Sunday, August 26, 2007

Testing Rear Rack Placement

Some email exchanges with Tim at 914ev revealed a concern with motor placement and mounting the rear racks. Specifically, I have installed my motor with the standard rubber mounting equipment (see this image). Tim said that there is a possibility that this will interfere with the rack installation, so I decided to try it out. First, I dropped the rack in:

It interferes with the suspension console, so it will not go any lower at this point:

More significantly, it interferes with the motor / transmission mounting interface - this means it cannot move any farther back (and, in fact, the rack will rub against the motor if it is this far back). I am unable to make the rack level because of this interference (because I can't move it any farther back - the slope of the rear firewall prevents me from raising the front of the rack without moving it back):

As additional evidence, I used a square to measure the depth of the rack from the highest point of the divider between the trunk and engine compartment - 11 5/16 inches:

Unfortunately, this is *exactly* the height of the box. This means, when the box top is added and the hold-down brackets are attached, the engine compartment cover will not close completely:

So, between the potential for friction / rubbing / etc. and the engine compartment cover not closing, I need to rethink the rubber mounting. I am reluctant to remove them. I'm considering instead dropping the engine mounting bar about an inch with steel or brass spacers. This would require a longer bolt, of course - not a big deal.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rear Wiring, II

Today was a day for rear wiring. First, I prepared my rear relay board - I placed it in the engine compartment and decided where the best place to put mounting holes and cable ties. The mounting holes are circled in red, and the cable ties are circled in green.

I started with the upper mounting hole. I center-punched its location, inserted a RivNut (shown below), and then attached it. Once I had it moderately secure, I center-punched the other three holes and inserted RivNuts and inserted the other three screws.

Like Tim (at 914ev) I don't have a brake light wire in my relay board wiring harness, so I spliced a wire in. I peeled back the rubber coating, inserted a male and female connector, and then put a piggyback connector on, leaving a "Y" that gives me an extension (I used yellow wire and added black lines to give a conceptual "black+yellow" wire):

I also mounted the shunt (close but not exactly where specified), attached the former relay board (just like Tim, I used one of the red wires from that harness rather than extend a new one from the battery cables), and I cut the last corner from the relay board, as it is not needed and just in the way.

Here is the final product - all done except for:

  • Pot box wiring
  • Primary-to-secondary ignition interlock connection
  • 8-in-1 wiring harness (need to thread it thru the heater hose first)

One final note, after attaching the brake light wire, I taped the whole harness up again and taped the wire against it to prevent it from snagging on anything.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rear Wiring, I

Past couple of days have been more brain-work than finger-work, but I did do some real work today. I did a test wiring of my rear wiring board. First, I diagrammed where all the wires should go (see this PDF). Next, I inserted the DMOC wiring harness into its flexguard, crimped terminals on the ends of its wires (as well as the 8-in-1 wiring harness), and test-fit it all together (the 8-in-1 at least will have to come off again before it gets attached permanently):

Still need to wire the potbox on as well as the wires from the original Porsche harness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Home for Wayward Relays, II

After reading over the instructions again, I came to really like the idea of a relay mounting board for my rear relays and terminal blocks. So, I procured a piece of 1/4 inch polyethylene (basically, cutting board material) from a local supplier and cut it into this shape:

The exact dimensions are not terribly important, but cutting the corners off is, since various bumps, protrusions, etc. in the rear compartment make it difficult to fit a 10 by 10 square piece of anything.

Here it is with the terminal blocks and relay box installed:

And here is the whole assembly placed (but not yet mounted) in the engine compartment:

Although it looks like almost no components on this board connect to each other, it is still worthwhile for ease of mounting and visibility.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Windshield Trim

I documented the whole gory process over at Here's what the final product looks like.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ross's Home for Wayward Relays

The AC kit instructions say, "Install all Relay with the terminals pointing DOWN to prevent condensation from seeping into the Relays at the terminals." This, I thought, was a good idea. Even better would be to put the engine compartment relays (the only ones likely to be exposed to substantial moisture) inside a waterproof container.

This is the container I found at Home Depot. I cut out the four internal supports that I did not need, to give me more room to work. Also, I cut a slot on the internal support at top left, because one of the relays needs to have its tab put there to give me enough room to work when I wire it.

Here's the box with the relays in place. The neutral start relay is the big relay at top left. The secondary charger interlock relay is the smaller one at the bottom. The regen relay is the one at the top-right (this relay turns the brake lights on when the regen function is active. Tim has changed the wiring here somewhat to instead activate regen when the brake is pressed. I'm starting with the original and will adjust as needed).

And here is the box in its approximate final location, the driver's side of the engine compartment (note the wires coming from the harness where the engine relay board used to be). Also, note that all the relay terminals do, in fact, point roughly down, just in case any condensation makes its way inside the box.


Today was a day for miscellaneous things. First, I got the gauge cluster all put together (but not yet wired). The ammeter and voltmeter from EA are at the leftmost and left-top; I have my own 10-18 voltmeter that I had lying around that I put at left-bottom. That's the original tach; the speedo is a new all-electronic VDO that matches nicely. I also actually screwed the dashboard in place (previously it was using gravity to keep it there).

I did some more work in the rear trunk. First, I verified that I have the speed controller integrated in the cabling, unlike the rather bulky box Tim has (the wide part of the cable heatshrunk in the middle contains the speed controller). Second, I drilled the holes for the DC battery wiring to enter. And finally, I fabricated a speedo converter cable from the blade-style that the transmission supplies to the square end that the digital speedo sender accepts. That's the end of the cable peeking in at lower right.

Finally, I got the windshield wiper motor and main blower ductwork installed. This was much tricker than expected - it probably took 2 hours to get everything lined up and tightened down. What a pain...

For future reference, here is the correct wiring on my 1975 windshield wiper motor. Black/blue at the top, green/black to the left, red to the right, purple to the bottom, and the brown ground at the far top right.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Visit to EA

My job takes me to Santa Clara, California on a regular basis, so I have the luxury of being able to set up appointments to go up to Bonny Doon and visit Shari and Mike at Electro Automotive, and pick up a few more parts that were not included in my shipments. I did so this week and got what I think are about the last parts I need:

Left-to-right, top-to-bottom they are: the charger mount, the charger tray, the 8-in-1 wiring harness, one of 3 fans, 3 fan boxes, the last 2 DMOC controller feet, and the relay mount.

This will go a long way to helping me get this beast done this month. Mike and Shari were friendly as usual, but I did not stay and talk too long, since all of us are plenty busy. But it's a win-win to do this, since they save the postage, and I get the parts sooner.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Windshield and head/parking/marker lights

Life and work have conspired to give me less time than I need to make good progress on the reassembly. However, I managed to find about 8 hours this weekend to install the windshield and to (finally!) complete the headlight install - all the electrical and mechanical bits-n-pieces are complete. Here it is with the lights down...

...and now, with them up:

Some notes and clues. First, buy lots of extra fuses - you are likely to touch a hot lead to ground at least once while your playing with things. Nothing quite like the "snap" of a fuse going... Second, installing the little booties on the marker/parking light wires is a royal pain. However, it is much easier if you lubricate the inside of the booty first. Dish soap is recommended. Finally, getting the position of the headlight raising mechanism right is very finicky. There is a fair amount of play possible in the 3 hex cap screws on the inside and the 2 inside the wheel well - you can move either side of the assembly something like 1/2 an inch between its farthest forward and farthest back positions. It is possible to be too far forward (the light will catch on the "eyebrow") or too far back (the metal tab on the mounting mechanism will hit the light bucket and prevent proper operation).

Oh, and be very careful - these motors pack a lot of torque. If you try to raise them manually (with the hand screw) without removing the relay, the motor will automagically engage, raise, and lower. If you finger is in the wrong place, it will get crushed. Luckily, I avoided this fate.

One more note: I posted the details of my windshield install over at 914world: