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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm brand new to this scene and just recently started to really begin researching for this project I've had in mind for a while now. I've had this 97' coupe for 4+ years that has undergone many engine rebuilds and repairs, ultimately costing me > $10,000 with nothing to show for it. The car has been sitting for the better part of a year now just waiting for a way to get back on the road. For a while I was just planning on rebuilding the turbo setup I previously had, but now I'm thinking EV, as it would be similar priced and far less prone to breaking down, if at all.

The car is manual transmission, lowered, and has very little to no rust. She's way too sedimental to sell as a shell at this point. But perfect (I think) for EV!

With that out of the way, here's my initial plan + thoughts + questions:

I'd like to source my parts locally if possible, and don't mind cutting some corners for this initial setup. From what I've read Ill need; Motor, Controller, Battery pack, and charger as the bare minimum to get the wheels turning. There seems to be a lot of variation in motor/battery choice, especially for civics as I heard they're somewhat easy to convert.

The video "World's Cheapest Electric Car Conversion" is what initially sparked my interest for doing this. All jokes aside, would there be a way to do something similar using a larger + nicer motor (forklift maybe?) and an actual battery pack? I've seen several 3/4hp, 2hp, 5hp, and 10hp AC & DC motors available on craigslist/marketplace in my area that are pretty inexpensive. Also have seen a few people selling individual Nissan leaf battery packs as well as off-brand packs and single 18650s.

They were able to hit 50mph+ with 4 big dudes in the car and drive it for several minutes before it began to smoke... using that setup. If I were to do it using mounted battery packs +controller and only drove it with max +1 person <40mph.. that would be reasonably safe, right?

With the help of my friends I'll have access to a engine lift and welder (mig + tig). There're also many welding and metal fabrication shops in the area I could potentially reach out to.

Here are photos of the car along with a couple photos of motors I've found today for sale. If someone could tell me the feasibility of either of them I would highly highly appreciate it!

Thank you to anyone who's kind enough to reply to my dumbass! Glad to be aa new member of this community!

Car Wheel Land vehicle Tire Vehicle
Font Electric blue Plastic wrap Transparency Staple food
Motor vehicle Font Rectangle Bumper Gas
Rectangle Tin Wood Gas Font
 

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Forget the Craigslist garbage you listed. Your 8HP Marathons might work in a motorbike, but you and your 3 bros might be doing your drive-bys at 20MPH, floored, with those Marathons.

You need at least 30kW-50kW of traction motor (0.746W in 1HP) for a car that size, imo....just an electric air conditioner compressor in an EV uses 3-5 HP, lol
 

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I guess, first of all, do you care, or, is this just a gag project to get rolling and then move onto something else?

Would you really be happy with a car that only goes 40mph?

Budget?

And, yeah, you can cut a lot of corners.

- Forklift motor anywhere from Free-$200.
- Controller: $50 for a Prius Gen 2 controller at a junkyard + maybe $20 in parts, if (big if) someone gets around to making a circuit off of Damien's (tested) "controller". I looked it up again yesterday, not even a microcontroller. Just a few scattered components and it's ready to hijack the Prius controller. Maybe you can get away with something like an old golf cart controller or the forklift controller.
- Batteries... you're going to have to bit the bullet and get batteries. Cheapest lead-sled I've found is to go to places like NAPA and sweet talk them into you only paying the core charge for "garbage" starter batteries, that you hopefully test and discover to be only old, not garbage yet. And then be aware that they're not going to last you many trips (like, maybe 10 or 20) before you throw them away from being deep discharged. Else, you're paying at least hundreds of dollars for a minimal battery pack.
- Charger, ehn, you can get away with cheap charger hackjobs. Proof of concept you can even just use Variac if you had to.
- You'll need a vacuum pump to power the brakes.
- Maybe spare jumper cables would suffice for power wires.
- You probably want some safety stuff like, y'know, emergency shutoff switches, contactors, etc.

Depends if this is just to goof around and try out, or whether you intend to actually drive this as anything other than a joke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apologies for the untimely response guys. Thank you for all the info! Matt, It would maybe start as a "joke" but I'd be using it as a way to build up my knowledge on EV while continuing to acquire better parts for it. At the moment, I don't have $5000 to spend on a leaf conversion. I may in a couple months but I do have enough right now to get a simple setup done that can get the car rolling. I'd be very happy if I can even so much as use it to drive 5 minutes down the road by myself (160lbs) to grab milk. Anything beats seeing her sitting paralyzed outside.

Would it be possible to hack a Leaf charger?
Would it be more cost effective to use car batteries for the initial build?

I've seen Tesla battery packs on Ebay for $1000 or so. It wouldn't be as simple as wiring it to a forklift engine and using the Tesla charger would it? There's something I'm missing right?

Also have seen Leaf Battery modules going for $50/per in my state but I'm not sure if that's a good deal or not.
 

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Apologies for the untimely response guys. Thank you for all the info! Matt, It would maybe start as a "joke" but I'd be using it as a way to build up my knowledge on EV while continuing to acquire better parts for it. At the moment, I don't have $5000 to spend on a leaf conversion. I may in a couple months but I do have enough right now to get a simple setup done that can get the car rolling. I'd be very happy if I can even so much as use it to drive 5 minutes down the road by myself (160lbs) to grab milk. Anything beats seeing her sitting paralyzed outside.

Would it be possible to hack a Leaf charger?
Would it be more cost effective to use car batteries for the initial build?

I've seen Tesla battery packs on Ebay for $1000 or so. It wouldn't be as simple as wiring it to a forklift engine and using the Tesla charger would it? There's something I'm missing right?

Also have seen Leaf Battery modules going for $50/per in my state but I'm not sure if that's a good deal or not.
The tesla battery packs you are referencing are individual battery modules with somewhere between 5.2 and 6.3 kwh of energy depending on the model. They're also only 22.8v nominal. The Tesla charger outputs over 400v, so it's not a good match. Leaf modules are generally cheaper per kwh.

12v car batteries are not cost effective, unless you only want 5 miles of range. Weight becomes a serious issue pretty quick.
 

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You can likely find lead acid batteries for free from cars or RVs etc from people upgrading but don't ever spend a penny on lead.

A LEAF battery is made up of 48 modules. A Tesla's is also made up of a number of modules (not sure how many) so what you are seeing are individual modules for sale.
 

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A LEAF battery is made up of 48 modules. A Tesla's is also made up of a number of modules (not sure how many) so what you are seeing are individual modules for sale.
(y)
Tesla packs are 14 or 16 modules depending on the model
  • The original Roadster had... some arrangement which doesn't matter anymore.
  • Traditional Tesla Model S and Model X batteries have 14 modules or 16 modules, of the same external dimensions in either case. These are the "Tesla" modules most frequently sold online, but they can be in various capacities, even with different numbers of cells in them.
  • The Model 3 and Model Y have four very large modules (two longer ones and two shorter ones).
  • The Model S Plaid has five large modules (probably all identical).
  • Other promised Tesla models probably have their own module designs and sizes, but they don't really exist so they don't matter yet.
Each of these Tesla module designs is differently constructed and has different capacity.
 

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Very much interested in seeing a plaid module -- hadn't heard that there's 5 modules. I was for some reason under the impression that they were using cell-to-pack with the plaid and updated model S.
 

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Very much interested in seeing a plaid module -- hadn't heard that there's 5 modules. I was for some reason under the impression that they were using cell-to-pack with the plaid and updated model S.
Tesla, its CEO, and its fanatics all tend to encourage the impression that Tesla is doing lots of things that they are not actually doing. No Tesla model in production has a battery without multiple modules (fashionably called "cell-to-pack")... or one using 4680-format cells, or one which is part of the vehicle structure, or any radical battery chemistry. The Plaid even uses good old 18650 cells.

The Plaid modules each span the entire pack width, so the five of them are each one-fifth of the pack length wide. Like all Tesla modules since the first Model S, they are a single layer of cylindrical cells (with the cell axis vertical), with looped cooling tubes. Each module is 22S72P, 1404 mm x 390 mm x 76 mm; they're connected in series, of course, for 110S72P overall.
Munro Live YouTube: Engineering Masterpiece | Tesla Model S Plaid Battery Pack
InsideEVs: Watch Tesla Model S Plaid's Battery Get Opened And Described
 
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