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.

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