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Eve of Deconstruction · 14 September 05
I’ve always loved taking things apart. Putting things back together…well, if you insist.
But the real fun is in the disassembly. There’s nothing quite like cracking something open for the first time and discovering how it works, finding the clever engineering (or not-so clever), and marveling at all of the forces that must have gone into designing, manufacturing, assembling and bringing it together into one unit.
Which is why tonight should be a blast. Tonight I pop the hood off of Eve, drain the oil and anti-freeze, siphon off the gas and start the meticulous task of removing everything that isn’t needed in an EV, which is really quite a lot.
Over the past week I’ve been taking care of the preparation.
Eve weighed in at the local dump’s scales (“what, you don’t have any trash in there?”) at 2700lbs…minus me and the dog…with a little over half a tank of gas. A little heavier than I was hoping for, but maybe there are things I can do to help lighten her up (plastic fenders & hood?).
I spent almost ten bucks at the local car wash spraying out all of the gunk from the undercarriage, engine compartment (which was pretty darn clean), and wheel wells. This conversion should be much cleaner than the last one.
And finally I found a local garage that could drain the old AC’s R12 without waiting a month for an appointment. That was the hardest part and took about five days to set up. One place didn’t want to mix R12 with their R134, another had an R12 machine but no one certified and didn’t want to risk getting caught. Finally found a garage next to the office which did the deed: $20.
Over the course of this operation I’ve learned a little more about Eve, the Ford Probe. First off what’s up with these motorized shoulder belts? My dog Zeke doesn’t know what the hell do to with them! All of the controls are on the dash. That is, there’s no steering column, the wheel is snugged up close to the dash. Odd.
Lots of nice meters…I like that in a car. Maybe there’s a way to re-purpose the gas, oil, and heat gauges to something more applicable in the EV?
The manual transmission linkage is looser than a derelict’s teeth. You can’t really tell if it is in or out of gear as it moves six inches in all directions all of the time. If I was really bold and creative I’d come up with a way to get rid of the tranny altogether. Essentially it needs to be in second gear all of the time. I could always rig up extra relays for an electrical reverse.
If there’s a way to rig a front wheel drive to work without a transmission drop me an email or leave a comment.
I’ll be sure to take pictures of tonight’s (which might stretch into a couple nights) carnage.
Remember: Resistance is Futile!