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Discussion Starter #1
Not much yet but I placed my order or rather "secured my place in line" for a zilla controller so I guess the project is started. I was just excited to actually do something more than just talk about this project. Sadly it isn't much but it is something.

In the sticky it recommends sharing:
  • Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
I do all my own auto repairs. I have a welder and I can do basic welding. I'm good with automotive wiring but am not an electrical expert. I have done 2 Gas engine swaps into cars that the engine/trans was never designed to go (check out LS1BMW.blogspot.com). The mechanical part of this project, building battery trays coupling the motor to the trans etc, sound like fun. I may have to copy and rely on some others for the electrical component expert advice.
  • The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
I'm going for 20 to 25 miles per charge. My round trip to work is 18miles (slightly hilly). Anything past that is bonus.
  • What level of performance you are hoping to get
I want acceleration equal to or better than a typical gas engined car. 0-60 in 7 seconds kind of performance.
  • How much money you are willing to put into your project
That's hard to say. Most projects tend to go over budget. If I had to put a number on it....a wild guess I'd say $8,000. However I'll just spread the buying of parts out over a longer period of time if necessary.
  • What parts you've already considered, if any.
I'm going with the basic Zilla controller, with -A and -P option (on order). I'm thinking a WarP 9" motor. For batteries I'm thinking AGM style. Haven't selected what exact brand or size. Whatever it takes to get the desired performance, I guess. I'm a bit confused still on battery selection and predicting performance. I'll probably go 120-144 V. For a donor car I'm thinking of using a '92-'97 3 series 4 door BMW for the swap (alternate car will be nissan maxima). Keeping the manual transmission and clutch. I go with the Mr2 P/S pump. Vac pump and tank for brakes. undecided on the heater and A/C. No idea what to do for a battery charger or some of the other electrical components (contactors etc).

Anyway, I have been lurking around for a while now. I have contemplated doing an electric car for awhile now. I about started a couple years ago but decided to swap a V8 into a 3 series BMW instead. Now that I'm driving the V8 BMW I'm ready for a new project.

With gas prices high it makes it easier to justify building a EV but I by no means expect to save money by having one. I'm not out there to start a crusade to save the enviroment either. Basically I just don't want to stop at the gas station any more and an electric car sounds very interesting.

Comments and tips are appreciated.

Thaniel
 

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It seems you've got it covered, really. Good to have mechanical guys around, I believe that part will be the tricky one when I start. I'm more into short circuits than engine replacements even though I can MIG-veld if I have to. :D

Don't forget to document carefully! Please?
 

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Keeping the manual transmission and clutch.
I seriously advise you to reconsider keeping the clutch, read as much as you can on the subject before you make final decision. I went clutchless on Miata and loving it. 2 things that helped my decision:

1. Weight of flywheel, especially the power it takes to spin it up from dead stop.

2. Additional complexity of motor coupler and room it takes under the hood. I actually cut off the pilot shaft from tranny as advised by EV America's coupler design, and saved 2 inches of spacers. If I kept flywheel, my motor would be 3-4 inches further away from tranny and I would not be able to put batteries in front of it.

Obviously your choice of donor will drive these decisions, but I just want to give friendly advise from someone who just finished the conversion and had to make same decisions you are making today.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey I appreciate the feedback. Do you find you shift the gears much or just leave it in one?

I had contemplated going direct drive with a high ratio diff. I really was excited to go that way as I could shove the motor under the trans tunnel and shorten/eliminate the driveshaft. I changed my mind after some comunication with the owner of the white zombie which is direct drive. His daily driver EV the blue meanie retains the clutch and trans.

Obviously the more info and opinions I can get the better. I agree the rotating mass is a big drawback. I'm considering perhaps a racing clutch or atleast a aluminum flywheel.

Shame I can't just go to the local EV dealer and try both options :D

I seriously advise you to reconsider keeping the clutch, read as much as you can on the subject before you make final decision. I went clutchless on Miata and loving it. 2 things that helped my decision:

1. Weight of flywheel, especially the power it takes to spin it up from dead stop.

2. Additional complexity of motor coupler and room it takes under the hood. I actually cut off the pilot shaft from tranny as advised by EV America's coupler design, and saved 2 inches of spacers. If I kept flywheel, my motor would be 3-4 inches further away from tranny and I would not be able to put batteries in front of it.

Obviously your choice of donor will drive these decisions, but I just want to give friendly advise from someone who just finished the conversion and had to make same decisions you are making today.

Hope this helps.
 

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I start in 2nd gear, then shift to 3rd at 40 mph. Pretty much all my road driving is in 3rd, going back to 2nd at stops and slow traffic. Shifting is very easy, just pause for a second to let syncros do their job, then gently push into next gear. Works fine, no grinding or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Discussion Starter #8
Not much to show at the moment :D. Just have the longest lead time item on order.

Well after careful consideration I believe I made my decision on the clutch vs clutchless. Though I believe the clutchless would work it all came down to this.......My wife. She will be driving the car as well. Her daily driver is a manual and if she is switching back and forth between the electric and she gets used to shifting with no clutch and goes back to her manual trans ICE powered car... I think you know where I am going with this.
 

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LOL,

Thats the reason I went without the clutch. It is my EV. LOL. But you are right if you sharing the car. You can shift an ICE without one too but I wouldnt recommend it like I do with my EV but because I did do it that way I got 6 batts up front with my system battery.

ragee
 

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Her daily driver is a manual and if she is switching back and forth between the electric and she gets used to shifting with no clutch and goes back to her manual trans ICE powered car... I think you know where I am going with this.
Two words: Automatic transmission. :cool:
 

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That project sounds exciting.

You had better start looking for that MR2 power steering pump now! They are getting hard to find, and there isn't a wrecking yard in North America that doesn't know what they are at this point, between the EV people and the drag racers. Some of them charge accordingly. None of the major auto parts stores can get rebuilds for them since they all sold without cores, and now they are on a repair basis only.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Two words: Automatic transmission. :cool:
Gave up trying to get my wife to drive auto's years ago. She hates them.

Originally I was planning on making the EV for me to drive to work but looking at the amount of miles and lengths my wife drives we'd probably be better served by her driving it. She could run in the morning charge it and run again in the evening. (she puts on more miles than I do running errands and kids). So it has to be wife friendly :D

That project sounds exciting.

You had better start looking for that MR2 power steering pump now! They are getting hard to find, and there isn't a wrecking yard in North America that doesn't know what they are at this point, between the EV people and the drag racers. Some of them charge accordingly. None of the major auto parts stores can get rebuilds for them since they all sold without cores, and now they are on a repair basis only.
We are on the same page. I bought one today. From a 2001 MR2 which from what I understand is less used by people for swaps. Cheaper and more available at the moment. Since I'm collecting parts and waiting for the zilla I have plenty of time to sort out the differences with the different style pump.

Thaniel
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well a little new news on the EV front. My powersteering pump arrived. Here's a picture for those that need a visual fix.




The other big news is I ordered my motor today. Went with the WarP 9" as previously outlined. Been shoping for cars too. I really don't need the car until I get all the parts collected but if the perfect one was to pop up....

I've been looking at batteries. I'm thinking I need about 1,000 amp hrs worth. Does that sound about right? I've tried the ev calculators but I don't feel confident I the answers I've gotten.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I got notification that the motor will ship sometime in early October. Glad I'm not in a hurry because the controller will take even longer.

Sadly I haven't even heard as much as boo from Cafe electric on a projected date. From what I gather from everyone else I should be expecting just in time for christmas :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Been awhile so time for an update. While waiting for the long lead time EV parts (controller and motor) I have been shoping for a donor car. Just about bought one last weekend. After realizing the only thing I needed it for was to remove the engine and make the motor adapter I choose to just buy a transmision instead. This way I don't have another whole car hanging about the place for months while I just wait for parts. Of course if the right donor car pops up I'll grab it but until then I have something to work with.

So with that in mind I started working on a adapter to adapt the WarP 9 motor to the BMW flywheel. First thing I found was the JPG drawing of the warp 9 is pretty much illegible from the netgain site. Oh well I could make out what I needed.

I'm plaining to make the adapter out of a sprocket with the ID bore and Keyway dimensions required to fit the motor. Will save on some machining. I sketched it up on paper but would rather have a cad drawing. I downloaded a free copy of Alibre Design. Seems to work pretty nice. So I downloaded the DXF of the warp 9 motor and found that the JPG version and is outdated. Hummm.... I converted the DXF to PDF and JPG much more legible than is what on the Netgain site. I tried to post but the files are just a bit to large.

I still need 2 dimensions to make my adapter correct. I need the ICE crankshaft to measure or get someone to measure for me. So I'm still working on that. Other than that I think I have the adatper design. After drawing it I decided to draw a rough model of the motor and the snapring and keyway I'll be using. A little more work on the adapter and I'll have to move to the adapter plate. I don't plan on making it in CAD unless I can get a model from someone but who knows.

Pic of the trans


Screen shot of my 3D model of the adapter (green) on a mock up of the motor (grey) also notice the snapring and pilot bearing. It looks a little grainy after compression


Dimensional drawing




Thaniel
 

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Too bad you don't live in the SoCal area. I've got a donor car for you... A '94 325i. The ICE has got problems and the transmission as well. Both of those items do you no good in this car (the trans is automatic)

Kevin

PS. If any one else in the SoCal area is looking for a donor BMW 325i, let me know.
 

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Ben,

I'm not a gearhead kind of guy, so parting it out isn't an option. Its the whole car and nothing but. I've got about a week or so (before the wife gets tired of it sitting in the driveway) and then its off to some local charity or I might try craigslist for a week or so.

Kevin
 
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