Bus Update: May 22, 2014

Posted: May 23, 2014 3:47 pm

And so it happened that Dom, John and Barb showed up to work on said electric vehicle. We have a moving, driving vehicle but there is still lots to do:

  • Tail lights are mid-repair and at MakeICT. Tom is leading that project. He plans to finish them on Saturday.
  • IMG_20140522_220035There is an ever-changing pile of flaky electrical issues with various accessories. After spending a fair amount of time getting nowhere troubleshooting the turn signals, we took the whole dashboard off to see what’s up, dawg.
    • We have labeled every wire and every switch we removed from the dash. We even labeled the antenna wire. Yep we’re that good.
    • In terms of the turn signals, the turn signal lever is tested and good. However, all 3 wires that go to it seem connected to nothing (infinite resistance to both ground and 12V). Tracing the wires, it appeared the connection issue is somewhere toward the back of the bus, which seems odd as the hazards work and must connect to the turn signal wires before then. We are confused.
  • Tracing wiring turned into a more complex task than we would have guessed. Many wires are spliced and taped together with electrical tape. There is some loose wiring, one 5-wire connector that connects to only 2 wires, and lots of other oddities. The idea was floated more than once to rip out all of the wiring and start over.
  • Last week the passenger door was secured to the bus. Actual operation of the passenger door is a 2nd priority. It appears that the screw-thread that is responsible for opening and closing the door is threaded the wrong direction i.e. lifts the door when the door is supposed to open rather than dropping it or vice versa (or vice versa of that).
  • IMG_20140522_220057The driver’s door came back from Jeremiah’s friend (whose name I don’t remember). He painted (some of) it “blue” and worked on getting the cracks out. He didn’t have a lot nice to say about the experience: apparently there isn’t a lot of “fiber” in the fiberglass construction of the bus, so cracks will continue to happen throughout the bus’ lifetime. We might want to consider vinyl more seriously as opposed to a serious paint job.

Next week we will come equipped with twist-on wire connectors and start cleaning up the wiring. The plan is to try connections with the connectors, then secure the wiring.

We are considering an all-out work-on-bus party for Memorial Day. If you would consider participating, let us know so we might follow through.

We’ve come to the realization that it may not happen that the bus will be titled/registered/insured in time to participate in the Riverfest Parade. That’s disappointing in the short-term, but it gives us room to consider the long-term of getting the wiring correct and robust.