Sunday, December 23, 2012

AC vs DC failure debate

I am miffed by hearing that DC motors are now somehow failing because of extended road time due to the use of Lithium Batteries in the conversions? I have heard this but have not seen any proof that it really is an issue that is directly caused by extended use from what the normal has been in the past. It seems like a logical thought but rarely does logic pan out in reality. Quite frankly I have not seen the proof. I have heard that some have had failures but I have heard about and seen the results of failures with DC motors in conversions that utilize the old lead acid batteries too.

I see the comment as a ploy to push AC when AC was at one time a non issue because they were too damn expensive. Now that a small load is available it somehow makes AC viable to the DIY group. Until I see fully that the use of lithium and extended driving will cause the motor to fail prematurely I will continue to promote DC as well as the affordable AC to those that want that option. Remember that once the supply of those AC motors and Controllers dries up they once again become a non issue again. 

So please those of you who have proof of failures directly attributed to this please provide your information and images of the damage caused. I am not looking for rumors or he said she said either. I am looking at proof that with out a doubt shows this as a cause of failure. 

Pete :)

Is there REALLY an issue here?

Seems like a sales ploy to me. Once the AC motors were acquired but before they were delivered I believe that the DC failure rumor began moving about. A change has taken place.

It is my deepest hope that Jack or someone else can pull this off and get the OEM Motor company to begin selling these suckers to US at a respectable price. I will take my hat off to anyone that can actually successfully pull that off. And not for just a select few. 

Card Reader

I am getting myself a card reader from PayPal for my little business. I think it will be a perfect little gadget. Now I can accept credit cards no matter where I am at. When we go to the farmers market I can now take credit card orders on the spot. I have had customers pass on orders because I could not do credit cards. The business has been too small to afford the cost of the phone card readers through the banks. PayPal has been my business platform for payments for years. I am glad that they are now offering the phone reader for business use.

Pete :)


New weeks video. Been busy teaching xray classes at the college. I will get back to more video this year. Any ideas you have please submit them and any information that would be pertinent to the subject please include it. I will do what I can.

Pete :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vicor MegaPac

If you need a DC DC you might consider a Vicor MegaPac. It can give you a stable voltage output for your accessory systems and even custom outputs for other items you need to power. If you need only a small DC DC you can use bare modules with a heat sink and put power to them if needed and they are sealed. The MegaPac is not water proof but if you keep the top on and keep it from getting wet in wet weather you should have no troubles.

As for disruptive technology I can say with out a doubt that electric cars are not disruptive but the batteries being used in electric cars are. As such the electric car can be built and sold successfully by the current auto manufacturers. It will take visionary people to move the movement forward but this is NOT the same as the internet of days gone by. In the days of the early internet it was a disruptive technology and no one on earth had the internet. It WAS totally new and disruptive. Cars are no longer disruptive. The batteries that make them viable are disruptive only because they can be used now to power a car and makes gasoline powered cars obsolete. That is the disruption.

Nissan has done a bang up job with the Leaf and I can assure you that the Leaf is NOT a converted Versa. Not even close. The only thing in common with the Leaf is some vague looks. Very vague looks at that.

We do need to get the electric car in the public eye and that is why we should not build total junk. It is possible to build a respectable electric conversion with out breaking the bank but it still won't be cheap. Fiberglass bodies are kinda cool but most are only open top roadster types or just too damn small for the average person and not really suitable for a daily driver. Converting a clean car is fine as long as you like it. Don't just do any thing you may have. Most of those are pretty lame and present a poor public presentation. Not what is wanted.

The auto manufacturers will do a fine job as they can hire all that is needed to put together a system that  can be done in house. Like Jack says, vertical integration. Nissan is doing that. Nissan has a visionary but not like we might expect. It is amazing that we think all visionary people are like Musk or Jobs. Hardly. They are and were great but there are others.

Hot rod types will latch on but in limited amounts. Not much you can do to make a motor pretty. Even the pretty ones I have seen done are hidden from view mostly and that is not what hot rodding is about. Hot rodding is about showing off. It is an art form. I don't see it as a major player. A player yes, just not a major one.

The move to electric cars will NOT be the same as it was with the internet. The disruption is not as grand. Now if we all rode bicycles and there was no such thing as a car then I could see a car being a disruptive change. But since cars are so common and electric vehicle have been around for quite some time in some form or another I do not see it as being terrible disruptive. It's only because of the battery and yes the auto manufacturer will be able to innovate new designs and build them. They do it all the time. A few players will emerge and play in the game. Most playing will be in the battery and instrumentation. Motors and controllers are available and once other car manufacturers see Nissan doing there own motors and controllers and batteries they will follow suit.

Pete :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Looks like a positive move to me. Using the car in an emergency to power the house? Yes. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


and Agitator. Our opinionated friend has a good history of that. He made millions because of it and quite by accident too. He was after all in the right place at the right time. But he does have a way with words that many don't. He is after all a motivator. Also and agitator. That is what keeps you coming back for more. Its a simple concept really. Just pay attention to that which keeps you coming back. Motivation and Agitation. Both come in different dress, so be attentive. 

By now many are lusting quite hard over the new acquisition of the Siemens Motors and Controllers and yes, the Borg Warner Gear boxes. How I'd love to get my hands one a set. Then I'd need to figure out what vehicle it would best fit in and would I be able to actually do the conversion of the transmission safely into another vehicle. Some of the army of 100,000 can. I on the other hand have no access to any facility that would include the space or machinery nor do I have the ability to operate said machinery if I did have access. This leaves me lusting but totally out of the game on that part. I can however attach a motor to an existing transmission setup. 
I will say to those that can't and should not get them, don't fret and most of all don't lust after something you just can't do. Let others do that and be happy with what you can offer. I will be continuing my quest for a reasonable electric drive that ANY one can do. Not just for SOME to do. 

We need an army that CAN put together a car in that swept out space. It's not just about being able to afford to but that we can actually DO it. 

DC is one way and AC another as in the HPEVS line of motors and Curtis controllers. Affordable but not for every type of car. Everyone can do those. I'd like to see a better controller from Curtis or someone that will handle not only the low voltage systems but also if needed handle higher voltage systems in one unit. DMOC does not come to mind but Scott Drives do. Nothing against the DMOC and no doubt they are good. 

So what are the choices we have that are currently selling to the general public willing to depart with those green backs. Well we have the "crappy" Kostov motors. The "Awesome" warp motors, and the odd assortment D&D motors and a few others that are a bit obscure but still quite usable. Controllers for DC are Synkromotive, P&S home built kit, WarpDrive, Soliton1 and Jr and the ever elusive Zilla. These are components that are fully supported and available. I am not talking about the odd assortment of OEM stuff or that found in the wrecking yards or from old forklifts. All of which can and do provide many good components. So the onset of a few of the Siemens motors is good but it is in a class of those obscure components that fall in the realm of your on your own sucker. If they become affordably available and with full factory support then they will be a viable source. Like Lithium, they need to be available and at a price that is of value even for us tinkerers and doers. 

It still supports this in not a matter of innovating but of acceptance. Innovators will however come up with some cool things. But as for building or converting a car it is OLD hack. Sure, I can't build a car that would be on the Level of the Leaf but building cars is OLD and adding in an electric motor is no big issue. What will be the big issue is the publics acceptance and adoption of the electric car. It will change the world. 

The army of a hundred thousand will be the air that breaths acceptance into the movement. Not downloading a program into a controller. I had to learn to download a program into my cars chip to get better performance. Nothing new but it was a learning curve for myself. Not world shattering nor very DIY. DIY is building the controller AND programming it from the ground up. Like Soliton1 guys did. My hats off to them. True DIY and then manufacturer and reseller. They build their own. They had the idea and then became more than DIY but it grew from DIY. Tesla is the result of true DIY. So is Apple. 

Lets motivate the masses and have a movement. Innovation will follow. 

Pete :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Interesting Perspective

A few have ideas that auto manufactures can't build autos with electric motors and batteries successfully. Well I think its hogwash. One says its an early adaptor stage but I say it is an early social acceptance stage. The ability to build and produce electric cars already exists. Once acceptance happens we will see a change. The infrastructure already exists to build. It will take the innovators and tinkerers to make this happen as we need to see and experience the electric cars being successful in normal every day use. We have plenty of folks who have the money and funds to go out and build a factory and have on hand enough engineers to build custom motor/transmission assemblies. It is not going to be the back yard innovators that make it happen.

One thing I agree with is that we need to get 100,000 folks behind the wheel of an electric car. I agree that we need to utilize the LiFePO4 cell which is easy to use and pretty easy to buy. We already have what is needed to build. Yes, the car manufactures will be the ones to build cars. This time it will be with electric motors.

What makes one think that an auto manufacturer can't hire a group of electric motor building guru's to build and test them. When working they just ramp up production. Its done every day. There are plenty of businesses that can build batteries too. They decided to not depend upon others and just hired those that can build them. Integrating them into an automobile will be pretty easy.

I think the design is a big key to being successful and yes there does need to be a value proposition. Frankly the Leaf is Ugly but one I can accept. Frankly the Versa SUCKS as a car. I'd buy an old Bug before I purchased a Versa. But the Leaf is quite frankly NOT a VERSA. If you have driven either you'd know. I know.

Quite frankly Ghosn has the vision. Visionary sight is required. Apple is a success story because of visionary. Tesla is a success because of a visionary.

I do not see the move to hybrids as a back step either. I see it as a good move because not everyone is quite ready to accept all electric. It is also a good move because many folks need more than the all electric can provide at this time. I'd like to see only all electric and not the hybrid but I do understand the move. See how successful Toyota was with the Prius? Very visionary and best of all a car company. Hopefully they will venture into an all electric mode. They are cautious. Understandable. We don't want too many trying to push electric.

There are a few suing Nissan but hey, that happens and will happen. My Leaf is still doing quite well and I have 19,500 miles now on my ride. Or there abouts. I still get a good 70 miles even in the cold. I commute 45 miles daily. No issues what so ever. Still don't like the guess o meter but then again no electric car has a very accurate capacity meter. So there is a market for that. The few that sue and are suing are tiny in comparison to what is being used daily. Yes, some vehicles will have troubles. They are after all still cars and we all know cars break down. I sure do.

Building an electric in the garage! Yes, we can convert to electric drive with off the shelf components. It would be nice to have access to all those fancy OEM goodies but frankly most of us who are doing conversions can't compete with the OEM goodies now on the market in very very very limited quantities and with no support. That alone keeps me out of the game. Like the Zilla when it was not being produced, it was a no go because of no support.
My controller is being produced and supported but in limited quantities. It is good and will continue to be so but they will not get rich building and selling them. I think the move is towards AC as the OEM vehicles are pretty much all AC including the new golf carts and forklifts. DC is going by the way side but I do like my little treasures. By no means are these motors no longer viable. But they are going to be limited to shorter range conversions.
It is true that the lithium cells are allowing long drives and some DC motors are not handling that too well. The AC motors are doing just fine.
HPEVS sells some excellent motor/controllers that will be suitable for many smaller vehicles. Fast charging is out unless you want to spend 3K for an untested unit. I'd like to see more from these units.

So will the auto manufactures be able to build our next affordable electric car? Yes. Will there be some new auto manufacturers? Yes. Many new ones? Most likely not.

So in light of the new blast of Siemens motors and controllers we still need to keep our eye the affordable and usable systems we currently have available to get more conversions on the road. Don't let the news of these blind you and keep you from building your dream EV. If you happen to be one that can afford to buy one and are willing to take the plunge by all means do so and report your findings. If they do finally become available as affordable units then, hooray!

Enough for now.

100,000 people need to accept electric and drive them. It is not about technology. That we have. We need acceptance. Lets make it so.

Pete :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Data Recovery

Data Recovery sucks but it has been successful. I am currently saving all the files I was wanting to save. Once done I will reformat the drive and continue on. It was an issue of putting the drive in a Macbook that was not compatible with the newest OS. My bad. I now have nearly 5T of disc storage space at home. 1T specifically for video. FCPX is an excellent program. Now that I have the junk off my machine I am moving along quite well.

Pete :)

More Delays

Got the new hard drive setup and pretty much all is good except all of a sudden my external hard drive no longer boots one of the partitions where all my video is stored. Drats. Digging into the matter to try to recover as much as possible before reformatting the drive. What a waste of time. If I can't get the files needed I will have to do the Fast Charge Discharge testing all over again. Ug. Besides that all is well. The drives are so large that even using the macs time machine to back up requires another drive at least as large if not larger than the main drive being backed up. It sucks up lots of space. I now have a large 1T drive for my video storage while I process video. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Video Progress

Well, I ran into an issue with the new Final Cut Pro X and could not for the life of me figure it out. Well it happens that there is a program out for the mac called MacKeeper which is a program to keep your mac safe. Well, it is actually a problem program and has caused many problems since its inception and continues today to cause problems. The program is more like a virus and does not keep your mac safe. I did a full clean install of OSX and Final Cut Pro X and I am now back in the game. So if you have a Mac and you have MacKeeper you WILL have troubles. There is no doubt. If you see the program DO NOT down load the program. If you do you might consider doing a clean install and ditching the program. Just dumping the program is not good enough. A clean install is the only way.

I am glad I did this as I also decided to update my laptop with a 512Gig SSD drive. I love the new silent drive. Kinda like my car. I like. No more hard drive whine. It just works. So my laptop is all solid state with the only moving parts are the keys and screen hinge. That's all. Well I do still have my dvd drive but there is a product out that will allow you to install another hard drive in your computer and allow you to take that dvd drive out and make it an external drive for the very few times you may find you need it. I have not used my drive for a very long time. Some new macs don't even have them. I am ditching it and going to install another 512 gig SSD drive. That will give me plenty of storage and plenty of quick access and no worry about the drive crapping out.

Pete :)

My A123 Fast Charge video will be up soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Slow Charge

I did another charge discharge but this time I did it at an 8 amp current. The charge/discharge algorithm is set for CC/CV and it set to terminate at C/5. Not sure if I should go that low for the amps. So with the fast charge I got like 11 amp hours in and another two if I finished the charge at 20 amps instead of 45 amps. End voltage for the slow charge/discharge is set for 3.5 volts on the high end and 2.5 on the low end. So with the slow charge I got 13 amp hours and the same with fast charging. The cell is puffed from my initial FAST CHARGE to 3.7 volts. Ouch. I do believe it damaged the cell by over volting the cell. I am going to try one more cell but will for sure stop before 3.7 volts. 3.5 or 3.55 will be about it even with fast charging.

One thing I noticed is that the voltage drops and reaches 3.1 volts it is quite obvious that the charge is over. There is really very little amp hours from that point on. It took a good hour plus to pump in 2 amp hours. So at that end 3 volts is really the end of charge. See the Graph. It is right there. Can't refute that. Not when it is repeated over and over. The more graphs that are done the more it becomes obvious. No need to use a BMS either to fiddle around with that last bit. Just need a good smart charger and controller. Set your voltages to 3.5 on the upper end and 3.0 on the bottom resting voltage. So on your controller you could set your voltages to 2.5 under load before cut back or off as once the current is lifted the voltages will rise.

I noticed that the peak voltages are pretty much the same on the Hi-Power as well as the end voltages. The voltages drop at around 3.0 volts and peak at 3.5. You could even do 3.45 if you wanted.

Here are my last Graphs.

Second Fast Charge

I had unexpected results from my first Fast Charge. I was asked to do it again. I did a fill up charge to 3.5 volts at 20 amps CC/CV and terminated at C/5. That resulted in about 2 1/2 additional amp hours. I then discharged the cell at 20 amps to 2.5 volts then hold until the current drops to C/5 then terminate. That resulted in a total of 13.99 amp hours removed from the cell. Disappointing that the cell only held 14 amp hours. From a cell that was touted as a 20 amp hour cell. Anyway I then connected up the MegaPac to the cell and did another Fast Charge but this time stopped at 3.65 volts. I was able to put in just under 10 amp hours. Below are the graphs of the charge/discharge on the Power Lab 8 and the last two are the Graphs during the Fast Discharge. I did get more video but because it takes so damn long to process I decided that the Graphs are good enough. No real need to watch paint dry again.

The MegaPac is once again set at 5 volts and a solid 45 amp output from the module. 

These graphs are from the charge/discharge using the Powerlab 8. Such a wonderful tool. 

These two are from the latest FAST CHARGE at 45 amps

Unexpected Results

I have been setting up a battery testing bench to do some of my own Fast Charge tests on cells at a high amperage rate. I have a power source, JLD Volt Meter, and AH meter from Jack Rickards shop to keep watch on the cells and to turn them off when I wanted. Well I have not quite figured out how to set up the JLD switches yet. But with that I do have it all set up with my power source, meters and my PowerLab to monitor and log the voltage graph. I started out with an A123 cell that had been discharged to 2.9 volts at 20 amps then shut off. I then turned on the power source and began to monitor and log over time and on video. The power source is a 5 volt 40 amp MegaPac module. It holds 5 volts well and pumps out a solid 45 amps. During the entire test the voltage rose and the amperage stayed solid on 45 amps with no hiccups. The voltage rose to more than 4.5 volts at 1 ah pumped into the cell. The voltage rise was far higher than expected but at 4.7 volts and 10 ah's the test was terminated. It was terminated not because of heat but because of swelling of the cell. I saw an ever so slightly swelling of the pouch and knew I needed to shut down. The two unexpected things was the fast voltage rise and the fact that the cell and terminals were not hot at all. Heck they were not really warm either. So I am baffled at the voltage and as it was only 10AH were pumped into the cell so it was not overcharged. The cell was plenty empty. It has a similar curve to what Jack had with his test but mine had much higher voltages and it was confirmed that the high voltage was not a fluke on my system. I even did the same test on a Hi-Power Cell and even went to 4 volts and 45 amps and put in 77 ah's into a 100 ah cell. But at those high voltages damage does occur and gassing does occur. Yes even with LiFePO4 cells. I used the A123 because I was able to charge at a much higher C rate. The Hi-Power only got charged at under 1/2C. Not terrible high.

My power source is a MegaPac Power Factor Corrected output. It holds a solid 45 amp output at 5 volts real well. I am going to assume that the issue is with my power supply. 5 volts should not be that much of an issue for a cell that can or should handle with no trouble 3.8 volts and it should handle a solid 3C of charging and I was not even at that current rate. Yet I got slight puffing and pulled the plug early. You will see on the video what I am taking about. One thing I did notice was that there was more puffing after the cell sat overnight. I looked and felt it and you can see and feel the puffiness of the cell. It is much more so today than right after the test. So gassing continued even after the power was pulled. Voltage is sitting at a cool 3.34 volts.

Here is a rough graph I exported from the PowerLab 8 after the test. I have to go back and reexport the text file for Excel.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Sold before I even had a chance to see it. See what happens when you have full time job. Go to work and loose out on a killer deal. Sucks.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Still Hunting

Still hunting for another Ghia. Damn, I really love these little cars. My very first reaction back in High School to a VW Ghia was Yuck, what an ugly car. It was actually a piece of crap. Then I remember seeing my first Notch Back. I had to stop and go have a close look at what that cool looking car was. I was surprised to find out it was a VW. Never before had I seen one . The Type III is the best handling of the early VW's in stock form. I really liked my 67 Fastback. Had plenty of Busses over the years and really like the 13 Window Deluxe. Plenty of room and lots of visibility. The Panel Bus really requires good dual side mirrors to see around the vehicle. While in the service I had a 62 Mini Cooper, 70 Nova and a 72 VW Ghia with Factory Air. Damn if it was not the best air conditioner I have every used in ANY car I have owned since. I am looking at a 66 Red Ghia right now and it is a daily rust free driver. Price is right and should provide a good daily driver as an electric. Since I have all the components I can do the change rather quickly. Not like the 62 Roadster that is requiring much in replacement parts to make it road worthy once again. Thankfully it is almost ready for the motor to be installed. The other Ghia I was looking to get is just a bit out of my desired price range for what it is. It looks good but this one is just as good looking. I like red and my First Ghia was the 72 which was Red as well. My favorite color is Yellow and Sage Green. My Bus will be Sage Green when we finish that project.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rained Walnuts

It rained Walnuts in California today. Or at least in our neck of the woods. The tree shaker came today and shook our trees as well as our neighbors around us. We got them all picked up except two trees worth before we ran out of sunlight. We have Chandler Walnuts and they are the best available. A good day indeed.

I also listened to EVTV today and was waiting for that 3C charge test. A top notch stellar job indeed. This is a HUGE deal. Even better than being able to DO fast charging. The ability of these cells to handle a 95% fast charge in 19 minutes and without overheating. Thinking about my knowledge in xray I was pondering while watching the show. He stated he let the cells sit and then did one more charge but at 30 amps instead of 120 amps and they got a tremendous rise in temp. My knowledge leads me to believe that he could have let the cell charge that extra 2 1/2 ah into the cell without going over like 3.8 volts and without raising the temp my much extra. Because the ions have more energy they can burrow into the cell much easier to find those harder to find spaces. But if you did like he did with only 30 amps it would be a struggle to fill those extra spaces deep within the cell but under higher energy levels the ions would just find a nice cozy place to rest with no further damage or excess heating of the cell. There will be a point that even at high levels of energy you will fill the cell beyond its capacity and begin to overheat the cell. But in our usage I am quite sure if you limit your voltage to something like 3.7 or 3.8 volts you could nearly fast charge to 100% capacity in short order without compromising the cell from excess ions or heat. Go slow and you are limited in the amount of ions you can stuff in.

I will try a higher voltage cutoff and check AH in and temps. I will use my A123 cells for testing. I will monitor the temp closely as well as AH in.

Pete :)

The PowerLab 8 is a wonderful tool.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Issue resolved

I got the word today from EMPI that my rotor was too far away from the backing plate. But my axle nut was tightened fully. What gives. No way could it be too far away. No way in hell. Thats what I am thinking. Every thing is right. I know it. Well, not quite so fast. I have Type III Long axles and the Drums and Rotors supplied are usually for short axles. It happens that my rotor is for a short spline axle and what happened was my axle nut bottomed out on the axle and tightened up as though it was fully seated. Since the rotor fits tightly there was no wobble and the caliper did after all fit but not as it should have fit. The guy (Bud) at Empi said I should need no more than one small spacer washer if at all. That was the clue. I removed the axle nut and could see it was butted up against the axle and could move no more. The rotor however had plenty more it could move. I found a temporary spacer that would allow me to tighten the rotor further until it truly was seated and ready. Once I got it seated I only needed one skinny washer and I used the hardened washer I purchased yesterday and was still able to use the extra length grade 10.9 bolt. I feel better being able to use that vs the short one supplied. My extra length one is still usable with zero binding and nothing in the way. The parking cable now fits and the caliper can now move as a floating caliper. It was something I could not SEE. I was glad the extra eyes and experience from Bud at EMPI was there for me when need. Kudos to him.

This axle nut is the best quality one you can buy and has a built in washer. The spacer goes behind this like an oversized washer. It too is hardened. Remember that these suckers are cranked down to 250 lbft of torque.

Pete :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Empi Rear Disc Brake

I have been working on installing our NEW Empi Wide 5 Rear Disc Brake kit with Parking Brake. All went well except when I put on the backing plates backwards. Oooops. I then got it all straightened out and installed correctly but still all is not well. The cable for the parking brake does not fit where it is supposed to fit and the part that the cable fits into also butts up against the backing plate pretty much negating the floating caliper. There is like maybe 1/32 of an inch and that is not much of a floating caliper. I tried many ways to find the problem but I have the caliper properly centered on the rotor and the shoes properly installed and there is actually no binding of the brakes but the parking brake mount is touching the backing plate or nearly so and the parking brake cable cover will not fit as the mounting bolt is in the way. Ouch. I talked to EMPI directly today and we were having a hard time communicating the issue and I told him I took a bunch of photos and video of the issue. The video is still uploading but below are the photos I took and will send to the guy at EMPI and see if he can see if any thing is wrong. I have done things every which way but working properly. This is an issue on both sides and not just on one side. Funny there is no mention of an issue like this on the WEB anywhere so it leads me to believe something IS wrong but yet UNSEEN. Here are the photos and if you happen to SEE please pass the information along.

Thanks a bunch

Pete :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Showed my Leaf at a local event.

Today after school was over I went to the book store to get a scantron. I noticed that they were having some sort of GREEN DAY out on the campus. There were vendors selling organic natural items and other companies showing off GREEN stuff including one with WATER BASED CAR PAINT. They had sample cars with the paint and it was real nice. There was a gal from the Bay area with her Leaf and another from Roseville with his Volt. It was just too cool. I went and talked to some folks about the items and the owner of the Leaf and Volt. I got permission (since I drove my Leaf to school) to take my Leaf and show it off with the others. I was only there for an hour but that hour was full talking and explaining. There was loads of interest in electric. Some with only passing interest while others were quite serious. The other Leaf owner wants to also convert an older car. She was asking all sorts of conversion questions but I had limited time to explain. She wanted to come see in person how it is done. She has read all about converting but needs that in your hands experience where book and internet just won't do. Not sure if I can do that because they live in the Bay and I am inland by quite a distance. But all in all it was a great experience to show my electric car how ever brief it was. I will for sure do it again.

Pete :)

Pedal Assembly

Short post. Yesterday the Pedal Assembly showed up. Dang it was quick. Much faster than expected. Now to get it installed. It has the wide spacer so my feet don't get in the way of themselves. A nice caged throttle assembly with nice roller and the new clutch cable end that will allow for smooth operation of the clutch cable without damaging the pin. No more busted clutch cable hooks with this sucker. New bushings. Will work with my original cruiser pedal. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pedal Assembly

Well the stock pedal assembly sucks. I ordered a new one this evening. It extends the clutch pedal to the left about an inch so you don't hit both pedals when you stop. Also the original VW Throttle is pretty lame and not too nice. It is hard to explain but if you know VW's then you know the sloppy issues with the early throttle assembly. Well this one fixes that. I can then use my original accessory item cruiser pedal with the new setup. It will make the throttle smooth and no more slop. It also provides a new clutch cable end that prevents the wearing of the clutch cable rod hook. So from the front brakes to the rear we have replaced the entire braking and throttle pedal assembly. I should have this puppy in a few days. Did not have time to do any work today to the Roadster. Went to Sacramento for my second treatment to remove a tattoo. Damn shit hurts. But I have only 4 more sessions and it should be gone gone. I am glad they have a system that actually works. But not pain free. Zonkers, think long and hard before getting a tattoo and what it may be to you when your old. Might consider a fake one that you can remove or will wear off later. Colored Henna may just give you that short duration fun body art that goes away. Way more painful to get removed than to get. Be sure before you get one. Mine should have gone away long ago.

One I plan to keep. Says Peace no War in Chinese.   

This sucker has new bushings and refurbished components. It is actually original parts with new working parts. Exactly what the Doctor ordered.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Empi Rear Disc Brakes

I now have the axle bearings installed and the seals and both rear disc brake rotors. Calipers are on. I put the caliper supports on backwards. Damn. So I took them both apart and turned them around proper and got the calipers with shoes installed. These have parking brakes so are perfect for my needs. I will connect up the lines completely tomorrow. Might even get lucky and get them bled.

I must go into Sac and will be trying to get a look at yet another Ghia. This one is a 61 Ghia and looks to be an excellent buy for converting. Nothing needs to be done but I don't trust what others say. I must look because their good may be my poor. We shall see. Pics look good. If its the right one we will get the car and use it for our show piece for getting more work.

Pete :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tranny Pictures

Well I did say I'd get some tranny pics today. So I did. I also got one axle done with bearings and seals and backing plate and wheel hub/rotor. Still need to install the calipers but the other side needs done first. I had about 45 minutes of time to work today on my ride before the skeeters come out and drive you in. Nasty little suckers. It is coming together one bite at a time.

Notice I still need to put on the axle boots.
Changed the throwout bearing and fork for the early style. 

Axle bearing in place. 

Hub/Rotor Hefty sucker. 

Hub/Rotor installed. No cotter pin yet. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Transmission is now in and we have new urethane mounts for the transmission. Now I am getting the axle bearings and brakes installed. First the backing plates for the brakes go on. Shocks mounted and ready to go. I am going to replace the springplate bolts but will use the old ones for now. No photos with the tranny in until tomorrow. I ran out of good light for taking photos.


Built by Rancho Transaxle. Pro Street, Super Diff, Aluminum Side Cover, Hardened Keys, Welded third and forth Hubs. Dual axle snap rings. 3.44:1 R&P. Heavy Duty clutch throwout bearing shaft.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making Headway

We are making more headway with the Roadster. I am ditching the drum brakes in the rear and installing a set of disc brakes. I got a set of EMPI rear Wide 5 disc brakes with emergency brake cables to hold the car. I now have one axle and axle tube installed and the other will be installed tomorrow. The tranny was originally going into the VW Bus but I decided to use it in the roadster instead. So with that I must replace the shifter nose cone and replace it with one that is for a Bug. So we were stalled out again. Tomorrow will get that part. The goal is to install the tranny and brakes tomorrow. Might happen. Might not but it is a goal.