The deadline for the University of Washington to ship its vehicle to safety tech is rapidly approaching… and the team still has a significant hurdle to clear. UW chose to install a small diesel engine as part of its hybrid architecture. The critical objective for safety tech is that the vehicle operates under its own power, and that can’t happen if the vehicle’s existing body control unit (BCU) doesn’t interface with the new diesel engine’s engine control unit (ECU).
The link between these two control modules is a common wiring harness. The bulk of the wiring harness’s connections occur with engine sensors, so the new engine’s harness is being used. Unfortunately, the team didn’t receive the harness until recently, and the harness connector for the BCU is different than the Malibu’s stock harness. Electrical sub-team lead Blake Simpson explains:
“The harness interfaces with the engine just fine… we’re having trouble with interfacing the harness with the existing body control module and the fuse block because we just don’t know which pins connect. If we don’t get the interface down this front powertrain is not going to work.”
Fret not, readers, because help is on the way! UW is working closely with GM mentor Michael Abowd to sort out the correct modification of the harness-to-BCU and fuse block. The team is hopeful that the vehicle will function before safety tech inspection in a few short weeks.!