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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Sky

And here we go!
Perfect host car for an EV conversion IMHO. A 98% complete VW Nova. It’ll be in my garage soon. Then it’s Beetle engine out of the back, fuel tank out of the front, electric motor in, controller, batteries, etc etc. The body is all G/F so it should be light as a feather.
I want at least 60-80miles range but with blitzin’ 0-60 acceleration!
Have no idea how to do it. I’m mechanically savvy but no experience with EV conversions so any tech advice would be welcome (well, VITAL actually) I think going to use a powerful a/c motor from a fork lift truck (I think) not sure. I need to know what batteries to use, how many I’ll need, best voltage, controller specs, etc etc. to achieve those performance/ mileage parameters.
I also want to keep the budget low.
However this turns out methinks it’s gonna be a ton of fun doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What does it have, and what are your plans for the chassis? You might double the weight of that car by putting batteries in it.
Yep. That’s quite possible. I won’t know till I know how many batteries are needed and how much they weigh!
I do know however that the engine and a full fuel tank weigh a fair amount.
It’ll probably need suspension upgrades and maybe chassis stiffeners.
I’ve got a gut feeling though that spreading and balancing the weight of the batts plus strengthening the chassis/suspension will work.
if anyone else has done one of these I’d love to talk to them
 

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1971 GMC 1500
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cool car, check out the BMW 530e 12kWh battery pack two of those packs will get you your range and "blitzin’ acceleration", they also have an older 9 kWh battery pack that I am using but for you I recommend the newer one (2019 or newer I think) as they are the same physical size but pack a bigger punch, for a breakdown of one of these packs please check out this video

just trying to help




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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Gregski,
Most appreciated and very useful to me, especially regarding the weight and makeup of the battery modules. Based on the video it would seem that TWO of these packs would comprise 12 battery modules each weighing 28lbs, making it a total of 336lbs. Allowing a bit more for casings, BMS, cables etc, let’s call it 350lbs for the batteries.
Also of course I need to add the electric motor, controller and other ancillary parts needed. (At a guess, let’s say 100lbs max)

Total: 450lbs

Strip out:
The engine in this car is a 1600cc Beetle engine which I believe can weigh in the region of 250lbs. That engine and all the bits and pieces associated with it is coming out. So let’s say 270lbs total
The exhaust system probably weighs circa 20 lbs. That’s also being removed.
The fuel tank, which resides in the frunk isn’t super large but probably holds about 60 liters of fuel when full which would weigh circa 100lbs when filled to the brim. That’s also coming out.

That’s a total weight of around 390lbs which will be removed from the vehicle in the strip out stage (that

That therefore equates to circa 60lbs additional mechanical weight when electrified.

Stiffer suspension could possibly counter this, however, placing the battery modules so the weight is evenly distributed will be needed and could be tricky, but not impossible.

So, I need to source a good powerful forklift motor and a couple of Beemer batt packs for starters. Let the games begin!
 

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So, I need to source a good powerful forklift motor and a couple of Beemer batt packs for starters. Let the games begin!
punt on the forklift motor brother (I think they are DC anyways, haven't heard of an AC forklift motors but I have never really researched it) have you considered the Nissan Leaf motor mounted backwards, I think I've seen someone pull that off in a Bug, see if you can find it


 

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You have lots of motor choices. Your choices (someone saying "punt" without a reason isn't very useful to your decision matrix).

Depends on your budget, what salvage pieces you can get, and if you want to stay away from potentiallly lethal 400V stuff or not.

It's a lot easier, both on wallet and in terms of cramming, building a short range, light, battery pack at 144V than at 400V. Yeah..."DC", "forklift", "brushed", though you can also get low voltage AC traction motors as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My quandary is, I need to know what kind of motor is going to give enough oomph to propel this car to 60mph in 5 seconds or less. Top speed doesn’t need to be more than 80mph (uk mph that is)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
True, but it’s a Beetle chassis with 1600cc engine. Same rules should apply as if I were converting a standard Beetle except I’ve probably got MORE space to site the batteries. It’s not very high but it’s a looong vehicle. The side panels have no doors. You have to hop into the cockpit. There’s space inside those side panels for a row of batts. There’s also space behind the seats for a row of them. There’s space either side of the motor and then there’s the frunk where the fuel tank currently resides. Battery size and clever placement of them is going to be key with this conversion.
 

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Food for thought;
144V six module Tesla pack (33 kWhr). 360 lbs with cage.
Great batteries but hard to fit. Easier if you skip plumbing the cooling system, which I’m not convinced is needed (but I did it anyway). 200A is less than 1C discharge for this pack which doesn’t budge the temp.
Fwiw, I’ve got a brushed DC motor. It’s a torque monster. It runs great with 144V. Don’t think I could do a 5 sec 0-60, but it won’t be too far off.
Good luck with the project.

Hood Automotive battery Bumper Electrical wiring Motor vehicle
 

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My quandary is, I need to know what kind of motor is going to give enough oomph to propel this car to 60mph in 5 seconds or less. Top speed doesn’t need to be more than 80mph (uk mph that is)
You need to know vehicle weight, gearing, and tire size for you to do the math on your acceleration.

With an 80mph top end you can get pretty deep in diff ratios.
 

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I lots of beetle build options out there. Budget is going to be the determining factor. Just built mine using Tesla model s large drive unit and 12 lg chem batteries from a Chevy bolt or Chrysler Pacifica. Its plenty fast 0-60 3 secondish at the moment, traction limited, and 80-100 mile range with the 30kw pack but I’ve got $25k and a ton of hours in it. Evwest has a bolt in bracket for small and large Tesla drive units
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok. Keep those advices coming guys. Much appreciated. For now I’m just concentrating on getting the existing engine running and repairing other faults so I can get it out and road test it.
First thing I did was refurb the carb. It was pretty gummed up and the electric choke actuator arm had disengaged. All good now though.
The canopy mechanism is in need of help. It’s been jerry rigged with a battery and some dodgy wiring. It works by connecting the two wires to the battery terminals to lift it up then there’s another wire that seems to allow it to go down. It’s a bit of a mission so I opted for slipping in and out through the sunroof! Good job I lost some weight recently!
The ignition switch is a bit of plastic with a groove in it. Works with a flat head screwdriver.
the steering wheel is going. Gonna fit a quick release wheel and also attempt to move the boss over an inch or so. My left leg simply has no room with the current setup.
The car is a bit of a dog at the moment but has potential. It’ll be a Tesla badger once I’ve converted it to EV but for now I want to get it all working and roadworthy.
You need to know vehicle weight, gearing, and tire size for you to do the math on your acceleration.

With an 80mph top end you can get pretty deep in diff ratios.
Gearing. Now that’s been playing on my mind a bit. So, do I keep the gearbox and connect the motor to the clutch housing or …… actually, how DO you connect the motor? Bearing in mind that this is a VW Beetle engine and running gear it Seems silly to keep the gearbox. I don’t want to be shifting through gears with a an electric car
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I lots of beetle build options out there. Budget is going to be the determining factor. Just built mine using Tesla model s large drive unit and 12 lg chem batteries from a Chevy bolt or Chrysler Pacifica. Its plenty fast 0-60 3 secondish at the moment, traction limited, and 80-100 mile range with the 30kw pack but I’ve got $25k and a ton of hours in it. Evwest has a bolt in bracket for small and large Tesla drive units
My intention is to keep my PERSONAL budget as low as possible but still create a really fast, reliable and relatively long range EV out of a car that’s 53 years old. To do that I’m going to attract sponsors for the build conversion. This is such an unusual and exciting looking car (especially here in UK) that it’s already getting a lot of interest. One of the Major kit car specialist magazines here wants to do a feature article/series on the car as it is but when I told them I’m going to do the EV conversion they got REALLY interested!
This isn’t going to just be a cool car I can cruise around in. My aim is to use it as a promotional tool to garner interest in the fast growing classics to EV conversion business. Let’s face it, the time to do it was yesterday!
Converting classics to EV is quite big in the States now, but it’s only just got going here in the UK.
What better way to attract potential customers for Classic car EV conversions than this beautiful beastie zapping round Brands Hatch racetrack with scantily clad babes draped over it in the pits while the Press go ape shit over it. (Brands Hatch is only a few miles away from me) Costs, logistics etc. are unknowns to me at the moment but are secondary to the initial buzz that needs to be generated to get people not only interested but to prove to them just what is possible.
 
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