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Old 01-08-2017, 03:18 PM
wowhestall wowhestall is offline
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Default George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Hi everyone. I've been considering an EV conversion for a number of months now and it finally seems I might have the vehicle and $$ to make my plans a reality.

I have been donated a 1996 Ford Fiesta 1.1L by my lady friend. It's an extremely clean motor which will stand the test of time. It only has power brakes, nothing else. It's perfect for me as I know the X-Flow/Endura/CVH/Zetec platform really well. I dropped a 2.0L Zetec into a tiny Ford Ka just a few years ago. I am very good with my hands and have most tools at my disposal; welder, lathe etc. I'm also pretty good with electronics and power electrics so no worries there.

I'd like to be able to use this car to get to work and back which is 17 miles each way, without charging at work. Ideally I want to achieve at least 50 miles on a charge with a top speed of 70MPH. I don't want to be a slouch on the motorways.

I'm not too fussed about performance but I would be disappointed it if was slower to pick up than the 1.1L petrol I would be replacing.

I've got a budget of 1,500, though the lower the better of course! I also don't mind putting extra cash into uprated coilovers, for the weight. I already have some Mondeo V6 calipers I can make work, for stopping power.

I certainly plan on keeping the gearbox, so that leaves just 500mm remaining for motor and adapter plate. I've had a google and there are plenty of electric motors out there. I just can't decide what I really NEED to get things moving.

In case it helps with calculations the gearbox is:
Gears: 3.15/1.93/1.28/0.95/0.76
Final Drive: 4.06

My own working out means on 195/45/16 tyes (581.9mm diameter) I would only achieve 44MPH in 5th @ 2000RPM. Seem to see most FLT motors max at about this... Or am I completely wrong somewhere?

Would really appreciate a guiding hand with any of this?! Picking a motor is currently the hardest thing for me, I don't want to screw it up and buy twice.

Thanks, Andy

P.S. This is George!

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  #2  
Old 01-08-2017, 08:25 PM
Moltenmetal Moltenmetal is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Hi, and welcome!

Your budget is light...you might make it, but only with a lot of effort. You would need a battery pack from a crashed leaf or volt, a salvaged forklift motor and a controller home built from a kit.

With double that budget you might be able to buy a motor and controller new- but even then it might be light.

The car is a fine choice, but you need more money to make this happen, and more still if you want it to be reliable and safe.

There are lots of UK conversions here so you can learn the rules to making it legal.

Best of luck- review the Wiki and some build threads and ask lots of questions once you have a basic plan.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:13 PM
galderdi galderdi is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

concur, that budget is light.

It can often be counter productive. I know from experience.

You purchase cheaper components driven by budget thinking they will be suitable only to find you need to replace them with more expensive components later. So in the long run you end up spending more than if you had started with a reasonable budget.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:11 AM
wowhestall wowhestall is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Thank you guys, for the speedy replies.

I hadn't even considered a leaf battery unit as I thought they were many hundreds of volts unless rewired? I was thinking more like a dozen 12V AGM batteries?

I honestly thought that 1,500 was a pretty decent chunk of cash. Puts me off a little to hear it's only the tip of the iceberg. Can someone do me the favour of breaking own typical component costs for the big stuff (though I'm all too aware it's the small stuff that adds up)?

Thanks again,
Andy
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:47 AM
favguy favguy is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Hi Andy,

Welcome aboard As already stated your budget is very limited. If I recall, by the time I was up and running with 12v AGM's I had spent over 4k, and that was with a used forklift motor and self building a controller kit... This isn't a low cost hobby!! You can see my build for reference if you like here:

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ad.php?t=58958

You won't meet your range and speed requirements with lead batteries though, you'll need to go with lithium. The least you could probably build for today would be about 6k I'd suggest. Your most cost effective option and best way to meet the current UK build requirements would be to buy a salvage leaf and use it's systems in their entirety. There are several of us on here doing, or planning to do this, and plenty to read up on.

Before spending anything though, time or money wise, you need to get up to speed with the current situation in the UK as of November 1st last year. This is when new regulations/testing requirements came into force that you have to comply with before you can get an EV build registered here Then decide if you're hard core enough to want to continue!!:

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ow-177961.html

Regards, Paul

Last edited by favguy; 01-09-2017 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:04 AM
wowhestall wowhestall is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Why?! Just why would they go and do this now... Has anyone actually confirmed the test fees? 6k is unreal.

I'm happy that I would be able to get insurance on an unregistered EV but I'm not sure how I would fare at MOT.. And I would still have to pay Road tax.

Britain and it's red tape strike once again!
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:24 AM
favguy favguy is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Yes, It's pretty terrible to be honest, not the requirements, that's just good engineering practice, but the cost of testing. It may well be that it can be done for hundreds rather than thousands when it comes down to it.

I intend to build another EV, but it will be based on something exotic and I expect it to be relatively expensive, so will put up with the red tape, but there is little incentive to build an ordinary hatchback EV now, it will cost you more than just buying a good used EV such as the leaf that can be had now for 6k. If like me, you hate the styling, well in a couple of years the Golf EV or the Hyundai/Kia options will be down in that price range too, just about when you'd have finished your build...

Unless you have exceptional love for the Fiesta, it makes no sense to build this kind of EV now. Building classics/exotic sports cars that you love and intend to keep long term into an EV, that makes sense (if you have the budget!) but not much else does these days!
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:29 AM
favguy favguy is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

A couple more thoughts... If you leave the car registered and insured as an ICE, your insurance will be invalid in the event of a crash when they see the modifications..

The first MOT the car has after conversion will flag it as an EV anyway, as the details on the input screen will have to be altered to electric as there will be no emissions testing to do, so I doubt you will be able to keep running it as if it was an ICE!!

I know it's all a bit grim...less and less freedom to do what we want all the time!

Last edited by favguy; 01-09-2017 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:48 AM
wowhestall wowhestall is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

Hmm, I guess I should agree that some of the bureaucracy is at least attempting to keep us safe.

Well I never; had no idea the leaf was so cheap now! But look at it!! Makes me feel queasy! I would hate to buy an EV off the shelf - something someone recognises as an EV. I want something closer to my heart. I've been passionate about Fords up until my recent fling with a 200SX. This little Fiesta is the perfect lightweight chassis to house a silent(ish) monster.

I would certainly declare all modifications to my insurance company. They've been very good about transmission/engine swaps in the past (though I bet EV would cause a hiccup somewhere).

Well I've had two smacks to the EV face in as many days.. It's tempting to just pile the money into my fossil burning juggernaut instead.

I've had IVA's in the past that cost pennies compared! Unfortunately, might be the final straw..
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:55 AM
favguy favguy is offline
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Default Re: George - Ford Fiesta Conversion

The problem with the insurance is you can declare everything to them and insure it as an EV, fine, but come accident time when they see you are still registered as an ICE and didn't comply with current IVA requirements at the time of conversion... You could be in a whole heap of trouble.

The real killer is the MOT, you just won't be able to get past this point with an EV registered as an ICE...

If you really love the Fiesta, it may be worth doing anyway, that way you get exactly what you want, many people who don't like classic Skoda's told me I was mad to spend, in the end, over 10k building a Favorit into an EV, well to hell with them I say, do what you want!

The Leaf is indeed pig ugly, but you should drive one, it's an absolutely brilliant car, looks aside. Just build it into a nicer body and you're good to go

Last edited by favguy; 01-09-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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