Adapter Reject

I got the final word from ReBirthAuto today.  They are refusing to take any action to remedy the issue with the adapter and feel they have met their obligation for what was ordered.  I don't know how they can see that since they did not actually make an adapter for a 1983 BMW transmission and they did not account for motor rotation of the Siemens.  The lowest cost option for me now is to take the Siemens motor apart and rotate the drive face.  People that I know that have taken this motor apart do not know if the water cooling will be disturbed with the rotation of the drive face.  I will not know until I take the motor apart.  Look for a video of that adventure.  If the face rotation cannot be done without disturbing the water cooling then I will have to look at a more costly option of machining a new adapter plate. I have already been in contact with a company that does 3-D scanning.  Making my own adapter from scratch may end up costing as much as buying another one from ReBirithAuto, but then I would own the design and I will know it will be done correctly.

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Rotated Motor

Once I got the motor assembly out of the car I disconnected the transmission and the adapter. I rolled the motor over on its side so now the electrical connections are on top, which will make connecting to the DMOC much easier and make it possible to have the DMOC parallel to the firewall of the engine compartment.  I started to align the adapter to motor in this orientation and discovered that the adapter was not made to permit this.  The Siemens motor is not 90 degree symmetric so now the bolts holes for the motor do not line up with the holes in the adapter (pictures).  With other motors like those from HPEVS the end plates of the motors are easily removed and rotated. But those motors are not IP67 sealed liket the Siemens (that means totally waterproof).  It does not look like the Siemens is meant to be removed.  So now I have a request into RebirthAuto to make a new adapter that will attach to the Siemens in this orientation.  Will see what their response will be.  If they are unwilling to make a new adapter I may look at making my own and use the spline adapter that is adapter plate. Unfortunately without having the CAD drawing for the adapter plate I fear making one from scratch will cost as much as the original one from RebirthAuto.

 

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Transmissions Revealed

I got a response from RebirthAuto.  They claim the correct adapter pattern was machined for my transmission.  It seems there is some confusion on the 5-speed transmissions that were used in E21 BMWs in the early 80's.  I have the transmission that is listed for a 1983 E21 5-speed, which is model number 240 manual transmission.  From the pattern of the adapter that RebirthAuto provided it appears they patterned after model 245, another 5-speed transmission used in E21s.  The problem is model 245 5-speed transmissions were only used up to 1982.  Starting in 1983 and later BMW started selling cars with the model 240 5-speed manual transmission.  The issue with the bolt pattern not lining up however, probably is a non-issue.  I reviewed the video I shot during the removal of the ICE.  Here is a picture that clearly shows the bottom of the engine was not connected to the transmission (because there is nothing there).  There was a dust cover plate that was on the bottom of the transmission where the miss-alignment is with the adapter.  So those bolts do not carry any of the transmission load.  The remainder of the bolts that are connected should provide all the support needed for the adapter. So I will use this adapter as it is. The next step is to pull the motor and transmission assembly back out of the car so that the flywheel and clutch can be installed and the motor rotated 90 degrees.  After these changes are made and once I have everything bolted back together I plan to spin the motor and transmission on the bench, before putting back in the car.

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Motor placement for measurement

The adapter from RebirthAuto finally arrived late last week, photos of the adapter and the spline connection on the Siemens motor are here.  I was planning to build up the whole drivedrain and assemble the flywheel and clutch, but the flywheel bolts were backordered.  They should arrive this week.  But the clutch is not needed to bolt the motor and transmission to the adapter.  I first bolted the adapter to the transmission.  All of the top bolt holes and the two alignment pins lined up but to my surprise two of the bottom bolts were not even close to being in the correct place (photo).  I checked the paper work and it seems RebirthAuto sent me an adapter for a 2002 BMW transmission even though I had ordered an adapter for a 320i.  The transmission bolt patters are close but obviously somewhat different.  I don't know if missing these bolts would compromise the integrity of the drivetrain. The bolts are 7mm bolts and are not part of the load bearing area of the transmission. I emailed RebirthAuto about this issue - see what their response it.  Even without those two bolts I bolted the Siemens motor to the adapter - that was perfect.  I need the whole drive train assembled and placed in the car so I can measure where the motor mounts need to be to support the electric motor.  My plan is to use the same mounts that were used with the ICE if possible.  Using an engine lift (cherry picker) I was able to get the whole assembly in the engine bay.  However, once I got the motor assembly in I found that the engine lift arm was not long enough to position the assembly so I could attach the transmission to its mounting points.  I had to remove the front bumper and part of the air damn to get the lift in far enough.  I also had to jack up the front of the car so that I could work under it to mount the transmission.  I realized to get an accurate position I also needed to have the driveshaft mounted.  Pictures of the motor assembly in the engine bay are here.  One problem I found with the motor assembly is that there is not enough room in front of the motor for a double row battery box that I had planned on using.  I might have to make a smaller width  box or possibly a box that fits between the frame, where the ICE radiator was.  A battery box that size would hold less cells, but more than a single width box that spans between the wheel wells.  Another part of this motor assembly placement is to determine where the DMOC can be mounted.  The DMOC is much longer than the motor, almost 6" longer so it might be difficult to mount it in the same orientation that was used in the eTransit Connect.  Once the motor assembly was in it appears the DMOC is too long so in needs to be rotated 90 degrees and mount between the wheel wells, parallel to the firewall.  That orientation would require the motor to be rotated 90 degrees so the electrical connections would be on the top, instead of the side as they are now shown.

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Drive train coming soon

I have not been doing much work on the conversion for the past month.  For a couple of weeks I was building and testing GEVCU 4.2 boards that I built for my friends Collin, Charles and Michael.  They now have updated hardware to work in their conversions.  Then I was travelling to Japan for my day job and last week I was on vacation for a few days.  This week I will be travelling to San Diego.  I hope to have time to meet with the guys at EV West while I am in San Diego.  For my conversion all the drivetrain components are ready.  A new racing clutch was received from Summit Racing. The flywheel clutch face was resurfaced and the flywheel and clutch plate were spin balanced by Lindskog Balancing.  The 5-speed transmission had all new seals installed. The motor adapter for the Siemens motor is being shipped by RebirthAuto sometime this week. The adapter will make it possible to assemble the drivetrain and place it in the 320i to design the motor mounts.  Photos of the adapter plate can be seen here.

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