It's been pretty quiet on this site during recent years but we're still alive. Last six months has been extremely interesting time. We've partnered with Autokierrätys L&Gand Kolarikorjaus P. Gullans to learn about recycling and repairing of electric cars.
Tulossa on projektikertomusta mm. Tesla Model S:n kolarikorjauksesta, mutta aloitetaan nyt kevyemmin BMW i3:sta. Syksyllä tuli myyntiin kuvissa melko lievän näköisesti kolaroitu 2019-mallin isoimmalla 120Ah akulla varustettu n. 15 000 km ajettu i3 ja vähän jopa heräteostoksena auto jäi sitten meille käteen.
Bemari otettiin sisään ja alettiin purkaa keulalta vaurioituneita osia pois. Mitään yllättävää ei tuntunut löytyvän. Pienet vauriot kaiken kaikkiaan.
Sisällä ”normaali” turvavarustejumppa, eli etubägit, vyöt ja kuljettaja puolen sivuverho rikki. Ja aika paljon lasinsirujen imurointia. Jopa vähän outoa, että turvavarusteet olivat lauenneet, koska keulan vauriot olivat niin lievät. Paljon pahemman näköisissäkin on bägit säilyneet ehjinä.
On the inside i3 is actually pretty cool car. B-pillar is integrated on the rear door and while the doors are open the cockpit is really spacious. The dashboard is modern even when this model has been available already since 2013.
The front bumper is relatively elastic and in the end we only had to replace the lowest of the three main pieces.
The hood had bent and had to be replaced. It's made of plastic with a metal support inside. The new hood is not expensive and it was not a hard decision to replace instead of trying to find a way to fix the old one.Hinges of the hood were also bent a bit and had to be replaced. To remove the hinges we had to remove a bit more pieces around A-pillars.
The most difficult was to remove the covering plastic on the A-pillars. Especially the lower edge plastic clips were strong and had to learn the right technique to get them out without breaking them. First broke one, then the second one was easier :)The body of the i3 is made of carbon fiber. Pretty exotic choice has allowed to make the car really light for an electric car. The whole car with about 40kWh battery weights only 1345kg.At first we though the windscreen has not damaged even though the airbag had inflated. Looking more closely we noticed the corner of the hood had hit the glass at the edge under the plastic cover of A-pillar. The glass had to be replaced.
On the driver side headlight some fixing points were broken. However, the headlight casing has been designed so that it's possible to use a kit of screw-on-brackets to fix the attachment points. This saves a huge amount of money.
One bracket on the turn indicator had to be fixed with glue.
It was easier to reinstall the dashboard while the windscreen was removed.
Because of passenger airbag the whole dashboard had to be replaced. The piece where airbag is fixed is a separate piece but it's not sold separately. The dashboard was clearly the most expensive part of this project, almost 1500 eur. And that doesn't even include the airbag which is another 750 eur.
There's nothing really special about the replacement of the dashboard. Just be careful with the light guide going under the central display.To replace the curtain on the driver side we had to remove the roof lining. Easy after you realize you have to unscrew two screws from the top side on the sunroof opening. Also the middle attachment is pretty strong and in a difficult-to-reach place. Since the door opening is so large it's easy to get the lining out of the car.
Removing the steering wheel airbag was a bit tricky for a first-timer. Second time would be much easier. Just push a Philips or torx screwdriver roughly 50mm into a hole behind each side of the steering wheel and bend the plastic clip on the airbag. First on one side, then the other. It very easily locks again from the other side when working on other. It may help if you can remove the buttons first but it's a bit tricky too. It is possible to remove the airbag without removing the buttons but takes some time.
Inside trim of the door removed
Body of the door
Outside panel of the door removed
Glass fixing bolt
Outside panel is fixed into six of these
Uuden ovilasin asennus teetti aika paljon työtä, koska kyseessä oli meille uusi automalli. Ulkomaan Face-ryhmissä joku väitti, että siväverhoilun irroittaminen riittää, mutta kyllä oli kyllä tekemätön paikka. Ovi kannattaa irrottaa kokonaan pöydälle ja sitten ensin ulkopuolinen kahva ja peilin alapinta irti. Sen jälkeen oven muovisen pintapaneelin sai väännellä kiinnikkeistään (6 kpl) irti. Normaalisti ainakin osa kiinnikkeistä hajoaa. Lasi on kiinni kahdella pultilla, joiden kanta on iso ”ratas”. Erikoisavaimella ikkunan asemointia pystyy säätämään rattaita tiivisteen välistä löysäämällä.
Unfortunately during the process we damaged the surface of the panel during the work and had to repaint the panel also.
The paintwork was done by Kolarikorjaus P. Gullans.
There a "pyro fuse" on the 12V battery positive cable that can't be repaired. BMW sells (~250eur) a new piece of cable that can be used to replace the damaged piece. After this piece of cable was replaced it was possible to use the high voltage battery again and possible to drive the car. Some people of Facebook groups said a safety box inside the high voltage battery need to be replaced but that was not the case at least with this car.
The windscreen is large, but very light. New windscreen is about 300 eur.New parts to the front.The winter was coming and we had to buy wheels for winter tires. The tire size is pretty special. The summer tires are 20" and winter tires are not available in that size. There's 19" studless winter tires from a few suppliers in 155/70-19" so we had to buy 19" wheels. We decided to buy the asymmetric wheels from early models. In these wheels the left and right side wheels are different. The eBay order didn't go as planned. The previous image was from the sales ad but these where what we received - all equal. In the end the vendor replaced two of the wheels and we even got the pressure sensors so all good now.Almost ready...
After the paintwork it didn't take too much time to assemble the car. A few crash related fault codes had to be cleared (thanks EV Diag / Matti Hautamäki). The car was ready for inspection to get it road legal again.
The local inspection provider had not seen i3 before but that didn't stop approving the inspection... after they found the VIN code from underneath the passenger seat.
i3 has been a funny project. From the outside the car looks quite special, some like and most don't at the first glimpse. Our own eyes have used to it and it feels good to drive with the cars that looks a bit odd. The car looks tiny, but it actually pretty big from the inside. There's enough room on the back seat also. For our family the only downside is that we can't fit our dog's cage on the trunk.
On the traffic i3 is a really good car. As an electric car it reacts very fast when pressing the acceleration pedal and with it's 130kW motor it accelerates 0-100km/h in about 6 seconds. Regenerative braking is pretty strong and it's easy to drive with one pedal only. In the city traffic the car is really handy with it's sub-10 meter turning circle.
At first for a person used to drive with Volkswagens the steering felt a bit stiff but you got used to it pretty fast. ESP takes care that no matter how slippery it is you can't get this car go sideways. And it goes well in pretty deep snow also.
When writing this we've driven two months with the car. It has practically replaced Scirocco on jäänyt seisomaan ja i3:sta on tullut allekirjoittaneen käyttöpeli. ”Nurkka-ajoa” ajaa akullisella olosuhteista riippuen 150-250 km – kesällä ehkä pidempäänkin. Aika paljon sähköä pätkäajossa menee mukavuuslämmitykseen, kun auton lämmittää valmiiksi ennen ajoon lähtöä ja minulla tätä tulee tehtyä 3-4 kertaa päivässä. Autoa on tullut näin ollen ladattua pari kertaa viikossa öisin kotona.
i3 will probably go for sale once we can get our Tesla project to pass the inspection, hopefully pretty soon.