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Hey, all! I look forward to learning and working with you through my journey to take this classic into the modern era. I'm in the very beginning phases of planning my conversion, and am excited/intimidated by the process that sits before me. Should be quite the journey!
 

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That sounds like a fun project, and an appropriate blend of excitement and trepidation for the planning stage. I'm just getting started on a VW conversion for my first project, which won't have the classic car beauty of a 1973 Vette, but is my conveniently available platform for working through the practical challenges on a first design. I'm happy to share the learning experience as we go :).

Step 1: what are you goals and target performance for the project?
 

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Hey there, WattsUpDoc! Sounds like a fun project you have, as well!

My basic goal is to leave the car better than it would have been stock, which shouldn't be hard. The stock motor made all of 190 HP, and with a measly 4 gallon tank and 12.1 miles to the gallon, it had a paltry fuel range of ~50 miles.

So, Around 200 HP equivalent, 250+ ft/lbs of torque, and better than a 50 mile range, and we're golden.

Ideally, this will end up being my daily driver in town. Right now, my wife and I share a single 2016 Volt, which we love, but it's a little inconvenient when we both need to be different places.

What about you - what are your goals for the Beetle?
 

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My basic goal is to leave the car better than it would have been stock, which shouldn't be hard. The stock motor made all of 190 HP, and with a measly 4 gallon tank and 12.1 miles to the gallon, it had a paltry fuel range of ~50 miles.

So, Around 200 HP equivalent, 250+ ft/lbs of torque, and better than a 50 mile range, and we're golden.?
That tank size just seemed wildly unreasonable to me, both in practical terms and in physical packaging: a 50 mile range is unacceptable, and the tank which I've seen looks larger. I've been on a road trip of 500 miles each way with a friend who was driving a C3, and he didn't have to stop ten times for fuel in each direction. So I did a bit of searching, and while one source lists a 4.0 gallon fuel tank (and 5.0 gallons if you get the big block engine), automobile-catalog.com lists "68 liter / 18 U.S. gal / 14.9 imp. gal", which seems a lot more likely... and is confirmed by many other sources.

The fuel tank size isn't really important, since it won't be used anyway. I think what is important is that "better than a 50 mile range" is your goal, and that you will be happy with that even if you realize that the stock Corvette's range is over 200 miles (or a bit less if actually driven like a Corvette).

By the way, the tank got bigger (24 gallons) later, by switching to a space-saver spare tire which allowed the tank to be deeper... and that suggests that a rear battery pack should use the full height originally used by the spare and the tank on top of it.
 

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Hey there, WattsUpDoc! Sounds like a fun project you have, as well!

So, Around 200 HP equivalent, 250+ ft/lbs of torque, and better than a 50 mile range, and we're golden.

What about you - what are your goals for the Beetle?
That sounds like a reasonable goal to start with. Do you have ideas yet on a motor and batteries?

My VW goals are to achieve at least parity with the existing performance of the Golf, other than range, where 80-100 km would be fine. On paper anyway, I'm on track with a HyPer9 motor and a Chevy Volt battery. Given your goal of lots of power and not too much range, the Volt battery could be a good (and reasonably affordable) option for the Vette as well. It's heavy for the total energy capacity, but high in power capacity.

https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/new-build-e-vw-golf-201387.html

I'm now in the process of sorting out how to run a BMS on the battery, reconfigured into 3 parallel 112V modules instead of the original 360V series configuration.
 

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you can hit those numbers with a longitudinal DC motor in the bay bolted to the transmission and very little in the way of batteries, minimizes your fab work to almost nothing.
recommend getting one of those more sturdy four speeds, i think it's called the "rock crusher" or something, you'll need a decent clutch to hold good torque

the c3 never had a 4 gallon tank, the smallest it ever got was 17 gallons, so more like 200 miles of range on the highway

by the way, highly recommend getting some suspension upgrades along with 18" wheels and tires, there's sort of a golden guide on the corvette forums about how to take a stock corvette from borderline sketchy to drive to competent handling sports car for $1750
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forum...on-c3-street-driven-vette.html#post1596923389

and if you want to make the frame not a wet noodle, some strategic welding stiffens it up dramatically
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forum...t-like-a-new-muscle-car-3.html#post1600346106
 

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recommend getting one of those more sturdy four speeds, i think it's called the "rock crusher" or something...
That's a Muncie M22 4-speed, called that because it makes a lot of gear noise due to the low helix angle of the gears. I doubt you need that specifically, or even a transmission that strong, but something known for durability might be wise... although a motor with not much more than 200 hp peak output shouldn't have enough torque to be a problem for common transmissions.
 

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That's a Muncie M22 4-speed, called that because it makes a lot of gear noise due to the low helix angle of the gears. I doubt you need that specifically, or even a transmission that strong, but something known for durability might be wise... although a motor with not much more than 200 hp peak output shouldn't have enough torque to be a problem for common transmissions.
it'd feel weird to me to not have something with at least 300 ft/lbs of torque, and remember that e-motor torque acts a little differently in a manual designed for gas cars, the instantaneous load can lunch stuff lower than it's rated for.

you (op) could look into wacky frankenstein stuff like siamese (bolted end to end, working on one combined shaft) nissan leaf motors or chevy Bolt EV motors, that'd be somewhat uncharted territory though
 

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you can hit those numbers with a longitudinal DC motor in the bay bolted to the transmission and very little in the way of batteries, minimizes your fab work to almost nothing.
recommend getting one of those more sturdy four speeds, i think it's called the "rock crusher" or something, you'll need a decent clutch to hold good torque

the c3 never had a 4 gallon tank, the smallest it ever got was 17 gallons, so more like 200 miles of range on the highway

by the way, highly recommend getting some suspension upgrades along with 18" wheels and tires, there's sort of a golden guide on the corvette forums about how to take a stock corvette from borderline sketchy to drive to competent handling sports car for $1750
Improve Handling on C3 Street Driven Vette - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

and if you want to make the frame not a wet noodle, some strategic welding stiffens it up dramatically
Modifications needed to make a C3 handle great (like a new muscle car) - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion
Thanks for the resources, and thank you all for the support and feedback!

Sorry for the radio silence - it's been a helluva decade this year, as I'm sure has been the case for others, as well.

Update on the project! I've got the car at a shop to gut the ICE components, as I lack the "big tools" that would make lifting the motor out feasible at home.

I'm excited about EV West's recent announcement that they've made a small-block sized crate motor with Tesla motors. Trying to get more info on that, as it would enormously simplify this build.
 

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ah yes, the revolt motor casing

120471



looks really promising although i'm curious how it'll work in the engine bay, like if it'll take up a ton of room that could be used for a chevy 350-sized battery box which uses the stock motor mounts as well
 

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I'm excited about EV West's recent announcement that they've made a small-block sized crate motor with Tesla motors. Trying to get more info on that, as it would enormously simplify this build.
ah yes, the revolt motor casing

Okay, so start with a Tesla Model S/X drive unit, discard the transaxle, relocate the inverter to the non-drive end (with external phase cables instead of internal), and bolt a e-TorqueBox on the end. This could be done DIY, but as a product it saves custom machining of a shaft adapter and making custom housing sections.

looks really promising although i'm curious how it'll work in the engine bay, like if it'll take up a ton of room that could be used for a chevy 350-sized battery box which uses the stock motor mounts as well
Ideally, it would fit in the transmission tunnel (assuming a pre-C5 Corvette or other traditional layout), but the motor is probably too large in diameter to fit where the main body of the transmission was, and even if it fits width-wise the inverter section will likely extend further forward than the bell housing did. This is where the cylindrical Tesla inverter package is awkward - the idea of a battery pack plus motor replacing the engine plus transmission would work better if the inverter could sit on top of the battery. Maybe this will work in the transmission tunnel anyway.
 
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