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Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/10/09 2:11 a.m.

There's a yard right next to the LKQ on Columbia in North Portland called ??? Light Truck Parts, they have way more inventory on newer trucks than LKQ and their price was reasonable ($25, like I said).

I'll probably test it out locally at both the autocross and drags, but I have no idea when I'll have it ready for testing. If you didn't wuss out on the trip to San Diego, you wouldn't have to worry about seeing it at the local events...wuss. There's a National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) event at PIR on July 24...that's my soft deadline for having the car fully competition ready, so I can compete at the event. I'll probably be towing several hundred pounds of dead weight (the gas powertrain) but it'll be a good chance to stretch out the packs and see what kind of abuse they'll take.

Bryce

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
6/10/09 7:57 a.m.

So is the gear reduction/diff in the electric drivetrain limited slip?

P71
P71 Dork
6/10/09 8:03 a.m.

I didn't wuss out, I couldn't afford it. Now I probably can! Though not with a Challenge car, I'd fly down. Now it's getting off of work.

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/10/09 10:12 a.m.
MrJoshua wrote: So is the gear reduction/diff in the electric drivetrain limited slip?

No

I need to check on if that differential setup is common with any other GM transmissions.

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/10/09 8:42 p.m.

I'm still rooting for some sort of passenger seat.

jump seat

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/11/09 5:52 a.m.
Billy Mays said: No friends? No date? No problem! Now you can treat yourself to one of Nashco's custom built hybrid Fieros

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/15/09 2:00 a.m.

I took a few days off this week to get some rest, the pace was getting pretty tiring. There's still some positive progress to report. I picked up my third second gen Prius pack, another craigslist score. This one was more work than the others, I had to pull it myself, but the price was right and I got a few extra goodies included in the price for my effort.

I figured out my front brake rotor problem. After pouring through a few brake parts catalogs, I found a vehicle that had the same bolt pattern, center bore, diameter, was just a tiny bit thicker, and had an extra ~7mm offset. As it turns out, the perfect application is a mid 90s Impreza...which I happen to have in my driveway!!! You wouldn't believe the smile on my face when I pulled a rotor off our Subie battlewagon and it fit the Fiero perfectly. I got a pair of new ones for the front of the Fiero for now.

I decided to add an additional motor mount. My scrap pile is getting pretty slim, but I eventually figured out how to make a decent mount out of what I had around. Right now I've got three mounts from an 80's Dodge V8 (<$4 ea. on Rock Auto) and I'm probably going to use a dog bone/torque strut also (also $4), but without any motor torque things are feeling pretty stout. These mounts are pretty soft rubber, which is probably a good thing, but means with just 2 plus a dog bone, things still moved around a bit too much for comfort.

Today I put the cooling system together for the gas engine after the fourth motor mount was done. I was hoping to take the car for a test drive, but ran out of daylight. I did put the car on the ground and give it a good shake. Tomorrow I'll adjust the coils to raise the car a bit and go take it for a test drive to see how it feels. It sure was cool seeing it back on the ground, and there weren't even any bad noises!

Bryce

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/15/09 5:05 a.m.

Looking good Bryce!

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/15/09 6:28 a.m.

I can't believe we drove that car in there on Memorial Day Friday!

C'mon Bryce, ZR-1-style hood window for the inverter!

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/15/09 4:59 p.m.
HIDGolf wrote: C'mon Bryce, ZR-1-style hood window for the inverter!

x2

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/15/09 5:24 p.m.

I'll worry about getting the inverter INTO the car for now, I'm a long way from needing to think about styling still! I don't even like the ZR-1 hood on the ZR-1, why would I like it on my Fiero? Anyway, that's old news in the Fiero world...I don't think of a hood with a window for the engine as a ZR-1 hood, I think of it as a "skitime" hood:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000073.html

Bryce

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
6/25/09 5:58 p.m.

I never got a chance to go all the way through this thread at work (the damn NetNanny blocks pictures!) but I have to say, very nice work!

Gotsol
Gotsol New Reader
6/26/09 12:24 p.m.

you can make it happen, good luck

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/29/09 11:49 a.m.

Things have slowed down a bit over the last couple of weeks. I've had an electrical gremlin driving me nuts, and although many people would think "of course you do, look at this project!!!"...I just honestly didn't expect it. My buddy that has this exact same powertrain in his garage got his working in short order and I expected the same with mine, but it seems I'm the unlucky one. I've spent many, many hours checking pinouts, talking to the computers, and verifying the proper signals are getting to the parts. I think I've finally got the problem narrowed down, and if it is what I think it is, it'll be great to have it resolved. I'll wait to spill the beans until I've confirmed that the problem is truly what I think it is and I get it fixed, but the fix would be cost-free, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I've got tired of poking wires and had to get back to cutting metal to get some feeling of progress. Josh mentioned how HUGE the inverter looked in the pictures earlier, and it really was pretty bulky. I've since removed the auxiliary power controllers (power steering, dc-dc converter) on the bottom of the inverter, that removed a good chunk from the bottom of the inverter, good for weight and packaging. These were used for the S10e, but aren't needed for my application. For reference, the inverter now weighs just under 60 pounds dry.

Once the inverter was stripped bare, the hood would now close over it without any chassis mods, only slight relocation of the radiator. It was nice to see the stock hood resting in its home.

Unfortunately, I just wasn't happy with the very tight clearance for the high voltage cables. The only thing keeping the inverter from moving to a much better position was some chassis sheetmetal that supports the hood hinges. That was a pretty easy sacrifice, as it looks like I can rebuild the offending area to change the angle of the hood supports and still use the stock hood hinges. This new location puts the inverter in a very good location, all things considered. Jessica and I think this thing is starting to look more and more "factory" as I get these details ironed out...it's a hell of a lot better than that big lump I had sticking out of the hood a couple of weeks ago!

I still have some minor details to work out before I make inverter mounts and rebuild the hood hinge attachment area, but I couldn't help myself to do a bit of brainstorming. I started to geek out seeing where I will be able to put the stock radiator (for the gas engine), mini radiator (for the electric stuff), coolant pump (electric stuff), hoses, etc. This is the exciting part for me...the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter! For grins, I grabbed the piece of sheetmetal we cut out on our first day that was used to seal off the spare tire area from the radiator area to see if it would fit back in.


Sometimes I impress even myself. It's beginning to look like this stuff was MADE to go into the Fiero, even though it's been a whole hell of a lot of work to get this far. How cool will that be if I can re-use the stock hood seal and everything? Of course, I'll have to make some new panels to seal things off on the bottom, as the motor sits right where the spare tire used to be, but I was grinning when I was able to put that sheetmetal back in without any interference. Funny how things work out, huh?

Hopefully I have my electrical gremlin resolved this week. That will be a huge step forward for the project and also towards maintaining my sanity. Meanwhile, I've got a bunch of metal fab to do to make some mounts for the stock radiator in its new home, rebuild the hood hinge mounts, add some inverter mounts, etc.

Thanks for the encouraging words, guys!

Bryce

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/29/09 5:18 p.m.

Sweet Baby Jebus, Bryce!

Have you test fit the pop-up headlamps with the inverter?

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
6/30/09 2:58 a.m.
HIDGolf wrote: Have you test fit pop-up headlamps with the inverter?

I hadn't yet, but I went ahead and accomodated the special request. I thought they would fit, and I was right! They just barely fit, without doing any mods to the headlight assemblies, they fit in their stock home with about half of an inch to spare on either side. Let there be lights:

Bryce

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
6/30/09 7:09 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Let there be lights: Bryce

Even God rests every seven days, hopefully the Pope of the Church of Fiero does too!

blizazer
blizazer New Reader
6/30/09 12:16 p.m.
Nashco wrote: Let there be lights: Bryce

Well done Bryce.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
7/5/09 5:29 p.m.

Who has two thumbs and an electric car???

THIS GUY!!!

Jessica and I were camping over the long weekend, and when I got back in today there was a package waiting for me. Long story short, my electrical gremlin was a really simple problem...isn't it always? The computer inside the inverter needed reflashed, which is as simple as talking to it with a TechII, the computer every GM dealership uses to talk to the cars. I had been tracing my wiring, sensors, etc. and all this time it wasn't something I screwed up!!! A friend with access to a TechII reprogrammed my computer and sent it back to me.

I was anxious as could be when I plugged in my newly flashed computer to see if it would truly fix the problem. To add to the anxiety, three guys with GRM shirts (Michael, Tony, and Jarod IIRC) showed up within an hour of me getting home from camping. I literally got home, showered, swept the shop, and they were here to witness the first attempt. I plugged everything in and....nothing. DOH!!! I was not a happy camper. The guys all left shortly after showing up, surprisingly, as I guess they have more important things to do than help me work on my $2009 car (lame!) and since the motor didn't spin things were anticlimactic. I started taking some stuff apart to diagnose the new issue (high voltage interlock open circuit) and found it right away, thankfully. The guys hadn't been gone for 15 minutes when I tested it for the second time. It was a very simple fix and I got to see the motor spin, I was a happy camper...literally!

Here's video of the first run:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSUVePmvjyo

My mind is spinning at the thought of all the work I get to do now that I have confirmed the motor works and things are ready for some road testing. Back to the shop!

Bryce

P71
P71 SuperDork
7/5/09 5:57 p.m.

There's more wiring in your car than my house Bryce! I'll be glad to help polish paint and work on the gas-burning motor

Congrats on the motor working though! Now I wish I would have stuck around another 15 minutes.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
7/5/09 6:01 p.m.

Good job man-I hope I get to see this thing in person some day.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
7/6/09 12:15 a.m.

Yeah, having two computer controlled powertrains will add up in the wire count!

Bryce

wherethefmi
wherethefmi Dork
7/6/09 1:19 a.m.

Damn, I can't believe I missed that, and the more important thing I had to do, was my pregnant wife who had a bad day, what with our 10mo old daughter chocking on a small piece of plastic and scaring the crap out of her.

Really nice job Bryce, I'm glad I could check out the car, even though I wasn't present to watch it spin under electric power. There were more wires present in that small car than I've ever seen anywhere, And you know what they all do!!!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
7/6/09 10:40 a.m.

Hehehe that sounds just like an electric RC car should be an interesting sound once both engines are running together

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
7/6/09 2:52 p.m.

I can't wait for an AWD, hybrid, burnout!

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