Ghost Busters!

I can hardly believe this but it happened. I have been corresponding with a gentleman who was on the board of regents for the The Hydrogen Highway project. He is now part of a renewable energy board and on the board of directors for a water company. I do know the names of all of these entities, I am leaving them out on purpose much the way I did when I was punished for plugging in my electric car in Merced County while I was working for California Forensic Medical Group, but to a completely different end. The water company soon to be a power company is embarking on a project to create a renewable community. They have asked me to to take charge of the electric car and renewable transportation side of the project with an emphasis on electric car conversions. Already I have been asked to spec out and write proposals for the following:
1969 Porsche 911, Austin Healey Bug eye, and a Ford Lightening (pickup). I have also been told that the company owns an abandoned firehouse which we can use for a conversion shop.

On a completely different note I replaced a ground wire with a much more suitable one and repaired and hooked up the license plate lights.

Keep On Pluggin

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.

Keep On Pluggin


Fog Lights and a Horn

After many months of consideration the fog has lifted thanks to my good friend Dave. Yesterday I had to drive to Livingston to pick up a fax sent to me from Rancho Performance Transaxles in Fullerton. I asked my friend Dave if he wanted to come along with me and then we could get some lunch. He agreed so I drove out to his house, picked him up, and then we drove to Livingston. I got the fax (a bill of laden) and we picked up lunch and then drove back to my house. We went out to the garage and and divied up the food and waited for the truck to arrive.  While we were waiting we decided to tackle the fog light problem. I hooked a battery up to the system and we “commenced a troubleshootin”. Of course we started at the fuse, good fuse. We checked the voltages on either side of the fuse 12 volts. We pulled the relay and exchanged it for another one we used a jumper to bypass the relay and got the lights to come on then we removed the switch for closer observation. It never occured to either of us that it could possibly be the switch as the switch itself has a light built into it which indicates the switch is on, this light also indicates there is power to the switch. Everytime, without fail the switch would light up when pulled. Anyway we found a loose connection switched two of the wires around and the fog lights came on, The fog had been lifted! Having such success we next tackled the horn. This was much easier as it was a bad relay. I must say that troubleshooting with a friend is so much easier then trying to do it alone. Dave was reading the schematic and I was taking measurements. That is two different sides of the brain. So because we didn’t have to stop and measure then go back to the cognitive we were able to unscramble the mess in fairly short order. Just a tip if you have a good friend… use them. Don’t worry! If they are truly a good friend, one day they will use you too.

Keep On Pluggin

A Dash Of Fun

Today started out with a plan (as most days do) Go to Napa get some paint, go the grocery store get some milk etc… I started out thinking I would paint the dash panel today and that would be the end of it. Well as John Steinbeck said The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry” and that is precisley what happened to this man. I did get the paint and I did paint the dash panel. I then decided to see if it would fit… it did. So far so good but, now the launch sequence had been activated and I new what I had to do. Knowing I had taken many photos of the wiring and that everything works I decided to put it all back together. I started by disconnecting every gauge so I could fish the harnesses to the proper locations. then I remembered the windshield washer hoses were pulled off waaay back when and were rotton and needed to be replaced. So back to Napa I go. Once back home I needed to install the hoses and feed them through the firewall. I reached around the column but could not locate the little connectors which protrude from the back of the column. That is when I decided to take the column off and make it easier on myself. This is were “oft go awry” comes in. When I pulled the steering column the spline steering shaft which connects the steering coumn to the front wheels, fell onto the floorboard. CLUNK I examined the situation and saw that the shaft was not even bolted in… on either end. Good thing I pulled it. The hoses went on fine and by poking a screwdriver through the gromet from the other side and slipping the rubber tubing onto the the blade (from the inside) I was able to pull the tubing through the grommet and the rest was easy. I started with the speedometer and worked my way toward the fuel gauge. it went back together surprisingly easily and I felt confident it would work. It does.


Everything Is Illuminated

Wow! You ever have one of those days where things just sort of fall into place? Even intermittent problems can be duplicated? Today was a great day for wire tracing. It started  by me deciding I was going to figure out what is wrong with the hi beam indicator. Remember I said the indicator was dim all the time?  When I tested the switch it was just dark enough in my garage to notice the indicator got just a tiny bit brighter when the hi beam switch was activated by the lever. At the same time I observed the head lights were going to low beam…. Ah Ha! Could it really be that easy? Yes! I changed the hi and low beam wires on the head lights and suddenly had a hi beam indicator which shut off when when the lights are in low beam. It’s the little things that make it all worth while. Not only that, when I checked the schematic I suddenly saw why the fog lights were not working. I pulled the switch and Viola!…  Lets not get cocky, The fog lights were a two fold process as there was a loose relay (two actually) but  Prospero’s schematic and the good ol Haynes manual gave me the road map I needed to figure it out. But wait there’s more! Since I was on a roll I thought lets see if I can get the parking brake indicator to light.

It blinks! It is connected to the flasher. “OK lets do something challenging” I said  “How about the parking light indicator… too easy… how about the fuel gauge!” Then I was done talking to myself for awhile. On the 914 there is a light that tells you your on reserve when your almost out of fuel. It is normally switched on by the fuel sending unit. I learned my lesson from EVIE so I did not go crazy and remove the entire wiring harness when I stripped the car for paint. Everything is pretty much stock.  I found the fuel sending unit connector and did a quick continuity check to locate ground. A fuel sending unit  is nothing more then a variable resister. At the top of the fuel level “topped off” the resister is a short. As fuel is used more resistance is applied using the float as a mechanical means of varying the resistance. Once the potentiometer gets to a pre programmed resistance another switch is activated which lights the low fuel light. Since the 914 has a neg ground I just needed to figure out which contacts in the connector were hooked to which color wire. Since there were only three wires total, and I already found ground I had a 50/50 shot at getting it right. I made a jumper and as you can see in the photos it worked.

That worked out pretty good. I am going to put some photos of the wiring to the emergency flasher and some other interesting photos that would have been helpful to me. Remember this is a 1973 914 and has a wiring harness for a 2.0. Here they are…

So very soon I will put all this back together knowing everything works.


It’s March!

I have been very remiss about posting so there is much to catch up on. The headlights work perfectly as do the directional lights. The side markers work as well. There is one hitch in my giddy up though, the directional light indicators on the tach both blink at the same time. in other words if I pull the directional light switch to turn on the left lights, both right and left indicators on the dash blink together. The same is true conversely. The only thing I can think that it might be is a misplaced ground wire in the directional light circuit. I have checked all of the switch wiring and the fuse panel wiring and as far as I can tell (If Prosperos schematic is correct) everything is hooked up properly. All of the lights in the front of the car have good proper grounds, I will next tackle the tail lights. It is odd because my fog lights have also quit working. When i pulled the motor and partially disassembled this vehicle for painting everything worked except the heater.  Now besides the above mentioned my indicator light for my high beams stays on all the time but very dim. I will resolve this and get back to the business of electrifying the ice. The hood is back on and I pulled the fresh air fan. the motor is toast. Hopefully one of the other 914’s has a good one.  Oh yeah I forgot to mention I bought back the two I traded for the paint job. Anyone interseted in a fair 1970 roller? A running 1975 914?

Let There Be Lights

Since the post I have installed the headlights, headlight motors, passenger side door handle, tail  lights, both outside door seals, windshield wipers and ran the wiring harness to these elements. EVERYTHING WORKS!! I will be posting more pics in the near future I have been taking them as I go. In the meantime the project is pressing forward.

Keep On Pluggin