September 4 – September 21, 2008
I feel like a mad scientist with this project. All I need are some of those big throw switches to make better sparks and I can scream, “It’s alive, it’s alive”. But as we all know the good doctor had quite a few failures before the monster Frankenstein came about and I am beginning to feel my cars new name will be El Frankenstein.
First the good news – I got my EV grin today (though short lived). After the final wires were attached I gave it the second gear try out. Clutch pedal in, turn key, contactor engaged, stepped on accelerator – wheels spin! Now it was time to drive it. I get it off of the jack stands, enlist my wife as my co-pilot (God was watching) and off we went. It took a bit to figure things out (like where reverse was) and just how hard to push the pedal, but eventually we were on our way. Down the street and all of a sudden a strange noise – the fender liner came loose and was rubbing on the wheel. We came back and fixed it. Time to take my son for a trip around the block. With video camera in hand we take off. I am having clutch issues and could only find 3rd gear – not a problem, just a slow start. We made it all the way around the block! Hooked up the charger to top things off and clean up a few weeks work of mess in the driveway (with the car out of the way, I could finally clean up my mountain of used zip-ties). I was planning on picking my other son up from work around 5:00 and got things ready to go. Down the hill, around the corner – a shift from 2nd to 3rd (without a clutch). I was half way there when I felt something – sort of a chug, like an ICE misfire. Then a cloud of smoke and I was dead in the water (so to speak) coasting uphill with no place to stop. I coasted a few hundred feet and got onto a side street. I called my wife with the news, got a hold of my neighbor (a tow truck driver) and got the car home. The controller was dead!
So it’s back to the laboratory with Frank to see what happened. I am sending the unit back tomorrow for a check up/repair and hope to do this all over again in a week or two (with better results). Enjoy the short video.
So until then….