car builders live to make parts lighter and mount them lower. Lighter
means less mass to accelerate, slow down, and keep from sliding away
in the corners. Lowering the weight reduces the roll of the car in
a corner, which allows the weight to remain more evenly on the four
tires. Weight more evenly on all four tires means more total grip
then weight transferring just to the two outside tires (see Why
SUVs Flip over.)
electric motors were manufactured to convert Dodge Caravans to electric
power. The front plate is a cast aluminum piece designed to bolt
to the transmission of the van.
We can mount the motor lower and make the motor lighter by trimming
off the parts we will not use.
first question is can we replace the front plate with our own mounting
plate. When we remove the front plate, we discover that it is an integral
part of the motor and machining a replacement would be a complicated
and time consuming task. Red arrows mark the water
front plate provides support for a bearing (red highlighted area).
It also closes off the water
jacket (blue arrows) and an O-ring keeps the coolant from leaking
into the motor (yellow arrow).
use a permanent marker to help us visualize what we will take off
and what we will keep. The 'ear' in the lower left corner will allow
us to create a fourth bolt hole to secure the motor.
the bottom will save ¾ of an inch, allowing us to mount the
motor even with the floor of the car.
saw makes the cuts. A belt sander helps clean up.