UW-Madison Bucky Wagon Project

October 4, 2011

Building the Bucky Wagon: New Paint Job

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , — markonfire @ 12:41 pm

The major components of the Bucky Wagon made it through Pierce Manufacturing’s painting facility early last week, and since then the body has been nearly completely reassembled. The hood now has a Pierce logo stamped on the grill, and with good reason–the engineers there have fabricated at least half the wagon’s body pieces, in some cases reinforcing and re-imagining them in the process. But the most striking development is the snazzy new coat of Badger-red paint on everything–the photos don’t even do it justice. Make sure to attend the homecoming parade this year just to experience the full effect.

Pieces of the Bucky Wagon, some new, some just due for painting, wait their turn in the Pierce painting facility.
Pieces of the Bucky Wagon, some new, some just due for painting, wait their turn in the Pierce painting facility.

Pieces of the Bucky Wagon, some new, some just due for painting, wait their turn in the Pierce painting facility.

The painted pieces arrive at the garage.
The painted pieces arrive at the garage.

The painted pieces arrive at the garage.

Mechanical engineering faculty associate Glenn Bower works on assembling the new body pieces.

Mechanical engineering faculty associate Glenn Bower works on assembling the new body pieces.

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September 1, 2011

Building the Bucky Wagon: Batteries Included

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , — markonfire @ 11:47 am

It’s been a few months since the last update on our intrepid Bucky Wagon.

Frankly, it’s in pieces.

But trust us, that’s a good thing–the entire body has been disassembled to be primed and repainted a glorious Badger red. The frame has been rebuilt and powder-coated. New pieces of the wagon arrive in the garage every week, as Glenn Bower and his students work tirelessly getting the Bucky Wagon ready for its debut at this year’s homecoming.

We’re going to be highlighting these pieces on the blog each week as the big day approaches. When the completed wagon finally comes together, expect a sneak peak at the big reveal.

First up, we’re talking about power: the lithium-ion battery pack donated by A123 Systems—something that’s definitely new to the old fire engine. The huge battery array in the Bucky Wagon will be regulated by a controller that ensures the batteries are depleted evenly and at a safe temperature–warm so that the batteries provide the optimal electrical output, but not so hot as to give Bucky second-degree burns in his seat. The batteries provide enough juice to get the wagon up to a planned top speed of around 30 MPH.

Check back for more updates on the engine, the new tires and more as the wagon comes together.

The Bucky Wagon's new battery array.

Lithium-ion batteries that will power the all-electric Bucky Wagon.

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