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  #1  
Old 01-12-2009, 11:13 AM
ARti ARti is offline
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Default BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Greetings All!


I'm well past the point of no return now (I can't even see it over my shoulder anymore) and am ready to post a thread. First, the recommended items:
  • Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication : No fabrication experience at all. I've been a V-dub guy since before I could get a license, so I've done plenty of ICE and body mech/electrical trouble shooting and repair. Some suspension work back there in a restoration of a super-beetle and a scirocco. I do have the support of a couple of Aces with a fabrication shop.
  • The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge): ~40
  • What level of performance you are hoping to get: Quick enough to merge into traffic moving around 50. Our neighborhood dumps out into a 2 lane state highway with a suicide lane.
  • How much money you are willing to put into your project : The spousal approval runs to about $15k overall. I think I can make that. The donor was $4k, components and batteries will add another $8k. The donor needs a few things like a new windshield, some paint would be good, lrr tires, airsprings etc.
  • What parts you've already considered, if any. : I ordered the bulk of the stuff from EVA last week. ADC FB1-4001 motor, Curtis 1231C, etc. I intend to order an MR2 powersteering pump, and a water heater/pump combo for heating. I'm keeping the AC Compressor and will belt drive it off the ODE shaft. However, despite EVA's typical approach, I am planning on keeping the clutch.
The Background:
For years, I've thought about doing a project like this. In summer '08, it occurred to me that if I was ever going to convert my own car from gas to electric, I should probably get on with it. Sooner or later, the major manufacturers will get on with making EVs available, then it wouldn't make a lot of sense to go through all of this one your own.

My wife and I started talking about it, and she agreed that I needed some sort of project or hobby to keep from just working all the time. The final straw was an "icebreaker" activity at a men's retreat I attended. We were supposed to identify something interesting about ourselves, and include that in our introduction. It occurred to me that I didn't have anything really interesting since my time living in Germany in the early 90's.

The research and hunt for a donor car began in September. Skipping ahead a little bit, in mid-October, I found a nice little 1997 BMW 318ti with bunches and bunches of miles. 207k of them in fact. It ran fine, and probably would've been a lot of fun to zip around town in as it was. But that wasn't the plan.



So here's a summary of design goals for my EV Conversion Project
  • Target Range: 40 miles
  • Max Speed: 60 mph
  • Typical Top speed: 45-50mph
  • Typical Avg speed: 30-40mph
  • Typical Route: Home -> School -> Church -> Grocery -> Home ~11mi
  • Acceleration: Peppy enough to merge into traffic. I won't be running anyone at stoplights...much.
  • Capacity: 2 Adults & 2 kids + light groceries or school backpacks
  • Total Budget: $15,000
  • Completion Goal: 3/31/09
That's how the whole thing got started. I'll add more entries with pics of the teardown of the "ti". We're still looking for appropriate nicknames for the ride once it's done, so the terms I use to refer to the vehicle may change now and then. I think it'll be related to the number of knuckles that are skinned up.

The car is listed in the garage: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/garage/cars/116 , and I've got an external blog set up: http://mpkwh.blogspot.com

Comments, Warnings, Questions, Suggestions are all welcome!
Thanks,
Phillip

Fayetteville, AR

Last edited by ARti; 01-12-2009 at 11:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2009, 05:26 PM
bblocher bblocher is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Hey Philip. All of your goals here are easily obtainable and well under 15k in my opinion.

I'll keep an eye on your blog. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:40 PM
RKM RKM is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Phillip,

Welcome.

Your conversion is very practical and doable (coming from a first timer). Very reasonable expectations. I look forward to watching your progress. I'd like to do a three series sometime.

Rob
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:51 PM
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PatricioIN PatricioIN is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

I have to agree.. based on your goals, you should be able to do this. The cost of the donor seems a bit high for that mileage (and considering it needs some work) but hey... be careful with spending and you should still be able to keep to your budget. I'd suggest at least a 120v system with flooded 6v batts. Will get you the speed you need easily enough and in the South's weather, the range as well.

Keep up the blog! We like pics. We're EV porn nuts.

I'm sure you have already, but check out lots of other people's conversion stats/sites/blogs. There is some GREAT info out there - if only to see other's struggles and sucesses. Good luck!
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Last edited by PatricioIN; 01-12-2009 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:21 PM
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Thaniel Thaniel is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Sharp looking car. However I'm partial to the sedans.

Looked at your site. FYI you can remove the e-brake cables by removing the nuts from the e-brake handle on the inside of the car and pulling them out underneath the car (at least on the 325i). I did this when removing the rear control arms and hubs as an assy.

Thaniel
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2009, 07:57 PM
ARti ARti is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Is there anything [useful] you can do with a starter motor? I was wondering if it can be used to run the power steering or drive the AC compressor. There's no nameplate, so I don't have any feel for what the duty cycle or RPM are. I'd guess that it probably has plenty of torque though.

Just wondering,
Phillip
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:42 PM
TheSGC TheSGC is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Starter Motors usually have a useful duty cycle of 20 seconds, or less. I have heard them used as a bicycle motor, but it would most likely burn out if used as an accesory motor in an EV.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2009, 04:17 PM
ARti ARti is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Motor has arrived at fab shop. Weather permitting, I'll take the transmission over tomorrow and get a look at the motor (ADC 9Inch).

I updated the blog (mpkwh.blogspot.com) with some more verbage, and a copy of my Google SketchUp 3D animation of the layout. It's a sedan instead of the ti, but you get the idea of what's where. It's no coupling drawing from Thaniel, but it works for curious friends and family.

Have good days,
Phillip
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File Type: jpg e3nohood_image0.jpg (16.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:08 PM
TelnetManta TelnetManta is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Phillip,

Looks similar to my 3 Series install but I fit a LOT more batteries up front

The battery racks were pretty complicated for the front I must say. Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see another # Series on the road!


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  #10  
Old 04-08-2009, 08:20 PM
ARti ARti is offline
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Default Re: BMW 318ti Conversion to "EMW"

Update: I finished the removal through February, sold off a bunch of parts, started cleaning things. In early March, we moved the 318ti to my buddy's steel fab shop. They finally got through some of their other "charity" jobs and started thinking about adapters and couplings.

We'd talked about creative approaches to cutting down the rotating mass on the flywheel, but decided things would go faster if we just used the stock flywheel...for now. Here's a couple of shots of the coupling test fit on the motor

Oh yeah, we've also pulled the floor out of the trunk so that we can start the rear battery box ("Yabba Dabba Do")
Attached Images
File Type: jpg coupling0.jpg (55.5 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg coupling1.jpg (58.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg flintstone.jpg (18.9 KB, 441 views)
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