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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!

Trombones & Snakes · 18 October 05

Pwr Steering Hose

Remember way back when, back when I was yanking practically everything out of the engine compartment?

When I got to the point of removing the power steering pump, reservoir, and hosing there were two power steering pipes that ran into the the fender area…and never came out.

What were they doing in there? Where did they go? Was there a top secret hose committee plotting the downfall of the world through unnecessary pipe runs?

Well, it turned out it was just a wrong exit: the pipe went out and the pipe came right back in…after using up a couple of bolts. Maybe it was a subtle attempt at fluid cooling? Looks like part of a trombone some kid hid from his parents.

To get to it I removed some of the wheel well plastic and unbolted the horn (yes, the horn is inside the right fender). All of this to shave a fraction of a pound in weight.

Well that and to feed last night’s obsessive compulsive disorders. Man, I went out to the car after work last night and really, really, really wanted to set things right. And it all started with this here snake…

Wiring harness - fuel injection

You probably recognize this from earlier photos. It used to be hanging off of the firewall along with a bunch of other unnecessary ICE (infernal combustion engine) parts. When I saw it smugly coiled in the engine compartment last night I snapped, grabbed the nearest hacking tool and cut off it’s head!

Just a warning: this could happen to you.

On to other news.

Yesterday I picked up these manuals for Eve from Ebay. Should have done it right off the bat, but I sometimes forget about Ebay for things like this.

Ford Probe Manuals

The master plan, if really I go through with it, is to go nuts and rip up all of the wiring harnesses. Clean it up. There’s another snarly wire snake driving me crazy over by the battery tray. It is most likely 70% unused wire at this point.

Here’s the list of things that need to keep working:

  • headlights & the little light opening motors
  • park lights
  • turn signals
  • brakes lights
  • reverse lights
  • passenger compartment lights
  • horn
  • wiper
  • dash (well, some of it)
  • seat warmers (hah, just kidding)
  • radio
  • fan blower motor
  • rear window defrost

And here’s what we don’t need:

  • alternator
  • radiator fan motor
  • regulator
  • ignition
  • fuel pump
  • fuel injection
  • onboard computer
  • that damn motorized seat belt/head bonker!
  • emissions sensors
  • water thermo sensors
  • starter & solenoid
  • EC/AT control unit
  • AC sensors & switches
  • Oxygen sensor

I may use these yet:

  • transmission neutral switch
  • dash meters (heat, fuel, charge, rpm)

At the moment I’m not planning on an onboard computer display or anything fancy like that. The commute is too short to bother. What I would like to get rid of is the keys…ignition and door locks. Maybe embed an RFID chip in the hand or in a wedding ring?

Or bluetooth…that’s the answer to everything these days! ”:^)

Comments 5
  1. Rob    Oct 18, 2005 16:45 PM    #
    Biometrics are becoming increasingly affordable these days… and you’ll never forget to bring your fingerprint with you!
  2. — Greg Coleman    Oct 18, 2005 23:45 PM    #
    I fought the wire jungle on my Yugo. Since I hadn’t driven it before the changes, I don’t know if this malady was present or not. When I turn on my headlights or parklights, my turn signals go out, even the dash light indicator. The search goes on….
  3. — Dan    Oct 19, 2005 14:48 PM    #
    Greg, Here’s a theory: that sounds like a “floating ground” problem where a ground connection for the misbehaving circuits may somehow be connected to the headlights in a way that they find a path to ground through the headlight filaments. When you turn on the headlights, that connection is now + 12V so those circuits won’t work. It’s only a theory but you can check for this by measuring the voltage on both sides (+ and -) of the offending circuits. If they’re both 12V when the headlights are on, then you’re onto something you’ll have to trace out. Avoid just connecting that point to ground to correct the problem, or you may see fireworks when you turn your headlight switch on.

    Gerry, I’ve always seen the trombone pipe in the plumbing on every car I’ve ever worked on with power steering. I think it is for cooling.
  4. Jerry Halstead    Oct 20, 2005 11:35 AM    #
    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the “trombone” update. Probably doesn’t need a whole bunch of cooling so the little loop outside of a hot engine compartment is enough?
  5. Rob    Oct 21, 2005 11:47 AM    #
    In most cases, that’s true. In some high-performance apps (like police interceptor editions) manufacturers will include an inline power steering fluid cooler, but most people just wouldn’t need it.