The Motor and Transaxle are in!!


Things are moving rather quickly at Keep On Pluggin. Today I bolted in the motor and transaxle assembly into the car and hooked up the shift linkage and clutch bracket. I also bolted the rear bumper and valance to the car. I am toying with the idea of trailering the car over to Daves house and putting it up on his lift. You who are very astute, have undoubtedly noticed that the motor is resting on what appears to be two 2X4’s on top of a cross member. You are absolutely correct! I still have to fabricate a motor mount and of course the Batt boxes. I think I could get it done a little faster if I can elevate the car and work from under it. For now though I can still work on it and do the best I can to make it functional. Hope your weekend has been as productive as mine… until next time

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Spiffing up the Mid Compartment


Today was all about bodywork. I started by taking a wire brush to the firewall and battery shelf. I haven’t decided if I am going to use the battery shelf yet but just in case I cleaned it and painted it with POR15. POR15 is a paint which oxidizes rust and turns it into iron. It is very effective. I use it on seams and various other parts of the car to arrest the rust. Once the rust is painted it is time to sand smooth and prime. Of course all of the rest of the components must be removed (I can’t believe I missed the fuel pump) and the car must be prepped for painting. I went down to my local auto paint store B & Z Auto Paint and got some paper and blue tape. I also picked up some self etching primer and some more paint. My buddies down at Cars Etc also suggested I cover the car in bed sheets to prevent over spray, since they have been doing this for many years I adopted their wisdom.  The picture shows the before and after processes’s about half way through. There is still more sanding, priming and painting to do. I am not going to get crazy with it, just enough to make it look presentable at car shows. I want it to look clean.  Speaking of which… wear gloves and a mask when using POR15… very important, that and ventilation…

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Spare Part? or Uh-Oh?

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In my last post I demonstrated how simply a motor and transaxle can be assembled and, how if one took their time and did it the right way the results will be rewarding. This post describes what happens when the careful planning and attention minded craftsman misses one little detail he noticed in a box of stuff that he was going through to find a bolt to mount the said motor and transaxle assembly into the car. When I found this said Item I knew immediatly by the shape that there is only one place on the entire car where it would fit and that place was in the middle of two really heavy components bolted together under the car in place for installation. The item is a metal gasket which protects the flywheel when the flywheel bolts are carefully torqued to 80ft/lbs. This gave me the opportunity to disassemble the clutch assembly and do a quality control check on pressure plate and clutch assembly as well as check the torque of the flywheel bolts again. At least I discovered it BEFORE I installed the motor transaxle assembly into the vehicle.

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The Mating Season

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Yesterday my transaxle found its way back home from Rancho Performance in Fullerton CA. It hitched a ride on freight truck heading North. So this morning my brother in law Tom and I revisited the flywheel/clutch assembly and checked the torque on all of the bolts. It’s a good thing we did too, the flywheel bolts were finger tight!  I knew this because I just set it up for storage until the transaxle was completed. We torqued all of the flywheel bolts down to 80ft/lbs and reassembled the clutch and pressure plate and then we were ready to mate the AC50 motor to the transaxle using Sebastian’s amazing billeted aluminum adapter. This adapter fits a few different types of motors and is stamped TOP on the back of the adapter. We lined up the motor assembly and transaxle, making sure the TOP stamp was at the top and put the threaded studs into the adapter… but… they did not line up. I knew this adapter worked because when I recieved it I checked it against the bell housing… at least I thought I did. I procured a tape measure and measured the distance between the studs. Quickly we surmised TOP actually meant RIGHT SIDE for this particular configuration. All we had to do was twist the motor 90 degrees and viola’ she lined up and almost mated right in front of us. We did have to coax her a bit but the out come is one very attractive drive assembly ready for installation.

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I Heard it through the Bluetooth

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Last night after setting up and testing my Blaupunkt on the bench, I decided to install it. As you can see I did just that. After installing it I tested it by shaking wires and simulating bumps in the road and discovered a bad power connection. On this particular model there is a 12V constant and one that is controlled by the ignition switch. I hooked up the one which is controlled by the ignition switch  so it is sharing with the stock voltmeter mounted in the console. The meter wasnt fluctuating so I went back to my solder connection and sure enough that is were I found the fault. Easy fix and nothing complicated. I tested the bluetooth by pairing with my ipod and a cell phone. It has a very difficult time being able to stream when two devices are competing, it will only latch onto one of them. That however is minor as, one can use one of the two usb ports for say an iPod and stream their other device… say a phone for acclomplishing these task. This radio is so good and so much more then a radio. It can load and save a phonebook. It can be used for hands free dial up, it can stream audio, play disk, mp3, it has two USB ports… AND it looks and sounds really cool.

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The 916 Frontice Piece

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Check out the new front end! Gonna take some getting used to. Fidel got the last details done on it and sprayed it at Cars Etc away from this car and matched it perfectly. Just a few minor adjustments and the front body panels will be complete. I traded out the fog light element for LEDs and they work! They fit in the old fog light fixtures like they were made for them. The transaxle is at Rancho Performance and in the capable hands of Shan. Shan tells me it will be ready to ship on Friday. That means that next week the fun begins. You see up this point all of the things I have doing to the car are things that would be done to any restoration prject…but next week I begin my adventure in conversion land. I will be installing the electromagnetic drive train, packaging and wiring components, designing and fabricating battery boxes, and testing all systems… You know… the fun stuff!

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A Little Shop Time

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This week I went through my shop and got rid of a lot of trash. I didn’t realize I had so much junk in my shop. The first order of day1 was to create a path to my so called electronics work bench. Once I could actually get to the bench I started cleaning out book shelves. The bench is flanked by two book shelves on either side.  I am a musician and I must have had a stack of binders and manuscripts 15″ high, mostly composed of original material from many years of writing. I used to be prolific, now I’m lucky to finish 2 songs a year… Priorities… Next I organized my book shelves. A lot of subjects Trains, Planes, Automobiles, Engineering civil and structural, Electronics Ships and Schooners… the list goes on. All of the music stuff went to my Recording Studio. Once I finally arrived at the work station I had to untangle a mass of wires from various sources. Most of them were speaker wires from my shop stereo. I purchased it in Germany when I was over there during OEF/OIF and it has 5.1 surround. It is a great sounding shop tool. I cheerfully decided where I was going to place my speakers and hung them throughout the shop… long story short… got the workbench in operational readiness. And the shop is much easier to maneuver in.

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