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Discussion Starter #1
Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication:
Medium, I know how to buy raw materials from home depot and turn them into hinges/platforms/etc. I know how to crimp and solder and keep myself from getting electrocuted.

The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
40 miles / charge

What level of performance you are hoping to get
80hp

How much money you are willing to put into your project
10k

What parts you've already considered, if any.
45x 60ah Voltronix LiFeYPO4 cells (yellow chinese)
9" Netgain Warp9 DC motor
Soliton Jr controller
Orion BMS (48 cell model)
Elcon 3kw with CAN attachment
2/0 ultra flex orange cable

Detailed Blog at: http://joshevconversion.blogspot.com/

 

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Hi bwjunkie

Nice car and conversion. You will enjoy it.
But take care to do it right in the first time. Few points:

1-The Warp 9 can produce over 150 lbs-ft of torque at 600A. It's serious torque and your motor mounts don't seem strong enought. Especially the small strap with holes.

2-The motor and transmision shafts need to be precisely aligned. Adapter plate is generally precisely aligned with the transmision with pins. Done?
And do you have pics of your motor coupler?

3-And about your range of 40 miles, it's probably more realistic to expect between 25 and max 35 miles (at low speed). Don't hesitate to go 48S (or more) if you can (I saw bms 48S). That will give you 6-7% more power and range.

Good luck and continue your good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the input Yabert, couple things:
I don't really understand the term 48S but does that mean 48 cells?

Regarding motor mounts, I kind of agree with you. I have a total of 4 mounts for the trans/motor assembly, and it's really not enough long term. I want to add a 5th mount to the top eye-lift bolt of the motor with 1/4" angle iron but just looking for good places to secure it to the engine compartment. Also I can double up the 1/16"x1.5" steel strap you mentioned so it isn't such a weak link.

Range: I've been concerned about that for a while, but not too concerned, I could survive on 30 miles, just not ideal. I wonder if I can go up to 200v as a solution?

My adapter plate came from EVAmerica pre-cut for this motor and they provided alignment pins as you mentioned to get the transmission bolts in exactly. A total of 9 bolts hold the trans and motor to that plate, so hopefully it's strong as a single unit.

The coupler is a small steel hub on the motor side attached to a modofied clutch plate connecting to the splines on the trans, this was all designed by EVA. My only picture of this doesn't really show the hub which is on the back side of the plate on this pic:


thanks again, any input is very helpful to me.
Josh
 

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I don't really understand the term 48S but does that mean 48 cells?
48S mean 48 cells in series (48x3,2v = 154v nominal)

Range: I've been concerned about that for a while, but not too concerned, I could survive on 30 miles, just not ideal. I wonder if I can go up to 200v as a solution?
Yes, if you add 60ah cells (say 62S for 198v nominal) that will give you more total energy, you range will be higher.
Another good solution is to complete your conversion like you started and double your cells count by adding another 60 ah cell on each used 60 ah cell when you will need more range.

Example:
45S 1P = 144v and 60ah for 8640 wh of energy (8,6 kwh)
45S 2P = 144v and 120ah for 17280 wh of energyy (17,3 kwh)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Somewhat major setback occured today when I went for another test drive (with 2 added motor mounts) to see how things felt and listen/watch for vibrations etc. As I was coming home I lost power to the drive train but the motor was still spinning up (but did not over-rev). And was definitely not spinning the trans in neutral either, just zero drag.

I looked through the open hole where the old starter motor used to mount on the trans, and could see that the coupler/clutchplate system was not spinning either, so I guess that means the splines are not stripped. My guess is the coupler slid down the shaft and off of the motor? I was not under heavy power, in fact I may have been coasting somewhat (as I crested a small hill).

I suppose the good news is, nothing sounded like it was breaking or tearing, there was no loud sounds, just lost power while going slow. still a bummer, as I will have to remove the motor at the very least. Possibly also the trans (hopefully not).

Other minor good news, the switches I put in the dash to power up the controller and the contactor are working, plus my rear lights are working. And it was nice I didn't have to tow it back, I was able to roll far (because I took the time to pump up the tires extra firm) small victories.

Other minor bad news I could not get her in reverse, my shifter linkage must not be quite right.

josh
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I finally got around to removing the gas tank, and can now consider the large protected space left behind for a battery box, in front of the rear axle instead of behind, for better driving stability hopefully.

The yellow outlines possible cutting areas...



underneath:




the tank, eww:
 

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I've got an 83 Cabby, using Soliton Jr and 20 Valence 12.8 x 40ah batteries which gives me a range of about 35 conservative miles, although I've managed 40 going boulevard and keeping speed down, with coasting. Car is about 100 lbs lighter than stock, stripped it bare. I used a composite material for the battery boxes. An FB4001 powers it similar to your Warp 9. I broke the original lower motor mount and replaced with new one its been fine since. I setup the Soliton for range vs less startup power and that solved a lot of the excess torque problems. Cabby's make great conversions! Love mine.

http://www.evalbum.com/4204
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Awesome Steve, looks great!

I love the "mini atx computer" idea, I'm doing similar with a Raspberry Pi and a 3" touch screen. This choice has proven to be quite a lot of extra work, I'll have to write a x windows GUI in python because Java is quite sluggish on the RPi, but it's moving along okay (only needs 5watt!).

Your range sounds decent to me for what you are using. I too have a very bare bones conversion, heck I'm stilldriving around with no vacuum brake booster and I just capped off my old power steering lines, and it steers easy.

When your mount broke did you have another mount on the back of the motor going up toward the top of passenger side strut?

I'm also wishing I had a clutch, I'd really like to use 1st gear often to better manage the power-band from starts.

Did you put any batteries where the old gas tank went? I'm kind of excited about this new idea, but still not sure what I'll be making the boxes out of.

Josh

I've got an 83 Cabby, using Soliton Jr and 20 Valence 12.8 x 40ah batteries which gives me a range of about 35 conservative miles, although I've managed 40 going boulevard and keeping speed down, with coasting. Car is about 100 lbs lighter than stock, stripped it bare. I used a composite material for the battery boxes. An FB4001 powers it similar to your Warp 9. I broke the original lower motor mount and replaced with new one its been fine since. I setup the Soliton for range vs less startup power and that solved a lot of the excess torque problems. Cabby's make great conversions! Love mine.

http://www.evalbum.com/4204
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I received my Vicor Maxi DC / DC today, and wow is it tiny!
Not really sure how the "evaluation board" is going to fit into the picture, but I'm kind of glad I bought it...

Also my Raspberry Pi which is now running the Orion BMS software via USB to the unit, but I will be programing my own lite version to show minimal diagnostic data. The 7" display is not touch, and I finally realized I didn't want that thing in my car along with some sort of mouse/keyboard contrpation. Besides at $150 it was too expensive to have laying around a convertible VW. At $35 the Raspberry Pi is a reasonable loss.




So anyway, this Vicor, and evaluation board (which might get relabeled to "production board" by me), I don't really know how to start with it, I suppose I'll just hook it up to my traction pack and see if it blows up.



and the front side faced down into the board:


*shrug* anyone got a suggestion on what to solder first?

it's so tiny! reminds me of a deck of cards, so maybe I should head to Blackhawk and play some NLHE tomorrow? Live Casino Poker really is a lot closer to a slot machine than you'd think.
 

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Yes, they are isolated, I used 3 of these, similar to yours but at 150 watts to make my DC/DC.

Your single module at 500w appears to be no larger, incredible!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
ya I was astounded by the small size. (that's what she said?)

After scary fun with a reciprocating saw, and nearly destroying my car?
Last night I did a pegboard mock of my sub-level battery holder. Here is some pics.

first the scary hole (opps did I just ruin my EV?)
The large angle iron seen is the rear axle, has no vertical or lateral movement but it does swivel slightly so nothing can be touching it.


more cutting, and then the pegboard mock...


overhead shot, make sense? Total of 3 rows of 15 batteries = 45 = 144v
just the thought of moving this weight lower and in front of the rear axle makes me happy from the viewpoints of suspension/handling/catastrophe


is it okay to have 1 row of batteries laying on their sides? I'm pretty sure I read that it is okay but still not certain.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
battery box ideas...

I got impatient waiting around for welding quotes, found the best sheet metal surplus I could ever imagine and after a total $30 on 30 sq ft of 16 gauge steel, I have begun to weld for the first time in 20 years!
Bought a little $500 lincoln electric MIG, $110 on a new tank of Argon-CO2 and shabam, I'm a welder? decades ago I only welded Stick and Oxyacetylene but MIG is nice so far.

Here is my first box... mostly just tack/spot welded for the moment until I see it will all fit right, and the sides were folded up, which is nice but a pita with no proper sheet bending device. I'm still debating on how to bolt the box to the car (I don't want to weld it to the car for some reason)
Despite the shiny appearance, it is not stainless, so will need some primer/paint or powder coating maybe someday when I feel like a boss.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
In the last 3 weeks I went from: batteries in the trunk...

to chopping up my car

to Mocking up an idea that seemed fairly easy

to these finised metal boxes, which wasn't easy...


lots of new skills learned, people and places met, and a few scratches. no burns or ruined eyes or ears!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm vaguely thinking about moving all my parts to a 60's Chevy Corvair chassis. Which did also come in convertible, but living in Denver convertibles as your only car, is a love/hate relationship, so the hard top would be a consideration

The two main reasons are:
1. I feel the suspension options are better, even if I do ever figure out my VW springs quandry, I don't know if the wheel base and general design is living up to it's german name. This becomes more important as I look into adding more battery weight for increased range. I'm SO proud of my welded boxes into the old gas tank spot, but even so, I can feel the entire chassis wiggle with a fever in it's belly.

2. I really want a clutch. I not a fan of my current clutchless system. So if I'm really going to be switching out my adapter plate system and re-building some motor mounts for the change, it might be a good opportunity to push those efforts into a dream chassis like the Corvair.

3. I don't speak Deutsch! 4. My drums are more likely to fit in a corvair. 5. My dog is less likely to fly a mile during a medium speed crash.

thoughts?
josh
 

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You have to calculate if your current gear can swap over to a bigger, heavier vehicle. I went from a 1700lbs car to a 2100lbs and I notice the range/ power is not the same.
 

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If you go the corvair path. go for a 1964 and newer. That is when they added the mono leaf spring to the rear end. Personally I would go with the last body style 1965-69. The early style looks like a bathtub on wheels. Esp. the convertibles..:p
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi, thanks for the input tchapin

I agree about the rear suspension, I've been looking into that.

I've got my eyes on some '64 models, I actually like the older design more than the late 60s one. For me the later model is more of a "plain musicle car" look which fine, but so far I prefer the funkyness of the older "hint of 50's" look.

josh
 
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