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Just Getting Started - 1973 Corvette Coupe Conversion

2594 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  brian_
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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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), 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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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.
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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