Break in the Storm
Good news! Gary Flo called last night and told me that he's sending out a loaner controller until I get my Zapi resolved! Very nice gesture on his part and *really* appreciated by me. I'll get to log some more miles on my EV while the weather is pleasant.
First thing I'll do is take it down and get my rear springs replaced. I mentioned this before, but in all the recent hubub I've had no time for it. I ordered some specially manufactured coil springs from a company called Coil Springs Specialists. I told them what make and year of car I have and what I wanted in the way of springs: ability to support an extra 400lbs in the back. They had an engineer design some, bent them, tempered them, and a while later I get a box with big black springs in it. Pretty cool, they look just like the springs Wile E. Coyote straps onto his feet...unfortunately I couldn't find the straps to try this myself.
Other things I've done: closed up the front grill except for a small inlet that gets routed underneath the controller. I also finished up mounting a DC muffin fan for additional controller cooling. It's an interesting unit: there's a small temperature sensor that causes the fan to kick into high speed when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold.
Again, hat's off to Gary Flo for helping me out. He's helped me with a number of problems, sometimes on things that I bought from other suppliers.
Feeling restless tonight so I cracked open the Chilton's manual on my Mazda 626 just to see how big a chore it is to replace the coil springs. I had been planning on driving the car down to Roy's Garage in town and have them do the work thinking the whole task involved special tools I really didn't have or need to buy. Well, the way these struts work is that the whole strut and coil spring are put together as one piece, which is the bolted to the axle with a couple bolts and to the frame (up in the trunk) by another two bolts. A half hour or shuffling around and they popped right out. The oddest part is that the brake lines go through a mounting bracket on the strut and you have to disconnect the brake line to snake it out.
Here's a shot of one of the strut assemblies alongside the new, heavier duty coil spring:
By the way, I had the new coils done by:
Coil Springs Specialists St Mary's, Kansas (913) 437-2025I can just drop them off at the garage and get the work done now. They make these special clamps to compress these springs and disassemble everything. I don't know about you but whenever I take something apart that has springs they immediately sproing away into the never-never land of lost socks and eyeglass screws. These aren't the kind of springs I want to let loose in the house...
© Copyright 1995-2002 Jerry Halstead