Monday, March 31, 2014


The headliner had been water soaked from the sun roof leaking and broke on both sides when being removed. The edges were the pad broke were coated with contact glue and put back together. Then the top and bottom surfaces were coated with contact cement and fiberglass cloth was wrapped around the edges, fastening the halves back together.


 The headliner material left over from a Camaro I restored a few years back was located but there just wasn't enough to do the Fiero. The box said Heads Up Universal Headliner Kit, so I looked it up on Google and found that Autozone carried it.  

After the headliner was put aside to dry, the speaker covers were cleaned and dyed black. They turned out really good and look brand new.



 There was a little more time before dark, so I rearranged the Better Place batteries, putting two on a moving dolly and one on a transmission jack. I can now roll them around the garage without having to get the engine hoist out. 


Hopefully the headliner material will be here by this weekend and I can get started back with the interior. If the extra Better Place module or HiPower cells can be sold, I may have enough left over to buy leather upholstery for the seats.

Again, not as much progress as I would like but progress was made.


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Even though it's officially spring, winter just seems to want to linger around. Last night we got another half inch of snow and it was cold and windy in Columbus, OH. I was hoping to have the interior back together by the middle of April but that is only a couple of weeks away, so it looks like it may be the end of April before it is back together. My garage is small, so I need to be able to work on the car outside to have room go get in and out of it easily until some of the interior parts are put back into the car. To compound problems, I have had trouble finding volt and current meters that will mount back into the existing holes in the dash and am now waiting on  another set I ordered a couple of weeks ago to arrive. 


On Sunday, I started removing the trim so the head liner can be removed. Everything went well and the headliner was out in about an hour.



The sun visors will also need to be re-done, so I am going to need to see if I have enough headliner material to do everything and if not, will need to order some more. 


Also, I am going to need to find some LED lamps for the dome light. Blue LED lamps were ordered for the instrument lights but the dome lights need to be white. They seem to be readily available on EBAY, so I will start searching for some.


Progress is slow but it is still progress, so I will keep plugging along.

Thanks for visiting,


Sunday, March 23, 2014


This week the Better Place battery pack component dis-assembly   continued with the contactors, pre-charge resister, current transformer, and pre-charge relay being removed. Also the service connector was removed from the aluminum base. I am going to use the GigaVac contactors I already have, so if anyone is interested the ones from the pack, make me an offer. The part numbers were searched on Google but I could not find any documentation on any of them.


So on to removing the dash. There were only 6 bolts holding the dash but 8 speaker bolts had to be removed first. It was a bit discouraging when I found the speaker wires were soldered instead of having spade connectors, so I will need to add them when going back together. I always dread pulling a dash, but actually, this one was not that bad.


Next the wiring will be cleaned up, the heater inspected, dash refreshed with interior paint, speaker covers died, and all the parts generally cleaned up before re-installing. There is a lot of work to do and the Better Place battery pack has taken some time away from the interior project.

When I bought the car, a set of better seats come with it, so the original seats will be removed and the carpet will be given a good cleaning. The side panels will need to be removed so I can get to the head liner and after the new head liner is installed, the re-assembly will begin. Hopefully the weather will get better pretty soon so I can pull the car outside where I can get in and out of it easier.

The HiPower 100AH batteries, one of the Better Place battery modules, and the shipping crate were put on Craigslist, as I am hoping to raise some cash to help finish the build and get it back under the $10,000 goal I had to re-build the car.

If you are interested in any of these, don't pay any attention to the Craigslist price, get with me and we can probably work something out.

Thanks for visiting,


Saturday, March 22, 2014


My son Shane and his friend Eric operate the website Pixels Per Minute, dedicated to video games and every couple of weeks, host a pod cast. Last week, they invited me to talk about electric car conversions and I must admit, it was very enjoyable being interviewed, while having a couple of  Great Lake Brewing Company brews. Below is the link to the pod cast, if you are interested in listening.. Shane, Vanessa, and Eric are really quite entertaining.

Hope you enjoy,


Sunday, March 16, 2014


This week one of the modules from the Better Place battery pack was removed.


Yesterday, the other two modules were removed and placed in the garage. The shipping crate is now filled with all of the parts that were left over. As I reported earlier, the pack looked in new unused condition but the bolts holding the base to the crate were all missing, meaning the pack had been out of the crate in the past. The dates on the tags on the modules were dated 06/26/10, so the modules are almost 4 years old. The voltages ranged from 124.6 volts to 125 volt and are the lowest of any I have seen so far. That is still in an acceptable range, so we will see how they look after some testing.


I received a new 200 volt digital volt meter today and it is quite a bit smaller than the meter the origninal builder had in the instrument panel, but I believe I can make it work. To be able to install the same size ammeter, I may have to order a 100 amp 75 mv meter and hook it to a 1000 amp 75 mv shunt. It should read the correct amps but you would just need to know to add a zero to the meter reading. Since the face plate has a larger hole cut in it than is necessary for the new meter, I ordered a new face plate. All of the instruments need to be hooked up and tested before I can put the instrument panel back in the car.

My son and one of his high school class mates have a video game website and asked me to do a pod cast with them on the EV Fiero conversion. We had a great time and I will include a link in a future post if anyone is interested. In the future I want to have them help me host a webcast to answer any questions about the build. 

My son's fiance is very good with needle and thread, so tonight she was recruited to help with the interior. The head liner needs replace and I have material, it just needs sown together to have enough.

Some pictures will be added later.


Sunday, March 9, 2014


The Better Place battery Pack from EVTV arrived this afternoon and upon opening the shipping crate looked to be in good condition. Upon removing the cover, the pack voltages were around 124 volts each, so I was a very happy camper. I had a fork lift lined up from a neighbor but we were able to lift the pack off of the trailer with an engine lift.




Thanks to Jack Rickard for making these packs available and to Brian Couchene and Mark Weisheimer for picking them up, helping me unload them and removing the cover to check the pack voltages. A year ago I never dreamed I would be able to afford a pack like this!


Saturday, March 8, 2014


Well, actually I am trying to be a little more careful than just "Ripping" but with the console and instrument panels out, it sure seems like a pile of pieces and parts. I am down to removing the dash cover, and the trim pieces around the windows, side panels, and trim around the sunroof. Then I will be able to reupholster the headliner. I am going to paint all of the trim pieces as they are re-installed and then before putting the dash cover back on, do all of the wiring under the dash and tidy it all up. 



The ammeter is working and have it and the volt meter both mounted in the pod and powered up. All that will need to be done is mount the shunt in the car and run the wires to the instrument pod. Spade connectors were put on the wires coming off of the meters so I will be able to just plug everything in.


I am also looking for blue LED panel meters to mount in the dash. I can still find the CX102 panel meters in red LEDs but need to find blue LED meters with the same cut out to fit the holes that are in the instrument panel.


Mounting locations still need to be found for the Dell Venue and the JLD404 as the available space on the dash is mostly taken up because of it's modular design.

Until tomorrow,



Brian and Mark are at the EVTV shop in Cape Girardeau, MO and should be loading the battery packs soon. I will be getting my Better Place Pack this evening or tomorrow morning.



Sunday, March 2, 2014


This week the blog picked up another follower; Welcome Jerry! As always, questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome. The blog actually keeps ME motivated, as when it is cold in the garage or when I am just feeling lazy, it is my reason to get to work, so there will be something to write about each week. If you are doing a conversion and have a blog, make sure and let me know, as I spend quite a bit of time learning from other builder's experiences.

Saturday morning was spent finishing the 12 volt system meters and did not go without some setbacks. Holes had to be located and drilled in the face plate where the meters mount so I used masking tape  and a couple of punches to mark the screw holes in the tape. I had put the tape adhesive side up and after the holes were located, placed the face plate on top of it, allowing the tape to stick to it. I drilled the holes on one side and then repeated the process on the other side, this time placing the punches though the holes I just drilled to make sure all four would line up. The other two holes were drilled and the plate was placed back on the instrument pod, then the screws were started. Of course, since the screws were counter sunk, the heads were sticking up quite a bit. In the past, when I have tried to countersink a hole in thin gauge metal, and have made the hole  too big, allowing the bolt head to pull through, so this time I thought I would punch the metal down into the holes on a couple of washers to give me an indent for the counter sunk heads. This worked really well on a couple of the holes but on the other two, it actually punched the metal out, leaving me with a hole larger than the heads of the screws. I believe if I would have ground a point on a large punch it may have worked good. Oh well, on to plan "B".

ACE Hardware has stainless steel, socket head button screws, so off I went to pick up some supplies to finish the project. Along with the screws, I picked up some rubber washers to fill in the gap between the face plate and the top of the screw hole, and some silver textured paint. 

It was lunch time, so I stopped at J.Gumbos in Baltimore, OH to have some of their great gumbo and to taste a couple of their large selection of craft beers. As luck would have it, Fred and Heather, the owners were both there and as always, I had a very enjoyable afternoon at their restaurant.

Saturday evening the face plate was painted and after drying, the pod was reassembled. Sunday morning the pod was put on top the center console and power was hooked up.


Saturday evening,  the Better Place batteries from Israel arrived at EVTV in Cape Girardeau, MO.and you could see Jack and Brian filming the dis assembly of one of them on top of a crate in the middle of the shop.

Sunday was finished out trying to get the CX102 A meter to work and I was able to find the spec sheet on a website. It takes 9 volts but when trying to power it up with a 9 volt battery, nothing happened. I can either order two more of the CX102 A meters, order a couple from Light Object, or pick up a couple more like I used on the 12 volt system from EBAY.

Thanks for visiting,