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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After converting my 2000 G1 into an LiBCM equipped Insight, I decided that I wanted to modify my Insight so that I could charge the Lithium batteries at EVSE charging stations. I have them at my house and at my place of work. The ones at my office aren't even getting used and they are free to use. This also would allow me to stop shutting my hatch on an connected extension cord. LiBCM can make use of J1772 to NEMA 5-15 adapters. Now, let me say right here, that this was a neat project but it wasn't easy or cheap. However, once I add IMAC&C to this car, I plan on draining my battery on the way to work each morning trying to stay in lean burn as much as possible. So this will eventually prove very useful.

Finally, let me add that this project doesn't use my skill sets. I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but hopefully my experience will be useful for others if anybody else takes this on. I'm sure others can make this neater/nicer. On the whole, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, though.

First thing I did was buy the J1772 adapter and test/confirm that it worked well with LiBCM. That was successful. But the hard part was deciding how/where to do the install. I decided that the best place was behind the rear license plate. I started looking at various hinged license plate brackets. I finally ended up purchasing a custom bracket that Scott Kulbeck uses for his Insight tow hitch. You can see pictures of his brackets here.

I then removed the rear bumper and installed Scott's bracket. Next, I taped off a section about 1 inch in from the edges of the license plate and cut it out using a utility knife. Note: if I had my time to go over, I would not have used the utility knife. It would have been much easier with a rotary tool with a plastic cutting wheel. A little bit later in this project, I decided to remove a little more plastic at the bottom. I used the rotary tool for that and it was much easier. (If you tape it off, it is actually easier with the rotary tool to get a straight line, also.)
Land vehicle Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle


The next part is where the project got much more challenging. As you can see by looking at the above picture, the frame inside the bumper isn't flat. There are multiple ridges and angles. Also, it is about 6 inches in from the license plate. I needed a flat surface to mount my charging adapter that would also bring the adapter closer to the bumper walI so that J1772 charger plugs would plug in cleanly. I thought about this for a long while before deciding how to proceed. I finally bought some 1/8" thick, 3 inch wide 5052 aluminum bar. (I bought a 24" long piece.) I used the aluminum bar to fabricate a bracket. I went with 5052 aluminum because it is easier to bend without cracking and I don't have the proper tools to bend aluminum -- so I would be using my bench vise and a mini sledge hammer. I took my time with it and made sure that I got my angles and lengths correct. The end goal was to mount the aluminum bracket vertically. It worked out fairly well:

Motor vehicle Bumper Grey Automotive exterior Fixture


I used 5/16" galvanized hex bolts, washers, and nuts because they work pretty well with aluminum and aluminum alloys. I got these from my local hardware store. The above picture shows the nuts on the outside. In the end, I reversed that and put the nuts on the inside.

Now it came time to drill the holes for the charging adapter to mount onto the bracket and to go into the car. This wasn't too difficult. Just make sure that you have the right hole saw sizes and drill bits:

Wood Fixture Grey Rectangle Gas


To be continued in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I installed the bracket with the nuts on the inside and used blue thread locking compound on them. Then, I installed the charging adapter, again using blue thread locking compound. I used some edge trim to line the edges of the frame hole. I used some material called duct seal which is like a putty that shouldn't ever harden to then finish sealing the hole where the J1772 adapter goes inside the car. The duct seal material is cheap. If it ends up not working well, I may replace it with butyl strip calk. Smoothed it out and powered it with baby powder to make the duct seal less sticky:

Automotive tire Grey Bumper Wheel Motor vehicle


Here is the picture from the inside:

Hood Automotive tire Grey Automotive lighting Tints and shades


I then routed the power card over to the side of the car and zip tie secured it with zip ties that mount into frame holes. That worked well. (The picture, below, was taken before installing the duct seal in the frame hole). Also, I took some of my leftover 3 inch wide aluminum bar and cut two little sections for the inside of the frame. I drilled holes and then put the bolts through them before spinning on the nuts. You can see one of the brackets in the picture, below. The body frame isn't very thick here. These 1/8 inch thick strips of aluminum greatly stiffened the frame here and eliminated any frame movement when plugging/unplugging my EVSE charging plug.

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Bicycle handlebar Bicycle fork


To be continued in the next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At this point, I was basically done. I reinstalled the bumper. Final picture showing me holding up the license plate while my EVSE charging cable is charging LiBCM:

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior


Note: if I was starting this over, I would not have removed as much of the bumper. There is about 3-4 inches of bumper on the left side of the charger that I could have left in place.

Oh, I'm currently using two little pieces of adhesive hook and loop material to prevent the license plate from flapping while I'm driving. That is working well. But I might try to do this differently with some magnets, at some point.

Thanks!
 

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This looks good! Literally what I considered doing whenever I take the LiBCM route.

Note: if I was starting this over, I would not have removed as much of the bumper. There is about 3-4 inches of bumper on the left side of the charger that I could have left in place.
If you've saved the pieces you had cut out from the bumper, you could always epoxy or plastic weld the pieces back on. Since the area is behind the license plate, perfection shouldn't matter on the finish. If not, it's not terribly hard to close the hole up a little since its flat.


Oh, I'm currently using two little pieces of adhesive hook and loop material to prevent the license plate from flapping while I'm driving. That is working well. But I might try to do this differently with some magnets, at some point.
See if you can put some sort of tabs or push pins on the bottom holes of your license plate and holes/appropriate clips on the bumper so you can pull it up whenever needed. When you're done charging, the plate will firmly stay in place. Just an idea.

Edit: Considering plates nowadays are thin and can bend easily, it wouldn't hurt to get a frame with a backing like this if you decide to use pins or clips.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
See if you can put some sort of tabs or push pins on the bottom holes of your license plate and holes/appropriate clips so you can pull it up whenever needed. When you're done charging, the plate will firmly stay in place. Just an idea.
Nice idea. Thanks! I'll ponder that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good idea. I'll see if I can get something drawn up and posted here.
 
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