Sunday, May 31, 2015


Last week after working on the Fiero, I decided to go to Buckeye Lake Brewery for a growler of their Shovel Head Double IPA. They also make root beer, so I picked up a growler of that also. The car ran well and the speedometer lights went on and off intermittently during the drive, so there is hope of finally getting this fixed.

I have spent so much time with the instruments that I got on Ebay and purchased a new instrument cluster.


The old vacuum pump and tank were removed and I am studying the front trunk compartment to determine where to put the batteries and vacuum pump, so the car is kind of out of service now. I am not sure if I want to mount the modules sideways or make a plate and mount 3 stacks of 4 cells. The latter would give me a lower center of gravity and would allow a cover to go over the batteries leaving some trunk space above.

Last week I wrote about setting up a JLD 5740 to operate an ABB 220 volt contactor to shut off the charger and it seems I burnt up the coil. In this world of shysters and thieves, it is encouraging to come across an EBAY seller who is willing to go the extra mile to lend service to their customers. I emailed EBAY user drvidguy asking about ABB DPE40C3P-80/MQcontactor he had listed. Even though I had not purchased mine from him, he checked one out and gave me a call to give me information on how it should be hooked up. As I had smoked the coil on the one I had, I purchased another one from him. A few days after it arrived, he called again to tell me that there was a closing coil in addition to the hold coil and gave me detailed instructions on how to hook it up. I tested the hook-up and the contactor works perfectly now. If you are looking for an EBAY seller who will go the extra mile, make sure and check out Lee's list of items for sale.His EBAY user name is drvidguy and with 10985 transactions and a 100% feedback rating, he is definatly an top notch EBAY seller!

I was bragging about the headlights working properly in the video but yesterday, the passenger side headlight went down and the motor kept running. I had to disconnect one of the leads to get it to shut off. The lights will still open but I have to open the hood and connect the wire for a second to get it to close. A 30 year old car is just full of surprises!

Tomorrow we are getting new floors in the kitchen and bathroom and I have been spending quite a bit of time painting the kitchen and pulling out the old carpets, so have not had time to work on the Fiero that much. I am really looking forward to getting the other two modules mounted in the front of the car and getting the exterior painted, in preparation for EVCCON. I have also been looking at J1772 charge stations so I can actually charge a a public station.

Until next week,


Monday, May 25, 2015


This morning started with a trip to Do It Best Hardware to pick up some 12-3 SO cable and a NEMA L6-20 receptacle and plug. Of course after looking at all of their plugs and receptacles and plugs, then getting the store owner to look in the computer, found they did not stock it. Oh well, it was a pretty morning and I was driving with the top down in the Miata, so off to Ace Hardware in Baltimore, OH. Driving down State Route 37, I came upon Canal Road,  that lead into Baltimore, so turned onto it. Just before getting to the town, I came upon Cherry Valley Road, that I thought would be a short cut to Ace Hardware, so made the right hand turn and drove down it, expecting to come to Rt 158 shortly. This did not happen and after driving for 15 minutes or so found I had driven in the opposite direction, so drove back to the road I was on originally that took me to Ace Hardware. Alright, no problem, it was a beautiful morning for a drive through Ohio farm lands but finally I arrived at Ace Hardware and once inside found one of the employees in the electrical section to help me find the receptacle and plug. After looking for a few minutes I was told that they were not in stock but could be ordered. Gee, I can order one too and I came to your store so I could pick one up to day, so back home and onto the internet I went. Amazon had both the plug and the receptacle but of course it will not be here until the middle of next week.


I have a J1772 receptacle on the Fiero also but wanted to just have just a standard plug for home as I figured most of the charging would be done there. Since my house has the old 3 conductor 220 wiring, I did not get the more recent NEMA Standard 4 conductor plug, so I guess this is why no one carries it in the stores anymore. So I started wiring the JLD5740 meter that is going to be used to turn off  the ABB DPE40C3P-80/MQC contactor, disconnecting the 220 volt power to the charger. The meter was wired up and everything was going great until I found that the JLD5740 was not reading voltage. The leads form the battery pack were on the correct connectors and the settings correct also but the meter read zero. I set the off set to 300 volts and heard the contactor close but shortly there after, the meter went dead. I was expecting the 12 volt coil to draw milliamps but it had just blown a 15 amp fuse, so back to the drawing board. I still want to  try and get the PIC chip programmed and working to control the Zivan NG3 charger, so if any of you have any experience with programming, I could sure use a hand. In the meantime, I emailed Light Object to try and get them to exchange the meter and have had real good service with them in the past on returning items.

One of our Yorkies, Babe got real sick tonight, is having a hard time breathing and cannot walk. She was a puppy mill breeder dog and we got her from a rescue agency after she was discarded by her former owners. About 6 month ago we thought we were going to have to have her put down but she bounce back and within a few days was running around the house like normal. If she makes it through the night she will probably be running down the hallway to her food bowl in the morning!

Lilly and Babe

Hope your Memorial Day weekend was a great one!


Sunday, May 24, 2015


I had purchased a PIC chip to control the Zivan NG3 charger awhile back that Custom Circuits had developed and Mark Weisheimer had complied and loaded the program during the winter but the chip would not turn on the charger. The charger would blink but nothing happened. The Zivan NG3 charger really is a good piece of equipment if it could be set properly but to get it to shut off at 137.6 volts, I had to set to voltage to start tapering at about 124 volts and it would taper the voltage down to just under 3 volts before shutting off. I guess for charging at home this is ok but if I am going to be charging at work or when I am at a public charter, the early taper adds hours to getting close to a full charge. With the pack taking 65 amp hours and the charger putting out 18 amps per hour, I should be able to charge in 3-1/2 hours or so but the time increases proportionally as the current reduces.

To combat this, I set the NG3 charger so it does not start to taper until 136 volts, where it steps down to 14.5 amps. I will then use a JLD5740 from Light Objects, to shut off the charger. So last night and this morning, I started mounting the JLD5740 and ABB 220 volt contactor with a 12 volt relay. By early afternoon, the components were all mounted. All that is left is to wire it all up and test it on a charge.


JLD 5740



The J1772 connector along with a 20 amp 220 plug have been installed in the Fiero, so it is just a matter of hooking up the wires and putting the Zivan NG3 charger back in the car and I will be ready to test it out at a public charger. I also have a TCCH 3000 charger, so if I can find someone who can get the programming on the PIC chip to work with the NG3 charger, I can use it while the NG3 is sent out bo be programmed.

Many of my posts speak of my son Shane and his fiance Vanessa but last week they broke up and called off the wedding,,,,So Sad! Anyway, better now than after they have been married a couple of years.

Until next time,


Saturday, May 23, 2015


Since the Fiero Conversion was started, I have been following other builds and recently found a couple of really cool Porsche projects in progress.

The newest one is the conversion of a Porsche 912 by EV4U Conversions:

The other one I have been following is being a 1988 Porsche 924 S being done by Fred Behning.

Check out these cool builds and if you post, let them know that CZ-EV turned you on to their conversions.

Although I am working on painting the kitchen and dining room, I still made a trip to Ace Hardware in Baltimore to pick up some fasteners for my John Deere 110 and to find boxes to mount the ABB 220 Volt contactor and the JLD5740 meter. After finishing up the trimming on the paint job, I am going to start getting the charging system back in the car.

Last night I drove the car down the road to the Marathon Convenience Store to get some Elevator Brewing Company "BIG VIC" IPA and some subs from Subway across the street. This morning I went to Ace Hardware in Baltimore, OH, for a total of 24 miles. When I stopped on the road in front of my house to put the car in reverse to back into the garage, the main contactors kicked out from low 12 volt system voltage but was able to back the car into the driveway after resetting the contactors. This is good news, as I put 24 miles on a charge and this should relate to a 72 mile range when the other two modules are installed. With gas prices on the rise, this should give me plenty of range to drive the 45 miles round trip back and forth to work.

Until next post,


Sunday, May 17, 2015


No work so far this week on the Fiero EV project but that is not to say I haven't been busy! 

Last Thursday, the first grass cut was done with the rebuilt 1970 110 John Deere mower and my lawn got a crew cut. With no operator's manual, I had to search the internet to figure out how to adjust the deck height. Also I found some ideas on how to level the deck. Also, there may be a problem with one of the bearing assemblies, as it seems that one of the blades is cutting lower than the others. The blade bearing assembly goes into a fit on the mower deck and if everything is not clean, could go in crooked. I also remember one of the blade shafts having a little more play than the other two, so the deck may have to be removed and possibly a thicker washer used to remove that extra play.



It seems that the brakes wore out on both of my cars at the same time, so Saturday was spent installing new ones. I already had front rotors and pads for the Miata, so was able to install the new brakes in a couple hours. One down, one to go! I had to make a run to Autozone to pick up the rotors and pads for the Cavalier but upon returning home, had the driver's side whipped out in an hour. Good thing, because as soon as I had the first one done, it started raining. Anyway, not a problem because the driver's side was the one that was completely worn down and scraping when the brakes were applied. The passenger side can be done when the rain stops but for now, I will just use the time to pick up the supplies for the wall painting project.


We are having new flooring installed in the kitchen and dining room but wanted to paint the walls first. The wall paper was removed last week and we made a trip to the paint store to purchase paint, brushes and everything needed to do the job. It is raining in Columbus, Oh this weekend, so today would be a good time to get busy on the project.

Inside EVs had an article about an EV Prototype that was built back in the 70's:

Blast From The Past: 1979 Chrysler ETV-1


It is amazing to me that 40 years later, a power plant mechanic with no engineering background can build an EV for thousands of dollars that blows away a prototype that had hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars pumped into it. Of course, I was still using a slide rule when I graduated from an Electronics Repair Trade School in 1974.

The next project on the Fiero is to get the charger mounted back in the car. Since the PIC chip did not work to control the charger, I am going to use a Siemens contactor and a EPM-5740TVR, 4 Digit Red LED Volt Meter with dual relays to shut off the Zivan NG3 charger. I also bought some orange split loom to use with the 120 volt dc traction module wiring.


So many projects, so little time!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


My son and his fiance were coming to the house on Sunday for Mother's day, so I needed to make a run to the grocery store to pick up some food and beverage.  The batteries were topped off and the JLD404 was reset. Below in blue, is the route I took, and the drive was mostly country roads and city streets.


The driver's seat had been taken out on Saturday to paint the rails and put on the new seat control cover and I did not notice that the seat belt attachment was not in the middle of the seat but had fallen to the rear of the seat. I am so used to wearing a seat belt that it really felt uncomfortable not being strapped in but off I went anyway. Upon arriving at Kroger's, there was a car show going on at Ziggy's Pub just down the street, so took some time and went over to look at all of the cool cars. The interior and motor compartment on the Fiero look pretty good but the exterior still needs a fresh coat of paint and the suspension needs lowered a little, for the car to look good overall but am looking forward to taking the car to the shows.

After getting groceries, I stopped to look at a Honda Insight. It had almost 250,000 and the guy still wanted $4900 for it but his look was priceless when the Fiero silently drove away from his driveway.


After arriving back home and unloading groceries, another charge was added to the batteries and the car only used 34.6 amp hours of the 55 amp hour battery module capacity, so should be able to get around 26 miles range out of the one module around town. The car is using 251 watt hours/mile and that is not too bad.


Later in the day after my son arrived and we had finished dinner, I asked him if he wanted to take a drive in the Fiero. To his surprise, I told him he was driving as the last time he had driven the car, it had 900 lbs of lead acid batteries in it. He pulled out on the road in front of the house and was immediately impressed with the way it accelerated. Keep in mind that it is only using forth gear but still has major pick-up from a standing start. We drove down a country road to Route 40 and made our way to Interstate 70. My son accelerated down the entrance ramp and accelerated to the speed limit. The way the car turned out really surprised him and I believe he has a new outlook on the Fiero build.

Until Next Week,


Saturday, May 9, 2015


After dark I went out to check the instrument lamps and was delighted to find that both sides are now working. Down the road it may be necessary to purchase a new circuit board, as it seems some of the circuits are pealing off the lamination but for now they are working. Both of the meters are working and once the polarity is switched on the 12 volt system shunt, should start getting amp readings. The 12 volt system voltage is reading just fine. It seems the duel volt/amp meters I used will only read current in the positive direction  and when the polarity was switched on the traction pack, it started reading current.


The negative charge lead was connected directly to the traction pack, so the charge current was not going through the shunt, so the lead was moved and shows that the most recent charge took 31.69 amp hours.


The incandescent headlamps were replaced with LEDs but ever since the car was purchased, the left retractable headlight would hang up. To my surprise, over the last couple of months, both of the retractable headlights have been working normally, every time. I guess these phantom electrical problems should be expected with a 30 year old car and in the end, the only way to fix the problems may be to just buy new components and put on all new connectors, as it seems that almost every connection I have inspected has some degree of corrosion.


It was good to finally get to spend a day working on the Fiero and actually getting some of the small problems resolved.

Until next time,



Work has been terribly busy and the home projects have been very time consuming but finally I was able to get back to work on the Fiero.

The left side instrument panel lights are not working, so the rear cover was removed and the plug to the circuit board was cleaned. The lights are hard to see during the day but after I put the plug back in, I don't think any of them are working. I will need to go back out this evening when it is not so bright out and work on it some more.

Also, the parking brake light quite working, so the contact at the parking brake leaver was removed and cleaned but still no light. You can see corrosion on the connector so this is probably the problem.

The drivers seat was removed and the new adjustment lever cover was installed.

Also another charge to the traction pack was done and I believe it is adjusted to charge at 18 amps right up until the pack is charged. I will use the contacts on the JLD404 to shut the 220 VAC off going to the charger as charging at 18 amps cuts an hour or two off of the charge time and lets me charge the module in 2 or 3 hours as opposed to 4 to 6 hours when the charger tapers.

The car is running great and my wife and I took a couple of drives in it last week. She is expressing interest in driving it, so she must feel comfortable with the way it is running.

Will post more tomorrow and hopefully will be able to report the instrument lights are working.