Saturday, June 15, 2013

FJ Cruiser: The Platform Assembly Begins...

The orange paint is dry on the platform parts, so I've now assembled (in the FJ) the structural components.  The lid and doors still have to be painted with rubberized decking material, so they're not installed yet.  Once I had the structural components installed, I could mount the air compressor and inverter, and start all the associated wiring and plumbing (for the air compressor).  That's now well underway, as you can see in today's photo dump:

The 2000 watt inverter can draw up to 300 amps (at 12 volts) while handling peak loads.  This means I need a 300 amp Class T “slo blo” fuse, and these fuses are not small.  The fuse is mounted inside the engine compartment, close to the batteries, but there wasn't any convenient place to mount it.  So I fabricated this aluminum plate, tapping holes in it to mount the fuse holder, and drilling holes to match three existing threaded holes on the port front fender well...

The cables to handle 300 amps are massive – 0 gauge cable.  The copper part of these cables is 3/8" in diameter and made from over 1,000 tiny diameter wires, so despite the thickness they are still very flexible – key for easy routing.  The insulation is 1/8" thick, so overall the cables are 5/8" in diameter.  When Debbie first saw them in the truck, she asked me what the “hoses” were for.  That's how big they are!  As you can see, the terminations for this cable are equally massive...

Here's the fuse block installed and wired.  The fuse block is at the right bottom of the photo, with a clear plastic cover installed over the place where the fuse itself goes (it's not installed yet).  You can see the edge of the aluminum plate I fabricated.  The white oval shows where the two 300 amp cables penetrate the firewall (the top one is +12, the bottom is ground).  These enter the passenger cab just above the driver's left big toe.  From there I routed the two cables up into the dashboard, across to the center, down into the center console, and then out the back of the center console.  At that point they enter the platform I'm building...

Here's the first part of the wiring inside the platform that I've completed.  The photo shows the area on the port side of the platform, between the port rib and the port side of the FJ.  The orange panel on the left of the photo is the rear side of the forward rib.  The arrows point to various components:
purple: air compressor motor
yellow: cover for +12V distribution block, milled from a piece of oak
red: ground distribution block, milled from a piece of brass (identical to +12)
blue: air compressor motor relay
gray: fuse block (with plenty of room for expansion!)

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