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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012, 11:17 PM
Xrayguru Xrayguru is offline
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Default Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Hello all.

I am picking up a 68 Corvair this weekend and it currently has no drive train what so ever. I thought electric would be a great way to go. It is a rear wheel driven car and the motor is normally in the rear. I am not sure if I should go two motors in the back independent or connected or just one. Does it need a rear end? Transmission? Would like some ideas from some people on what they would do. My range would need to be a minimum of 40 miles which is round trip to work. I am good at electrical wiring and mechanical. Good at fabrication also. Was thinking of using an AC motor and possibly Regenerative Braking if possible. Other than that I am not sure what else would be a good fit for my project. The car stock weight is 2500lbs roughly but with all drivetrain out I am estimating it to weigh 1900 pounds. Any suggestions anyone???
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:58 PM
Xrayguru Xrayguru is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Car weighs 1750lbs
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:29 PM
EVEngineeer EVEngineeer is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Hey sorry, I do not have any suggestions, since I have not built an EV yet myself, but to save the time I will ask you the questions the people who have not responded yet need to know.
What is your budget? What is your absolute max budget?

Here are some links to get you started with ideas on parts and stuff.
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ad.php?t=73869
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...d.php?p=304549
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ead.php?t=8451
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ad.php?t=75703

I do not know how much you know, but with AC the price is high and regen breaking is possible. With DC the price is much lower, but regenerative breaking in harder to achieve. Also, if you live on flat land regen breaking isn't worth it. Lucky for you though your range requirement is going to give you the option for cheaper Lead Acid batteries or for the high price of Lithium batteries.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:12 PM
TomA TomA is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

One nice thing about an electric motor is that it doesn't need 4 speeds. If you're on a budget, the Corvair guys hate the Saginaw 3 speed manual that came in early 'Vairs, and you might actually get one for free from somebody really into these cars, which is where you should also start looking for a differential and driveline parts. Yes, you'll want to keep all the stock stuff, unless you're a good fabricator and already have or can get workable components that will be cheaper than Corvair parts. That's pretty hard to do, though, as 'Vair parts are still cheap and work well.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:20 PM
TomA TomA is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

I've never seen a 1750lb Corvair. Corvair.com lists a '68 coupe at 2500lbs, and a complete motor at 310-325. Given you'll be dumping the battery, spare tire, jack, exhaust and fuel systems, your glider should be around 2050.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:26 PM
Xrayguru Xrayguru is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

I can only go off of what the weight scale said. It was at a rock landscape place so it should be accurate scale. I have another corvair buddy looking at a 1980 corvette rear end for me tomorrow. The pictures look promising, just hope the frame and wheel base match up somewhat close. I want to direct couple the Dc motor to rear end and not have a transmission. Is that doable? I am green to EV but not to fabrication.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Direct drive is a tough nut. Twin motors is a toughie also from a money standpoint. So would be putting a Vette rear suspension in a corvair.

My $.02.....

Corvair 3 speed transmission/suspension.
If you wanted an AC system, an AC50 kit.
If you wanted a DC system, a 9" motor/ Soliton Jr controller.

The heart of your car will really be the traction pack.

Your 40 mile tripper/day is easily do-able. (Even lead/acid)

If you went DC, 3 speed, 100AH cells, 9" motor, I think you wouldnt be unhappy. (ok, AC50 too)

Remember, keep it light weight. It will be a nice car.

Miz
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:29 PM
Xrayguru Xrayguru is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Thx for the info Miz. I have plenty of time to research as I will be restoring the body to perfect condition and then moving on to the drive train portion. Just wish I didn't need a transmission as I would rather not have a clutch and more moving parts added to the system. I don't know what kind of power a DC motor can put out from starting out to full speed going down the road without a transmission. Can one controller handle 2 DC motors?
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:58 PM
TomA TomA is offline
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayguru View Post
Car weighs 1750lbs
Understood, but what else is missing? The complete engine with gearbox and diff weighs 430-460lbs. If the half-shafts are gone, that's probably another 30+ lbs or more each, so something north of 500lbs is gone with the driveline. Is the interior complete? Got all the glass? Spare and jack?

If you're at 1750lbs, that's great, but you'll need to add back the things necessary to operate the car. Since you don't have the heavy half shafts, you can save some weight with aluminum replacements without thowing out perfectly good parts. If you don't have seats or they're shot, light racing buckets would save more weight. All in, I still think you're going to have over 2000lbs of glider in stock trim. If lots of parts are missing lighter replacements are not such an expensive upgrade. Drag racing seats would probably cost less than restoring a much heavier pair of Corvair front seats, for example.

I'm with Miz on the drivetrain. A Corvair is just too heavy to go direct drive without a big motor and very high amperage- and the transmision options are very good for your application. The Saginaw 3 speed is robust and has good enough synchros that, (provided you weren't intending to shift quickly or really go for the very quickest acceleration,) you could go clutchless, even with DC power- but drive somebody else's clutchless EV first if at all possible. Its not for everybody having to wait a couple of seconds to change gears.

Anyway, time to talk about range. Let's say you can get it on the road at 2750lbs (Glider at 1950, motor, high and low voltage wiring, controller, adapter and charger all in at 225lbs, and batteries and boxes at 575lbs- which is 45 180Ah cells.) You could expect the car to consume 275Wh of energy per mile, probably a little more because its not particularly aerodynamic or small, and the stock bearings are hardly low-drag modern units. Call it 325Wh/mi worst case.

Anyway, your 45x180Ah pack is rated at 25,920Wh, of which you want to use only 80% regularly to maintain battery cycle life, so you'll have 20.7kWh full to empty. At 325Wh/mi, you'll have nearly 65 miles of range, and if you only actually use 275Wh/mi, you'll have an honest 75 mile range.

That would make a dandy EV Corvair, but the components are going to cost nearly $16-18k, of which over $11k is batteries.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Planning 1968 Chevy Corvair

Another drivetrain to consider is the Powerglide (PG) automatic transmission. PGs for the corvair can be picked up quite cheaply as their not popular for circle racing as are the PGs such as Miz has in his. However, they are 2-speeds which can work well with EVs. Miz can give you info on running a PG w/o the torque converter thereby saving ~40# in the driveline.

Corvairs also are very light in front end (at least the early '60-64 ones) and might benefit from adding some battery weight in the relatively large front trunk. The very light, quick steering is one of the things that gave the 'vair a bad name.
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Last edited by RE Farmer; 07-15-2012 at 10:31 PM. Reason: added handling info
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