Sunday, September 30, 2007

Miscellaneous Sunday

Today was a day of miscellaneous things. First, though, a picture of my seats installed (as promised):

I finished up the wiring of the engine compartment relay board and started on the attachment of the high-voltage cabling:

I wired up the fuse panel with the three new wires and neatened up everything with tie-wraps. Also visible in this picture is the 3-in-1 wiring harness I will use to hook up my electronic speedometer:

And, finally, I prepared for installing the main high-current wires to the controller. I was never happy with the holes I had drilled in the trunk floor - the pilot bit of the hole saw ovaled out the pilot hole in the thin sheet metal, resulting in a very crappy hole - so I cut the whole mess out:

And fabricated a plate to cover the hole, with new holes cut using a 2x4 backing to prevent the pilot hole from ovaling out - makes for a much more precise cut. Here is the plate, dry-mounted in place:

I painted the plate, and it will dry overnight. Tomorrow - install it, finish high-current wires, and (hopefully) drill the last 4 holes (front air intake / exhaust outlet and 2 1" holes for cabling).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Battery Racks

It may not look like much, but I got my fresh air blower installed. I'm going to add a Canev Electric Heater to the whole system eventually - but I'm going to get this beast on the road first. This represents probably 3-4 hours of work - possibly the hardest single item to finish on the whole darn car:

I also installed the front battery box rack:

And the middle battery box rack:

Not shown here (maybe I'll get some photos up later) but I got the seat surround, seats, emergency brake, and heater controls installed too. It's getting so close I can almost taste it. Next up, finishing the wiring (hopefully all in one day tomorrow...)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Working on the Seats

The joy of refurbishing the car at the same time as doing the conversion is discovering new issues that need fixing. The seats are one of those. One of the things I accomplished this weekend was to refurbish the seat mounting hardware (involved scraping old rusty paint off and repainting with POR-15):

and attaching my Camp 914 seat handles that I ordered a year ago:

Next up: finishing the backpad area - e-brake, dome light, seatbelts - and then installing the seats.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stringing Cable

Another kind of "miscellaneous" weekend. I got the pedal cluster all hooked up (brake switch, clutch & throttle cables, floorboards, etc.). I tweaked a few other things. But the most photogenic thing was installing the main cable bundle. I started by following the instructions and trying to feed a heavy gauge wire through the heater tube. This did not work very well, so I pulled out my handy "plumber's friend" to do the initial stringing. Worked like a dream. Here's what my "friend" looks like:

Once that was through, I attached my pilot wire to the other end and pulled it out into the engine compartment:

I then hooked the pilot wire to the cable bundle and started pulling that through. Although the instructions recommend two people, I did not have much trouble doing it all by myself. The basic idea is to put a loop up above the feeding end so that the bundle is under compression (which makes it easier to pull from the other end):

You pull through from the other end, pulling about 6-8 inches at a time (and remembering to cut the masking tape off as appropriate as you pull it through). Here's the end of the cable bundle peeking through (the blue masking tape at the end covers the pilot wire which goes through the cable lug on the longest 2/0 cable):

And here is all the cable looped around in the engine compartment:

I also refurbished the seat mounts, but I'll wait until tomorrow morning to post pix of that (the paint needs to dry first :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Front Relays + Cables

This weekend, I was at a hotel in Denver supervising my youngest daughter, who was at an anime convention (Nan Desu Kan, for the curious). Although I was away from my car, I brought tools and materials to get a couple of things done.

First, I wired up the front relay board:

Second, I assembled the main car kit wiring harness. This involves measuring 2/0 cable:

Stripping the ends to prepare for the cable lugs:

Crimping the lug ends on and heatshrink-wrapping them (I used the hotel bathroom blow drier for this, first time I've ever found a use for them :-)

And then, properly positioning and wrapping the whole bundle - main positive and negative 2/0 cables, 8-in-1 wiring harness, and 10-gauge recharger wires:

On the lower left, you can see the side that goes into the engine compartment. This is taped up to the extreme to allow for easier pulling through the heater tube.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Silver 9-14

In honor of 9-14 day 2007, here is a picture of what it currently looks like - very, very close to being finished (although there is still some major wiring work to do for the electrics, and the hoods are just sitting there, not really attached):

Just as a reminder - here is what it looked like before all this work - 2 years ago this month:

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cables & Speedo Hookup

I did a fair amount of little things today, but not much picture- or blog-worthy. I did thread my clutch and throttle cables, as well as my speedo sensor wires. Here are the cables coming out of the rear firewall (before I permanently attached the speedo sender and wiring):

And here is a very bad, blurry picture of the final speedo sender hookup - approximately the same location as above, but screwed into the firewall. The black, red, and white wires from the speedo sender hook up to the brown, green, and yellow wires, respectively, in the 3-in-1 wiring harness I found at some auto parts store. There is a terminal block in between to keep everything nice and neat:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Shifter Rod

I also installed the shifter rod today. I got a variety of bits-n-pieces from Pelican Parts to refurbish it, while I was at it:

Due to extreme laziness on my part, I did not end up using the Shift Coupler Bushings (replacing the old ones involves driving a pin out of the rear shifter rod). Here are the original parts from the car:

First order of business was to remove the old firewall shifter bushing and install the new one. It was not as hard as I expected - popped right in given the proper leverage with a screwdriver. Next is to install the front shifter rod. I found, to my dismay, that you absolutely cannot install the front shifter rod with the engine mounting bar in place. The hole in the bar is offset enough so that pushing the front rod through it causes it to hang up on various things inside the tunnel, and you certainly cannot insert it from the front, or above or below the bar. So, I lowered the engine an inch or two and inserted the bar, then put the engine back in.

Once you get the rod in, make sure it is properly oriented. There is a dimple on the rod that the cone set screw will match up with -this dimple has to be pointing directly down for the rear shift rod to mate properly with it:

Once you have this in place, and the rear rod nicely attached with the cone set screw, you can insert the front rod into the shift lever. Tighten down the set screw, or it will just fall out again:

Finally, put the transmission in neutral - this is what that looks like. You will know if it is actually in neutral if, when you spin one rear wheel, the other wheel stays still. If instead the other wheel spins the opposite direction, you know it's not really in neutral:

I popped on the new ball cup shift bushing and the new rear shift rod bushing, and inserted the rear rod and tightened the cone set screw. Note the rear cover dangling from the rear rod - don't forget this, or you will have to disassemble it all again to get the cover on:

Last step was to attach the boot to the firewall. I found it was easiest to attach it at the bottom first (near where the emergency brake cable is), and then tug it on over the rest of the ring:

Just for fun, here are the old bushings I removed:

Next up: the clutch and throttle cables, and wiring for the new electronic speedometer - and then I'm done with the engine compartment!

Rear Battery Box

As I mentioned before, the torsion bars interfere with the rear battery box, as shown here (note how the bars cut across the corner of the battery mount, as seen from below):

So, I removed them. The rear shock kit from Camp 914 is on order. With the torsion bars removed, everything fits pretty nicely (after a little bit of sheet metal bending on the engine compartment / rear trunk wall) - note how well the decklid fits:

Monday, September 3, 2007

Axles Attached

Today was a day for yard work (I've been very obsessed with the car, as you might imagine, so for her birthday, my wife wanted a family "rock party" involving real rocks). But yesterday, I managed a little work. I attached my axles / CV joints:

I like that picture because it sums up the weekend's work pretty nicely: you can see the rear battery rack, a corner of the potbox, the new neoprene rubber engine mounts, and the CV joint (they will never again drop on my head unexpectedly!). As part of the CV joint process, I cleaned all the grease out of both of them and repacked them. When I got the grease out of the passenger's side, to my horror, I found that it had no retaining ring (circlip):

I drove at least 500 miles like that, and the previous owner possibly more. I attempted to remove the CV joint to replace the boot and put a new retaining ring in, but it's clear that the whole axle will have to come out. Which I did not feel like doing. So, as soon as the car is roadworthy, I will take it to my local Porsche repair shop and have them replace both boots, and repack both CV joints.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Rear Rack Installed

Today was a busy day for the engine compartment. In addition to the pot box, I mounted the rear racks. This was much more involved than one might think. If you remember, when I test fit the rack, there was interference between the rack and the rear suspension console:

I debated for days about what to do - hammer in the console? That would weaken it, introduce stress fractures, and possibly leave me with a non-functional car. Ignore it? A non-level rack would lead to non-level boxes, which might lead to battery acid spills. I ultimately decided to grind away a sliver from each side of the rack. The metal is thick enough that I would not need to fully penetrate it, just "thin" it a bit, and it should not reduce its strength too much.

Based on the test fit, I marked my first guess at how much to grind. I went conservative, because it's easy to grind more, but hard to ungrind:

And here is my first test grind (the other side looks substantially the same):

As I suspected, I did not grind off enough the first time - it still interferes:

So I ground more off based on my observation of the remaining interference (that dark spot in the middle is not penetration, it's just oxidation from the heat of grinding):

This time, it fit like a charm. Snugged right in against the console, and did not fully penetrate the rack. Everybody should have an angle grinder, it's possibly the most fun tool in the world. Until you grind into your leg, that is...

I painted it black to match (and to prevent rust):

As you can see, it is now level left-to-right:

And level front-to-back:

Finally, there are 11 15/16 inches of depth now (compared to 11 5/16 before - a gain of 5/8 inch, which is substantial):

There is one more problem to solve. All this fitting and grinding etc. has been done with the motor mounts removed. In its "final" position, there is about 3/4 inch clearance between the motor and the rack:

However, the standard motor mounts add about twice that, nearly 1 1/2 inch:

I dissected one of the mounts (in hopes that I could just grind out the excess 3/4 inch of rubber) but found that the bolt does not go all the way through. So, it's off to the hardware store, where I got 6 neoprene washers (3 for each side) and 2 steel fender washers, along with 2 M8 100mm threaded rods, to build a new motor mount - probably not nearly as good at vibration damping as the old ones, but a whole lot better than nothing:

Solve one problem, create a new one, I always say. With the new washers in, the bolts on the motor-to-transmission housing interfere ever so slightly. So, back to the grinders. Here is the area that needs to be ground down (not as big as the suspension console interference):

And here is the final grind, all painted pretty (and, of course, more immune to rust):

As you can see, there is now adequate clearance between the bolt heads and the battery rack:

After much drilling, ratcheting, banging my head on things, hammering, cursing, etc., I got the rear posts installed as well as the front mounting points. Here is everything connected and tightened down:

Here is the final position of the rack above the motor (it's hard to see, but the lip of the transmission adaptor/bell housing is actually higher than the rack):

And here is the view from inside the cabin:

I can put the seats back in now, I think.

I also test-fit the rear battery box, and I now find that the torsion bar for the trunk hinge interferes with the battery box. I really wanted to go with Camp 914 hydraulic lifters, now I have a good excuse (I hate those torsion bars...). But that is work for another day.