Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guide coat during priming is on

Rainbow sprayed what they call the Guide coat this week.  It's a light black mist sprayed over the primer to give guidance when doing the blocking sanding.  The sanding is complete when there are no black specks remaining.  This ensures a smooth surface, ready for any last-minute body filler or the start of the final paint coats.  Tom found the paint formula for "Porsche Meteor Metallic Gray" so we're getting very close!

ElectroAuto story on National Public Radio

A colleague driving home from work heard a story about Mike Brown and his work with electric cars on NPR (National Public Radio).  Of course it wasn't about me (but I can dream...), it was about the original electric car Mike Brown and his wife Shari at ElectroAuto, where I'm getting the electric kit for my 914 project.  I should be getting the call to come and pick up the kit within the next few weeks.

Here is the story, you should listen to the audio and read the text as they're not exactly the same.

Way to go Mike and Shari, getting the word out about electric conversion projects, as we approach the launch of several factory-made plug-in electric cars.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Buying the remaining conversion components

Since we're so close to getting the car back and getting the electric conversion kit, I'm ordering the final components I'll need in the conversion process.

First up is a great piece of kit, a replacement fusebox from JWest Engineering.  The original fusebox uses Good-And-Plenty shaped fuses that are held in place by a tiny amount of friction.  The new fusebox has modern blade fuses, and bolts directly in place of the original.  For only $105, it's a great product that brings the electrical system up to modern standards.

Next is the PakTrakr battery monitoring system.  As I've written before, I've chosen this product to monitor the battery pack and have written a custom application for my Droid phone to display the data generated by the PakTrakr in a graphical manner, while tracking real-time trip distance and remaining miles on the charge.

As I've also written before, I'm abandoning the spare-tire-air-pressure-windshield-washer system.  I spent many hours trying to retrofit a tiny electric switch where the washer fluid valve was mounted in the windshield wiper / blinker mechanism inside the steering column.  Trying to make a tiny yet strong custom bracket just wasn't working out, so I started searching around for a Porsche 924 mechanism, which includes the electric upgrade.  I grabbed one for $50 on eBay, which is a great deal.  As a bonus it looks like the horn contacts are in great shape too.

I ordered a strip of basketweave material for restoring the dashboard.  The dashboard in my car has been hacked over the years, so this should give a nice clean look.

In the near future I'll be buying a Kenwood KDC-BT945U stereo.  I've chosen this unit because it has a USB cable that I can connect to my Droid.  This will allow the stereo to play the songs stored in the phone, and keep it charged while driving.  It also has a Bluetooth connection to allow me to make hands-free calls, with the caller's voice coming through the speaker system.

Targa Top Restoration

The targa top came from the factory with a pebbly / textured surface, but the one that came with my car was chipped badly.  I decided to sand the texture off and take it down to the fiberglass, then have Rainbow paint it a smooth satin black.  The downside will be fingerprints and potential scratches as I take the top on and off.  I think it will be worth it in the end, modernizing the look in conjunction with painting the rollbar with the body color, rather than go back with the vinyl covering and chrome trim.

Here is the targa top in its original state and after I sanded the texturing off.  The trailing edge of the top has body filler on top of the fiberglass base.  I assume it came this way from the factory, but it could have been done after the fact.  Rainbow will do what they need to do, to get it in shape for painting.

First Primer Coat

I stopped in to Rainbow on Thursday to see that the first primer coat had been sprayed and they were in the process of filling and blocking the panels in preparation for the second primer coat.  Getting very close to the end now!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ready for Primer Paint

All of the body work is complete!  Woo hoo!  I stopped in at Rainbow on Thursday and they told me it would be going into the booth for primer that day or Friday.

I've also paid the second half of the ElectroAuto kit bill.  I expect to pick it up in about two weeks, just about when the car should be done at the body shop.

Since we're getting close, I went ahead and ordered the replacement fusebox and the PakTrakr components.

Here are some pictures from the body shop, enjoy.