Tuesday, January 29, 2013


The Curtis 1231C has been removed and after bench testing, was opened up for inspection. It really was not as hard as I thought as I just took an exacto knife and cut the edge loose from the case. I found if I just scored the top and kept running the knife along the first cut, deeper each time was easier than trying to cut the entire thickness all at once. Once the outer cover was cut loose at the edge of the case and the bottom bolts were removed, the controller slid out after a little prying and coaxing. All of the MOSFITS were destroyed and the plasma had cut into most of the diodes. Some of the resisters were also burnt up from plasma when the MOSFITS blew up and the copper on the board in one section was evaporated between the Caps and where the MOSFITS and Diodes mounted.


OK, sorry about the poor video quality. I am using a Cannon Camera in MPG mode and it is rather tricky trying to hold the camera while trying to perform the tests on the controller. I have a tripod but the camera mount is missing, so I couldn't use it. My son is going to help me do a video one of these days and hopefully we can put together something with a little better quality.

I have been moving forward and have the old battery racks removed from the back compartment. Four of the lead acid batteries have been sold and another guy interested in 6 more of them. I didn't count the batteries in the value of the components when I purchased the car, so anything I get out of them will help offset the cost of repairing or replacing the controller. MOSFITS and Diodes have been ordered to repair the 1231C but if I can get it working, may try to sell it and go with a newer Netgain or Evnetics controller. The goal of this build was to purchase a running car with lead acid batteries, convert it to LiFePo4 batteries, and end up with a respectable build for under $10K, so we will see if I can make that happen.

Also, the vacuum pump has been removed and I am going to try to put a muffler on the exhaust to try and quiet it down. It was mounted on rubber pads but was on a fiberglass fender well that resonated. It worked great, just drove me nuts when it came on.


Monday, January 7, 2013


The Lead acid batteries are finally out of the Electric Fiero and last week was spent making wood racks for  the old batteries until I decide what to do with them. Currently I have been testing to see if they would be good enough to store electricity from a solar panel or use to fast charge the lithium batteries that will be going in the car but so far, they look pretty spent.

After removing 900 lbs of weight, you can see how much the Fiero rose. I am going to need to adjust the suspension when the new lithium batteries are installed as the car look much better setting low.

Before starting the upgrade on the Fiero, I wanted to pull it out for awhile to refinish one of my bedroom doors in the garage. The switch is turned one notch for 15 seconds or so for the Caps to charge, then the key is turned to the start position. When I did this, the car spun the tires and lurched backwards. I turned the key off and coasted out of the garage. When I tried to pull back a little more, the car would not move. I could hear the relay making up but the car would not move. There was no smoke so hopefully there is a fuse somewhere in the circuit that blew. The last few times I drove the car it was acting strange so I was lucky this happened in the driveway instead of out on the road somewhere. After I get through testing the batteries, I will take a look at the controller and hopefully be able to isolate the problem.

If anyone is interested in angle iron racks for 6 volt batteries that will bolt into a 1985 Fiero without any welding, I have a set for sale.