Monday, September 28, 2015


This morning the clamps on the vacuum pump were replaced to hopefully give it a little cleaner look. Nothing functional but it does look better. Eventually a small vacuum tank will be added but doesn't seem to be necessary as the pump provides plenty of vacuum and does not seem to motor boat.



Final preparations to tow the car still have not been made and I am a little worried, as Brian's company works with some major manufactures and if the right deal happened to be closing, could cause major changes in the EVTV Open House plans.  Another local EV enthusiast  offered a ride to Missouri, but after four years of sweating over the Fiero, really had my heart set on taking it to Cape Girardeau. 

All my cloths are packed and in the Fiero so will just need to pack up the laptop, camera and all of the chargers to be ready to head out. Hopefully my next post will be from the EVTV Garage.


Sunday, September 27, 2015


After work Friday the final prep work for the trip to Cape Girardeau began. As a side note, I hate the spell check in Blogger, as it marks words as misspelled that really are not, such as Girardeau. It was spelled correctly but has a red line under it, so I have to take the time to look it up on Google just to make sure. 

Ok, back to the prep work; The solid state relay for the heater did not seem to be working correctly so was taken out and replaced with a Giga-Vac contactor. A little over kill but at least I know the defroster will work on a cold September morning in Missouri.


When the car was detailed, it came home with the rear view mirror laying on  the passenger side floor, so a trip was made to Autozone to get some rear view mirror adhesive. After pealing off the old adhesive with a razor blade and roughing up the glass and steel attachment with some emery cloth, both were cleaned with the supplied cleaner and a drop of the adhesive was applied to the steel attachment. After holding it in place for a couple minutes, then letting it dry for a half hour or so, the mirror was clipped back in place and seems to be holding just fine. The car was detailed last month and after the local farmer harvested his soy bean crop, in back and to the side of my hours, the car was covered with dust. On the way to get the wind shield adhesive, the Fiero was run through a car wash and looks pretty good again. (From 10 feet)


As I am not sure if blinker and brake lights are required on a car when being towed on a dolly, sheet metal was screwed to the original slotted motor bay covers. This will allow a place for the magnetic base on the portable tail lights to clamp to on the otherwise fiberglass body. The original slotted motor bay covers were replaced with solid ones to help keep water out. Brian Couchene is towing the Fiero to Missouri and his dolly does have tail and blinker lights on the fenders, so not sure the portable ones will be necessary but wanted to be prepared, just in case.


The hose clamps I used on the brake vacuum lines just stick out like a sore thumb so I picked up different clamps that should blend in a little better. If time permits, they will be installed tomorrow.


The trunk is packed with tools, adapter cables, and everything that may be needed to make sure I can keep the Fiero running. Probably won't need any of it as I have never had any problems with the car breaking down but don't  want to get caught off guard out of town.

The batteries are being topped off again as I am trying to have as much charge when we leave as possible. Not sure what the charging situation is at the Cape but want to make sure there is enough in the car to make it from the hotel to the EVTV Garage.

See you at the EVTV Open House!


Saturday, September 19, 2015


From WikipediA - "Murphy's law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" And so it goes with the Fiero conversion, 

The transmission just will not shift into another gear smoothly while the car is moving. You always have to hunt for the gear and then there is always grinding when the gear finally engages. I have had the gear shifter out, repeatedly adjusted the shift levers at the transaxle, so finally decided to replace the worn nylon bushing on the shift lever pin with new sintered  bronze ones, available from Rodney Dickman. This is where Murphy's law started to kick in!

Two screwdrivers were driven between the head of the pin and the shift lever and the pin seemed to be moving, so a couple more taps were given to the screwdrivers with a hammer. Then there was a snap and the arm on the bracket holding the shift lever broke. In my last post I described drilling and tapping a hole in both pieced to attach them back together. 


After that the pin was chucked up in a drill and emery paper was used to clean up the rust and scale on the pin until the new bushings would slide on and off the whole length it. Upon closer inspection of the shift lever, a notch in the pin that raises and lowers the shift select rod was found. The pin was driven out, rotated 45 degrees, so it would contact the notch in the shaft on an unworn spot.



The new bushings were driven in the shift lever and the pin was inserted.


With the arm on the bracket bolted back on, the assembly would not go back over the shift arm on the selector shaft, so a puller was purchased and after heating the fit with a propane torch several times and spraying it down each time it cooled with WD40, the puller was put in place and tightened. The shift lever came loose and started sliding off but when the arm was all the way to the top of the threads, was removed to inspect the progress. As it turns out, it wasn't just pulling a fit on the end of the shaft but was pulling a sleeve that goes over the shaft out of the transaxle through the seal. I really wasn't expecting this but found that the shift are had come up enough to get the bracket back in place. Just hoping that a pin holding the sleeve on the shaft was not sheared inside the transaxle. 


Even with the bracket and arm attached back together with a stud, there was a little movement where the arm had snapped off, so I decided to look for a weld shop that could tig aluminum. While looking for a welding shop in my area, I came across a site called Thumbtack that links you up with local service providers. The information was entered and submitted and to my surprise, the next morning, there were two responses. Upon talking to Matt at Precision Fusion and Repair and being told he could not do it until next week, I explained to him that the car was an EV conversion that was being taken to an Electric Car Show in Missouri and I really needed it this weekend. He agreed to do it tomorrow if I would bring it to his shop this afternoon, so off I went to Upper Arlington, Ohio, a Columbus suburb about 45 minutes away and dropped it off. He assured me he could fix it, the alignment would be correct and that the repair would be stronger than the original piece. If all goes well and I am happy with his work, his contact information will be posted an my next post. Matt said he could also do aluminum battery boxes, so this in good information for any Central Ohio converters who may need boxes or aluminum repairs done in the future.

Ok, on to EVTV and EVCCON. Jack Rickard did a post early Friday morning saying he was canceling EVCCON. I assume most of you know what that is but just incase, EVTV is company in Cape Girardeau, Missouri that over the last five years has produced weekly shows on electric car conversions and for the last four years has hosted a yearly convention that I have attended for the last four years without the Fiero being finished. EVCCON attracts an international audience and is probably the primer event in the world for electric car conversions. On the bright side, there is still going to be an open house at the EVTV Shop, so hopefully Murphy is done with me, the shift lever will be able to be fixed, and the Fiero and I will be able to travel to the Cape for the open house.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The Fiero just will not shift properly and I found quite a bit of play in the shift bracket on the transaxle, so decided to order new bushings from Rodney Dickman. I had tried to get the pin out in the past but it just would not budge. True to form, the bushings arrived within a couple of days of ordering them, so I went out tonight to try and get the pin out. I had emailed Rodney to ask him how to get the pin out and his response was "Take the bracket out and work on it. It is easy to break that aluminum arm off. Try different things to get the pin loose. Go slowly." The way the bracket was mounted, you really could not see the arm he was talking about but after trying to get the pin to budge by driving a screwdriver in the head of the pin, found out the hard way. I thought the pin had started coming out but then found out the arm had broken off. There is another pin holding the bracket on that I ended up being able to get out rather easily. Once the bracket was out, I was able to remove the actuator pin rather easily. Ok, the arm broke off, so I decided to put the bracket in a vice and clamp the arm back in place. Then a hold was drilled and tapped to 10-24 threads. A stud was screwed in and double nutted to bold the arm in place. Not sure if it will be strong enough but at least the are is attached to the bracket again. I guess v groves could be ground in the crack and it could be welded but not sure if that would help hold it together or not. 



Not sure the fix will work but at least the two pieces are back together. Hopefully the new bushings will cure the shifting problem, as currently, once you are in a gear, you can not change it until you stop with out a bunch of grinding.

Until next post,


Sunday, September 13, 2015


Since I was not able to take the Fiero to the Drive Electric event, it seemed like a good substitute would be to drive up the Interstate and test out a ChargePoint charging station at Walgreens. My cards arrived that morning and had been activated, so off I went. 

Upon arriving at the charger, the space was empty and after parking, got out and swiped my brand new ChargePoint card. Oops, it was not working! A store employee came out and informed me that there had been a power surge and the charger was not working but would probably be fixed on Monday. Good thing I was just trying to test the charging capabilities of the Fiero, as if I was depending on a charge to get home, I would have been sitting there until it was fixed on Monday.

Testing the J1772 plug and circuit will have to wait for another time but that will give me an excuse to take another interstate drive.

Until next post,


Saturday, September 12, 2015


The plan for today was to drive the Fiero to the Drive Electric Ohio event at Easton Town Center in Columbus, OH but even though the chance of rain was supposed to be 25% this morning, it's raining! Making it to the event and back is at the limit of my range, so I don't want to have to drive with the head lights and wipers running, as that may just use enough power to strand me on the way home. The event goes on until 3 pm, so if the rain lifts, I may try to make the journey later in the day.



Precautions have been taken to ensure I can make the trip without incident, such as, making up new 110 and 220 volt adapter cables, signing up for Charge Point, and mapping my trip to go past my friend, Mark Weisheimer's house, so I can get an emergency charge if needed. I will try to get some video if the rain lets up and I am able to make the drive to the show, so check back this evening.


Oh, if you see a black Pontiac Fiero sitting by the side of Havens Corner Road, don't be afraid to stop and give the poor guy (ME) a hand!

Thanks for visiting,


Thursday, September 10, 2015


Well, not for me but my wife had to testify in a child custody court hearing and wanted me to pick her up as soon as she was finished. Her back still bothers her and she was worried that sitting on hard court benches all day would cause a real bad flair-up. As it turned out, I would not have needed to take the day off work, as the court session was over by eleven and she was home by noon. 

Not to worry, the day did not go wasted as I started early in the morning by taking some scrap metal to Hebron Scrap Metal Recycling, then headed to Lowe's to pick up some plugs and receptacles to make up adapter cords so the Fiero can be charged from  a 220 volt NEMA 14-50 receptacle or a 110 volt standard plug. I ended up making up adapter cords, one with a NEMA 6-20 receptacle and a NEMA 14-50 plug, another with a NEMA 6-20 receptacle and a standard 110 volt plug, and finally, one a 15 ft #10 SO cable with a NEMA 6-20 receptacle and plug. This should pretty much fix me up for charging at an RV park or at anywhere with a standard 110 volt outlet. After the cords were finished, I top charged the battery using 110 volts and it worked fine.


Last night the center console cover I had made to hide a crack in the console was attached again with contact cement and today was installed back in the car. Also the instrument panel back was installed and the radio and heater control cover plate was bolted back on. The interior looks pretty good now.


Then my focus turned to cleaning up the motor compartment, rear trunk, and front trunk where the batteries are mounted. After spraying the motor compartment areas that were not close to any electrical connections and painting the exposed areas in the trunk with satin black paint, everything was wiped down with Armor All and the same was done to the front trunk compartment. Overall it turned out pretty good.





Then the lug nut covers were cleaned and reinstalled on the car, so that pretty much was the extent of the work that was done today. The Fiero EV is ready for it's first car show!


Fiero Front VIEW


All of the preparation is done but there is still a problem with the ignition switch sticking and takes a little wiggling around to get it to turn. WD40 was sprayed in the key hole and it seems to have freed it up, so I will throw the can in the tool box when I go to the show, just in case it acts up again. Also I have mapped the shortest route to the car show using rural roads most of the way but still have a 50 mile round trip, so I am a bit worried about running out of juice on the way home. I have signed up for Chargepoint but have never tested the J1772 outlet. The adapter cords will allow me to charge at standard outlets, so I am going to go for it!

Thanks for visiting,


Monday, September 7, 2015


If I have any hope of taking the Fiero to the Drive Electric - Columbus event, the battery charger must be installed, as there is a possibility the car will need charged to make it home. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were spent working on the car and the bottom trim has all been painted satin black, there is now plexiglass over the top of the front batteries, and the battery charger is mounted in the motor compartment.





In addition to working on the Fiero, I was able to finish the drywall in the bathroom, got it all painted, put up the new light bar, and installed the new mirror.

The interior paint for the SLK230 also arrived late last week and I was able to wet sand and touch up all of the places where the paint had pealed off on the passenger side of the car. After all of the nicks and scratches are pre-painted, the whole console and dash will be wet sanded again, wiped down with alcohol, and a good coat of paint put on all of the surface.

It has been a busy weekend but a lot of work was done. I signed up for Chargepoint, so as soon as the charger is wired up, will take a trip to Walgreens to make sure the J1772 plug and module are working. I may need a little charge next Saturday to make it back from Drive Electric, so want to make sure everything is working properly.

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Yesterday, the ad from Alien Motion Batteries was posted and the blog got 118 page views and some comments on my Google Plus page. The first Alien Motion battery I purchased, puffed out  when the voltage regular on my garden tractor quit working. On a lead battery, you wouldn't notice anything for a year or so but with the lithium, the battery overcharged and the cells puffed up. It was sent back to Alien Motion and they were unsure of what happened but were leaning toward giving me a new battery. The voltage regulator on the tractor was checked so I emailed to tell them the voltage regulator was not working and was putting out 18 volts. Most companies would say "Sorry, it as your fault and we are not paying anything." The folks at Alien Motion were different, they asked me what it would take to keep me as a loyal customer and I asked them if they would give me a new battery for half price. They emailed back and said that would be fine, also thanking me for being honest by telling them the voltage regulator was bad. The new battery hasbeen in my other garden tractor for over a year and is working great! There are so many companies out there that are unwilling to spend a dollar to make hundreds in the future. The lithium battery I bought for them is actually for my Fiero EV but the little lead acid motorcycle battery still works, so I just haven't put it in yet. Alien Motion also has an unadvertised board they can put in the battery for $39 extra, that cuts out the battery if the voltage goes too high.  I will say it again, they are a good company and it is my pleasure to endorse them! If you are looking for a good lithium battery for your garden tractor, motorcycle, or EV, they have a great sale going on for a few more days.


Monday more work was done on the bathroom, putting up a drywall ceiling to cover the opening where a floresent light was above the sink and a piece of drywall where the old mirror was. The job is down to spackling the joints and most of them are corners. It has been awhile since I have done drywall, so am a bit rusty. 

Tuesday, the Fiero was taken to Bowman Detailing in Hebron, OH to get ready for the Drive Electric Columbus, Ohio event at Easton Mall. My wife and I had dinner on the way home at Sunset Inn  Restaurant and as always, really enjoy their down home cooking. After a good meal and a couple of draft beers, it was sleepy time when I got home, so no progress on any of my projects.

Wednesday, the Fiero was picked up and even though I was not expecting the paint to come out perfect, they said they were going to clay block the surface to get some paint over spray off. After getting home and looking the surface over closely, it appears they just waxed over it. I will admit, the inside of the car smelled really good but they were also supposed to clean the motor and front trunk but appears they did not spend much time on either. The car does look better and will be good enough to take to the show but if it weren't for all the other projects, would have done a much better job myself. They did give me a little off of the regular price they charge but I would rather have had the paint over spray removed on the motor and front compartment cleaned a little better. 

After arriving home with the Fiero, it was back to more spackling and while that was drying, the bottom of the rear bumper was wet sanded and painted satin black. The paint is drying with gray streaks in it, so will probably need to be wet sanded again and another couple coats of paint applied tomorrow.

While the paint on the bottom of the rear bumper and dry wall joint compound were drying, I dug out the spoiler and started working on it. The spoiler also had some paint over spray on it so I wiped it down with some solvent and then wet sanded it with 1000 grit sand paper. Then a good coat of wax was applied and wiped off. I thought it may need to be rubbed out with compound but turned out really good with just a hand waxing. When removing the spoiler, the nuts had to be cut off of the studs and I had been unable to find the studs anywhere. Finally I ran across some 1/4 inch hanger bolts that ended up working great.


A tool is made to install hanger bolts but Home Depot did not have one, so a 1/4 inch coupling nut and a 1/4 inch bolt were used to thread them into the spoiler towers.



A pretty busy evening but well worth all of the work, as projects are starting to come together enough I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks for visiting,


Tuesday, September 1, 2015


AM12-XP 12 Cell LiFePO4 Battery

MSRP $164.99 *SALE $144.99*

Select Polarity:
Length87mm - 3.42in
Width114mm - 4.5in
Height100mm - 4in
Weight1250g - 2Lb 12oz
Capacity7.5 Amp Hours
Amperage Output<3 -="" 500="" amps="" pulse="" sec="" td="">
Max Charge Voltage & Current14.4V / 10 Amp Hours
ConnectionBrass Terminals with 6mm x 10mm Threaded
EnclosureImpact Resistant ABS Plastic Case
PolarityPositive Left or Right

Product Details

The Alien Motion AM12-XP is the largest model we offer in our classic cylindrical case design. This model provides 500 pulse amps of cranking performance while coming in well under 3 lbs. The increased capacity over the AM8 affords increased cold weather starting and longer usage in total loss applications. You could use this on your Harley 1200cc Sportster, Suzuki Hayabusa & Ducati 1299 Panigale. Guaranteed to provide better performance and several times the lifetime of the original battery with proper use and maintenance.
Our all new XP series offers greater starting power and capacity with no more weight!.
Great battery for applications that require less weight and have limited space.
  • Ultra-Lightweight and High Power Lithium Motorsport Battery
  • Holds a charge with minimal drain for years when there is no draw on power
  • 2-Year Warranty and Out of This World Support
  • Great for everyday use for bikes up to 1600cc 4 cylinder, 1400cc twins and personal watercraft
  • Works with the original charging system
  • Great for racing applications
  • Significant cost savings and longevity compared to lead acid
For V twins larger than 1400cc, we recommend more cranking power with the Alien Motion AM22