Sunday, November 23, 2014


Last weekend I was picking up a prescription at the drug store and when I pulled out of the parking spot,  heard a scraping sound. I pulled out and drove a little way and the sound continued, so got out of the car to find one of my tires was completely flat. I was able to limp the car across the street, where there was an air pump but after about 5 minutes, came to the realization that the tire was not going to pump up. The lugs take a key socket to remove, so I got it out and on the first lug, it split down the side. By fortune, there was a tire shop right next to the carryout that had the air pump. I had bought the tire at another Tire Store and had road hazard insurance on it, so asked them to just put on the spare. It was near the end of the day and they said they would not be able to put the spare on until the next day, so I called my son Shane. His girlfriend Vanessa was working in Pickerington and picked ue up to wait at her work until Shane got there to take me home. The next day he came back over and took me to pick up the car. Mr Tire put my spare tire on for no charge, so I would recommend this business as they were willing to help out someone in need and did not try to take advantage of me.

899 Refugee Rd
Pickerington, OH
(614) 863-2444

I took the tire to the tire shop where I bought it and they had to order a new tire, so dropped it off. I took my wife's car to work on Monday and the temperature had plummeted into the teens, so after work I walked out into the cold parking garage looking forward to going home but when the key was turned, nothing happened. I turned the lights on and they seemed to be working fine but I called security and ask them if they could come down and try and give me a jump. When they arrived, we hooked up the jumpers but the starter still would not crank. My son gets off work about the same time as me, so I called him and he picked me up on his way home to take me to my house. It is a strange feeling because it is usually me helping my son and his girlfriend keep their cars going and coming to pick them up, so I could tell it made him feel good, to finally get to bail me out of a jam.

Now the only car I had that would make it to work from my house was my Miata with the small spare tire. It was still really cold out and the spare is probably 34 years old, so I kept my speed to under 60 miles per hour on the way to work. I decided to take a half day off to go and pick up the new tire and again, kept the speed under 60 all the way to the tire shop. The tire replacement was free and I got a new key socket, so if I have another flat, I will be able to change it. I would recommend Tire Discounters because they honored their warranty, no questions asked.

1041 Hebron Rd,
Heath, OH 43056
(740) 281-3611

OK, one problem solved but I still had a car in a parking garage in Columbus, OH. I tried to start the car a couple more times but the starter just would not turn over. Friday night I got on the internet and found a tow company that said they would come and pick me up on Saturday. Early Saturday morning, there was an ice storm in Central Ohio, so the wrecker company emailed to inform me they were not releasing any of their trucks until the temperature came up and the ice had been cleared. About 10:00 am, I headed to my son's house in Columbus and upon arriving, called the wrecker driver again. We agreed to meet at the parking garage in 45 minutes, so my son and I went to the garage and pushed the car to get it ready to push out of the exit, when the wrecker arrived. The driver backed up to the exit and we were able to push the car close enough to the truck for him go get it hooked up. We met the driver at a downtown repair shop and I paid the driver $75 for the tow. I would highly recommend Buddy's Towing!

Telephone:+1 614-496-0802

As always, the repair shop said the car would not be done until Monday, so my son and I went to the Tip Top on Gay Street in Columbus and had a craft beer and lunch. While we were eating, the shop called to happily inform me they had found the problem and for the small price of $450 would gladly repair the car. Now I know how much a starter costs and I know how long it takes to put one in, especially if you have a lift, so was quite put out. To get it home would have been a couple hundred dollars and there was no way I could have changed it in the parking garage, so guess I will just have to accept the highway robbery. I would not recommend taking your car to Grismer Tire and Auto!


Ok, so with all of that, I still was able to do a little work on the Fiero EV build. I went out to set up the Powerlab6 and the cables that went to the 12 volt battery were dangling over the side of the table. When I went to pick them up, the clamps that were on one of the half cells of the module came off the terminals, and there was a dreaded popping noise. Now I am not very hopeful of any help from Revolectrix in honoring their warranty, as I am sure that they are going to somehow say I misused the product. It wasn't even connected to a 12 volt power supply so even if the connectors came of of the cell, should not have blown the charger.

Anyway, I am hooking up a JLD404 with a small dc adapter to charge the cells back up to 3 volts and have ordered a cheap battery balance machine to use, once it get here. I bought this charger for the price of shipping the Powerlab6 back to Revolectrix and it has a USB port so it can be controlled from a computer. Hopefully, they don't put all of the restrictions on the setup as the Powerlab6 and I can charge and discharge without having to hook anything up to a 12 volt battery.

With everything going on, I still did not get the table if the front of the garage broken down so I can get the fiero in but tomorrow when my son helps me bring the car home from the shop, I am going to have him help me carry the table down to the basement.

Mark Weisheimer programmed the Pic chip that I bought for the Zivan charger, so I want to run the batteries on the Fiero down a little to try it out. We set it at 18 amps to charge and to shut off at 137.6 volts with no constant current charge at the end. I am going to need to watch the first charge and probably adjust the voltage pot to shut off at the correct voltage. The contacts on the JLD404 will also be set up to stop the charge a little before it gets to the 137.6 volts, so there will be two shut off mechanisms. Mark is really busy with the Lear Charger and Chevy Volt DC-DC converter development, not to mention the traveling he does in his day job, so I really appreciate his taking the time to help out a fellow EV converter.

Well, next week has to be better, because there isn't much room for it to get much worse, so I guess what doesn't kill you, just makes you stronger! Looking forward to next week!

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