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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I want to introduce my conversion project. It is my 2014 Subaru Crosstrek, I have had it since 2015 and have put about 250,000 miles on it. It has been extremely reliable, only really having issues that were caused by me. However, she has had a hard life, and is starting to burn a lot of oil, and I know it is only a matter of time.

A couple things to note.
  • I am also swapping to manual at the same time, and I want a clutch even though I know it is not necessary.
  • I am keeping AWD functional
  • I am still actively ASE certified even though I am no longer in the industry, so I am not a complete moron, but I also have a LOT to learn, especially in regards to an EV conversion
  • I am aware this isn't an ideal conversion, and I do not care. She is heavy, she is not aerodynamic, and she is inefficient. But she is mine and there is simply too much sentimental value to get rid of her. Might as well do something cool.

The Plan:
  • Motor: HPEVS AC-50
  • Transmission: OEM 5spd MT with clutch
  • Batteries: changes weekly, if I am honest. Would love Tesla modules, obviously, but $1500/ea and needing like 10 to get any sort of usable range hurts my soul. 1st gen Leaf cells don't seem to have the greatest longevity, so it seems I'd be lucky to get like 35mi of range with my setup. I am guessing a paltry 2mi/kwh. pls send help...

I am lucky enough to have a good friend with a CNC, so making the adapter plates to make everything fit shouldn't be too difficult. Boxer engines and especially the old CVT transmission that is coming out is very, VERY heavy, so the overall weight should be relatively close after all is said and done. I'll definitely be gaining a few pounds, but not nearly as bad as some of what I have seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·


Forgot to add the pic.

There will be some changes to increase her efficiency.
  • Snorkel will obviously have to go.
  • Roof rack is already only on for trips when necessary.
  • May put some slightly less aggressive tires on her when the MT’s wear thin.


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You don't need the clutch...since you're an ASE, you can also rip the gears out of the tranny to lighten it up as you'll only need two of the five speeds.

Snorkel, tires (gives it a nice look, including what appears to be a bumper) and flag stay....cuz, there's nothing more ironic than a ******* (you can type fuck on this site but one word "red neck" is a no-no, lol) flying an American flag on a Japanese truck/suv 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You don't need the clutch...since you're an ASE, you can also rip the gears out of the tranny to lighten it up as you'll only need two of the five speeds.

Snorkel, tires (gives it a nice look, including what appears to be a bumper) and flag stay....cuz, there's nothing more ironic than a *** (you can type fuck on this site but one word "red neck" is a no-no, lol) flying an American flag on a Japanese truck/suv
I mean, some Subaru’s are actually made in the US. Quite a few, really. Mine is most definitely not though, haha.

I do know I don’t need the clutch, but I love driving manuals and haven’t had one in about 7 years.

....nah...ditch the snorkel
Felt the snorkel would be a bit out of place without an ICE.


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I'm interested in seeing how it goes for you. The thing with Subarus is that they are all the same so if you can convert a Crosstrek you can convert any other Subaru from the past 25 years in exactly the same way. The other thing about Subarus is that their engines suck and kill themselves in multiple ways. Otherwise they are lightweight and well engineered chassis just waiting for an EV conversion. Personally I would not convert that particular one because you have to realize your range is going to be greatly reduced and you won't be able to get out there to camp or do road trips. Unless you have another vehicle.
 

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I'm putting the chassis from an Outback underneath a 1964 Ford Falcon van. I'll be installing the rear sub-assembly in the same relation to the front sub-assembly so I can use the drive shaft.
My plan is to use the automatic tranny without the torque converter (I hadn't thought of removing any gears).
I was thinking of using a Netgain 9 " but that is a decision that can wait as there is an awful lot of work just to get the engine and transmission out.
BTW the net result will likely be lighter than the existing vehicle. The engine/tranny has got to be 650+ there is 165 counter weight at the very back and some significant axle assembly that will be replaced.
I'll be watching your build with interest
 

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Why not get a 2019+ crosstrek hybrid transmission, lock the input shaft and use mg1 and mg2 for drive? It’s essentially a gs450h gearbox but with Subarus awd system.
I’m in Canada so these are harder to come by, but I’m planing on swaping my leaf motor in my BRAT with one of those gearboxes.
Motor vehicle Automotive design Engineering Machine Aircraft engine
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm interested in seeing how it goes for you. The thing with Subarus is that they are all the same so if you can convert a Crosstrek you can convert any other Subaru from the past 25 years in exactly the same way. The other thing about Subarus is that their engines suck and kill themselves in multiple ways. Otherwise they are lightweight and well engineered chassis just waiting for an EV conversion. Personally I would not convert that particular one because you have to realize your range is going to be greatly reduced and you won't be able to get out there to camp or do road trips. Unless you have another vehicle.
I think your engine reliability data may be a bit outdated. They have been pretty damn reliable for the last 15 years or so. The days of “when, not if, the head gasket goes” are gone.

I do know it is not the prime candidate, and I know there are some heavy compromises that I need to make. But I have weighed the pros and cons for close to a year now, and decided the pros outweigh the cons for me.

As much as I love all things ICE, I do think Electric is the future. Getting this project done now lays the groundwork for future upgrades. I can swap to a different motor for more power, or add a second one. And most importantly, I can swap the battery packs for higher density packs as technology (and my wallet) improves, and get better range. I can install a better charge controller to “fill up” faster. I have had this Subaru for 7 years. I think the technology we will have 7 years from now is going to be absolutely incredible. The new Hummer can charge for almost 100mi of range in 10 minutes by basically splitting the battery pack and charging both at once. I think 10 years from now, we will be able to fill a battery pack in the amount of time we could fill a gas tank, or at least close to it. And that tech will trickle down to the tinkerers and hackers like me.

Subaru people are funny. Big steel bumper and winch etc etc on a piece of tupperware :)



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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why not get a 2019+ crosstrek hybrid transmission, lock the input shaft and use mg1 and mg2 for drive? It’s essentially a gs450h gearbox but with Subarus awd system.
I’m in Canada so these are harder to come by, but I’m planing on swaping my leaf motor in my BRAT with one of those gearboxes. View attachment 128845
That is a cool bit of tech, but a large driving force behind this is having the manual trans.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm putting the chassis from an Outback underneath a 1964 Ford Falcon van. I'll be installing the rear sub-assembly in the same relation to the front sub-assembly so I can use the drive shaft.
My plan is to use the automatic tranny without the torque converter (I hadn't thought of removing any gears).
I was thinking of using a Netgain 9 " but that is a decision that can wait as there is an awful lot of work just to get the engine and transmission out.
BTW the net result will likely be lighter than the existing vehicle. The engine/tranny has got to be 650+ there is 165 counter weight at the very back and some significant axle assembly that will be replaced.
I'll be watching your build with interest

I thought about the NetGain 9” as well, but ultimately decided on the HPEVS AC-50. They just seem to be more readily available and more commonly used near me, so it gives me good, local resources for support as I go through this.


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I think your engine reliability data may be a bit outdated. They have been pretty damn reliable for the last 15 years or so. The days of “when, not if, the head gasket goes” are gone.

I do know it is not the prime candidate, and I know there are some heavy compromises that I need to make. But I have weighed the pros and cons for close to a year now, and decided the pros outweigh the cons for me.

As much as I love all things ICE, I do think Electric is the future. Getting this project done now lays the groundwork for future upgrades. I can swap to a different motor for more power, or add a second one. And most importantly, I can swap the battery packs for higher density packs as technology (and my wallet) improves, and get better range. I can install a better charge controller to “fill up” faster. I have had this Subaru for 7 years. I think the technology we will have 7 years from now is going to be absolutely incredible. The new Hummer can charge for almost 100mi of range in 10 minutes by basically splitting the battery pack and charging both at once. I think 10 years from now, we will be able to fill a battery pack in the amount of time we could fill a gas tank, or at least close to it. And that tech will trickle down to the tinkerers and hackers like me.






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Your "upgrade" is pretty much another full build. The "just swap in" seems more fantasy than reality.

The tricks for faster charging are pretty much played out and anything beyond 8 hours to charge is unnecessary for all but condo and apartment dwellers who made the decision to buy a $150,000 car instead of a house, first. The reality is that most people can get by on 120VAC 12A charging because when you get home, you get out of the car, and plug it in.

But, to each his own...I, for one, would rather have two cars for the spend (or sell one to pay for the next) vs completely reworking the same one -- it's already enough of a money pit on the first go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Your "upgrade" is pretty much another full build. The "just swap in" seems more fantasy than reality.
Disagree, as long as the conversion is done with the mindset that it needs to be modular to begin with. Swapping batteries would likely be the biggest challenge, as each battery has it's own form factor and the box is built around that to maximize spacial efficiency, but still doable. A little foresight here will go a long way. And even if it is another "full build," still better than having to remove the ICE, all fueling components, exhaust, etc.

The tricks for faster charging are pretty much played out and anything beyond 8 hours to charge is unnecessary for all but condo and apartment dwellers who made the decision to buy a $150,000 car instead of a house, first. The reality is that most people can get by on 120VAC 12A charging because when you get home, you get out of the car, and plug it in.
This is riddled with personal opinion presented as if it were factual.

First of all, there are plenty of EV options WELL below the $150,000 mark with fast charging. The Leaf is what? Like $30k? A $30k car "instead of a house first" is perfectly reasonable in many situations. A Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in America, is less than $65k, less than half of what you are presuming "condo and apartment dwellers" are spending on an EV.

Second, it seems as though you are refuting an argument I did not make. I never said fast charging was a necessity. I said that I think charging will get faster and faster over the next decade, and that tech will hopefully trickle down to the 3rd parties and DIYers out here. Plugging in and charging overnight certainly works for me and my use case. But it sure would be cool to be able to take a DIY EV converted vehicle on a road trip.

But, to each his own...I, for one, would rather have two cars for the spend (or sell one to pay for the next) vs completely reworking the same one -- it's already enough of a money pit on the first go.
I do have another vehicle. But that is not the point of this for me. That may be for you, and that is great... for you. For me, the guy doing this conversion, the project itself is 80% of the fun. So if I get to do it again in a few years when newer, better stuff is on the market, I will consider myself lucky.
 

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Ah yes...a modular conversion. 🤦‍♂️ Why didn't anyone think of that? So much time cutting and shoehorning a battery module from manufacturer xyz in DIY vs just making it modular so anything can get thrown in.

Fast charging is at 150kW and up. Don't recall a Leaf doing that. The Bolt EV does a third of it.

Fast charging costs money. Over the next decade, manufacturers will move down the food chain. You know...no air conditioning, no self driving, roll the windows up yourself cheap. Fast charging takes a lot of resources that are far from being cheap. That is not going to change, nor is physics. So no fast charging unless you spend a wad of cash...ever. Physics vs phantasy.
 
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