Second Go Round and BRAKES!

Rear Brake Calipers   IMG_0412

OK, I have been researching 914 brake rebuilding and found a really good video on the subject… at least for the rear brakes. If you have never rebuilt a brake caliper and are inclined to mechanical projects, this is one you can really sink your whatever into. I thought it was going to be relly hard and complicated. Granted I am not finished yet but as near as I can tell the whole premis of rebuilding is replacing old seals and a lot of cleaning. Then if you put it back together and dont have any leftover parts you have done it right. Word of caution, If you have leftover hardware besides the seals and clips and things you have replaced, do not install the brakes on the car.  I have not had this experience but, it makes sense. The first link is to the you tube video I have showing the 5500 RPM in second gear. My friend Michelle of Dave & Michell fame filmed it after we recovered her daughter’s 65 Mustang from the side of the road were she ran out of gas.  She filmed the second trial run of the car. The photo is of all of two rear break calipers torn down and all of the tools necessary to do it. I only have to assemble and adjust them and I will have a just like new set of brakes. Wow! that is great. Today I also had to restructure an adapter from 8mm 32 to 3/8 24, which as you can see I accomplished… or maybe you can’t, I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. The question is how will it perform in a function test. THAT is a huge question and one I will definetely be doing over and over again. We are talking about a brake system here. I don’t forsee any problems in that I have conformed to specs and have not taken any shortcuts. I don’t take chances when it comes to brakes. The safety of all in the car and in my path depends of that fact.

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This Is Only a Test…

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Good evening all whoever you may be, I have so much to say! I better take a deep breath and start from the beginning. Two weeks ago I had fished some wires through to the console and was waiting for Dave to come over to help me with the brakes. Well he did. We soon came to the conclusion that we weren’t going to be able to do them comfortably in my garage. Dave suggested going to his house, getting the trailer and taking the car up there so we could put it on the lift. Smashing idea, and we did just that. Ah but I get ahead of myself. Back in my garage we moved the cars that needed to be moved and cleared a space for the trailer and the 914. The plan was the 914 would roll off the ramps and down the drivewayand up onto the trailer. We pulled the chaulks and Dave pushed and I got in and steered. When the car only rooled halfway down the ramps and stopped, we realized the brakes were locked up and now it was a really good idea to get the car to Daves. One we finally did get the car up there I pulled all of the brakes and checked all of the wheel bearings.  I dismantled all of the calipers and put all four of them  in my car. I figured I could work on them at home. This turned out to be a good idea because of what happened next.

I had to order brake parts and while I was waiting my DC/DC converter arrived in the post. I installed it and wow did that work out  great. So now I have Tunes, Bluetooth, lights, horn (for blind people), and my cooling pump. At this point I decided to hook up the necessary wires to make the darn thing go.  The schematic says if your car normally goes in a clockwise direction use the white Fwd wire, conversely if it goes counter clockwise use the yellow Rev wire. I hooked up the white wire and turned on the ignitionengaged the clutch, put is in gear (remember its up on the rack). My wheels were turning at about 8 rpm and backwards. I figured OK 50/50 shot and tried it with the yellow Rev wire. This time the wheels went the right direction. I then gave it some throttle and it stopped. Let go of the throttle … It goes 8 rpm. I consulted the manuel to make sure I had the throttle hooked up correctly. None of the schematics matched my type of throttle. I found the programming section in the manuel and sat down to program my car. Since I had ordered a DC/DC converter from EV West I thought I would give Matt Haurber a call and let him know how things were going. I told him about my throttle problem and he gave me a pointer similar to the one Jack Rickard at EVTV had given me. This time though I was sitting with the manuel (ipad) and programming through the Spyglass program.

With a series of commands executed by pushing a little red button I could go through the seven different parameters and progam specifics within each one. I started with the throttle. The manuel said there were three types of throttles. Type two and Type three and Type one for electronic throttles. When I got to the first question it was Throttle Type… the choice were Type1, Type2, Type3 hmmm I chose Type1 because niether of the other two worked. Now I could get 31 rpm. Then after a ittle more programming my contacter quit. It never occured to me that I could have shut it off with a program setting, so I wrote an email to Jack Rickard and asked him what he thought might be the problem. To my suprise he called me the very next morning, mind you he had no idea at what stage I am in my build. He asked me some questions like did I use the relay they sent with the motor controller kit, I said what relay? (I hadn’t had my coffee yet.) I used one from the Porsche, I just rewired the rear relay panel to work for my needs. Then I told him that the car is not here and I could call him back in a few minutes from the car. He said ok call me back and I did. Once we were troubleshooting on the car in real time I think he was pleasently suprised to discover that I had the spyglass hooked up and could do programming and diagnostics. My relay idea made more sense as we went along. We spent a fair amount of time on trying to figure out what was wrong with the contacter until finally we both had to go. Jack sent me an email and told me that he would contact HPEVS in the morning and that there was a possibility that I may have gotten a bad program. I braced myself for the worst having to trailer my car to Onterio CA for a reprogram. I went home and made spagetti with a mushroom wine sauce and just tried to relax.

The next morning Jack called and had great news. He said there  are two parameters which can turn on and off the contactor. Wow! We talked a little more and I finished my coffee and drove up to Daves place. I checked both parameters reprogrammed one and tried it again. This time the contactor engaged, although I could still only get 31rpm. I called HPEVS myself and spoke with Brian. I told him about the parameter I changed and said he had spoken with Jack earlier, then I told him the rpm problem and without missing a beat he said “Oh your controller thinks the motor is going backwards!”; “Huh?” I said. ” Yeah, your motor is out of phase, just pick any two of the phase wires on the motor to the controller and swap them, and if you changed the Fwd wire to Rev change that back to Fwd as well” I did, it worked I have a car… without brakes, well without three anyway I just finished rebuilding one… Funny,  I can go but I can’t stop.

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A Very Productive Day

Yesterday I started by battening down the crossmember which supports the front of the batt boxes. The I had to figure out a way to get five wires from the engine comaprtment to the center console. I did this by pushing the wire loom wrap over the two wires I had already fished through, then I pushed a wire through. It was somewhat difficult but it went through. A brilliant Idea occured to me that I could tie a string on the next wire I fished through and use it to pull the rest through. Uhhhh… so I already had one in there, now I was going to fish another through with a string… OK it was early, I was still working on my coffee, long story short I did tie a string to the wire that was already fished and pull it back out. Tied all of the wires i needed in the console and pulled them through the loom wrap. Worked like a charm. Then I hooked up the brake transducer… let me explain… An AC setup has built in regenerative braking ie: when you take your foot off the accellerator pedal the controller tells the motor it is now a genarator and pushes some current back into the pack, sounds great except I found while driving EV1E that I did not use Regen most of the time (EV1E has a switch to shut it off) because it slowed me down instead of allowing me to coast and regen really didnt give that much back to the batteries compared to the amount of inertia I was losing. So through trial and error I discovered that I had more range if I could allow the car to coast when I took my foot off the pedal. I still see the value in regen but only when your applying the brake. Solution: use a brake transducer so that when you press the brake pedal it activates regen, that is when you actually want to slow down anyway. Then by programming the Curtis1238 controller I can adjust the amount of regen I use. So that being the principle I set to work. I’ve installed a brake transducer in the brake line right before the proportioning valve. All I had left to do was connect the three wires coming off of the transducer. Since I am not the first to come up with this idea, I only had to look at the schematic to see how to accomplish this. So now I just have to Install the DC/DC converter when it arrives (hopefully tomorrow) and the beast will come to life and breath electrons. That and adjust and bleed the brakes, so when I drive her off of the blocks I hopefully will not wipe out a 59 T-Bird, 95 Jaguar XJS, and a 73 Porsche 914 all in one whack!

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Success! She’s Percolating! Click the Percolatin’ hyperlink for a movie


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After four long agonizing days of trial and error… er mostly error, I have accomplished full circuation of the cooling system. My friend Green came over while I was working on this problem and we solved it together. Percolatin’ I started this post last weekend let me get you caught up. On Monday I put the battery boxes back in the vehicle for hopefully the last time. I then filled them with batteries. Once that was done I carefully connnected the batteries to one another. I removed the DC/DC converter from EV1E and built a shelf for it and mounted it carefully running the wires and making sure everything was neat and tidy. At last the time came to test the low voltage system. I connected the last battery strap connector and heard the thing come to life, however it was not a sound I had ever heard was expecting. It was a click, click, click…etc. It sounded like a relay had gone bananas but it turned out to be coming from the DC converter. After careful examination I discovered that this converter was calibrated to be used on a vehicle with a Pack from 132-168V. I called elcon and they wanted to put me off until Monday so I called Matthew Hauber at EV West and he put one in the mail that day (yesterday). So I am in limbo with operations checking until I recieve it…probably Mon they are in CA like me. So while I’m waiting I hooked up the throttle last night and today I am hooking up the brake transducer and running the last of the wires which need to go up front into the console. I am installing a junction box in the console so that I have easy access to some of the controller wiring, this will also keep it out of the weather.  I still have to figure out an emergency shut off switch. So close yet so far away…

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Wiring and Instruments

Pardon the pun but we down to the WIREing on this project. I have put in many more then 32hrs since my last post but as ideas keep popping up I keep going with them. The lastest idea was to get into the center section relay board and rewire it so that I can use Porsche relays for my additional relays I may install. there are at least two. I have room for four on that panel. I have also researched the idea of a temp gauge (analogue) sending unit. I have consulted with Jack Rickard of EVTV on this idea and he suggested using a water sending unit from the OEM industry tapping into my chill plate and wiring it to the gauge. This will also be what tells my fan to come on so that it doesn’t run all the time . As you can tell I have been busy. It started with removing the batteries, battery boxes and brackets from the car so that I could more easily have access to the motor and controller etc. Once I got the boxes out I realized they are only resting in one spot on the frame, for the most part they are suspended within the brackets I designed. This revalation allowed me to lose the steel bar across the top of motor mount. About 20 or 30lbs worth. I also discover that by removing 12 fasteners I can remove my entire center battery boxes. Next I made the cables for the motor to controller and bolted those in. Then came the bracket for the contactor. as you can see it looks very much like a coil. I then had to figure out how to mount the small gauge that was supplied with the controller and where to put the switch for programming. For this I used an old gauge and routed out the back so that I could slip it over the little gauge and into the center console. Thats when I got the idea for the temp gauge working as well. One thing leads to another… so it goes. So now the wires coming off of the controller are each finding a place to go to.  I also discovered that my soldering gun is due for replacement. So with all of that in mind here are the latest pics.

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Two Little Notches


My record of not touching the original car had to be compromised today. I had to cut two little notches in the engine gasket rail to accommodate the rear battery boxes. For the last two days my friend Greg and I have been engineering and fabricating a cross bar which will support the lions share of the weight of the batteries in the rear battery boxes. The battery boxes in the mid engine compartment will weigh 135 lbs each. We used a 2.5″X 2.5″ Angle Iron and shaped it to span accross the motor mount and out to either side of the lateral engine mount cross member. The Battery cross bar is attached to either side with bolts and nuts to a flat plate which fits in the slot where the lateral engine mount cross member is bolted to the body. This afforded us a place to attach the battery crossmember without having to drill any holes in the car. The Boxes fit very well and are angled like a V configured motor… this one will be a V-24 as there are 24 batteries in the mid engine compartment. Very Shiek.

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Early In The Mornin


It is Thursday and I am waiting for my friend Greg to come down from Stockton. We have a busy day planned making brackets for the battery boxes. I have them fitted somewhat the way I want them and we are going to make it permanent today. Let me restate that, My plan or design is to be able to drop the entire drive train with the battery racks still attached very similar the original Porsche design. This may require the removal of the blower bracket. The bracket is pretty useless at this point anyway as it is about 2″ from the drivers side battery box. I may also have to slightly modify the gasket rail where the old gasket for the ICE motor once resided, and I am definitely going to have to modify the old battery tray. My biggest concern is whether or not I will have to modify the motor and adapter so that the terminal box doesnt interfere with the battery box and vice versa. By the end of the day we will know. Of course I will be filming highlights for the next movie. We are starting at 0800, so by the end of the day we should have something complete.

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The Walk Around Movie

I decided to do a promotional video for Keep On Pluggin and the walk around for the Porsche. I didn’t want it to be your average guy walking around a car and expaining what he was doing on the car. This is the first of a series of films (videos) I will be undertaking to show the progress of this build. I do hope you enjoy it… If you do please leave a comment thank you

The Walk Around Movie

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The Motor Mount Fit!

Yesterday I picked up my motor mount from West Steel and Plastics. Let me start over… Yesterday was a great day… It all started by having a much needed hour long conversation with a dear friend. Then I went to yoga class in EV1E, on my way I was asked by a young man if I could build him a car like EV1E and if I offered a miltary discount… why yes I can young man… or I could convert any car you would like me to, any way yoga was great. Another dear friend whom I had not seen in over a year was in class. We talked a bit then I decided to stop by West Steel and Plastics to see Manuel and how my motor mount was coming along. When I arrived Manuel reached under the counter put the mount on the counter and said “I guess you got my message” I told him I didn’t and didn’t even have my cell phone with me. Long story shor… uh shorter, I got the bracket took it home primed it, painted it, installed it in the car.

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Oh My!

I have been busy! I am not sure if I posted that I have been learning CAD (Computer Aided Design) I have a program called Via Cad and It is OK for this application…. there are a few features I would like to see which are missing but since I bought it from Amazon and was able to register it I have NO complaints ( I bought it for $32.00, granted it is an older version). As you can see I have posted some of my “undergraduate” work… but it was enough to be able to send to the frabricator and have parts made. Whether they fit for not will be another challenge but for now I am assuming they will.   Here they are…

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