Sunday, October 26, 2008

Once Upon A Time...

There was a cranky powertrain control module. It refused to shift, function or even tell the ones around it why it's so cranky. After many hours of being poked, prodded, checked, yelled at and so nearly beaten, someone had the bright idea of looking up "Cranky PCMs" in the Big Book of Errors and found that the PCM needed to be grounded, indefinitely. Once the PCM was ground, it came out and told everyone why it was so cranky, and then things went back to normal.

Ok, done with story telling, back to reality.

After spending most of Saturday trying to figure out why the car wouldn't engage into gear, I had the bright idea of going down to AutoZone and getting a OBDII Scanner to check the car's computer. BTW, the scanner costs $152, but it is considered a rentable item, so you get your money back when you return it. (Making AutoZone the most epic car parts store around)

So I get back and plug this into the car to get some readings, and it said it couldn't find the ECU/PCM. Just peachy.

I found out that I never replaced a fuse I took out back in July (For the Fuel Pump) was also the main fuse for the ECU/PCM. Once that weas replaced, I was welcomes with ticking sounds from the PCM and blinking dash board. After another hour of going through the manual, I found that the wire labled "Engine Ground" is actually the ground for the PCM, so I needed to ground it. All was happy and no more blinking dash and I was able to get some error codes. This also fixed the shifter not letting me move out of Park without using the override key. Now it works just fine.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then this picture is worth 3,720,000 words!

Yes it moves! Ok, you will hear a few noises. One noised is a ticking that is from the motor coupler that I haven't fixed yet, and the other was a quick grinding sound, which is entirely my fault because I am used to driving a stick and not an Automatic. I pushed the shifter forward to go into neutral like I would in my car, but the Park is forward and neutral is pushing the shifter down! AAHH!

The initial tests seems rather underpowered, but I believe that was because of the settings I used on the controller. I was using a 60 volt pack, but I have the Low Voltage setting to 56 volts. The pack will sag under load, and it probably sagged past the 56 volts and then the controller kicked in the current limting. It really should be around 52 volts. I have had the controller limited to 75% output, but I will reprogram it when I reinstall everything.

Wednesday the Vacuum Pump should arrive and I am glad because those brakes needed A LOT of forced to slow the car down. This afternoon I am removing the motor again to get the bolts countersunk and to clean up a bit. So many things left to do - make a control box, front battery rack, bolt down rear battery rack, make new cables, create vacuum setup, and setup the charging system.


Don Miller said...

All the hard work is paying off. Enjoy the EV grin.

I know what you mean about the power brakes being hard to push when there is no vacuum pump. The vacuum pump relay on my EV truck started acting up and stopping a 4700 lbs truck took a lot pedal pressure.

Clint said...

Great job!

Justin Sawell said...

Fantastic result. I can't wait to get my Pulsar conversion to that stage.

David Harrington said...

I actually got to the point of wanting to drive it down the street, but I restrained myself and decided a driveway test was enough proof of concept and I didn't want to have too much fun in one day!

Ichigo said...

Great job. I find that an old Honda Civic is great for EV retrofitting. I really wanted to start a DIY EV project when I read about it in one of the electric car conversion guide.