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.