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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to convert a small car probably a VW Golf as i can get one for around £100 without an engine. I'm an HGV master tech and specialize is the electrics so I'm not worried about wiring, can bus and the associated parts. what i dont know is what works with what as lorrys dont have 3 phase motors so thats something i will need to read up on. I was going to go DC but the motors seem to be just as or more expensive than ac. I have been offered a refurbished Meiden 60kW for less than £400 but I'm not sure what controller, batteries, charger and other main components that would best suit it. Some advice before i start recording the videos and putting my hand in my wallet would be very much welcomed. I as most will be on a small and strict budget. TIA
 

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I suggest going with a Prius transaxle, (gen 2 or gen 3, they're cheap from a wrecker $50-150), and likewise a Prius Gen 2 or Gen 3 inverter (can mix at match generations, doesn't matter, $50-150 again). I'd lean towards Gen 3 now, as the transaxles have two motors inside and Damien's newest control board replacement runs dual-motor. Then buy your control board from EVBMW.com . It's as simple as unscrewing the old board and screwing the new one down. There's a database for inverter settings now, so, there's almost surely a setting package you can just download that'll be good to go. If not, there's a procedure for tweaking your own.

Batteries will be your only real expense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your quick reply. I hadn't put much thought into prius parts before. I will do some research on them in certainly looks a cheaper option than the previous thought. Excuse my ignorance but I wouldn't need the gear box from the golf as the transaxle has both the motor and drive to the wheels in one unit?
 

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Excuse my ignorance but I wouldn't need the gear box from the golf as the transaxle has both the motor and drive to the wheels in one unit?
Correct. The projects I've seen have planned to just use the transaxles as-is.

Even if you get a different drive system, the inverters are still the go-to solution, nothing else is even remotely in the cost or power ballpark of repurposed hybrid parts. The Prius Gen 3 inverter can juice out a ludicrous 700hp if you want it to, and I think Damien did that without even having a cooling system hooked up. They're insanely robust. Anything you do to abuse them, they appear to fail gracefully (unlike Tesla parts where, if you screw up, they blow up). Overvoltage? It's fine, until it's not fine, and then it shuts off. Overcurrent? Ditto. Overtemp? Drops how much current it'll let you draw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok so if i get a gen 3 transaxle and a gen3 inverter. i can use them both without much modification in the sense the inverter/controller will turn both of the motor for drive?
 

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ok so if i get a gen 3 transaxle and a gen3 inverter. i can use them both without much modification in the sense the inverter/controller will turn both of the motor for drive?
Correct.

Or, a Gen 2 transaxle can be controlled by a Gen3 inverter. But I think you want a Gen3 transaxle, it's easier to modify (all transaxle mods require some amount of welding some gears to some other gears, to make up for there not being an engine spinning. The way to do this varies depending on the internal setup).

If you shop around you can probably pick up the pair of them for $300 total.
 

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So Matt would you recommend a prius gen 3 over a leaf motor? And why? I thought leaf were the go to thing? Can you seperate the prius motor from the transaxle like you can with a leaf for rwd applications?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks Matt i will learn as much as possible about this setup before i come back with hopefully not so basic questions . Thank you !
 

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So Matt would you recommend a prius gen 3 over a leaf motor? And why? I thought leaf were the go to thing?
I haven't actually seen much for Leaf conversions, especially not lately, not nearly as many as you'd expect given their suitability.

Depends on your use-case, but the Leaf is certainly a larger motor than the 2 inside the Prius transaxle. I expect it's more powerful, if you need the power. Much more costly though.

For controllers on the Leaf you have 3 options:
1 - Keep most of the leaf stuff and try to convince the car that it's still a leaf.
2 - Buy Johannes' controller. I think Johannes' forces the Leaf inverter to do whatever you tell it to.
3 - Buy Damien's controller. I think Damien's mimics the original Leaf ECU so you can't tell the inverter to do anything it didn't originally do.

From what I've seen, most people who do leaf conversions are headed significantly towards #1, they're engineers to whom that's not intimidating.

Can you seperate the prius motor from the transaxle like you can with a leaf for rwd applications?
You could mount it in the rear, but, no, the motors are integrated into the transaxle housing. You can take them apart, but you can't remove the motor part and use it elsewhere, it's all together in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok so a quick update, I have brought a 5 door ford fiesta, a gen3 inverter and gen 3 transaxle. I will be buying Damien's duel motor board sometime in the new year funds permitting. I will start recording sometime soon. Time permitting as i work 80 hours a week. Im really excited to start this project and i've already learned loads:)
 
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