Hi there! My wife and I just purchased a 1980 Electravan from a friend in New Orleans and towed it back home to Minneapolis. We're in love with it. Short version of the Electravan story: Jet Industries in Austin TX bought the empty chassis of a few hundred Subaru Sambars and installed GE electric motors in them. The things we know we need to do before driving it are:
-repair/replace destroyed rear driver side brake cylinder. The rubber cups disintegrated, fluid pours out. I think we fixed this by taking the spring, pistons and cups from a different cylinder with the same diameter and installing them into the old cylinder body. If anyone thinks this is a terrible idea, please say so and explain why! FWIW, the other three brakes are still in good shape and the emergency brake still works.
-reline rear driver side brake shoes. The linings disintegrated along with the cylinder cups. The shoes for this van are just as difficult to find as the cylinders, so we are having them relined at a local brake shop and will reinstall the old shoes.
-replace the batteries. The current set is a mismatched bunch of ThunderSky LiFePO4 cells that were only installed by the previous owner to provide enough juice to get the van onto the trailer. They are fairly swollen and we are going to replace the whole set. We'll need to get up to 120V and would like at least 200 AH (24 Kwh). This should give us about 60 mile range, though we won't really know until we get it going. We're leaning toward 36 of the blue 3.2V bricks that seem to run about $75 each on Alibaba. Does anyone have experience with these? I'd love some input on batteries before we plunk down thousands of bucks.
Here's some information from evalbum about the van from our friend.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or experiences to share! We're extremely excited to get this guy up and bumping around town.