You will find articles organized by categories, along with recent comments, along the right hand column of the website. If you are just getting started with the idea of converting a gas car to electric be sure to check out Your First Electric Car
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Clean Start · 7 October 05
It may not be one of the universal truths, but when venturing into a new project you should always consider which new tools you’ll be able to
get away with justify buying.
This truth became self evident when I checked out the price of renting a pressure washer. For another eighty bucks I could buy a brand new one. That’s exactly what I did, picking up a 1750psi electric pressure washer and a couple cans of engine cleaning solvent.
Time to do battle…
I decided on electric mostly because I’m tired of accumulating little gas powered gizmos that sit around the garage oozing oil and gas, make a god-awful noise to operate, and slowly beat themselves to death. We switched to a battery powered weed whacker a couple years ago and a little battery powered push mower earlier this year.
Commercial battery powered gizmos are usually on the weak side. It’s not that they can’t make beefier equipment, I think it’s more of a matter of price and weight. Higher density batteries are more expensive and might require additional charging and safety circuits. Heavy duty motors and the batteries to run them make for more weight to lug, which most weekend weed whackers aren’t going to appreciate. Just keep this in mind if you buy one and get an extra battery.
But I’m getting a little off topic…
So, yeah, I bought an electric pressure washer and a couple spray cans of some non-toxic engine degreaser. Pushed Eve out onto the driveway, lugged the transmission out with her, and covered them both with a blast of cleaner spray. Fired up the pressure washer, got out the dirty rags, and went to town cleaning off fifteen years of accumulated crud.
Hey, how about that? Eve looks pretty good once she’s cleaned up! Check out the before shot.
Without the motor, transmission, gas, or exhaust system in place Eve is pretty easy to push in and out of the garage. While she was out warming up and drying in the New Hampshire Fall Sun I cleaned up the garage a little bit and set about piecing together the drive train.
Notice how nice the transmission looks? Here’s the before shot for comparison. After taking the photo I removed the clutch throwout bearing and yoke (thanks Dan) along with the hydraulics. I don’t use a clutch in the EV, shifting is rare enough that it’s just not worth messing with it.
As you can see in the image at the top of this article (click images for much larger version) the Advanced DC electric motor mounts perfectly to the transmission using the old adaptor plate. I can’t begin to say how great that is! Thanks again to Ryan who clued me in to the common transmissions.
Got out the come-along, heavy duty nylon straps, and lifted the whole assembly high enough to slip Eve underneath. This is where using a real engine hoist would be better as you’d just move the hoist around for positioning. Instead I got to move Eve around to line up with the motor-transmission.
Like I said, glad she’s lighter and relatively easy to move around.
There you have it, electric motor and transmission in place. The motor mounts aren’t all hooked up yet as I might still have to remove the whole setup again before the project is over. I also have to fabricate a hunk of metal to connect the end of the electric motor to the wheel well on the left. You can see that I have the old mount kind of just sitting there, but it’s not attached to the motor yet.
While I was cleaning the engine I also removed some more unneeded components. Stripped out the rest of the power steering hosing and brackets, will need to get/make plugs for the old hose connections. Also removed a whole bunch of random mounting brackets; what with all of the wires and hoses going to/from the engine it seems they had an extra bracket on almost every surface.
Take a look at the large view of the cleaned engine compartment earlier on the page. See that huge rat tail of wire coming out of the firewall? That’s the fuel injector wire bundle, most likely leading into an onboard computer. Along with that is another bundle heading to relays on the right. The only relay that seems useful is for the horn, which means I ought to be able to yank out ALL of those wires.
On the first EV I started pulling apart a wiring harness one weekend and almost started down the path of rewiring the whole car. It’s hard to describe how much electronics are involved with the average gas powered automobile engine. It makes the average electric car look almost primitive. All of that stuff is now excess weight and mess. We’ll see if I can resist the urge to organize.