Electric Porsche 944

Archive for June, 2015

914 Progress, LED’s all around

by on Jun.25, 2015, under Electric Car

The Porsche 914 trunk area had been abused for decades, a hole for this, a new hole for that. All of those holes are filled and finally painted.  The remaining holes are for the Siemens Inverter, the main power input, motor output, cooling hoses and DC/DC output all required routing outside the trunk area.  The repair process went fairly smoothly however it was much more time consuming than I would have expected.

Before:

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Repaired and painted:

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The trunk carpet from 914 Rubber fits nicely (sorry for the varying white balance, the car didn’t change colors!)

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Although the inverter barely has any miles in it, the conversion that this piece came out of is a number of years old now and it’s showing it’s age.  The casing was stripped down and repainted as well to match the the fresh install, can’t have the center piece of the trunk looking old and ratty.

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The trunk with new gasket, new light, new roof holders all installed and the cooling lines connected to the inverter.

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There is still enough trunk space for a few bags or other small cargo including the hard top that can be removed and stored in the trunk above the inverter.

 

New LED headlights, new LED turn signals, new gaskets, new boots.  The 914 Rubber kit included boots and gaskets for all of the turn signal related requirements, everything fits nicely.  The new front trunk gasket is also in and fits very well compared to the old multi piece version that was falling apart.

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New gasket for the tail light housing to car, and more LED bulbs.  Although the inverter has a very good built in DC/DC converter there’s no need to waste power, this should help keep the load on the 12v system to a minimum as well as brighten up what were otherwise dim lights all around.  The new tail light and front turn signal lenses are in transit and should complete the transformation nicely.

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With the re-arranged Volt modules in the front of the car, the stock plastic covers didn’t fit properly.  Now modified slightly they fit nicely and continue the clean appearance through the front of the car.  I have some terminal covers designed that will go over the positive and negative terminals to make the front area touch safe.  These will be 3D printed and tweaked as required to fit the various requirements and cable terminals used.  A fuse cover is also in the works that will be 3D printed and will complete the process of making the front trunk area touch safe.  There isn’t a lot of space left, but some small items or a tool kit could easily be stored up front.

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Excellent progress on the Porsche 914 and going up for sale

by on Jun.01, 2015, under Electric Car

The Porsche 914 has one major thing that my Porsche 944 didn’t have, RUST!!

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This provides a time consuming challenge that I simply didn’t have to deal with before, but it will all be properly repaired and give the car many more decades of service.  Another problem is along with being 43 years old, the car was a previous EV conversion, so instead of dealing with stock parts and pieces there was already one level of modification, odd wiring and changes that made it difficult to figure out what parts are stock, what parts are missing and what parts I don’t even know are missing.  The car will be put back as close to stock operation as is practical in an EV conversion, and be a great example of a 914 regardless of the drive system.  Any pieces reused from the original EV system have been cleaned up and restored/repainted where required to make the car look as good as it performs.

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The front trunk area is complete, this area holds two liquid heated/cooled Chevy Volt modules in parallel reconfigured for 133v nominal and 90Ah.  Two of the temperature controllers are mounted to the front of the Volt module on a 3D printed bracket.  One controller monitors the center front battery, the other monitors the lower rear battery in the back of the car, either one will trigger the Volt heater to turn on if the temperature is below the preset threshold.  Gone are the plans of incorporating the gas heater, mainly because there is a nice included Chevy Volt electric heater that came with the battery pack, and with the doubling of the battery pack space is at a premium.  This car also likely won’t be driven in extremely cold weather, so a heater that works down to -5° or -10° should be plenty.

 

 

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With the gas heater out of the equation it became necessary to incorporate a heat exchanger into the stock fan box that will transfer heat from the coolant heated by the Volt battery heater into the cabin.  This makes for a smaller and fully electric solution that will have a small impact on range but keep both the batteries and passengers warm on those cold days.

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The area formerly occupied by the fuel tank is now home to another Volt module in a stock configuration of 111v nominal 45Ah, it’s parallel partner is located in the rear of the car beside the motor & transmission.  The pump and stock Chevy Volt heater are located below the Volt module, a repurposed Subaru overflow tank serves as a reservoir and fill tank for the coolant.  It fits nicely with the contour of the space and almost looks like it belongs there.

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The instrumentation for the car has all arrived and been configured, this consists of an EV Display 450v version with bluetooth dongle that allows it to talk to the Torque Pro app installed on a Nexus 7 tablet that will reside in the center console in a 3D printed mount.  I finally installed this same system in my 944 as well, and for daily instrumentation it’s simply amazing not to mention so much more intuitive to read than the JLD404.  It may seem like such a simple thing, but with the JLD404 you must know the pack capacity since it starts at zero and counts up.  It wouldn’t be difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the car to just drive it till it stops because there is no indication of when the battery is “empty”.  The EV Display and Torque app let you program in the battery capacity as well as provides a fuel gauge that can have a programed empty buffer.  IE when the fuel gauge reads zero the State of Charge may be 10% which would allow the car to limp to a charging station.  The Ah counter itself starts at the battery capacity and counts down, IE the 90Ah pack in the 914 will start with a 90Ah reading and decrease towards zero as energy is used.  The Torque app also allows programmable warnings for each gauge.  Once the pack drops to 10Ah for example the that gauge will start flashing to alert the driver that it’s time to recharge.  The same can be done with temperatures, voltages, or any of the other parameters incorporated into the display.

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Above you can see the 3D printed Nexus mount, the 3D printed temperature controller mount and the machined bracket for the Bosch throttle.

The new rubber parts have arrived from 914rubber.com, they have an excellent selection of just about every rubber piece that was originally on the car.  These parts aren’t exactly cheap, mainly because you need to replace every rubber part on the car because after 43 years very few of them have survived.  The rubber kit that they provide is excellent, and included parts that I didn’t even know I needed as they were missing from this car.

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Due to recent changes in situation, this car will be for sale at the end of the conversion and restoration.  Not only is this going to be a 200km+ electric car, it will be a restored 1972 Porsche 914.  The interest and attention that these cars gather at car shows is amazing, my 944 drew a lot of attention, interest and questions at last weeks local car show.  Not only will you have the coolest (and greenest) car on the block it will gather a bigger crowd and get more attention than a $120,000 Tesla and you don’t have to spend anywhere near $120,000 to get it.

The car has been outfitted with the 4 piston big brake kit on the front along with the 911 suspension upgrades and 5 bolt conversion from Renegade Hybrids.  The rear retains the stock suspension and calipers, however has the same 5 bolt conversion as the front that allows the use of more modern Porsche wheels.  This car stops just as well as it goes!

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The car is currently outfitted with lightweight 16″ Fuch wheels and Falken 205/45-16 tires which have a good balance of performance and efficiency.  The wheels will be cleaned up and the centers will be refinished to return them to the period correct black center.

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The headlights have been converted to LED’s, using the same exceptional 7″ round Trucklight headlights that I installed in my 944, they give HID type performance with even lower energy use.  They are one of the few DOT approved LED headlights available at the moment and well worth the high price tag.

 

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The front and rear of the car gets similar treatment with LED’s all round, parking lights, turn signals, brake lights, backup lights all LED!

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The licence plate lights, trunk light and dome light also get LED treatment, this is more important than it sounds, these older VW style interior lights don’t provide much light with the stock bulbs, switching over to LED provides a much brighter and more usable light inside the cabin and trunk.

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The dashboard gauges are also being outfitted with LED’s to improve visibility of what are otherwise dim and tired looking gauges.  A replacement multi gauge is on route that will complete the stock trio of instruments and connect to the EV Display to drive the fuel gauge portion along with the low fuel indicator.  Other indicators including a green light to show ECO mode is on and other functions/warnings as appropriate.

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The front and rear bumpers are out for repair and rechroming.  The mounting brackets were, you guessed it, RUSTY.  This will all be taken care of and clean, solid and beautiful bumpers will go back on the car.  The remainder of the trim is polished aluminium, it appears Porsche saved weight wherever possible and instead of using chromed steel parts they used polished aluminium.  These parts will be cleaned and buffed to restore their appearance as well.

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