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1987 Honda Accord hatchback?

5565 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dtbaker
I have a beloved 87 Accord that has given me over a quarter million miles, and I'm considering it as a donor for an EV conversion. I'm looking for it to become a simple commuter car, ~40 mile range @ 40 MPH.

First (and probably most important) question: Is this a suitable vehicle?

For background, I've done some basic auto repair activities, but I am bolstered by a group of friends with access to equipment and a greater skill set than mine. They've promised to help, between bouts of laughter at my hijinx.

I've browsed through much of the NuWiki front page links, and while it's overwhelming in toto, I believe I'm seeking the simplest approach: DC, lead-acid batteries, maintaining the clutch. According to web research, my Accord has a curb weight of ~2600 lbs and a CdA of 7 ft^2; can't seem to find anything about the GVWR.
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An 87 accord is certainly a workable car. GVW should be labeled on the car itself someplace, like a plate on the drivers' door. Hondas have counter-rotating engines to most other cars but that isn't much of an issue, just be sure to adjust brush timing if you go with a DC motor.

40 miles at 40mph is doable with lead acid but these days, you are probably much better off going with lithium. 100AH at 120 or 144 volts will only cost a couple thou more than lead will but will give a much lighter, better performing car with better range.

If you want to go with DC, an 8" motor will be fine as will a 9". If you want AC, there are "low voltage" systems (96V I think) that are reasonably priced and will give enough performance. With the lower voltage, you might go to 120AH or 160AH cells though.

One note on the honda, unless the chassis is in really good shape, it might be worthwhile to look for a better donor vehicle. Sounds like yours is likely to be pretty well worn out. I spent only $400 on my MR2 donor with 188K on it, but I ended up spending about $2500 on the chassis just getting it up to my standards. I would have been better off finding a better donor. Live and learn.

Good luck.
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