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Retrofitting Tesla Model S: Update On The V8 Engine Swapped Into A Tesla Model S

A few days ago we had reported about a V8 engine being retrofitted into a Tesla Model S. The video that was covered was only one part of a series of videos that will cover the retrofitting of the engine. The latest video is out and there has been a bit of progress on the project

V8 Tesla Model S

Update on the V8 engine swapped into a Tesla Model S

The last article highlighted how hard it is to convert a Model S into a V8. However, some solid progress has been made since then. While this was never going to be an easy job, it is moving along faster than we thought. There are 3 donor cars out of which the new one will be constructed. These 3 cars will together provide all the bodywork that is required for the conversion. One car will be fitted with the engine and the other 2 will be used to create the transmission tunnel and to reinforce the chassis. This setup can counter the loss of reinforcements that comes from removing the battery pack. All cars used in this rebuild are ones that were destroyed either in floods or in accidents. They were picked up in scrapyard and are essentially unusable otherwise.

The progress so far

So far a mockup of the engine has been tried out in the car and it fits perfectly. The issues that have cropped up are that there is very little space between the seats to fit in the transmission tunner. Another problem is the electrically assisted steering wheel. Due to the position of the motor, the electric assist system for the steering is fouling with it. To counter this, the hydraulic steering system of a 2010 Camaro SS is going to be fitted. This is a less complex and lighter system. It is also more compact than the original Tesla one. Overall the increased weight of the engine and the transmission won’t affect the car a lot because of such weight saving measures. The hydraulic system is slightly old, but it will help in reducing the complexity of the build. It will also keep costs in check.

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The other big problem is floor reinforcement. In the Model S, the battery pack below the floor provides a lot of structural reinforcement. By removing that, the car becomes weaker as a whole. To counter this, the floorboards from other Teslas will be put to use. These will help in providing extra strength to the car.

The brilliance behind the construction of a Model S

During the process of rebuilding the car, the dashboard was taken apart. Although the car didn’t have a dashboard, the door handles functioned normally when connected to a battery. The seat position adjustment was also working perfectly fine. This is absolutely astonishing considering the fact that the car was entirely flooded. It proves that while Tesla might have small QC issues, their fundamentals are stronger than we think.

What’s next?

The next step is the fabrication of the transmission tunnel. That is another tough job considering the amount of space there is to work with. It is also difficult to fit the whole thing in the car and then get the dashboard perfectly bolted on. This rebuild is going along well, and at this point it might just happen. We will keep you updated on this story.

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Rutwik Tasgaonkar
Just a normal guy who fell in love with cars when he was 3 years old. Now trying to share that with others.

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