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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have yet to do a conversion. I keep psyching myself up to do a high-end conversion (AC/lithium) on my wife's Toyota Matrix but I have a massive fear of project failure.

I bought a $400 winter beater a couple of months ago, a 1984 Volvo 244. All it does is get me to work and back. But I got thinking: why not do an ultra cheap conversion on this thing first? I know it is the worst possible donor car ever, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) I have sort of fallen in love with the car already. It is the worst beater I have ever owned. It is ugly. It always has me on edge because of imminent breakdown. But it's like the Top Gear Botswana Special where Richard Hammond falls in love with his Opel Kadett: I have sort of done the same. It's so uncool that it goes full circle and has become very cool.

Details: 3050 lbs curb weight. Aerodynamic as a barn. 3-speed auto with no lockup, so inefficient. I will probably try to find a used 6.7" motor. Possibly buy a new D&D ES-15-6. Maybe a Kelly 400A or 500A controller. I have access to a nearly unlimited supply of battery cores, many of which are still okay. I'm thinking 6 group 34 batteries for 72V. As my batteries croak I can continuously replace them. And 6-12V chargers.

I will need speeds of 35-40 mph on the flat and a range of 8 miles. My commute is exactly 4 miles. Slightly down hill on the way to work and uphill towards home. I will charge at work just to make sure.

Will this work?
 

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Yes, that can work!

Low cost conversion combined with low end goal. That perfect.
Isn't like some other guy who need to do 100 miles and 0-60 under 5 sec. with six golf cart battery....:rolleyes:

First, forget Kelly and put just a bit more to buy a Alltrax 72v 450A controller.
Second, try to find a really cheap manual transmission.
Third, don't forget power steering device and vacuum brake booster.
Finally, I have a D&D motor to sell: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56797

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I remember reading about your DR-Z build a while back. That thing is sick! I have a DR-Z400S and it would be awesome to electrify it if it weren't for the distances I ride.

Come spring time when I made my decision to convert or not, I will see if you still have the motor.

I have thought about vacuum brakes. I will probably try to find something on eBay. As far as power steering goes, I will probably go with armstrong steering.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anyway, I was thinking of keeping the transmission & torque convertor for their torque multiplication from a stop. I figured this would allow me to use the smaller motor and still achieve my goals.

I have thought about going direct drive, but when it comes to finding a forklift motor, I have absolutely no idea where to even start looking. For direct drive, I assume that a 11" or larger motor is necessary, especially considering the weight of this car. In brand new motor terms, that's really expensive. In forklift motor terms? I have no idea. Do I go to a forklift repair shop and start to ask questions? I should search for a forklift salvage business.

I see an advantage to converting a rear wheel drive car (even more so if you go direct drive) is under-hood real estate. If you can jam the motor into the tunnel where the transmission used to go, you are left with a lot of room for 'stuff', whatever you want that to be. You can use the bonnet as boot space if you have stolen boot space for batteries.
 

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If you want to go direct drive you will need a lot more power than a small Alltrax 450 Amp controller. That Alltrax will give you something like 40 horse powers tops, you're gonna need the gear box...
 
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