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Old 12-06-2015, 02:38 AM   #21
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One shorted wire, and you'll be able to see the fire from the ISS.
All I can say is, I hope you get some time away to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Quite an impressive project.
Kudos.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:01 PM   #22
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One shorted wire, and you'll be able to see the fire from the ISS.
All I can say is, I hope you get some time away to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Quite an impressive project.
Kudos.
Fuses, lots of fuses, I had to keep telling myself. I even went back and added the one at the end

Ever wonder why fuses are used to protect electronics, but trigger bombs? Ya gotta love the English language.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:28 PM   #23
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Fuses, lots of fuses, I had to keep telling myself. I even went back and added the one at the end

Ever wonder why fuses are used to protect electronics, but trigger bombs? Ya gotta love the English language.
Well, there is a conflagration when they both activate, so it is a matter of the amount of energy released and how well contained it is...
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:56 PM   #24
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The loose ends seem to take forever to me. Always seem to be waiting for parts or just creeping along.

There have been several discussions here about higher temps being hard on lithium batteries, and all the information on AGMs would indicated similar issues. Since our batteries sit directly behind the rear axle and next to the exhaust on one side, I figured it would be worth the effort to try to protect them as much as feasible.

I have checked the center of the differential at the cover a couple of times after hot drives and it runs in the 150-160* most of the time, so it is not extreme, but hot for batteries. To deflect the heat coming off the axle I used a good sized piece of masticized rubber splash guard material, 1/8" thick. It is hard to get a good pic underneath, but it basically is fastened to the front bottom of the battery tray and goes all the way up and over the batteries and is attached to van floor or brackets on the rear top of the batteries. The support bars hold the rubber away from the batteries by about 1" and the top support bar hold is off the top of them about the same, so there is good airflow through, coming in from the ends. The rubber is also attached to the support bars to keep it tight and from flapping. Heat from the axle will be able to go under or to some extent over, the batteries without hitting them.

There was already one heat guard on the tailpipe in that area, the I had added when I put the airbags in. They send one so it will keep the bag a bit cooler. It was easy to put on and worked fine, so I copied it to make two others of various sizes.



They are really easy to make if you have a duct shears, which cuts out a 1/8" slot instead of just cutting sheet metal, so no distortion from the tin snips. About 5 minutes a apiece.

Since the tailpipe got pretty close to the batteries, I decided to also wrap the pipe with header wrap to drop the temp of the whole area. I have never been a big fan of wrap, because it can rot out pipes by holding water on them, but the Chevy has stainless exhaust so it shouldn't be a problem, I hope. Most wrap is made with fiberglass in it and is pretty inflexible, so it is common to get it wet when you put it on to make it more flexible. It also reduces the amount of itch you get, which can be lots. The stuff I got does not have any fiberglass in it and is very flexible, so it stretches and lays down pretty nice. Also non itchy. Once wrapped, I put the guards on over the wrap to give an air barrier/deflection and radiant break. The guards are attached with hose clamps. I think/hope this will keep everything from getting overly hot, but we will see once on the road.






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Old 12-17-2015, 12:11 AM   #25
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The ground path also needed to be upgraded a bit, just to be sure there was low resistance for charging off the big alternator. I added a 2/0 jumper from the frame to the body in the rear, and put another in front from the frame to the engine, using a starter bolt for the attachment. It just didn't look right, and with the engine moving it was highly likely to break the cable at the connectors.

I finally relented and bought a "real" high capacity ground strap from Painless. 1/0 equivalent braided just like all the OEM ones have been for decades. It fit perfectly where I wanted it, and will not have flex failure issues.



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Old 12-17-2015, 12:21 AM   #26
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I needed to seal the opening where the battery cables, temp sensor leads, and a couple small wires came up into the inverter/charger area, and decided to do it like I did on the earlier system, with expanding foam insulation. The last foam was in over 3 years and looked perfect when I took it out. I do spray it with undercoating, to protect it, though.



When I was working on the AC power wiring for the new inverter, I was in the bolster on the drivers side where the transfer switch and power cord are. When I looked down, I could see the garage floor from inside the van, which really isn't something you would want. There were huge gaps around the water lines, which come up into the area through a single opening. All it had was a little, and I mean little, bit of silicone sitting on it. There were gaps approaching 1/4", so no wonder we got cold air and mesquitos in the van at times. I foamed that also from the bottom, and it now sealed up tight. Should have rotated this pic, though.

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Old 12-17-2015, 01:14 AM   #27
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Should keep the mice out too...
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:45 PM   #28
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While we're on the subject of the adverse effects of heat on various RV/automotive systems and components, any concerns about the effect of reducing the natural heat dissipation and exposure to air of the SS exhaust inside the newly enclosed/wrapped section? I've read that the chromium oxide surface layer that reduces corrosion of the underlying steel might be adversely affected by too much heat, and too little oxygen at the surface, to maintain the protective CrO2/CrO layer.
Just sayin'.....probably not a concern for a relatively short stretch of exhaust pipe, but I'm not a metallurgist, and I don't play one on TV either.....
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:53 PM   #29
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Looks good.

This is DIB - Do-it-better not just DIY

I like those ground straps.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
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While we're on the subject of the adverse effects of heat on various RV/automotive systems and components, any concerns about the effect of reducing the natural heat dissipation and exposure to air of the SS exhaust inside the newly enclosed/wrapped section? I've read that the chromium oxide surface layer that reduces corrosion of the underlying steel might be adversely affected by too much heat, and too little oxygen at the surface, to maintain the protective CrO2/CrO layer.
Just sayin'.....probably not a concern for a relatively short stretch of exhaust pipe, but I'm not a metallurgist, and I don't play one on TV either.....
Now that you mention it, I have heard that also, bu never really run across it happening in stuff, so you are probably right about the higher temps. We don't know if the alloy is the same, but stainless on the catalytic converters seems to hold up OK (not wrapped though) in the environment and they run very hot. The good is that it is way at the end of the pipe, so I doubt it even sees 300*F in normal life, but I will be checking that when we get on the road again. Wrap can have all kinds of bad things happen, from overheating, corrosion from it's composition, holding water, distortion, etc, so you never know what you are going to get. I know from experience, though, it sure does a good job of holding down the heat to surrounding areas.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:40 PM   #31
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Now that you mention it, I have heard that also, bu never really run across it happening in stuff, so you are probably right about the higher temps. We don't know if the alloy is the same, but stainless on the catalytic converters seems to hold up OK (not wrapped though) in the environment and they run very hot. The good is that it is way at the end of the pipe, so I doubt it even sees 300*F in normal life, but I will be checking that when we get on the road again. Wrap can have all kinds of bad things happen, from overheating, corrosion from it's composition, holding water, distortion, etc, so you never know what you are going to get. I know from experience, though, it sure does a good job of holding down the heat to surrounding areas.
Just thought I'd mention it. It probably isn't an issue, but you never know. I'm not sure which aspect of the process that protects the steel is more important, the heat or maintaining exposure to air/oxygen. I will admit, sometimes I tend to over think things when it comes to mods and changes, in terms of what the unintended consequences might be down stream.
Is there any way to loosen the wrapping to allow some air to see the external surface of the pipe, without allowing too much heat to escape? Even a small gap might make a big difference in the overall result.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #32
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The wrap itself is actually a woven fabric. It looks to fine strands into maybe 1/64" diameter strands, that are woven into the 2' wide wrap. It feels very similar to our Ovglove (sp). It probably breaths some, but who know how much. The fact that steel exhaust pipes rust very quickly under it would say that oxygen must get through enough to create the rust.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:56 PM   #33
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The wrap itself is actually a woven fabric. It looks to fine strands into maybe 1/64" diameter strands, that are woven into the 2' wide wrap. It feels very similar to our Ovglove (sp). It probably breaths some, but who know how much. The fact that steel exhaust pipes rust very quickly under it would say that oxygen must get through enough to create the rust.
That would imply all is well, then. The chromium oxide layer should likewise be fine.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:30 PM   #34
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Finally getting to the end of things. Put on an air deflector on the drivers side to steer air into the front of the batteries from the cooler air side. Reinstalled the factory heat deflector for the exhaust where it runs right next to the propane line, put on all the fender liners and mud gaurds.

The battery boxes have been changed to storage bins by taking out all the slides, and closing up as much of the air inlets as possible to keep them cleaner. On the front bin, the slot for the latch was in the battery slide so I had to recut it.

The latch is modified to go into a slot instead of hitting an angle on the surface, which would always snag anything you tried to put in or out.



The welded on washer engages a slot cut in the floor of the bin. To get the slot in the right place, it is easiest to just put some modelling clay on it an turn the latch to give an imprint in the clay. Then drill a small hole through the imprint so you have the location once you remove the clay and tape.



I cut the slot with the oscillating saw, and filed it straight and square, so the latch is tight and stops at the right angle needed to be able to remove the key.



The cut went through the fiberglass of the ground effects, so I put a piece of aluminum tape on the bottom side to keep it cleaner inside. It latches well.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:36 PM   #35
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After all is said and done, the only change to storage and daily living is that we gained the two outside battery boxes for storage, as the inside of the van didn't really change shape or volume. The front bin looks to be good for the tool bag, hatchet, air hose, patch kit, saw, etc and the rear one for the service parts we carry like engine belt, oil filter, additives, fuses, etc.

Front bin



Rear bin

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Old 12-19-2015, 07:44 PM   #36
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Including the separator upgrade that is on a separate thread, the charging system upgrade, alternator upgrade, wiring upgrade, generator removal, battery install, battery box rework, and cleaning up all the old wiring of ours and Roadtrek's there are probably a touch under 200 hours in it. Not a horrible job to do, with the hardest part being the billion or so trips under and back out from the van doing all the individual part fitting and wiring.

We are now fully committed to no generator living, so it should be interesting. I know I won't miss all the hassle of having the generator.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:11 PM   #37
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The storage gain is a bonus. Your 190P already has the large exterior storage on the drivers side so, all combined, you have a lot of exterior storage for a B van.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:17 PM   #38
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We were surprised how much space the battery boxes had. We moved all the stuff we had planned to from the passenger side bolster area, and they still aren't totally full.

I think losing the outside storage would be one of the hardest parts of ever going to unibody van without any outside storage.

I forgot to mention it in earlier post, but I was totally surprised by the condition of the rear battery box, which is just made of galvanized steel and had carried a wet cell for 7 years. They are famous for getting very corroded, often destroyed. Ours stuck the slides within the first year we had it and we had to replace the batteries, so while I had everything apart, I sprayed the inside of the box and the entire tray with 3M rubberized undercoating. When I put the slides back in I totally filled them with chassis grease and also put a coating over them. When the surface grease got dirty, I would just wipe it off and put on new, and never had to clean the slides themselves in 6+ years. When I cleaned off the undercoating in the box, the metal was still in very good shape, also.

The undercoating is a old timers trick that they used at the Chrysler dealer my father worked at, and at the service station my step father ran in the 50s and 60s. Battery trays back then often had very short lives. You do need to put a sheet of .004 poly sheet in under the battery to keep it from sticking, though, but if you cut it a few inches big it will also catch most of a boil over.

The front box was not any issue, as that was built out of fiberglass and stainless steel when I put the big batteries there.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #39
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One of the questions that was lingering, and has come up related to to other batteries as well, was how hot the batteries would get in the underbody location. With the 150+ degree differential right in front of them, and the exhaust to one side, it definitely is a concern.

We finally got out for a couple of days, so I was able to watch the battery temps a bit. Both of our temp sensors are the type that mount on the battery terminal, so I think they are pretty prone to being influenced by warm ambient temps. This would make them read warmer than the internal battery temp. The Magnum sensor is on the negative terminal of the furthest outboard battery on the exhaust side, so it is as close to the exhaust pipe as it can get. On a 87* degree drive at highway speed, and then though suburbs a bit, it read 104* degrees after sitting 5 minutes. The solar temp sensor is on the negative of the next battery in toward the center, and it read 97*.

In the garage, I have seen 10* increase from the 100 amp shore charger coming from 50%, but our recharge on this trip was much smaller than that at 8%, so I don't know how much rise was from charging and how much from ambient. Hopefully, I will be able to get a run with the batteries full at the start (forgot to do that this time when we left) to see how warm they get when not charging. I should be able to also get a battery temp with the infrared thermometer, also, but I have to crawl under to do that.

It will be interesting to see how warm they get with a big recharge off the alternator from 80% down. I suspect that it may be prudent to take a couple of breaks in the charging (shut off the alternator) to let them cool a bit it time allows.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:01 PM   #40
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In a word, WOW
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