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JeepEV: Electric Vehicle Conversion Project
Out With the Old

Removing the Internal Combustion Engine and Components

     Since the Jeep is being converted to Electric, the Internal Combustion Engine and everything attached to it had to be removed. The first thing I did was take the Jeep to a shop to have the Air Conditioning system discharged and the R134a recovered. A/C systems are under high pressure and must be safely discharged first! Another good preliminary step is to use all the gas in the tank before taking apart the engine.

     I found a buyer for the Engine prior to removing it from the Jeep. Knowing the engine would be sold, I took care to label and or make diagrams of the wiring and vacuum/vapor hoses in the engine compartment. Once I had things labeled I began removing or unhooking everything that went with the engine. I didn't disassemble anything in a particular order. I did the easy things first, then moved on to harder items.

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These are pictures of the Engine compartment before anything
was removed (more in the photo gallery!).

« June 24th, 2003 »

Vacuum and Vapor Lines

     The AMC Inline-6 engine doesn't have too many vacuum lines. After labeling the lines I removed the vacuum harness as a whole. Next I pulled the vacuum reservoir from the front fender and unhooked the lines to the Climate controls and 4 wheel drive system. There are also vapor lines and a charcoal canister that insert gas fumes from the tank to the engine. I removed these lines and capped the one from the fuel tank until later. The charcoal canister is blocked by coolant hoses, so after taking the cooling system apart I was able to remove it.

A/C and Engine Cooling System

     After having the system discharged, I removed the hoses at the compressor and tied them out of the way. Since the A/C will be used after the conversion, I only removed what I had to. Next I removed the lower radiator hose and drained the cooling system. After I removed the hoses at the thermostat housing, the radiator was unhooked. I removed the front grill and top radiator support and puller both the radiator and the A/C condenser coils out together. The A/C receiver/dryer came out with these because the hose was stuck on it. Next I tackled the coolant reservoir and heater core valve/hoses. The rubber hoses were almost melted to the heater core tubes, but by using a pair of channel lock pliers I was able to finally break them free.

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The A/C hoses are unhooked. Radiator and cooling system are removed.

Air Cleaner Assembly

     The air cleaner assembly was removed as a whole. I unbolted the hose at the throttle body, unscrewed about three screws and removed the assembly from the Jeep. Wow it's beginning to look empty under the hood!

« June 25th, 2003 »

Electrical System and Wiring Harnesses

     I decided fairly early into the project that it would be less of a headache to re-wire everything under the hood. This way I could use my own wiring colors and eliminate lots of wires I wouldn't need anyways. The first thing I did was label everything I could. Next I removed the battery and tray. This Jeep has four major wiring harnesses that serve the engine and control system. The biggest of these was a harness that ran from the relay center around the front of the Jeep and to the fuseblock. I needed to keep the fuseblock connector but not the harness, so I cut the harness about 18" from the fuseblock. Next I unhooked the wiring harnesses from each other and removed the ECU (computer) from under the dash. I left the engine sensor wiring harness on the engine with everything still attached. All the other harnesses were removed, along with the relay center and the various relays and resistors mounted on the side wall of the engine compartment. I made sure all wiring was removed including the engine ground strap and alternator wiring. The engine wiring harness was put by the throttle body to keep it out of the way.

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All wires are labeled before being cut. Engine harness stays on engine.

« June 30th, 2003 »

Fuel Delievery System

     The next step was to remove the fuel system components. Remember above how I mentioned removing fuel from the tank? Well, I was stupid and left about 7 gallons of gas in the tank. To remove this fuel I removed the fuel return line hose from the fuel rail. Then using a battery charger, I hooked up the fuel pump and pumped the fuel from the tank, through the fuel rail, and into a clean mayonnaise jar. The fuel then went into our other car. I had no problem with crud in the fuel because the fuel tank and pump were both replaced about a year and a half before. All the fuel that came out was perfectly clear to the end. I then removed all fuel and vapor lines from the fuel tank. I then took the clamps off the filler hose and slowly lowered the tank and pump. This was easier than expected since the tank was very light weight. It should be noted that I had completed the rear suspension upgrade before dropping the tank so I had lots of room under the rear of the Jeep. Needless to say I smelled like fuel for the rest of the day.

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After all fuel is removed, the gas filler is removed and the tank is dropped.

Starter Motor, Etc...

     After the engine compartment was cleared out some, I removed the starter motor and solenoid. Note that the electrical connections had already been disconnected. Next I focused on the Power Steering pump. I was keeping the P/S pump so I decided not to unhook the hydraulic lines (and save hours of system bleeding). This Jeep used the P/S pump as a belt tension adjuster, so I first pivoted the pump and removed the serpentine drive belt. Then I unbolted the pump from the engine and set it aside, with every thing still attached. Next I removed the A/C compressor from the engine. Once again, I'll be keeping the compressor for use after the conversion. The compressor hoses had already been disconnected. I also had removed the cruise control servo motor, which hadn't worked for many years and removed the accelerator and cruise control throttle cables.

« July 10th, 2003 »

Internal Combustion Engine Removal

     When all the engine accessories, radiator, hoses, electrical wiring, etc. were removed, the engine could be pulled. Having never removed an engine before, this step was a very unique experience! During the two days before I was to remove the engine, I took PB Blaster (like WD40) to all the bolts on the engine mounts and transmission bell-housing. I then rented an engine hoist and assembled it in my garage. Here's where it gets interesting: after measuring, I soon realized there was not enough ceiling clearance in my garage for the bottom of the oil pan to clear the Jeep. So I got creative. The first thing I did was shorten the chains on the hoist be placing a bolts through the chain to fold it over. Then, I decided to pull the engine with the hoist on the passenger side of the Jeep rather than pulling it with the hoist in front of the Jeep. Once, the hoist was in place, I picked two bolts on the head of the engine. Since the engine is an Inline, I chose one rear and one front head bolt, then bolted the hoist chains to the engine.

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Hoist bolted to Engine. Note the chains have been shortened. (Click to enlarge)

     After taking up slack in the chains, I removed all bellhousing to engine bolts (6 in my case). Next I removed the bolts from the two engine mounts. I very carefully lifted the engine about 2" or so and immediately noticed something; the engine was coming out tilted to the passenger side! There was no problem with this except that the transmission was getting twisted in the process. Well, to proceed, I began trying to separate the engine from the bellhousing. This proved to be very difficult! At first, I thought I had missed a bolt or something, but it just took many hard tugs on the engine and finally they separated. After the separation, I placed a jack under the bell housing to keep it straight, and proceeded pulling the engine forward. Once clear of the firewall, I lifted the engine and pulled it across the passenger fender. The engine was finally out. I then gently placed the engine front of the engine on a tire, allowing the back of the oil pan to rest on the garage floor.

Remember, More photos are in the Photo Gallery!