ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Getting in Gear

When I bought my roller, the health of the transaxle was unknown. There was no point marrying it to the electric motor, riding solely on faith that it wouldn’t fail. A transaxle is a complex affair with a myriad of moving parts, and the only way to know its condition is to crack it open. I am not the expert for that, and so I didn’t expect to cut any corners. My choices were to ship my transaxle to somebody like Dr. Evil on the 914World forums for rebuilding, or purchase a rebuilt transaxle outright from places like California Motor Sports or Cog’s Cogs.

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In the end I decided to rebuild with Werks II Motorsports in Burbank, a dedicated Porsche racing and full machine shop. Staying local allowed me to culture a valuable personal relationship and tap into a resource just a short drive from my home. If anything goes wrong, they are near and can set it immediately right.

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I got to know Galen and Tony, whose bread and butter is prepping Porsche cars for the racing circuit. It was obvious Galen knew his way around a Porsche transaxle from our first conversation. It was a good sign they were often busy late into the night, preparing multiple cars for weekend races at Willow Springs. I also felt good about the relative cleanliness and organization of the bench areas.

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Because Werks II is a full machine shop, they happily offered to help with any fabrication for my EV conversion. One item I immediately needed was the AC50 motor mount, which supports the end of the motor not mated to the transaxle. For this purpose I had brought a piece of beefy 90 degree aluminum plate that I scouted at M&K Metal. The shot above shows Galen cutting a 5 inch hole in the mounting bracket that will bolt flush on the end of the motor casing. I also brought an additional steel piece that Galen dubbed overkill, assuring me the aluminum would handle a 747 engine.

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After cracking open the transaxle and having a look-see, Galen gave me a list of parts needing replacement, and the reasons why. One of the bearing cages was cracked, and many of the gear teeth and syncros were badly worn. Shown above are all of the bad components that were replaced. Among them are two large bearings, four gear syncros, two shift sleeves, the first gear teeth, the throwout bearing, and various washers and bushings. He was able to save some money by using good used parts saved from other rebuilds.

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During this process the case had been put through an ultrasonic cleaner, which removed any remaining grease and gunk that I missed at the car wash. But since it hadn’t been media blasted, the magnesium case looked dull and homely. Despite Galen’s advice to leave it au naturel, I masked it off and applied a light coat of metallic spray paint. No harm, and now it looks like a new transaxle.

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The end of the motor that is not mated to the transaxle receives the newly fabricated aluminum mounting bracket. These 1/2 inch mounting bolts were the first non-metric hardware used in this project. The holes for the adapter plate on the drive side of the motor are also American threaded. Shout out Richard Rodriguez for the AC50 motor mount template. Now I wait for the adapter and hub to arrive from East Bay Conversions, and then the motor gets married to the tranny and goes in the car!

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**UPDATE**

As clean and beautiful as the aluminum motor mount is above, it will not work with the Canadian Electric Vehicles adapter, because the adapter mounting holes are offset by 13.7 degrees. Randy at CanEV tells me that these adapters were designed primarily for ADC and WarP motors, which have a threaded lifting lug on the case, offset by that exact amount. If I redrill new offset holes in the motor mount, there will only be room left for two, rather than three attachment points. It’s either back to the machine shop, or wait a week till CanEV produces their new L-bracket end mounts. Drat.

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