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Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
8/31/10 2:14 a.m.

Thanks! The car is lots of fun. Jessica and I took it across town in "hybrid" mode for a dinner at Zach's Shack tonight. I've been practicing driving in hybrid mode lately because I would like to automate some of the car's features. I am hoping to make it a little more me-proof (read: idiot-proof) with a bunch of parts I have laying around, crying for attention.

The next outing is this Wednesday at the Beaches cruise-in at PIR, for any of you locals. There's a very impressive gathering every week, if any of you Portland guys haven't been, I recommend it.

Bryce

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/3/10 9:33 a.m.

I think I figured out why the car seemed to fall on its face for the last 1/8th mile. The exhaust started making some rattling the other day, and subsequently sounded like somebody stuffed a potato up the exhaust pipe. I suspect the catalytic converter has self destructed...not surprising, since it was the cheapest one I could buy a while back when I put it on to pass emissions. I'm hoping to get it fixed in time for the EV drags, which are coming back to town next weekend, and I suspect that will get me past the previous 14.666 best. I might add a second O2 bung while I've got the welder handy to prepare for the nitrous. I've never used giggle gas, so I think adding my wideband during tuning would be a good idea.

Bryce

ansonivan
ansonivan HalfDork
9/3/10 10:13 a.m.

The vw/subaru/mazda tuner kids are a great source for cheap cats. I recently picked up a new GTI turbo back exhaust for $50. The cats are stainless housed and a lot better quality than most aftermarket units.

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
9/3/10 1:11 p.m.

Judging by your trap speed it's pretty cool to know that JUST the electric power is getting you over a second of e.t., even driving the fronts, even only working well in the 1/8th mile.

Congrats on your new accomplishments.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/10/10 9:01 a.m.

As expected, the cat wasn't doing too hot:

I'll be curious to see if this explains my disappointing 1/8-1/4 mile experience, or if it is an unrelated fluke. Oh yeah, and if you're ever thinking about cutting a muffler shell open to make sure it's not full of catalytic converter chunks...stop thinking about it. That was a really, really bad idea with an OEM muffler that uses extremely thin sheet metal and me only having .035 wire for the MIG right now. I was REALLY wishing I had got more .025 when I ran out a while back!

Bryce

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/23/10 4:58 p.m.

I forgot to update this. After unclogging the cat, the car wasn't really any faster. I pulled my fastest 60' time on my first pass (1.80) with a pretty low system voltage (around 335V) but still only got a 14.69 pass. On my second try I used higher battery voltage (about 350V) and got some front wheelhop, resulting in a slower time. So, with the parts I have on hand, it sure seems like the car is running out of steam. Without mo' batteries, mo' engine, or mo' suspension, the Fiero just doesn't have much more left in it. Strange, but true!

I've been harassed because I don't have videos showing how it "works" in the real world (racing, driving in town, etc.). If anybody gives a damn, let me know and I'll put more effort into creating a video. It's not completely automated, but it's not rocket science to figure out either. Fair warning, I'm not much of a cameraman, so it might be a little "Blair Witch" with regards to quality.

Bryce

MrBenjamonkey
MrBenjamonkey Reader
9/26/10 7:28 p.m.

I wanna see. Actually, I'd really like to see an autoX video.

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
9/27/10 1:09 a.m.

I dont think there's much to complain about with being stuck at 14.6s with only 82 mph of power. Most things that trap 82 have a hard time getting into the low 16s.

The problem is that the stock 2.8 is a boat anchor. Luckily, that engine family has made some amazing progress in the ensuing quarter century.... so a swap to a stock motor that'd get you 80 more hp is not too difficult.

I think the car needs a gas-motor swap, honestly. The car's powertrain has one foot each in two different eras right now, and the gas engine is making the electrics look bad. Although, technically.. you could probably make more progress on your 60' with a different launch technique or more traction from the gas-motor side of it.

ww
ww SuperDork
9/27/10 2:13 a.m.

It's time to fix the suspension (and all those wheel hop problems) and put some POWAH into that 2.8!

Come on, even my little 2.6L can do better than that on street tires! ;)

Aren't there any Fiero bolt-ons for that thing? I'd be more impressed if you slipped a little GT25R turbo onto that short exhaust manifold than using the giggle gas!

Nitrous is for people who can't tune a turbo and you've got the engineering skill so that shouldn't be a problem...

Should probably swap in a MegaSquirt to control the fuel & spark, turn up the fuel pressure and voila!

Then you can start adding more batteries. What's the max voltage your controller is rated for? 460v? Plenty of room there! ;)

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
9/27/10 3:10 p.m.

I honestly dont know of anyone who would recommend modding that motor over swapping it. Sure, forced induction would get you power but the fact is that THAT iteration of the 2.8 is just the definition of mediocrity. Although, i do own a LOT of cars with really mediocre motors.. and with turbos... hmmmmmmm.

If you plan to keep that motor and get better e.t. id just focus on traction. That thing can actually use a lot of traction with not a lot of power because of the weight distribution and transfer. Funny thing, though.. the more power you put down from the rear tires at launch, the more weight you transfer off the fronts, the less power they can use..

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
10/6/10 6:06 p.m.

I have a Northstar laying around, but the combined total of parts would put me out of the $20XX budget so I've been avoiding it. I have an ECM set up to run a 3500 LX9, but haven't been able to find an LX9 quite cheap enough yet. I admit, the 2.anchor is definitely holding the car back, but it's hard to justify more powah when the suspension is already sub-par.

Bryce

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
11/29/10 5:40 p.m.

Pretty much anybody on this forum that cares probably already noticed, but I suppose I should point out to visitors that the Fiero is in the December 2010 issue of the magazine. Pretty cool, thanks to everybody who helped!

Bryce

ww
ww SuperDork
12/6/10 10:09 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Pretty much anybody on this forum that cares probably already noticed, but I suppose I should point out to visitors that the Fiero is in the December 2010 issue of the magazine. Pretty cool, thanks to everybody who helped! Bryce

And I have to say, I'm quite disappointed. There's absolutely no mention of me in the article even though the photo on page 46 was clearly taken with me as the primary subject while I explained to an enthralled spectator the complex and esoteric nature of hybrid electric control systems, a topic of which I have absolutely no experience or knowledge! ;)

ColemanAutosports
ColemanAutosports None
12/7/10 6:47 p.m.

Bryce,

I'm not sure you remember me but this is Clay Coleman.... we worked at Harley Davidson together. I just read about your build in this month's GRM and have spent the past few hours reading your entire Fiero build log. You have my deepest respect for this build and your commitment. Well done my friend. Believe it or not i have two Fieros now and i'm about to begin on a similar FrankenFiero build for a 2nd Lemons team car. We need to catch up. It seems after college we ended up having the same hobbies.

Best Wishes

Clay

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
12/8/10 1:23 p.m.

Sure, I remember you Clay. How could I forget a guy who prefers a Scout II to the original?

Bryce

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
4/12/11 12:57 p.m.

I fixed my inverter! As a reminder, this happened in Florida:

I have been borrowing a replacement inverter from Al for a long, long time...since the $2009 Challenge in Florida. I was actually procrastinating pretty bad because I was afraid if I tried to fix it and found something irreplaceable was permanently damaged, it'd be too damn depressing. I finally gathered the gumption to start fixing it last week.

Last week I probed it (ha!) for a good long while with the multimeter and tried to figure out what was going on with my resistor board. Obviously, those resistors that got smoked in Florida had to go, but I wasn't sure if there was collateral damage. After some investigation, the board seemed OK otherwise. No more smoked parts, no funky resistance values on transistors/resistors, no failed diodes, no burned traces, etc. I cut all of the resistors out and at that point it matched the one that I've been using in the car since the $2009 competition. The resistors are used to discharge the high voltage inside the inverter to make it almost immediately safe to work on after disconnecting the batteries; without the resistors, I have to be a lot more careful about when and how I work on the high voltage!

So, cut to the chase and last night I tested the car to make sure everything was working properly. After I confirmed that, I pulled the loaner inverter out of the Fiero and put my repaired inverter back in. I tested it out and it works! That's really good news, as the inverter that's been on loan can finally be returned to it's home and I know mine is all healthy again. I'll be replacing the resistors that got burned out soon so that it discharges as it should again.

With that said, the hybrid Fiero is going to a new home very soon. I've had fun with it, but my interest in the AWD Fiero is waning. I just have too many other fun projects! Al is taking delivery of the car very soon and it will live on with his EV hardware in Michigan. Same car, different owner. It's a win-win, as the car will have a new owner that will have a fresh look on the project, Al now gets to play with his EV hardware (same parts as mine) that's been collecting dust for years, and I will keep my EV hardware to collect more dust until my next project.

I recently bought a Honda Insight...it might be the next shell to hold onto my EV hardware in a full-EV design. Or...who knows? I've got auto ADD, so by the time I get around to doing something with my EV hardware, I might have some other project in mind.

I'll try to get some video of the "how it works" version of the car before it leaves.

Bryce

Vigo
Vigo Dork
4/12/11 3:13 p.m.

That car is too cool to stay down, so here's hoping the next owner takes it to a new level.

Making that video would be a great way to close this chapter for all your admirers.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
4/25/11 12:28 p.m.

I put together a video showing how some of the hybrid Fiero stuff works. It's not going to be winning anything at the film festivals this year, but it should give some more insight to how things work than my past updates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21PkKCI7Ycg

In just a couple of hours, I'll be taking the car to the auto transporter to go to its new home. I'm sad to see it go, but hopefully some fresh blood on the project will make it more awesome than before.

Bryce

Vigo
Vigo Dork
4/25/11 2:50 p.m.

Thanks for posting that.

Its sad that i got more about the car from this video than from standing next to it in 09 but i must not have been in the right frame of mind to ask real questions about it.

Its just more motivation for my van project.

And once again.. good damn job building and racing that car. Even though noone likes to be overly self-congratulating i hope you realize the rare, less-traveled spot you occupy in the car enthusiast world. It's a real accomplishment and a motivator for others that wouldnt have dared to think in that direction before seeing you succeed at it.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
4/25/11 7:58 p.m.

It's fun to be first, but it's a hell of a lot harder! Vigo, you should post a link to your build for people who might see this thread and be looking for other inspiring examples.

Vigo wrote: Its sad that i got more about the car from this video than from standing next to it in 09 but i must not have been in the right frame of mind to ask real questions about it.

You're telling me...I travelled all the way from OR and ended up working on the car 98% of the time I was there. I hardly got to meet and hang out with people, check out the cars, etc. because I was so damn busy trying to fix my busted ride. Hopefully I can change that around next time around, both by not having a busted ride and by making it a priority to hang out. Oh, and I guess I should link to my other build in case anybody wants to follow my $2011 challenge build if they stumble on this thread in the future:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/2011-n600-west-coast-challenger/33452/page1/

Bryce

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Dork
11/11/11 3:49 p.m.

I am embarrassed to admit to reading it but I think your car was just featured in Jalopnik in their 10 nerdiest ways to modify your car.

http://jalopnik.com/5858639/the-ten-nerdiest-ways-to-modify-your-car/gallery/9

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
11/15/11 5:23 p.m.
Capt Slow wrote: I am embarrassed to admit to reading it but I think your car was just featured in Jalopnik in their 10 nerdiest ways to modify your car. http://jalopnik.com/5858639/the-ten-nerdiest-ways-to-modify-your-car/gallery/9

Nerdiest? I guess I'll take that, I'm in pretty good company:

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/11/15/porsche-911-gt3-r-hybrid-2-0-first-drive-review/

Bryce

Nashco
Nashco UltraDork
8/8/12 11:39 a.m.

Bumping this up to get it added to the "build thread" forum. Thanks!

Bryce

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/8/13 12:12 a.m.

Just read through this build for the first time, excellent work! I must have been racing against you in that first Halloween chump car race...my team was running the fiero. This fiero is far superior however!

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
1/10/18 6:30 p.m.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/how-build-all-wheel-drive-gas-electric-hybrid-fier/

Turns out GRM dredged the old article out of the archives.  Aw shucks...they remembered!

Bryce

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