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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm sk8bones. I've been interested in doing an ev conversion for some time. I also want to do a mild restoration on a truck. My reading suggested that a truck is the best platform for a conversion. The simpler the better, so I decided on a 70's Japanese truck. I have always had a Chevy or an Isuzu (Luv was made by Isuzu), so a Luv was my preference. I considered Datsuns and Ford Couriers too, but I found a nice sky blue 1979 Chevy Luv longbed (bonus) that has enough life in it and was a deal.

I have sourced a Warp9 motor locally, so I think my motor decision has been made for me. I drive short distances (I actually wasted a catalyst because I never drive far enough to heat them up.) in an urban area with most speeds 30 mph or less, but up to 45 mph. I think I could live with 35 mph, but 40 mph would be best. I'd like to keep it at 72v, but would go up to 120v if need be. I have one hill that is 3 neighborhood blocks long. It doesn't bother me on my bicycle, but it is a bit of a struggle for some.

I've inquired with someone about making an adapter and coupler, so I hope that works out OK. I'm really confused about controllers. It seems I should go with a Curtis 1231c. It has the voltage range, but I'm not sure what amperage would be good for my purposes. I think 500a is fairly big, but I see a lot of 1000a units. I think the 1000a units might be useful at 120v. I just don't know if that's necessary. I also think the higher amperage might work the batteries more. I think an Alltrax SR72500 is attractive, but it's limited to 72v and I don't see a lot of Alltraxs being used. Again, I think 72v will work. I just don't know. I'm hoping to poke around here some and find out. I'm sure I can find several good examples of similar trucks in the garage. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks - Kyle aka sk8bones
 

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Kyle
You will need at least 144 volt - or you will be disappointed

What batteries were you thinking of using? NOT Lead Acid - those are only for the masochists amongst us

You want Tesla/Leaf/Volt modules

500 amps would be enough at 144v - I like the Paul @ Sabrina - "OpenRevolt" controllers

Have fun
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I want lithium, but will likely start with lead-acid. I'm really hoping the cost of lithium comes down in the near future. I think you are right about lithium and that I should plan to expand from 72v to whatever I can carry if a 500a controller will do the trick. The trucks in the garage seemed to have at least 96v and most had more. I'll be OK in slow mode for a while. I'm really excited to get the motor and the adapter/coupler. It will be a while before I can afford a controller. I can work on the restoration until I find a suitable and affordable controller. I decided to work out the battery situation last because I really hope I'm wrong about the cost of lithium when it's time to pull the trigger. LOL. Here's a pic. I have a bed full of extra fenders and such too. Thank you so much for the advice.
 

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Hi
You can get a Volt battery pack for about $1800 - which is what I paid for mine
That will give about 50 miles range

But don't waste any money on Lead

And waiting until the last moment for the battery is sensible
 

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If you build something now, and then upgrade it later with a better battery, would you be changing voltage with the upgrade? I hope not, because then your original motor and controller choices will no longer be appropriate, and it will be like starting from scratch.

I don't know how much cheaper salvaged EV batteries will get, and they seem to be the current best deal.

A full Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf battery, reconfigured for half the voltage to suit the motors and controllers available as aftermarket conversion products, would probably fit, split between the space under the hood (over the motor if you keep the transmission) and the spaces either side of the driveshaft and ahead of the axle under the box (where the fuel tank and exhaust system normally reside). It's a small truck, so that while pickups are easier than cars, I think that packing the battery into it will still be at least a bit of a challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will do my very best to follow your advice. I will wait until the very last to get batteries and buy the largest battery bank I can afford and stick in the vehicle. I will have to look into the Open Revolt controller. That one would be more affordable than a Curtis. I guess I need to look into how all this might work with Volt/Leaf batteries too. I'm hoping in a couple years there will be more off the shelf options. I think after I get the motor and controller sorted I'll focus on doing a nice clean up/mild restoration on the truck. I have a lot more research to do. LOL, thx
 

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Kyle,
I converted a '86 Maxda B-2000. Similiar to the Luv. I am using 96volts-- half a Leaf battery (225 lbs) set up from top down 24S(2P)-- I hope I have that correct. Maybe 24S(2p(2p2s))
We use it around town - max comfortable distance is 30 miles, almost never over 45MPH but it will go faster. Gets 3 1/2 miles per KWH in stop and go driving
We have 7000 miles on it and use it all the time.

15 years ago I built an EV truck on same model- put in 20 golf cart batteries (1500 lbs) and got 30 Mile range and batteries sulfated up really fast- I don't think I got 3000 miles on a set. Like Duncan says- don't waste time and money on lead acid.

Go with the Leaf batteries or Volt- it does mean a good charger and is best with BMS (my opinion- as others say you do not need them). I would start watching them and get an idea of pricing- if you see something good - grab it. I just bought a 2016 Leaf battery with very few miles on it.

If you want more miles than use a whole Leaf battery- You can do similar to Wolf's at 144 or make three packs at 120V - depends on motor and controller.

As a side note - my first truck conversion I found a motor to transmission/ clutch adapter ready made for $850 --So When I decided to do the second conversion I chose that truck for both the fact it did not have power steering and the adapter option. Well I was wrong about the adapter being available- no body had one- I had to have a machine shop make them and it cost a lot more. Moral- check what adapter is available or know how to machine one yourself.
 

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I am using 96volts-- half a Leaf battery (225 lbs) set up from top down 24S(2P)-- I hope I have that correct. Maybe 24S(2p(2p2s))
Half a Leaf battery (any generation) would be a total of 96 cells. With 2s2p modules, paralleled in pairs and then the 12 pairs in series, that would be 12s(2p(2s2p))... for a combined 24 cells in series by 4 in parallel, and a nominal 90 volts @ 3.75 V/cell (96 volts at the end of charging to 4 volts/cell).
 

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Half a Leaf battery (any generation) would be a total of 96 cells. With 2s2p modules, paralleled in pairs and then the 12 pairs in series, that would be 12s(2p(2s2p))... for a combined 24 cells in series by 4 in parallel, and a nominal 90 volts @ 3.75 V/cell (96 volts at the end of charging to 4 volts/cell).
Thanks Brian- I have hopes of someday getting this right. I get lost in the 2s2p doubled and paralleled and seriesed
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Great advice. I got a tip from a guy at work. We actually have a lithium car battery remanufacturer (Spiers New Technologies). Looks like I know where my cells are coming from.

I've been concerned about the weight of a huge battery pack. I think 96v for an around town mid to LEV is what I want. I want to do a mild restoration and have a car to fart around town in. I don't need more than 30 mile range. I thought 45 miles seemed like a lot. I want to take all of your advice, but I'd go buy a turn key if I wanted something more petrol-like. Heck, I'd get an Isuzu diesel engine and make it a greasel if I wanted to go 60 mph for any amount of time.

I've been in contact with a machinist who makes adapters and couplers. I think that should work out good. I did decide on a cintrller that will go up to 144v and 500a, but im hoping to come in at 96v to 120v. We'll see when it is battery time what we can afford/stuff in the truck. Also, i might need to make sure my truck has front disc brakes or I'll have to get some Luv disc brakes to swap in.

Thanks again. Give it a couple weeks and I hope to have my motor and know if I can get an adapter made.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey, doing more research. I see my weight concerns are kind of useless if Leaf batteries can be obtained. That being said I'm wondering if a diesel truck would be a better project here. I am experiencing mission creep. Yes, noted. However, the real point is I don't need a truck to lug 600~700 lbs of batteries. Cut that in half for 72v in a city car. The chassis would be subcompact obviously. Prefer the Subaru Justy but would settle for a Festiva. Anyway, it took years to find my Luv. I'm torn between the Luv I've wanted for who knows how long and the electric car I've wanted to build for several years. Probably both being me. The only problem I'm having with the subcompact idea is putting most of the weight in the hatch of a front wheel drive car. It might still be possible to get some batteries in the engine bay, but it will still be mostly junk in the trunk. Oh well, still lots of work and planning to do. Things have changed and are changing rapidly, so I should expect to relearn new stuff on the fly. Also IMHO, I think city cars will be the most practical application for electric conversions.
 
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