May 30 2008

Engine removal.

Today was the dirtiest part of the work I will ever do with the car. If you think about it - a vehicle is full of liquids all leaking out as you take the car apart. Gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, ATF (transmission fluid), power steering oil, brake fluid, power washer fluid, coolant (not to mention numerous lubricants of all kinds). Some of these will live in the EV (steering, brake, washer) but no more large volume fluids I will periodically replace or replenish. The mess associated with engine removal will be incredible and you will be dirty all over, so get prepared. Procedure is pretty straight forward - it took me about 3-4 hours to do without help. Basically once everything is unhooked from the engine/transmission, it can be pulled out without major hassles, but there are few things to watch out for.

There may be some redundant photos below, but this is last time I will see the engine+transmission anywhere near the vehicle and it is major part of it, so I took detailed photos as I kept pulling this unit out. Here is what I did:

First, you need to unlink shifter cable from the transmission. Here is the linkage mechanism cover in the drive shaft tunnel.
Shifter linkage exposed.
The end of linkage cable is off the bottom end of the shifter lever.
An aluminum plate was made to be bolted to the front of the engine to pull it up - attached where the service manual suggests as necessary tool for the job. Turned out there was no need for it. Oh well...
Here we go, starting the surgery. The engine was hanged on double chains wrapped on both sides around exhaust pipes.
Overview of this step.
I pulled the engine slightly up to see if anything else holds ties it to the vehicle. Two electrical connections to the transmission were unplugged.
The engine should come out of front support brackets and the studs holding it down exposed.
As you raise it the transmission end will lower and whole thing tilt. This is the only way to remove it without separating engine from the transmission.
I raised it more and moved side to side. It moves easily, but not away from the body. What's holding it?
  :-)  heater core hoses...
In the EV heater will be relocated anyway, and taking off stock hoses with the clamps Audi uses is not possible. A knife solves this problem.

Now, nothing holds the engine and transmission, it just sits on the rear supports. So the pulling was completed as follows:

Engine was raised and moved forward as much as possible.
As you do this the left half-shaft hitched up aluminum thermo shield. Careful as the clearance between half-shaft flange and exhaust pipe is nonexistent here.
Overview of this step from the right side.
Keeping pulling...
Finally the torque converter showed up. Nothing interferes, which is a good sign.
Going further. Engine tilts up more, and will stay like this.
Closer photo of this step.
Keeping pulling. The engine is outside engine compartment now.
Overview of this step.
Keeping pulling. Transmission looks pretty long. I wonder if I  have enough room in front of the vehicle...
Keeping pulling. Transmission is *really* long.
Engine is hanging totally outside.
Gee, transmission seems MUCH longer than I expected! Well, doesn't really matter anymore.

This marvel of German engineering is really big! I might have to put the car on the wheels and roll it backwards: because of the way the car sits on the lift, there is no room in the garage in front of it. Will see though; there are few more centimeters between the shelves in front of the car and engine.

Pulling higher. I had to lower the car on the lift as there may not be enough of the crane height.
Keep going. This transmission is the longest I've seen. It doesn't look that long if you look from underneath...
This step from different angle.
Remember the shift linkage? Whole box was dragged out together with the shifter cable.
Wow, it's like two transmissions put together!
There is no end of it yet, but I ran out of room in front. Fortunately, I was able to roll the crane away from the car and twist whole thing while hanging on the chains.
Keep coming. The end of the transmission is finally visible, and the ends of exhaust pipes stick out even little further.
Finally, whole setup is out. Last thing I want now is to drop it on the fender...
The engine+transmission is lowered safely. The total weight of it all was 350 kg. Will clean it up, make nice photos and put up for sale on eBay or local Craig list.
This place will never see that big hot heavy stinky pitifully efficient dinosaurs burner. Will clean up this mess and start preparing for mounting of the front differential and front electric motor.

Next the heat shield liners around center tunnel were removed and engine bay prepared for the measurements. For the front suspension to work right with designed angles, position of the front differential must be such that the half shafts flanges are at the same spots where they were before. The measurements will come off the stock transmission - distances between supports and the flange. Then, temporary mock up brackets holding half-shafts will be fabricated so the differential will be positioned right. Next, the motor is linked to the differential with small adapter plate and shaft coupler and whole unit will be positioned  in the engine bay. That will come next

Little food for thought:

Few hundred moving parts of the engine with a bunch of sensors and about hundred moving parts of the transmission will all be replaced with electric motor linked to the final differential without transmission. This setup has exactly ONE moving part: the rotor of the motor. Guess which setup is going to be more slick and reliable? Quiet. Electrically reversible. More power and more torque (for both systems) than stock, and it is fully available from zero RPM. I can run the car on the race track. I can run it indoors during trade shows. I can "fuel" it from any 120VAC or 240VAC outlet. I can breathe near it. I can turn on music in the cabin and take a ride - all I can hear as a background is a whisper of the wind and tires gripping the road, no engine roar. And I no longer burn dinosaurs, let alone paying for them. Are you still questioning why am I doing this conversion? Audi had to make it for me (as a consumer) like this long ago. But they didn't, and as you can see, I'm not going to wait.