Because I have two young kids who I love to play with… this project is really only something I can do during naptime on Saturday or Sunday, which is also the only time I can do anything kid-free. So, I’ve had a few weeks of nothing getting done. I was determined to accomplish something this weekend.
So as soon as I finished reading Buster the Bulldozer and both kids were down, I hit the garage. The next steps were to:
- Measure and Attach the shaft coupler to the electric motor
- Attach the adapter plate to the electric motor
- Mount the motor to the transmission
The shaft coupler attaches to the shaft of the electric motor (the part that actually spins), and then meshes into the grooves at the end of the shaft of the transmission. The custom made coupler bridges the two together. You have to make measurements and make sure that the position of the coupler is going to hit the grooved shaft on the transmission when it gets mounted.
I made a ton of measurements and figured everything down to a 16th of an inch, attached the coupler, checked my math and then was off by a half inch. I don’t know why I bother to pre-measure anything when I always end up just doing trial and error anyway.
So I needed some bolts for attaching the adapter plate to the mounts on the transmission. I sawed one off, and one was missing in the last step (see “taking out the big gas engine”). These need to be 10mm bolts in long lengths. Plus I needed some 3/8 inch bolts to attach the adapter plate to the electric motor. So I headed to Lowes.
For anyone looking, Lowes does not believe in the metric system. They do not carry metric bolts at all. Good for them for being patriotic and eschewing that stupid European crap, but this does not help me. I had better luck at Home Depot, and I was able to find the goofy German bolts in approximately the right lengths… and I was also able to pick up the non-stupid bolts measured in 8ths of a kings thumb, the way God intended it to be.
The next step here is to mount this onto the transmission where the original gas engine was attached. But screw that. This little blue motor may not look like much, but it weighs like 100 pounds without the adapter plate on it. The odds of me being able to hold it in place with one hand while putting the bolts into place with the other is around zero. I’ll have to put this off until Dave or Jordan can come by and help me out.
So I decided to take out the gas tank. I undo the bolts and give it a shake to see if it is empty. It is, thank God. I don’t want to have to siphon gas out of here.
I did not realize that this would leave such a large hole in the bottom of the front section here. I may need to fabricate something that sits in that gap to hold the batteries snugly, because this is an ideal location for the front series of batteries.
I’m going to need 15 8V batteries to achieve 120V. I think 6 go behind the back seat, maybe a few in the back, and the remainder are going to have to go up front. Maybe 8 of them? I’ll have to make a template sometime and check out how they might fit.
So lastly in the post, I want to share with you my real point of fear in this project that I have yet to have to deal with. The cars electrical is a mess. Look at this:
Where are all these wires coming from, going to and what do they do? How am I going to figure this out? If you think looking at this is confusing, try looking at the wiring diagram for the 68 Beetle… it’s even worse.
Somewhere in there are the ignition, the windshield washer jet motor, interior lights and indicators, and who knows what. Some of it I won’t need, but I don’t know how I’m going to know which is which.