V1 Electrical System Overhaul

Alright spring break!! Time to relax, sort of..

A few of the major improvements that needed to be made to the electrical system was that the power supply was too heavy, and that maintenance was going to be difficult if it needed to be done. Also, due to changes in the rules for the 2016 competition a new brake light needed to be purchased.

After some quick calculations, it was determined a simple 9V battery should do the trick, which is a significant weight decrease from a golf cart battery. This year, the car will not be equipped with reverse, making the overall circuit simpler and easier to install. In order to simplify installation and maintenance, more connectors will be used and the new brake light features two holes on the sides for mounting. Last year’s brake light was mounted using a grommet, so if the light needed to be removed, it was easier to take off the entire mounting bracket which was mounted a little too close to the firewall, making it difficult to use any tools. A new mounting bracket is going to be made this year once the brake light comes in and measurements can be taken, and will be mounted in a way that will be more easily accessible. The new brake light also allows for removal while leaving the mounting bracket in place.

It seems this is like “the big push” for all the projects right now. Lots of people have been in the shop or doing work to the car over spring break. I know I have! It also seems like people are starting to get to the stage when they are fixing the really little things on their part. For the electrical system, it was the battery mounts, and the quick connector between the brake light and the power supply. After hours of troubleshooting, I finally found that I had made a bad solder in the way I made the quick connector. Once I had that figured out, it became an easy fix. When the battery mounts were bent to shape the battery holder, one of them was just a tiny bit too big and a new one had to be made. It’s an easy thing to make, but it sort of just slows you down. The electrical system is very close to being done now, just waiting on a few things. The hydraulic pressure switches to complete the system for the brake light, and the engine to be mounted to complete the system for the kill switches.

I forgot how heavy the old battery was. I weighed it and it turned out to be 25 lbs!! Completely unnecessary for what we were using it for. It feels good to know that we have reduced the weight by 25 lbs just by taking out the old battery.

We also gave the car its first wash ever! One of the guys was doing a lot of grinding and we just thought it would be so much easier for him and everyone else if we washed it. So someone was able to borrow a pressure washer and we brought the car outside last night to be washed. We had no idea how much dirt was there until it was all gone. Look at that shine!


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