Monday, May 27, 2013


This week I took off work on Thursday and with the Holiday, had four days to work on the EV Fiero. The weather was nice so I uncovered the engine cradle and began working on the front engine mount. Having already leveled everything and making up a template, it was just a matter of shaping the piece of metal from the old electronics tray, locating the holes, and drilling. The holes that go into the motor were off about a quarter of a hole but slotting them a little worked out fine. I already had one hole in the mounting plate on the cradle that was in the correct position so I marked it on the motor mount and drilled the hole. Then the mount was bolted to the motor and the one hole in the base, so now I could locate the last base bolt hole. This one had to be drilled from underneath the cradle and I had to move one of the jack stands to be able to get access. Finally all of the holes were drilled and the mount was bolted up.


 Next was to drain the remainder of the lubricant from the transaxle and refill with fresh oil. With everything back in place and bolted down I decided to hook the motor up to a battery and give it a spin. When making up the cable for the motor I removed the black heat shrink tubing on the terminals and put a piece of orange heat shrink the entire length of cable, also installing red terminal cover boots. The half shafts turned and everything was looking good until I noticed a puddle of oil on the driveway. Although I had installed new half shaft seals, the inboard seal was leaking. It was leaking when I removed it from the car because there was a build up of oil saturated with carbon dust from the motor brushes. There must be a gouge in the shaft so I will need to pop the drive shaft and try to work on it, to see if I can get it to seal.


On to working on the engine bay and getting the 12 volt terminals cleaned up. After working on the rust spot, from the lead acid battery, I gave the whole area a good coat of primer, then finished with a coat of truck bed liner. After that the wiring harness terminal and junction box were reinstalled. New split loom will be added and mounted to the firewall after those areas are painted.


Wire clamps were also added to the charger connection wires that will help hold everything in place and make everything look cleaner.
The J1772 AVC2 board form Modular EV Power will be installed next and the charging circuit will be done.


The original Curtis 1231C controller bit the dust right when I started to work on the car and although I bought new MOSFITS and Diodes, decided if I was going to put LiFePo4 batteries in the car, I should also put in a decent controller. After shopping around I decided to go with a Synkromotive . Part of the reason was price but the main reason was the Synkromotive controller is air cooled and can also be used as a charger. Although I will use the charger that came with the car for now, it would be nice to have one device to do both motor control and charging. It also has a GUI for configuring and I loaded the drivers today for the USB dongle so I am ready to make another stab at communicating with the controller and turning the motor..


The controller will be mounted on top of the motor so I went to the hardware store to get some aluminum strip and stainless steel bolts & nuts to make and install the brackets

My son came out to shoot a video on Memorial day but I didn't have enough prepared, so we will have to wait until another day. We want to show the controller operating the motor and installing the motor cradle back in the car. I got my MIG working again so there really isn't much to do to finish up the engine compartment.

Thanks for viewing,


Sunday, May 19, 2013


Saturday morning I put the wiring in plastic bags and taped them up water tight, then power washed the engine bay. While it was drying, I went to the new Advance Auto in Hebron, OH to pick up some primer and truck bed liner paint. I believe this will give me a nice rugged coating and the finish will help cover up any imperfections in the surface of the engine bay. I then removed some partially attached metal on the firewall, that was left from the original build. Some of the firewall metal pulled where the spot welds were made so after grinding the area, I applied some body filler to smooth out the area. Finally a coat of bed liner was applied to the inner fender walls, engine bay side of the wheel wells, J1772 bracket, and area around where the junction box will be mounted. After drying, the paint looks real good and proved to be a good choice for the engine bay coating.

 With the 220 volt plug wired up last week, the next task is to wire the J1772 plug, so I started stripping wire and getting all of my soldering tools ready. I made up 2 pins before realizing that the piece holding the pins in place had to go over the wires first, so I proceeded to undo what I had done and started over. With the retainer slid over the wires, the pins were assembled again. When soldering, I had to be careful because the flux and solder tended to overflow the wire socket and flow down onto the outside that has to fit in the retainer. I kept a wire brush handy and kept the solder from building up by brushing it off before the pin cooled down and the solder hardened completely. When I tried to put the retainer over the pins, there were a couple of them that needed the solder filed and with a piece of fine sand paper, I was able to get the pins completely cleaned up and the retainer over them. Because of the 10 gauge wire, I had to do some modifications to the outside housing of the J1772 plug. I was finally able to get the cover over the wire, mated with the plug, and the plug assembly was bolted to the bracket.

220 Volt Terminal Box Installed

220 Volt Box with Cover Installed

There are some holes that need welded where the battery trays were mounted in the trunk on the original build so I got out the mig. After striking one arc, the wire ran out, so I will need to get more wire before I can get the remainder of the engine bay prepped and painted.

I have been looking for a piece of metal to use for the front motor mount and came across the table that the controller and contacts were mounted to. I got out the template I had made a couple weeks ago and cut out a section with the wafer disk. The picture below shows the open end but the other end has the edge bent at 90 degrees. I may bend a 90 degree edge on the open end also and weld the bolts to the bottom flange so the nuts can just be removed from the bottom. The bends on each end should give the mount plenty of strength.

 The motor cradle has been covered for the last 2 weeks while I have been getting the engine bay and 220 volt charger power ready, so now I will be able to get the motor mounting finished up and test run the motor finally.

I would have liked to have installed the motor mount but had to review a proposal for work Monday morning, so had to quit early.

Until next week,


Sunday, May 12, 2013


Thursday night I finally figured out how to modify the brackets to get the J1772 plug to be positioned in the center of the opening in the side of the Fiero. With a little cutting and grinding, it was time to get out the mig and weld the bracket to flange on the back of the passenger compartment. After flashing myself a couple of times, because of the close quarters, I was finally able to get the bracket welded into position. The engine compartment side was fairly easy to get to but to weld the back side, I had to go through the vent hole in the side of the quarter panel. Finally I was able to get into position, and the angle iron bracket was welded firmly in place. With the play in the bolt holes, and maybe a couple of shims on the J1772 connector, I will be able to get the plug perfectly centered in the opening. The welds aren't very pretty but I got good penetration and the bracket is tucked back in the fender where no one will ever see it when the car is finished.


Friday I went to radio shack in search of a 2.74 ohm resister for the J1772, but unfortunately they did not have one. I was however, able to pick up some wire for the pilot signal and a plastic bushing for the 220 plug conduit. I was unable to find any lugs for the #10 wire, so I will need to stop by the hardware store before I get started tomorrow. There is a lot of wiring to do before I can put the motor cradle back in the car, and I noticed that the 12 volt wiring needs cleaned up. There was some rust where the 12 volt battery used to be, and I should probably cut all of the rust out so I can weld in a new piece of metal. The good news is, this is the only rust I have found on the whole car.



When I got up Saturday I had a headache, and felt kind of rough. I headed out to find a terminal and some connectors for the #10 wire so I could get the charging circuit hooked up. My first stop was the hardware store to pick up some crimp connectors and new bolts to mount the J1772 plug. I thought maybe they would have a terminal strip but they did not. Millersport Hardware is located in close proximity to Buckeye Lake so I stopped at the marina hoping they would have the Blue Sea terminal block, but sadly they did not carry them. They did carry the Blue Sea 12V single terminal, but I required the one with multiple connections. Off to Buckeye Outdoors, who did have the terminal strip. Bingo, I was back in business.

The next step was drilling the mounting holes for the J1772, and painting all of the brackets.


Next was to decide how to mount the terminal strip. I had some electrical boxes and started sorting through them to try to find one that will work. I found a ledge that is out of the way and started test fitting different boxes and finally found on that that will work.

The placement of the box will give me short runs for the cables coming from the J1772 and 220v plugs, and I can run the cable going to the charger through the opening where the computer used to be mounted. This will allow me to route it through the opening to where the charger will be mounted.


Sunday was Mother's Day, so I went to my parents house for a cook out. I felt bad because my wife had work, and could not go. She works for a flower distributor that supplies Meijer with flowers, and the holiday is a reasonably big revenue day for them. Fortunately, my son took her to dinner after she got off work, so she ended up having a pretty good day anyway.

I didn't go out to work on the Fiero until later in the evening, but I was able to figure out how to mount the junction box for the J1772 and 220v plug. I wanted to be able to get the cover off of the box, so I am going to make a stand to hold it off the ledge a little and mount it to the firewall. The firewall is at an angle, making the process similar to forcing a round peg in a square hole. I ordered 2.74k ohm resisters off of ebay, and since I am going to wait until I get them to wire up the J1772 plug, I began wiring up the 220v plug. Using some rubber gasket material, I created a shim to go inside the conduit to minimize the clearance between the plug and the walls of the conduit. After wiring the plug and putting a piece of shrink tubing around the bottom of the wires, I put the gasket material in the conduit and inserted the plug - tightening down the set screws. The gasket shim was an excellent fit, and the set screws held the plug firmly in the conduit. I fished the wire through the hole, tightened up the conduit nut and installed a plastic bushing. Everything meshed well and the final product was nice and solid.




 The car is not going to be done in time for EVCCON, so when Jack ran a special, knocking $70 off the price - I decided to go ahead and purchase my pass. I considered not going this year and spending the money on the car, but I met so many great people the last two years that I decided to attend.

Also, there are a few of the Manzanita Micro PFC 50 chargers left for $1500. These are never used units purchased in 2010 that will be fully tested before shipped. If anyone is interested, shoot me an email at and I will hook you up with the guy who bought them.


Sunday, May 5, 2013


After the pilot bearing was removed and noticing that the outside was worn more than the inside, I started measuring the distances from the transmission input shaft and the outside flange where the motor adapter bolts up. The end of the trans axle shaft sticks out .042" past the housing when measuring to a strait edge and the motor coupling protruded .080 past the motor adapter flange, giving only around 1/8" contact of the trans axle shaft in the pilot bearing.

Since the clutch did not seem to work that well last year when I was driving the car, I decided to pull the coupling and bring it out a little on the motor shaft, so  I measured the position of the coupling on the shaft, removed the 3 bolts connecting the two piece taper coupling, and hooked up a 3 jaw puller. I had been hoping there were jack bolt holes but I could not find any bolts that would thread the holes I thought were for that purpose, so I hooked up a 3 jaw puller and started tightening the center screw. The legs kept popping off the od of the coupling and I wasn't making any headway, so I tried heating the coupling and put hose clamps together to go around the legs to try and hold onto the od but this did not work either. There was a flange on the back of the inner tapered bushing and a space between the two halves, so I tried to drive wedges between the two halves. The gap seemed to increase and I thought the coupling finally was coming apart, only to hear a piece of the flange hit the floor. Oops! Since the flange was broken and the inner tapered bushing would need to replaced, I kept on going until finally the whole flange was gone. On to plan B. I went to Advance Auto and rented a bigger 3 jaw puller and with the flange gone, was able to get the jaws solidly onto the outside of the coupling. Finally, the two parts came apart and I was able to get the coupling off.

It was Friday and very nice out in central Ohio, so I took a 1/2 day of vacation. Randy's Auto Machine Shop called and let me know the pilot bushing was done so I stopped there to pick it up on the way home. Things were really looking up!


When I got home, I contacted Randy at Canadian EV and was told the inner tapered bushing used on the 2 piece coupling is a standard  SH 1-1/8" bushing and can be found at any power transmission store.. What a relief. I called the closest Motion Industries Branch and was told they had one in stock for $10, so off to pick up the tapered bushing. I fit tested the bushing and it was exactly what I need.


Friday night I test fitted the clutch to the trans axle spline shaft and it would not go on. The old one slid on just fine. After inspecting the shaft it appeared the clutch had been riding on the end of it and had burred it up. The new clutch with no wear just would not slide on. After filing the burrs and cleaning up the splines, it finally slid on just fine. I assembled the flywheel, clutch and pressure plate and slid it on the shaft. It went back until the outside of the pressure plate was flush with the trans axle flange but was hitting on the new pilot bushing. I had wrapped electrical tape around the instillation tool to go from the .594 of the instillation tool pilot bushing od, to the .750 size of the bushing needed to fit the coupling pilot bushing size but it must have thrown the alignment off by enough that the pilot bushing would not align. I removed the pilot bushing sleeve and the flywheel slid in over 1/4" more before the end of the pressure plate contacted the ribs in on the inside of the trans axle housing..



 I went to Millersport Hardware and bought 3, 1-1/8 id machine washers that measured .238 when stacked together. I put the original spacer on the motor shaft and added the 3 washers behind the tapered sleeve, then reassembled the coupling, installed the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate. This should give me .383 shaft contact in the pilot bushing  and move the clutch splines in .238 onto unworn  shaft splines.

I rigged the motor on the engine lift and lowered it into position on the cradle, working it toward the trans axle and when the shaft had started to mate, put the two bolts in the dowel holes.Then I put a transmission jack under the motor and adjusted the height until every thing was level. With a couple wiggles and a couple turns on the half shaft, the motor popped in. I tightened the bolts pulling the dowels into position, and the motor and trans axle were mated. Everything turned smoothly when I turned the half shaft so it looks like my measurements were correct.


Now I have to make the front motor mount so I took some level readings to make sure the motor and trans axle are level in relation to the cradle.


After leveling the cradle and adjusting the motor so it was level with the cradle I made a template of the bolt holes and distance to the motor mount pad.


Once the motor mount is installed, the charge connectors finished, and the engine bay is painted, it will be time to install the cradle back into the car. Oh, if I forget, someone remind me I need to put lubricant in the trans axle as most of it spilled out when I lifted the cradle to paint the bottom of it.