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Hi, Im Dala, a 25 year old electrical engineer. It's time to start something new this year. After having lots of fun with my other project car, a 6-speed turbocharged, water injected Nissan NX, my mind is constantly looking for a new technical challenge. I think I have finally found it, I'm going to do convert a NX -> EVNX. I am really interested in EVs, since they seem to tick all the boxes you'd want in a fast car, instant torque, blazing acceleration and minimal service needed. A Tesla here costs ~100 000Euro, A boring Nissan Leaf costs ~35 000Euro, so building your own EV seems like the best way to get into EVs. I might also learn something by doing it myself :). The plan now is to harvest most of the lithium needed from scrap 18650 cells. Lets see how this turns out, since the most of the cost of an EV comes from the batteries, it seems like a logical way to save money.

As much as I would love to use the SR20VET NX, with its bulletproof 750whp capable 6-speed transmission for this project, I think its sensible to start small with a proof of concept. I scanned the classifieds for some time before finding a suitable chassis. I had only three requirements, but the first two were quite demanding.

1. Shall be a GTI, so bigger brakes, discs instead of rear drums. Also the GTI has side skirts, which makes it look way better imo
2. Shall not be a total rust bucket
3. Shall be pre-OBD2, so <1995.

If you are familiar with my geographical location, which is Finland, this makes that extremely hard. We salt the roads each winter like mad, so most NXs today are either Swiss-cheese or scrapped. This is after all a 26 year old platform. 2.0L GTIs were never sold in Finland, we only got the 1.6L, and so it has to be an import car. After many months of searching I found one. So, on to the victim!


This is originally a 1991 SR20DE powered German GTI 100NX, imported to Finland in the mid-2000s. Perfect! It was taken off the road in 2013, after the previous owner blew the engine, and lost interest mid swap. No engine, Perfect for this conversion! I got it for the price of 150€, quite OK in my book :)


It has been standing for quite some time, so nature has taken its toll on it. Ill take that any day over a rusty but well used mess. If we pop the hood we are greeted with:


Surprise, surprise. Nothing. Time to bring out some elbow grease, give it a wash, and push it into the garage.


After washing it. Now it is time to start deconstructing it, and prepare it for a new drive train.

So here is a rough checklist of what needs to be done
-Harvest ~2000pcs of 18650 Lithium cells
-Strip down car to barebones, remove fuel tank, exhaust and excess wiring
-Rust proof chassis
-Re-paint whole car, change color
-Update brakes/suspension components
-Install electrical vacuum pump for brakes
-Fabricate Arduino GPS speedometer, battery level instead of fuel level
-Install 5-speed gearbox, fabricate mount for DC motor
-Remove clutch pedal, remove throttle pedal
-Install potentiometer throttle pedal
-Install batteries into packs, insert packs into car, spacing them to improve weight distribution
-Install charging port into fuel filler location
-Install battery management system
-Install fuses/shunts, impact relays
-Install DC-DC converter for normal 12V system
-Optional, fabricate heating element
-Iron out bugs
-Inspect & Drive

I estimate this will take 2-3 years before fully completed, so buckle in for a long ride :) I will try to document and describe the whole process as thoroughly as possible.
 
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