Sunday, March 29, 2015


As reported in past posts, wiring is my nemesis and in the case of getting the console back together, this is no exception. A recent blog entry had pictures of the tablet, displaying the Synkromotive GUI and the dash meters working, (mostly.)

This week the whole center console had to come back out because a couple of wires did not exit from the rear of the console cover and could not be accessed without taking everything apart. As it turns out, the reason they did not exit the rear of the cover is because they were never spliced into the wiring run, they needed to feed from, so the wires didn't even exist yet. Also, the voltage reading on the 12 volt system kept disappearing. When the wiring harness they ran in was pushed forward, the display would go to zero, sometimes but sometimes it would not. All of the connections were checked but still, the readings could not be made to go to zero, consistently. The back cover was removed from the instrument cluster and the wires going into the meters were rearranged. After the instrument panel back cover was re-installed, the problem seemed to go away.

Then when the center dash cover was put back on, the wire feeding power from the heater fan, to the heater solid state relay,  had come loose and was not apparent until after the heater control was re-installed, so it all had to come back out again. Of course, the clip that holds the temperature control cable to the actuator broke, so a trip to the hardware store was required.

Messing up a seat or scratching the finish on interior panel parts, is a constant worry when putting it all back in the car and after leaning my elbow on the center hump heard a crack. The radio face plate had been laid there and I had just cracked the thin bottom strip on it. It was glued back together but a replacement will need to be ordered. Another $40 down the drain!

To make matters worse, the temperature in Ohio dropped back into the teens and the garage is cold. By Saturday evening, the center console cover had been re-installed and all of the meters were still working, so far, so good!

After watching EVTV on Sunday morning, it was back out to the garage. The heater controls were reconnected and when tested, the light on the solid state relay came on. Then the outer cover was installed and the tablet was connected. The tablet was charging but would not connect to the Synkromotive GUI. After a reboot, it connected, so the key was switched to the start position to make sure all of the data was being displayed. Thank goodness, I eased the accelerator because the transmission was left in gear and the car started to move forward a little. After putting it back in neutral and revving the motor a few time, battery and motor voltage and current were reading just fine on the GUI and on the instrument panel meters.

It was time to test fit the radio opening cover that was made to mount the JLD404. After getting a couple of bolts in it and putting the face plate on, it ended up being about 1/4 in too short at the top. I had made this from some foam sheet a piece of Plexiglas, and a piece of aluminum, all laminated together with adhesive. The idea was to snap the meter into the inner plate and have the foam and outer Plexiglas opening a little larger, so the face of the meter will be flush. Looks like a new one will need to be made.

After making a new template, the pattern was transferred to a piece of sheet metal and the opening was cut in the center. The JLD404 was inserted in the opening and wired. When powered up, the meter was set and all of the readings came up as expected.

Onto the arm rest, power window controls and gearshift cover. The 12 volt to 5 volt adapter was left near the driver's side ashtray opening and will be mounted there so it can be accessed if needed. This was the first test fit but everything seemed to fit well.


The interior is coming together quite well and should be completely done in the next couple of weeks. The leads on the 12 volt shunt are going to need to be switched, as the duel voltage/current meter only reads positive values for current. Once this is done, all of the instrumentation will be up and working. The only other items that need done are bolting the fuse box back to the bottom of the dash and putting the bolts in the passenger seat.

Thanks for visiting,


Saturday, March 21, 2015


This morning the radio/heater control center console cover and glove box were painted and after drying, were installed in the car. The connections were made to the Dell Venue 8 Pro and it is pulling up the Synkromotive user interface.


The instrument panel bolts were installed and that is where the wheels fell off! The 12 volt wire must have pulled off because I am no longer reading any voltage on the 12 volt system meter. The dash meters have been a constant challenge, as they would work, then quit working when the face plate was put on. The amperage reading on the instrument panel meter, is quite a bit different that the reading on the Synkromotive user interface. I could not find a 1000 amp meter so used a 100 amp meter with a 1000 amp shunt, figuring I would just need to add a zero to the reading to get the pack amperage. The shunts put out 75 ma at 100 amp or 1000 amps, so the basic reading should be correct. 

Once the radio is removed from my son's fiance's jeep, I can install it and the JLD404 and the complete center console can be put back in the car. Then just some seat adjustment cover work and the interior will be finished.

The weather is turning nice, so I want to get the car back outside where it will be easy to get in and out of. A new mounting is going to be made for the Zivan charger, a 220 volt relay installed on the AC, controlled by a EPM-5740TVR from Light Object,

I am still planning on having an open house for the Fiero on Saturday, April 25th from Noon to 5:pm. I am just east of Columbus, OH close to Kirkersville, OH so drop me an email at if you want to drop by. The grill will be going and there will be plenty of beverages to quench your thirst.


Hope to see you on the 25th!

Thanks for visiting,


Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Sunday the tablet was configured to go into hibernation mode when power was removed from the micro USB port. The charger was hooked up to switched 12 volts, so when the key switch was turned off, the tablet would hibernate. When I went out tonight to test it, the tablet would not boot up. I brought it inside and plugged it into the charger for about 15 minutes, and  it finally booted up. So back into the battery set-up and in the advanced mode, there were settings for low battery level and critical battery level. I set the low battery level to give a warning at 20% and the critical level to shut down at 15%.  This should reserve enough power to allow the tablet to boot up after shutting it off with the key switch. It will probably be a good practice to shut the tablet down after turning the car off but just in case it is left on, should boot back up now.



The radio/heater control center console was still bowed out on the sides a little, causing a gap on the right side when the face plate was installed, so clamps were used to try to pull them back in. Hopefully if it is clamped for a couple of days, it will hold the original shape.


Not a lot done tonight but it was something and I can start seeing some light at the end of the tunnel in getting the interior finished.

Thanks for dropping by,


Sunday, March 15, 2015


It was still a little chilly out this morning, when I finished the mounting for the Dell Venue 8 but the afternoon got up to the middle 50s, so work continued on the Fiero. The tablet was hooked up to a battery and some experimentation was done on getting it to charge while passing data. Originally, the tablet was designed to short the data cables when charging but Dell finally started offering a cable that allows you to pass data while the device is charging.

 It seems that the tablet still will not charge if you use a USB extension cable between the tablet micro USB port and the charge/data cable that Dell now provides. After the charge/data cable was plugged directly into the tablet, it started charging and I was able to see files on the thumb drive I had plugged in, so time to test it out in the car.






The tablet is set up so the back light stays on when it is charging and when the ignition is turned off, it will go in sleep mode in 2 minutes.  The Synkromotive user interface has a couple of very nice gauge tabs, one with 3 large gauges and the other with 6 smaller gauges, so it would be easy to set up motor or battery volts and amps, along with the 12 volt system voltage. The user interface also makes it easy to set up minumum pack voltage and I know from past experience, this feature works well, as the car will not move until you go in and change the setting or charge the car. The minimum pack voltage can be lowered and a limit put on the motor amps and voltage, to function as a limp mode. The problem is, the day I ran my pack too low, I did not have a computer with me, so had to have my wife bring the other car and tow me home. The tablet will solve that problem.

The dash instruments and lights were give a final check and the top dash cover was installed, so another project is done. 

Finally, the face plate on the center console heater control/radio cover was clamped to a flat board and heated with a heat gun to try to remove a slight warp that is causing it not to seat correctly.


Originally only the bottom and center were clamped down while heating but the top was warped a little also, so while still hot, the top of the face plate was clamped down too.


A very productive day and finally some light at the end of the tunnel in getting the interior done, so I am real pleased.

On another note, some of my Son's friends want to stop over sometime in April to see the car, so I am considering having a cook out and having the Fiero back on the road so I can give rides and test drives. If any of you who are close enough would be interested in dropping by, shoot me an email at I am close to Kirkersville, OH, just east of Columbus.  Saturday, April 25th is my tentative date, so mark in on your calenders.

Thanks for reading my blog,



Work pretty much halted during February, as the weather turned bitterly cold, with temperatures in the low single digits and below zero many day. The garage was just too cold to spend much time in but it did present the opportunity for me to order a new center console radio and heater control cover and a couple of different mounting brackets for the Dell Venue 8.

The weather is  finally breaking and I can see the grass changing from brown to green, every morning when I look out the window. Finally I was able to spend some time out in the garage, working on fabricating a plate to mount the JLD404 and a bracket to mount the Dell Venue 8. My Son's fiance offered me the stereo out of her old Jeep that is fairly thin, so with any luck, there will be enough room in the radio opening, to get both the radio and the JLD404 mounted. Up to this point, I have not worried about a radio but now is a good time to address the issue.

The new Dell Venue 8 mounting looks like it is going to work out well.



The bracket was made from aluminum sheet and may not be stiff enough but if that proves to be the case, a bracket out of sheet steel should fix the problem, so I am close to getting the tablet mounting problem solved and finally have a solution that ends up looking real clean.

It's still early Sunday morning, so hopefully I will be able to continue working today and post an update this evening.

Until Then,