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Chevy Volt RX-8 (CVRX8) Conversion

1451 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  bcampbell
Hi All,

I've been working on a conversion plan for a bit now, perusing these forums and gathering excellent information and ideas. I've started buying components and was hoping to get some input on my plan from the experts here to make sure there aren't any obvious issues before I get any deeper.

My basic plan is to use the battery pack (with BMS, contactors, pre-charge system, heat, etc.), charger and DC/DC converter from a 2017 Chevy Volt with the highest voltage forklift motor I can find and an open source DIY DC motor controller. Although I know I could split the pack up to get more amperage at a lower voltage, the charger and DC converter are both really nice components but will only work on the full pack voltage.

I am trying to keep this project on the inexpensive side; partially because I don't have a ton of money laying around at the moment, and also because I don't mind DIYing and think I'll enjoy the challenge. I am a mechanical engineer with some back ground in high voltage but this is certainly my first venture into EVs.

I'm hoping to find a used RX-8 with a bad motor since I seem to be finding these in really good shape otherwise for an amazing price. A bit heavier, but I think my Volt pack (18.1 kWh) should have enough juice for my 40 mile round trip commute. I'm still debating using the transmission. Given the heavier weight of the RX-8 I'm thinking of ditching it but it will make the hook up a bit trickier. I'm also worried about my top speed, but with 360V, maybe I shouldn't be.

That brings me to my other main worry, which is about driving a forklift motor at 360V. I read a lot of the post on how to use a forklift motor but admit I didn't make it all the way through all the posts. I've heard that you can over-voltage these by anywhere from 3x all the way up to 10x but I really don't know if I'm just asking for trouble.

This is a rough outline and I have a lot more thoughts on how to make it all work, like liquid heating/cooling for the batteries, CAN interface spoofing for both the Volt components and RX-8.

I'd love to hear what people think and if there are any obvious pitfalls with this plan. So far I've purchased the battery, charger, DC\DC converter and charging port. Thanks for reading. :)
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