but wait, there’s more…

controller for the lotus (eventually)

controller for the lotus (eventually)

raised bed garden nearly ready for planting

raised bed garden nearly ready for planting

I wrote that last post a couple of weeks ago and saved it intending to finish it in a day or two. Funny how that goes. Yes, I am an ameteur blogger. But on we go!
It has been said that the only constant is change. Or, one could say that this is what I get for driving a 17 year old car. Sparky is sitting immobile on the driveway with the transmission on the ground. It has had a vibration in the driveline ever since the conversion to electric, but it has been getting worse in the last week or two. The transmission and clutch have been taken apart. I thought that the flywheel was out of balance. It’s not. That means that it’s something else, possibly just the way I attatched the flywheel to the motor to begin with. Further, the thing that charges the 12 volt battery from the main pack aka. the DC-DC converter finally died after 8 years. It’s basically like the alternator dying, only it takes a week or two to get a new one instead of just running down to the parts store. Come Hell or high water, Sparky will be air conditioned, non-vibrating and fully functional soon, probably with cruise control! In the end, better than when it came from the factory.
I’m still waiting for the wheels for the Lotus. It’s a long story involving a brain tumor in the guy who was working on them.
On another front, the solar charger for the lawnmower has died. Time to get a new one.
The raised bed garden has finally been enclosed, ready for planting for the spring.
Lately, it has been a bit of work to maintain the hardware that I use for what I call sustainability or at least keep my energy use to a minimum. I guess that is the fact of the suburban lifestyle. I know others who live more sustainably than myself live in the country and don’t need all of this STUFF. I still need to drive 25 miles each way to work and I need a car to get me there. When I decided to go electric nobody built electric cars and even today almost no one will service them, so in stead of replacing an alternator, I have to replace a DC-DC converter. Instead of having someone else fix my clutch/flywheel/coupling/God-knows-what issues, I have to do it myself. In fact though, it is really just different and I am learning a lot in the process. I’d have to be working on a 17 year old gasoline car just as much and paying more for the privelege. Either that or working extra to pay for a new car. The fact is that I’d be just as frustrated working on a gas powered car or a gas powered lawnmower, only I’d be greasier and smell of gasoline.
All of these things, like me, are getting old. I hate to think about that. That is the underlying problem. I feel that my stuff should last as long as I do and equipment failure is just a reminder that one day I will fail too. The good news is that when that day comes my wife and I have already made three replacements. Problem is that they will never be quite as good as the originals.;-)
SEG

PS: coming soon, Greasemobile rides again!

Bits and pieces

It’s been a few weeks of little bits of improvement here and there. I tend to be a bit schizophrenic when it comes to projects so there have been a few scattered tasks completed with the cars. Sparky now has a stereo with a sub-woofer, bluetooth and hands free phone, the burned rear liftgate panel has finally been replaced and most of all, the body dents, mis-alligned doors, paint and the grey hood will all be re-done in a couple weeks. All of these things are making the vehicle a lot more comfortable to drive and are welcome now that I am using it almost daily.
The ongoing saga of trying to get the Porsche rear suspension, hub and brake assembly to fit into the wheels continues. The spacers we bought to move the wheels out to make room for the Turbo 944 calipers in the non-turbo phone dial rims will not fit. Currently we’re looking for new rims that will fit. I’ve been corresponding with some other Lotus guys and accumulating info on parts that I will start to track down as soon as I am no longer working during regular business hours. One of the guys suggested that as long as I am building parts that I should re-build the steel bar in the door out of aluminum. The disassembly process just started on the door and we’ll see just how complicated that task will be. There is a lot of weight to be saved, but there might be more work involved than the weight savings is worth.