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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 7:05 p.m.

I'm doing a chalk and talk on electrification this week, and I'm planning to focus mostly on retrofitting existing cars.

I'm going to shamelessly use the GRM peoples as a test audience. What do you want to know? What should I make sure to mention?

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 7:26 p.m.

I want to know what's the cheapest electric equivalent to a 100hp gas engine.  You know for Challenge purposes.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 7:35 p.m.

That's a harder thing to figure than you'd think, because they deliver power so differently. For autox, you might get similar performance out of something with only 70% the rated power. I've told the story in my Tesla thread of trying to follow the Model 3 in an M5, they look the same on paper but that Tesla is a tough chase.

I am going to try to stay away from "but I can make 1000 hp out of a junkyard 4.8" side of the conversation :D

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/8/22 7:41 p.m.

I want to know when FM will have a kit so I can electrify an NA

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/8/22 8:03 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

You do realize it's already done.  On UTube there is a 1947? Jaguar sedan. With Tesla running gear. 

rodknock
rodknock Reader
2/8/22 8:11 p.m.

Relative to ICE conversions, how easy will it be to convert a FWD gas car to RWD when doing an electric conversion?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 8:15 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

You do realize it's already done.  On UTube there is a 1947? Jaguar sedan. With Tesla running gear. 

It's been done hundreds, if not thousands of times. I've seen electric Miatas for at least a quarter century. The goal is not to say "hey, check this new idea nobody has thought of", but "so you want an electric ____. What do you need to know and what's involved?"

FWD to RWD, that's one I hadn't thought of. Interesting question.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
2/8/22 8:24 p.m.

is this to build a toy to be used at the track after towing it to the track ,

, or is this to replace your ICE car ?

because you end up with a lot more battery for everyday....

can you use one of those pancake electric motors between the Miata motor and stock transmission to get 100 hp boost when you  want it..... or mount the electric motor in the rear pumpkin......

basically can you make your own hybrid ?

 

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
2/8/22 8:30 p.m.

FWD to RWD as mentioned above. Are AWD conversions possible, realistically?

Are there better donor vehicles than others, or companies with better standalone packages if buying "crate" style?

Maybe a run down on different types of controllers?

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/8/22 8:33 p.m.

I'm extremely interested. Zero Labs stuff looks really cool.

 

Back on topic, I'd like to know some things

-how to make my own batteries. I see a lot on electric bicycle YouTube stuff where people weld/solder cells together, shrink wrap     the whole mess, and put that in a steel box, and it is supposed to be weather proof (ie, won't burn the vehicle to the ground).

-What about controllers? How do they work in layman's terms?

-Wattage, Voltage, etc. Are cars 24V? Break down why a car battery gives a very mild shock, but an electric car is full of deadly       High Voltage.

-Safety. What is there to be afraid of (when doing a DIY electric car)?

-How does one get weight down?

-Know anything about the new "glass" batteries that are supposed to be a revolution for electrics?

-Tell us more about hot rodding an existing motor. Can I just feed more electrons to that wrecked Leaf motor?

-Are batteries as poisonous to the environment as I imagine? Are electric cars simply the methadone to get us off our heroin (gasoline) addiction?

-Is there any need for gearing (I know transmissions are unnecessary)? 

I'm sure there's more, but there is what came from the top of my head.

 

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
2/8/22 8:54 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

I'm extremely interested. Zero Labs stuff looks really cool.

 

Back on topic, I'd like to know some things

-how to make my own batteries. I see a lot on electric bicycle YouTube stuff where people weld/solder cells together, shrink wrap     the whole mess, and put that in a steel box, and it is supposed to be weather proof (ie, won't burn the vehicle to the ground).

-What about controllers? How do they work in layman's terms?

-Wattage, Voltage, etc. Are cars 24V? Break down why a car battery gives a very mild shock, but an electric car is full of deadly       High Voltage.

-Safety. What is there to be afraid of (when doing a DIY electric car)?

-How does one get weight down?

-Know anything about the new "glass" batteries that are supposed to be a revolution for electrics?

-Tell us more about hot rodding an existing motor. Can I just feed more electrons to that wrecked Leaf motor?

-Are batteries as poisonous to the environment as I imagine? Are electric cars simply the methadone to get us off our heroin (gasoline) addiction?

-Is there any need for gearing (I know transmissions are unnecessary)? 

I'm sure there's more, but there is what came from the top of my head.

 

This covers most of my questions ^
I'd like to know how affordable it could be to build a small lightweight run about car with a range of maybe only 60 mi or so, for running around town. What's involved in taking something like a wrecked Fiat 500e and swapping its EV systems in something older and fairly simple, like an EF civic or a MKII Jetta?

Racingsnake
Racingsnake Reader
2/8/22 9:30 p.m.
 

I'd like to know how affordable it could be to build a small lightweight run about car with a range of maybe only 60 mi or so, for running around town. What's involved in taking something like a wrecked Fiat 500e and swapping its EV systems in something older and fairly simple, like an EF civic or a MKII Jetta?

That's pretty close to what I'm interested in too although I'd be looking at something like a Corvair as a recipient. Would a Leaf drivetrain be suitable to stuff in the back with some modifications? 

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
2/8/22 9:34 p.m.

Wheelsmithy's list covers it.  To be more specific, how does all the controller stuff work and where/how do you get it?  The motor seems like the easiest part, the batteries can be figured out (but how can you customize the shape of an OEM pack), but even once you have the batteries and motor all mounted in the car, how do you make it go properly. 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/8/22 9:55 p.m.

Controller-wise, is pedal input now generally just processed as a torque command?  How does that work for single pedal driving?

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 9:57 p.m.

My questions have mostly been covered too. Basically what is the best way for someone with limited electrical and computer skills to make a reliable, practical electric classic.  I don't expect Tesla levels of quality but would like to jump in and go anywhere without much fuss. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/8/22 10:06 p.m.

I'd like to know if you live in a state or county that has emissions checks (let's say California), how do you deal with this after the swap. Do you need to go through an inspection and how extensive is the inspection.

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/8/22 10:06 p.m.

I would be most interested in an algorithm that combines performance (including range), battery physical (weight, dimensions), and battery cost and yields a design path. So you know just a simple multi-variate equation that yields the true answer.

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/8/22 10:13 p.m.

-What issues arise when you mix-and-match components from different manufacturers?  Ex. Tesla motor + Volt Battery + Brand X controller.

-How can the length of time for full power extraction be improved?  Is it all a matter of cooling?  Which is the limiting factor the battery or the motor?

drock25too
drock25too Reader
2/8/22 10:14 p.m.

As a forklift mechanic, I get asked about this a lot. Would the AC motor and controller system work for the conversion? Lines 43, 45, and 47 are the specifications for the motor. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 10:51 p.m.

You guys are giving me a lot to work with :) Keep it up. 

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/22 11:00 p.m.

How realistic is it to swap a complete drivetrain control-wise? Basically if I buy a totaled Leaf on CoPart and swap the whole shebang into the middle of my 914, will it "go" or will I need Nissan to unlock it or sell me software or something? If Nissan can't, is there somebody who can? (Like if I can't get my  junkyard LS-swap to work with a GM ECM, I can buy a Holley EFI system and go).

Am I going to get hassled for charging at public charger with my Tesla-swapped 68 Charger (since it's clearly not electric by looks)? How do I denote that I am in fact, now an EV?

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/8/22 11:06 p.m.

What about keeping battery packs cool? Wasn't 1st gen Leaf's problem battery degradation through repeated  heat cycles? That's something that the DIY crowd seems to dance around.

itsarebuild
itsarebuild Dork
2/8/22 11:29 p.m.

I'm curious about peripherals. Like how do you work in power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, heaters, and other stuff that works on engine power? And how are high voltage motor items separated from low voltage lights etc? Especially if the previous question about taking a wrecked X and transferring everything isn't possible or desired.

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
2/8/22 11:39 p.m.

The biggest single thing is to determine the usage of the vehicle... daily driver, autocross special or ????

If it's a daily driver look at your range requirements and remember that you will plug it in every night when you get home.  For myself, a 90 mile range would give a nice buffer for a commute and some errands.  From there you can start to determine your battery requirements.  A good battery management system is essential.

Older cars are pretty simple but later models require some way of interfacing with the vehicle's CAN BUS and THAT can be a major drawback.

As far as batteries, we used lithium iron phosphate (LIFEPO4) cells, they may not be the "bleeding edge" of battery technology but they are the safest option.  You could shoot one and the filling will just fall out.  Try that with a Tesla battery.  We never had to cool the batteries but we did have a heater film that warmed the cells during charging... they fall off a lot below 60F.

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
2/9/22 12:09 a.m.

There may not be an answer at this point, and it's different for different cars, but the main thing I would wonder is if it would be possible to convert a gas car and still have the range and/or charging speed to make a 400+ mile trip in a similar time as a gas or diesel powered version of the same car.  I might be unusual but I think nothing of driving 300+ miles in a day in 25+ year old cars, but thinking about trying to do that in something like an electric Fiat 500 would pretty much mean doubling the trip time because the time spent finding a charging station and charging it would end up being about equal to the time spent making forward progress. 

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