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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a 1975 VW Rabbit.
He was in the middle of a rebuild, so everything is out of the car.
Except he put in some fancy KW coil suspension and there are nice disk brakes on all for wheels.

It has no transmission, so I would have to get one.

He has most of the interior parts, but none of the electrical bits like fusebox, lights.

Has a dash, but not sure about speedometer and all of that.

no e-brake, shifter, etc.

Sounds kind of fun to put it all back together, but I know EV conversions are expensive, so I want to use money on EV components.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I figure I could pull a lot of things I need out of newer VW cabrio's from my local "pick a part" lot.

put I am still wondering if I should go with a more put together VW
 

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I have deleted your duplicate post in Tech.

In answer to your question.
An incomplete kit of parts can be cheap but it can also be a nightmare working out what is actually needed, what works and what is incompatible to the rest of the car.

A complete car would be simpler and pulling the engine and fuel system isn't a big job in the scale of things and it means that you can test the rest of the car in advance rather then finding a trans in a junk yard that may not work anyway.

It is your call if you want a restoration project or a quick EV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for deleting that duplicate thread.
If I'm honest, I want a quick EV. But I also want a car that I like driving everyday.
I've always wanted to fix up an old VW. I'm finding cars in better condition in the 1,000-1,500 range. I was trying for under $1000 but all those need a lot of work.

the 2 pluses of this 1975 is 1.) since it is 1975, it is smog exempt and I can transfer the title without it having to pass a smog test. I'm in California and I hear it can be hard to register an EV conversion here if it is not previously registered.
2. The suspension coils themselves cost $1,700 and the newer disc brakes will be good for a EV that ends up heavier than a gas version of the car.

Here are some pics so when i say empty, you understand what i mean:
http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/3422/img1660rl.jpg
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7581/img1670r.jpg
http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9927/img1657sa.jpg

On the other hand, there is this 83 VW scirocco selling for 1,400
http://ventura.craigslist.org/cto/2383933205.html
 

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I can see why you would want to start a project like that but it is worth adding up the cost of the parts and you might find it cost more to make a car in parts tehn to buy a whole one.
In the same way selling a whole car brings in less then breaking it for its parts.

My opinion may not be worth much as I am after a quick cheap EV to save money on my commute, but like you I want a project.
So I am scratch building a reverse trike using scrap and good will. I may just finish it before the last ICE car is pushed into a museum!:D

How about a simple conversion to get running first and then get a project that you love and can work on, eventually transfering the EV parts over.:)
 

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The Rabbit's normally hidden metal-work (floors and doors and such) looked sound in the pictures. That would be a plus in my estimation since a lot of rust and rot can be hidden by rugs, door panels and headliners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is a good point about rust. You can definitely see what you are getting here with everything exposed.
He has some recaro seats, the steering wheel assembly, all the glass, and like i sad before, the suspension is top notch.. with disc brakes everywhere.

He says he has a dash and a lot of interior pieces (panels and everything)

My main concern is the missing transmission/clutch and the missing fusebox and electrical wiring (of course it might be better to re-build that anyway)

Do most people re-use the electrical and fusebox from the original donor car.
And I say donor car, but the guy with the Rabbit wants $900 for everything he has.
 

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If you are comfortable putting a Rabbit back together from boxes of parts with some parts missing it could be a good deal, if your goal is an EV and a pretty restoration/customization. I'm not that comfortable with the Rabbit, but I would have no problem doing that with an air cooled Beetle.
 

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Oh dude...that's a sweet car. It's also rare and in great condition - they're usually balls of rust. Rabbits didn't show up in US until later in the 70's. In fact, I think 1975 is when they first came out ('74 models).

You're probably right about getting parts from another VW. I would ask here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/forumdisplay.php?11-Golf-I-amp-Jetta-I. These guys sell VW parts; not the cheapest but service is great: http://www.germanautoparts.com/Volkswagen/Rabbit/

The nice thing about that car is that almost everything is manual and there are no freakin' computers to deal with. If you can get a transmission for it, and I'm sure you can, not a whole lot else is needed to build an EV. But yes, it will take a ton of time to dress it up, paint it, maybe wire it, etc so consider that before jumping in.

JR
 

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Do most people re-use the electrical and fusebox from the original donor car.
Most do as it is there and as far as the 12v system is concerned there wouldn't be any difference.

You can install a loom, switch gear and fuse box as standard or, if you are ok with vehicle wiring, you can make your own loom and custom switches (within local vehicle regulations) and have something unique.
I'd happily do that as it saves having loads of cables that are redundent in a standard loom.

It would be fine done as a minimalist vehicle and then just carpeted all round the inside, You can even design in the battery boxes while nothing else is in the way and find good places to install the charger and controller.

Don't forget the most important thing, get the brakes right.;)
 

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..................... and the missing fusebox and electrical wiring (of course it might be better to re-build that anyway)

Do most people re-use the electrical and fusebox from the original donor car.
.........
If you go with this donor check out the street rod wiring kits - very well designed fuse/breaker/relay panels with color coded full length wiring harness.

Most Rabbits had corroded fuse boxes from water leaks anyways.:rolleyes:

Keith
 

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Any thoughts on a DIY conversion of a 1987 Nissan Sentra? I have owned this car for 12 years, and it just blew a head gasket. Costs about $500 to fix a head gasket. The manual trans and everything else are in good condition. No rust.

thanks. DesertWalker

I forgot to add I am in California,also. Will this car be hard to register as an EV conversion???
 

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The car should be a good candidate for conversion but will cost quite a bit more to convert it than to repair the ICE.
 
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