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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a kid, I sometimes went to my grandparents farm in the summer. Plenty of downtime for chores and some fun. The summer I was detassling corn, Grandma said it was okay to start the old 52 International up (if I could) and drive it around. No experience previously with old trucks or cars, but I was able to get her running and cruised the pasture. Drove it home the following summer, leaking oil at a rate of 27.5 miles to a quart, about two and a half gallons. Rebuilt it, put in two new main seals before getting one that held. It was my high school vehicle. 45MPH was about it for feeling safe. I did many of the things a teenager without much sense did, donuts out on the frozen lake, driving to school in -20F temperatures, running out of gas in the countyside. It got 12 MPG with a 12 gallon tank, but dad observed I that I only put in $5 worth of gas at a time.

Parked her back on the farm after it was clear I would get a job in a big city and have no place to keep her. Last time I left a trail of oil on the road was 1992.

Circumstances have changed. We moved to a place with a barn, and hauled the old girl out to Washington state. My pandemic project was to overhaul the barn enclosing and insulating it. There's a 1980 chevy truck that's nearly done. I was originally going to use the drivetrain for the '52, but that was a mistake, so I just decided to fix that up for a farm truck.

Enough history! Grandpa was an inventor and it's time to put some lightning under the hood!

I've spent over a year gathering information, debating what to do, what type of motor, goals for the truck etc. This is such a big undertaking to restore the truck and convert to electric that I've decided to make it the way it should be. It will be a multi year effort. I also understand what it will cost.

Goals - make this truck fun to drive again. 4x4 able to go in the mud and snow a few times a year. I've never raced on a track or strip, but want to try someday. That's not a motivating factor. It would be super nice if I could make a 300 mile trip over the mountains to visit friends.

Motor - dual Ford E-crate. This will have a lot of get up and go with two motors. Two motors also mean I can set the gearing to get a little better for the long road trip. I'd signed up on Ford website to get notified of when they become available and am thrilled to hear from another thread that you can buy directly through summit.

Chassis - the 52 is a low profile straight rail truck, making most independent rear suspension options difficult or requiring big tubs to be built into the bed. The suggestion here to look at Ford Expedition is a great one as it is low profile suv with IRS. I can buy a chassis from Ford directly, start welding on the straight trails, chopping off what doesn't fit. This is intimidating, actually, but I have a friend who is a professional welder and will offer training and advice for beer.

Battery - I haven't done much research yet, spent all my time so far just trying to figure out the motor. I do have a lead into Xing Mobility XING Mobility | Immersion cooling leader in EV battery from Taiwan that builds a modular system that you can put into different shapes. The batteries are immersion cooled, which I now have a lot of work experience with. I need to dig further into exactly which fluid they use, battery chemistry, etc, before considering it. Of course, if the pricing is outrageous, that's also a factor. But it would be nice to build two or three battery packs for the spaces available. Given the multi year project, will move slowly on this part.

For those of you still reading this long-winded post, I wanted to let you know how excited I am to be part of this online community. There are a lot of really innovative folks here with a ton of experience. Also a huge variety of projects by EV enthusiasts. My posts and progress will be slow to start, but I wanted to start it to stop hijacking other threads with my endless questions. I'm looking forward to this journey!


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wanted to give you all a quick heads up. Lots of discussion with friends, lots of reading. This community site is awesome!

While I would love 4x4, I've decided the approach to take is one of minimizing labor, ebay bidding, and searches through salvage yards. This may result in more cost of hardware, but will reduce the soft costs significantly. My friends want to start up a new business doing classic conversions, I'm not ready to retire yet and start a new career, but this is also a major objective to enable more conversions per year with fewer people. There's hardly any body out there to hire anymore. This truck is the trial run.

I figured out how to mount a drive unit in the rear with an art Morrison chassis. They have a nice IRS system. But I really prefer to keep the gearing a little above the 10.5:1 range. All the drive units I've seen are lower, I think the highest was a tesla with about 9.6. It's maximizing fun at the speeds I'll drive this beast, 55mph and less. Torque tends reduction and a high heard differential hits the target.

The im225 will work very well for this application. If I must for battery or other fit, I'll break it up, but integrated costs less and reduces labor.

Next step is to figure out the batteries, voltage, placement, etc. My first pass is 600 Wh/MI for poor aero dynamics, lots of steel. Ideally 120 kwhr battery to get roughly 200 miles. If I want to cross the mountains, maybe I throw a little generator in the bed and fire it up at rest stops.

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So much for being electric when you have an annoying Briggs and Stratton running at a place where everyone stops at to defrag their nerves after needing to pee for the last 50 miles.

Let's see. A "little" 5kW 80 pound obnoxious generator, running for an hour to extend your range by 8 miles.

Yeah, that makes no sense at all 😂

Nor does 600Wh/mile if you're only going 55 and not towing or hauling anything.

Mountains up gives back almost all energy in mountains down.

Keep the weight down unless you're towing.

Too much pack is not a good thing and your F350 Powerstroke buddies won't be impressed no matter what range you get.

Not understanding the final drive ratio either. Pulling a 4 furrow plow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So much for being electric when you have an annoying Briggs and Stratton running at a place where everyone stops at to defrag their nerves after needing to pee for the last 50 miles.

....

Too much pack is not a good thing and your F350 Powerstroke buddies won't be impressed no matter what range you get.

Not understanding the final drive ratio either. Pulling a 4 furrow plow?
Thought you might like that bit about the generator. The drive shaft makes the battery pack configuration more difficult. But that's the next step to figure out.

The gear ratio is easy. I've got a nice ICE on my other truck. Torque is as similar to the im225 as you'll find. It's first gear ratio is 10.36 with similar tires. So without going to a dual motor, I go about the same ratio and I get a little more fun at the low end and a whole lot more at higher speeds. I don't need the top end, I can't imagine going over 55 as the only time I did that was on a very scary down hill. It will have nice new chassis with modern brakes and suspension but still shudder thinking about even 80 in that thing. But I expect I'll pay for fun in miles per charge.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, lady luck had shone upon me. I was thinking about buying a used Leaf to drive for a few years then take the batteries out for the '52 when I get to that stage.asked a friend how he liked his, he likes it, very reliable.

His got in an accident, destroyed both passenger side doors and popped the passenger air bags. It's essentially totaled. His son will continue to drive until summer, then they'll sell it to me for a song.

Of course the batteries only get 70 miles now, and I really prefer two leaf packs, so it's far from perfect. But it will at least get the battery project moving. If I need to, it becomes the practice kit.

And of course, the rest will be available for some other conversion.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Remy, after reading the corvette build thread and discussion with Bob Wind, I see why you ask the question of why I want a high the gear ratio. The truck isn't as heavy unloaded as it seems. I've got some homework to do. At least the differential will be LSD.

I'd love to put batteries under the bed to get more weight and traction to the rear, but there's only 30" between the rails. With the driveshaft, there won't be so much space left for batteries. Maybe I'll be able to put a pack behind the rear wheels.

But I need to finalize the ratio before I put in the order for the chassis.

Reality has set in, though, schedule is slipping, I start the process this summer.

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Driveshaft takes a dive down to the rear end. If it's a 2 piece like the Chevy's, you can drop the center support about 6 inches.

Should be an easy fit to get batteries between the rails if you plan the driveshaft trajectory. 30 inches will get you a bunch of options if you keep the height to 6 inches or less.

Challenge yourself. Start with the batteries high up between the rails and work everything else from there. Constrain the problem.

Unless you're terminally ill, there's no such thing as a schedule. On time and bad is a lot worse than "late" and nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice thought Remy, I didn't realize I could do much in just 6". These trucks are reasonably low profile. The trick will have to be lifted a good 4". Don't want the lift, but maybe for the right battery setup. Some experiments with lifts this summer might tell me if it looks okay and the missus can still get in it.

Started thinking about other ways to do this, motor behind the axle, might not have enough length. Build a box and let the motor stick up into the bed to get a drive unit there, but I don't have solution yet for IRS.

Plenty of time to keep thinking.

Thanks!
Mark

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got under the truck this week, did more measurements, the gas tank bottom is about 10.5" below the bed's mounting rails. Much better than 6". I don't need to go through the effort of putting the drive unit at the rear axle. Too much time spent on that possibility. With my dimensions (approx):

Behind rear axle: 28" x 28" x 10.5"
Sides of drive shaft: ~11.5" x 60" x 10.5" - I'm thinking about shortening the bed 1', which cuts this back.
Front engine bay SWAG: 28" x 36"+ x 36" - tons of space, but i need room for other stuff too.

There's plenty of space!

I then did a survey of 3 batteries from EV West and a Leaf battery off Alibaba. They all have unique characteristics.

The Tesla is densest energy, I can fit 200 kW-hr into the truck, and comes with embedded water jacket so I don't have to do my own cold plates. But it's super heavy, I guess that's how you get 200kWhr. If i drop the kW-hr in half, the weight is still 1,000 lbs, but the cost is getting closer. Of course, it's used batteries. The price for 200kW-hr is too steep for my budget, but can cut in half.

The Leaf batteries are best $/kW-hr and lbs/kW-hr by far, but there's no water jacket either, so there's missing costs to be added. I don't know if the Leaf is best because of shopping Alibaba, there's going to be bigger shipping costs too. Probably cut back on kW-hr to get the costs down further.

I assume all would need to be water cooled.

Anyways, there are good options, Tesla and Leaf both look really nice from the spreadsheet. I'm sure there are more options out there.

DescriptionLG Chem Super CellTesla used 18650 from 85kWh Model SCALB 72 AhLeaf Gen4 40 kWh
LinkLG Chem Super Cells 1.6 kWh - JH3 63Ah 7S High Power Battery Module - For Tesla Systems, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion KitsTesla Model S Lithium Ion Battery 18650 EV Module - 22.8 Volt, 5.3 kWh, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion KitsCALB 72 Ah CAM FI Series Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion KitsNew Replacement Nissan Leaf Battery Whole Set Nissan Leaf Battery 40kwh Aesc Gen4 Sea Transportation Only Battery Modules - Buy Nissan Leaf Battery/nissan Leaf Car Battery Module/nissan Car Battery/leaf Car Battery,Aesc Gen4 Lithium Battery,Electric Vehicle Battery/ev Battery/electric Car Battery Product on Alibaba.com
Cost$499$1,580$139$385
Ah6323272112.6
V (max)29.425.23.515.96875
V (nom)25.5522.83.214.6
V (cut-off)23.119.82.5
kW-hr1.615.290.231.64
# / 480V161913730
$ / Cluster$7,984$30,020$19,043$11,550
kW-hr / Cluster261013249
Length (in)16.7526.25.511.81102362
Width (in)511.91.182.677165354
Height (in)4.1253.18.58.661417323
Qty Rear1048018
Qty Left666315
Qty Right666315
Qty front302424072
Max Fit Qty5240446120
# Cluster3234
Qty in Clusters4838411120
Weight19.6550.863.95
Max Weight (lbs)9412090355475
kW-hr7720195197
Provisioned $$23,952$60,040$57,129$46,200
$ / kW-hr$310$299$603$234
lbs / Kw-hr12.210.43.72.4
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wrt LG cells, none of these sellers ever show the most important part of the battery module in their pics - the bottom.
Is that to show what it looks like to add a cooling plate? I haven't gotten to that bit yet.

Remy, Thanks again for saying that i could fit a lot of battery in 6". Really got me thinking and to the conclusion of 10.5"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ve been holding out on you all. Got a fresh set of batteries installed and started running wheelies right away! Handling is phenomenal, spinning donut circles just like a Rivian.



My friend is letting me try out his TIG welder. Never used one, it’s been a while (40 years) since I’d done any welding. Wish me luck. Getting ready for summer projects.



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Ok, but you busted the minimum payload spec so it's a do-over

Rivian may be spinning the donuts on its cash position soon enough 😬

Lotsa excuses coming from the CEO right now....they made off like bandits on the IPO - good enough?
 

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I was just idly reading through your chart in post 9 and the weight per kwh for your 72ah prismatic cells seemed way off. The spec I found was that each cell weighs 1.9kg, or about 4.2 lbs not the .86 in your chart. That would put the weight number at a more believable 18lbs/kwh for prismatic cells.

Now that I look again, the leaf cell you linked to specifies a mass of 8.7kg or 19.14lbs for a module with 1.64kwh; so it weighs 11.7lbs/kwh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, but you busted the minimum payload spec so it's a do-over

Rivian may be spinning the donuts on its cash position soon enough 😬

Lotsa excuses coming from the CEO right now....they made off like bandits on the IPO - good enough?
Rivian high of 172 in Nov (very short spike), selling at 20 now, 82% drop. Wow, not tracking the market at all.

I was just idly reading through your chart in post 9 and the weight per kwh for your 72ah prismatic cells seemed way off. The spec I found was that each cell weighs 1.9kg, or about 4.2 lbs not the .86 in your chart. That would put the weight number at a more believable 18lbs/kwh for prismatic cells.

Now that I look again, the leaf cell you linked to specifies a mass of 8.7kg or 19.14lbs for a module with 1.64kwh; so it weighs 11.7lbs/kwh.
Doh! Multiply by 2.2 to get pounds, not divide! Haha, I fixed it... Tesla was 10.4 lbs/kwhr. Thanks for the catch!


52I, how do the wheelbases and track widths compare between the Leaf and your truck?
'52 Wheelbase: 127", tread width 60.5"
Leaf: 106.3", 60.2-60.6″ front, 60.8-61.2″ rear

I was going to shorten the wheelbase 1 foot to match the short bed version, but deeper inspection, the bed is fully welded together as one piece. Too much work to hack it up. There's already about a hundred pounds of channel iron wrapped around and welded to the back of the bed that is not going to be easy to un-do. I'll just stick to that task.

I've been working with artmorrison.com to come up with a brand new chassis. They have an option to put in Independent Rear Suspension and will modify that unit to remove the differential and allow the installation the Cascadia Motion IDM 190 to get the performance. I'll leave the Leaf drive unit to somebody else. This will allow me to build one very large and long battery box.
Vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system Jewellery


I prefer a higher gear ratio, but from the other threads about too much torque, i see that this should be good enough. Compared to my 1980 Chevy, which is really fun to drive, this truck will still have better specs. In nearly every road-driving scenario, this will really perform.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seems like the Eluminator may work back there for half the money.
You know, that's a really good point. The Eluminator (the front drive unit) is lower perf than the '190, but the gearing is higher and it's not much lower in the end in the end. Still fun. It's smaller since the inverter is not attached. The power cables shouldn't cost that much. I'd dropped Eluminator a while back

Summit has Eluminator $3900. A Cascadia inverter that fits is about $5,000 (I haven't looked for any others). With shipping and additional cables almost 10K. It still is $5K less than the '190. Going to think about this this week, have a look around for inverters.

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The Eluminator comes with cables, whatever that means...the front drive on the Mach-E has the inverter remoted by cable.

edit: don't forget there are two different front drive units. The Eluminator is the same power as the rear unit, iirc and is not found in the standard AWD Mach-E that @D&VsEVJeep have, which is the smaller unit.
 
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