Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Needle on the Speedo Goes up and Down

September 22 – October 25, 2008

It’s been a week and all is well. My car still has a squeak and I think it might be something rubbing near the brake (a dust shield), so tomorrow I will get out the jackstands and do some investigating.

Some good news – with the help from my fellow Fiero convertor Larry, I was able to solve the speedometer mystery. When you pull the ECM, you lose a ground connection to the speedometer. I started to trace the wires and found a black wire with a white stripe that was supposed to be connected to ground. This one came off of the ECM and was part of the ALCL connector. With it unplugged from the ECM, the ground connection was broken. I tested it with a jumper and you know it is working when the speedometer needle drops to zero with the key in the run position. So if your Fiero is stuck in the 10MPH mode and your needle is going nowhere, look for the missing ground (and thank Larry).

So after a week of having a working EV, all I can say is the grin is still there. If the squeak would go away, I would probably grin even more. My tachometer project is (still) almost done. I am trying to make things pretty and more functional. For all intents and purposes, it is done. I did an upgrade to two magnets for the sensor to read and this allows me to improve my RPM resolution to 30 steps (v/s 60 with one magnet). If all goes well at school this week I should be able to install next weekend – both a tacho and speedo – life doesn’t get much better. And if you really want to improve your performance, do the aero thing. Again, Larry closed off his entire bottom (with coro-plast) and his efficiency improved dramatically. Check out his blog for the details ( I think I have enough material left over from lining my battery boxes to finish my under carriage, so that is on the agenda for tomorrow.

And as a final note (yes I am getting on my soapbox for a minute or two) I want everyone who is thinking about doing a conversion to stop looking at the current gas prices. It’s $1.91 here in the Dayton, OH area and I am thankful to have an EV. Trust me on this one, the prices will rise as quick as they came down. It’s election time and the “Powers That Be” aren’t fooling me. What better way to distract millions of people this close to an election by seeing those $4.00 per gallon prices disappear – you can’t blame Democrats or Republicans. But as soon as the last dangling chad is counted, they will rise. So while everyone is putting their project on hold, get your parts and start converting – you’ll never get an EV grin filling your car (or truck) with gas.

Until later…


Larry said...

I got a actual Current shunt on order. I will be able to get you real exact numbers here soon. I am starting to doubt the accuracy of the paktraker. I trust it as a fuel gauge and diagnostic tool for each battery but I wish I had a link 10 like you some days. Hows the cold treating you and the Fiero?

TimK said...

Congratulations on getting things running! You're one of the few people that has completed a project with a working Belktronix controller. Can you offer more insight as to what went poof during your first test run?