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Discussion Starter #1
I created a new thread to officially document my conversion. Thanks to everyone who helped me narrow down my options in my last thread.

So I've got the parts and I've got the donor vehicle now. To recap, I bought a partially completed S-10, tore everything out, and am putting it in a 1996 Chevy Blazer in order to have a car that fits my lifestyle better (a small two seater truck isn't very useful for me).

So the parts that I have are:
125kW PowerPhase Select Brushelss DC Motor + Controller
60kWh of LiFePO4 batteries (94 x 200Ah cells)
Other stuff - DC/DC converter, BMS, etc.

I've now ripped all the gas parts out of the Blazer and have been working on cleaning everything up for the install.

I think I've found enough places to put almost all the batteries under the vehicle, though I still need to plan things out more thoroughly now that it's all opened up. I also need to inventory and plan out the other components in the system.

One thing I was wondering about is whether it's worth doing any upgrades to the suspension? I'll have about 1,400 lbs of batteries in there, is the stock (and 23 year old) suspension going to be ok with that?
 

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https://www.thecarconnection.com/specifications/chevrolet_blazer_1996_4dr-lt

Stock weight: 3785 lbs.

Max weight: 4850 lbs.

3785 + 1400 = 5185 lbs

Minus the engine and ICE stuff, plus all the other motor and electrical stuff.

Plus you, family, and any cargo.

I think you might be in a position where there is no way you can safely drive this vehicle, regardless of suspension. The frame itself isn't spec'd for more weight.

If you are going to continue, then yes, I would certainly adjust your suspension such that it has a normal ride height for whatever is your new constant load. And maybe toughen up the springs. But that's just based on some common sense, I wouldn't know of much for specifics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Matt,

Yeah I guess I had initially looked at the 2004 model on that site, which is supposed to be the same frame from what I understand:

https://www.thecarconnection.com/specifications/chevrolet_blazer_2004_4dr-4wd-ls

This one is listed at 5350 lbs...

When I purchased the 1996 model I didn't go back and look again because it is supposed to be the same generation as the 2004.

Is it possible that the GVWR is really so different between these two?

If I assume the 4850 is correct, then it seems like I will be right about at the GVWR before I enter the car. Obviously not ideal. However I'm pretty invested in this vehicle now. I suppose I could sell the batteries and try and get a smaller pack but this would knock my range down significantly and would probably not work out well financially. I could open up the prismatic cells and reconfigure the actual pouches, but that would be a pain in the ass. My motor needs 300V min and I'm only slightly over that at 3.2V/cell.

I have seen a bunch of conversions using lead acid batteries that went well over the GVWR. Any idea what the most common failure mode would be when this is exceeded?
 

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Hi massawe

Worry a bit more when you have it all together and can move it to a weighbridge and get some actual numbers

You may need some replacement springs to get to the right spring rate but it's unlikely that you will overload the frame
 

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Hi massawe

Worry a bit more when you have it all together and can move it to a weighbridge and get some actual numbers

You may need some replacement springs to get to the right spring rate but it's unlikely that you will overload the frame
I like this approach.

I guess I'll probably want to upgrade the springs anyway since the standard springs aren't made for a constant load. If I find the whole thing is just too heavy then worst case I may just have to change how I use it, or make it a soft top with a tinfoil hood and no backseats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would the S10 suspension components fit? (assuming they're rated higher than the SUV parts)
It looks like it is rated the same as the Blazer. The S-10 does have very low miles on it, so they may be in better condition, but it's also 2WD. If it was the 4wd version it would have an extra 200lb rear axle load rating.

I'll double check on this next time I'm near the S-10 though (it's currently stored on a friends farm). Fortunately busted 4x4 Blazers are super easy to find around here, so I imagine I could grab an axle from a junkyard, get some heavy duty leaf springs, and then beef up my rear end considerably.

Getting the partially completed EV as my starting point is really a blessing and a curse. I got a super good deal on the equipment, but now I'm locked into a setup that really doesn't play well with many vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wonder what axle the Chevy S-10EV used? That thing had 1300lbs of batteries in it and a 900lb payload rating.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wonder what axle the Chevy S-10EV used? That thing had 1300lbs of batteries in it and a 900lb payload rating.
 

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I have been doing some CAD modeling to find out how to squeeze the batteries into the vehicle. I found a way to get all of them either under the frame or in the engine compartment, but I'll probably run into some practical concerns that my model doesn't include. Also these batteries will extend about 3" below the frame in the center. I was thinking I could add a bracket welded to the frame to bring the edge down a bit, and then just don't take the thing anywhere that it could bottom out. I'll probably bump up the tire size a bit too.

My model actually includes 96 batteries, and I only have 94, so that gives me two to spare. I'm sure I'll have to alter the plans, and maybe even move some to the cab somewhere, but at least I can start with this solution and see where it goes. It's just so many damn batteries!
 

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