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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Even though I am in the midst of 2 other projects I am looking at a 3rd for a winter project and I wanted to get everyone's input.

A bit of background: My EV Miata is now deep into stage 2, which means it is becoming a track only car for several reasons. The biggest is that I can no longer commute in it. Up until a few months ago I was charging at my office because we had a big shop space with plenty of 220V. However we recently changed buildings and I no longer have the ability to charge and my pack is not big enough for a round trip. Now I need a minimum of 66 miles at highway speed and while I could rebattery my Miata I think a better plan is to build another car and be able to transplant the running gear. I can pull my dual 9"s out of the Miata in <5min (direct drive) and want the ability to swap it into another car hence the need for RWD.

So I have been looking at small RWD cars quite a bit. I want the usual: light weight, small cross sectional area, good handling, and most importantly for me a car that is in nice shape to begin with (paint, interior, etc). It has been mentioned here many times before but I am a strong proponent of getting a donor vehicle that is in very good shape, it greatly increases the chance of a good successful conversion.

I have thought about another Miata but I have already done one and they have shot up in price a lot recently. You are going to easily spend 4-6k for a suitable one here and the Miata has it's pros and cons. In general I have noticed that almost all small, old, good handling rear drive cars have gone up in value so finding a good e30, miata, etc is more challenging. But you can find 190e in great shape (or 190d) for cheap. For those that don't know the baby benz it was originally developed in the late 70's/early 80s to be a rally car but Audi's quattro appearance ended that aspiration. So instead it went into the German touring car championships and did quite well against the M3s. It is a nice handling chassis with a anti squat 5 link in the rear but was never given the power it needed. If memory serves it the non-turbo diesels made 80hp and even the gas engine peaked at 140ish (unless you had a 16v cosworth). The curb weights ranged from 2500-2900lbs depending on the year and options, which is surprisingly light for a 4 door benz. And they are the last generation of cars designed before Mercedes embraced "planned obsolences." Before that MB designed cars to pretty much last forever.

So my plan at this point is my dual Warp 9's direct drive fed by my Soliton1 with 18-22kwh pack at 300-340V. The pack is not going to be cheap or small which is good that the 190E has a good sized trunk and the fact you can pick up a GOOD donor for $2000. All that being said the only EV 190e I found was done by Mercedes which has me thinking that there is something I am missing because it seems like a pretty good starting point for a 4 door EV. Thoughts?
 

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Classy car should make a good conversion. I've been watching this 230SL conversion on Ebay.

EBay 230SL conversion

Best Wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice! I love the old 230 SL however it's a lot more than I can afford for a donor. :) And I would almost feel sad about hacking such a classic.
 

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I know what you mean, some cars should only be restored, not converted. I want to find a 60's era Lotus Elan and do a conversion. I suspect there would be some horrible comments about such a conversion.
 

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I know what you mean, some cars should only be restored, not converted. I want to find a 60's era Lotus Elan and do a conversion. I suspect there would be some horrible comments about such a conversion.
That would actually make a nice conversion -
main problem would be the cracks in the bodywork
Our Colin did not make cars to last!

The two seater is lovely - the 2+2 less pretty but still nice
 

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The Mercedes 190 - not just the E
was a very popular car in a lot of the world - you seem to have to hit it with a stick to kill it

Would make a really good electric commuter car

Idea out of left field
How about a range extension trailer for the Miata?
Or even an extension that mounts on the drawbar - I have seen people moving things like wheelchairs and bales of straw on such things
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He has used lead acids
does not specify the controller

Sounds like a monumental kludge - waste of a lovely car
From the ad it sounds like he just put in new batteries in that 230SL which means he wore the old ones out. My guess is the conversion was done 5+ years ago when lithium wasn't really an option (and the 230SL was still affordable). 10 years from now people might be looking at our conversions and saying "LiFePO? It is a shame they din't use lithium air batteries in the conversion. You can't even go 100 miles in that thing... " :)

Speaking of a mercedes conversion that didn't live up to it's potential this 190SL with lead and an AC24!

http://www2.kkmfg.com/190ev.html

A drop dead gorgeous car though....

Kerry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Mercedes 190 - not just the E
was a very popular car in a lot of the world - you seem to have to hit it with a stick to kill it

Would make a really good electric commuter car

Idea out of left field
How about a range extension trailer for the Miata?
Or even an extension that mounts on the drawbar - I have seen people moving things like wheelchairs and bales of straw on such things
Thanks. I know in other parts of the world the 190 is a popular taxi. In fact I rode in one in Marrackesh with 800,000km.

For the Miata I thought about that as an option for getting to the tracks (even had a electric start 6kw generator) but it would be counter productive for normal driving. Portable generators are dirty and inefficient
 

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For the Miata I thought about that as an option for getting to the tracks (even had a electric start 6kw generator) but it would be counter productive for normal driving. Portable generators are dirty and inefficient
Hi
I don't like generators either, I was thinking of an extra battery pack
You need an extra 40 miles - 10Kwhrs - 100Kg
A dinky little trailer or a drawbar mounted carrier

I'm sure such a thing would be useful at other times as well
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi
I don't like generators either, I was thinking of an extra battery pack
You need an extra 40 miles - 10Kwhrs - 100Kg
A dinky little trailer or a drawbar mounted carrier

I'm sure such a thing would be useful at other times as well
Yeah but it's hard they have a sporty car and have a trailer hooked to it all the time. :) I could actually add more batteries to my miata I have plenty of room. But I'm not going to go through the a123 hassle again so that would mean a whole new pack. I figure I might as well do the car (I can get a tax credit for a new conversion too).
 

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Hi Kerrymann, i had similar idea about my Range Rover conversion. One motor, one controller and one pack.Two conversions. Winter on 4x4, summer on two door Jaguar. Turned to be more complicated than i hoped but doable.And if you can afford second pack,swap would be a easy few hour job when assembled right. I had two motors but i broke them both:eek:, now that they have been repaired i can make one small motor/gearbox assembly to install on any car. When i want to use that i just take batteries and controller from ev in use.Big motor in Rangie is quite a lot of work to swap:p
We have 190 as my wifes car and it would be great as electric. Handles good and very sturdy.
Regards, Harri
 

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I know what you mean, some cars should only be restored, not converted. I want to find a 60's era Lotus Elan and do a conversion. I suspect there would be some horrible comments about such a conversion.
I'm struggling w/ the same issue. But for a '59 190sl. I've owned it for years and just had the body reworked. Working on the interior but started thinking about an EV conversion and there is a lot of room behind those two seats, in the trunk and under the hood. I could load it down w/ subwoofers but that's a LOT of base.

So, anyone done one of these? Any condemnations on the project or recommendations. I've seen the http://www.kkmfg.com/190ev.html 190 project and that is all I've found for 190sl.

Wondering how much this would share w/ the later 190's you are considering?

Thanks,
Brett
 

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Looks like I have to rebuild or replace the engine in my 380SE, and the cost of a rebuild is--well its a Benz after all. I'm currently working out if a conversion could be achieved for the same (or less?) money, and what I need to do to perform one.

If I rebuild the V8 it will last another 30 years. In 30 years I dont want to still be driving a V8--its bad enough now. A conversion makes a lot more sense, but I have a lot more reading and costing to do before I can commit to the project. A rebuild I can do, an EV is new territory for me.

The W201 (190E) and the W126 do have their similarities, so Im keen to follow the progress of this, especially if you have an auto transmission (no manual boxes for the 380).

The W201 has great aero even tho it looks like a brick, I think it would be a great car :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The 190sl is a beautiful car and I have thought about it but they are worth a lot today. They aren't too heavy but they don't share anything with the 190e that I am aware of.

The W126 looks similar but unfortunately it is a lot heavier. It almost 1000lbs heavier than a basic 190e and it wouldn't be my first choice for a conversion.

In the end I ended up going with a bmw e30 chassis. The main reason is the availability of aftermarket parts and a great support because it has a huge fan following. I ended up getting a 84 318i one owner car for $1300. I still think the 190e is a great conversion candidate especially as the supply of cheap E30s dry up.
 

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The 190sl is a beautiful car and I have thought about it but they are worth a lot today. They aren't too heavy but they don't share anything with the 190e that I am aware of.

The W126 looks similar but unfortunately it is a lot heavier. It almost 1000lbs heavier than a basic 190e and it wouldn't be my first choice for a conversion.

In the end I ended up going with a bmw e30 chassis. The main reason is the availability of aftermarket parts and a great support because it has a huge fan following. I ended up getting a 84 318i one owner car for $1300. I still think the 190e is a great conversion candidate especially as the supply of cheap E30s dry up.
Similarly on the 190sl. I'm going to do a Porsche 911 Carrera first. There are kits to make this conversion a lot easier. While doing this I can learn more about the EV conversion process and components.

I'll then decide on doing a custom conversion on the 190sl by the end of the summer. That project will require more customized design and engineering from the mounting plate and taking the swing-arm suspension into consideration for the placement of batteries. The swing-arm rear suspension is the equivalent of a 1/2 of a leaf spring. Only attached on one end. That gave me concern about loading a lot of weight into the vehicle.

Still looking for someone that has converted a 190sl for input.
 

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Kerrymann
Can the motors not fit in the transmission tunnel? You can put most or all the battery pack up front and get the motors as far back as possible.

Sounds like a great idea.. Congrats
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Kerrymann
Can the motors not fit in the transmission tunnel? You can put most or all the battery pack up front and get the motors as far back as possible.

Sounds like a great idea.. Congrats
On the Miata I was able to fit both of the motors inside the transmission quite well. And it does leave plenty of room for the batteries.I don't want all of the batteries out front becausebut I do put one rack and the front of the front axle and 2 in the rear trunk. I haven't visited the 4th rack yet but I will probably put it where the gas tank goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How much trunk space will remain? Have you got any pics? Love these legendary Mercs!
I have pictures and I need to post them but I ended up going with a BMW 318 instead (see a few posts up).
 
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