Sunday, September 28, 2014


I woke up around 7 am on Sunday and made a pot of coffee, then got on the computer to check email. To my surprise, EVTV had loaded the September 28th show on Youtube. This is good because if it is on Youtube, I can watch it on the tv on Chromecast. I can put it on tv from my computer but Chrome cast seems to stream much better when enabled directly from Youtube.

On this weeks Show, Jeff Sotherland was making a heater plenum for Jack's VW Thing. Being a machinist, I can appreciate how useful a tool like that would be when converting an ev but also realize how expensive and how much room a CNC milling machine takes. Since most of us don't have access to those types of tools, we need to find creative ways to sort of black smith the solutions to our problems.

When the end broke on my shifter cable, I tried to cut the nylon end in half, thinking I could slide the bushing off of the cable to allow me to drive a rod in it to make it large enough to get the cable to fully seat inside it again.


As luck would have it, the bushing would not slide off and now I had a shift cable with no end. I clamped a pair of vice grips on the cable and using a hammer, got the cable to almost go back to it's original position in the bushing. Then I put a smaller die on the hydraulic cable terminal crimper and compressed the bushing around the cable sheath wires. After moving the cable assembly to a couple of different locations, I was finally able to position it on top of one of the transaxle bolts and got a couple of pretty good hits on one of the flat spots from the original crimp. Hopefully, that compressed the sleeve enough to hold the sheath cable in place.


Then it was time to figure out how to make a new end attachment with out the luxury of a machine shop. After searching around for awhile I found some 1/8 inch aluminum and cut a couple of pieces about 1-1/2 inches long. When comparing the two pieces to the nylon cable end, it was obvious I was going to need more thickness. I thought about going to the hardware store and getting a thicker aluminum bar but decided to make the new cable end a three assembly, so another piece was cut. Then they were clamped together in the vice and holes were drilled and one of the pieces was tapped for a #10 screw. Then a hole, the size of the recessed part of the shift cable end.was drilled and a drill the size of the rod was drilled in about 3/16 of an inch.


A hole, just a little smaller than the connector ball was drilled through all three bars and the ones on the outside were counter sunk with a 1/2 inch drill bit. The the inner bar had a shot put in it so it would slide over the connector ball


Then the new connector was test fitted on the end of the shift cable, and disassembled again to do more fitting from looking at the marks left by the shift cable end in the aluminum bars.


The new shift cable end was then removed and additional adjustments were made to the fit based on the marks the cable end left in the aluminum. After filing, cleaning and greasing the ball socket, the connector was installed.


Now the gearshift was put in third gear and a pin was inserted in the alignment hole.


Finally the nuts on the transaxle selectors were tightened and the shifter went through all four gears and reverse smoothly when parked with the motor not running. I was going to take a test drive to test the shifter but noticed the JLD404 was not on. After checking voltage and finding there was none, I checked the fused and found two of them blown. I had moved some wires around when adjusting the shifter and must have shorted one of them. Now that the JLD404 was back on, and the pack voltage was down to 96 volts. Below 90, the dc-dc converter drops down to 10 volts and trips the controller, so I am going to have to recharge. I had the dc-dc converter plugged into the pack all day as I was using the extension cord to operate my power tools all day, so that must have been enough to run down the module.

After working all day to make a new shift rod end connector, I was beat! For September, it sure got hot in the afternoon and I had to stop and go inside to cool down a couple times. Looking forward to charging the pack and taking the Fiero out on the road to test the new shift linkage!

Until next time,

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