The Stretchla project is enjoying a pause in the action. The mental hurdle of starting auto-body work finds me procrastinating. Historically I’ve found I work on projects that I’m passionate about (like the Stretchla) in short intense bursts while ignoring other projects and obligations. It helps if a good milestone is in sight as it was before I chose to expand the scope of the project with with a nice paint job. The prospect of setting up the shop and learning auto-body work has my procrastination side deciding to catch up on some of those other projects.

One of those projects that is quite fun involves driving unused gauges on a Porsche 911 electric conversion. Deb and I both wanted to become more familiar with using the Teensy 3.1 Arduino compatible board specifically for interfacing with CAN bus using the CAN bus controller that it has built in. Our board reads the Orion BMS CAN packets and uses that information to display battery state of charge on the original fuel gauge and battery temperature on the oil pressure gauge. Additionally we measure the motor field winding temperature using the sensor built into the Warp 9″ motor and we use that to drive the original water temperature gauge.

Here’s the video where I probably say the same things again 🙂

8 thoughts on “Distractions

  1. Hi Otmar,

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like some good ticker-time. Hay, I ran into the OSU solar car team as they came through Palo Alto. They had lots of good things to say about your involvement in the project/community. Might be passing through at the end of the month, will let you know more later on.

  2. I’d convert it first so as to not worry about scratching the paint. You can do the paint/bodywork anytime. Save that for a winter project when your bored.

    Drive it some then make it a “show vehicle” if that’s what you want out of it. Or take it out camping first to shake it down. Then paint it.

    • Bored? Last time I remember being bored was over 30 years ago!

      Ryan, your suggestion sounds like my plan when I first stretched the van in 1998. I thought it was a great idea at the time. I’ve learned a bit about myself over the years. Now it’s 16 years later and I still have not gotten around to painting it. 🙂
      As I see it the challenge with trying to paint it later is that it needs paint in the interior and under the window seals as well. The work and cost to prepare the van for such a job twice makes it unlikely that I would strip it down to that level again. As it is now there isn’t an inch of wiring harness left, all the window and door seals are out (and will need new replacements) and almost everything that can be unbolted has been removed. From my perspective I think restoring a car only once is the plan that fits me better.

  3. My 2-cents: Refocus the project so that instead of a re-powered Vanagon, it’s a re-bodied Model S. (This, by the way, coming from a two-time Vanagon owner and current Model S owner.) I would love to see a Model S re-sculpted into a bullet van. To do this well might require more design and body work than you originally envisioned, but the mechanicals would largely remain intact. The resulting vehicle would have different utility value than the Vanagon, but it sure would look cool and drive well. Brings to mind the re-bodied Ferraris done by Pininfaina, such as the 456GT “Venice” station wagon.

  4. I say enjoy driving the model s for a while and do the conversion slow and right the first time! This project has inspired me to do something similar with an old wvo rv, but I’m planning on getting a model s in worse condition so as not to be tempted to drive it as is. I’d love any insight as to tricks for bypassing airbag sensors etc. it’s been a pleasure following your blog and I can’t wait to see the eventual outcome. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

    • I actually stopped driving the Wreckla after the supercharge test, but that’s the subject of my next post. 🙂

  5. I’ve found that when I drag my feet a bit, it tends to be because I need some subconscious time to “think” through solutions. Sometimes, though, it can be that the solutions need more clarification and I’m just overwhelmed! And sometimes it’s just emotional prep time to wrap my head around what I need to do! But in short, it’s often not wasted time and I come back refreshed and ready!

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