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The Showroom
This is the place to show off your BMW to other members of the community. Post pictures and videos of your car and the modifications you have done to it. If you need a picture of something on a coupe, sedan, convertible or touring you will probably find it here!

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Old 04-01-2017, 08:37 PM   #41
BigMouse
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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My Ride: 2001 330ci
I'm in to the details now. Lots of small things to get sorted out in preparation for the first drive. The down side is that there's a LOT of small things to do. The up side is that it really feels like I'm making good progress since I can get so many things done in a single day. The last two weekends have been extremely productive.

Here's a quick video of the charge port LEDs reacting to the plug being inserted. The light comes on when the door is opened to illuminate the port. Once plugged in, the light "breathes" with the color ranging from red to green depending on the state of charge.



The car is really coming together. I've managed to make enough torque to fight the parking brake and pull the hanging suspension back up in to the wheel wells. Getting some details wrapped up with hopes of moving the car under its own power next weekend.

All the components mounted and the cooling system plumbed up. The clear tube is there to be able to confirm flow through the inverter and other power electronics and verify that bleeding of air is complete.

This photo is before any tidying. The wiring is much more organized now, with well defined harnesses routed around the various components.



I made a nice little panel for the top of the front battery. It holds the HV cables as well as the LV logic connections. It makes installing the cover for the front battery much easier than it used to be.


Last edited by BigMouse; 04-01-2017 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:37 PM   #42
BigMouse
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The mechanical work is basically complete! I've been running in to trouble with the inverter. Reliable motor control is evading me, as it effective hardware protection. I've blown a few inverters at this point and am taking a step back to reconsider my plan for this final (and most important) piece of the puzzle.

Instead of continuing forward with my own control board, I've decided to try my hand at reveres engineering the communications between the stock inverter and the hybrid controller. I figure that the engineers at Lexus/Toyota, with all the resources and expertise at their disposal, will have tuned the motor control far better that I could ever hope to in my garage. The hardware protections would also be as designed so the risk of blowing an inverter should be much lower than with my amateur attempts at stable IPM motor control. The only way for this project to be reliable enough to act as my daily driver with the occasional thrashing is to leverage the effort already put in to the powertrain in Japan.

To that end, I spend last weekend with a borrowed 2007 Camry Hybrid. This car uses a very similar inverter (same control board inside, right down to the part number!), so I set up my Saleae logic analyzer and recorded the communication between the inverter and hybrid controller while performing a number of maneuvers and taking careful notes.

There is a LOT of data to sift through, but I've managed to isolate the pieces of data which contain the torque commands for each MG, as well as some parts which look like "modes" or "states". I will spend some more time this coming weekend with one of my spare inverters to see if I can manage to get the hardware to respond to these commands. Hopefully I can get away with feeding it the same data I recorded, only varying the torque commands, and have it respond.

If anyone on here lives in the SF Bay area and has a Toyota or Lexus hybrid they wouldn't mind me poking around at, please let me know. I managed to spend the whole weekend probing at the Camry without even a check engine light ;-)
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:38 PM   #43
BigMouse
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The car moved under its own power for the first time today! I still have some hacking to do on the Lexus inverter communications as it seems that I'm stuck in some sort of limp mode, but it's enough to move the car. Check out the video:

Last edited by BigMouse; 04-01-2017 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:38 PM   #44
BigMouse
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The Lexus communication was reverse engineered by renting and instrumenting a Camry Hybrid (basically the same inverter). Lots of digging through the raw traces that I captured to pick out the important pieces of information. I got enough to make the motors spin in the direction I want and some basic torque control, but I'm either in limp mode or not sending it a large enough range for torque request. My guess is that I'm not sending it something that it's looking for, or not performing an intialization properly at start-up. Will take some more work to figure out the last details and get full performance out of it.

The best piece of information that I've figured out for anyone wanting to use these is that there doesn't sem to be a minimum voltage. The inverter won't trip on undervoltage and I've had motors spinning on less than 12V. I've also had over 660v on it which it didn't seem to mind either.

There's even reason to think that all the limits exist in the hybrid controller ECU, not the inverter, but that I'm less confident about. I'll hopefully find out more once I figure out how to get it out of limp mode.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:38 PM   #45
BigMouse
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Sorted out the power limit on the Lexus inverter today. Two words: Holy Crap!

This thing has so much torque I can barely touch the pedal and spin the tires (well, the left one at least). I'm going to have to get an M3 rear end and some better tires very promptly.

It's just finishing touches at this point! So excited.

(sorry for the vertical video. Obviously I wasn't the one recording the video).

Last edited by BigMouse; 04-01-2017 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #46
BigMouse
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It was just a matter of finding the right messages to send. The inverter doesn't use CAN, so decoding was extra challenging as there was no standard message format to follow. I had to decipher it one byte at a time.

This drivetrain is amazing. From what I learned from doing this conversion, I could do the same with a Camry hybrid as well. With access to a car, I could also make Prius and other Toyota hybrid transmission/inverter pairs useful for pure EV conversions.

What really excites me is that I could pull the engine from a Camry (or Altima) hybrid, replace it with batteries, and have a pure EV.

There's also huge potential to hack/tune full hybrid drivetrains, engine and all. I wouldn't be surprised if my next project car is a hybrid track car.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:40 PM   #47
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I spent some time over the past weekend making my project touch-safe. With my newly aquired 3D printer and some orange PLA, I modeled up a 3-piece insulator/housing for the high-voltage inlet to the inverter. This had previously been simply two copper posts with cables connected to them. Now those posts are housed in PLA, with some semblance of water proofing, and fully enclosed so that it can be shown off without worry of someone touching a live conductor.
Shown here is the full printed assembly, with copper installed. As well as the assembly steps. The base piece fits in to the oval shaped hole on the inverter, and is glued in to place with RTV.

The first cable (+) connects to the shorter post, with O-ring around the sheath for sealing. There is sealing foam on both sides of the middle piece, which gets installed next.

The other cable (-) gets installed on the remaining post and the cap is installed.

4 screws are used to secure the stack together around the cables, engaging with captive nuts on the bottom layer. I'm very pleased with how it all goes together, even though it's not as water tight as I'd hope due to some bending of the cable lugs during crimping.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:48 PM   #48
BigMouse
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And that's all caught up to the other forum. If you want to see the full thread with replies in the correct context, the link is here: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...on-142946.html

I have since done an M3 rear-end swap, put some D-Force LTW-5 wheels on it with 245 wide Pilot Super Sports. The solid guibo didn't work out so I have a custom driveshaft made using the front part from the original Lexus driveshaft. Rather than buying an M3 driveshaft, I just had the rear section of mine shortened to fit.

It can still burn out, but it's much more difficult. Acceleration in this thing is violent! A few more photos attached.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:27 PM   #49
YBimmer
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Very cool project! It's really impressive to see all you did.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:10 PM   #50
Ojai330i
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Amazing!
I feel like a caveman trying to unlock a Iphone looking at your posts.
Congrats on the big brain. Really great work.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:14 PM   #51
BigMouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YBimmer View Post
Very cool project! It's really impressive to see all you did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ojai330i View Post
Amazing!
I feel like a caveman trying to unlock a Iphone looking at your posts.
Congrats on the big brain. Really great work.
Thanks!

Also, forgot had had this post-LSD-swap video. Best video of it yet. Love the sounds this thing makes!

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Old 04-02-2017, 07:24 PM   #52
AndreBXP
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Holy crap man...Seriously impressive engineering!
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:04 PM   #53
zxseb
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Wow ! Really nice project !


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:29 AM   #54
SCain
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I....I dont even know what's going on...holy **** I have some learning to do.
Great work, and an inspiration.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:45 AM   #55
modjo
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Future car in body from past.

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Old 04-03-2017, 10:25 AM   #56
e46JAB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ojai330i View Post
Amazing!
I feel like a caveman trying to unlock a Iphone looking at your posts.
Congrats on the big brain. Really great work.
haha same here!
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:52 AM   #57
mikeetastic
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holy ****!!! good job.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:20 AM   #58
fckupayme
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This is so ****ing awesome. Wow. Super props. Very very cool. You sir are going places.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #59
JJR4884
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Insanity

Would love to see that speedometer in action.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:49 PM   #60
sillieidiot
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um...holy **** lol mad props to you man. Did you do the subframe reinforcement? I went through the thread and didn't see that. Hopefully you did because you probably need it lol
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