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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Starting this build thread as it seems the best way to go on DIYElectricCar to get help during the build. I have done a blog post on where I was up to most recently: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/blog.php?b=1409



Next steps planned are:
* Empty and remove the fuel tank - planning to open them up under the seats, remove the pump things, siphon the fuel, remove all the lines to the front.
* Remove the transmission and engine - planning to hook engine up to a block and tackle from an ibeam in centre of garage room, remove transmission first below then lower the car as removing engine.

Currently thinking about:
* I've been looking at the electrical diagram but am not able yet to translate that into what I see in front of me. In the meantime I'm leaving every harness and ECU in there (disconnected from engine). I need to identify what it's going to take to make the auto transmission change exactly how it did with an ICE engine. I am hopeful that all I will need to do is provide an input for the speed and that this will trigger gear changes as appropriate. In which case I need to find where that input is on the ICE engine connecting to an ECU somewhere.
* Thinking about whether to get a water cooler plate made for the controller.
* Thinking ahead to whether to put all the batteries in the front (this car has loads of space in the engine well) or put half in a cutout in the hatchback boot. I'm expecting to come in at about the same weight but if I put all batteries in the front then weight distribution will move forward (because ICE engine was close to the firewall) and that might create an issue for certification.
* Looking at doing my own framework for belts to run the aircon compressor and the power steering pump. It could simply things but not easy due to the way they were connected to the engine. I am thinking to make a wooden model first then get it made somewhere in aluminium.
* Considering material to use to connect motor to car and for battery boxes. I'm thinking aluminium for weight reasons although noticing a lot of people just using steel.
* Considering repositioning the transmission oil radiator in front of the aircon radiator (was sandwiched between it and the engine radiator). Not sure whether the two units will function as efficiently without the fan unit, which I've removed (but could put back if necessary).

Input welcome.

Cheers
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Today removed the fuel and fuel tank along with the fuel lines running under the car. There was a third line made of blue plastic going to the front alongside the fuel lines. I wasn't sure what it was but removed it as well as by now it wasn't connected at the front anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Today have drained auto transmission fluid and started undoing remaining things attached to transmission ahead of it's temporary removal.

Have hit a snag with undoing the coolant nuts, which I may leave till it's lowered a bit.

However, keen to undo this electrical connector (see pic) if anyone knows how these undo. I've tried pulling pushing turning but it doesn't move. Don't want to break it so trying to identify which way it is supposed to go.

Cheers
Richard
 

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I have a 318i .... 30 cells in the rear and 18 in the front ... running ac76 ... weight distribution exactly as it was with only 50 lbs extra ... im running 48 calb se 130 ah cells ... boxes are in aluminium ...



look for my bmw conversion thread .... could give you some tips and motivation lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Have disconnected all wiring from transmission and engine, as well as loosening the hard-to-reach reach torx bolts connecting them together, so ready for 'the big day' soon when I'll pull both out. The oil coolant lines remain connected at the transmission end only.
Started to explore throttle options that might retain use of the original throttle body and the throttle position sensor input into the ECU, which I understand plays a role in gear selection in the transmission.
Found an online diagram for the adaptor plate (from reading crackerjackz material) for a manual gearbox for an this range of vehicles, need to establish whether it will be the same for the automatic gearbox. If so it will save a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Today picked up a new bonnet strap after a third party one I bought earlier this year failed. I've also been looking around for a door card and replacement seats.

Further on the Throttle Position Sensor question I tried testing voltages around the various plugs in the harness with the key on. Starting to get concerned that the ECU might not be working. Didn't learn much but it all might mean more after I print out the electrical diagrams for the car and work through them.

Have been working through in emails with Zeva what it's going to take to rig up a throttle to the Kelly controller with this original equipment TPS setup, a Kelly controller and their interface board. All possible, but my desire to retain idle is complicating things. Will look into the possibility of physically mounting the TPS sensor on the axle of an EV throttle, or doing what other people do and leaving a pot in a fixed position across the TPS input instead of providing dynamic input to the ECU/TCU.

Apparently there is a 1mm plate between the transmission and throttle that will help in cutting the adaptor plate accurately. This is along with the jpeg online that has been used in manual conversions, which I'm told will also fit automatic versions. Am planning to visit an engineer this week for an initial discussion as the transmission should be out soon. Most likely I'll get someone to do the whole job of connecting motor to transmission and returning to me as a whole unit. I've ordered a couple of block and tackles online to pull out the engine, which I'll do on the same day as the transmission, and they should arrive by the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Today was a big day in the conversion, the removal of the automatic transmission (which I will be retaining) and the engine. Kicked the day off by buying a chain and shackles to hook around the metal beam in my garage and hang two block and tackles off.
Also made a wooden trolley to move the engine around on once out, using some wheels from a broken office chair. Figure they must be capable of 100kg together.
Did the whole job in one session, removing the transmission first below and then the engine out the top as per the Haynes manual.
Had it all prepared in terms of everything disconnected, and transmission bolts already turnable. So the challenges were to be careful not to damage anything, and to get my hands around into some tight spots to remove bolts. One bolt I had to use a small universal socket adaptor as a driver as the space was so tight. That took a long time.
Now there's not much left in the front. So much space, as anticipated. It's intimidating in terms of staring to think about filling that space and the structures that will be needed to do it.

Pics attached
 

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Hi Richard
I'm a bit late as you have bought the block and tackle but RepCo do a really nice engine hoist
I bought mine a few years back - its much more handy than a chain hoist and it was only about $200

It's really handy to be able to lift an engine (or a battery box) and then roll it out of there
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Duncan,
No worries. in this case I'm pretty happy with my purchase as the block and tackles were about $150 in total from Savebarn on TradeMe and allowed me to control each end of the lift really well. I was able to lift the engine right out of the top while the car was still up on the stands. Now the real fun begins!
Cheers
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Of course I have to move the car back and forth after lifting things out of it rather than being able to just roll a stand around!
 

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Hi Richard
If you leave the gearbox in place then you have to jack up the front when taking the motor out
That becomes a pain as you can't easily move the car

Other possible worry - how strong is your beam?
I would not like to lift an engine using the beams in my place!

Anyway hopefully you will only need to do this once!

As the Device is basically a toy and will be "tested" on the track as well as the road I fully expect to be regularily lifting bits in and out with my engine crane
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Beam's good. It's a massive metal I-beam holding up the house. Engine is less than 100kg.
Easy maintainability of the car will be key in my thinking when planning for how the motor, batteries and components are held and positioned. I'm hoping the motor and transmission will be able to readily drop out underneath as the motor is shorter than the engine was. Still need to do some measurements to see if that will work.
Cheers
Richard
 

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I put the motor and tranny back in from the top as one piece on mine ... Went very well in . I strongly suggest you use original motor mounting points ...
 

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I'm impressed with the speed that you are going at. It took me close to a year to get to where you are in just over a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Quick question anyone.
Now is obviously the time to give the engine bay a clean out. There are still wires, brake system, aircon pipes and cooler, power steering and pump, etc in there so what is the best approach out of: water blaster, hand held steamer (would this damage plastic?), soap and water in a bucket or dry rags?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Started to think about the mounting of the motor (rear wheel drive car). Considerations include that I want to be able to drop the motor and transmission together out the bottom, and, as I'm going to idle the motor and rework the belt system for components, I also need to mount aircon compressor on right and oil cooling pump on left (although since we are facing front that's left and right in diagram). This suggests to me that the simplest approach would be mounting to a flat sided box of two sides and two ends - see attached picture, diagram A. Engine mounts would build off the sides to the usual positions. They may have to incorporate the mounting of the pumps due to their relative positions.
Then was thinking could trim the top as in diagram B. Especially at the top of the sides in Diagram B I would leave just enough space between them to get nuts in and the ends of bolts, for mounting stuff on the sides. Would weld the sides to the end at the transmission end and bolt the front end on so the motor can be extracted as needed.
Diagram C shows where pumps would be mounted, for the belt system across them and the motor end.
Then I realised that with the motor being shorter than the engine, I'll likely hit the steering column with the aircon compressor. So therefore diagram D, where I run a larger section down that side (note we're RHD in NZ) and create a small mounting frame angled upwards. The additional holes in C and D are to mount tensioning pulley's on the belt system. Perhaps they could be simply elongated to provide the adjustment.
This whole thing I'm thinking of doing in aluminium to keep weight down, realising this may be costly. It might mean it's quite chunky, but that won't be an issue as there is plenty of space left and right of the motor.
Diagram E is incorprating the adaptor plate (conceptual, not what the actual adaptor plate looks like though) in the shape of the far end of the box. This will be essential if there is little gap between transmission and engine. I guess that depends on the coupling, which I don't know much about yet.
If I can minimise distance then I'll need to have a higher front end right across the box as per diagram F, angling or shaping down to the back as mounting arms will conflict with pumps.
I could prototype everything in wood first but more likely I'll just do some rough measurements and go with plan F. Then position that in the car and measure everything else around that. This is because I'll likely hand motor and tran to an engineering firm and leave it to them to (minimise but) determine distance between transmission and motor.
Comments welcome please.
 

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I'm not too sure about the motor mounting stuff, but to clean the engine, I used an engine degreaser and paper towels. Scrape off anything that you can first if it is really thick with a putty knife.

This is what I used to scrape of oil gunk and loose flaky rust:

 
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