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Welcome to the Electric Car Weblog. In addition to links, news, and tips about electric cars and other forms of alternative transportation we are publishing an on-line diary of our current EV project. Started in August 2005 the chronicle follows the conversion of a gas powered Ford Probe into an Electric Car.

You will find articles organized by categories, along with recent comments, along the right hand column of the website. If you are just getting started with the idea of converting a gas car to electric be sure to check out Your First Electric Car

Welcome and enjoy!

Eve, the video · 15 May 06

It was a weekend of non-stop rain here in New Hampshire, with over three inches falling Saturday and Sunday (southern parts of the state had up to 15”!). Thought about trying to make it to the Tour de Sol but the rainy weather and desire to get some more work done on Eve won over.

I borrowed a camera from work and shot a little (well, 4.8MB) movie of this weekend’s action.

Since I spent the extra time to clean up all of the unneeded wiring and connectors the putting-things-back-together wasn’t quite as intimidating as I’d expected. Sure, there’s a pile of screw, nuts, and bolts to figure out, but the wiring is a piece of cake! I’ve mentioned it before and it’s worth repeating, an electric car really has a less complicated electrical system than today’s combustion engines and even more-so than hybrids.

A few things left to decide. I don’t think that I’m going to put the center console back in (lots of plastic, not much use) so the electric window control will need a new home. The emergency brake will also need some kind of cover, maybe a little “bootie” to keep dirt and dog hair out of the greasy part.

Also, the center part of the dash, where the radio, ashtray, and climate controls live isn’t really needed. I think it’s a load bearing structure and might need to stay.

Need to come up with some nice carpet and maybe an under-layer of insulation/sound dampening material. There’s a bunch of unused holes in the firewall now. Any suggestions on how to block them off?

Comments 16
  1. — ben    May 15, 2006 10:40 AM    #

    dynamat is a good product too cover holes in firewalls as is a few other sound insulators.

  2. — Ed Cochran    May 15, 2006 12:04 PM    #

    What was the problem with putting the dash on?

  3. — James May    May 15, 2006 13:13 PM    #

    Funny! It’s good to hear your voice. How about screwing plates over your holes with self tappers? Is this overboard? The plates can be cut out of spare panel with a hand nibbler or tin snips and sealed with sealant.

  4. Jerry Halstead    May 15, 2006 13:41 PM    #

    Thanks for the tip, Ben, I’ll check into it.

    Ed, you win the “most observant” prize. I was wondering the same thing: why isn’t this thing going on? Turns out the steering column needs to go on after the dash is in place. I have a few more wires to connect before I commit to leaving the dash on, was mostly checking for fit this time around.

    James, or I could get a big hunk-o-metal and cover the whole wall from the engine compartment side (with sealant on back). This might look neater as right now there are tons of holes that I won’t be using.

    Also, do I run the accelerator cable back out to engine compartment or rig up the potbox to the pedal? At the very least I should be able to mount the potbox near the firewall hole and not use the whole 3+ feet of accelerator cable.

  5. — James May    May 15, 2006 17:58 PM    #

    for my money, the potbox is best in the engine bay somewhere nice and clear. you can operate the acelerator whilst near the motor whilst lis’nin’ and watchin’ Anyway that’s where mine is. You can see it on the bulkhead (firewall) left side of picture in ‘James and the EV III’ ‘Front batteries’ picture

  6. — Dan    May 16, 2006 02:28 AM    #

    I sure wish I could work that fast. :)

  7. darin    May 16, 2006 12:13 PM    #

    Great stuff, Jerry. This site gets better and better all the time.

  8. — alvan judson    May 21, 2006 09:42 AM    #

    Echo-ing the comment from Darin…this site does just get better and better. Great the way you’re always trying something new, Jerry.
    Cheers, Alvan Judson

  9. — rob aka michaelknight    May 22, 2006 08:38 AM    #

    Get some butile strips and put them in the firewall holes. roll em up to make em fit. you can still put dynamat or metla plates over it, but the butile will make it watertight. Also since u have a probe now, check the taillight gaskets for a proper seal, they’re known to leak.

  10. — svein medhus    May 24, 2006 17:21 PM    #

    Just a small note from me in Norway. Great to see your new web. As you might remember, I sold my EV in 2002, but it sure is great to see your progress!

  11. Jerry    May 25, 2006 15:12 PM    #

    Howdy Svein. Good to hear from you again!

  12. — Dieselweasel    May 28, 2006 12:09 PM    #

    You can pop-rivet aluminum sheet metal to fill the holes. You can use polyurethane foam to fill and insulate the rest. Available as board in various thicknesses, it can be routed, dremeled, sawed, sanded to fit just about anywhere. Spray foam is available in cans to fill many voids and cracks for good sound and heat insulation. Spray foam can be smoothed and formed using a coarse rasp. All should be available at your local Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

  13. — Alan Grant    Jun 26, 2006 16:47 PM    #

    Look on mcmaster.com for plastic hole plugs. they sell all different sizes and they are priced reasonably. Adds a real factory look.

  14. — Chad    Mar 30, 2007 12:39 PM    #

    A cheap alternative to Dynamat is a roofing material called Ice Guard. It’s a dense, asphalt-based material that will stick to metal and deaden it. Talk to a roofer that can cut you a 10’ piece so you don’t have to buy a whole roll (like I did). Warming it with the torch (or sun) after peeling off the backing makes it stick very well.

  15. Jay Donnaway    May 03, 2007 03:24 AM    #

    Yeah Jerry, great to hear your voice and nice podcast…I see that you edited out the hours of head-scratching that go along with reassembly of something that you took apart months ago!
    Dynamat does a job, but it’s heavy as hell. I like spray foam for filling voids that don’t see water, and putting a ‘skim coat’ on the backside of panels (low expansion foam spread under plastic sheeting) It provides thermal insulation in additon to great noise reduction, weighs next to nothing, grinds out fairly easy, and heck, adds a bit of crash energy absorption to boot..

  16. — Nathan    Feb 08, 2008 18:04 PM    #

    Thank you! I plan to, with time to read, and listen to all your information. There is just so much information to take in and to try to understand it. I wish you live close I would have love to just stop by a bug you with to many question and to see it first hand. I wish I had the time and know how, and a place to do what you are doing with EV’s, I have Know doubt that as gas gets to $4.00 gal and higher you will turn in to the go to guy. Please keep up the great work your doing in help us out there in the world.