Work continues on the Clubman. Actually the work is going quite well. The Video work I’m getting a little behind on. I did just post the video for removal of the Exhaust system and the fuel system. This talks a bit about our battery box placement as well and the SAE J1772 plug we hope to have from Yazaki before the project is completed.
I also got edited down and posted the video on front drive shaft removal. This provides a step-by-step on removal of the front right drive shaft. I rather failed to mention you need to remove the front left drive shaft as well. It is essentially identical except it does NOT have the engine brace that has to be removed on the front right.
We installed two battery boxes yesterday under the rear seats. These are 18×13 inch boxes each designed to hold three “batteries” of four cells. As the Blue Sky cells are 67 millimeters thick rather than the 61 mm of the Thundersky’s, and as we still have NOT received these batteries that were supposed to be here July 1, I’m guessing a bit. But I think they’ll fit. The Thundersky winds up being about 11.25 inches for four cells and the end plates. I’ve assumed 12.25 inches for the Blue Sky’s.
The rear seat boxes went in very nicely. Brain installed a 1x1x20.5 inch 12 gage brace between the rear suspension member and the cross member at the front of the rear seats. The boxes went in and he bolted them to the cross member with some 1 inch angle iron. You could stand in the result and the boxes came out beautifully. The original gas tank straps went right back into place, and we JUST cleared the emergency brake cables. Actually, the cables are stretched to the limit around the boxes, but it still seems to work ok.
If the rest of the boxes come out this well, I’m going to be a very happy camper. We will have a second box resting on top of the cross members defining the rear seat area and this box will hold 12 batteries of 4 cells each. That is quite a box – about 360 pounds.
We were a little daunted by the concept that if we needed to reach the lower batteries in the rear seat area, we would have to remove ALL of the 12 batteries in the box on top of it, as well as the box itself. That seems like a lot of work. Brain has located a set of rails used on railroad locomotives for batteries. They are rated for 1000 pounds and work kind of like a desk drawer. His plan is to mount the big battery box on these rails, and it will slide aft into the cargo compartment, revealing the lower batteries underneath. That would be terribly cool. We’d have to empty the cargo area of course to operate it, but taking the dry cleaning into the house would be a lot easier than disconnecting and removing 12 batteries. If he can pull it off, this will be a conversion deluxe.
We’ll have an additional 7 batteries and two Brusa chargers (I hope) in a box mounted where the spare tire is now. I haven’t got this totally worked out but am working toward a 32×22 inch box – the 22 being the problem. I think by narrowing the box from 35 to 32, I can get enough extra room between the trailing links of the rear suspension to pull this off. I REALLY need 22 inches here if we are to include the two Brusa NLG513s in the spare tire box.