Sunday, March 24, 2013


Last week I started the process of removing the Fiero engine cradle. Because of a belly pan that the original converter had installed, there was no access to the jack points on the car so I tried to pick up the rear with an engine hoist. With the cradle still attached to the car, there was just too much weight and the hydraulic cylinder just bypassed before the rear wheels would come off the ground.


As luck would have it, without the lead acid batteries, the car was high enough off the ground to allow me to remove the rear belly pan panel and I was able to get a jack under the rear cross member. With the car lifted as high as the jack would go I was able to get jack stands under the middle frame rails but could not get it as high as I would have liked. Because of this, I decided to disconnect the struts from the rear A arms and leave the struts suspended from the towers. After measuring the clearance, I was close so I rigged the engine puller and put some jacks under the firewall side cradle mounts and a transmission jack under the rear cross member as back up protection. The engine lift would not reach all the way to the center of the engine cradle so I would need to roll back a little on the transmission jack before transferring the load all the way to the engine hoist. After removing all of the bolts, I lowered the front jack I had supporting the firewall side of the cradle and the transmission jack allowing the cradle to slowly roll toward the rear of the car. My side to side rigging was a little off and the passenger side was quite a bit lower, so I rigged up a cable hoist to level the load. When lowered,  the cradle set firmly on the legs of the engine hoist but I was about 3 inches short of being able to clear the trunk protrusion which was the lowest point. Each side had to be jacked up, the jack stands extended and finally there was enough clearance to roll the cradle out. Success!


There was movement in the rear of the car when I drove it last summer, so solid cradle mounts have been ordered and I will make solid transmission and engine mounts to sure everything up. This will also be a good time to clean, paint, install Helwig Redtop brushes, check the clutch, and bring the motor connections up to the top instead of down on the bottom.

With the car jacked up, With access the motor compartment, I will remove the firewall insulation (as there is no heat generating ICE engine anymore), clean, paint, install the J1772 plug and clean up the wiring runs before reinstalling the motor cradle.
This week I received an email from another converter in the Columbus, OH area telling me that there was going to be a get together with all of the builders who were planning on attending  EVCCON. I am pretty excited to see some of the other local builds and hope I can get the Fiero done in time to bring to the show.
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