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This is my first post, although I have been working on my EV conversion for about a year now (on and off, some weekends more than others). This post will get the last year documented.

The donor is a 1969 Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback. It ran questionably with the original 1600cc pancake engine (one of the first fuel injected VWs). It had timing/fuel line issues, so I was able to get it fairly cheap. I drove it about 4 miles before it sputtered to a stop, and I had to call a tow for the remaining 11 miles. It has an automatic transmission, and I may be called daft (via my English friends) for attempting this but I need to try the stock setup before I go about finding a standard donor. The auto trans is more weight than a standard, but the T3 is one of the best layouts for battery placement (ie. weight distribution).

07/26/2008: The internal combustion engine was removed.

08/13/2008: ICE and FI sold to another fastback owner.

10/30/2008: First dealing with Wilderness EV. As many problems as I had with them, I realized I get what I pay for. For much less $ than a custom-designed shaft-coupler and adapter plate, I have something to start on which I can customize myself.

11/15/2008 - 12/14/2008: Removed body panels, seats, steering column... RUST MUST BE STOPPED!

03/02/2009: BBB tells me that Wilderness EV failed to respond to their inquiries regarding undelivered and "backordered" Westach amp gauge - my last dealing with Wilderness EV.

03/07/2009: Cut super-struts to straddle old ICE mounts and create electric motor support. This will also provide structure to support controller and some batteries if needed.

04/04/2009: Removed starter motor. Started dismantling of torque converter to remove drive rings for building customized shaft coupler for automatic transmission. New coupler will use these three gears to drive ATF pump, turbine and clutch.

04/29/2009: Ed's Welding (Van Nuys) removed old clutch gear from Wilderness coupler and precision welded triple-gearing to new auto coupler.

05/30/2009: Rust-treated steel adapter plate. Worked a bit on front battery box. Front compartment could hold 120V worth of LiFePO4. Weight distribution will be less concern with power up front and drive in back.

06/13/2009: Started cutting coupler 1/4" to allow motor to fit.
 

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Are you aware of the inefficiency of running an auto trans? You could be dropping as much as 25% of your energy/power in the auto. Have you considered setting up a fixed gear reduction drive? Toothed belt drives don't require lubrication and are very efficient. I don't know the layout of your vehicle but if the differential is seperate from the transmission and has bearings that can handle the radial forces of a belt drive then this would be a much superior option.

Of course, with a fixed ratio reduction, you may have to spend a little time working out the correct ratio to give a good balance of acceleration and top speed. I can help with this. Also, you'll have to take into account radial forces on the motor and differential. The belt/pulley manufacturer should be able to help with this. What motor are you using?

Just a suggestion.

Sam.
 

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Fastback, If I Recall Correctly (IIRC) the floor pan for the automatic transmission is a little different then the one for the manual tranny. I may be wrong here as this goes contrary to VWs policy of using as many standardized parts as possible. Yet I seem to recall running into this before. I think that putting a manual into your Type 3 is do-able with a little modification.

I think that using the original tranny, at least at first, is a good idea especially for us first time builders.

Please keep this blog up! As I am thinking about doing something similar with one of my own squarebacks.

Also, thanks for letting the old ICE be of use to someone wishing to repair/restore another Type 3, Matt Whitt
 

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Am I reading you right, you're removing the Torque converter and coupling the engine directly to the auto trans. If you can solve the pump return from where the torque converter used to sit I think you will have a great set up. An auto tranny is actually both stronger and shifts faster. The VW auto is reallly cool in that it is a full manual valve body. Post up some pics. It sounds really cool.

Thanks
Renny
 

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I am going to try a 99 Cavalier with an automatic transmission. I am trying to decided if I should have the converter modified or just use a resistor to tell the pot box go to 200 rpm's or what ever is needed to activate the pump in the transmission when placed in Drive or Reverse.

Here is a company that will change the torque converter to work with an electric motor. Does anyone know what they do to it?

Thanks
Dave
 
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