WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Discussion about components from Ampera/Bolt and the PSA group which owns Opel these days
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TonyV
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WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by TonyV »

I wasn't going to post this because I feel like a totally idiot and should of caught my mistake.
But I'm sharing to the group so that my mistake wont happen to others.

Many of us are using the Chevy Volt battery for their conversions.
I would also say most of us (if not all) are using the battery not in the original configuration.
Which means new high voltage cables need to be made.

When I made up the high voltage cable I crimp the lug and then bent it 90 degrees down.
This would allow the cables to go straight down the side of the battery.
Then I was going to use the factory cover to enclose the battery.
Everything was going to plan.
I was finishing installing the battery in the trunk "boot" area in my 2005 3 series. Then all the sudden FIRE SPARKS !!!
I couldn't remove the battery because it was already installed and there was no way of stopping the fire.
All I could do is grab the garden hose and spray away and wait till the battery lost its charge.

WHAT CAUSED THE FIRE ???
I never noticed it but there is a white band near the top of the battery. This band is made out of steel!
What happen was when I bent the crimps/lugs downward, they made contact with this band near the top of the battery.
Now nothing happen until I was jockeying the battery into place with the cover on it.
The crimps/lugs must of worn through the paint and made contact with the steel part of the band. this in turn caused a direct short circuit between the + and - of the battery!
That's when all hell broke loose!

Anyways the moral of the story be aware of the white ban and insulate the lugs as close as possible to the battery posts!
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I'll figure this out sooner or later
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Bratitude
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by Bratitude »

Sorry for your loss, hope no major damage happens and every one is safe.

Batteries are very tame, in till there not. No real indication of the Immense power within. Compared to gas, which smells!

There are a million things to consider. Chaffing, vibrations,
water Ingres, heat, etc.

Good reminder folks to take things slow and review what your undertaking. HV has no mercy


Was there heat shrink on your lugs?
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TonyV
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by TonyV »

All is good, no one got hurt, just my ego.
Gonna have to replace pretty much all of the interior.
Not so much because of damage, its because I need get rid of the burnt smell.
I didn't consider heat shrink because the lug was short to being with,
Like I said I didn't even notice the band around the battery.
Heat shrink would've prevent this.

Even though this is bad it could've been much worse.
If this happen when no one was around, the entire garage would've gone up in smoke!
I'll figure this out sooner or later
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johu
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by johu »

Sorry to hear and I can very much relate as most of you know.
I think heat shrink would have prevented that very incident but would have rubbed through at a later point in time.
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Mons2b
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by Mons2b »

TonyV wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 5:27 am All is good, no one got hurt, just my ego.
Gonna have to replace pretty much all of the interior.
Not so much because of damage, its because I need get rid of the burnt smell.
I didn't consider heat shrink because the lug was short to being with,
Like I said I didn't even notice the band around the battery.
Heat shrink would've prevent this.

Even though this is bad it could've been much worse.
If this happen when no one was around, the entire garage would've gone up in smoke!
Hi Tony

Do you have a thread or youtube videos on your car? I am sorry to hear and see what happened and it reminds me to be careful with my setup. I am working on a e36 sedan with the very same chevy batteries in the back though the full pack would not fit so im using it reconfigured to two parallel blocks of approximately 144v. Yours a newer 3 series but perhaps we could exchange notes on what has and has not worked for us. On my batteries i removed the steel band due to reconfig and replaced it with a adjustable fabric strap. Maybe thats not tight enough? I am not sure if the top band is key to keeping the batteries tight or its the four threaded rods in the base. I am not actually sure what the correct torque spec is for those rods I had to make up new ones. Because of strict rules in my country around battery placement I have put them all in the back. I am relocating the 12v battery to the front and hopefully the charger will go up the front too.
TonyV
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by TonyV »

I just posted my progress in "Projects"
https://openinverter.org/forum/viewtopi ... 318#p35318
I'll figure this out sooner or later
86elcamino
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by 86elcamino »

I'm using Volt batteries also. I've reconfigured the layout, but was able to reuse the stock cables without modification. I was looking at having to make a new cable, however. I think if I had done that, I would probably have reused the stock ends, and spliced more cable into the middle. Someone here with more experience might let us know if that is a good idea, or not.
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Bratitude
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by Bratitude »

86elcamino wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:14 pm…. I would probably have reused the stock ends, and spliced more cable into the middle.
sound like more room for error. Less junction points/transitions the better.

Best to just make a new cable. crimp ring terminals. Adhesive heat shrink.

No need to over complicate things.
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ev340
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Re: WARNING!!! Chevy Volt Battery users

Post by ev340 »

Oof I’m sorry this happened to you but you’ve absolutely saved people’s projects with this post!
Thank you!
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