DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm new to this but in researching many electric motor/drivetrain configurations, it seems pretty straightforward (hah) to replace the entire engine/tran/differential of the Corvair with the motor/gearbox of the 500E, Leaf, I3, etc.....
They both connect to the wheels via side axles, so why not eliminate all of the leaky parts? The geometry appears similar. Love my truck but the ongoing battle of leaks and old engine issues is wearing me out.
I've been measuring and sizing up the fit and am close to starting. Any input is appreciated and I hope to come up with a conversion that is easily adaptable.
It would get a lot of these great old cars back on the road.
Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
The Ford "Eluminator", "crate motor", is pefect for these kinds of conversions, IMO. I really like the coaxial axle and diff setup, which keeps everything in a fat sausage inline, more or less, with the axles.

Brand new, $3500 for the high powered rear motor from the Mach-E. I just spotted the inverter in their parts listings...another $1700.

I'm hoping they'll publish an app note for interfacing to the inverter, otherwise it's useless. The motor connection is also a bit clunky, but not unusual for anyone doing conversions.

This is going to cave pricing for salvage, and new traction motor standalones (which have sadly become next to worthless now), alike.

Lots of choices - all depends what you can get as much as what's optimal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
The Ford "Eluminator", "crate motor", is pefect for these kinds of conversions, IMO. I really like the coaxial axle and diff setup, which keeps everything in a fat sausage inline, more or less, with the axles.

Brand new, $3500 for the high powered rear motor from the Mach-E. I just spotted the inverter in their parts listings...another $1700.

I'm hoping they'll publish an app note for interfacing to the inverter, otherwise it's useless. The motor connection is also a bit clunky, but not unusual for anyone doing conversions.
True, but you can't actually buy it yet. It's apparently the rear unit from a Mach-E, hopefully packaged to be usable in another vehicle.

A Chevrolet Bolt drive unit has similar packaging (outputs coaxial with motor); it should be available as a Bolt replacement part if salvage isn't available. Yabert put a Bolt unit in a VW van, which is laid out like like Corvair: Westfalia T3 with Chevy Bolt drivetrain

I agree that documentation and support for control of a unit like this is critical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
You can buy it - maybe you Canadians can't yet 😂
The "Eluminator" was announced in August by Ford as to be unveiled at this year's SEMA show, which isn't until November. Yes, there is a "Buy Now" button on the Ford Performance Parts web page, but I bet no one will deliver it to you the next day. I hit that "Buy Now" button and got a 404 error (there wasn't even an opportunity to specify the country to ship to.)... try it, maybe you're special. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
... It's apparently the rear unit from a Mach-E, hopefully packaged to be usable in another vehicle.
...
I agree that documentation and support for control of a unit like this is critical.
The Ford Performance Parts web page confirms that it is the Mach E GT (rear) unit, but more importantly says that it includes:
  • HV motor to traction inverter harness
  • LV harness/connector
  • Vent tube assembly.
but does not include:
  • Traction inverter
  • Control system
  • Battery
and "Instruction Sheet: Not Available"

It doesn't look any different from just buying the replacement parts for a Mach E and starting the hacking process. Maybe by the time it is actually available it will be a more usable crate component.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
Brian - I called the dealer. He was ready to take my credit card number.

The crate site's not ready, but you can order the drive unit now. And the inverter.
He'll take your credit card number for an F-150 Lightning, too, but he can't get you one this year. Of course the dealer could be selling this as a Mach E replacement part. It's great if you can actually buy these as a performance "crate" unit, but I won't believe availability this month unless someone actually receives one. And I don't know why anyone would buy one with no idea how to control it - at this point, it's no different from buying any unit from the dealership parts counter, or a salvage unit from any EV (except that it's cleaner).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
It's a Borg Warner HVH-250-90 with three phase high power connections and a resolver connector. Meh.

The drive units were in shipment to distribution center at the time I was asked if I wanted one, a few weeks ago, so no worse than any other special order.

The inverter is a different story. I'd like to see what the offering is on the inverter side, as it costs almost as much for the transistors as it does just to buy the entire subsystem that includes the cooling system. Undocumented means replacing the logic board, which kinda negates a huge part of that $1700. But still interesting if so.

We'll see if Ford publishes the CAN messages for the inverter. I'm from the camp that says all CAN subsystems need to be documented and available in the public domain for both repair as well as aftermarket replacement parts development.

But, the "crate motor" is a 3 phase and resolver connection. Still beyond the reach of a shadetree mechanic, so a controller and bms are still needed on the Ford Performance side; the site you can't order from yet. If it's anything like the industry I worked in, they don't want to provide the support. The repair side can just shrug their shoulders when you buy..."electrical part, no returns", lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
It's a Borg Warner HVH-250-90 with three phase high power connections and a resolver connector. Meh.
Is the rated power at ~360 V really consistent with an HVH250-90? Maybe an HVH250-115 instead? Maybe something related? It does make sense for the motor in a BorgWarner drive unit to be an HVH250, since they have those available at BorgWarner. If it is, it's a far lower price for one than Cascadia Motion or any of the resellers offer. And probably more available.

The other substantial difference between buying an aftermarket HVH motor and buying a drive unit like this is that the drive unit is complete with a reduction gear set and differential; if you need those things (as a replacement of the complete powertrain of a Corvair would), they're worth the purchase price by themselves, with the motor a no-extra-charge bonus.

Not only is the price of the inverter much lower than buying an inverter from Cascadia... it will be more compact. Still useless if you can't control it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
Yup...you can buy a new hybrid transmission, or this "Eluminator", with the motor(s) in it plus the OEM inverter for the cost of one HVH motor from BW.

Which sucks for those of us that have an HVH or two in the parts pile that are queued up for projects...they're near worthless to resell. Last one on eBay went for a tad over $500. Same goes for all those Yuasa's and other motors out there...EV manufacturing scale is killing the prices/value of these these boutique-volume curiosities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Maybe a leaf drivetrain and resolve-ev controller would be easier and cheaper than fiat or ford drivetrain. I watched a YouTube vid of a vintage Ford van with leaf drivetrain installed and running.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm also looking at BMW I3 and Chevy Spark donors. I'm currently removing the old drivetrain, gas tank and heater ducts and measuring up the compartments to see what physically fits.
On the technical side, I'm trying to see if bringing over the matching donor motor, gearbox, and inverter will stand alone. Does the battery pack and charger stand alone? Or is the OEM so complicated that all these parts are in the brain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
I'm also looking at BMW I3 and Chevy Spark donors.
...
On the technical side, I'm trying to see if bringing over the matching donor motor, gearbox, and inverter will stand alone. Does the battery pack and charger stand alone? Or is the OEM so complicated that all these parts are in the brain?
The motor controller (inverter), battery management system (BMS), and onboard charger will all have separate processors ("brains"), but they are all designed and programmed with the assumption that they will be able to communicate with each other (over a network). Using one without the others is always a challenge.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, As I'm working out options with my YASA motor, I have the Fiat 500E in the back of my head. It also matches the hp that I'm looking for and would appear to fit in the engine compartment.
I'm mechanically inclined but electrically challenged.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top