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Thread: Matt's Electric GT Projectlog

  1. #81
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    Glad to hear ...

    Hey Matt, Glad to hear "everything" got home OK! Also glad to hear that you are still working on the "Montage" (which is my new name for your GT): you are the owner of an GT Montage!

    Keep us posted! -- Doug

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    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattsAwesomeStuff View Post
    Pre-Patching Primer Party! Priming begins. Colormatching is coincidence, that's just the color of the chemical. Oddly, the can specifically says not for use on ferrous steels. Aluminum or galvanized steel only. I tried to look up why but found no reason not to use Zinc Chromate on steel .
    Matt, I hate to tell you this, but that isn't "Weld-Thru Zinc-Rich Primer". That is a protective primer, and "might" do ok to prime the bare metal, but it likely won't survive the welding process.

    The primer that you need is like this:

    https://www.dominionsureseal.com/pro...ru-primer-szc/

    I think AutoValue has that

    or this

    https://www.amazon.ca/SEM-39783-Weld...1323187&sr=8-4

    The correct primer will always say "Weld-Through". You should be able to just spray it over the existing primer, and just spray the edges of the welded parts; no reason to go beyond the weld area.
    dpre likes this.
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  4. #83
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    Matt, I hate to tell you this, but that isn't "Weld-Thru Zinc-Rich Primer"
    Ugh. Well... crap. That's is what Canadian Tire told me was weld-through. I wondered why it was yellow, when the last stuff I bought was grey.



    You should be able to just spray it over the existing primer, and just spray the edges of the welded parts; no reason to go beyond the weld area.
    My old (actual weld-through) can says to only be applied to clean metal surfaces, not over other primers. Might just be a general advisory though.

    The undersides I sprayed just generally I guess I'll leave, but, now I'm skeptical. I bet I have enough in this old can to do the actual weld seams themselves, but not the whole areas I covered with the other stuff. I wonder if I'll be contaminating the weld with the chromate coating that gets vaporized though. Maybe should just clean it all up.

    "We do it right, because we do it twice"...

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  6. #84
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    Doing more reading...

    To clear up possible confusion, the photo in my last post was the old stuff I have, not the stuff I used. This is the stuff I used: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/d...-0471018p.html

    Apparently, actual zinc-chromate is rarely used anymore, and there might be cans of primer called that, that don't have that in it. I tried looking it up on Dupli-color's website, it doesn't exist in their catalog, even though I just bought a can of it.

    The can says not to use it for ferrous steels. Says it's good for galvy or aluminum. I'm not sure why, I looked it up and zinc chromate is fine for steel. Hence why I used it. Maybe I shouldn't have.

    Then I started looking into the debate of whether weld-through primer does anything. Apparently manufacturers have stopped suggesting it be used. But maybe that's because the sheet metal they use has some zinc coating on it already. Apparently you are supposed to clean it off at the actual weld site, it's only to be used to help inside the overlap. It doesn't actually flow into the weld or anything like that.

    Here's a guy doing some tests with zinc, copper, and just epoxy primer plug welds. He added a step of using a syringe of epoxy at the seem of each sample, intending to just get a little spot to compare to, but it wicked a fair way across some of the welds. Interestingly, as soon as the epoxy ran out, neither the zinc nor copper primer seem to have provided any rust protection at all. They were both rusty. https://youtu.be/SK2CSJRp5js?t=151

    So, now I'm thinking... screw it. Clean up the weld area a bit, leave the zinc chromate on there only because it's easier than taking it off, weld it and good enough. Prime and paint the outside later but don't care about the inside panel gaps.

  7. #85
    Your Noble Friend ;-) G.v.Mainberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwilford View Post
    The correct primer will always say "Weld-Through". You should be able to just spray it over the existing primer, and just spray the edges of the welded parts; no reason to go beyond the weld area.
    Hell, NO! Only onto bare metal! And on both contacting surfaces.

    Dieter

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    This part is probably a bit out of the interesting scope for this community, but, I've picked up an inverter I'm hoping to use.

    It's from a 2nd Gen Prius. Apparently the Toyota engineers made the things bulletproof. Every stupid and abusive thing you can do to them was anticipated and fails gracefully if it passes limits (usually thermal or overvoltage limits, so, it allows itself to be abused far above its spec until it actually reaches a limit that matters).

    A 2nd Gen Prius (ending in 2009) was chosen because there's some effort being put in in the DIY community to hijack the brains of it, as a source of the cheapest (mine was $150 CAD and I expect I'm on the highest end) and most commonly available salvaged inverters available to DIYers. They're all hitting junkyards now and should be cheaper than buying components. There are functional test boards of the replacement brains that I can order blanks of.



    Came with literally nothing other than the inverter itself. I asked what the hole was for and what used to go into it, and he (junkyard) said nothing. I said I wanted to look inside and make sure no snow got into it, he said no, it was indoors, and they never even opened it, there's a gasket on top that is expensive to replace.

    Cracked it open when I got home:



    Amazing how he got all those plugs apart without removing the top of the inverter. And how the case screws were only finger tight.

    Seems in perfect shape but, yeah.

    Pain in the ass, have to shop around for a wiring harness now. Shop said he'd sell me the cables for $30 next time he has a Gen 2 come in.

    Good news is that this inverter has multiple functions inside it. It actually has two 3-phase motor controllers (you could link them and get 400hp to a motor), and a DC-DC converter that could be used as a battery charger too, so no need for a separate charger.

    ...

    In other news, starting to think about what I want to do with my instrument cluster and what I want that to look like. I'll be redoing some of the gauges and trying to keep the font and style the same. The layout you all know:



    - Speedometer I would have to electro-mechanically simulate, (originally planned to keep the trans and not have to modify this, but, with no trans planned now I have to fake it). But I want to keep it the same (maybe change the graphic to have km/h too).

    - Tachometer is useless since I'll be direct driving the torque tube. But a functional equivalent might be the amount of Amps I'm drawing from the main battery. Not sure how I'd replicate that, but I'm mostly set on that going there. Having a logarithmic scale would be neat too, since, anything but peak acceleration is going to leave the needle at effectively zero on a linear scale. Not sure if that's possible, but that's my ideal.

    - Battery charge/discharge I will probably leave as-is. I'll still have a small lead-acid battery to run all the 12v systems. It'd be nice to confirm it's working and what my 12v load is and if the converter can keep up.

    - Oil pressure I don't need and don't have ideas for. I'm not sure what I want there.

    - Temperature sensor I'll try to rejig probably to motor/inverter/battery temp. Nice things to know. Maybe I'll adapt Oil Pressure to a second temp sensor

    - Fuel gauge is hokey, I'd rather see a voltage read-out, which I probably will anyways somewhere. But, I happen to have a battery-to-fuel-gauge electronic converter gifted to me from another DIY EVer, so, if I can get that working I'll use it as a "fuel" gauge.

    - Clock I was thinking I might convert into a backup camera screen. I'll hide a digital clock somewhere else on the panel. There's not much space for a screen and I'd like some kind of screen. Maybe I'll use the radio area below instead and have a whole nav/infotainment screen there.

    - I love the rocker switches. I love how they're not buttons, and how I could hit them by feel, and how far they move. I actually have two instrument panels, so if I need extra switches for anything I have 6 more I can use.

    ...

    Ideas about what other things I may want?

  9. #87
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattsAwesomeStuff View Post
    In other news, starting to think about what I want to do with my instrument cluster and what I want that to look like. I'll be redoing some of the gauges and trying to keep the font and style the same. The layout you all know:

    - Battery charge/discharge I will probably leave as-is. I'll still have a small lead-acid battery to run all the 12v systems. It'd be nice to confirm it's working and what my 12v load is and if the converter can keep up.

    - Temperature sensor I'll try to rejig probably to motor/inverter/battery temp. Nice things to know. Maybe I'll adapt Oil Pressure to a second temp sensor

    - Fuel gauge is hokey, I'd rather see a voltage read-out, which I probably will anyways somewhere. But, I happen to have a battery-to-fuel-gauge electronic converter gifted to me from another DIY EVer, so, if I can get that working I'll use it as a "fuel" gauge.
    Opel GT Source sells a very nice gauge that replaces the typically non-working analogue/electro-mechanical clock (does your clock work?) with a voltmeter/temp gauge. The temp comes with a sensor, and is usually placed in the engine chain case to provide oil temperature.

    As it turns out, the Calgary Opel Parts Co-Op has such a gauge in stock. We can chat, and also about the OGTS full length variable rate rear coil springs to help better support your battery load
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  10. #88
    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Matt I like your ideas. Just for fun, check out the below link, post number 5

    https://www.opelgt.com/forums/1e-oth...+modifications

    Its cool looking but does change the original look for sure.

    Keep on Opeling rubber side down and shiny side up
    Make a difference and help someone today
    Dan

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    Minor parts and boring updates:

    - Keith helped me discover that the key to my steering column should match the doors, and, after I determined it did not, demonstrated that it does (yellow). The mechanism is just gummy and he had to help it move. So, no need for locksmithing. I had 2 keys, one is half-way cracked through. Both work in the ignition, but the keys barely match up (really bad key copying attempt). The yellow doors are the worse ones, so I'll still swap the handles out into the Orange doors.

    - Keith also helped me disassemble one of the rotating headlights since mine weren't moving perfect, and because the 50-year old wiring is a must-replace fire hazard (confirmed, crumbling rubber). Watching him disassemble the headlight was like watching a marine field-strip a rifle, he knew exactly the process. I figured it would take 5 minutes. Nope, more like 45 minutes. Would've taken me a week to figure it out. He recommended pulling the whole wiring harness anyway.

    -Went over my welding plan with him while he was there, basically hoping he'd reassure me that my fitment issues weren't as bad as they seemed. He mostly concurred. The pieces don't fit together all at the same time, likely from when Doug, Roy and I used jacks to force them to frakenstein into a continuous car-shaped piece of metal with the correct VIN the day before my inspection. So we identified a process of what to anchor first (steering column, which is tight but then pulls a 1/2" gap in the firewall once the floorpan is settled), then progressively work through until all the fitment (windshield corners next) was lined up (floorpan/seats is last, smash 'em in place if I have to). I feel a lot better about firing up the welder finally.

    - Pulled a Gen 1 (2001) Prius inverter from a junkyard. I'm not sure why. There's no open source projects to repurpose it and I can't design one myself. Pick N Pull doesn't even have a price sheet for it (they do not do EVs, this one slipped through on a bulk purchase). So the lady figured we could call it an "Electronic Ignition Module". $24. For that price, the caps and transistors have got to come in handy eventually on some project (induction furnace, welder, I dunno).



    I busted 2 #40 Torx bits trying to take the wires out and eventually stripped the head, had to disassemble the wiring from the tranxaxle side. In the end I clamped a monster crescent wrench onto a bracket under the screw and got it to turn. Damned galvanic corrosion (Al vs. Fe).



    - Figured I would need a smaller coolant pump, so I pulled the one from the Prius inverter as well. They are famous for failing, and don't throw an error code unless the inverter overheats, which it won't do unless you're really pushing it. Passive circulation is sufficient. So I try to run it on 12v... appears to be shorted internally. Can't return it, because when I said "Coolant pump" the clerk lady said "Nope, looks like a vacuum hose to me, it's a lot cheaper." So I still need a coolant pump. Hrmph.



    - First Gen Prius seemed to use a belt-driven AC compressor, so no point in saving that. But 2nd gen onwards use a 3 phase motor controlled by the inverter I think, might pull one of those eventually. Also a foot pedal would be convenient. Was considering taking the electric steering pump from a Toyota MR2, but, not sure if there's a point in having power steering.

    - Set up an electric radiator space heater on a timer in the garage so that it clicks on a few hours before I get off work, so things aren't painfully cold to the touch when I get there. It clicks off when I get off work, so if I'm not in the shop that day (most days) to switch it to manual, it's not wasting power.
    Last edited by MattsAwesomeStuff; 1 Week Ago at 06:41 PM.
    kwilford and dpre like this.

  12. #90
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    Minor progress:

    - Got the last of the front wiring harness out of the way for any upcoming welding. Bit of a sad state, a lot of it is quite stiff and I'm not sure I'd trust it, but I'm intimidated by the cost and work involved in completely redoing it. I'm somewhat considering at least replacing the 50-year-old relays with modern-ish automotive ones since I have some of those.



    - Wondering what the Prius carcass at the junkyard might have for large contactors. Didn't see any, might have just had the one in the battery pack (already removed)?

    - Went to vacuum out the air vents (body panels), forgot to turn the heater off. Popped a breaker at midnight and didn't feel like waking anyone up to go reset it.

    - Ordered a circuitboard from EVBMW that'll allow me to hijack the Prius Gen2 controller. Discovered I also need some other parts, paid 5x the price to order them from Canada rather than China so that I can get them soon, not in 6 weeks. Put together an order for the electronic components to build the board.

    - Started taking inventory of batteries. Two years ago I'd slowly processed ~2500 lithium 18650 cells from tool packs. Disassembled and capacity tested. I have about another 2500 to process and then it's end of the line (source dried up). It's about 250lbs (113 kg) of batteries total, of which maybe 2000 are worth using, and another 350 are usable but low capacity. The remainder I either ruined or were faulty.



    Presuming that ratio holds up, I'll have around 4000 cells to use. 4000 * 3.7v nominal * ~2ah per cells = ~30kwh of energy.

    I'm guessing 250watt-hours per mile, so, ~120 miles range. About 4 milk crates of bulk, and a 400lb pack (before wiring, enclosures, etc). There's room for them there, but that's starting to be frighteningly heavy for the ass end of the Opel. Especially behind the rear tires where the gastank and spare was.

    As much as possible I'll put below the parcel shelf, down into the frame under what would be the back seats if the Opel had those, but I'm estimating only 100lbs can go there. Maybe I'll have to put some up front too. I don't know how much the gas tank, spare, and exhaust weighed, but, can't be that much.

    Total weight is also a bit of an issue. I deleted the engine (and hopefully won't need the trans), but I'm adding back 255lb of motor and, 50-ish lb inverter. Then 400lbs of battery. Certainly cutting it close. I have slightly heavier duty springs for the rear already, so that'll help.
    rrossjr, Vincent and dpre like this.

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    Progress. First welds!:

    Against my better judgment, I'm going to share my first welds on a personal project in 7 years. It ain't pretty.

    I haven't filmed everything, but I did throw together some sped-up clips of some of the work so far:

    - Jacking the two frames apart for the first time since Doug, Roy and I levered them into place.
    - Using the angle grinder back in the storage unit, run off a dead car battery, tripping the inverter if I pulled more than about an amp from it. Practically tickled the sheet metal apart.
    - Using the wrong primer, poorly.
    - Chopping and welding some bed rail to fill the gap in the transmission rail.
    - Carrying half of one car through another car.
    - Trying to at least ballpark fit up panels.
    - First permanent weld.


    (Maybe later I'll put together a bit better video series on the build).

    Welding excuses:
    - It's been a long time.
    - The best angles are usually given to the camera.
    - I try to stay out of frame, so I can't actually see what I'm doing. I weld blindly at arms length and then check what I did after.
    - It's like trying to write your name by holding a pencil from the eraser.
    - To light the shot, I have so much glare behind me in the helmet that I can't see.
    - Some parts are very thin sheet metal.
    - I'm gap-filling awful fitment from desperate last-minute over-grinding back on inspection day (to give a hope of clearance to make it car-shaped).
    - I'm using flux-core.
    - I don't care that much.

    First weld I burned through in 2 spots and had to build up material to fill.

    There is no one way that the firewall lines up, it's deformed. So I had to decide on what to anchor first, and what to force into place later. M priority went:

    1 - Steering column (heavier metal and easier to line up).
    2 - Windshield edges (most critical fitment).
    3 - Everything else.

    Even then, I'm not quite happy with the driver's windshield fitment after, considering cutting the weld and moving a couple mm over. Also considering not caring anymore and just making it go together as-is. If I wasn't filming it I'd have my face close enough to see the weld puddle and what I was doing, in the future will probably sacrifice the camera.

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