Friday, November 16, 2007

Step 15: Attaching the Engine/Flywheel/Clutch to the Transmission

Description: Attaching the clutch disc and pressure plate to the flywheel/engine.

Tools Needed: Wrenches, the two old bolts that connected the gas engine and transmission, starter block-off (from kit), Chain?

Estimated Time: 1 - 3 hours.

Caveats: None.

Purpose of this step: This is the fully connected engine/flywheel/clutch/transmission, similar to what was pulled out of the car. This all goes in in one piece, then will be mounted where the old engine/tranny was mounted under the car (Next Step).

I had the engine/flywheel/clutch assembly on one furniture cart and the tranny on the other. The ridged opening hole in the clutch has to match up in height with the shaft in the transmission and as you can see in the picture, I was off by a couple of inches. Figured that if the engine sat on some 2 by 4's on the cart, it would just about make up the difference. Also take note of the hole on the right side of the transmission where the starter used to be. That will be covered by a "starter blockoff" from the kit, since an electric starter is unnecessary with an electric engine.

This was pretty close (balanced out with some cardboard under the tranny and I tried to slide the clutch spline onto the transmission shaft. I had a lot of problems getting this on. The shaft from the transmission would only go in part way. I spent a long time trying to get this on and finally took a break, at which point my neighbor happened to come by and told me some things about the Island of Malta, that intrigued me and I made a mental note about looking at it for a possible vacation destination in the future. Then I had some lunch. By that time, I was feeling pretty good, so I headed back out to try again. I also sprayed a little WD40 on the transmission shaft. Then I tried to connect the two again and:

Either that break reinvigorated my determination or the WD40 did the trick. I'll never know for sure. Anyway,there are 4 bolts for the attachment. The two top bolts are the ones used to hold the gas engine to the tranny and two new ones supplied in the kit. Note also the starter block-off attached and covering the hole where the starter used to sit. There really isn't much else to it. Now, the manual suggests that you first bolt on a chain to use to lift the transmission up onto its connections under the car, then take that off and rebolt. I am going to try to hook it up without doing that. I think that the two furniture carts should help me set everything up. I am still waiting for the mount that was supposedly sent out by ElectroAutomotive, so I'll let you know how it went without the chain once I get the chance to try and hook it up.

After finishing, I headed out to a ranch in beautiful Cayucos (the last of the surf towns 30 miles south of the Big Sur coast), to see Elizabeth Kucinich speak about her husband's run for president, impeachment and other subjects. She is an eloquent speaker (a Brit) and a beautiful woman. I hope her husband is successful with his current proposal in Congress.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Step 14: Attaching the Clutch (clutch disc and pressure plate) to the Flywheel

Description: Attaching the clutch disc and pressure plate to the flywheel/engine.

Tools Needed: Torque Wrench (13mm socket), Clutch pilot tool.

Estimated Time: 30 - 45 minutes.

Caveats: None to mention.

Purpose of this step: The clutch fits on the flywheel, which is already attached to the electric engine in the same way it was set up on the gas motor. This is the last step before hooking the engine/flywheel/clutch to the transmission.

This was actually fairly easy. The clutch pilot tool fits into the hub from the previous step to hold up the clutch disc until you have the pressure plate mounted to the flywheel.

The clutch disc is set with the hub facing out (I believe) as pictured here.

Next you put on the pressure plate. You use the same bolts (hopefully you saved them) to attach the pressure plate to the flywheel with the clutch disc between them. You might need to tighten the bolts a bit to get the pressure plate to pop over the dowels on the flywheel.

The bolts are tightened to 18 foot pounds. You need the flywheel lock on to effectively tighten them.

That's about it. Pull off the flywheel lock and take out the clutch pilot tool.

Next up is attaching the engine/flywheel/clutch assembly to the transmission. In preparation, they recommend taping over the "headbands" so that any particles from drilling will not get inside of the engine. I'll probably do the next step next weekend. Supposedly, my motor mount is going to be sent out next week, so I will hopefully have all of this installed under the car soon.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Step 13: Attaching the Hub and Flywheel

Description: Attaching the hub, bushing and flywheel to the electric engine.

Tools Needed: Allen ratchets, torque wrench, red loctite.

Estimated Time: 2-3 Hours (Once you have the parts).

Caveats: Could not do it as presented in EA manual, so I'll discuss what I had to do.

Purpose of this step: The flywheel attaches to the engine and will interface with the clutch as it did with the gas engine. The Serrated edge was only for the starter, so that is no longer necessary (Some people have had it lathed off to decrease overall flywheel weight and make the engine more efficient. I didn't bother).

As noted, the motor key was a bit too long, so I needed to hacksaw it down so it would be flush on the end of the motor shaft and not hanging over. This was imprecise on my part, but I don't think it needed to be perfect.
The motor key sits in the groove and I need to put the hub and bushing on over the motor key.

First, here is the hub. This baby is one of the reasons that ElectroAutomotive has a bit of a monopoly on the electric car conversion set up. You need a specially designed hub to mimic the old interface between the engine and transmission. It is different for every car and EA has a "library" full of different designs for different cars that Mike designs with a CAD and a digital camera.

This "bushing" fits inside the hub and then both fit around the engine shaft, then the flywheel attaches to that. Note the groove in the hub where the motor key fits.

The next part required me to stray from the EA instructions. They tell you to put the hub and bushing on just tight enough to allow it to slide on the motor shaft and temporarily place on the flywheel so you can set the proper length, then pull the flywheel back off and tighten the hub/bushing fully on the shaft, before putting the flywheel back on. At least in my case, this couldn't be done. The hub fits too snug in the flywheel and if I try to slide out the flywheel, the semiattached hub/bushing come right out with it (WD40 was no help). I thought this was going to be too much of an obstacle, but I believe I found a way around it. I figured out how far into the the hub the flywheel goes, then I added that distance (in my case it was .230 inches) to the 1.790" recommended. I tightened the hub/bushing loosely onto the shaft so that it could still slide and held the flywheel just flush with the hub (not inserted). Then I slid the the hub until the total distance was 1.790 + .230 = 2.020".
At that point, I tightened the hub/bushing all the way (this is an allen wrench procedure on five provided little bolts) so it wouldn't move on the shaft. For the record, tightening the hub pulls it back in from 1.790" to 1.769" according to EA. Then it's time to add the flywheel. But before that, I took the time for a little prayer to the flywheel gods.
As far as I can determine (and I'm willing to be corrected on this), it is good enough.
Of course, make sure when you put the flywheel on that the bolt holes line up with the ones on the hub. In order to get the flywheel all the way in, I had to screw all the flywheel bolts in tight, so I needed to use the flywheel lock. Again, this is different from the instructions, because I couldn't just slide the flywheel all the way in (also, don't forget the little washer plate that fits in the flywheel before you put on the bolts. Once I determined that the measurements were adequate (by my standards), I pulled each bolt out, one at a time, put red loctite on them and screwed them back in, then pulled the next bolt, etc.. The EA manual recommends tightenting the bolts to 80 foot pounds. I can't say that I was exact on that. I screwed them in about as tight as I could without rolling the engine off the crate. I think this is about as precise as an amateur like myself will be able to do this, so I hope it's good enough. Next up is the Clutch.

I posted a picture of my dog Whitman here in the past and my other dog, Finny got a little jealous, so here's Finny enjoying some girl talk:

Finny is a Westhighland White Terrier (Westie). We got him when we were living in Seattle (much to the dismay of his brother). Finny is the quintessential terrier, in that he is a pain in the ass. I love the little guy, though.

A little bit of progress...

After hacksawing the motor key down to size, I was able to attach the flywheel to the electric motor today. I was going to go for the clutch, too, but decided to end the day on a successful note. I'll have pics up when I get the clutch on there.
ElectroAutomotive actually e-mailed me back yesterday, saying that they are sending out a new motor mount adapted to the Warp9 dual shaft engine. They said they were sending it out next week (I wish they said they had already sent it, as a bird in the hand is far better than two in the bush with this project). They also claim that my battery boxes are coming in the next couple of weeks. I haven't gotten batteries yet and will hold off until the boxes arrive.