Fourth week of retrofitting!

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The deadline is drawing near…

…and our car for “iglide on tour” is just entering the last phase of the retrofitting! The windshield wiper mechanism bearings still need replacing, sliding blocks for the convertible top still need to be manufactured, and… the car still needs to be reassembled! We’re getting short on time, but the flight to India is booked for January 20th; there’s no turning back now!

Here are some details of what’s still ahead for our little car:

1.)   The sliding blocks that guide the convertible top have been redesigned with CAD, and 3D drafts have been printed; now comes the time to investigate whether the 3D printed draft bearings the team redesigned will fit properly, or if it’s back to the drawing board. If the new iglide parts don’t fit well, the convertible top will not be functional, and it would be nice to have a breeze on the roads of Brazil, and through the desert in the western US!  The part of the sliding blocks that give clearance to the top was a real challenge for the team, as the piece the team redesigned and remanufactured was not quite flexible enough. Through a stroke of genius, however, they came up with the idea to use a steel spring with a sliding layer.

First picture: the trouble replacement in the convertible top is marked with an orange arrow.

Second picture: The piece enabling clearance to the top is marked with an orange line

2). The windshield wiper mechanism bearings that are to be replaced allow the wipers to move. Our team will replace to original bearings with iglide here.

3.) The car is still naked!!! It needs its shiny orange exterior replaced before it can go anywhere!

Four bearings to be replaced are circled above in orange.

Though there’s still a lot to do and time is not on our side, it should be mentioned how much has been accomplished since our last post!  Here’s what the team has gotten done in the last week:

Gear module: In the gear module, 4 bearings have been replaced. Two thick-walled metal bearings that lock the gears in place have been substituted with iglide bearings. These bearings will not only move around the standing shaft, but also endure changing radial forces. For the shaft, the team had to take low mechanical properties into account, as the new bearings are made from plastic. Usually, this plastic-on-plastic combination leads to a high rate of attrition, and a great deal of heat is created with no way to dissipate it. The team chose iglide P210 material bearing as a replacement, which can handle this hostile environment.

Two bearings at the upper part of the gear shift have also been replaced. The original lubricated clip bearings have been swapped out for iglide dry-running replacements. These bearings balance the forces that emerge at a swivel angle when shifting between reverse and the forward gears.

The brake pedal: Here, the team changed 2 bearings. When the driver brakes, the pedal slides along 2 iglide plastic bearings on a bolt that connects the pedal to the rest of the car’s body.

The seat: Because we couldn’t change things in the car that might affect the driver’s safety, the team only changed bearings in the unlocking mechanism that serves to adjust the seat. iglide bearings are guiding the bar that unlocks the seat in order to move it forward or backward.  From the size of the car I don’t think we’ll move it forward much!!

The window regulator: Before the remodeling, the pulley that guides the regulator cable was directly located on a bolt. Now, an iglide bearing is connecting the pulley to the bolt, allowing frictionless movement.

Handbrake: The team went through the same process as with the window regulators. The hand lever was originally attached directly to the bolt connecting the lever to the car’s body. Now, the lever is gliding over an igus bearing that was placed between the two.

Throttle valve: Last but not least, the throttle valve has been placed on a moveable bolt embedded in 2 iglide bearings.

Will the car be finished on time? We’ll let you know at the press conference January 20th from our Cologne office.  Until then, keep your fingers crossed for the team!!