Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Testing the 12v System

So today I finally got the chance to hook up the 12 volt battery and start testing some of the new equipment I've installed. It went mostly well. Only one real problem and it became apparent right away.

After I put the cable on the + terminal I walked around to the front of the car and heard a very quiet whirring. Some quick investigation and I found that it was the heater blower running at low speed. The only problem was that the switch was off. As I turned the switch up to the higher levels the blower spun faster, but it won't go off. I'm pretty sure I screwed that up when I was trying to make the heater work only when that fan was on. *sigh*

On to better things. I tested the blower that will cool the motor. Perfect! I tested the vacuum pump that will assist the breaks. Even more perfect!!! The pump came on (noisy as hell) and sucked the canister free of air and then shut off on it's own. I went in the car and pumped the brakes a few times and it kicked back on just like it's supposed to. Woo hoo!

Thanks to a tip from my Maltese friend Len, I was able to locate an old disused wire in the electrics bay that has 12 volts on it when the car's ignition is in the "Run" position and, more importantly, at no other time. He pointed out that he'd found it when he did his conversion. This is exactly what I need for the Zilla controller. I also confirmed that the wire I'd put in place to send the signal for when the ignition is turned to "Start" also worked.

Months ago I thought I'd replace all the light bulbs I could with LED bulbs, so I bought a bunch. They warned that they aren't always as bright as regular bulbs, but they use much less power, so I thought I'd try them. I replace all the bulbs on one side of the car and compared it to the other side. I was shocked to see how amazingly bad the head lamp was. It has 9 high intensity LEDs on it, and it didn't even cast a beam on the garage door. Now I'm thinking it might be bad and I need to try the other one. Anyway, I was equally shocked at how bright all the tail lights were. They were each as bright or slightly brighter except for the brake light, which was easily 30% brighter. I did run into one bad tail light bulb though, but over all a real success.

I'm starting to run low on things to do until my batteries arrive. I think that's a good thing.

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