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I have only a vague notion of doing this so far, and probably a fairly naive sense about how to go about it if I tried. I have this classic car, with small V-8 and a HydraMatic, that I'd like to make electric. I thought I'd want to do a direct motor to driveshaft conversion, keeping the existing differential but I would guess I'd need an 8:1 gear set to accomplish that. I'd also want regen, so I think that means an AC motor. Would be wonderful if a motor came ready to attach to the driveshaft already (and I think Warp makes such motors). Even better might be an electric rear axle that would just drop in, replacing the original and offering things like rear disc brakes. I've seen articles about these but they are apparently aimed at Pickups. I don't care about being especially fast off the line and normal, speed-legal freeway travel is as fast as I care to go. This will be just a fun cruiser, not a hot rod or even a daily driver. (I have my Bolt EUV for that.) I'd also want it to be relatively easy to do the conversion and change via my existing home Level 2 EV charger. Something tells me this is going to be something more and more people will want, but I think I'm too early. Meanwhile my car sits because I'm an EV driver and even new, this old gas engine was pretty smokey and polluting. It actually only has 28K miles on it, and was pretty carefully stored since new.
 

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Borg Warner makes a motor and longitudinal gearbox with Chevy driveshaft yoke splines at the output shaft that all goes in the driveshaft tunnel.


I'm guessing Neweagle or Cascadia could get it

 

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... keeping the existing differential but I would guess I'd need an 8:1 gear set to accomplish that.
The ratio required depends on the motor chosen, and the performance required. Yes, about 8:1 is typical for an EV... with a specific combination of motor and tire size.

I'd also want regen, so I think that means an AC motor.
It effectively means brushed DC with separately excited field (or "SepEx"), or AC. SepEx motors and controllers are now rare, so in practical terms it means AC.

Would be wonderful if a motor came ready to attach to the driveshaft already (and I think Warp makes such motors).
NetGain makes motors like that, under the TransWarP name. They are a normal WarP motor with an extended housing and shaft like the tail housing and output shaft of a typical older transmission.

Even better might be an electric rear axle that would just drop in, replacing the original and offering things like rear disc brakes. I've seen articles about these but they are apparently aimed at Pickups.
Yes, but a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief Catalina is pretty much like a typical pickup truck. The bigger issue might be that the manufacturers of these powered axles are typically looking for large-volume orders, and are not interested in selling one axle to a hobbyist.

Example:
eS4500r Rigid e-Axle
I doubt it's possible to buy just one of anything directly from Dana TM4.
 

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I really like doing something like this. I signed up for more info on Dana's site but like you say, they won't want to sell to individuals. Maybe I can convince them I'm a fleet operator who is doing a proof of concept one-off for management. 😄 There is another manufacturer that offers this but the name escapes me just now.
 

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Something tells me this is going to be something more and more people will want, but I think I'm too early. Meanwhile my car sits because I'm an EV driver and even new, this old gas engine was pretty smokey and polluting. It actually only has 28K miles on it, and was pretty carefully stored since new.
So, are you trying to clean-up the world, one little-used classic car at a time?
 

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If you ever drove behind my '61 Ford Falcon with its 144cu in crankcase vent being a hooked pipe on...the crankcase...yeah. It probably put out more crap from that tube than 100 modern cars have out the tailpipe.

More seriously, 1M classic car owners doing a restomod EV conversion is a year of Tesla's production.

The challenge is in convincing these guys that an LS1 is a dinosaur and an electric motor kicks ass....and your attitude is no help.

We will have V2G uniquitously inside a decade...every stationary car's battery on the grid at peak demand periods is one step closer to shutting down a methane peaker plant. That means plugging in at work, doing an arbitrage of 20kw a day that you bought for dirt cheap after midnight.

I was in a peak demand load shedding EV charging trial with my utility this past summer. Baby steps to V2G. Even got a t-shirt for my time 😂
 

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Yes, I imagine it would be a factor. But do you think it would be significantly more weight than the original differential?
Depending on the original materials (cast iron centre section?) the difference might not be huge, but the axle with the motor on it will be heavier.

The axle-mounted motor will be a permanent magnet design - they all are, as far as I have seen. Even the Tesla Semi uses (or would use, if it were ever built) two permanent magnet motors per axle, mounted on the axle.

Those cars were beasts with leaf springs and all.
You would still use the same springs, so that part doesn't change; keeping the original suspension design would be the reason for using a powered axle, rather than just going with modern EV components (drive unit and independent suspension).

Any solution with the motor not on the axle (such as the original axle with a motor where the transmission was, or a drive unit and independent suspension) would ride and handle better than with a powered axle.
 
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