DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have been rebuilding a 1973 800kg Clan Crusader with a Nissan Leaf motor, 52kWh battery and DIY inverter. It took me about a year partly learning how to design the Inverter and partly restoring the original car. It now has disc brakes all around, electric windows, heated seats, heated steering wheel, DAB radio etc. I am at the stage of testing the vehicle - I have made endless circuits of my garden and run up to 30mph on a flat road. Will post a video when I work out how to!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
Welcome, Lance! :)

That's a rare car, and it looks great. I had never heard of Clan or this Crusader, so I had to do some searching. I assume based on the year that yours is an original (rather than a copy); did you upgrade it to the retractable headlights?

I'm interested to hear about the details of your conversion, especially given the large battery capacity and the antiquated Hillman Imp chassis components that you had to work with. Perhaps when you're ready you can post a separate build thread?

If you can design and build a working inverter for a Leaf motor, I'm sure you'll have no difficulty figuring out how to post a video. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome, Lance! :)

That's a rare car, and it looks great. I had never heard of Clan or this Crusader, so I had to do some searching. I assume based on the year that yours an original; did you upgrade it to the retractable headlights?

I'm interested to hear about the details of your conversion, especially given the large battery capacity and the antiquated Hillman Imp chassis components that you had to work with. Perhaps when you're ready you can post a separate build thread?

If you can design and build a working inverter for a Leaf motor, I'm sure you'll have no difficulty figuring out how to post a video. :D
The body came with the rectractable headlights, it was originally a 1973 model but was involved in some sort of incident and the bodyshell was replaced with a later one from the factory.
The Imp stuff is pretty good - it has a gokart feel to it. Battery modules are placed 8 in front, 12 in cabin and 4 in rear.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
1971 Mini Marcos, Outlander Meiden Motor, Meiden Inverter
Joined
·
94 Posts
welcome to the forum, i love the clan crusader i competed in one a couple of times in sprints at curborough race course.



Very interested in seeing some more pics of your installation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
The body came with the rectractable headlights, it was originally a 1973 model but was involved in some sort of incident and the bodyshell was replaced with a later one from the factory.
Since it is a fiberglass unibody, that makes it a later Crusader with 1973-vintage Imp parts. :D

The Imp stuff is pretty good - it has a gokart feel to it.
I've heard this sort of comment about various chassis designs before. Most commonly it refers to the original Mini, or semi-trailing-arm era BMWs with stiffer springs. It really means that the suspension is so stiff that it barely moves, and the crude design doesn't matter much. ;) A kart doesn't have any suspension at all, other than frame flex.

Battery modules are placed 8 in front, 12 in cabin and 4 in rear.
So the 8 in the front are in place of the fuel tank, the 12 in the cabin are in the parcel area behind the seats, and the 4 in the rear are on either side of the motor? I am assuming that the Leaf motor is placed where the engine was, and mounted to the original Imp transaxle.

I don't recognize the battery modules, which must be about 2.17 kWh each. What are they from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance
The Imp stuff is pretty good - it has a gokart feel to it.

"brian_ I've heard this sort of comment about various chassis designs before. Most commonly it refers to the original Mini, or semi-trailing-arm era BMWs with stiffer springs. It really means that the suspension is so stiff that it barely moves, and the crude design doesn't matter much. ;) A kart doesn't have any suspension at all, other than frame flex."


By 'gokart feel' I meant positive and direct steering unlike modern cars with smart power assistance and wide tyres, its pretty close to a 1960's Lotus Elan in terms of feel. The suspension is deliberately fairly soft / compliant to keep the wheels in contact with the road and to minimise the long term effect of road shocks / vibration on the batteries and electrics. Similarly it has winter tyres fitted as most summer tyre compounds are too hard for a car of this light weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
By 'gokart feel' I meant positive and direct steering unlike modern cars with smart power assistance and wide tyres, its pretty close to a 1960's Lotus Elan in terms of feel.
Unassisted steering is definitely good, as long as the car is light enough (in front axle load) that it can be used with a decently quick ratio, and the rear engine configuration and tiny size both help n that category. It is also a convenience in an EV conversion. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
A few more pictures follow:
The Clan Crusader was a very tidy design for it's class, and that's an very tidy job of conversion. :)

The packing job with the battery modules is impressive, particularly in the behind the seat space. The front and rear packs have nice covers - can I assume that there is a cover (for safety more than appearance) for these 12 modules that isn't shown yet?

The motor is mounted behind the axle line, with the Leaf transaxle rather than on the Imp transaxle as I had guessed, and the rear pack of modules behind the motor as a result. The Leaf transaxle is good for reliability, as the Leaf motor could presumably destroy an Imp transaxle, but it means mounting the Leaf drive unit "backwards", so the normal rotation direction is reversed. That's fine for the motor, but did you have to do anything for proper gear lubrication?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Clan Crusader was a very tidy design for it's class, and that's an very tidy job of conversion. :)

The packing job with the battery modules is impressive, particularly in the behind the seat space. The front and rear packs have nice covers - can I assume that there is a cover (for safety more than appearance) for these 12 modules that isn't shown yet?

The motor is mounted behind the axle line, with the Leaf transaxle rather than on the Imp transaxle as I had guessed, and the rear pack of modules behind the motor as a result. The Leaf transaxle is good for reliability, as the Leaf motor could presumably destroy an Imp transaxle, but it means mounting the Leaf drive unit "backwards", so the normal rotation direction is reversed. That's fine for the motor, but did you have to do anything for proper gear lubrication?

RE Running the Leaf transaxle backwards: I stripped it down to check that the bearings and gears could take the reversed load - the bearings were all of a type that are non directional so I am confident that the unit will be ok. The gears are part immersed in oil so lubrication will be ok. The Clan is half the weight of a Leaf so the loadings are reduced but it is something I will keep an eye on. I am also planning to run the Leaf motor at half its rated power - might change my mind one day on that one though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
RE Running the Leaf transaxle backwards: I stripped it down to check that the bearings and gears could take the reversed load - the bearings were all of a type that are non directional so I am confident that the unit will be ok. The gears are part immersed in oil so lubrication will be ok.
Thanks - that's informative.

Bearings are not typically directional, but the direction of applied torque determines which way the helically-cut gears thrust the shafts axially. As long as the opposite to normal axial thrust is okay for the bearings (which can be different on each end of a shaft) and clearances, then the direction is irrelevant to the bearings.

So the Leaf transaxle is only splash-lubricated, with no pump - interesting. As long as the gears in the oil carry the oil up to the other gears effectively and the housing shape guides the oil around in a reasonable manner, it should be fine. That's good news for others planning a similar installation.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top