DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 520 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Just made the promise to drop a packet of money on a pre-order of LiFePO4 Sinopoly batteries and an AC50/Curtis controller kit put together by Canadian Electric Vehicles. Looking forward to your help, to commiserate etc. Will post some pics when I can.

I have the body off the frame and have the frame in good condition now- prepping for paint, which will take a while. A buddy is coming over to look over the suspension but I think everything is intact.

Wish me luck! This is a big project for me, and my wife is NOT supportive-I married the girl that didn't like this car, which I've owned since 1987...my 11 yr old son though is enjoying working on the car with me- and so am I!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will do my best to document- so far the work has all been repair- dirt, rust, welding sparks, and not much to look at. Having seen what people have done to these Triumphs, I do not for a moment refer to what I'm doing as "restoration"...I have the body off the frame and am prepping the frame for epoxy at the moment. Should get the motor and transmission adapter plate in a few weeks, then the fun will start!

I'm getting mixed messages from people about my AC50/Curtis package. HPEV posts a chart showing a very flat peak torque curve vs RPM, starting at 120 ft-lbs at min speed and dropping only to 110 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm for a 96 V nominal pack voltage (where peak power is delivered). However, some people are telling me that in practice the AC50 is relatively gutless until you get it above 2000 rpm. Others, including the guy I'm purchasing the package from, who has it in several of his own personal vehicles, say that I should expect performance at least as good as, if not superior, to what I had originally in the IC engine- stock 1496 CC engine was capable of about 66 ft-lbs of torque max at 3000 rpm and perhaps 65 hp when the engine was screaming along like a sewing machine at 5000 rpm...and it had a tendency to drop crankshaft main bearing thrust washers into the oil pan...the original Leyland engine in this car was possessed and I'm well shot of it and its 1970s British demons!

The AC50 package price I'm being offered is right when compared against DC systems, plus I get the benefit of regenerative braking and lower maintenance vs a DC system. But am I going to regret it in performance terms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey, we Canadians need to stick together! There are fewer of us than there are Californians after all!

Yeah, I thought of chop-shopping a Volt pack from the wreckers (thought about that a LOT, as the pack is just about the right size and is really cheap!), and of building my own kit controller, and of trolling for forklift motors. But I'm taking the easy route because a) I've owned the car since 1987, b) I want it to be a reliable spring to fall daily driver, and of course need most of the English demons out of it for that to happen, and c) the fixed price of stuff I couldn't build or scrounge myself is just too high to permit me to risk having to buy any of it TWICE!

Battery pre-order has been made, and CanEV is gathering up the parts for me- will probably have a motor before I'm ready for it. Got a few "order of operations" problems to sort out in the meantime- so far it's been easy to know what was most important to do next, but I don't want to spend time taking this body tub on and off the frame too many times- and never again until it has decent floor pans as well as a solid door sill/rocker panel combination on either side. With no roof, the car relies on those parts to act together as a member to stiffen the body between supports to the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Convertible Triumph spitfire


This was the car in its heyday, around 1990 or so. It had been winter driven on Ontario salted roads, then "restored" by an idiot who left the sandblasting sand in the frame and ruined the wiring harness. After much suffering with the Leyland garbage 1500 engine, I put a 1980 Celica engine and 5 speed in it- which never really fit. But what a fun car!

Last plate stickers on it are from 1996, the year I moved in with my wife. I married the girl that didn't like the car...

My 11 yr old son Jacob and I started the disassembly:

Motor vehicle Vehicle Engine Car Auto part


Lots of stuff to go!

Workwear Machine


Engine came out nicely:

Motor vehicle Vehicle Engine Auto part


Leaving a nice big hole!

Vehicle Car Auto part Engine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Car's a mess...floor pans are gone, but the frame is much better than the body:

Vehicle Rust Car Auto part


So, the body bucket comes off the frame, with a lot of effort (more bolts than I figured...)

Motor vehicle Vehicle Auto part Engine Automotive tire


Lovely to have a frame to work with!

Motor vehicle Vehicle Car Chassis Engine


...but it too needs work...

Suspension part Suspension Auto part Tire Automotive tire


The car was stored in my garage most of the time, but did spend a few years outside under a tarp while I was building the addition to my house. Unfortunately, squirrels or chippies found the frame a nice place to store their maple keys, walnuts etc. Fortunately, I built the addition with a nice piece of W8x18 to support the rafters at the ridge, 13 ft up. So I raised the frame and knocked the debris out by whacking it with a deadblow mallet..

Room Auto part Vehicle Ceiling


About five pounds of crap came out- maple keys, rust and sandblasting sound from the previous owner's attempts at restoration. A big sponge to hold water to generate rust has been removed!

Soil Plant Mulch Tobacco Tobacco products
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have poor depth perception, but can manage to weld with an auto-darkening helmet. Weld steel, that is- rust doesn't weld too well!

Bumper Auto part Vehicle


Not the prettiest, but solid. Every hole is patched to solid steel.

Auto part Vehicle Car Fuel line Engine


After a long period of patching, grinding, wire brushing and wiping down with solvent, we coated the entire frame with surface tolerant industrial epoxy.

Motor vehicle Automobile repair shop Vehicle Auto mechanic Car


Hopefully that, plus oilspray to the frame internals, will keep the rust at bay...

Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Auto part


Batteries, motor, controller, charger etc. have all been ordered. Batteries are 12 weeks away, but the motor and transmission plate should be here in a few weeks. In the meantime, the body tub has to come back inside and will take a heck of a lot of work to get it into something approximating tolerable shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Body is back on the frame. Replaced the driver's side rocker panel which comes with part of the front quarter on this car as well- it was a bear of a job, but I think it worked out OK- first time I've replaced a body panel, ever.... The passenger side just needs patching. Actually there'll be quite a bit of patching required, and not just there... Working on fabbing replacements for lower portions of the inner door sills at the moment, then I'll be ready to fab new floor pans. Replacement pans are available but at $600 for the set and the budget blown on the EV conversion parts already, I need to save a few bucks where I can! Once the sills, rockers and pans are done, I can take the body back off again and epoxy coat it from underneath. More work for my son...he seems to love painting.

Received my AC50, transmission mounting plate and coupling, controller, gauges, miniBMS parts etc. from CanEV- everything except the charger and batteries. Felt like a kid at Christmas! Batteries won't be here until late August, which is fine because it'll take me quite a while on the rest- but need the charger to do my layout.

Tossed up a bit about the cabling to use. I have some 1/0 fine stranded, 105 C 600 V oil resistant industrial cable- enough to do the whole job, and which I will definitely use for the short runs. I also have an offcut of 2/0 tec cable available for scrap value, which I could break down to give me conductors long enough to do the long front pack to back-pack runs. With an average run current expected around 200A at 96V and a peak current of 500 A, the 1/0 looks like it could handle it, and would be far easier to work with- no big splices required- so I'm leaning in that direction right now.

Also need a speedometer: the Toyota transmission came with a broken speedo cable which doesn't mate to the Triumph speedo anyway. Need to do some research- CanEV recommended an Isspro speedo which I'll have to look into- apparently uses a hall effect sensor picking up magnets you glue to the driveshaft. Fortunately the car has a plain flat wood dash, so I can do whatever layout of speedo, gauges and indicator lights that I like. Need to keep the heater controls to pass the local safety inspection- have to install a defogger/defrost heater for that reason, but plan to use an element out of a ceramic space heater as others here have done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Looks like a nice build and good to see another Canadian builder :)

Have you sourced insurance for it yet?
I'm in the planning and design stages of my build and insurance seems to be the problem.
I'm an hour and a half south of you, so if you find someone somewhat local I'd love the info :)

Looking forward to more Picts.

Cheers!
Colin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Colin-

I'm told privately by another forum member that TD Meloche Monnex will insure an electric conversion, but I haven't "secured" insurance for my unfinished car yet. My hope is that a classic car insurer will take it on as their rates are really low and they're used to hotrod conversions etc. A 1930s Chrysler with a huge modern 8 cylinder engine in it (which I've seen done many times) surely should scare them more than my 50 hp electric motor? That's my theory, anyway...

We Ontarians have to stick together- I promise to let you know who insures mine, if you'll do the same!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hi Colin-

I'm told privately by another forum member that TD Meloche Monnex will insure...
We Ontarians have to stick together- I promise to let you know who insures mine, if you'll do the same!
Sounds good. For sure. When I get a contact who will give a decent quote I'll share it with everyone.
My agent at my broker gave me an alternative contact while she is on vac. My dad gave me his old Mazda 3 as we needed a second car, so I called to add it on the other day. While I had her on the line I asked about an EV conversion.
She was way more receptive than my usual agent. Asked all sorts of questions with genuine interest. She said she was looking at buying a Leaf and would let me know as she'd love to help me out.
Maybe my regular agent is just lazy or unwilling to do any extra leg work, but looks like I've got someone who's willing to help now. Hopefully it produces some good results.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Colin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Colin- that would be excellent- I promise to share all my info, which so far isn't so good.

TD Meloche Monnex want a fortune (comparatively) to insure the car even if it weren't an electric conversion, and flat out denied that they could ever write a policy for an electric conversion unless someone lied to them and insured it as a regular IC engine car. Funny, because the ForkenSwift guys say publicly that they were insured by Meloche, after a 3rd party safety inspection. I told the Meloche guy that, but apparently the senior under-writers he was talking to told him no.

Recommendation both here and elsewhere is to find an independent broker and work with them- which sounds good, but I haven't used one in years. So, what I'd REALLY love to do is to reward the broker who DID take the perceived risk by insuring another person's electric conversion by giving them more business. Anyone care to name their insurer/broker? Don't want to do it publicly? Feel free to PM me-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Hi Colin-

I'm told privately by another forum member that TD Meloche Monnex will insure an electric conversion, but I haven't "secured" insurance for my unfinished car yet. My hope is that a classic car insurer will take it on as their rates are really low and they're used to hotrod conversions etc. A 1930s Chrysler with a huge modern 8 cylinder engine in it (which I've seen done many times) surely should scare them more than my 50 hp electric motor? That's my theory, anyway...

We Ontarians have to stick together- I promise to let you know who insures mine, if you'll do the same!
hi,
nice to see your work...very hard work.
here are some tips for insurance.. i already inquire. to my insurance company
that was smooth...i tried to give them quote for honda Del SOL 1993 convertible.. as a sample car.

here is some tips--- hope it helps you

- don't use word " converted to electric"
- tell them " i am using alternet fuel 100% electric"
- the word " converted " make whole definition change ..they will rip you off
- we canadian already screwed by insurance company all the time and will stay like that for ever :(

in my case they give me $200/month ..apart of my driving record is more then 7 years dammm clean...no ticket at all..

my case i can't afford two car. so now i give up idea to convert
(not 100% yet) but i am thinking now for plug-in hybrid to buy
toyota prius any model after 2004 , and add extra battery bank to run most time as an electric car for my daily commute..for long run i have built-in gasoline too....

i hope insurance related info. will help you...

good luck..
 
1 - 20 of 520 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