With the cradle back in the Fiero, Labor Day was spent installing the struts, brake lines, and parking brake cables. After cleaning the bolts and coating them with never seize, the struts were bolted up. I could see the marks where the bolts were riding originally and made sure to tighten them down in the same position, so my alignment should be pretty close to where it was..
Next the brake lines were installed but I wanted to use new bleeders and banjo bolt washers, so off to Advance Auto. I thought maybe they carried a vacuum pump brake line bleeder but said they did not carry anything like that. Advance is really high on bleeders & copper gaskets and I probably should have just gone to NAPA to get them. The brake line goes up across the top of the rear engine compartment and with the car jacked up, am afraid that is where all of the air is going to collect. I thought if I could pull a vacuum and get a little brake fluid flow going, maybe it would pull the air out the drivers side bleeder, that is the furthest away from the master cylinder. I pumped the brakes all day but still do not have any pedal. I did use the power brake vacuum pump to get the fluid to start moving but had it hooked up directly to the bleeder, so once the fluid filled the tube, it started going into the pump. I plugged the IOTA DC-DC converter into AC and used the 12 volt battery to run the pump. This also gave me a chance to monitor the voltage which seemed to go as low as 12 volts and as high as 13.9 volts.
Also I hooked up the parking brake cables and had to spend quite a bit of time getting the adjusting screw freed up, so the final adjustment could be made. I spent a little time on the internet reading a couple articles on how to adjust the parking brake, as I have been told it can be a little tricky to get it working correctly.
Tuesday I took a half day off work and continued to work on bleeding the brakes. The new bleeder valves did not seem to tighten correctly and I ended up twisting one off. They had Teflon tape on the threads and you could not feel when they seated. After drilling out the broken bleeder I tapped the threads back out with a 3/8 nc tap and just used the old bleeder valve, that was still like new.
I did not work on the car Wednesday night but went back out Thursday and was able to finally get the brakes to bleed. Then I started adjusting the parking brake. I got the leaver to tighten but will need to get the wheels back on the car and drive it in reverse a couple times to do the final adjustment, so on to hooking up the clutch slave cylinder. I painted the bracket and will put the wheels back on the car and lower it before installing the bracket, painting the slave cylinder, cleaning up the slave cylinder rubber and reinstalling it. The car shifted hard when I bought it but I moved the flywheel closer to the transaxle which should give me a little more clutch travel. Hopefully I can get the shifter adjusted so it shifts better than it used to..
PARKING BRAKE ADJUSTER
Once the car is off the jack stands, I will be able to reach everything to finish the wiring. I am going to install all of the batteries in the front bay for now to get them all charged and find out if the charger can be adjusted down far enough without having to install the new chip. I am going to remove the charger from where it is mounted now and just use it from the bench to do the first charge on the batteries. Once everything is set up, I will install the rear battery boxes and mount the charger back in the rear of the car.
FRONT BATTERY BAY
Every time I cycled the HiPower batteries, I seemed to get a little more capacity, so hopefully after the full pack is put together and cycled a couple of times, they will come a little closer to their 100 ah rating. My plan was to drive the car back and forth to work at AEP in Columbus, OH and with 40 100 AH batteries, may have been close to making the 44 mile round trip. With the batteries in their current condition, I may make it the 22 miles to work but will need to charge there to get back home. A co-worker with a Volt was finally able to get a parking place with a charger for $10 extra/month, so that would be a pretty good deal if there are any more spaces available.
I took another 1/2 day off Friday and cleaned up and put away tools. After getting the garage back in order, the rear wheels were mounted and the car lowered off of the jack stands. I cleaned up the front bay and did some measuring to make sure the 38 batteries would all fit in the front, and they will.
Work continues on hooking up the clutch slave cylinder and shifter cable brackets and by the end of the weekend, should have them mounted.
CLUTCH SLAVE CYLINDER
THROW OUT BEARING LEAVER
I still have the remainder of the weekend to get some more work done but am going to go ahead and post, since I started writing it on Memorial Day. The car is getting closer to testing but I still do not have battery connectors from CALB yet. To help keep the build under $10,000, I am going with the solid copper connectors but will use zinc terminal paste, Nord Lock Washers, and SS bolts. I have a company in China that says they can make the flat braided copper connectors but need to send them a detailed print before they will give me pricing.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you back for next week's post.