Monday, September 24, 2007

More on Fixing theHell Hole with Carbon FIber

It has been a long few months since I was seriously working on the Porsche. I am moving again soon and I need to get it in shape to drive again using the ICE before my next project. So it is back to cleaning our the rust and mixing epoxy resin and patching up rusted out pieces of the frame. It is starting to look good now and I am reasonable confident that it will be a strong long lasting solutions. There is not doubt about the relative strength of the carbon fiber versus the steel that has been rusted out. The only unknown is the relative strength and robustness of the bond between the resin and the steel. I have taken lot of precautions to throughly clean the metal as well as etching it so to maximize this bond. The underlying assumption is that with enough bonding surface the resulting repaired frame will last. Time will tell. Pictures tomorrow.

My other problem to solve is the emergency brake handle. IN the process of replacing the broken cable, I found that the threaded nut that holds the whole thing together to the car frame was rusted out. I found a replacement bolt and will try and replace the threaded material with a new nut held in by carbon fiber. We will see.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Working in the Hell Hole

For those not familiar with the Porsche 914 saga it is quite simple. Porsche didn't do a very good job with protecting the frame from rusting out in the area of the battery rack. Apparently the battery leaks drips down the inner body and onto the frame members and in combination with rain from the engine compartment hatch creates a rusting situation which can virtually make the car useless. In my case it is almost useless. Interestingly enough the remainder of the frame and body is in reasonably good shape and worth restoring. The hell hole however is depressing. The further I get into it the worst it looks. I had plans to start the restoration of this area today but only got as far as uncovering more rusted out areas.

My plan is to recreate the frame members using reinforced carbon fiber. This is very simiplar to fiberglass except in stead of using fiberglass cloth one used carbon fiber cloth there are a number of suppliers of the cloth and it has proven to be equally strong as steel when used in the right thicknesses. My testing has confirmed that it has the strength. The problem is finding enough virgin steal in the right places to bond the RCF to. My plan is to both bond it as well as bolt it to the existing frame.

My problem to day is determening if the epoxy bond is adequate without going down to bare metal. I am in the process of doing some tests with bonding to rusted areas which have beentreated with POR 15. We will see tomorrow if the POR 15 can maintain a bond with the underlying steel and with the RCF . More later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More On Global Warming-- A BIG PROBLEM

Todays edition of EV World had this post which although freighenting is what I have been thinking for about six months-- things are much worse than we have been led to believe and that we are not too far away from the point of no return-- bad news unless we act fast.

Climate Catastrophe Concern
While waiting to get my Insight worked on (see below), I read "Climate change and trace gases", a paper authored by Jim Hansen and five other U.S. climate scientists, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. It's a pretty technical discussion on the mechanisms that cause relatively abrupt climate changes, and not on millennial or even century-scales of time, but decade-scales. It's a pretty sobering read, especially the summary..

The gravest threat we foresee starts with surface melt on West Antarctica and interaction among positive feedbacks leading to catastrophic ice loss. Warming in West Antarctica in recent decades has been limited by effects of stratospheric ozone depletion (Shindell & Schmidt 2004). However, climate projections (Hansen et al. 2006b) find surface warming in West Antarctica and warming of nearby ocean at depths that may attack buttressing ice shelves. Loss of ice shelves allows more rapid discharge from ice streams, in turn a lowering and warming of the ice sheet surface, and increased surface melt. Rising sea level helps unhinge the ice from pinning points.

The paper takes issue with the IPCC's projections, which it says, "foresees little or no contribution to twenty-first century sea-level rise from Greenland and Antarctica."

However, the IPCC analyses and projections do not well account for the nonlinear physics of wet ice sheet disintegration, ice streams and eroding ice shelves, nor are they consistent with the palaeoclimate evidence we have presented for the absence of discernable lag between ice sheet forcing and sea-level rise.

Translation? The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, may have got it wrong, underestimating the impact of positive feedback loops that accelerate the melting of polar ice sheets and glaciers. In fact, the IPCC's latest report does acknowledge that it has not accounted for the effects of such melting in its projections largely because it didn't have enough data.

The bottom line is, we need to immediately and aggressively implement a concerted effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and finding a way to pull the carbon we've already put into the atmosphere back out of it and sequester it deep below the ocean floor. The paper concludes by saying because of the extreme sensitivity of the climate to forcing, even the relatively small amount of CO2 mankind has injected into the atmosphere by our burning of fossil fuels, is more than enough to cause the climate to flip into a very dangerous, unstable and uncontrollable cycle of warming, accompanied by catastrophic rises in sea level.

Present knowledge does not permit accurate specification of the dangerous level of human-made GHGs. However, it is much lower than has commonly been assumed. If we have not already passed the dangerous level, the energy infrastructure in place ensures that we will pass it within several decades.

Hampsters in a Gage

More Rust

I finally took some pictures. Looks pretty good here. Most of the car is in reasonable shape for being so old. Unfortunately there is a problem that is quite serious. As you can see this is the result of the classic battery acid rust problem which wipes out the main channel which give support to the car. Pleae ask to see pictures with the rocker panel removed of the passenger side before buying a 914 site un seen. Looking into a few options on how to repair this. More later.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Rust Yuk

After driving the car about a mile I put it into the garage and then the next day decided to give it a more thorough going over. Sure enough I found it -- the passenger side rust. But the ad said the passenger side looked solid. So mush for EBAY. In this case I don't think the owner thought it was bad and wanted to get rid of it. He just didn't know how bad it was. I will post the nasty picture tomorrow. I think it is fixable however and I have a plan in place. I have removed the interior and it looks like it is confined to one spot. The worst spot unfortunately.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Doner Car ??

Well, as an electrical engineer and one who is gravely concerned about the global warming issue it is inevitable that I would build or buy an electric car. I have studied the issues a lot over the year and have made numerous calculations. I have been thinking about the options and have concluded that the the practical approach would be to buy a used Prius and wait another six months to get a Hymotion battery. This would likely cost about $30,000 and then I would have the real thing and likely something that would be sell-able if I needed to. That said,I have sucumed to the notion of a project car and build it myself. The next best option I have concluded was to get a Saturn SC. This would be a car that would likely be supportable over the next few years. Well as a prevoius owner of three different Porsche's over the years and after seeing the other 914 blogs I got carried away with the 914/Electroautomotive concept. After a few months of looking over the options on Ebay I even found a car that i thought would be a good choice-- a 1972 914 that was not too far away and from the description was not beset with the typical passenger side rust problems. I got it for less that I expected and it even arrived within two days after setting up a carrier. I even got it delivered for about half of what the EBay delivery price was. Everything was in place until: