Friday, October 31, 2014

Liquid Cooling the Zilla

I've been using the EV to commute to work quite often and I recently started to log my drives to work to see how much power I was using. Well after going through those logs, I found that during the highway stretch the Zilla was getting up to 85C, and my available power would go down, meaning my ability to pass someone was minimal.

With that, I decided it was time to install a liquid cooling system. I got a transmission cooler from AutoZone and a 12v quiet pump from Amazon and tubing from my local ACE Hardware. It took about 4 hours to install, then I spent two days tweaking it and bleeding the air from the system.
There was a massive improvement with the water cooling system installed! During my commute I saw only a high of 35C during the highway stretch and I could easily pass people on the highway. It's nice that I now have performance equal to the original Civic engine and its real fun to drive.

Next on my list is a fix a water leak on the driver's side and install the J1772 circuitry. I also want to get a MIG welder and build a new battery box that will include insulation, a stronger/nicer cage and the ability to remove the box from the car trunk with an engine crane. It's going to take a while to design, but it's probably going to be my winter project.

New Headliner

Since I purchased the Civic a few years ago, one of the things that I didn't like was the headliner. It had some cigarette burns and the fabric was peeling off. And in early September it was peeling to bad that it was a distraction while driving so we finally decided to replace the fabric.

The first thing we had to do was take the headliner out and strip off the old fabric and foam.
It took about 4 hours to remove all the old glued foam using a wire brush. One of the previous owners must have been a serious smoke due to the tar we found, but the Civic itself didn't smell like smoke. I also found a ton of those Christmas tree air fresheners which is probably why.

Next we laid out and glued down the new headliner fabric we got from Joann Fabrics.

It took a while to smooth it out and get the fabric to go nicely into all the little nooks and edges of the headliner board. Once it was down we let it dry for 24 hours and then cut the holes out for the lights and sun roof.

Once that was done, installing it was easy and now the EV looks much better, and has a bit of a new car smell!