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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

Just wanted to say hi to the community here before I post a thread about a conversion I'm planning in the near future :)

I'm a twenty-something electronic engineer from Bristol, UK and have been interested in EVs for a while now. It's been an aspiration of mine to convert something interesting and a little sporty to electric, and after flapping around researching stuff for a bit, I found this place!

I'd like to buy and convert an MGF - an almost-classic british roadster from the late 90s to early 00s. I found a couple of people that have (or are currently) converted their MGF's to electric. (Mark Newell in Australia, and Neil Hutchinson in the UK).

I'll post on the other sub-forum when I have a bit more of my research done as to what I can do with it.

Thanks for the platform & I hope that I can contribute to this community after I get my feet wet with the MGF project!
 

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Hi mate,
I know Neil and his TF and we built our cars (mine is a Lotus Elise EV) at the same time around 2008 using a Ford Ranger EV Siemens motor and Siemens 6SV inverters which were developed for many car OEM's that were testing the water in the late 1990's.
They were entered in an EV event run by the RAC (Future Car Challenge) a couple of times before the RAC pulled out.

I had a TF until recently and planned to use some spare parts to convert it as it lends itself very well as an EV as it is a good looking car that is cheap to buy.

Having built another EV in 2012 by using a kit car (Vortex), I decided that along with my Ampera I have more than enough EV's to go round so sold the TF without touching it.

As mentioned above, I have a few of the Ford Ranger motors and one or two inverters. I even have one motor already mated with a Rover gearbox that would drop straight in to the MGTF as it was in the Vortex but now replaced with a larger motor and gearbox from the Ford Connect EV van. You set it in third gear only as EV's don't need gears or a clutch.

Any help will be gladly given as I remember starting from a cold chassis.

You are lucky that battery tech has moved on from when I started but you will need to budget around £5000 for a decent amount of cells and BMS. I recommend the one from Orion which is not cheap but is well proven.

Take a look at the EV parts shops on EVTV.me, ev-power.eu and evwest.com to get an idea of parts etc that are available.
I dealt directly with Chinese cell suppliers for best prices of the expensive part with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply Rusty - I appreciate it :)

I had looked at a few motor options, but had discounted the Siemens Ford Ranger motors as I couldn't find a reliable source of them - but if there are still some floating around in the hands of individuals, that's definitely something to add back into the melting pot. I'd originally thought of something like a NetGains Hyper9 or HPEVS AC-50, but these could be a bit costly. They would come with the advantage of manufacturer support though.

My intention for battery cells was to try and find a wrecked Leaf and salvage the cells from it - this seems like it could the most cost effective way of getting a decent sized pack - but I'll certainly have a look round to see if new cells would be a better way to go.

You mentioned the motor that's mated to the rover gearbox - is that something that you'd ever use in a future project, or would be happy selling onto someone starting out?
 

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Welcome! :)

That's an interesting vehicle to use - while common there, it was never sold here, so it would be an exotic. :D

For ideas, you might also look at conversions of Toyota MR2s (and the less commonly converted Fiat X1/9 and Pontiac Fiero), which are similarly configured. Of course, detailed structural differences are important to battery pack placement, which is the big challenge.
 

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Hi @Immo1282,

I mentioned the motor mated to the gearbox as it is the same gearbox the MGTF uses. The Elise and TF have a very similar engine and gearbox, both from Rover.

The ex Ford Ranger Siemens liquid cooled motors have an unusual output shaft with a machined gear cut into it that puts people off but I managed to shrink an adapter with a female spline into the hollow shaft and secure it with a tension pin.
You also need to change the bearings to greased with metal seal as the motors were originally splash lubed.

I have one motor still in its crate, one with the adapter fitted and the other is mounted to the gearbox and would sell at least one.
I also have a spare Siemens liquid cooled inverter that is suitable to use with these motors. It has a built in DC-DC power supply as well for the 13.7v so perfect for conversions.

Just need batteries and BMS. Do you have the car yet? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
In all honesty - I'm jumping miles ahead of myself... I've not got a place to park and work on a conversion yet, let alone have the donor car - But give it a few months and if you still have the one mated to the rover box and an inverter lying around I'll be interested! I'm not asking you to hold it for me - that'd be very unreasonable an ask - but it's food for thought regardless...

Both Neil and Mark (the aussie WIP MGTF conversion) use the Siemens motor & inverters too, so it's definitely feasible!
 

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Welcome! :)

That's an interesting vehicle to use - while common there, it was never sold here, so it would be an exotic. :D

For ideas, you might also look at conversions of Toyota MR2s (and the less commonly converted Fiat X1/9 and Pontiac Fiero), which are similarly configured. Of course, detailed structural differences are important to battery pack placement, which is the big challenge.
Hi I'm new here too and noticed the mention of Toyota MR2s.

I'm looking to convert (pay for someone to do it) my MR2 MK2 to electric. However the only conversion I have found is the EVwest one from some years ago (with the AC50).

Do you have any links to other MR2s?

The whole think still seems prohibitively expensive. But I'm also fed up of 17MPG and the cost of petrol!

AC50 has been around a long while it seems and unfortunately the EVwest video never gave info on power. Basically it would be silly (IMO) to do a conversion and have less power than I started. The equivalent of 240BHP + is where it would seem like a decent return on investment.

Apologies to OP for semi-thread hijack but just noticed the MR2 mention so hence seems sensible to ask on this one.
 

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Do you have any links to other MR2s?
Sorry, I've seen discussions, but don't have any links handy.

Basically it would be silly (IMO) to do a conversion and have less power than I started. The equivalent of 240BHP + is where it would seem like a decent return on investment.
I understand the logic (which would apply as well to the MGF as to an MR2), but the low-voltage motors sold for conversions wouldn't be suitable. That leaves higher-voltage AC motors such as the Siemens and motors from salvaged EVs, or the very expensive motors (that are rarely used in DIY projects) such as those from Remy or YASA, or some sort of extreme brushed DC setup that isn't likely viable in street use.
 

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...and have less power than I started. The equivalent of 240BHP + is where it would seem like a decent return on investment.
You generally don't drive around at the redline, do you? True performance of a car is about "power under the curve", so an engine with very poor low-down torque that hits 300bhp would be a less satisfying (and possibly slower) drive than a 250bhp engine with plenty to give in the bottom two thirds of the revband.

Take a production EV for a test drive or rent one for the day, explore the performance then check the figures afterwards. You'll read a lower max number than what it felt like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Emyr - that sounds pretty spot on - Unless your metric is a 1/4 mile drag race - the power is more or less irrelevant. According to the OBD2 data from my car (a tiny-engined disesel hatchback :() during normal driving it rarely tips above about 20% of the power that the manufacturer claims it has.

Low-end torque is where you feel the pep of an electric car - and what got me addicted to the idea of converting something fun when I went and test drove a Tesla a year or so ago! It was very fun to have a pedal under my foot that turned the car into a spaceship - instead of a rattly laggy diesel engine :)
 

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It's true that peak power is not a good indication of power actually used in normal driving, but EV enthusiasts can get really carried away with this "EV torque is wonderful" stuff.

A Chevrolet Bolt is rated at 150 kW, which is 200 HP. My ordinary and similarly sized Mazda 3 is rated at 160 HP, and we know that it is rarely putting out that much because it isn't turning 5000 rpm... but in instrumented testing, the Bolt is no quicker in acceleration to 60 mph than the Mazda.

If you actually use the performance of a 230 HP car, you're not going to get the same performance with a 70 HP electric motor, especially when you increase the vehicle mass in the conversion.
 

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In all honesty - I'm jumping miles ahead of myself... I've not got a place to park and work on a conversion yet, let alone have the donor car - But give it a few months and if you still have the one mated to the rover box and an inverter lying around I'll be interested! I'm not asking you to hold it for me - that'd be very unreasonable an ask - but it's food for thought regardless...

Both Neil and Mark (the aussie WIP MGTF conversion) use the Siemens motor & inverters too, so it's definitely feasible!
I have no problem holding on to the motor/gearbox and inverter for you whilst you get your head around the project. I also have a couple of Brusa NLG513 software configurable chargers spare that I have picked up over the years.
Both my home builds use them. They are 3.3kW and can be linked together for a 6.6kW charge rate.
My first purchased from Brusa direct cost over £2000 but the price dropped as they stopped production.

When you get to a point where you are choosing which car to buy, PM me or if you forget my details you can always find me via an Elise EV search or on speakev.com forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you - If i could take out the motor, inverter/DC-DC and charger from the list of things i need to find that'd be a huge kickstart! I PM'd you yesterday but I'd appreciate if when you see it - you could say what you would let one of the Brusa chargers go for as well :)
 
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