Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one - DIY Electric Car Forums
Go Back  

DIY Electric Car Forums > EV Conversions and Builds > Electric Motors

Register Blogs FAQ Members List Social Groups Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-13-2008, 03:29 PM
Hi Torque Electric Hi Torque Electric is offline
DC Motor Artisan
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Redmond, Oregon
Posts: 206
Hi Torque Electric will become famous soon enoughHi Torque Electric will become famous soon enough
Default Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Hey all

I thought I'd chime in and discuss the basics on choosing a forklift motor. In general, I advise people to look for a motor that weighs between 100 to 150 lbs. The heavier the car, the heavier the motor needs to be to push it around. The way I see it is, you don't want Peewee hermin trying to pull you around but you probably don't want to feed Hulk Hogan either, lol.

When searching for cores, look for insulation that is wine colored with yellow banding, brush leads that are still copper color and not scortched, and a commutator that isn't grooved or pitted. Don't be afraid to remove the cover band and have a look inside the motor (and while you're there take a pic to send me). I get a lot of "I wish I had wrote you before I bought this emails" and it's a bummer to read them honestly. I'd bet that almost half the motors I've built are still not up and running yet, so you might not need that motor as fast as you think you might. Sometimes looking to eager to buy not only drives the price up but might also cause you to buy something ill suited for your needs to boot.

Look for armatures that have a commutator with a large bar count as the larger the bar count the higher the voltage it'll take. Also, look for solid field leads (if you're looking for a series motor) or you might end up with a sep-ex or compound wound motor that may not suit your needs. Shafts can be one of the biggest issues in using a lift motor so make sure the shaft is something you think you can attach to or modify. There are motors I reshaft, but there are others that aren't as easy to do, or have no "standard" useable replacement shaft avaiable and then you're looking at needing a custon shaft made which makes them cost prohibitive.

Choosing the right motor isn't rocket science (unless you're a racer, hehe) but does need a little thought thrown at it so the end results are rewarding and meet your needs.

Happy hunting

Jim Husted
Hi-Torque Electric
http://www.hitorqueelectric.com
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 01-13-2008, 11:07 PM
Coley Coley is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,355
Blog Entries: 1
Coley is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Aren't fork lift motors usually a slower RPM motor that doesn't lend itself to car use?
I have one but the 3500 rpm range isn't the best.
I would think an Advance type motor would be better suited, right out of the box.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-14-2008, 02:06 PM
Hi Torque Electric Hi Torque Electric is offline
DC Motor Artisan
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Redmond, Oregon
Posts: 206
Hi Torque Electric will become famous soon enoughHi Torque Electric will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Actually just the opposite, being they are wound a little courser (heavier wire and less turns) and in general will have a higher RPM at "X" current when compared to the basic "EV" produced motors. As for the stated 3500 RPM's that's determined by voltage and load on the motor and also in general is a decent sweet spot RPM (3K to 4.5K) for a lot of motors.

I've seen and built a number of converted lift motors and they do nicely. It's not EVeryone's cup of tea but for those you are under a budget and are handy with tooling it can be a great way to get a drive motor. Shafts and adapting the motor are the biggest issues when compared to motors that have adaptor plates already designed and available. You usually have to advance the brush timing on these motors (where as the ADC's and Warp's are already advanced) for a higher voltage.

As I posted in another thread any data tag that maybe on the motor is just one point of refference and is usually a 1 hour or continuous duty cycle rating. By adding a blower and forced air cooling, the duty cycle can be increased quite a bit.

If we looked at Killacycles L91 motor for example (motors very close to it in a lift) would only be rated at maybe 48 volts and somewhere around 10 HP, where as Bill's stating around 325HP for the two of his L91's. There are actually a number of lift motors that are very close to, or verbatum to the popular EV motors being used, and with that said are diamonds in the rough just screaming for a new life as an EV drive motor.

Hope this helps
Jim Husted
Hi-Torque Electric
http://www.hitorqueelectric.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-14-2008, 10:52 PM
Coley Coley is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,355
Blog Entries: 1
Coley is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Thanks for the information.

Baldor is not much help so far, on questions about this motor.

Advance the brushes etc.

Last edited by Coley; 01-14-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: additional info
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-15-2008, 05:20 AM
Dan Frederiksen Dan Frederiksen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 186
Dan Frederiksen has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

just a quick comment for now. I've located a chinese source of forklift/traction motors called Zibo super motors.

they look to be similar in power ranges but considerably cheaper. 320-460$ but around a 40% retail punishment. still cheap. shipping for a big one for me was quoted at 90$ (haven't bought one yet)
they claim that the Zap zebra truck EVs use their motors.

I asked for the wire thickness to know if they were weaker current wise but they were 25 and 35mm2 for various models which should be enough for quarter mile bursts of 1000A. I have tried to find similar data for other motors but so far no luck. Jim Husted who might well know such data has unwisely decided to be obtuse about it. A decision he will come to regret.

I have some more detailed info on the chinese DC motors, I'll see if I can compile it and post it here later
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2008, 08:09 AM
Hi Torque Electric Hi Torque Electric is offline
DC Motor Artisan
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Redmond, Oregon
Posts: 206
Hi Torque Electric will become famous soon enoughHi Torque Electric will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Hey Coley

Baldor wouldn't be helpful toward what it'll take to over-volt it as it's not something they do. I'm not sure which Baldor you have so if you'd like to throw me a few pics I'll have a look at it and shoot you some thoughts. In general the larger Baldor's have through bolts that hold the end plates to the housing, and you'll probably need to drill new holes in the comm plate to be able to advance the brushes as the through bolts usually go through channels that are machined in the housing. This is probably going to move the holders far enough over that the field leads won't reach, as they are probably locked into the housing and will need to be extended, so this may not be an easy mod for you to do.

I've never bee a big fan of Baldor motors (way to many reasons to list with the time I have now. I'm not saying you don't have a good EV motor, they just aren't as user friendly or as beefy as most the other motor choices that are out there. Seeing this motor would allow me to have further input.
Cya
Jim Husted
Hi-Torque Electric
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2008, 09:36 AM
Dan Frederiksen Dan Frederiksen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 186
Dan Frederiksen has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

here's what I have from Zibo http://www.zev.dk/misc/ZiBoSuperMotors.zip

I might refine it into something more concise at some point. like so many other companies they aren't on top of their information so there are various mistakes. the torque graph for ZC6.3 96V which doesn't exist in the lists of models. two versions with the same name ZC5-72 etc.
in their defense they are much more informative than for instance Advanceddc of USA..

that they don't understand the benefit of concise information on a website once and for all is a mystery to me.. but what can you do..

some guiding plots here of a few of their motors compared to others http://www.zev.dk/misc/torque-curves.gif

and a list of motors: http://www.zev.dk/misc/motorchart.htm the current ratings for the zibos are probably not their max continuous, just some odd rated value that I think they arrive at by giving the motor a fixed voltage and then loading the motors more and more until they find the point where the output is the highest for that fixed voltage. probably a legacy from a time where motors were just fed a fixed voltage.

when I asked about the wire thickness she said noone asks for that. which must mean the engineers of the world don't think their systems through. unless I'm wrong in thinking the wire thickness is a vital parameter for the motor's performance
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-18-2008, 10:51 PM
Coley Coley is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,355
Blog Entries: 1
Coley is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Quote:
"Seeing this motor would allow me to have further input"

I can email you a picture of it.

The spec plate says:

Spec 29-1584-2137
Frame 2152 75440
HP 8
Volts 72
Amp 98
RPM 3200
Serial #281

It weighs about 160 lbs
The most Amps that it pulls on my gauges (climbing a hill) is 170.
It never gets much more than lukewarm after a 10 mile run.
Pulls my Yugo 40 mph on good flat road in 3rd gear. 41 in 4th.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-18-2008, 11:03 PM
Dan Frederiksen Dan Frederiksen is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 186
Dan Frederiksen has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

you use a 72v controller?
if you want to go faster just feed it a bit more voltage.
you can think of voltage as that paying for the energy that the torque and rpm demands. if the voltage isn't there to pay then it stops going up in rpm
that's why you can have strong acceleration at low speeds but it loses the will to go at higher speeds.
that how I make sense of it at least and I think it's accurate in this context
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-19-2008, 09:40 AM
Hi Torque Electric Hi Torque Electric is offline
DC Motor Artisan
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Redmond, Oregon
Posts: 206
Hi Torque Electric will become famous soon enoughHi Torque Electric will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Using a forklift motor, and choosing a good one

Hey Coley

feel free to send pics anytime and I'll put an eyeball on them. If there is a cover band (and you want to remove it) it'll help me to see the comm and brush leads and such for a better idea as to it's over all health. FWIW, it's hard to say if that's a 1 hour duty cycle or a cont duty cycle on the data tag.
Cya
Jim Husted
Hi-Torque Electric
Reply With Quote
Reply

Share or Bookmark this

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 
Support DIY Electric Car
Sponsors

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Ad Management by RedTyger