Sunday, April 12, 2015

MOWING LAWN IN SHORTS

There was rain in Columbus, OH off and on all week and the grass went from brown, to green, to almost too tall to mow, in just a few days. Friday upon returning home after work, the garden tractor was fired up and the first mowing of the season was done, just in time. The lawn was still a little wet and the motor on the mower bogged down in a couple areas of the yard but fortunately, chopped the grass up pretty good and did not leave any clumps of clippings.


FRESHLY CUT GRASS  - SPRING IS HERE!

Saturday morning started with charging the Fiero and heading off to Baltimore Ohio, to have some lunch at J. Gumbo's and show the car to the owner, Fred Baughman. Unfortunately, Fred wasn't in but I still had lunch and a couple glasses of craft beer, as they have one of the most extensive selections around. The car ran well and made the 16 mile trip with ease. The shifter is still not shifting correctly but will go into 4th gear and reverse, so for now, that will work.



The Fiero has been in the garage all winter, with the interior and wiring being worked on, so Sunday, another drive was taken to shake out any problems. For some reason, the Dell Venue tablet, would not bring up the number pad, when trying to log on and it took several minutes to finally get it to pop up and log in. I hate to take off without having access to the motor controller, as I have had the controller fail to start in the past and had to reset the throttle, to get it to restart. As fate would have it, after stopping at a store, the car would not move. After turning the key off and starting the controller several times, the car finally moved. Also, the parking brake has been sticking and this is a problem, as if it is not noticed, draws quite a few more amps and could reduce the range enough to strand me. Also, the brakes are a bit spongy after sitting in the garage all winter, so the car will be taken to a mechanic in Kirkersville, OH, near the house to power bleed the brakes and adjust the parking brake so it will release. Because the lead acid batteries used in the original build were so heavy, the original converter used spring spacers to raise the front of the car. With the vast reduction of weight with the LiMn2O4 battery modules, the front end is now sitting higher than it should, possibly causing extra drag when the car is up to highway speed.  All in all, the 16 mile drive went well and used about 40 amp hours at a nominal 120 volts for roughly 300 watt hours/mile. That is a little higher that what I had last year but the tire pressure probably needs checked and as I said, I believe the parking brake is still dragging a little.

Upon returning home, another charge was initiated and more tweaking was done at the end of the charge. The charger is tapering down to 3 amps but still is not shutting off before it reaches 137.6 volts. After I finally get the charger to shut down, it will be installed back in the car and a contactor will be connected to the 220 volt AC input, controlled by the relays on the  EPM-5740TVR volt meter, that was picked up from Light Objects. This will be a good safety back up should the Zivan charger decide not to shut down.

Finally, a bracket was made for the Hella, UP28 rotary vane vacuum pump that is going to be tried out on the car. My current vacuum pump is really loud and has bothered me since the first time I went for a ride, even before buying the car. Also pictured below with the vacuum pump are the new seat adjustment mechanism covers, from The Fiero Store.


VACUUM PUMP BRACKET

It was really good getting the shorts out and enjoying the great day on Saturday and Sunday but as always, the weekend went way to fast! Not a lot of actual work was done on the car  but a lot of looking, measuring, and trying to come up with a plan to mount the other two battery modules.

Until next time,

Randy
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