Friday, January 31, 2014

LED HEADLAMPS

The seal beam replacements and H4 LED headlights arrived this week so last night, they were installed after work. I didn't realize that the standard seal beam plugs are the same as the H4 plugs, so did not need the adapters I had ordered. Getting the new LED lights to fit in the new housing was a challenge, as it was a really tight fit but I finally got them installed and the whole assembly back in the headlight socket. The sockets had to be plugged in and unplugged several times to get the lights to make good contact but finally made good electrical connection. The original low beams appeared to be adjusted too low, so I will mess around with aiming them so they are not in on coming driver's eyes but still project a little further down the road.

After the LEDs were installed, the car was taken down the road for a test drive.


LED HEADLAMP TEST DRIVE

Once again, the controller tripped when I shifted to 4 gear so I am going to need to evaluate the log files to see what happened but I did notice the acceleration seemed a little more sluggish, so maybe the batteries just need recharges. The last charge was back in December and although I have not driven that many miles, I have done quote a bit of revving the motor and leaving the headlights on. I have the dc-dc plugged into 120 when the car is not in use, so have not run them down from that.

More to come,

Randy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BLAIR WITCH TEST DRIVE

A couple of weeks ago, my son and I took the Fiero for a test drive after dark. The drive started out with only the low beams but part way through the drive the high beams were switched on. I asked Shane to get some video of the voltage reading on the JLD404 and of the Synkromotive user interface but forgot to tell him to make sure to include plenty of video of the road. About a half mile from home the controller contactor tripped and this time the log file caught the 12 volt system dropping to 10.7 volts right before the trip.



I was off work today so dug up the instructions to disassemble the instrument cluster and spent some time searching for led instrument lights. The JLD404 has blue LEDs so I am not sure if I want to go with white, or blue LEDs to match the digital meters.

It has been below zero the last couple of days and tonight the news said my county was 18 below. The wind was under 3 mph, so that was not the wind chill factor but the actual temperature. It is supposed to get up into the 30s this weekend, so the garage should be at least 55 deg or so but warm enough to get some work done. I have a propane heater but it is expensive to operate and gives me a headache, so I don't like to use it.

More this weekend,

Randy 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

LIGHTING THE WAY

I have been having problems with the 12 volt system dropping too low during acceleration when the headlights are on, so this week I ordered a pair of  7" x 6" sealed beam rectangular headlight housings with glass lens on EBAY that will allow me to use an H4 LED headlamp.




Then I found a pair of high power white LED H4 headlight low beam 80W Cree XB-D headlamp bulbs that were also ordered from EBAY. They are 1360 lumen, so will be about the same as the stock Fiero low beam output.



To hook up the LED headlamps, a couple of H4 headlamp socket headlight plug connector extensions were ordered, again from EBAY. I read on some of the LED headlamp listings that a load resister may be required, so if any of you have any experience with LED lighting, I welcome your input.



Also, the jumper will be installed on the IOTA DLS-50, DC-DC converter, that will increase the voltage output from 13.6 to 14.2 volts. The IOTA is listed as having a range from 108 volts to 132 volts, so when the pack drops below 90 volts under acceleration, there is a chance the output voltage will drop to the 10.7 volts where the Synkromotive main contactor trips.


IOTA 14.2 VOLT JUMPER


It has become apparent that the HiPower LiFePo4 cells that are being used are not going to be sufficient to power the EV Fiero effectively. I am not out anything, as the plan is to set up the Synkromotive controller as a fast charger and I will need a battery pack for that. A couple of fellow builders are working on this for their builds, so if you want to follow their progress, below are the links to their blogs.


The temperature in Ohio was in the teens all of last week, so I didn't do anything on the Fiero, except order headlight parts. Over this weekend we got several inches of snow, so no test drives either.


WINTER IN OHIO

Spring is just around the corner and I am ready for it! January has been a productive month, with a couple of test drives, allowing me to work out the bugs in the 12 volt system and the Synkromotive tripping problem. I also got the tachometer and speedometer working.

After hooking up the new headlights, the next project will be the interior, instrumentation, cleaning up the dash wiring, and hooking up the heater control circuit.

Thanks for visiting the EV Fiero Blog,

Randy

Monday, January 20, 2014

LONGEST TEST DRIVE TO DATE

My Son came over this evening and we decided to take the car out for a test drive. Sure enough, the speedometer and tachometer worked flawlessly. This was the longest test drive so far and about 1/4 mile from home, the controller tripped again. After turning the ignition switch off and back on a couple times, resetting the controller, it came back to life and we pulled back into the garage without having to push the car home.

We were logging the drive and upon returning home, and upon examining the file, found that the 12 volt system dropped to 10.7 volts, tripping the Synkromotive contactor but the main contactor remained latched. I have the IOTA DC-DC converter set to the lower 13.8 setting from when I had the Ballistic LiFePo4 battery installed but with a lead acid battery installed now, can put the jumper back on to bump the voltage up to 14.2 volts. I had the high beams on and was accelerating, so the 12 volt system was probably drawing quite a few amps.

Even though this is a minor set back, I feel that progress is being made and am confident I will be able to correct the controller tripping problem soon by adjusting the controller settings and adding more batteries to the traction pack.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SPEEDOMETER WIREING

After going back to the original builder's website and finding that he ran new wires for the speedometer, I started looking for them. There was a group of wires that I thought originally went to the stereo amplifier and noticed that two of them went into a connector that looked like the one that went into the VSS for the speedometer. Also, there were some wires protruding out of the lower corner of the instrument pod, and sure enough. there was a red and green wire.


WIRES COMING FROM INSTRUMENT POD

The instrument pod is going to need to be removed to fix the current and amp meters, so the wiring will be cleaned up also. The C-200 connector at the rear of the center console has these wires in it, so it would be best to connect the wires back and make up a new connector to plug in to tidy everything back up.


WIRES EXITING FROM INTERIOR

With the correct connector plugged back into the VSS, the speedometer should work again. Since it snowed last night, I don't want to take the car out to test it but am fairly certain this will correct the problem.


CONNECTOR PLUGGED INTO THE VSS

The next project will be the interior as the instrumentation needs installed and the heater control need to be worked out. The headliner, sun visors, voltage and current meters, all need redone. The carpet is pretty good but the center console has a rip in it and the door panels are badly soiled. There is a lot to do but it shouldn't be that expensive as I may already have some headliner material left over from another project, and the rest is mostly cleaning.

Thanks for stopping by,

Randy

Sunday, January 12, 2014

MORE WORK ON FIERO TACHOMETER

Although, Larry Pratt, the original converter of the 1985 Fiero GT was able to get the speedometer to work, he was never able to get tachometer working. I was able to find the tach wire in the C500 connector in the engine bay.


C500 - C3 WHITE WIRE FOR TACH

Although I had the tach working yesterday, it was obvious it was reading high, so I went back through the files I had saved from earlier research and found that the V6 puts out 3 pulses per revolution, and the reluctance ring I was using had 6 tabs. This as an easy fix and I just cut off every other tab so there were only 3 tabs instead of 6 on the ring.


RELUCTANCE RING WITH 3 TABS

Now the tachometer appears to be reading closer to what the actual motor RPMs are but still seems to react a little slower that I feel it should.


FIERO TACH SHOWING RPMS

The tachometer circuit originally had a filter circuit that can be made or purchased from Rodney Dickman.


OEM FIERO TACH FILTER


RODNEY DICKMAN FIERO TACH FILTER


FIERO TACH FILTER SCHEMATIC

It looks like a fairly simple circuit, so I will probably just go to Radio Shack and get the components to build one.

The Synkromotive controller also has an input for a tach and I believe also an out put but I have not found a setting for putting out the 3 pulses per revolution I need for the Fiero tachometer, so will need to contact them to see if I can just use one pulse per revolution from the speed sensor and convert it to 3 inside the controller.

Until next time,

Randy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

RPMs

Had a good week and now the tachometer is working. I am sure there will be some tweaking to get it reading the correct RPM and will probably need to install a pull-down resister to get the movement to react a little quicker but the needle moves! Seems I had the B+ lead going to a blank terminal and once it was moved to the 12 volt positive switched terminal, it worked.


12 VOLT TERMINAL BLOCK


FIERO TACHOMETER WORKING

After messing around with the left blinker light socket, it is now working. I have a new one ordered but at least I was able to re-loom the wiring and attach the head light assembly.

video

TURN SIGNAL FIXED

The speedometer still is not working and the black with white stripe wire appears to be cut off of the C20 connector. That is the wire that needs ground to make it work. The original builder must have ground it somewhere else and I probably removed the splice when I was re-wiring the car.


WIRE TO LEFT OF CONNECTOR CUT

The 12 volt lead acid battery was able to be mounted in the same location a the smaller LiFePo4 cell.


AUTOCRAFT MOTORCYCLE BATTERY

Two of the cable clamps were also installed on the traction pack cables. I am going to cut the longer cable and match the lengths so the cables will look a little better.


TRACTION PACK CABLE CLAMPS

I wasn't able to work very much on the Fiero but still had a pretty productive week. As soon as all the bugs are worked out, it will be time to start on the interior and instrumentation. I was told by Synkromotive that the controller user interface will work with a Windows 8 RT device, so have been watching for one on ebay. A 10 inch screen probably will not fit in the space I have available but Dell made an 8 inch model the will.

Thanks for dropping by,

Randy

Friday, January 10, 2014

POLAR VORTEX

It has been below zero in Ohio the last few days, and when I went to work this morning, the coffee left in the cup on my work bench was frozen, so no work the last couple of days.

Before the big freeze, I was able to install a new lead acid motorcycle battery on the 12 volt system and am hoping this will help to stabilize it under a heavy draw on the main battery pack. The LiFePo4 Ballistic Battery I was trying must have bit the dust when the parasitic load ran it down to zero volts so I needed something inexpensive to use until I can get another lithium battery for the 12 volt system. 


AUTOCRAFT MOTORCYCLE BATTERY

The controller battery pack voltage limit was also moved up to 90 volts and the fault voltage setting left at 60 volts. This seems to have cured the controller tripping problem as on my last test drive I was able to go through the gears and give it plenty of throttle with no problems.

After working on the wiring on the left headlight, the blinker and paring light on that side would not work, so I put in a new bulb. It still did not work, so I started checking from the socket to ground and was getting a high resistance to no continuity from the ground connection in the plug to the frame. The wiring diagram was dug out and it appears that both blinker/parking lamps are connected back to the same frame ground. I am suspecting the wire came loose from the connection inside the connector when I was putting the loom back on the wires.


TURN SIGNAL/MARKER LAMP SCHEMATIC

The nylon cable clamps I ordered from Waytek Wire also arrived so as soon as it warms up a little or I decide to get some propane for the heater, I will tidy up the battery cable connections going to the controller.


NYLON  CABLE CLAMP

The speedohmeter and tachometer are still not working so after finishing the blinkers and battery wires, will start working on them.

Last week my clutch slave cylinder went out on the Miata, so I took it to a local mechanic who does good work and is very reasonable. When I brought it home, it was working great, but when I went out to start the Miata tonight, it would not start and the clutch was out again. It had just been sitting so am not sure what is going on but I guess it's always something.

Until next post,

Randy

Thursday, January 2, 2014

INTERESTING CONVERSIONS ON YOUTUBE

Since starting to re-build the Fiero last year, I have looked for other builds to follow to look for ideas for my car.

EDMEVMEDIA is documenting the conversion of a Mazda Miata and usually updates their progress every couple of days. Their videos have covered everything from bottom balancing their cells to making mounting brackets, installing components, and running wiring.



JDDCIRCUIT is documenting the development of soft and hard ware to run a Prius electric motor and install it in an MR2. This work is major as the Prius drivetrains are readily available and from the videos, it appears the half shafts are the same on the Prius and MR2, making for an easy drivetrain conversion.



  • Damien Maguire is documenting the conversion of a BMW E39 to electric drive. His videos show some unconventional but effective ways of fabrication and how to get an automatic transmission to function properly on an EV conversion.



If you are converting a car or plan to in the future, these active build videos will prove very useful for you. I encourage you to show support and add their Youtube sites to your favorite list.

Happy Converting,

Randy

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year and hope you enjoyed reading about the 1985 Fiero EV re-build last year!

Срећна Нова година и надам се да сте уживали читајући о 1985 Фиеро ЕВ поново изграде прошле године!

Gott nytt år och hoppas du gillade att läsa om 1985 Fiero EV re-build förra året!

Frohes Neues Jahr und hoffen, Sie hatten das Lesen über 1985 Fiero EV re-build im letzten Jahr!

Feliz año nuevo y espero que haya disfrutado de la lectura sobre el Fiero 1985 EV re-construir el año pasado!

新年快乐,希望你喜欢阅读有关1985年费尔罗EV重新构建去年!

An Nou fericit și că va plăcut citit despre 1985 Fiero EV re-construi, anul trecut!

С Новым годом и надеюсь, вам понравилось читать о 1985 Fiero EV ремонтом в прошлом году!

Godt Nyttår og håper du likte å lese om 1985 Fiero EV ombygging i fjor!

Happy New Year dan berharap Anda menikmati membaca tentang 1985 Fiero EV re-build tahun lalu!


LAST WEEKS VISITOR STATISTICS

Thanks to all of you from around the world who visited the blog in 2013 and I hope you have been able to find something useful for your  conversion. I have joined many blogs and Youtube sites since starting this conversion and would love to hear about and follow your build. 


THIRD TEST DRIVE

If you have been following, the controller has been tripping out under hard acceleration. Before this test drive, the low pack voltage setting was set at 80 volts and the battery pack fault voltage was set to 60 volts. The car did better and would squeal the tires a little when the throttle was depressed quickly. After I turned around at the Motel, and headed back for the garage, the controller still tripped when shifting from third to fourth, but when I turned the key off and back on, did reset and allow me to power the car back into the garage. The battery is bad in the laptop I am using in the car and when the controller tripped, the laptop shut down, so I believe the DC-DC converter output voltage is dropping low enough to drop out the contactors. This is not logged properly because the laptop is shutting down. It must be a pretty instantaneous because I am not seeing it on controller user interface but it must be happening because the laptop is shutting down.

More in 2014,

Randy