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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2015 L1 EVSE Disassembly - Newest Version L2 Upgrade possible?

This is to show anyone else who has a late 2015 Volt w/ L1 EVSE how to disassemble it. I couldn't find any photos/videos of this online anywhere.
Also - there is no easy way to do this. No screws are used to hold it together, only adhesive.
TLDR - A lot of photos. You can't upgrade to L2 with the newer style - but if you take off the front cover or cut some of it away you can uncover some charging indicator lights.

Views of the outside. You can tell the difference from the 2013-Early 2015 from the horizontal green/red lights in the middle instead of the vertical lights before. The J1772 has an led light activated by the removal button. There are also no visible screws anywhere... not a good sign.





First step. Try to open what it looks like you can. I chose a screwdriver/hammer method.


Held together with a lot of melted plastic/adhesive.


A hidden display? Why would they hide that? Also - The charge/warning indicators are on here too. Doesn't make sense that they would put that in the mold and cover it up.


The second/lower display lights up left to right as it is charging and shows all 4 lights when the EVSE is unplugged from the Volt.


Got a little carried away when taking off the back. Also held on with a crap ton of adhesive. Removing the back gives access to a small screw on each wall hanger. Nothing to see behind them though.


Finally had to break out the Dremel and cutoff wheel. Completely different board from the rest. Wires coming in and out are just attached to the board with spade connectors.



Only have inputs for Hot, Neutral, and Ground. The other ground is for output.


Hot and Neutral output


Nothing important was damaged during disassembly. Now I have some flashing green lights to look at when it is charging. :rolleyes: Looks like I'll be searching for an L2 EVSE now unless someone has an idea how to get this working on 240v. Only thing I can think of is removing the neutral and using that as the second 120 feed. The board shows L2/N which may mean 2nd hot feed line OR neutral. The relays list 240vac 30Amp so it may be rated for this. Any thoughts?
 

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What a bummer, back to the LEAR S*&T .... for 2015 :(

That looks very similar to the 2011-2012 LEAR unit internally, those couldn't be changed to 240V
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Id rather not burn up this one, but would replacing the neutral with the second hot leg burn up the board, or would it just throw a fault?
 

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I doubt that would be so simple, ( 99.9% your toast the PCB ) the LEAR that I took apart ( 2012 ) and traced out would never work on 240, that unit you have has a very similar layout. You would have to find out how the switching power supply is powered, My money is its a different transformer when configures for 240V, as well as the sense circuits, really sucks GM went back to that manufacture, the reliable of the LEAR was horrible.
 

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Wow. And by Wow, I mean "Oh CRUD!" I guess the Lear bid must have been so much cheaper than Clipper Creek that GM decided they can afford to hand out new EVSEs like candy for all the warranty replacements. This is a good reason to keep my 2013. Any OpenEVSE conversion could probably be fitted into that space and then glued back together. I wouldn't waste too many brain waves over trying to modify what's in there now. In fact, I've probably go ahead and plug it into 240v power just to make sure it's good and smoked so I wouldn't be tempted to try.
 

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My 2012 L1 evse was just replaced under warranty. The new one I was given looks a lot like this one after op took the front cover off - I have the two banks of lights. The four light up left to right when charging begins, but go solid after a short while. Mine also has a button to select between 12a and 8a. In 8a mode, only the left 2 of the four are lit.
I also noticed that the long cord to the car is thinner than my old one - its only 16 guage.
 

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Mine also has a button to select between 12a and 8a.
You were given an old EVSE, the 2011, 2012 LEAR is the only unit with the amp selector button. If the short power cord is Orange, return the unit immediately as those were all to be scrapped, its free to get one with the black power cord, you were screwed by your dealer.
 

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More like a 'destroy' than a 'disassembly'. :p Some serious glue/heat-welding there.

I'm thinking a hot-wire cutter or dremmel might make re-assembly possible. Now that we know the internals and where to cut.

Thanks for the memories. My brother and I disassembled the garden tiller one summer. Down to the piston rings. We actually got it back together and running by fall.
 

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You do see the label on that connector is L2/N so you know it can do Level 2 charging. (L2 on the board means "line 2")

Two things, though:
1. The relays might be rated for [email protected], but the wires are not. No biggie since the Volt will only do 13.75 max.
2. There appears to be a big IC chip with a white sticker on it, under that ribbon cable. Can you move the cable out of the way so I can see it?

There isn't anything in here that would make it hard to convert this to L1/L2 like I did for the 2013/14 EVSE. All we need to do is identify where the high voltage powers the "brains" of the unit. Everything else is dumb relays that don't care about voltage.

If I can see the traces from the input power to the transformer or power supply, I can work up the 4-wire mod for this one as well.
 

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This one might(?) be easier to run on 240V AC if that AC-DC switching converter has been updated for the standard wide range 120V to 240V (?) input. If not, it could smoke! (or, otherwise destroy itself) (wear safety glasses, incase any small components pop their cases).

Interestingly, this relay has a an 18V DC coil, it is not operated directly from 120VAC (or line to N with the 240 V mod) as in the Clipper Creek model.

>>burn up the board, or would it just throw a fault?

If it's a wide range AC input converter (120 VAC to 240 VAC) it might work okay. If not, it fries (ranges from playing dead to smoke, crackle and pop).

Attached a PDF of the Relay data sheet.
 

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Someone could probably do a similar 4 wire mod too (as mentioned above). The only difference is that the L-N will be to power the 120 VAC input of the switcher (if it is not the wide range input type that can be directly powered by 240 VAC). Don't remove any line fuses this time! :)
 

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This one might(?) be easier to run on 240V AC if that AC-DC switching converter has been updated for the standard wide range 120V to 240V (?) input.
That's what I wanted to do for mine. A small 100-250VAC switching power supply that puts out 18VDC at ~.5A would have been perfect. It could even stay 3 wire, for that matter since you wouldn't need neutral. I did find one, but just didn't want to mess with the conversion that far. The 4-wire mod works fine for me.

If I had my hands on a '15+ EVSE, I'd figure it out. Does anyone want to ship me one to mod? I'll modify it and video it just like the '13-14 one I did. You pay shipping both ways. The only trick is putting it back together. If it's ABS, some ABS slurry would be the best way to get it back together. If it's POM or Nylon, it would take something different.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You do see the label on that connector is L2/N so you know it can do Level 2 charging. (L2 on the board means "line 2")

Two things, though:
1. The relays might be rated for [email protected], but the wires are not. No biggie since the Volt will only do 13.75 max.
2. There appears to be a big IC chip with a white sticker on it, under that ribbon cable. Can you move the cable out of the way so I can see it?

There isn't anything in here that would make it hard to convert this to L1/L2 like I did for the 2013/14 EVSE. All we need to do is identify where the high voltage powers the "brains" of the unit. Everything else is dumb relays that don't care about voltage.

If I can see the traces from the input power to the transformer or power supply, I can work up the 4-wire mod for this one as well.
I'll try to get photos of the front/back sides later today. I'm getting the clipper creek soon, so I could send this one off to you if you wanted to try to modify it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here are a couple more photos. Let me know if you need photos of anything else.

 

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Here are a couple more photos. Let me know if you need photos of anything else.
]
That Coilcraft transformer is exactly what I wanted to see. They don't have the datasheet for it on their website, so I've sent an email off to them for it. Let's see what that transformer does before moving forward. Worst case scenario, we can do the 4-wire mod with this thing.
 

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An update to that Coilcraft transformer:

They say they don't want to give me the datasheet for it because it's a custom chip. I'm trying to do some social engineering around this to get the information. Stay tuned.

I wonder what is etched on the chip, under that label. Do you want to peel it back and see?

UPDATE 2: This is all I could get out of the dude,

"It doesn't say what input voltage it was designed for, and there are multiple output windings.
Sorry - can't say more than that."

So this means it's a true stepdown transformer and not a switching power supply. Also, since I have no datasheet on this, it's going to have to be a 4-wire mod, only.
 

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OK, I've got the design for this done. It does involve introducing a fourth relay for the second hot leg, but it only affects the output side. Since these are bladed connectors, this will be a piece of cake with NO soldering. And, since I have a 3D printer, I can make a neat little mounting bracket for it. The other option is to scratch/cut traces on the board, which I don't like.

This is completely reversible except for the *ahem* hacked up case :p

Omaharacer, if you want to send me that unit, I'll do the modification and video it. This is the relay I would want to use: http://www.amazon.com/Zettler-Miniature-Power-240VAC-AZ2280-1C-240A/dp/B0030GGQCM

And the rest is the 4 conductor wire, plug, and a few wire connectors. As for the mounting bracket, if I can't do it with zip ties, I'll make one with my printer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like a plan. Clipper Creek comes in a few days. PM me your info so I can ship this out to you. I can run on the ice for a few days if needed.
 
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