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Hey everyone, I just joined - I have an EV project that I haven't really started DOING things on, but so far just researching. My day job is as a software engineer, and I also have done plenty of electrical engineering work - but never an EV.

The high level:
I want an electric Delorean. An EV DMC. The Delorean is an iconic car, but it doesn't take much searching to find how unreliable and underpowered they are. They are also bumping up against being 40 years old now, and while parts are easily found and repaired, a typical Delorean engine needs a complete rebuild by this point, just to bring it back to roughly 100HP at the wheels.

I also don't want to go the normal route of buying a miss mash of parts - a motor from here, an inverter from this place, batteries from another place, etc. My plan is to use the entire drive train from a donor EV now that the prices are low enough for very competent drive trains.

I've considered all of the popular EVs - iMiev, Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV, Fiat 500E, Ford Focus EV (motors all too low power), Jaguar iPace, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model S D (dual drive units wont fit into a Delorean), and single motor Tesla Model S, Model 3, BMW i3, Kona EV, Chevy Bolt (all are promising options).

Right now I'm leaning towards the Chevy Bolt as a donor. This is for many reasons - it is 2 wheel drive, it has a physically small drive motor with an integrated single speed transmission, it has roughly double the horsepower of the stock Delorean, being a Chevy I can find info easily online and I can even buy a programmer for the car and be able to reprogram all the modules and do service work on the components. The battery pack is a good size, is water cooled and heated, and is easily disassembled into modules that are each small enough that I can probably find a place to put them. The Delorean has a 35/65 weight distribution (it is very back heavy), which makes it have poor handling, so putting as much of the pack as I can up front would be beneficial.

I'm most likely not going to start building this for at least a year and a half, so if it sounds interesting, don't get your hopes up of seeing anything soon! :)
 

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Hi
Sound like a great plan
However it may be difficult to fit the batteries - you will almost certainly have to pull the battery into modules and reconfigure it to fit -
 

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Sound like a great plan
However it may be difficult to fit the batteries - you will almost certainly have to pull the battery into modules and reconfigure it to fit -
Oh Yeah, absolutely. There are great videos on YouTube from Weber automotive where they disassemble the entire pack, then reassemble it, and also videos of all of the high voltage components:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssU2mjiNi_Q

The pack is broken up into 5 sections, each section has two modules. There are 8 'large' modules and 2 'small' modules. The pack breaks down into sections very easily, and I have seen some pictures of people who have broken the sections into modules, but I'm not entirely sure of the process. It appears there are 4 threaded rods that hold the section together, and somehow I'll need to keep either end compressed while releasing the middle section where the two modules meet.

I did some rough modelling in Sketchup with a Delorean model and the battery sections, and it looks like they might fit without being split. There would certainly be more flexibility with placement if they were, though. I likely won't know exactly how I would lay the battery out until I can get my hands on a real one.
 

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Bolt battery

The pack is broken up into 5 sections, each section has two modules. There are 8 'large' modules and 2 'small' modules. The pack breaks down into sections very easily, and I have seen some pictures of people who have broken the sections into modules, but I'm not entirely sure of the process. It appears there are 4 threaded rods that hold the section together, and somehow I'll need to keep either end compressed while releasing the middle section where the two modules meet.
That's very much like the Volt battery, which is a related (but differently cooled) LG design: electrically the Volt has nine (first generation) or seven (second generation) modules, but mechanically they are clamped into four blocks. When used in conversions the Volt modules are often kept in the original blocks; however, some builders do split them up, so their experience is likely applicable.
 

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Right now I'm leaning towards the Chevy Bolt as a donor. This is for many reasons - it is 2 wheel drive, it has a physically small drive motor with an integrated single speed transmission...
A challenge in the DMC-12 is that the suspension and frame are designed to accommodate an engine behind the axle line, but most EVs place the motor ahead of the axle line (the same as a conventional transverse engine installation. This is one reason for using Tesla Model S/X drive units in DMC-12 conversions, but the Bolt - with its motor coaxial with the differential and axles - is a good fit, too.

The Delorean has a 35/65 weight distribution (it is very back heavy), which makes it have poor handling, so putting as much of the pack as I can up front would be beneficial.
Don't get carried away with that. The car's suspension is designed for that rear bias (which is typical of rear-engine cars with a large engine). While an extreme rear bias and mass beyond the axle lines are both undesirable for good handling, this is exactly the configuration of the Porsche 911, which can be made to work pretty well. Of course, the best-handling 911's have a much more sophisticated suspension than the DMC-12... but even old 911's (which are crude compared to a DMC-12) can work.

Putting the compact drive unit on the axle line instead of behind is a good start to reducing rear bias, but the difficulty of fitting in battery modules may lead to putting some behind the rear axle, which will probably work out okay if only a couple go there.
 
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