Finally digging in!

So here is where we stand now. Changes are finally happening!

So what’s going on?

With any EV conversion, the first step is going to be taking out the old ICE (internal combustion engine). This car is built in a manner that makes it a bit difficult for a single person like myself to do this, but I believed I’ve found a good alternative method.

The car is intended to have its engine dropped out of the bottom of the vehicle on a lift, along with the transmission. That’s the easiest way, it is pretty much effortless. But I don’t have long term access to a lift or a shop, so I have to find another way.

That method is pulling it forward through the front of the car.

At first I was extremely skeptical as to if that would actually work, but I didn’t really have any other option. So I set to work undoing every bolt I could find until things for pretty loose.

I started undoing all the wiring I could find. There’s a bunch, especially for the headlights. But there’s also some for the fog lights, horns, and temperature sensors.

I then moved to the headlights, as they blocked access to the bolts inside of the bumper. Once the headlights were out, I was able to reach down inside of the bumper and undo the bolts that held the shock absorbers to the frame rails. The bumper slid right off after, just make sure you pop the bumper trim out of the clips down by the wheels.

Then there was still a crossmember that stretched across the whole front, this protected the radiator and held the hood down. I accidentally took the long route with this, as the hood latch needed to be disconnected to remove this piece.

I tried undoing all of the bolts that head the hood latches in place, but then they were still stuck inside of this metal piece, clamped between it and a plastic shroud. Turns out there’s a simple disconnect on the right fender, it’s a little junction box that clamps the cable coming from the cabin to the cable that attaches to the hood release. When this was undone, the crossmember came out as one big unit.

Now we are to the point that the photo above shows, where it’s just the radiator in the way. Once I drain that, it should be smooth sailing for getting the rest of this front area cleared out.

And that’s really it, I moved everything out of the way so I have more space to work, and once I get my engine crane set up, this next phase should be straight forward.

And hey, if anyone needs a BMW 3 series engine with 202k miles on it, I may be able to help you out a little 😉

About the author

Jameson Toper

I am a Computer Science Student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and I have a strong passion towards the field of electric vehicles. When I am not working on this project, I teach a Computer Science course and make music.

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