Saturday, December 28, 2013


After testing the Fiero last week and and looking at the log files to try and determine why it was tripping, I discovered that I had the battery pack voltage reading to the controller coming off of the positive controller terminal, after the contactor instead of at the battery, so used the extra lead that was running under the car to take the reading from the battery pack.



Synkromotive told me to check the negative battery leads and sure enough, I had not fully tightened the one going into the negative terminal of the controller properly, so tightened it up.

Then the battery Low voltage fault and Low voltage limit settings were lowered to 60 volts and several throttle ramp ups were done. With the battery pack lower voltage limit settings lowered, I could not get the controller to trip when just revving the motor, even with some quick accelerations. 

The car was taken for another test drive and it did much better but still tripped when going from third to fourth under moderate acceleration. I have the battery low fault and low limit both set at 60 volts, so am going to try to raise the battery low level limit to 80 and the low level fault at 30 volts. The controller may be set up to back off when the voltage gets down to the low level limit and if I set the fault voltage quite a bit lower, should not get down far enough to trip.The voltages have never been that low in the log files but there may be some noise under heavy acceleration that is making the controller think it did.

Below is the video of the first test drive last week that my son edited for me.

There is still much to do on the car but on the One Year Anniversary of starting the rebuild, I have made one small step!

More next week,


Monday, December 23, 2013


The temperature has been in the high 50's the last few days and all of the snow has melted but it has been constantly raining, so I was glued to the weather channel watching for a break in the weather. I had the charger hooked into the batteries in front of the shunt, so the amp hours on discharged were counted but not when charging. This was a good time to change the connection, so now the amp hours are counted on both the charge and discharge cycles.

Finally around 4:30 pm, the rain stopped and it was time to test drive the car. I tried to set up a video camera but should have taken the time to charge it earlier in the day because it just kept shutting off with a low battery warning. I climbed in the car, switched on the power, pulled up the Synkromotive user interface, and carefully backed out of the garage. So far so good! Pulling out of the driveway onto the street, the Fiero seemed to accelerate nicely in second gear so I depressed the clutch to go to third. That was pretty much when the wheels fell off of the test drive. The motor was no longer responding to the throttle request but I coasted down the road to a motel, just up the street, and pushed the car into a parking spot. This was not good because the hood was not on the car and all of the batteries in the front were exposed. It had been raining all day and the weather radar was showing another line moving in within the next hour. Fortunately, my neighbor was home and brought his truck to pull me home. Once back in the garage, I calibrated the throttle again, and the motor started turning.

I pulled up the log file but could not see what fault shut down the controller, so will need to make sure I have the log settings configured properly before the next test drive.

Sunday, the rain had stopped and the temperature was in the low 60s, so I decided to try again. The car seems to work fine as long as the throttle is slowly depressed and released but trips the controller when it is depressed quickly. I sent the log files to a fellow builder in California and after looking at it, he sent it to Synkromotive. I believe the throttle upper fault limit just needs raised and may try that next week.


Sunday, December 15, 2013


This week I had a minor surgical procedure done and was a bit sore for a couple days, so did not get much done on the Fiero.My wife has also been having back problems, so my son came over to help me clean the house before we put out the Christmas decorations. After we were done cleaning, we all went to J Gumbos in Baltimore, OH for my Son's Birthday Dinner. They have one of the best craft beer selections in this part of Ohio, so we had a very nice time eating Cajun food and sampling different draft beers. Heather and Fred Baughman, the owners were both there and it is always very enjoyable spending time with them. If you are ever in the area, make sure and stop in!


 My son's girl friend Vanessa was the designated driver, so she drove us all home and we started a fire in the fireplace to put up the Christmas decorations. A perfect ending to a great day.


I did get the JLD404 moved inside the car and temporarily wired. Once the car is tested and the motor and controller check out, I am going to take the dash out to mount and run permanent wires to all of the gauges.


The cigarette lighter socket was also wired back up so I can move the laptop inside the car to monitor the controller while testing. I emailed Synkromotive to ask if there were any mobile apps to run the user interface and was told that the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT would run the program, so am also trying to figure out where I could mount one on the dash.


There used to be a couple of 12 volt DC to 120 Volt AC adapters around the house but when one is needed, they were nowhere to be found, so for now, the IOTA DC-DC converter was plugged into AC and the laptop is still connected to the controller in the back of the car.


The weather has still been very cold with snow every few days, so I am hoping for a couple of days when it will warm up a little, so the Fiero can be tested. If something happens, I just don't want to be stuck out on the street in low 20 degree weather.

Until next week,


Monday, December 9, 2013


We had snow in Ohio this week and the temperature was in the 20s so I decided to take my time and try to wait for a little warmer weather before taking the Fiero out on the street for a test drive.


A regular 110 volt plug was used in the original conversion for the DC-DC converter and I really do not like the way it looks but decided to keep it for now, so wired a 110 volt female plug to pack voltage. This way I can plug the IOTA DC-DC (AC-DC) charger into an outlet to keep the battery charged. There is a drain, probably from the radio, and  the Synkromotive controller has a lead that is hooked to 12 volts all the time.


 I am going to email Synkromotive to find out if I can just have the hot lead energizedwhen the ignition is turned on or if it is needed to save the settings.

The charger cover was still hanging below the car, so I removed the grommet so the wires could be pulled free of the cover. I am going to leave the charger out of the car until I get the voltage set properly and am certain it will shut off without overcharging any of the batteries.

I started moving the JLD404 inside the cabin so I can monitor voltage and current while testing the car. There wires are hooked up the the traction pack and run inside of the car, so all that is left is to hook up the meter.

The last items that need done is to put the seat back in and hook up the cigarette lighter socket so I can plug in  a 12 volt dc to 120 volt ac inverter to run my laptop. I want to be able to monitor the motor and controller during the test drive.

The weather report is calling for more snow tomorrow so it may be a few days before I am able to take it on the road for a test drive.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


The wiring for the vacuum pump and contactor is completed and the left headlight has been reinstalled. I am going to need to get a new wiring clamp to hold the main bundle out of the way, as the old one broke and the bundle tends to get in the way of the headlight bracket retracting.

An AC-DC adapter was used to bring up the voltage on a couple of cells that had to be charged before bottom balancing to 2.6 volts with the JLD404 but all of the batteries are now balanced. The JLD404 was hooked up to the pack and another charge was started.With only 37 cells in the pack now, the voltage was a little too high and one of the cells was approaching 4 volts before the charger shut down. The voltage pot has been lowered a little so I will just have to wait and see what happens on the next charge.

The power leads were made up from the contactor and shunt, to the battery pack, so I was able to enter the settings in the controller, calibrate the throttle,  and test spin  the motor. The motor spun up great and everything is looking good but the stock tachometer did not work, so I will need to do more work on it.

All that is left to test drive the car is to hook the DC-DC converter to the pack, run wires to move the JLD404 inside the car and put the driver's seat back in. Until I get the voltage set so the charger shuts off correctly, I am going to leave it outside of the car. Once I am sure it will not overcharge the batteries, it will be mounted back in the rear of the car.


Thursday, November 28, 2013


Easton to get Ohio's first Tesla store

By The Columbus Dispatch Dan Gearino 

Tesla Motors has chosen Easton for its first store in Ohio, opening on Dec. 6. A week later, the company will open its second Ohio store at Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. 

The California-based automaker will sell its all-electric Model S, which has a base price of $62,400 after a federal tax credit. “We put stores in locations where people are educated and interested about technology, and where there is already a strong market for Model S.” said Alexis Georgeson, a Tesla spokeswoman. The Easton store will be 2,600 square feet and have seven employees. “It’s more like an Apple Store than a traditional dealership,” Georgeson said. It will be located at Gramercy Street and the Strand, with a public grand opening scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 6. Last year, the automaker opened its first service center in the state at 4140 Tuller Rd. in Dublin. That center will remain open. The company is adding stores in the Midwest and preparing to release a less-expensive model, all part of an attempt to reach more of a mainstream audience, said Michelle Krebs, an auto analyst for Most of the initial stores were clustered on the coasts. “They’re trying to change the game by being a Silicon Valley company instead of a Detroit or Japan company,” she said. Tesla has about 40 stores in 19 states and the District of Columbia, plus several stores in Canada. The Model S recently got 99 out of 100 points in a Consumer Reports owner-satisfaction survey, which was the highest score in years. It was also the Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year, Time’s Best Invention of the Year for 2012, and Automobile magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year. At the same time, Tesla has faced several reports of car fires and concerns about the lack of an infrastructure to charge the vehicles. The Model S is designed to go 265 miles on a single charge.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


The bottom balancing continues with 20 of the cells rebalanced to 2.6 volts. News came on Friday that my Powerlab 8 would not be covered under warranty and in fact, was so fired, they would not even repair it for the standard service fee. I asked them if they had a program for replacing a damaged charger at a reduced rate and their only offer was a 10% Black Friday discount, so I will wait and try to pick up another refurbished one. I am going to have the old one shipped back so I can take a look at the inside.


The DC-DC converter and battery was reinstalled but I had to flip a couple wires as the controller came to life as soon as the battery was connected. With the wires connected correctly, the controller now comes to life when the key is switched. on.


  The cooling fan relay wires were pulled through the division and the grommet was reinstalled on the front lighting wires. Then the cooling fan relay wires connected to a Bosh relay, the vacuum pump and main battery pack contactor. When the ignition switch was turned to run, the vacuum pump roared to life, and the contactor showed continuity when checked with an ohm meter.



All that is left to do is make up the leads from the batteries to the contactor and shunt, then when the battery balance is done, it should be ready to test drive.

I was on a couple weeks ago and read Ben Nelson's review of the book INGENIOUS, by Jason Fagone, so purchased the electronic version on Amazon. The book is about four of the XPrize entrants, and one of them was Kevin Smith. If any of you have ever met Kevin, he is quite a character and kept me laughing during EVCCON. For those of you converting cars, you can really relate to what the teams went through to get their entries ready. It is a bit sad that no vehicle from the XPrize has ever gone into  production but with a couple of the teams, the dream is still alive.

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, November 17, 2013


This week I continued working on getting ignition power for the vacuum pump and main contactor. The cooling fan was removed during the original conversion but the relay is still in the left front corner of the car, so that looks like the best place to get power.


The left headlamp assembly was removed and the wiring to the cooling fan relay was exposed. It would be nice to run fan wires back through the division into the the area where the vacuum pump and contactor are but the lighting wires need to stay in the front, so separating them could be a little tricky. I may just use one of the extra Bosh relays I have since the circuit is going to need to be rewired anyway.


 As the batteries are all in the front of the car, I decided to move the charger until the rear battery boxes are installed. The connections to the motor were made up and loom was installed over the wiring. Orange shrink tubing was put on all of the high voltage cable, and all that is left to do back there is to anchor the loom and install the battery and DC-DC converter..


 During the original second bottom balance, a couple of the batteries that initially tested bad, seemed to come back to life. During my first two full charges of the pack, I had been spot checking the pack as it approached full discharge and when the pack reached 2.9 volts/cell on the second discharge, took readings on all of the batteries. To my surprise, they were varying mostly from 2.7 to 2.9 volts per cell, with one at 2.0 and one that had reversed polarity. Actually it was the one that had originally tested bad then checked good after I cycled it a couple time and since it was on the end, I just eliminated it from the pack. Because of this, I decided to give the cells another bottom balance with the JLD404 and a small flashlight bulb.


The bottom balance is going to take awhile, as it would be quicker to put a little charge in a few cells but my Powerlab8 is still back at the factory for repair, so my only option is to discharge all of them until they settle at 2.6 volts. It takes a couple hours for each cell to finally settle out where it does not drift back up to 2.7.

It has been a good week, as I have been able to finish the little odd and ends and find there are fewer and fewer things that need finished before testing the motor and controller. The interior, gauges, and heater still need finished but that can be done after I test the motor and controller. There will also be brake and possibly clutch adjustments after the car is rolling.

Until next week,


Monday, November 11, 2013


My charger is back (Thanks Mark) and functioning as it was programed to by Zivan. It permits me to adjust the voltage for the end of the CC part of the curve, but on the CV part of the curve, seems to hold the voltage for a brief period, then allows the voltage to start creeping up. The charger seems to be shutting down, based on a predetermined time, that was programmed for 225 ah flooded cell batteries originally used. Turning the current down effects the CC stage of the original charge, as well as the CV phase. The batteries are being drained back down so I can check the bottom balance, then will be charged again and the pots adjusted to charge at 18 amps CC and go into the CV phase around 3.25 volts/cell. This will give me some room when the voltage starts drifting up and should allow me to stay in the CV stage until the charger shuts down.


The second option is the programmable chip I purchased awhile back, that will allow me to set the CC and CV levels in the software. This is my last resort as I don't want to smoke the charger again.

Currently I am using 2 flood lights to drain the pack at 2.5 amps, so it is taking a long time to get back down to where I am approaching 2.6 volts. A couple cells were shorted for a couple seconds when I was connecting the pack back up, so I hope I didn't take enough out to effect the balance. Those cells are reading a little less than the ones around them.

The 12 volt system needs hooked up this weekend so I can hook up the heater. That should give me a much better way to drain the pack if I need to do it again. Then all that will need done is to hook up the contactor and motor leads before testing the controller. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Last weekend I made some progress on wiring the controller but had to remove 10 batteries to start figuring out how to mount the contactor and shunt. I went into work Monday, wasn't that busy, and couldn't keep my mind off of the Fiero build, so took vacation Tuesday and Wendesday.

Tuesday morning I walked around the front of the car while drinking a cup of coffee, trying to come up with a plan to clean up and connect all of the components in the front trunk. Currently, there is no air conditioning but the tubes were just sticking out in space and it doesn't look very good, so I removed the evaporator/blower cover and removed the evaporator. There is also a rectangular hole where the heater cable goes into the interior and the original builder just stuffed red rags to fill the space, so I am going to need to make a cover. The positive control lead of the blower relay has a wire spliced on it that runs back into the interior but I am not sure if it is to energize the heater relay or power the vacuum pump, so will need to trace it out.


The vacuum pump was originally mounted on the fender well of the car and I think that amplified the vibration, so am going to try to mount it under the battery pack on the more solid frame. This will also hide it under the batteries and clean up the front battery compartment.

A bracket will be mounted on the front battery tray to mount the contactor and shunt and should make a  pretty clean platform for the component connections to the batteries. There was a metal plate left over from the original build that I cut to size and bent a right angle on the top to mount the contactor and  shunt. There will need to be some trimming and adjustments in the placement to clear the heater blower cover,  as when it is reinstalled, will cause some clearance issues.

All of the wires on the controller have been connected except the pack leads, so I am going to need to get the 12 volt system connected to test the the vacuum pump and main contactor power. I should be able to power both of them off of a switched 12 volt source from the fuse panel inside the car.

I picked up some stands that I could use to mount the shunt but they are really too tall, so am considering picking up some rubber expansion nuts to mount to the bracket I am making. I would use copper studs and  nuts to mount the shunt.


 Friday I stopped at Ace Hardware and picked up fasteners to connect the power cables to the controller and the rubber expansion nuts to hook up the shunt. Then mixed up some body putty to fill the holes in the evaporator cover where the tubes exited. While the putty was drying, I fabricated a cover for the heater power cable where it comes out of the interior and painted it. To make sure the paint and putty were fully dried, I called it a night.

Saturday morning I started by mounting the heater power cable cover and cleaning up the evaporator and heater blower cover.


 Before installing the heater blower/evaporator cover I painted the vacuum pump black and ran a black rubber hose from the vacuum tank to the power brake assist chamber to make them dissapear.



 Recently we cut back our satellite  package as we only watch about 10 of the 210 channels on our previous plan. As luck would have it the Buckeye's game was on the Big 10 Network and that was a channel not included on our new package, so I changed cloths and went to Biggs Bar to watch part of the game against Purdue. When I got there it was almost halftime so I had a sandwich and a couple beers then went home at the end of the third quarter. 

Upon returning home I filled the holes in the heater blower cover where the evaporator tubes went into the duct and after applying a coat of body putty over the holes, went inside to watch football while the putty dried over night. Sunday morning I painted the putty filling the holes in the cover and after the paint dried, bolted the it back onto the heating duct. Then on to fabricating the bracket and platform for the shunt and contactor. 

I had a piece of sheet metal that was used to mount the controller in the original build and cut it down to size with a cutoff tool. Then an angle was bent on the top to mount the components. The platform was test fitted and some trimming was done to one corner so it would clear the heater fan relay bracket. After that the shunt and contractor holes were laid out on the platform and holes were drilled, before drilling the holes in the battery racks to mount the whole assembly. Some final adjustments were made, then everything was disassembled to paint the bracket. After the paint dried, the shunt and contactor were bolted back to the platform and the whole assembly was bolted onto the battery rack for the last time. Then orange heat shrink was put over the exposed parts of the cables going to the controller in the rear of the car and the terminals were connected to the shunt and contactor.


Some black terminal boots would be nice to help identify the polarity of the connections, so I will probably order some and change the red one on the negative terminal out. 

My charger is fixed but has not been tested, so it looks like I got done with connecting the contactor and shunt, just in time.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, October 27, 2013


Since my Zivan NG3 charger is down and will not be back in service until next weekend, at the soonest, I continued with the controller wiring. The basic wiring was done with the motor/transaxle cradle out of the car, to make it easier to drill holes and clamp down the wiring but knew I would need to disassemble some of it when hooking up the controller. I have the wires grouped fairly well even though the picture looks like a spider web. Once it is in split loom and in hangers,  it should look pretty decent.


  Also an aluminum nut rivet was installed for all of the controller grounds and NOALOX anti-oxidant compound was applied on the fit, before setting it and the terminal when the wires were connected.

 Noalox Anti-Oxidant Compound

Noalox Anti-Oxidant Compound

Friday, I ran across the blog of a couple of converters,  using the Synkromotive Controller, and they sent me the schematics and instructions to hook the Controller up as a charger, using batteries or an inverter with an AC supply. The problem is, I am only running a 120 volt pack and this set up can only be used if your battery pack is higher voltage than the AC source you are using. More batteries will need to be added to be able to use the Synkromotive Controller as a charger.

The RPM sensor is also hooked up and I am hoping it will be able to drive the original tach. I am using a reluctor ring with 6 protrusions, to try to mimic the original V6 that was in the car but may need to pick up an original filter that was used on the ICE to make it work.


 To keep busy until the charger gets back, I removed eight of the ten batteries from the first row of cells in the front of the car. A bracket will be fabricated to mount the main contactor and shunt and a cable will be run from the negative terminal to the positive terminal where the charger was originally connected. This will allow me to connect the cables that run to the rear of the car without having to splice an extension on them.


While the front battery bank is out, I need to clean up some wiring and find a switched 12 volt source to operate the contactor. As all of the batteries are in the front, I will probably hook the heater up off of the battery pack instead of off of the controller. The original build had a switch installed but I am going to look for a way to use the heater button on the console to turn it on. 

The closer I get to finishing, the more I find that needs done. The re-build was started on December 23, 2012 and with any luck, it will be running by this December 23rd. This is my 50th post since I bought the car so thanks to those of you who check in from time to time.

Until next week,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Last week started out good as my 8mm SS bolts and wedge lock washers arrived on Thursday, so that evening, I started connecting the terminals. I continued on Friday night and also started strapping the packs to keep them from moving. 

Saturday we went with my family on the Coshocton County Fall Foliage Tour that features stops at local points of interest. This year, most of the leaves had not changed yet and the weather was chilly and rainy but it was good spending time with my mother, sister, nephew and niece. Upon returning home, I continued hooking up the batteries and by late evening had them all connected and strapped.


Sunday I removed the charger from the rear of the Fiero and put it on a a work bench in front of the car. I wanted to monitor the voltage during the first charge as the Zivan NG3 charger was going to need to be manually shut off, so I thought the Powerlab 8 could be hooked up just to monitor voltage. This would give me a nice graph of the voltage when finished. Seemed like a great idea until I plugged in the positive lead and heard a loud POP, right before the Powerlab 8 went dead. I emailed the manufacturer to inquire about the warranty but am not very hopeful the damage will be covered.

So on to hooking up the JLD404 to monitor the voltage. I had not used it for awhile, so had to go inside and read the manual but finally got it working and the voltage reading the 108 volts my volt meter was reading. When I had it hooked up in the Fiero when it still had the lead acid batteries, I could not get the amps to read correctly. The negative lead on the JLD404 is common and the shunt was on the front battery pack and the voltage wires were off of the controller terminals, so there were two leads on the negative terminal on the JLD404. There was a long 2/0 cable between the two negative leads and I believe it was acting like a parallel circuit, throwing off the amp readings. This time I hooked the shunt on the negative battery pack terminal using the negative shunt lead as the only ground. Then hooked up the positive side of the shunt to the 75 mv terminal of the JLD404 for the amp reading and the 500 volt terminal was connected to the positive terminal on the battery pack. That must have been my problem before because when the Zivan NG3 was connected the amps came right up to the 17.5 volts I was expecting and the voltage was at 108 volts and then started climbing.


I monitored individual cells several times and when I felt comfortable everything was working correctly, went out and mowed the lawn. When I got back into the garage, the voltage was 130 volts, or about 3.4 volts/cell for the 38 cells and the pack had taken about 30AH. I noticed that the heat sinks on the diodes were getting pretty warm and thought if I put a piece of copper bar on top of the hottest ones, they would help dissipate some of the heat. With the cover off of the charger, the air was not being pulled through the heat sinks very well, so was afraid they were overheating. I put a bus bar on one of the heat sinks and when I put one on the other hot heat sink, kind of dropped it onto the top. It bounced and made contact with the one beside it, then a loud POP! This sound is getting too familiar and I am going to have to start being more careful. Two pieces of equipment blown in one day is not good. NOBODY TOLD ME THERE WOULD BE DAYS LIKE THIS!

I met Mark Weisheimer at EVCCON a few years back and have been told he is really good at repairing electronic components, so shot him an email. Mark agreed to look at the NG3 and CellPro, so I am taking them over to his house tomorrow night, with my fingers crossed that I did not do too much damage.

Monday evening after work, I took the blown components over to Mark's and got to see his 1975 Honda Civic Wagon . It  was a very clean build, there was no rust, and is a very solid car. Behind it was a crate of CALB CA 60 AH cells to be installed, so it is going to be a really great EV when it is done.

You spend so much time alone in the garage when building an EV that it is really great to talk to a fellow converter and always come away with many new ideas to use on your build.


Monday, October 14, 2013


Finding battery connectors at a reasonable price has proven to be quite a challenge. When I purchased new used batteries from a guy in California, they were supposed to be included but never arrived in any of the shipments, as he promised.

I made a 12V battery using #10 wire and crimp connectors to operate the Powerlab Cellpro 8, while bottom balancing the batteries but then, did not have any way to give the batteries the initial charge.

The flexible connectors range any where from au$2.80 ea for order of 100, from a company in Austraila (freight is $160 to get them to the US,) to $7 , to $9 for the connector with SS bolts and Nordlock washers. In a previous post, one of you commented that the solid copper connectors could be purchased from a battery manufacturer, so I contacted a battery company and indeed,  was quoted a price, including the ss hex head bolt and regular split lock washer for delivery in September. I never heard from them again and do not receive a reply when emailing them, so I guess that was a dead end.

Just so I can go ahead and get an initial charge on the batteries, I contacted a local metal distributor and purchased 1" x 1/8" in bus bar and a bolt distributor to purchase SS M8 x 1.25 socket button head cap screws and wedge lock washers (The button head cap screws will look great and give a nice streamlined look to the battery connection.) Originally, I thought the washers were only made by Nord-Lock but found they are also made by a company named HEICO-LOCK. Heico-Lock would not supply them to me directly but the distributor I contacted could supply either brand.



As a reality check, I contacted a company in China that makes ground straps and electrical hardware for the electric utility industry and got a quote. The disadvantage with ordering straps from a manufacturer in China is the minimum quantity required to place an order is significant. The advantage is the price per connector is not. As I only need 38, the cost for the minimum order would be way over what I would pay if I bought them for $9 each with bolts and Nord-Locks included.

Back in the late 80's and early 90's, my wife and I collected antique glassware. We would get up early every weekend to get to flea markets before sunrise to be the first to get to the good glassware as the vendors were putting it on their tables. Then we would bring it home to add to our collection, list it on our website, or put it on ebay to sell. So just as selling glassware was part of our collecting hobby, maybe selling EV components could go nicely with an EV building hobby.

The 51mm center to center connectors will work on HiPower 100AH cells possibly others. Would any of you be interested in 51MM center to center flexible connectors with SS M8 socket button head cap screws and wedge-lock washers for say, $5.50 each? You would need to pay shipping from Ohio to your location. I have an EBAY account with a 100% positive feedback rating, dating back 10 years, so you could purchase with confidence and it wouldn't be a group buy, where you would need to put money up front.





So, the quest to do a quality build for under $10,000 continues and maybe if a builder could off set come of the cost by selling surpluses from the project while still giving other converters a better deal that available otherwise, would be a good deal all the way around. Any thoughts?

Until next time,


Monday, October 7, 2013


The Synkromotive controller comes with a pre-wired unterminated assembly that plugs into a 23 position AMPSEAL Connector on the side of the case. It looks like spaghetti and has wires for forward and reversing contactors that are not needed in my build. I considered removing the unused wires but was afraid I would break the connector, so will just hide them in split loom. The placement of wires in the connector do not group the wires going to different components very well causing them to tangle but I believe I finally got all of them straightened out pretty well. 



Hopefully, next weekend I will be able to install the main battery connectors and charge the pack. I have also been working on contactor and fuse placement and am looking for a place to put the shunt, so I can measure pack current. I don't want to cut the battery cables in the engine compartment as battery packs will eventually be installed there and I don't want to have to splice them, so may leave them a little long for now. With the transaxle and motor cradle installed, it is a bit awkward getting to the motor compartment wiring.

Reading the controller manual and prearranging the wires has slowed me down quite a bit but I hope to pick up the pace in the coming weeks.

Until next week,


Sunday, September 29, 2013


I have been working on the Fiero several nights a week and almost every weekend since March, so I kind of slacked this weekend.

We took my wife's sister to the airport for her return flight to Florida after a weeks visit, then I picked up my son and his girl friend and we went to National Plug In Day Columbus.

They had the Tesla Model S, and Roadster, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Volt well represented but none of the local converters brought their builds. They also were not giving any rides when we were there but I guess they did give rides later in the day. As you can see in the picture below, there were quite a few people showing interest in electric cars.






After about an hour at the car show, we decided to get something to eat. I work in Columbus every day but never just walk around the city, so my son suggested we to to Dirty Franks on 4th St. Our plan was to get something to eat and go back to the car show but when we got there, we ended up having to wait almost 45 minutes to be seated, had to walk a block to where the car was parked to feed the meter, and by the time we were done eating, the show was over.


 When we got back to the car, we had over an hour left on the meter and noticed Uncle Sam Pawn Shop across the street from where we were parked, so decided to go in. (Been watching too much Pawn Stars on the History Channel)

One of my coworkers, Tony,  moved to Columbus from a small Ohio town and the first year he was here, his friends in his hometown put on a surprise "Martini Party" in his front yard, to commemorate his move to the big city. It became an annual party and the second year Tony decided to burn down a pine tree that he no longer wanted in his front yard. The tree is gone but burning something is his front yard has become a Tradition of the Martini Party. Tony even had a projector and large screen for all the Buckeye fans to watch the football game.


Sunday morning I got my weekly fix of EVTV and it was a pretty interesting show. They are fixing rust an a Karmann Ghia that sold for a premium price on EBAY because it was supposed to be in great condition, only to find out the under body was very rusted. Then Jack introduced a new golf car project, and a new concept of bottom balancing and not worrying about how low the batteries are discharged. There has been many documented cases of the batteries going to nearly zero and coming back to full capacity when charged. All of the OEM charging equipment will be used and the battery pack will be adjusted to keep the pack from going too high. This is a neat concept, as when I sold the lead acid batteries out of the original Fiero build, I had a bunch of interest from golf cart owners and I believe that the HiPower batteries I have now would be of great interest to them when I am ready to put in the CALB pack. I have always thought that it would be fork lifts and golf carts that will help increase volumes battery sales to the point the prices will start to come down for EV converters. I don't think there is much motivation for traditional battery companies to change to a lithium chemistry because they like the business model of a battery going bad in a few years, so they can sell new ones. It will take a shift in consumer demand to change that.

Hope to have more EV stuff next week.