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New to EV, could this be done? How hard would it be to do? I have a lot of auto mechanic skills but zero electric car skills

It would need to go 40mph, for 20-30 miles.

Any thought?

Thanks Jacob
 

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I was the same way. What I've learned is that it's real simple and if it's not then you doing it all wrong. If you got auto mechanic skills then your really way ahead of most ev converters.

Read the book, really it's a manual "Convert It" first. It's a great read and is very informative.

Charlie
 

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New to EV, could this be done? How hard would it be to do? I have a lot of auto mechanic skills but zero electric car skills

It would need to go 40mph, for 20-30 miles.

Any thought?

Thanks Jacob
What's the curb weight on this? My only concern is that in '32 the cars would have been made pretty heavy, and getting a battery pack big enough to move that weight in the space available may be hard.
 

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An early 1930's car is a pretty good candidate for a conversion. Simple, tough cars with lots of room to work and put things.

Your biggest problem, of course, is going to be the condition of the car itself. Supposing you have a nice enough car with a sturdy unrusted frame, you'll also be making something almost certainly less valuable than the car simply restored to that level of condition. If that doesn't bother you...

Operationally, your biggest challenge is going to be brakes. The stockers just won't cut it. There are a few companies that do modern "juice" hydraulic brake upgrades for early cars, but mostly Fords which are 25x more numerous, and triple the value, of your Chevy. You could maybe get modern front wheel bearings at the same time, and a better steering box, or just punt and put a Mustang II-based front axle on the frame and be done with it. Keep the fenders, (so the suspension won't show,) and that's probably the best plan. After the brakes, you're probably best off swapping in a later rear axle and transmission.

If it were my car, I'd weld in a M-II front clip, use a Vega rear axle, and put the original whole drivetrain, springs and front axle away. No reason to burn the bridge to a stock restoration down the road, particularly where modern parts are more suitable to a conversion. It also takes the sting out of restoring the body to a usable standard- for a little more you could clean up the old drivetrain and have a restored car with as much value as possible. You can also restore those parts at your leisure while the car is in EV service. When you want to move your EV chassis components to another car, you put this one back to stock, sell it, and get another car to fit your conversion stuff. You could do that for years with numerous old cars, and its an elegant way to cut down the number of inoperable projects old car guys tend to accumulate. I really like this idea, but I digress...

This could actually turn out to be one very cool car, keeping in mind that with the poor aerodynamics you are going to have much less range than a late model car of the same weight, particularly at speed. Your speed and range requirements are easily attainable with Lithium batteries, though.

Don't let anyone stop you, unless of course you don't currently have the car. In that case, there are better choices...

TomA
 

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Thanks that helps.

2400-2800 lbs not to bad is it?
This is very doable. Say 350 wh/mi (just a guess since it's a bit on the heavy side) x 30 mi = 18.9kwh (after FLA Puekert and Depth of Discharge). With a 120v system you're looking at 157 Ah needed. 150 is easily doable. If you went AGM, the batteries won't last as long, but you'd cut the Ah needed by ~ 30%. I'll defer to Tom on the mechanical issues there, but the weight shouldn't prove to be a problem, even with PbA, assuming you find the room to put the batteries.
 

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The cast iron motors and especially transmissions on these cars are surprisingly heavy. That, the steel front axle and the big copper radiator, should take substantial weight off the car.

Since these cars are true body-on-frame designs, (not body-sunken-into-frame like every postwar car since the "step-down" Hudson) there is a lot of space inside that tall frame, under the floor and behind the axle. Between that and under the hood, its pretty huge. If that isn't enough, you could even put batteries in boxes on the running boards, exactly as many prewar cars did when new.

The beauty of converting an old car like this is you don't have to alternatively power systems that you find on a modern car- power steering and brakes, climate control, instruments, accessories, etc. That will save weight, complexity and time, which of course will likely be more than offset getting the body and interior fixed up....

Do you have pictures of the car? Where are you? If you're near NYC, this is one project I'm willing to help with.

TomA
 
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