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Hello people hello 👋. I’m doing my best to understand what parts are required for my build and I’d like to talk about them here if your willing to read about my project.
I’m a professional hot rod builder and fabricator so I’ll be attempting a true DIY conversion on my car.
Ever since I was a young boy I wanted a lifted Chevy van and this year I turned 40 and finally got around to building it. Lifting a 2wd van is not straight ford and not kit existed to pull it off so I had to build the 6” loft kit myself. After 4 or so months of spare time she is on the road and now my daily driver. I just love it lol. But I don’t like the gas bill and to be honest I’ve built so many v8’s I’m not interested in having one in my own car. So I’d like to convert it to an ev. I was thinking the warp11hv would be the best bet. My current v8 probably only puts out about 160hp and probably about 200fp of torque. I drive less than 100 miles a day most any trip I do. And I have loads of space for batteries. My curb weight 6600 lbs. yup she heavy. I’m thinking of using a transmission to help with highway speeds. I sometimes tow with my van also.
 

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The one aspect which jumps out at me, which is specific to your van, is that is your only vehicle. I think you need to plan on getting another vehicle for use during the conversion, because this is not going to be a quick process. Even with skills, equipment, and detailed planning in advance, it's unlikely to be a weekend project from driving into a garage and shutting off the engine for the last time, and driving a reliable electric vehicle out of that garage. Many conversion projects never get completed, and those that do routinely takes months to years as do-it-yourself projects.

Just for a reality check: for 100 mile range pushing a three-ton vehicle with big tires, you're going to need a battery with roughly the capacity of the enormous one in a Tesla. A brushed DC motor is the least efficient type you can readily get, which will increase the energy requirement compared to a modern EV motor. If you drive in urban conditions (stop-and-go), a brushed DC motor is not practical for regenerative braking, increasing the energy requirement further.

Can we assume that you want to keep the same axles, and stay 2WD?
 

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Hi Brian. I have plenty of other rides to use while my vans off line. Can you suggest some other motors with a higher efficiency? Yes I figured I’d be looking at a big battery.
 

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Power consumption on vans this size are usually around 1000 watt-hours per mile at highway speeds.

If you want 100 miles, you'll need a 100,000 watt-hour battery pack, which is absolutely gigantic and absurdly expensive.

You'll never pay it off for what you spend on gas.

Do it anyway if you want to, just wanted to give you a heads up.
 

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I have plenty of other rides to use while my vans off line..
Good :) I guess I was either mixing up new people, or just misread your original post. Gotta slow down the reading... :D

Can you suggest some other motors with a higher efficiency?
Literally any other type of the same power level, likely AC (permanent magnet or induction).

The latest trend - if you want to be at the cutting edge of DIY EV conversions rather than the antique end of technology - is to use a motor from a production EV. Tesla Model S/X and Nissan Leaf are the common choices. This is a major project in electronics, so it may not be the way you want to go if that's not the type of work that you want to do.
 

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Hi Metal

There is very little difference in efficiency with the different motor types - AC motors can use re-gen which will give some advantage

Taxi drivers find a substantial advantage - the rest of us just a few percent if that

Your options are

Aftermarket AC motors - expensive and very wimpy or extremely expensive and powerful

DC motors - basically repurposed Forklift motors - cheap and powerful - but a little unsophisticated

Motors from production EV's - Tesla/Leaf....
Powerful, inexpensive, sophisticated

I went the DC route - when I started building 10 years ago that was the best way
If I was building a car now I would go the crashed EV route - try and get a complete EV with minor damage

BUT that would involve getting deeply into the electronics - if you don't fancy that then DC is the way to go
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Full brown electronics out of a Tesla intimidates me for sure. I know it’s not new tech but a dc net gain setup seems more straight forward to me. I cald Netgain and spoke with sales. The warp 11 or a pair of 9’s was suggested. As for batteries I’ll find what I need eventually.
 

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Hi Metal

I'm a Scotsman - and well known to be "careful" with money!

You can buy a Warp 11 - for oodles of cash

Or you can get an 11 inch forklift motor for about $200 and simply advance the brush timing

As far as I can see the "DC motors for electric cars" are simply forklift motors with a nice coat of paint

I'm using a Paul & Sabrina high voltage controller - about $1000

For a big heavy machine I would suggest two 11 inch forklift motors!

I'm using a Hitachi 11 inch - my first one cost me $100 ten years ago
I blew it up at the 1/8th mile drags in March so I had to get another one (8.6 seconds - 85mph)
It cost me $150 - needed a bit of work

I also bought a complete spare - it cost me $200

If you go down that route you need to find out who repairs forklifts locally to you

An electric forklift normally outlives one battery - when the second battery dies they tend to scrap the machine and the motors are still perfect
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Duncan this totally sound like me. We have lots of industrial areas with fork lift part recycling and service. Any links for the brush work that’s needed? That’s something I’d definitely be happy to do myself. I guess I should calculate the complete requirements my van will need in order to know what voltage, amps the motor will need to deal with. Any calculator apps out there?
 

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Hi Metal
there is a long thread in the motors section on using forklift motors

Basically I advanced the brushes by drilling and tapping four new holes so that the end plate with the brushes was 8 degrees advanced to it's old position

My Hitachi motor is RATED at 10 kw - 200 amps 48 v and about 1500 rpm

I'm feeding it 1200 amps - 340 v (400 kW - 540 hp) -and I'm using 4700 rpm so far - that is in a light car

In a heavy van that would kill it quickly!

In your van I would suggest two of my motors in parallel with the same 340 v and the 1200 amps shared between the motors - maybe three of those motors!
 
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