Third week of retrofitting

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Now we get to the good stuff!!

Our smart car for “iglide on tour” shows us what´s inside

The retrofitting now goes one step further!

Now it is time to start dealing with the starter. One one hand, it is used to crank the engine to get it started, and on the other hand, is used to produce electricity. In this car, the starter is fixed to a movable bolt. Allowing the bolt to move enables radial and axial movements to balance out vibrations. This ensures that the strap, which connects starter and crank shaft, is under tension at all times. The bolt, holding the starter, is fixed by two bearings. They enable the movements and are going to be replaced by iglide plastic bearings.

The metal bearings that will be substituted by iglide

The bolt that carries the starter

Also, the suspension strut, which so kindly prevents the driver from smashing their head on the ceiling after hitting a bump, is brought to focus. More precisely, we are going to examine the rolling bearing, which is located above the suspension to ensure its axial alignment. As it is frequently in use, it has to be able to endure pressure and friction over a long period of time.

This bearing is planned to be replaced with an igus bearing specifically manufactured to endure pressures up to about 2,420 pounds.  Nevertheless, there are two challenges with this bearing: The original bearing was not the same size, which leads to the question: can this iglide bearing be used, or does a new one have to be specially manufactured? Furthermore, the suspension is bolted the rolling bearing. Thus the iglide bearing has to be adapted. Will the suspension works afterwards or shall we pick out a helmet to wear in the car? And will we still be able to steer the car after the bearing has been replaced?

The original bearing (right) and the possible igus bearing (left).

Johannes Thomé is showing where the bearing is located

The throttle valve got examined too! Throttle valves are located in the air-intake manifold of a car. Modern engines not only need fuel, but the right ratio of fuel to air. How much air is being sucked in is determined by how fast we accelerate and drive. It is placed on a shaft, which is moved by a small electro engine, and embedded in two bearings. These will be replaced by iglide plastic bearings.

The throttle valve

Last but not least, this week we looked at the handbrake (also called an emergency or parking brake by our international friends). The brake lever is connected to a module located on the car body. It is going to be investigated if the lever is connected through a replaceable bearing or just a metal bolt. The results from our investigation will decide whether or not we replace it with an iglide bearing.

The handbrake (emergency/parking brake)