Cutting the first metal
To prepare the engine compartment for the front battery box, the battery mount for the ICE lead acid battery had to be removed. The mount was actually welded to the frame, probably to get a good electrical connection to the frame, as the frame ground connection was part of the battery mount. Because it was welded, I had to use a cut-off wheel saw to cut the welds. This was the first cutting of metal on the 320i. Pictures of the process can be seen in the photogallery. The new battery box for the Li-ion batteries will take up an area between the two wheel wells at the very front of the engine compartment, in a place where the ICE radiator was once mounted. The front battery box will hold 36 of the CALB 60 cells. I used cardboard to make a model of the battery box to verify how it will sit and will be mounted. Fortunately the way the hood is mounted allows room for several inches above the box, which will be needed to bring the cables in to connect to the batteries.