Let’s Take a Breath
My flame was lit by like-minded reality hackers who showed me it was entirely possible to convert a gas-fueled automobile to run on electricity. They did this through their blogs, demonstrating unique solutions to the various problems they encountered on their journeys. An EV conversion is purely a DIY challenge that I wouldn’t have attempted without those pictures and words to inspire me. I have enormous gratitude for the generosity that compelled these innovators to share their knowledge freely and without attachment.
I’m certainly not a trained master mechanic, but I know enough about cars to get by. Who doesn’t remember pulling the engine out of their first VW, armed with nothing but a single floor jack, some cinder blocks, and an idiot’s guide? Or taking a pit stop during a cross-country trek to rebuild cylinder heads in a New Orleans backyard? Or draining the chocolate milk from a newly rebuilt engine after a girlfriend drove it into a river? Well, I remember every detail, and I wouldn’t trade those learning experiences for anything, because my aptitude was increased with each lesson.
The most valuable “light bulb” moments happen when I’ve solved a problem for myself, and then watch somebody implement a completely different or even more elegant solution. I copy it immediately if it makes better sense, then perhaps wait for it to break and figure out a way to make it even better. In that regard, there is no place more fun than Black Rock City during the week before Labor Day. Most people know it as Burning Man, but they should rename that city MacGyverville. If necessity is the mother of invention, then experimentation is the mother of innovation.
That said, I’m extending a thanks to those who have more experience in the automotive arena than me. I don’t have a machine shop, and I don’t weld, but don’t let that stop you from offering advice. Just don’t be insulted if I don’t always act on it. I cherry-pick the bits that work best in my sandbox, according to my own reasoning and circumstances. Sometimes I’ll do it wrong the first time, only to learn the right way and make a correction downstream. In the future, when I start an assembly line, I’ll certainly trust more experienced brains than mine to solve problems and streamline processes. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy watching me fumbling about, experimenting, wasting time, and playing my ass off.