Friday, September 5, 2008

Firewall Rack Spacers and Steering Plumbing

Well, things are going slow. I climbed South Sister last weekend and this weekend I'm showing off the electric 914 at the Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Show in Hillsboro. In the meantime, I've done a few minor things.

I have to remove the transmission to bolt it to the motor, so that involved removing the firewall rack. I could have jacked up the car and lowered the transmission out the bottom, but this is easier for the moment since there are no batteries in the vehicle.

In the process of seeing if I could lower the transmission out the bottom, I found out that my front battery rack side supports are too long and make it very difficult to lower the drivetrain.
If you look at this blog entry, the fourth picture down shows that the side angle iron support makes it really hard to simply lower the transmission mount downward. There's enough sideways room to cut this piece shorter and support it with a diagonal strut without interfering. I guess these are the things that will come up as I go along...

In order to form spacers to support the rear corners of the firewall battery rack, I purchased a piece of 10" galvanized steel pipe. After hack-sawing off the threaded portion, I was able to cut two sleeves 2 3/4" long for the support spacers. This will be a lot better than the all-thread that I originally used to support the firewall rack in this blog entry.

Remember the power steering plumbing we hacked back in this entry to convert the power steering system to manual? I finally found an adapter piece of tubing to make things fit together. All I needed was a piece of 5/16" (inside diameter) fuel line hose about an inch long with an outside diameter of 9/16". With this "adapter," I'm able to make all the tubes and pipes fit snugly together.

Here's the final plumbing setup. I still have to add a bracket to the bolts just to the left of the reservoir to support it properly, but I think the plumbing should work fine now. Of course, the other option was to replace the entire steering rack with a manual version, but I didn't want to take the time or money to do that. Most Civic's have power steering, so I thought this was a good re-use of existing parts, even if it is hackish.

We'll I'm off to the Sustainable Living show for the weekend. I hope to have more time in the upcoming weekends as the weather gets worse and there are less fun things to do outside.



jgalak said...

I've been considering doing an EV conversion, and ran across your blog. In the very first post, you mentioned that of the 4 options, the Civic was the best one. Could you elaborate on that? What, specifically, makes the Civic a good choice?

I'm in the earliest stages of research on this, and need to decide on a specific donor vehicle model.


TimK said...

Hi Juliean,

If you go to:

And open up the OpenSourceVehicleComparison.xls file, you'll see the comparison analysis that I did. I found several good conversion cars, but when I talked with several people about the list, the vast majority (all but one) picked the Civic as their car of choice.