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3442Re: [solectria_ev] Another AH Counter Box Short

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  • Joshua Goldstein
    Jan 12, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      All,
      I've successfully repaired my amp hour meter using David Patterson's
      excellent information. I thought I would post a summary since this
      seems to be a common problem.

      SYMPTOMS: A dead AH meter, a blown 2A high-voltage fuse under the hood,
      an intact fuse on the AH box circuit board, a lot of scorching where
      pins 1 and 2 come into the board with high voltage, and a short circuit
      across those 2 pins.
      As a reminder, the 2A fuse under the hood is on the passenger side,
      rear-ish with a set of 4 high-voltage fuses -- see my earlier post about
      getting the right fuse in the right place.

      CAUSE: Water condenses inside the AH controller box at the point where
      the red and black wires come in (1 and 2 connectors) carrying the
      battery voltage of 156V. It shorts and scorches everything around.
      This may be an East Coast problem owing to humidity.

      PARTS: You will need a new 2A, 250V fuse, a new 1000 ohm, 1/4 watt
      resistor (both available at Radio Shack), and your soldering stuff or a
      local electronics repair shop (as I used).

      PROCEDURE: The AH controller box is located behind the dash. Access it
      as described in the service manual (don't forget to unplug the car and
      disconnect the Anderson service connect near those fuses under the
      hood). Basically remove three screws, pull out the lower dash cover
      from the top left, pull out two plastic plugs and remove a piece of
      styrofoam, then remove four bolts and a metal plate. You'll see the
      black plastic controller box inside. Remove the smaller of the two
      connectors that are at opposite ends of the box, and then follow the
      larger one along past a lumpy thing to another connector and remove it
      there. When you have the box out you can disconnect this lumpy
      connector wire from the box; both will need repair.
      Inside the lumpy part of the wire, under insulating tape, you will
      find the remains of a small resistor, probably just the ends with the
      middle completely vaporized. Clean things up, replace it with the new
      resistor and wrap it back up.
      Remove four small bolts at the end of the controller box and gently
      pull the circuit board out along a track inside the box. Where pins 1
      and 2 come onto the board, clean up all the scorching. Now apply the
      Patterson Method: Isolate the area of the short from any incoming
      voltage and bypass that area by running wire from screw connector (for
      #1 pin) to inside-board fuse holder. Coat with clear RTV to further
      isolate and prevent a recurrence. Check that the fuse on the board is
      still good; if so the rest of the board should be fine. (The little
      vaporized resistor acted as a fuse before the fuse did.)
      Put everything back together, replace the blown 2A fuse under the
      hood, and add your name to the list of people who owe David Patterson a
      favor in our next life.
      Happy driving,
      Joshua Goldstein ('99 Force)


      David Patterson wrote:
      > Joshua:
      > Well your's is about the fifth one I have heard about or repaired myself. I would suggest you first try someone locally, it is not too difficult to isolate and rewire directly from the screw terminal on the back of the circuit board to the on board fuse holder. (Check this fuse also, 100ma, if you have not done so, it should be OK if only connector shorting problem). As noted, coat end of board with RTV or equivalent and fully isolate any remaining positive voltage back into the "chared" areas.
      >
      > The inline filter is easy to recognize. Follow the red (?) lead from the AH meter box, back into the conversion wiring. It may be cabled with tie wraps. It is about 1 inch or more in diameter, several inches long and wrapped with black electrical tape. My experience, It will have to be repaired also (~ 1000 ohm 1/4 watt resistor) but the "filter" can be unplugged and removed for repair with the control box.
      >
      > Again, I think part of the failure mechanism is moisture and cars that are or have been on the East coast, or other high humidity areas, may see this failure, dryer climates, it may not be a problem.
      >
      > Dave
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: joshuasgoldstein
      > To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:24 PM
      > Subject: [solectria_ev] Another AH Counter Box Short
      >
      >
      > David Patterson and everyone:
      > My AH meter died ('99 Force) and it turned out to be _exactly_ the
      > problem described in the recent exchange between David Patterson and
      > Stephen Taylor. As David noted, the AH meter seems to be a weak link
      > that many of us will need to deal with.
      > The symptoms were a blown 2A high-voltage fuse under the hood, an
      > intact fuse on the AH box circuit board, a lot of scorching where pins
      > 1 and 2 come into the board with high voltage, and a short circuit
      > across those 2 pins.
      > My question is where to get the board repaired. I can try
      > Solectria (Azure Dynamics) and wait quite a while. Or maybe David
      > wants to earn some money doing these for us as they fail one by one??
      > Or should I do what Stephen did and try to find a local
      > electronics-minded person? Any advice?
      > And the second question is, do I need to find and repair the
      > "filter" described in the earlier post? If so is there any more info
      > available about how to get to it and remove it from the vehicle?
      > Thanks!
      > - Joshua Goldstein
      >
      > --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "David Patterson"
      > <DRPatterson@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Stephen:
      > > Long answer:
      > > I have had some success in repairing the shorting problem at or near
      > the connector on the circuit board. If the 100 ma fuse inside is good,
      > chances are the board/circuit is OK and the filter resistor acted as a
      > fuse when input shorted over at edge of circuit board. Look at that
      > area for burned board traces, water trails, etc. I isolated and
      > bypassed that area and ran wire from screw connector to inside board
      > fuse holder after cleaning up burnt area. Coated with clear RTV to
      > further isolate.
      > >
      > > You also have another 2 amp fuse for the AH meter under the hood, in
      > added fuse box.
      > >
      > > I am not sure that the resistor was 1000 ohms but when short was
      > repaired, resistor replaced, unit is working OK. Filter is not
      > documented in any diagrams I have seen.
      > >
      > > Short answer:
      > > You may be able to save the unit, It is worth giving it a look. I
      > don't think BRUSA makes the meter anymore, other brands are available.
      > See Xantrex Link 10 product for example.
      > >
      > > David Patterson
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Stephen Taylor
      > > To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 8:52 PM
      > > Subject: Re: [solectria_ev] AH Counter
      > >
      > >
      > > Thanks David. Looks like you are right. Apparently there was a
      > short as there is a little blackened area inside. Is this something I
      > could get fixed or is the unit toast? I'm also assuming there are no
      > replacement parts available for this anymore.
      > >
      > > Stephen Taylor
      > >
      > > David Patterson <DRPatterson@...> wrote:
      > > The "lump" is a filter added by Solectria on the DC to the AH
      > meter primary feed. Mine was chared but I replaced with a 1000 ohm 1/4
      > watt. The capacitor is 47 ufd . The resistor als acts as a fuse in
      > this installation. There is a 100 ma (0.1) amp inside the AH
      > controller box under the dash. If the resistor went, you may have a
      > short. Open counter box and check circuit board under connecto;, very
      > close foil pattern and have seen several short there as a result of
      > moisture.
      > >
      > > Hope this helps.
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Stephen Taylor
      > > To: solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 3:37 PM
      > > Subject: [solectria_ev] AH Counter
      > >
      > > My AH counter died a while back and I am just now trying to
      > trouble shoot it. So far I have determined that the pack voltage isn't
      > getting to the AH counter box. The voltage, however, is present on the
      > car side of the 4 pin Deutch connector. I disconnected the deutch and
      > pulled the box out. I noted that there was a big lump between the
      > connector and the box screw terminals so I cut that open and found
      > that the Red Pack Positive Wire was broken. With my bad eyesight I
      > thought I should just fix the break, but as I got to working I noted
      > that whatever was broken looked more like some kind of resistor or
      > something. It has a blue dot on the top and isn't more than an eighth
      > of an inch long.
      > >
      > > Does anyone know what it is (including its value/stats) and where
      > to get a replacement.
      > >
      > > Stephen Taylor
      > >
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