Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
Plug Bug

Archive for May, 2012

Plug Bug: It breaks, I fix it.

Last weekend my car suddenly shut off all power while driving home. It happened again this morning right as I was going to drive away. I could jiggle the key and it would come back on…but this seemed hokey, and unsafe (especially after my last stall on highway 17 due to a huge pothole and my inertia switch flipping). I realized the short was in the wires heading into the ignition switch, as I could jiggle them and it would turn the car on and off. I took the steering column apart and realized it was this little thing that... [read more]

Plug Bug: The Inertia Switch works

The electric bug has an inertia switch in the case of an accident. It looks like this: It is designed to cut the 12v system to the rear of my car, which turns off the controller and high power contactors, thus cutting power to the motor controller in the event of an accident. It turns out I discovered it works. They are doing a lot of work on “highway 17” to Santa Cruz and I hit a really big pothole a few weeks ago. It jerked the car enough to make it stop, which was bad, as highway 17 is... [read more]

Plug Bug: Blower install on the motor

The bug’s motor runs pretty hot on hot days. You can’t keep your hand on it for more than a brief instant. I have measured the temperature with an infrared thermometer, but of course, right now I forget the values. I know that it was well below the values for the motor’s casing temperature, but more than one person has told me that running the motor cooler will prolong its life. So, I finally decided to install a blower. evsource has this electric motor blower kit for $448, which is quite pricey. I figured out they use a rather weak... [read more]

Plug Bug: Broken brake…

…well, problems come in pairs. I changed my front brake pads about about 8600 miles; they wore away quickly! I didn’t change the rear, as they weren’t as bad as the front. I checked the new front ones at 15,000 miles and they are doing great. I had looked at the rear but only on one side and without taking the wheel off. They looked okay, so I wasn’t going to do them yet. However, the rear brakes started making a horrible noise last Friday. So today I decided to take the brakes apart and drop in the new pads... [read more]

Plug Bug: Running again!

An update to the last post: The bug is running again! George, from Netgain motors, suggested seeing if the motor had excessive vibration. When I ran it at 12volts it seemed to hum pretty fine, so I put the car back together. It took a while, but I was running again by last Wednesday. I can’t really tell if the motor has any excessive vibration; it sounds a little different when I put in the clutch, but it doesn’t sound out of balance. So, I’m going to go with it! Oh, and the little pieces that came out of the... [read more]

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