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Direction.........?

952 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jbman
I've been building cars all my life. I currently daily drive a '27 Lakes T. Have a '65 Fastback, boosted LS '72 Suburban, '68 FJ40, and several other cars.
The Lakes gets so much attention and is such a fun car, I've thought about building a second one. But doing something a little different. Something possibly considered sacrilegious.
At 1300lbs, it seems like a perfect platform for a EV build!
Unfortunately, I have zero experience with EVs or anything electric.
Fabrication isn't an issue! I can build anything mechanical. I just need some direction as far as best parts to look for and where I might find them.
It's basically a giant go cart, so I don't need any accessories other than headlights.
Only needs 30 mile range or so.
Ideally I'd fab a plate and continue to run a small 5 speed like the nv1500.
I'd like it to be fast, but "fast" is relative and there's no chance it'll be as fast as anything else I've got; that isn't slow.......
Within my collection, it should be the "economical one". And thus, I'd like to build it budget minded.
let me see your parts lists!
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At 1300lb and only underhood available for battery and all other components placement, it's more crap than a good choice for an EV build. Your 30 mile range expectation saves the day there, though.

Take a look at the Lotus 7 builds here. Probably closest to what you might want to try.

A careful build, and a bit o' cash, should kick the butt of anything in your current fleet at road-legal speeds. Quick is the correct word, not fast. All of what you listed is neither (depending on what powers the Lakes, of course).

Keep the weight to 1300 and it'll be economical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At 1300lb and only underhood available for battery and all other components placement, it's more crap than a good choice for an EV build. Your 30 mile range expectation saves the day there, though.

Take a look at the Lotus 7 builds here. Probably closest to what you might want to try.

A careful build, and a bit o' cash, should kick the butt of anything in your current fleet at road-legal speeds. Quick is the correct word, not fast. All of what you listed is neither (depending on what powers the Lakes, of course).

Keep the weight to 1300 and it'll be economical.
I'm trying to decide how much fun I can have with your post.
Should I play dumb(That's always fun) or challenge your clear attempt to establish dominance(also fun but doesn't tend to edify...)
I understand you're frustrated by what must be a flood of newbs coming to your beloved forum. I get it.
However, while we/I may not know our way around EVs specifically, you could clearly learn something from some of us.
"All of what you listed is neither" You so silly!

I do appreciate your suggestion about the Lotus 7 builds. I'll certainly do that! Thanks!
 

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perks up

Someone say budget build?

You can cut corners everywhere except batteries. Batteries are just going to cost what they cost.

Good news is that you're going with a light vehicle, and a short range, so you don't need much battery. You're small and light, but not slippery, should come in just under 200 watt-hours per mile at highway speeds. Maybe as low as 180.

You'll need a 5.4kwh pack, something in that ballpark. If you're getting used cells around $100/kwh that's not too bad.

Depends how aggressively thrifty you want to be for the next bit.

An old DC forklift motor is probably fine. Even a smaller one, might even get away with a 7" instead of the usual 9" I'd say is minimum, just because your car is so light. You can pick these up from mom and pop forklift service/repair places if you're persuasive enough to let them let you use your own tools to pull a motor from a carcass in the field that they probably bought for $500 and stole the mast and battery pack off of. I've gotten mine for free, but, fair scrap value seems to be around $200.

You might even be able to squeeze that much speed out of a golf kart motor, but, that'd be pushing it and might need new gearing.

I say DC because it makes your controller cheaper and less fiddley than AC. You give it volts, it spins, end of story.

Controller-wise you could use a golf kart controller, maybe. But I'd get a Gen 2 Prius inverter from a junkyard ($50-150) and then throw a small simple DC motor circuit on it to hijack the brains and spew out DC (circuit board might cost you a bit, but it's simple enough you can probably make it on perfboard, and it's like, $10 in components). As a bonus, the Prius inverter has a built-in 1200w, 1-wire solution to getting 12vdc from your battery pack to run the rest of the electronics. Hmm... but I think it might need 200v mininum to operate. Might have to fudge something there.

The rest is batteries. The trick will be to have enough battery voltage in a small enough pack. You're probably aiming for 120-140v, something in that range. Each lithium cell will be 4.2v peak, so, like, 30-35 cells, but the smallest cells you can get 30 of might be way more battery than you want. Anyway, there's options, just not as many. You can maybe get away with using the Prius' built-in voltage booster to get higher voltages (I'm not too familiar with how you control it, but lots of people are). It's not very powerful, I thought 15-20hp, but, you don't need very much power. The consequence of not having enough battery voltage will be an inability to go fast enough (even if you have enough power, the motor won't be told to spin faster). You can fix that with gearing again, but it's a pain.

You probably won't need a brake booster, so, no vacuum pump or whatnot, just foot pressure if it's calibrated correctly. You're no stranger to fabrication so this doesn't seem to be trouble for you.

Sounds quite achievable.
 

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Kool! a T-Bucket :cool:

Yes, like Matt suggested, an old forklift motor (if you want to go the "used" components route) (~$200.00 - $500.00)
...& a maybe Kelly or Curtis or Altrax controller probably (~$500.00)
...plus a couple of hindered dollars for accessories (fuses, contactor, switches etc.)

or if you're interested in "new" components maybe a:

"HPEVS AC-35 Motor & Controller Kit: (~$2,000.00+)
The AC 35 motor is designed for use in multiple automotive applications ranging in EV and hybrids. It is capable of producing 82 horsepower and 94 ft-lbs. of torque at 144 volts, and 500 amps. This motor is a great entry option for any car looking to become a pacific coast cruiser or a sprightly in town car. Weighing in at 85 lbs or 38.5 kg this motor maintains a lightweight and power-dense design which helps improve weight distribution and power to weight ratio. This Kit comes standard with the motor, 1239E-8521 controller, wiring harness, display, and contactor."
HPEVS AC-35 Motor & Controller Kit | HPEVS Kit | Stealth EV

Also,
It looks like you could get (6) Chevy Volt 48V 50AH modules, under the hood. (~$2,000.00)

Probably (2) levels with (3) modules in each level
...& "if" all (3) modules of a level were connected together "in parallel", it would create a ~6kWh 48V 150AH battery pack
...& "if" the (2) levels were connected together "in series" it would create a ~12kWh 144V 150AH battery pack.

Plus, these modules have water cooling capability
...& could be easily "plumbed" to the radiator.

So, yea IMO for anywhere from ~$2,000.00 to ~$5,000.00 you could have a "Bad Ass" EVLakes T cruiser ;)
 

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My car is the "sporty" version of your "Lakes" - keep it nice and simple


I am using an 11 inch forklift motor - direct drive to the rear diff - and most of a Chevy Volt battery pack

If I was building again NOW I would start by finding a crashed production EV - maybe a Leaf - and use as much as I could of that vehicle

A Leaf motor/transmission unit driving the rear wheels - just need to sort out some driveshafts and rear suspension
Plenty of room for batteries in the "engine bay" and down the transmission tunnel

Get the complete car if you can - you may be able to save heaps by using all the electronics -
or you may have to buy a new "brain board" to operate the Leaf's electrics
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My car is the "sporty" version of your "Lakes" - keep it nice and simple


I am using an 11 inch forklift motor - direct drive to the rear diff - and most of a Chevy Volt battery pack

If I was building again NOW I would start by finding a crashed production EV - maybe a Leaf - and use as much as I could of that vehicle

A Leaf motor/transmission unit driving the rear wheels - just need to sort out some driveshafts and rear suspension
Plenty of room for batteries in the "engine bay" and down the transmission tunnel

Get the complete car if you can - you may be able to save heaps by using all the electronics -
or you may have to buy a new "brain board" to operate the Leaf's electrics
I kind of feel like an old(at least in appearance) fork lift motor would be less heretical than the motor from a Nissan Leaf. 😂
And i'd say my car is the "sporty" version on yours. ;)
btw, Burt Monroe is one of my heroes!
 

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I kind of feel like an old(at least in appearance) fork lift motor would be less heretical than the motor from a Nissan Leaf. 😂
And i'd say my car is the "sporty" version on yours. ;)
btw, Burt Monroe is one of my heroes!
"Sporty" means low center of gravity and going around corners

The "Lakes" style is more about drag racing - higher center of gravity

Different "sports" - different requirements

I suspect that my "Device" would give any of your "fast" cars a fright on the 1/4 mile

Burt Monroe lived in Invercargill - which is about 60 km south of here (Gore) and is where Teretonga race track is situated - local hero!
 

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Lakes cars used to run through time traps on dry LAKE beds back in the day (still do). Not drag racers, but speedsters, in varying classes.

This one's missing the aero-enhancing (Teslas are notorious for picking up aero efficacy according to type of wheels) "Moon" wheelcovers....presumably to make it lighter 😛
 

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I've been building cars all my life. I currently daily drive a '27 Lakes T. Have a '65 Fastback, boosted LS '72 Suburban, '68 FJ40, and several other cars.
The Lakes gets so much attention and is such a fun car, I've thought about building a second one. But doing something a little different. Something possibly considered sacrilegious.
At 1300lbs, it seems like a perfect platform for a EV build!
Unfortunately, I have zero experience with EVs or anything electric.
Fabrication isn't an issue! I can build anything mechanical. I just need some direction as far as best parts to look for and where I might find them.
It's basically a giant go cart, so I don't need any accessories other than headlights.
Only needs 30 mile range or so.
Ideally I'd fab a plate and continue to run a small 5 speed like the nv1500.
I'd like it to be fast, but "fast" is relative and there's no chance it'll be as fast as anything else I've got; that isn't slow.......
Within my collection, it should be the "economical one". And thus, I'd like to build it budget minded.
let me see your parts lists!
View attachment 133159
What a fun car. I think Matt and Duncan have the best advice for you right now, if budget is a concern. Series wound DC motor builds are really simple, which is great for a beginner. That being said, used production AC motors are so plentiful and cheap, now, it's hard to say that DC is that much cheaper unless you get a killer deal on some parts. I think the "new" Leaf inverter is good for 200kW, which would really scoot in that car. You'd get modern features and better longevity with the modern hardware.

I'd add more batteries than you need, though. No one ever said, "Gee, I wish I had fewer batteries..." I've got a ~9kWh battery pack in my MG, but I'd like more. The thing is just too small. Some day I'll redo it.
 
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