Friday, April 11, 2008

Going Back to U-Pull-It - Don't try this at Home

Well, I went back to U-Pull-It today to see if I could salvage the throttle body from car #2 that I found last time and ended up with a whole lot more than I bargained for.

Here's the throttle body from the last car. I like the idea of using the TPS (throttle position sensor) on this instead of the PB-6 potbox that most people use in their EVs because I think the accelerator pedal feel will be much closer to the original.

After getting out the throttle body in about ten minutes (faster than I expected), I started looking down at the engine block and transmission. Gee, if I remove a play around a bit, I can get some experience with removing an engine.

Three hours later (ugh), the engine and transmission came crashing to the ground. After yet another hour of goofing around, the transmission fell off. U-Pull-It sold me the throttle body and transmission for a total of 145.00. This will be highly useful if I need to develop an adapter plate for the motor. Adapter plates already exist from ElectroAuto and EV America, but this will allow a local mechanic to perhaps design an open source one.

Here's the cherished transmission brought home and in the garage. To save gas, I mistakenly took the electric 914 to U-Pull-It and forgot to bring a protective mat for the upholstery. There are a few grease spots on the passenger seat floor (it wouldn't fit in the tiny trunk) that I'll have to clean up. Note to self: take the Subaru with included cargo mat next time!

Here I am after a half hour of washing all the grease and grit off my hands and arms. I haven't been this dirty since I worked on the Porsche 914 transmission for my existing EV. I really appreciate working on electric vehicles due to the lack of fluids and other dirt. Hi Mom!

I ran the meeting for the Oregon Electric Vehicles Association last night and several people seemed interested in the open-source EV kit. We didn't have enough time to break into smaller groups, but that will happen next month.

Next up: organizing the civic-ev-kit Google group to get tasks lined up.



Unknown said...

Hi Tim,
Hope this comment does show up twice, I think I messed up the first time...
I really like the idea of this project and you are off to a great start. I generally like the idea of going with the Civic. Readily available and decent looking car. I was wondering if saw the recent posting by Jukka on a similar project based on using the Corolla? Any thoughts?

My del Sol may also be helpful as it has some similarities to the Civic. Don't forget about the motor spinning backwards.

Chris Brune

TimK said...

Hi Chris,

Glad to see you're keeping tabs on this project. With your DelSol experience, any input you have is welcome.
I didn't go with the Corolla because there weren't that many conversions listed on and I wanted a good knowledge base to leverage from. The Corolla is a great car, though.
What did you have to tweak to get the motor running in reverse? Was it just swapping wires, or did you have to adjust the timing on the commutator?


Gizmo said...


From what Jim has posted on EVDL if using an ADC and the brushes are not advanced then just wire for the opposite rotation. If the brushes are advanced then they have to be advanced the other direction. I assume that with an AC drive like in your 914 it wouldn't matter. Just program it to run the other way.