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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings everyone! My name is James, I'm in the Air Force, originally from NW Oregon and currently in TX.

I work on all kinds of vehicles, new and old, large and small. It is just a hobby up to this point. In my circle of friends I am known as the "car guy". Recently I have been helping buddies work on their projects in my garage. I recently bought an '85 Mustang from CL in the hopes of building it into an SVO inspired hotrod, and powering it with a turbocharged 2.3L.

I had a change of heart and want to go full EV with the car, but still with a sporty side. I'm getting some good suspension and brakes parts for the car. I'm even trying a multiplexer based body wiring system from Infinitybox.

For motivation I plan on a Warp9 and 60 or so 100Ahr CALB batteries. This will be a commuting car with a fun side. If you folks don't mind I would like to share the build up here. I'm currently waiting on a batch of parts, so there is nothing to show yet, currently the car is sitting in the garage with the old blown V6 pulled out. Here's a few pics.

Latest plan (current as of Feb 17, '16):
Maximum Motor Sports suspension - Installed
Manual rack and pinion steering - Installed
Manual (four wheel disc) brakes - Installing....
Infinity Box wiring system - Installing....
ZEVA EVMS (BMS) w/ custom color scheme - Installing...
Single Warp9 motor - Installing...
Zilla 2K EHV controller - Installing...
42 Leaf battery modules (84s, 60ah) - need to buy
Five speed transmission - Installing...
Intellitronix LED gauges - Installed
Charger - Undecided
DC/DC converter - Undecided

Future plans:
Second motor, possibly a UQM
Additional high C rated batteries in parallel
High Voltage drive A/C system
Decent sound system

I will be back to work on this car in April :D
 

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looks like the start of a great sleeper project.

Keep in mind you can get a lot of benefit out of the little details in a conversion, in addition to just putting in a big motor, battery, and controller. Owing to where the efficiency losses are in an EV vs. ICE, chassis and drivetrain tweaks have a 4x bigger effect on an EV than they do on an ICE.

The right tires, synthetic oils, optimizing the drive train, making sure the brakes don't drag, and such can add another 10-20% to your EV range depending on where you are starting from. You can have some good narrow wheels with LRR tires for daily commuting and some wide DOT slicks for those days when you are feeling punchy.

Don't know how the 80s mustangs are for weight and aero, but they probably aren't optimal there but you can still do things like lowering the car, adding an air dam or belly pan and such to help a bit. I imagine as is the case with many popular detroit vehicles it is possible to put it on quite a diet with aftermarket body panels, seats, and other interior stuff as well. Given the size of the mustang community there must be good options out there.

Welcome and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you!

Yes, I plan on minimizing friction as much as possible. I'm looking for a minimum range of 25 miles, for daily commuting, which is basically work and back (80% of my driving) I'm going with some moderate sport tires: BFGoodrich Sport COMP-2 in 245/45R17 on 2005 Mustang wheels. I have a heavy foot, and don't want surprises.

All of the V8 powered Mustangs from this generation were very nose heavy, I'm hoping to get closer to a 51/49 weight distribution. You are right, the aftermarket for this car is massive. Some fiberglass panels will be in the future once I have the car rolling, I have been thinking about ground effect work, but I'm not sure if the extra weight will be worth it. My average speed commuting is 25 MPH and might exceed 50 mph for one forth of the trip. I am replacing some of the heavy stamped steel front suspension bits with lighter/stronger tubular bits, that should help. Besides the heavy cast iron engines, these cars are pretty light, on par with a Celica or BMW of similar size.
 

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Yes, I plan on minimizing friction as much as possible. I'm looking for a minimum range of 25 miles, for daily commuting, which is basically work and back (80% of my driving)

<snip>

I have been thinking about ground effect work, but I'm not sure if the extra weight will be worth it. My average speed commuting is 25 MPH and might exceed 50 mph for one forth of the trip.
With your driving pattern you will gain nothing measurable from ground effect work. I estimate you will want a minimum pack size of 16kwh if the pack is to last. This means a salvage Volt pack would be enough from a kwh standpoint. You would have a drop dead range of 45 miles which means that even 8 years in you should still be able to do your 25 miles easily. Your proposed pack of 60 CALB 100AH cells should give you a drop dead range of around 55 miles. Another way to do this would be going to higher voltage and smaller capacity cells. I have 52 100AH cells (166 volts) and if I were doing it over today I would do 96 60AH cells (307 volts). This would have the advantage of being able to run the motor voltage up to 190 volts which widens the usable torque band on the motor. Battery sag becomes irrelevant. With your plan of 60 cells a 15% sag would give you a motor voltage of 163 volts which will lower the point where you see maximum torque. It also would lower the battery current. With your 100AH cells a 10C burst is 1000 amps which is comfortable for your motor. With 60AH cells a 10C burst is 600 amps but since your voltage with 96 cells would be 307 and the motor controller will reduce this to whatever you tell it you get a current amplification. Lets say you fix the motor voltage to 172 which is what Netgain suggests. 307/172=a current amplification of 1.78. So if the motor is pulling 1000 amps the batteries will see only 562 amps. I see 266 ft-lbs on the dyno at 1000 amps with a Warp 9. Power input to the motor at 172 volts and 1000 amps is 172kw which is 231 HP. At the wheels you might see 90% of that or 208 HP. Without exceeding a 10C rate on the batteries you could run to 184 volts on the motor at 1000 amps giving 184kw (247 HP) input and a potential wheel HP of 222. Soliton 1 or Zilla HV required for this though. Torque band will extend from zero to almost 5000 rpm.

Higher voltage has other advantages in that you don't need as heavy of cable between the batteries and the motor controller. 1/0 is more than enough for that. Since the loop between controller and motor is still seeing 1000 amps you should run 2/0 there. The downside is more interconnects in the battery pack and a little more difficulty with things like DC-DC converters.

I look forward to watching your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I figured it couldn't hurt to over budget the battery pack a bit, Central Texas gets pretty cold, the wife's C MAX PHEV normally gets 24 EV miles in warm weather and it only gets 11-12 right now in the cold.

You pretty much nailed the numbers I'm hunting for in this first build. I like to go fast, and will try this car at the drag strip a little. I don't expect amazing numbers at the strip, but I hope to learn how to setup and launch the car with this combo, while not blowing up any expensive parts. I will be using a Soliton 1, and investing in cables and suspension bits that leave me a good motor/battery/transmission upgrade path in the future.

In fact I will be converting the junk factory four-link suspension to a heavy duty torque arm from maximummotorsports.com. Hopefully it can handle full amp launches with no problems. :D
 

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James, have you considered using dual Warp 9's?
Just my own two cents, but it would give you a bit more punch (but suck up more juice).

Doug, would the 60AH 96-cell system you suggested still work (would the motor voltages need to be set for less than 150 each)?

Downside is the added weight/system complexity.
Upside is potential for massive power/torque..
 

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With dual warp 9's you would need more battery to take advantage of them. If you want to push them to 1000 amps and 170 volts each you need enough battery to provide that amount of power. This is 170kw each or 340kw total. A 96 cell pack of 60 ah cells at 10C could provide 184kw (briefly). And at a 3C rate could provide 55kw continuous. You would want two controllers and at least 120 ah at 96 cells to feed them. A budget version would be a single controller with the motors in series and 96 100 AH cells operating at 10C. This would be able to do close to 300kw briefly.

The motor voltage would be self limiting because it would be 1/2 whatever the batteries sagged down to. 96 cells gives 307 volts nominal and with 100AH CALB CA's would probably sag down to 261 making the motor voltage 130 each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the car is successful in commuting, there will be upgrades in the future. limiting myself with a single warp9 is my EV training wheels... I am sure I will not break the chassis or axle with that motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got my suspension kit in the mail last week and have unpacked it. The only real work I have begun is refurbishing a pedal box with a clutch pedal to replace the current automatic transmission pedal box. I will be converting the car from vacuum assisted disc/drum setup to a manual disk/disk setup using rotors and calipers of the same spec as 94-04 Mustang Cobras, this paired with a 1 inch bore master cylinder and revised geometry brake pedal lever should give me nice sporty brakes, with no need for vacuum.

I will be taking next week off, and after completing some Honey-do items I should make some real progress on my car. :D

Gratuitous stack-of-boxes pic, and before/nearly complete, after pics of pedal box:
 

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If the car is successful in commuting, there will be upgrades in the future. limiting myself with a single warp9 is my EV training wheels... I am sure I will not break the chassis or axle with that motor.
You make a good point, but I figured I might as well plan on designing for both motors from the get go so that all mounts, brackets (including battery racks) and wiring/controllers don't have to be reworked later on.

Based upon Doug's feedback, a 96-100 pack of 100AH cells would be enough for both the range and performance requirements we both are looking for.

And the second warp 9 only adds about $2000 to the build costs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm absolutely planning an upgrade path for this car. I know my suspension will be up to the task. I think my transmission will be, for lack of a better term, my mechanical fuse. However I also have a future upgrade for that in mind. For now I'm budgeting on things needed to get on the road, I will make it more complicated after I master a basic build.
 

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Ok, My build is just an idea at the moment, but will be following yours closely. I am just pondering donors, but was thinking an older Mustang would be perfect.

Looks like you are off to a great start. With extra parts for Mustangs abundant, sounds like a good pick.

My requirements:
1. 4 passenger
2. range, range, range. - Have a Miev, but will want something I can take up to my summer house in MI, which is about 80-90 Miles. The Miev has to stop and charge around 65 miles.
3. simplicity - utmost efficiency. Lightest weight possible etc.

With that in mind a few comments:
Love the new suspension parts - this will reduce weight right?
What about the transmission. I see the convert to manual, but some have done a direct connect to transaxle. Would this save the weight of the trans. But would it work ok? (I am like you - not a mechanic but like to do some things - light engine work, brakes etc..). I was thinking clutch/clutchless when I get a donor.
Love the simple factor - no vacuum manual brakes and I assume rebuild/replace steering box to manual?

What about dc-dc converter so don't have to keep the original 12v battery. Again to save weight and keep simple.

Anyway, I should stop talking and start looking for a donor.
 

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What about the transmission. I see the convert to manual, but some have done a direct connect to transaxle. Would this save the weight of the trans. But would it work ok? (I am like you - not a mechanic but like to do some things - light engine work, brakes etc..). I was thinking clutch/clutchless when I get a donor.
Manual transmissions weigh less than automatics but the weight of the transmission might be worth keeping. The reason for this is you need a lot more torque to do without a transmission and this generally means a much larger and heavier motor. I weighed my manual transmission at 72 lbs (without lube) and to get the necessary torque to do without would have required a second motor or a much larger motor. You could however easily do with a 2 speed transmission with a reverse. It all depends on expectations and because you are converting a Mustang I am making some assumptions about acceptable performance. And in the clutch vs clutchless debate you would save 25-35 lbs in eliminating the flywheel and clutch/pressure plate but the tradeoff is potentially slow shifts and extra wear on your synchros. If you keep the clutch I suggest a lightweight aluminum flywheel and possibly a heavy duty clutch. The Centerforce type clutch will not help because where you really need the additional pressure is when the motor is not turning. Eliminating the transmission is going to require careful selection of the rear end ratio. Too high a numerical ratio and you will restrict your top speed but have great acceleration and too low a numerical ratio and your acceleration will suck but your top speed will be potentially unusable. With a WarP 9 and 1000 amps and 2 ft diameter tires you would want something like a 4.7:1 rear end ratio. This would give you a top speed of 84 mph at 5500 RPM. And you would see about 1240 ft lbs of torque at the face of the tire at 1000 amps. This would give you a 1/2 G acceleration if the car weighed 2480 lbs at 1000 amps up to about 65mph. Above that the torque tapers off.


What about dc-dc converter so don't have to keep the original 12v battery. Again to save weight and keep simple
Your best bet is to keep a buffer battery in conjunction with a DC-DC converter. There are a number of benefits. It does not have to be a 40 lb 12 volt lead acid battery. I have about a 2 lb LiFe battery that will run the car systems for about half an hour at night if the DC-DC were to fail. It will run the necessary systems a couple of hours during the day and run the hazard flashers for about 8 hours. Sudden loads like turning on headlights can cause the output voltage of a DC-DC converter to dip briefly. The dip can cause issues if it is severe enough. Even with a buffer battery I see the non LED lights in the car dim when the vacuum pump turns on.

Best wishes with your conversion.
 

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Awesome info! Rx-7 came to mind also for Donor! Will see.

I am very new to research, so adding up my notes. So looks like keeping the manual is way to go and a smaller buffer battery - great idea.

I am more familiar with residential electric - wired my own house, but not motors. 200 amp panels with 110 volts, but of course seemingly unlimited supply. I am no electrical engineer, so will have to read some more.
 

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I am more familiar with residential electric - wired my own house, but not motors. 200 amp panels with 110 volts, but of course seemingly unlimited supply. I am no electrical engineer, so will have to read some more.
I like the phrase "Seemingly unlimited supply." In fact a 200 amp 240 volt residential service only provides 1/3 to 1/2 of the power most people would like to see in their EV's. If all you had was a residential service you would not be happy with the performance of your EV (64 horsepower).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The suspension components are for performance handling, the number one priority for this car is being fun to drive, and I only need about a 30 mile range. EVs are heavy, so spirited driving is a lot harder on suspension components. If you want four passengers and lots of range I would strongly suggest a front wheel drive smaller car. Not a Mustang. The driveshaft and large rear axle will take up a lot of space I could use for batteries.

An AC motor with good regen would almost be mandatory for you. Also with the large battery pack you would need a good investment in charging would have to be planned, otherwise it will take days to recharge.

For a long range car a 12v battery is a must. You will need it to wake-up the systems that manage your traction pack. The Soliton (like what I plan to use) have a pretty healthy draw, if I flicked some headlights on, without a battery in the system, the controller would cut-out. Additionally, I would advise against manual brakes and steering for a long range car, unless you like crossfit.

Since my build will not require the traction motor to idle (power steering, vacuum, etc) I plan on using a circle track clutch. They use a light flexplate instead of a flywheel, which I will cut down to basically just a spacer, the clutch will be a 7.25 inch multi disc style. And I will use a factory style T5 for now.

Back to the suspension parts, I will have less unsprung weight, but overall the car will gain a little weight because of all of the extra reinforcements that will be added.
 

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The suspension components are for performance handling, the number one priority for this car is being fun to drive, and I only need about a 30 mile range. EVs are heavy, so spirited driving is a lot harder on suspension components.
The idea that EV's are heavy is mostly because of Lead Acid Batteries. A lithium pack in a car with only a 30 mile range stands a good chance of coming out lighter than the original car with a full tank of gas. If I were to cut my pack in half so as to get a 30 mile range I would be just under the original weight of the vehicle. My car gained less than 200 lbs from the conversion. There are lots of things I could spend money on to make it lighter. My estimate is that I could save almost 200 lbs by spending $3000 on carbon body pieces and polycarbonate glass replacement. After that it gets kind of crazy stupid and probably easier to start over on a clean sheet of paper and build the whole thing out of composite materials. I am not going to spend any of that money anytime soon as I am perfectly happy with a car that has 2.5 times the torque of the ICE setup at the same weight. I am going to do some drag racing this year and maybe I will decide that the need for speed exceeds the need for $3000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
...and maybe I will decide that the need for speed exceeds the need for $3000.
The theory of relativity is a slippery slop indeed. I'm bolting almost $7k of suspension and brakes on to a car I bought for $1500.

Some quick math on my car.
Curb weight with 5.0 engine and manual trans: 2850 lbs (ball parking here, mine is a coupe with very little trim or add-ons.

Dry weight of 5.0 engine: 440 lbs
Full tank of gas: 128 lbs
Total: 568 lbs

So removing those things my chassis is down to 2282 lbs.

Batteries (72 cells at 8 lbs each): 576 lbs

So just the weight of the batteries alone, makes up for the major ICE components that are being removed. that's before adding the motor, controller, charger, DC-DC converter, and who knows how many pounds of copper wire, etc. Again I know I have more batteries than I need for 30 miles, but the range buffer helps especially in the winter. I'm confident I can keep the curb weight under 3500 lbs. Which is pretty competitive with modern cars. My advantage is I can lower the center of gravity and reduce the yaw moment arm, making the car more fun to drive! I need to calculate the budget of this car so far. I will get back to you later today.
 

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Dry weight of 5.0 engine: 440 lbs
Full tank of gas: 128 lbs
Total: 568 lbs
Don't forget gas tank 25 lbs, exhaust 100 lbs, and cooling system 75 lbs. Motor weight doesn't usually include the alternator either. And if you remove the Air Conditioner that is going to be another 100 lbs. That brings you up to 768 or 868 lbs. You will be surprised just how much stuff you pull off the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the number for the exhaust is a little inflated, I no doubt omitted some things, but I know I will be adding lots of incidentals back on the car, so a lot of those small items will break even.
 
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