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Hi all,

Im looking to convert a rear wheel drive transit van to battery power.

My plan is to do this as simply and inexpensively as possible, I 'only' need a 14 mile range and 30 mph top speed, although I do have to negotiate the occasional hill.

My theory (feel free to comment!) is that by buying the heaviest duty forklift truck I can find (currently looking at 3.5 tonne one), I will be able to use all the parts and connect the motor directly (well, via the propshaft) to the back axle.

I realise there are benefits to keeping the gearbox, but for simplicity and cost Im hoping the forklift motor can be connected without the gearbox and still have enough power to get the van moving (any thoughts?)

cheers Dennis
 

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If you find a 12" forklift motor,usually around 250lbs, that alone should easily work direct drive. There is an S10 pickup running just that configuration that runs 12s in the quarter mile, so the motor will be plenty powerful enough. There is a wonderful article here
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/using-forklift-motor-and-choosing-good-7598.html
about how to look for a good fork lift motor.
If you use the controller that comes with the fork lift you are probably going to get horrible results, as it is only 36 to 48 volts.
 

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Hi all,

Im looking to convert a rear wheel drive transit van to battery power.


My theory (feel free to comment!) is that by buying the heaviest duty forklift truck I can find (currently looking at 3.5 tonne one), I will be able to use all the parts and connect the motor directly (well, via the propshaft) to the back axle.


cheers Dennis
Make sure that you have a look at the type of motor in the fork lift before committing to it.

I recently went to have a look at the motors from two 3-4ton forklifts. I was having one motor and jackbauer was having the other.
As jack found the contacts with the trucks he got first dibs and chose the 12" motor.
You may be able to make it out under the cables.
It has a drive flange on it to connect to the forklift axle with a short shaft. This is the sort you want to get so that it can join straight onto the Transit prop with little work.



My 11" would pose more problems for you (and for me). It is like a giant golf buggy motor.


It doesn't even have a DE cap as it is bolted straight to the axle reduction gears.



Have you seen the Bedford CF electric van?
It may give you some hints as to what the Transit could achieve as they are very similar sizes.
Here also.
And also at the BVS site.
 
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