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The real reason for this post is that I tried to PM somebody and learned I don't have sufficient privileges to do so. I'm posting here in hopes of gaining them.

Secondly, I'm Eric in San Luis Obispo County, California, USA. I've never owned or worked on an electric car. I've got some half-baked electrical knowledge from building and operating an off-grid solar system. Now I'm interested in building an electrical car on the cheap. What could go wrong?

I've seen some very affordable project cars in the classifieds section. Would you recommend such a thing to a newbie like myself?
 

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I've seen some very affordable project cars in the classifieds section. Would you recommend such a thing to a newbie like myself?
It would make sense to me only if you were willing to document how the car was put together, then take it apart and learn how to put it together properly. If a project car is cheap, either there is something major which is obsolete, missing, or dead (e.g. lead-acid battery, dead battery, blown up controller), or something significantly wrong, or it's simply far from complete. If you're lucky you get a good deal on the parts included in the project, and perhaps some significant fabrication already done for you (hopefully well).
 

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The real reason for this post is that I tried to PM somebody and learned I don't have sufficient privileges to do so. I'm posting here in hopes of gaining them.

Secondly, I'm Eric in San Luis Obispo County, California, USA. I've never owned or worked on an electric car. I've got some half-baked electrical knowledge from building and operating an off-grid solar system. Now I'm interested in building an electrical car on the cheap. What could go wrong?

I've seen some very affordable project cars in the classifieds section. Would you recommend such a thing to a newbie like myself?
Welcome.

Building from scratch is doable. I did. My first conversion was a 64 Ghia with lead. 9" GE motor with a 72 volt GolfTech 550 amp controller. I then put on a finned heat sink to keep the controller cool. It worked just fine. No speed demon but it was freeway drivable. I then went to 96 volts and a Synkromotive controller and 800 amps. Much better. My next was an abandoned conversion. A 77 MG Midget. The person I sold it to still drives it today in Colorado. That one had an Impulse 9" motor and a Kelly controller. I sold it with the motor but not the controller or lithium batteries. The buyer put in his own controller and batteries. My next was a Bug which I sold without any electrics. I kept the electrics and put it into my 62 VW Roadster. It had a Kostov 11" DC motor and I still retained my Synkromotive Controller. I still have that one today and it's fully functional. I'd say if you can get a vehicle that has already been converted and you can use the main stuff then it would be a good deal. The MG was a running conversion. My Porsche 914 is a running conversion with all the components and software needed. It could be a great vehicle to learn from. My Ghia only cost me back when I converted it $3200 and that included the Ghia. I had to learn a great deal. Starting with a working electric would be the best place to start. The AC motor kit in the 914 is an older system but fully working. If the controller ever crapped out you could put in a Curtis AC Induction motor controller and get it going again pretty easy. Might even run better as the Curtis has more amperage for the motor. A great place to go look at loads and loads of conversions is evalbum.com Peter McWade's 1964 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
 
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