I wanted to get some advice on the different aspects of a project that I’m considering.
6 months ago I purchased a used 2008 Ford Ranger that was professionally converted and was not running properly. With help from this forum I did some troubleshooting and found that the 2 main problems were a potentially faulty throttle (fixed by changing throttle settings in controller) and 1 bad battery. It is running well now, so naturally I want to throw a wrench into things! My main issue is the lack of practicality of the pickup truck, i.e. only being able to have one passenger. I have a wife, a 10 month old and a 4 year old, and I would like all of us to be able to ride in it so I can make it my primary vehicle for short trips, up to 15 miles.
I’m trying to figure out what the best car would be to convert for my situation. Ideally a lightweight, aerodynamic, manual trans, 4 seater would work. I thought it would be nice to find a lightweight classic car as a donor but my first thought was safety. If a newer donor car has airbags that would work after conversion then that seems like it would be a better option. Is the seat belt situation in a classic car a non-starter with child car seats?
The truck currently has an AC-50 motor, 1238 Curtis controller, 34 LifePo4 160Ah batteries, Canadian EV power steering kit, IE Drives 2 spd transmission, and Orion BMS. I’m pretty sure the only things I’ll have to make/buy are an adapter for the motor adapter plate, battery bracket(s), any mounting brackets that can’t be re-used, and electrical cables that aren’t long enough. The IE Drives 2 speed transmission was adapted from a Lenco drag racing transmission. It works well but I don’t plan to use it. It would be overkill in a small sedan, it is loud in 1st gear, and I would be very comfortable driving a manual transmission. If anyone is interested I might have a transmission to sell!
Colorado offers a $3500 tax credit for building an EV. I’ll have to research the details to make sure my project is eligible. If so, I’m considering using some of the money to pay a mechanic or a very enthusiastic high school student to help with the project. I’m a handy Mechanical Engineer with a welder and some metal working tools, but not much free time with 2 young kids.