Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Puzzle

It was really foggy and damp this morning, but I managed to get the control tray installed and spin up the motor. So far so good, but I didn't have time to actually drive the EV because there was turkey that needing eating.

What I did was install everything, check the connections and then tested the IDLE control and do some revving in Park. Something I did find interesting was that is took less AMPs to idle the motor, 10 AMPs down from 15 AMPs. I think that is indicating that I had a lot of transmission drag and my performance and range may possibly increase. Tomorrow I plan on removing the tarp setup and taking the EV around the block as it's all ready to go.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Minor Differences

There seem to be some minor differences between the original A4RA transmission and newer B4RA replacement. My coupling was pushing the Torque Converter too far forward, causing it to jam against the transmission bell housing. After removing and reinstalling the motor 6 times, I think I finally figured it out. I spent a good 45 minutes analyzing all my photos I took, then I went out to my coupling and did more measurements. The A4RA transmission allowed the TC to be pressed more into the transmission without much complaining, where the B4RA just doesn't budge without anything but perfection. The motor is now back together and bolted into the EV. I checked it with a 12 volt spin up and it seems fine, with a little coupling bolts needing tightening which I did.

Tomorrow I am going to reinstall the control tray and see what happens. Hopefully it will be driving again, a few times around the block will tell me.

Then I will get to my Zilla! I really haven't looked at it yet, mainly cause I don't want to get distracted from actually fixing the current problems. I am hoping to do some test runs before we leave for Thanksgiving dinner, then I can drag along my Zilla manual and figure out how I am going to install it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stubborn Transmission

Replacement this transmission is a pain. Saturday morning was spent refilling the ATF, then finding out the torque converter popped out a little so I had to disassemble the entire setup to adjust it. Then I put it all back together and found out it was then too far in and wouldn't spin, then it wouldn't line up, etc, etc, etc. So between Saturday and Sunday I had removed and reinstalled the motor 4 times! Then we got a scraping sound and called it a weekend, until today. I have been loaded with school work until today.

The weather has not be nice, rain and cold so I setup a blue tarp around my EV and working space. I took everything apart again and went on an investigation. I took pictures off everything, like 100 photos and then went about analyzing them. I found Aluminum shavings on the bottom of the transmission bell housing and found the culprit. The teeth on the torque converter is hitting the top left and top of the transmission! Something is not getting aligned properly! So now that's the current mission.

And on another note:
My Zilla 1K-LV was waiting for me at home last night! It's a beast compared to the Kelly, 20 lbs vs 6 lbs. I was getting really frustrated with my EV until this package came in. Now I just need to get this transmission working with my Kelly, then I will install the Zilla. I have no idea when that will be because nothing has been going to plan.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Coming Darkness

The Darkness comes earlier each day, making it harder to do EV work.

The EV is back together, minus 3 quarts of ATF. I spent all of yesterday getting the motor installed, the mounts back together and all the wiring of the control tray. The most difficult parts were the coupling and then the rear motor mount. I have a few bolts that just didn't want to go in, and after about an hour they finally set themselves.

Today I was finishing up the IDLE control wiring, then it got dark and I couldn't properly see the ATF levels, so I called it a day. I had to use the IDLE to get the ATF flowing because it registered FULL after only 3 quarts, and that sucker can take over 6 quarts to be filled up during an "overhaul". After a few seconds of idling, the ATF registered low, so tomorrow I can refill it up again. Then I can drive it FINALLY!

I plan on taking pictures and video with the idling, and want to try out the Pocke Dyno iPod Touch app to what the performance is like with the Kelly, then compare it to the Zilla when that comes int.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Transmission Removal Day 5

The weather this weekend was awful. Lots of rain and wind I no garage or shelter to work under. So yesterday I took in my control tray and worked on it a bit. I properly installed my IDLE control circuit and neatened up the loose cables.

Today the weather lighten up this afternoon and my dad and I almost finished the transmission swap! Well, the old one is out and the new one is in, but I still need to put the wheel back together and tighten up a few bolts before I get to reinstalling the motor and refilling the transmission ATF. I am going to spend this week reassembling the EV slowly so I don't miss anything. I am guessing about 2 hours to reinstall the transmission sensor cables, ATF cooling lines and get the motor back in.

I didn't take any pictures though. When ever I thought about it, I was covered in grease and in the middle of suspending a transmission. The actual removal went pretty easy once we figured out the ball joints. Usually you have to take both front wheels off, but we couldn't because the car became too unstable, so we just removed the left wheel and moved the transmission instead of moving the right drive shaft. It's wasn't by the book, but it worked anyways.

The EV is SOO CLOSE to being operational again! EV Components has says that my Zilla should be ready for shipment this week, so with any luck my Thanksgiving weekend will be installing the Zilla.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Transmission Removal Day 3 and 4

Days 3 and 4 were very uneventful. I was hoping to have a full day yesterday, but that was interrupted with last minute projects and a possible summer 2010 adventure.

I was having problems removing the ball joints from the lower control arms, so I had to go out and get sockets for an Impact Drill. After getting the sockets my dad still couldn't get the bolt off the damper fork on the right tire setup, so we moved on to the other side and that came off much easier. Then it turns out we didn't have to remove the fork, we actually needed it to help separate the ball joint from the lower control arm.

Those were also a problem. Last night we were stumped, so we went down to Autozone to get a Ball Joint Press used to remove/install the joints. Turns out it doesn't fit a Civic! Not even close. So I went down to the local Honda mechanic that does our ICE Honda's and his advice was quite interesting. Instead of using a removing tool, you use a jack to push up the rotors, remove the lower control arm Castle bolt (easy part) and then use a sledge hammer and beat the control arm until it pops out. It work great!

Now I have one axle removed, that shifter cable removed and all the bolts loosened. If the weather holds out I hope to finish the swap tomorrow. I am guessing 15 minutes or less to remove the transmission then maybe an hour to get the new one installed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Transmission Removal Day 2

Today was really a bust on what I wanted to do. All I got done was drain the transmission fluid, remove the ATF cooler and unplug the transmission from the wire harness.

I got hung up with removing the suspension system from the front wheels. I need to remove the lower control arm from the hub/axle setup but I couldn't get the bolts off. I need to get some impact sockets to I can use the impact drill to get off the stubborn bolts.

Tomorrow I will be doing some tool and socket shopping and hopefully finish the transmission replacement.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Transmission Removal Day 1

I have started to replace my transmission. On Saturday I removed all my electronics and my motor and here is the current transmission still in the EV.

And this is my new transmission. The original transmission was a Honda A4RA and this is a newer B4RA, from a 1998 Honda Civic LX and has 104,000 miles on it and it comes with a 3 month warranty so I have to get EVing!I haven't actually removed the transmission yet. Today was spent picking up the new transmission and cleaning it up. I also restocked my transmission fluid and made a list of how I am going to proceed. The weather looks good so I am hoping to get the transmission swapped out tomorrow and driving by Thursday afternoon. I plan on dealing with the transmission tomorrow and hopefully get the AC/PS bracket built but I will only do that if I have time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lots of Thinking

I didn't get my new transmission this weekend. Apparently something happened and the transmission casing got cracked or damaged so it had to go out for repair and *should* be done Monday. Just great.....

Anyways, I removed the motor and have everything ready to replacing the transmission yesterday in the hopes that I would have the transmission all set to go. So today I decided to tackle my heating problem and found it's more of a problem than I had hoped. I was all set to go at it and remove the dash to get to the old heater core and remove it and replace it with the Ceramic element. After reading the service manual I found that I have to drain the AC and remove part of it, and I do not have the means to do that at this time.

I now have to figure out something else. I am thinking on building the Ceramic heater into a compact DC setup that will sit in front of the windshield and the only real purpose will be to defrost the windshield while driving. I will purchase another Ceramic heater to use to preheat the EV in the mornings.

I have also decided to get a start on making the mount that holds the AC and PS compressors. They have been held by rope for over a year now and I think it's time to do something about that. I have a basic idea that I will be fine tuning and hopefully built this week. I actually have most of this week off due to holidays and classes that have already ended, so plenty of EV working time!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Replacement Transmission

I have finally found a replacement transmission. I decided to stick with an Automatic and ordered it up today. I was looking at a manual, but when I showed up to the salvage yard the prices for the transmission, shifter, linkages, etc were just too much at this point. It's fall now and the good working days are numbered and I know I can replace the Automatic transmission in 6 or so hours, so that's the way I went.

The transmission is from a 1998 Civic and has 104,000 miles on it. It was still in the donor car so I couldn't bring it home today, but it's supposed to be out and ready for me tomorrow. I will be doing all the proper transmission care, checking all the sensors and draining all the ATF and replacing it with all the new ATF I bought, but only used a small amount of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh My...

I finally got my idle control functioning and decided to give the transmission a drive. 1/4 from home it dies again, this time for good. It turns out that the TC wasn't the problem, but something with the ATF pump and possibly the clutches. I had to push the EV home, but at least it was down hill. I spent most of Halloween Day testing out the Idle and it was working fine, but after I went for a drive it gave out again.

Now I am looking for replacement transmissions before my Zilla arrives, and I am keeping an eye out for Automatic or Manual transmissions.

I have located a few places that have transmissions, and tomorrow I plan on visiting one or two of them to check them out. I want to have my replacement in my hands by this weekend because I want this EV going !!!! AAHHHH!!!!!!!!