Did I Say Engineering?

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Wow! That is what I have to say about the last two weeks events. First the front battery box was too short by 1/4″. Here is the lesson. Never go by the specs. Always measure. I even added 1/4″ for play when I designed the box. each battery was between 1/32″ and 1/16″ off so that by the time I added 11 batteries I was 1/2 inch off in my calculation. Since I designed it to be 1/4″ longer I was only off by 1/4″. The box is being made as I write this and should be done this next week. In the meantime I have done the following. Secured and anchored the mid eng battery boxes, connected the driveline, connected the shift linkage (final) connected the cooling system to the chill plate and bolted the controller and chill plate assembly onto the motor bracket, procured and bolted on the rear deck lid latch, bolted on the engine cover, and funnel downspouts for drainage. On Friday Solar City installed my 4.5KW solar system.  I am just about to the the point where I am only hooking up wires and testing. This is the point where one gets anxious to finish and the possibility of short cuts starts to take place. From my experience with EV1E I have decided to NOT let that happen. This car needs to be done right all the way through. This car is going to be a representation of what one can do in their own garage with just a few tools and a passion for making the world better. It must be right for people to embrace the idea.So here are a few pics, enjoy


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Engingeering Design Class

Good morning! Today’s lesson is how to make a structure dynamically sound and “Lookin’ Good!” The battery box mounts have gone through a metamorphosis of sorts in that they were flimsy with just the hinges holding them in place. The hinges were only the start. I then decided to design some brackets and have them fabricated by my friends at West Steel and Plastics. When I got the brackets back it was time to call in my friend Greg Hawkins so that we could properly mount the mid vehicle batt boxes and start in the the front one as well. I decided that even though the rear was being supported the boxes still needed to be anchored down so the the front to rear movement was arrested and there is no chance for the boxes to slip out of the brackets during deceleration. Using the building concept less is more I decided to use an aluminum L bracket across the front of the boxes. This addition meant I needed to drill two holes in the car and two in each batt box and four in the L bracket. Now the whole thing is modular and can be disassyembled like an erector set. It also added to the dynamic load strength of the mid batt boxes. Note no more sagging.

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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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More Re-Purposing

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I was trying to come up with a method of connecting the front battery box with the rear ones using the existing structure somehow. It occured to me that the air injection ran from the front to the back of the vehicle through the chassis below the drivers side door. Now how do I use this system? A new challenge, It became very clear, very quickly that the 1/0 welding cables I am using to connect the front pack with the rear packs is bigger then the air injection tubing. Not knowing what the inside of the chassis looked like I threaded a long piece of bailing wire through the tubes and pulled a nylon cord through. then I carefully pulled out the tubing, leaving the cord intact. There were rubber gromets at the opening in the left front fender well which I carefully removed. Not careful enough to keep from ruining them however. It was at this point I realized I was not going to be able to do this by myself, so I recruited my brother in law Tom to assist me. This is the point were the story starts getting somewhat comical. You see all we had to do was tie the cord onto the cable and pull it through the chassis right? In a perfect world that would have been the case, however we are talking about a project and as we all know a project is nothing more then a generic name for a long series of projects. This was no exception. we could not get the thing to thread past one foot before it came against an obstacle. We tried everything we could think of and finally out of desperation I decided to take the lower rocker panel off of the car. I had been avoiding this because the rocker panels are riveted at the factory and I have been trying to avoid any major changes to the body. Remember I still have not drilled one hole in this car.  I did manage to take out all 5 screws and pull the rocker panel out enough to see what I was up against. (see photo) there were three more bulkheads each with there own set of rubber grommets. All of that business with the nylon cord turned out to be an exercise in project creation. I got out the WD40 and started lubing rubber grommets. after that with the help of Tom we were able to feed the cables through using the existing structure and as you can see I have the perfect out of the weather route for connecting the front to the rear. Tomorrow I am told I will be picking up my Battery boxes… Oh yes and in case you were wondering… I did not have to completely remove the rocker panel so the factory rivets are still intact.

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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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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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Lots of Work, So Little Time…

I have been working at my regular job for many days in a row. One of our nurses has been unable to come in and I have been filling in. Stuff has been getting done on the car, though painfully slow. I will be sending my transaxle to Fullerton CA next week for an inspection and possibly rebuild (the things only got 22000 mi on it) Fidel has come through and painted the rear hatch and the headlight covers, he had some issues with wind and plastic so he had to do the covers over again but man do they look great. I may be moving my shop to the foothills very soon so I am trying to get as much done before I move as I can. Many life changing things have been happening recently (all good things) so I am also still recovering from reeling. I have been offered a new job teaching at the college (or at least the prospect of a new job) I have made an offer on a house up in the foothills of the high sierras. BIG shop area. So while I am waiting to see what happens I decided to clean the so called “Hell Hole”. Its not so bad really once you get the ICE out of it. The lead acid battery reeks havoc on the passenger side right behind the firewall I am toying with the idea of mounting the chill radiator there… we’ll see. First I have to clean it, mount the motor and transmission and build battery boxes… then I can see how much room there is left to mount things. Still haven’t figured out horn problem… It just quit. I can hear the relay click but no horn. The horn itself works fine when shorted across a battery.. I will figure this out. The fog lights quit at the same time. Oh and one more thing… I found out from the Porsche Shop Manual the the directional light indicator in the dash blinks the way it is supposed to, both sides at the same time. This was a change made beginning 1973 as Forrest Gump’s momma would say “one less thing”.

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