle enthusiasts at Zero motorcycles, Energica, some independent enthusiasts, and most recently to the Industrial Designer for Alta motors. I ended up "buying" a basket case Energica Eva in March from one of the enthusiasts, rebuilt it and put 2,000 miles on it before it became apparent that the "owner" had no intention of transferring the title to me, and had a loan for significantly more than I had paid him for the bike (lesson very much learned..). Having gotten a taste of pure Italian heaven, and with the Federal tax credit ending this year I ended up purchasing a new 2021 Energica SS9+ with an 18kwh pack in August and have put 6700 miles on it to date.

    If anyone is looking for an Energica Battery, VCU, Display, Wiring harness, and/or headlight and bodywork (EVA model) let me know. These parts are all not original to the bike and thus are not part of the loan the dishonest first energica seller still has on my bike (he is not related to Energica themselves- they are nothing but pleasant to deal with). Just a friendly reminder to never buy a vehicle without a clear title in hand. I should have known better, but the "good deal" and the friendship I had with the seller clouded my better judgement.
    Last edited by jhaggerty; 12 December 2020 at 2129.

  4. #23
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    I'm envious that you are enjoying a "real" emc! Somehow I missed this post.

    I am having trouble with CA DMV on a dirtbike that I own without a title, got it cleared by CHP, but DMV wont give me a green sticker! To hell with stupid CA bureaucrats! I thought CA was broke! You cant even give them $$$ LOL dumb$hits!!
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: eVOR.v3.4
    WORX.VOR.v3.2

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