My 1/2" aluminum plate arrived early last week, so this past weekend I spent a lot of time on the adaptor. By the way, I ordered my plate from www.speedymetals.com. Excellent service and a great price ($77 shipped). They have some standard sizes on their website, but they'll cut to size if you give them a call.
Using my template, I traced the shape of the transmission bell housing onto the aluminum.
I then (tried) to cut it out with my jig saw. Yeah, in half an hour I went half an inch. I was getting nowhere fast. Brian, one of the guys from diyelectriccar.com, lives in town so I gave him a visit. He just bought a Honda Civic to convert but has been spending his time lately on building an electric race car for a SAE competition.
Brian had a circular saw with a metal cutting disc and offered to give me some help.
He obviously couldn't make curves in the plate, but he graciously made many many cuts to trim it down for me.
And more cuts...
Notice the size of the cutting disc shrink?
Thanks Brian! Huge help for me!
The straight cuts will allow me to fit the plate in the car, but it doesn't have the nice shape I was hoping for. Attempt #2 at using my jig saw.
So I've been to machine shops before and seen how they cut metal, but I never understood just how important it was -- but wow, you -must- use a lubricant when cutting metal. Without spraying WD-40 on my blade it basically didn't move, with WD-40 it cuts like a champ. A slow champ, but champ nonetheless.
Lots and lots of cutting...
Phew... I took many breaks to allow my jig saw to cool down. November in Phoenix is still 80+ degrees outside, and after a couple inches the saw got hotter than I was comfortable with.
After exhaustive calculations into the precise dimensions of the opening for the shaft, I was able to size and cut the hole.
Who would have thought the hole I needed perfectly matched the top of a Subway cup?
Looks like a pretty nice fit to the test plate I made a few weeks ago.
Well it took 1 circular saw disc, 4 jig saw blades, and 2 cans of WD-40, but I've got an adaptor plate!
Test fit over the transmission...
Looks great! It still needs the mounting holes, but the sun has decided to set. Those will be easy to drill out tomorrow.
Matt has been finishing up a few last items with the coupler. Once I get it back I'll be ready for a low speed test! Wohoo! Stay tuned, I'm shooting to have the first test drive under electric power in the next couple weeks.