One of the power hungry options that usually needs to stay when converting from ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) to electric is the power steering. Since most 944′s have power steering leaks, mine included. The easiest and cleanest way to get rid of them is to swap in a manual steering rack. The biggest benefit is no longer wasting energy on the power steering pump, plus it would be somewhat embarrassing if my electric car had an “oil” leak!?! Fortunatially the first year of the 944 (1983) came with a manual rack, along with some of the racing versions however those are tough to find. Trying to get a used or remanufactured rack up here in Canada was proving to be an expensive task. On my birthday an ad showed up on kijiji, an ’83 944 with a blown engine for a good price. This is what I had hoped for when starting the project, a cheap 944 with a blown engine! To bad this one is the “old” style and I’m not a big fan of the interior styling. However after much contemplating I decided to buy the car with the end goal being swapping the steering rack, and also swapping the good engine out of my 944 into this ’83. Then I have a running car that I can sell to help fund the electric conversion.
In short this makes a lot more work before I even start my electric conversion, however by selling this ’83 along with the other parts of the ’86 my donor car will cost nothing or maybe even make me some money in the end.
I also bought a small MIG welder that I will use to build brackets/mounts as well as the aluminum battery boxes. I welded up a quick and dirty cart to allow me to move the engine around. Along with removing an engine, welding is something I haven’t done since high school but it’s all coming back slowly, thanks Mr. Nickel!
Engine and cart, you can just see the hole in the side of the engine!
And a nice view of the hole, easy to see why this car was cheap. I’ve pulled out a few pounds of aluminum and steel, including the connecting rod, parts of the piston, oil pan and block.
I’m just about ready to start the engine removal process all over again on the actual donor car. Then I will be installing that engine in the ’83 and fix it up a little. I’m actually quite surprised how easy things came apart on a car that is over 27 years old, nothing was rusted or seized even the exhaust system came off without a problem.