[DRIVING] Opel Omega B2 + GS450H (the "EVOmega")

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[DRIVING] Opel Omega B2 + GS450H (the "EVOmega")

Post by celeron55 »

I've found myself fairly deep into a project now so I thought I should post about it here.

The goal is to end up with a good highway utility cruiser - so very small noise level, plenty of range and enough space for people and cargo.

I bought an Opel Omega B2 with the newer GM 2.6 V6, and intend to swap a GS450H transmission + 13 Tesla modules into it to get a minimum voltage of around 250V.

As for the other parts going in, it's going to have the GS450H inverter (obviously, but knowing myself, maybe not that obviously), an Outlander PHEV charger, Outlander PHEV CAN controlled heater and for power steering and brakes the usual suspects, the Astra G PS pump and a VAG vacuum pump. For AC charging I'll use a type 1 socket as those are cheap and I generally charge from a regular Schuko outlet overnight.

I'm targeting CCS in the future which the 250V minimum voltage should allow me to have, but probably CHAdeMO in the meantime. I have the CHAdeMO connector ready to go.

I intend to try getting an A/C system going in the future. I welcome any suggestions on a compatible compressor for this r-134a based system.

So far I have taken some CANbus captures and decoded them to find out how the traction control operates (wasn't too difficult using SavvyCAN), and also recorded some of the immobilizer K-line, altough I'm not sure if I'll be utilizing that at all. The instrument panel and HVAC controls on this are very oldschool and don't have CAN or any other buses. I'm going to use them as-is, so it's going to take some analog interfacing not different to any older car.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

So, now we get to recent events: Today I cursed enough to make the engine, transmission, exhaust and fuel tank jump out of the car.

The first mechanical challenge appears to be the fact that the Giubo joint on the Omega has a smaller diameter than the one on the GS450H. The bolt circle diameter on the Omega is 96mm while on the GS450H it's 105mm.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by EV_Builder »

You might just weld the old holes up with a good wire feeding welder, sand and re-drill on the correct diameter.

Since it's bolt through i give you high succes ratio. Marking the new centre holes isn't that hard considering you have the nice axle in the dead centre.

If you have a lathe that would be even better.

Edit:
I see that there are centering pockets milled that makes live harder. Because it means the holes aren't precise. (Tolerance is guaranteed by those pockets)

Did you consider using the propshaft from the Lexus and moving the issue to the propshaft joinment?
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

It doesn't seem to me the giubo joint would have to be extremely precise, as the propshaft is aligned by the 16mm center pin. I started an attempt to fabricate an adapter myself. We'll see how that goes.

If I went the weld + re-drill route, I don't think the pockets would be that much of an issue. I'd just fill them along with the holes. I might want to throw it on a lathe to flatten the surface after welding though, or at least try to get a nice result with the angle grinder and using the transmission itself as a "lathe".

It seems there are almost too many options.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by EV_Builder »

If the omega shaft has the same centre hole diameter as the Lexus then yes. The piece is quite thick don't think it will warp easy.
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see http://www.wdrautomatisering.nl for bespoke BMS modules.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

By pure luck I managed to make an adapter using a drill press.

I got the alignment off by 1mm, but it ended up off roughly the same amount for both sides, so that's fine. But also, The center pin couldn't reach the shaft with the adapter in between, so I had to reimagine the entire thing and space it on the transmission side of the transmission flange. For that, the center hole of the brake disc that I used for raw material happened to be the right size. For the drilled-out nuts working as thick spacers I had to carve a bit of material off from the side of the transmission flange. I also had to use wheel hub bolts for the transmission flange to keep them low enough, and grind some off from some of the other bolt heads to squeeze them in (another option would have been to grind even more off from the transmission flange, but I didn't want to do more of that).

If I tried to do this again, I would most likely fail.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Transmission aligned and Lexus rear mount modified to fit.

It's easy to align the transmission to point at the intermediate propshaft joint if you detach the intermediate joint/bearing bolts and use it to feel whether the transmission is pulling it towards any direction.

Next begins the under-the-bonnet tetris. I'm going to have to make some plans about the battery box and inverter placement before I can make a final front mount for the transmission. I'm probably going to cut off the old engine mounts as they're likely in the way.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by TheSilverBuick »

Watching with a lot of interest!
Need to learn. Starting from the basics.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

I decided to make this weird sub-subframe. Brackets will be welded to it to carry and mount the battery box... once I have a battery box. Also, this way it's very easy to mount flat or small components underneath the battery box. It could be the space for the liquid cooling and heating system.

The inverter will be a very tight fit given the massive size of the yet-to-be battery box. The only available space is above the transmission, and for that to work, I'll have to get the grinder and shave a couple of cm off the top of the bell housing. Not a big deal... assuming it then fits. If it doesn't, I think I'll have to adjust the transmission mounting height. I think I can lower it a few cm if needed, or many cm if *really* needed.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Well. I didn't expect it to fit, but it did. I'm happy with the amount of wasted space so far - very little.

Also, the transmission input shaft is now locked. I should calculate whether that is sturdy enough but for now I'm happy with "maybe". That aluminium angle is 5mm thick and those are M12 bolts, two to the bell housing, two to the torque limiting disc. The ones going to the disc are spaced appropriately using drilled out nuts and all are torqued very tight.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by johu »

very pleased with your good enough engineering :) Good space usage indeed, the entire engine bay is still empty
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by TheSilverBuick »

I like that inverter mounting!
Need to learn. Starting from the basics.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

I made a Cardboard Aided Design of the front battery box. Not very accurate, but accurate enough to gauge whether the bonnet is going to close or not. It seems to, and this box can just about hold 9 Tesla Model S modules with barely enough room for flat HV links. The result is, this is what I'm going with.

Then I craned in the good old BMW X5 battery for some testing. Remember to tie down your HV components using orange straps. Otherwise they'll fall off.

Of course, I'll have to wire this all up before I can test it, and that's a lot more work than it sounds like. Accessing the inverter terminals is looking like hell, and the same goes for trying to route the harness to all the transmission connectors. I'll also have to find the throttle signals somewhere, and really also the shifter lock signal so that I can move the shifter, and speaking of the shifter I need to create a linkage from the Omega shifter to the GS450H shift lever. One is on the left side, and the other one is on the right side of the transmission.

If you think this looks easy, I have one word for you: Mosquitoes.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by mjc506 »

Looking good!

I agree with your note about mosquitoes... experienced those for myself some years ago on a motorcycle trip around Scandinavia...
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by Ev8 »

Nice work, I love the fabrication stage of building cars, it’s awesome you’ve managed to get a whole oem battaery box under the bonnet
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

I think there's a good chance any car that originally came with a straight 6 option can fit the X5 box inside the engine bay along with the GS450H stuff. But yes, the X5 box is loooooong. Something like 780mm.

The Omega B didn't come with a straight 6 engine, but Omega A did, and they didn't modify the engine bay really at all.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

"Where did you install your charger?"

Me? I just added it under my EV Strap, of course.

In other news, I think my propshaft adapter isn't aligned well enough. It's a bit shaky. Not "it's gonna explode" shaky, but "this doesn't sound right and everything inside the car is trying to find their resonant frequencies" shaky. I'm going to do some medium speed test runs using this and then get a proper one made. Or, well... the thing is, the faster it rotates, the less it shakes. Could be that it's completely unnoticeable when it's actually transmitting some torque and not wheels in the air. We'll see.

Speaking of test runs, I still need a shifter linkage. And probably a way to somehow turn the EV stuff off from inside the vehicle. And maybe vacuum for the brake booster. And of course the charger/dc-dc isn't connected yet at all, I definitely do need the dc-dc as the lexus oil pump sucks so many amps. Oh, and I do need some coolant circulating at least in the inverter and dc-dc.

In the current state, the only warning light I have on the dash is the traction control light. On the info display I also get low oil and coolant warnings, and that's it.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by johu »

Just want to remark it's only 12 days into the project :) Nice work, especially the HV strap - very safe
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Today I extended the linkage from the transmission gear switch lever to the shifter. It ended up being a super ugly piece cut from a thick polyethylene sheet with an extension added to the shifter output lever to get the correct amount of movement. The shifter feels really bad but I can switch gears which is enough for now (and possibly forever). No photos. It's absolutely ugly. Sometime later I'll have to wire up the gear indicator LEDs though. I think that's required for this thing to pass inspection.

Also, found the ignition key signal going to the original ECU and connected the VCU power there.

I also wired up the Outlander PHEV DC-DC/OBC according to the wiki page. When I got to testing the DC-DC what threw me off was the wiki didn't mention pin 8 needs to have 12V for that to work also. Edited the wiki to make that clear.

Now I need to generate a signal to the DC-DC enable pin as I don't have anything suitable yet. I think I'll use an auxiliary relay to flip the main contactor control signal to active high and it'll work nicely. That should be the correct signal then to feed to the Astra G power steering pump also, and any other power hungry accessories that I don't want to run without the DC-DC being active.

I don't have any of the CAN wired up so I couldn't test the OBC yet. Next thing is probably that which will include:
- the GS450H VCU
- the modules inside the temporary BMW X5 battery
- the OBC
- the original ABS/TC unit of this vehicle.

This will require adding support for all these things in the VCU firmware, with the exception that I probably won't try to talk to the ABS unit yet.

You can also still see a distinct lack of coolant hoses.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

After numerous annoying setbacks I got the contactor control working properly (EDIT: This involved adding a preliminary BMS board and moving contactor control there (took a board from a work project and modified it a bit)), then balanced the propshaft coupler by using a washer as a spacer (felt pretty unlikely it would work but it did well enough) and plumbed the inverter and transmission into a pump and reservoir. The brake vacuum pump is also working. Put the wheels on, jack it off the stands, and finally a test drive!

It drives nice, tested up to 60km/h or something like that.

Now I just need to...
- Source the rest of the materials for and make the actual battery packs
- Modify the trunk to fit the rear pack
- Route the cabling from the front to the back. Going pretty close to the propshaft, need to make mounts
- Set up a radiator and the charger in the cooling loop
- Set up power steering
- Plumb cabin heating
- Make the battery coolant system with cooling for road trips and prepare to add heating for winter
- Add CHAdeMO
- Move everything to their correct location and mount them with something else than a ratchet strap and tape. Nothing except the transmission and inverter are at their correct location at the moment.
- SoC indication would be... useful
- TC light is on, and the info display is complaining about oil and coolant levels, make those not complain and do something useful instead
- Set up cruise control
- Write documentation for the modified vehicle inspection
- When it seems to be able to pass the modified vehicle inspection, book a time and take it there
- Air conditioning would be nice, like mentioned in previous posts
- Gear indicator

I don't want to imagine how many things I missed from this list. I'm guessing there are tens of other things left to do that would deserve an item on the list.

Anyway, I drove it. It's a win. And it didn't even break.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by Dusty4 »

Nice work! It'll be done in no time the rate you are going.
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Did some further test driving yesterday. 28 km, mostly at 80km/h. That seemed to take this 9.1kWh test battery from 4.1V to 3.65V, so at these speeds it's looking like the consumption could be around 140Wh/km without heating or other auxiliary loads. I don't have a battery current sensor. A battery current sensor doesn't make a car move! :mrgreen:

There's absolutely way too much power in the inverter and motors, as expected, and with about 360V in the battery it accelerated to 120km/h very easily.

The charger is now in the coolant loop also. No radiator. No apparent overheating issues. There's like 150kg of aluminium castings spreading the heat around so it's no surprise. I'm thinking maybe I can get away with a radiator only for the battery loop even in the final build.

Also cobbled up a way to drive the fuel gauge and calibrated the 100%, 50% and 0% points to 4.1, 3.65 and 3.2 cell volts, or something like that. That's all an EV driver needs to get rid of range anxiety. I decided to use the GS450H precharge output for this as it became unused after my separate BMS board. I added 50 ohms in series and a 10uF (or 100uF? I didn't even look) to ground for filtering and then programmed it to wiggle that pin suitably.

EDIT: The old model Nissan Leaf and the VW ID.4 both have similar aerodynamic specs compared to the Omega Caravan. I looked up the net capacity and range numbers for those, did some scaling to my expected battery net capacity of 61kWh, and the result seems to be that the Omega should have a WLTP range of about 400km, and a summer highway range of about 300km. Basically it should be able to do with the 61kWh net capacity what the Model 3 Standard Range does with its 49kWh net capacity. Or the new model 62kWh gross, 56kWh net, capacity Leaf. These will be fairly badass numbers for an EV conversion... :mrgreen:

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

It's weekend, so you get daily content!

I rotated the coolant tank so that the final battery pack will fit. That was quite an effort, but the end result is more than reasonable. You can still see the old brackets along with the new brackets in the photos. The old brackets aren't in the way so I'm not in a hurry cutting them out.

Then I removed the power steering pump and reservoir and planned the routing and length of the new pressure hose to the new pump. The new pump will be located in front of the front right wheel well, basically under the headlight and behind the bumper. It's a bit crazy to put it diagonally from the steering box across the entire engine bay and beyond, but that's where I have the most useless space.

If I were to make a cheap laid-back project, I think the Astra pump would directly connect to the fitting that used to connect to the Omega pump. I could place it somewhere where it reaches and plan the battery and other components accordingly. That being said, I wonder if someone sells GM power steering pump pressure extension hoses with these exact fittings? In that case I would need an extension of something like 1200-1400mm. Or I guess I could just buy a long GM power steering hose. Haven't checked the total required length though, it's going to have to be like 2 meters. Anyway, that's not really a concern as I'm fairly sure I can get some hydraulic shop to extend this for me like last time.

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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Power steering work in progress:
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Front battery box:
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Module interconnects for front battery box:
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Re: Opel Omega B2 + GS450H

Post by celeron55 »

Believe it or not, I'm running behind schedule. I plan to take this on a road trip in less than 2 weeks.
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