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Fix of The Week 8/17/19


Fix of The Week

Every week we’re posting our favorite head-scratchers and interesting mechanical issues submitted by our Direct-Hit customers.

For a chance to have something you’ve worked on appear as a Fix of the Week, and win a cool little prize for your shop, all you have to do is post your unique fixes in Direct-Hit. Just look up the vehicle you’re working on, click on Post Fix at the top right, then tell us the problem and what you did to fix it.


This Week’s Winners

On this edition of Fix of The Week: A Subaru with a lack of power and two Hondas with cruise issues.


2006 Subaru Outback – Black Rock Auto

This Subaru had a lack of power and no fault codes. The engine oil level was low but still registered on the dipstick. I verified lack of power on the test drive, noted the low engine oil activity, and verified there were no codes. Data showed that the fuel trim was correct, but using a 5-gas analyzer at the tailpipe showed a lambda value of 1.185 and CO2 at 13.0% with O2 at 3%. I tested the fuel and found 10% alcohol content OK.

I solved the issue by topping up the motor oil and observing 5-gas at the tailpipe. I saw the CO2 climb to 15.4% and O2 drop to 0.1%. Power was restored—it was due to the cam phasers not filling up and affecting the valve position, which caused the engine breathing problems. The ECM doesn’t recognize this and doesn’t set codes so top off the oil and the problem solved.


2016 Honda Civic – Accountable Automotive

This vehicle had no cruise nor adaptive cruise, and the cruise main would turn on but wouldn’t set. The system stopped working for the customer suddenly, and they confirmed no debris ever hit the vehicle to knock out radar and they hadn’t recently replaced the windshield. The dealer had recommended replacing all cruise components, about $6,000-$8,000 worth of work—they had no idea.

The vehicle didn’t have any codes but did have some history of U, VSA, and steering history codes. All inputs were good: brake pedal, accelerator, radar, camera, yaw, main switch, set, decel, resume, PRNDL, VSA. Lane departure, collision avoidance, VSA features were all operating properly.

We cleared all codes—none returned, still inoperable. We didn’t find any wiring or connector faults. We just so happened to have a ’16 Civic to compare inputs with and view some identical data.

I disconnected the battery and jumpered across terminals for 20 minutes. On reconnect, the system went into an “initialization mode.” All driver integration modes were disabled and “tells” on the cluster (LKASS, VSA, collision avoidance, ACC) instruct you to drive carefully while initialization is in process. I drove until all the lights went out, about 3 minutes, and the cruise and adaptive cruise were back to operational.


2002 Honda Accord – Lester Gutierrez

This vehicle’s cruise control was inoperable and the main switch indicator light was off at all times. I checked fuse 6 driver’s under the dash fuse box. I resistance tested the cruise control main switch and found both bulbs in the circuit open. I replaced the blubs and conducted a cruise control unit input test. The cavity 2 gray wire had no power when the brake pedal was released. I test drove the vehicle and the cruise set above 25 MPH—the indicator lights on the cruise control main switch and cruise control light on the dash were working as required.




Fix of The Week 8/9/19


Fix of The Week

Every week we’re posting our favorite head-scratchers and interesting mechanical issues submitted by our Direct-Hit customers.

For a chance to have something you’ve worked on appear as a Fix of the Week, and win a cool little prize for your shop, all you have to do is post your unique fixes in Direct-Hit. Just look up the vehicle you’re working on, click on Post Fix at the top right, then tell us the problem and what you did to fix it.


This Week’s Winners

On this edition of Fix of The Weektwo Cadillacs — one with a running board issue and another with cluster problems—and a Toyota with a bad shake.


2016 Cadillac Escalade ESV – Highland Transmissions

This vehicle’s driver side running board would not retract. I attempted to retract from ¾ open and found that if hand pressure was applied to the running board it would retract when the door was closed. I checked for any restrictions and found none. I cleaned the hinges, sprayed with worth film and it works fine. I sprayed the passenger side as well. 


2017 Toyota Corolla – Rogers Automotive

The customer came in complaining of shake on acceleration from the front passenger side. 

When I test drove it, it felt like a bad axle so I replaced it with the Toyota part and it was betterbut still had a constant shaking happening. I balanced the tires and found 2 bent rims. I replaced 2 rims and new set of good tires road forced balanced. The next day still noticed the shaking and couldn’t find anything. The front end was tight, the wheel bearing felt good and there was no noise. The customer was told by a tech at Toyota that a wheel bearing is common on this car so replaced the wheel bearing per customer request and the problem was gone.   


1998 Cadillac DeVille – ASAP Auto Repair

This vehicle’s digital part of the cluster would not light uponly the indicator lights worked. No codes present and powers and grounds were good at the cluster. I replaced with a used cluster and had to use resistors to find out which that used cluster was programmed with. Tried about 15 different combinations—try one, wait until 3-minute lockout and move on to the next resistor value until the car starts.


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Fix of The Week 7/4/19


Fix of The Week

Every week we’re posting our favorite head-scratchers and interesting mechanical issues submitted by our Direct-Hit customers.

For a chance to have something you’ve worked on appear as a Fix of the Week, and win a cool little prize for your shop, all you have to do is post your unique fixes in Direct-Hit. Just look up the vehicle you’re working on, click on Post Fix at the top right, then tell us the problem and what you did to fix it.


This Week’s Winners

On this edition of Fix of The Weeka Kia with no acceleration, and separate battery and fueling problems in two Volvos.


2014 Kia Forte – AT Repair Inc.

The customer stated that the “engine” light would come on and the car wouldn’t accelerate. We performed a scan test and found service code P2138. We tested the pedal sensor and throttle body and found an intermittent erratic signal from the pedal sensor. We replaced the accelerator pedal which resolved the issue. 


2013 Volvo XC60 – Boulevard Autoworks

This vehicle’s rear hatch would go partway up and then stop—you had to manually open and close the door. We checked the scan tool data and watched for switch inputs and outputs. One PID in the data was the reason why the last operation was unsuccessful. The PID said low battery voltage. We did a starting and charging check, which the battery failed. We also noticed the rear gate would work fine with the vehicle running. We replaced the battery and everything worked properly.   


2010 Volvo S40 – Classic Automotive Repair

The customer complained that the vehicle pump would shut off when refueling. They had to go very slow to get refuel and it took a long time. We checked and no codes were set for evap issues, no hard restart and the leak detection pump passed the test. We visually inspected the filler pipe and those hoses passed.

We pulled the vent line from the tank to canister, the 3 piece hose, and the small section of the hose from tank to Y fitting was collapsed internally. We replaced the vent line assembly from the tank to the canister and that solved the issue.


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Defeating the Air Conditioning Bogeyman


A/C Pressure and Temperature


Automotive repair professionals have a lot of “Bogeymen” we have to deal with. There’s the Bogeyman who makes electrical circuits function. There’s the Bogeyman involved with CAN communication. We have a Bogeyman for A/C too. In nearly every system that works but you’re just not sure why it works, theres a Bogeyman involved. I like to try to shoo away the Bogeyman, or maybe shine a light on him so readers can see he’s not so scary after all. Then we can get back to work with some understanding and some peace from the monsters. 

Today, we are shining the flashlight at the A/C Bogeyman. Remember learning about A/C in tech school? Remember hearing big words like Thermodynamics? School is back in session.


Air Conditioning Components


We’re gonna start with some light lifting. All A/C systems have much in common. They all have very similar parts and they all have two sides where pressure and temperature work their magic together. Check out this diagram showing some basic components and also the state of the refrigerant pressure/temperature between the “high side” and “low side.  

Let’s talk components. They should change the phrase “there are a lot of ways to skin a cat” to “there are a lot of ways to compress a gaseous refrigerant, condense it to a high-pressure liquid, and throttle it to a low-pressure liquid to boil and remove heat from a heat sink. Were not going to get granular and talk about how each type of compressor works, just that they compress. We are also staying away from control devices, like sensors and switches.  

Compressor: This is usually a beltdriven pump; its job is to pull refrigerant in and compress it into a high-pressure vapor. It may have an electromagnetic clutch to engage or disengage it, or it may have a spill valve to control flow. On hybrid/EV vehicles this will likely be driven by an electric motor instead of a belt. 

Condenser: This is a big finned heat exchanger, usually mounted right in front of the radiator. This is where the high-pressure vapor goes right after the compressor. Air passes through the fins to cool and condense the high-pressure vapor and turn it into a high-pressure liquid. Air is either motivated by cooling fans, or by ram air as the vehicle is driving. 

Receiver/Dryer: This is a reservoir for the high-pressure liquid. It stores and filters the refrigerant and also has a desiccant to remove water from the refrigerant. This unit is typically mounted in the condenser.  

Thermal Expansion Valve or Fixed Orifice: This is where the refrigerant goes when it is compressed, filtered, and condensed. This is a small orifice that the high-pressure liquid is pushed through, turning it into a low-pressure liquid. Think of it like a can of spray paint. There is high-pressure liquid inside the can, the nozzle at the top is the TXVwhen you press down, the high-pressure liquid sprays out as a low-pressure liquid. If you’ve ever spray painted your hand you know the paint coming out is colder than the can. Thermal Expansion Valves (also called TXV, or just Expansion Valves) respond to the need for refrigerant by varying the size of the opening based on the temperature of the evaporator where the valve mounts.


See here a diagram of a TXV. The sensing bulb is full of a gas that expands when warm and presses down on the diaphragm in the valve. This pushes the valve open and allows more high-pressure liquid to spray into the evaporator as a low-pressure liquid, increasing the cooling capacity. Then as the evaporator cools, the gas from the sensing bulb contracts and the valve is allowed to close. Newer TXVs have all this integrated into a single block, you can’t see the sensing bulb anymore, but they function the same. 

A Fixed Orifice performs the same job as a TXV, but does not vary in size at all, the manufacturer simply decides what a good size would be for most situations and lets it ride. A Fixed Orifice can be anywhere in the line between the condenser and the evaporator (hunt for it in the service information). 

Evaporator Core: This is the heat sink inside the vehicle. The low-pressure liquid is sprayed from the TXV or Fixed Orifice into the evaporator. Here it evaporates! It turns into a low-pressure vapor again. Since the refrigerant is not under pressure it boils into a gas. It’s that pressure decrease that puts the “brrr!” in the A/C system. 

Lines and Hoses: These are the conduits that take refrigerant in its varying states to where it needs to bethese should offer no resistance to flow at all, they’re simply tubes that should flow freely. 


How the Components of an A/C System Function


Now that we understand what each component’s job is, let’s talk a bit about why theyre doing what theyre doing. This whole system is designed to take advantage of one thing: the pressure/temperature relationship of refrigerant. We are going to use R-134a refrigerant as our exampleits still the most commonly used refrigerant, and the new fangled R1234yf has a pretty similar pressure/temp profile.  

The refrigerant cycle can be described as having two parts, the high side and the low side. The highpressure side is the path of the refrigerant after the compressor. It includes the compressor, condenser, dryer, lines, and technically a part of the TXV. The high-pressure side is where all the hot stuff is. The low-pressure side is the other part of the TXV, the evaporator core, and the line going back into the compressor. The low-side is where all the cold stuff is. 

Download and print the pressure/temp chart at the bottom of this article for a reference. You can see that at 68°the refrigerant is essentially 68 PSI. This means on a 68°day you will see about 68 PSI of static pressure in the systemstatic pressure is when the refrigerant has equalized so both the high side and the low side are the same pressure.  

Now if you were to squeeze that 68 PSI until it gets to about 270 PSI (paging Dr. Compressor!) then you’ll see that the temperature raises to about 152°F. The compressor is literally jamming more molecules of refrigerant into a smaller areathey ping around and create heat. I don’t care what you’re squeezing, everything gets warmer when it is compressed. Things that are a gas at ambient temp/atmospheric pressure have a more useful range of pressures and temperatures that we can exploit. 

The Refrigerant Cycle

So we have some hot gas, time to pull some of that heat out via the condenser to turn it into a high-pressure liquid. Leaving the condenser you will have maybe 130° high-pressure liquid, putting us at about 200 PSI. This is our high side pressure. The 200 PSI liquid jams up against the TXVRemember that spray paint can? Here it is throttled down to about 30 PSIchecking the chart it looks like 30 PSI translates into about 34°F. That’s some chilly air! From here the low-pressure gas is pulled back into the compressor via the suction (low-side) line to start the process all over. 

A quick note about condensersthey should only drop about 15-35 degrees of temp across them. If you see 50 degrees drop it’s not because the condenser is doing a really good job removing heatmore likely the condenser is clogged. Either the clog is acting like another expansion valve or the refrigerant is spending way too long in the condenser. 

Congratulations, you just mastered thermodynamics! You understand the components of the A/C system and the refrigerant cycle!  

So, how do we use the pressure and temperatures to fix cars? Let’s keep going to find out.


A/C Pressure Diagnostics 


Static Pressure: This is always the first step in diagnosing an A/C cooling complaint. Check the ambient air temp, refer to the pressure/temp chart, check the pressure. If the pressure is low, you have low refrigerant chargeevacuate and recharge the system. If the pressure is high you have a non-condensable gas like nitrogen or oxygen in there or a drastic overchargeevacuate and recharge the system. Basically, if you are ever in question about how much refrigerant is in the system, or what is in the system, evacuate and recharge, start fresh. Refer to the service manual for refrigerant type and capacity. 

Normal Operation: High side is usually at least double of what static pressure was, plus 100 PSI if it’s humid. So at 68 PSI your rule-of-thumb pressure range would be 140-240 PSI. 

Low side is usually 30-40 PSI, unless it is very hotthen it might be higher until the evaporator can maintain a colder temp. Off idle on a TXVstyle vehicle, you will see the pressure drop and get as low as 10 PSI. A Fixed Orifice will usually keep the low side steady between 30-40 PSI regardless of RPM. 

High Side Too High, Low Side Normal: If the high side approaches 350-400 PSI then the condenser is unable to rid itself of enough heat to turn the high-pressure gas to a liquid. Make sure the fins are not obstructed. Make sure the cooling fans come on and blow towards the engine. Fans that blow backward will push heat from the radiator and the engine into the condenser, rather than cooling the condenser down. 

Low Side Too Low, High Side Normal: If the low side is too low then the compressor is pulling on the suction side but there is not enough refrigerant flow to feed it. There is either an obstruction in the evaporator, the suction line, or the TXV has failed. Before replacing anything put the system into a deep vacuum for several hours to try to boil off the water in the system, ice can form in the TXV and develop this type of complaint when there is moisture in the system. 

Low and High Side Low: If when the compressor engages the low side drops but the high side does not rise, or maybe the high side drops as well, then there is an obstruction between the compressor and the high side pressure port. All that refrigerant is backing up somewhere, but your gauge can’t see it. 

Low side High, High side Low: If the high side and low side do not change from static pressure when the compressor is engaged, then the compressor is not pumping and has failed. 

Pressures Normal, not cooling: Assuming the blend doors are working normally the system might be insulated from the inside. Something is keeping that cold low side refrigerant from making the evaporator fins cold. Stop-leak can do this, so can an excessive amount of refrigerant oil. 


Diagnosing A/C Issues


Once you have an idea what’s going on with your pressures, it’s time to start some hands-on diag. This is done with temperaturesensing equipment, either a temp gun, a probe, or with a thermal camera. You can also generically use your hands, they will tell you if something is hot or not, just without the fancy digital readout. If you are using a temp gun, note that measuring extruded aluminum lines can give you false readingscover the line in masking tape and measure the temp of the tape for better accuracy. I prefer to use a thermal probe, that will be the most accurate. A temp gun is useful if you remember to take it with a grain of salt and a bit of skepticism. 


Air Conditioning Temperature Readings


We know what the pressure and temperature should be normally. If you suspect an obstruction anywhere in the system, it’s time to check line/component temp. Here are some temps you should expect to see on a normal system at about 68°F. 

Discharge line from compressor: This is the hottest part of the systemit should be 15-30 degrees hotter than the liquid line coming from the condenser. At 68° expect anywhere from 130-175°F depending on humidity. 

Along the condenser: You should have a gradual drop in temp from the discharge line to the liquid line, you should not drop more than 50 degrees though, or the condenser may be plugged. Expect 15-30degree drop. 

Liquid line to the expansion valve: This is the “warm” lineyou will see about 15-30 degrees cooler here than the discharge line. At 68°F, expect that you will have 110-140°F. You should have an even temp all the way to the expansion valve. 

Expansion valve: The liquid line going in will be your 110-140° temp, the suction line coming out will be 32-42° almost regardless of the ambient air temp, once the evaporator has a chance to maintain its’ chill. 


Common A/C Problem Areas 


Check the temperature drop across the condenser50degree drop is a problem. 

Check the temp along all the linesyou should not have any drop at all in the middle of a line, unless that’s where the Fixed Orifice is of course. 

If the temperature of the lines is lower than suggested by the pressure on your gauge, then look for stop-leak or excessive refrigerant oil in the system. 

Make sure to download the temp/pressure chart and graph, hang them up on your box for quick reference. If you run into a weird one that you can’t seem to get your head around, then give us a call here at Identifix. Happy wrenching! 




Find and Fix Faster in Direct-Hit with Super Charged Search

Super Charged Search Direct-Hit


When you need to find a location, diagnostic, test procedure, TSB, wiring diagrams, or anything else you may need, you can be sure that one thing you will definitely find is that every OEM likes to have their own unique naming conventions.

Thankfully the power of Super Charged Search in Direct-Hit slices right through that issue and helps you find what you need no matter which term you use and even lets you use common words to locate technical information.


An Example of Super Charged Search in Action


Let’s say you’re working on a Kia and need info about the coolant pump. Kia, unfortunately,  does not use the word “coolant pump” in their service manuals, but that’s ok cause you have Direct-Hit.

Just type in “coolant pump” in the search window and Super-Charged Search gets to work finding related keywords to get what you need. While you typed just “coolant pump” Direct-Hit also searched for “Water Pump”, “Waterpump”, “Water Pump Location”, “Electric Water Pump”, “Auxiliary Coolant Pump”, “Water Pumps”, “Auxiliary Water Pump” and a number of other similar terms.


More Examples? Sure…


This time let’s say you are looking at a GM vehicle and they use both “coolant pump” and “water pump” interchangeably, so we’ll show you both.

GM Coolant Naming Search

Another example is a sensor commonly called an O2 Sensor. When we look at VW they call it an HO2S sensor but Super Charged Search still found it when you searched “O2 Sensor” and got you to the right component.

O2 Sensor Search

Using just a few keywords Super Charged Search can make it easier and faster to find what you’re looking for.


What About Error Codes?


Super Charged Search also works for Error Codes. In fact, you can search up to 8 error codes at a time and all you need to do is put a comma or space between each code

It will also search for common codes associated with codes that you search. In the above example, Direct-Hit also searched for “16804”, “P0420a”, “P0420b”, “Code P0420”, “01056”, “DTC 16804”, “Code 16804” and similar terms.


Repair More Vehicles Faster


When it comes to finding what you need quickly – specs, codes, test procedures, TSBs, wiring diagrams, or anything else, Super Charged Search is your answer. It does all the hard searching for you so you can concentrate on what you do best, getting that vehicle repaired.


Not a Direct-Hit User? Start your free 14-Day Trial now! 


Meet Eric Betts



Eric Betts’ Credentials

ASE Master Certification, L1 certification, Isuzu and Subaru factory-trained technician. 


Eric’s Start with Cars

Eric’s first experience working on cars was when he purchased his 1970 Dodge Charger. This car is what really kickstarted his passion for working on cars and after graduating, he decided to attend Texas State Technical College to earn a certificate in Automotive Technology.

Eric’s Professional Career

After earning his certificate, a shop called Waco Auto Imports then hired him full time to work on Isuzu, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, and Daihatsu vehicles. Eric later moved on to work at an Isuzu dealer in the city of Dallas Texas. Eventually, he grew a little tired of that big city lifestyle and moved back home to Tyler, Texas for 6 years to work at the local garage, Crown Auto. At Crown Auto, he continued his work on import vehicles and was their specialist for Isuzu, Subaru, VW, and Kia.

During his time at Crown Auto Eric also received his ASE Master Certification, his L1 certification, and became both an Isuzu and Subaru factory-trained technician. 


Joining Identifix

In 1999, Eric moved to Minnesota and began working at White Bear Acura, Isuzu and Subaru out in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. A month later, the family pulled up their Texas roots and everyone moved to Minnesota. Eric’s expertise caught the eye of Identifix and he was recruited to be a Virtual Tech for the Asian car team where he’s been crushing it since 2005.


When He’s Not Working

Outside of work, Eric enjoys exercising at the local Farrell’s gym and even instructs classes in the morning. He also loved riding his 4 wheelers and camping with his wife. 


Have a particularly tough Asian vehicle sitting in your shop? Eric and Virtual Tech Asian team are ready to help! They’re just a phone call away. 


Converting Drag Racing Cars To Electric Vehicles

Ev Conversion Drag Racing Cars

Electrification is taking over the industry, we’ve written about it a few times before. It’s even affecting classic cars. Over the past month, we’ve been looking at iconic vehicles from the past have been upgraded, modernized, and converted to electric vehicles. Earlier we discussed electrifying Street Rods and Classic Cars. This week we’re looking at Drag Racing Cars.

The first production electric car to add the word “quick” to its description was the Tesla P100D with Ludicrous Mode engaged. This option decreased the 0 to 60 acceleration time of the P100D to 2.3 seconds. For reference, a sub-6 second 0-60 time is considered fast.  

But we’re here to talk about EV conversion and there are plenty of EV converted vehicles out there that give the Tesla P100D in Ludicrous Mode a run for its money. Here are a few of my personal favorites.


White Zombie

The White Zombie is a 1972 Datsun 1200 owned by a man named Wayland. He has been drag racing this car since the 90’s, before electric drag cars were even a thing. Back then, it was powered by 24, 12-volt batteries for a total of 288 volts. It ran 13.5’s at 95 miles per hour and was street driven. Currently, it runs a 192 cell Lithium Polymer battery at 355 volts. White Zombie is good for an 11.4-second pass in the quarter mile at 114 miles per hour.

White Zombie


Zombie 222 

A 1968 Ford Mustang built by The 222 stands for 2 motors, 2 controllers, and 2 fast. It is currently running a 1.1 mW (megawatt) LiPo (Lithium Polymer) battery pack that powers the motors to 800 horsepower and 1800-pound-feet of torque. This is good for a 1.79 second 0 to 60 time, 9.89 seconds quarter mile at 140 MPH and 177.8 miles per hour in the Texas Mile.

Zombie 222



The Teslaonda is a 1981 Honda Accord filled with a Tesla P85 rear drive unit and a Chevy Volt battery. The look of this car is 1960’s straight axle gasser. This thing has a 0 to 60 time of 2.43 seconds and a quarter mile time of 10.5, so it’s no slouch. At full charge the battery pack has 393 volts and 16 kWh. Interestingly, it also uses a Raspberry Pi microcomputer for the electronic dash to monitor battery levels and motor temperatures.



Read our Article on Streed Rod EV Conversion


Read Our Article On Classic Car EV Conversion



Classic Car EV Conversion – Modern Performance with a Timeless Look

Classic Car EV Conversion

Electrification is taking over the industry, we’ve written about it a few times before. It’s even affecting classic cars. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be looking at iconic vehicles from the past have been upgraded, modernized, and converted to electric vehicles. Last we discussed electrifying Street Rods This week we’re looking at classic cars.

Remove the cast iron engine, cooling system, and fuel system. Then Replace them with an electric motor, controller and battery pack. The process a lot sounds simpler than it is and until recently, this would only be attempted by the most hardcore enthusiast. But because of information sharing on the internet, it has turned classic car conversion into thriving and passionate online communities. 

Surprisingly, classic cars are simpler to convert than a modern car, and any classic car with an anemic carbureted 4-cylinder engine is a good candidate for an electric conversion. Most conversions are done by repurposing battery packs from Tesla, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and using reprogrammed, aftermarket battery management or purpose-built motor controllers. 

Classic cars often have a manual transmission, brakes, and steering. Even those with an automatic transmission can still be converted because there is software that will “idle” the electric motor – spinning the torque and pump like an engine or there is an electric pump kit to supplement the transmission pump if no torque converter is used. Electric conversion allows a classic car with a manual transmission to be driven almost like an automatic-equipped car. Select the gear, press the accelerator, and go. 

There are also companies springing up that are doing these types of conversions as well. EV West is making a name for itself converting air-cooled Volkswagens to electric power. They remove the air-cooled 25-horsepower, 49-foot-pounds of torque engine that was good for a 40 second 0 to 60 MPH time. Replacing it with an electric motor that has 187-horsepower and 300 lb/ft of torque. That brings the 0 to 60 times down to 5 seconds. That is an amazing improvement! 


EV West Converted Volkwagen


Nowadays, there are classic cars on the street with no gasoline to go stale in the fuel tank. No vented fuel tank to stink up the garage. No wicking carburetor gaskets, sticking chokes and sinking floats. No points ignition with a weak spark. No flooded spark plugs. No discharged 12-volt battery to replace when it fails to crank in the spring. Heck, there is even A/C that has been added during the conversion process. Modern technology and performance in with a classic look. A win-win in this technician’s humble opinion.

Read our Article on Streed Rod EV Conversion


The NIADA 2019 Survival Guide

NIADA Survival Guide

The NIADA Conference in Las Vegas is the biggest show of the year for dealers. The opportunities that come out of demos, sessions, and networking can be majorly important for your business. We’ve already written about our picks for the top classes at this year’s NIADA. Now, we’re sharing our survival guide on how to make the most of your time at NIADA.  

We’ll discuss how to establish and stick to a mission for the show, how to network with the right people, and find new solutions for your business. We’ll also talk about how to make sure you still have time for a little fun while your there, you’re in Vegas after all! 

Establishing Your Mission 

A plan that isn’t well thought out and written down often goes right out the window as soon as it’s show time. Before the conference starts, it’s important to establish a very clear mission and create a short game plan for your time at NIADA: 

  • Write down what’s a current challenge for your business 
  • Brainstorm some current opportunities you should take advantage of, and what you want to learn 
  • Pick out your classes ahead of time and jot down a few key questions you want each of those classes to answer.  

Finding new Partners 

NIADA is a great time to find new partners with solutions, tools, and software that can help your business. Spend some time thinking about aspects of your business that could be improved. Obtain a list of vendors and see which can help you improve those areas. Set time aside to make sure you connect with these vendors while you’re at the show and see if you can book meetings in advance. 


NIADA is a great time to connect with a business contact or customer, so identify your own VIPs and make them your first priority. Take every advantage to get valuable time with them and be prepared. What do you want to speak to them about? How can they help you, or how can you help them? Coming prepared with a list of objectives will maximize your time and ensure it’s not a wasted trip.  

Finding Time for Fun  

Vegas is the land of opportunity in every sense of the word. This probably isn’t your first rodeo, but it never hurts to set objectives and maintain a schedule to balance fun and work. It’s a business trip above all else—your schedule should be devoted to mostly learning and networking. Make a list of what you want to see and experience and be purposeful in sticking to it.  

Your Keys to Success 

Following these tips and planning in advance will lead to you having the most success, and fun, at NIADA. 

  • Define your mission and your plan to achieve it 
  • Know your location well and map out how you plan to get around 
  • Stick to your schedule as much as possible 
  • Find a balance between nightlife and work but don’t let it interfere with your goals


See Identifix at NIADA

Turning a Street Rod into an Electric Vehicle

Electrification is taking over the industry, we’ve written about it a few times before. It’s even affecting classic cars. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be looking at iconic vehicles from the past have been upgraded, modernized, and converted to electric vehicles. This week we’re looking at Street Rods.

My current favorite has to be the ’49 Mercury Coupe – built by ICON as part of their Derelict Series. The Derelict Series is where they restomod – a term to describe mixing old and new technology to create the best of both worlds – older vehicles whose bodies show age earned natural patina. They upgraded the chassis with modern electric steering, suspension, and braking with a custom interior with electric Air ConditioningThe car uses Tesla battery modules and controllers with modified software by and dual electric motors that can put out 500 lb/ft of torque. It has about a 200mile range and can take advantage of the Tesla Supercharger.  

Street Rod EV

Source: DriveMag

Another one of my favorites is the 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyline hardtop convertible. The car, named “Evie, was commissioned by New Zealand-based energy company, Mercury. It uses a Siemens AC motor originally sourced from a bus and uses a 50kWh battery pack. Scott Drive has written some interesting software features as well. For instance, the motor idles because the car has retained the torque converter and automatic transmission. 


For even more about this cool car, you can check out the making of video. 

When even street rods are being turned into electric vehicles you know that electrification is really starting to take over and become widely accepted within the industry. Next week we’ll talk about some classic cars that have undergone electric conversions.