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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Im beginning my project to restore and convert this 1973 Opel GT but Im having trouble tracking down a good motor.

I had my heart set on the Netgain warp 9 but the price point is fairly high at just over $2,000, and I've been told i should be able to find an old forklift motor for around $150-200 bucks or so that i could put 150 volts and 1000 amps thru but in my days of googling i haven't found much, everything I've found I've been told wont work, but not why it wont work.
Anyone have any good suggestions?

I'm also having trouble coming up with an adapter plate and coupler to attach the motor to the gearbox, i have a couple years of CNC machining and programming experience and a fellow Opel GT Ev-er on the Opel GT forums shared his blueprints with me (pictured) but i have no access to a machine.

Duncan suggested I abandon the tranny/gearbox and put a good beefy motor straight to the wheels (also pictured) but Im not yet convinced that's the best way to go.

any and all help and suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks for reading.















 

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I've been working very slowly on my Opel GT for several years. I went back and forth and around on ideas for motors. I have finally settled on using a Nissan Leaf motor and actually bought one.

I wouldn't go with a Netgain Warp9. They are no longer the cheapest option and brushed DC motors are so ridiculously obsolete now that you're just getting yourself off on the wrong foot.

Forklift motors are a way to do it cheap, but at the end of the day you still have a crummy forklift motor. There are other ways now to do it cheaply, namely OEM motors from salvage yards. That still leaves you the question of a controller. New OEM inverters are expensive. If you went the route of using the Leaf motor, you could also use the inverter (I'm not going to but it might be the easiest way to go). There are also these days a handful of DIY controllers you can build for relatively cheap. They're a lot of work but probably not that much more than adapting a fork lift motor.

On the adapter plate front I probably won't be much help. My GT had the automatic and I got rid of it ages ago. Rather than trying to come up with a GT manual transmission, which are hard to find, I'm probably going to put some other transmission in it.

Personally I wouldn't recommend getting a giant torquey forklift motor and bolting it straight to your differential. Duncan did that and he thinks everyone else should. But there are a lot of downsides to that approach. And the main advantage--freeing up the engine compartment for all your batteries--isn't really advisable anyway for an Opel GT for weight distribution reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So nice to see another opal gt ev in the works I keep hearing good things about these Nissan leaf motors I just figure itd be near impossible to find one as these cars are so new I assume a salvaged one are few and far between glad u were able to find one tho, u mind me asking what u paid for it?

Yea rly not convinced removing the tranny all together is the best option as it seems more complicated and there wouldn't be an idle amd I would think it would make reverse more difficult just seems like it would create more problems then it solves only reason I considered it a viable option was it lets me not have to screw with tryna come up with an adapter plate and coupler.

Thanks again for ur responce I'll begin my search for a leaf motor now I guess and hope it works with the zilla controller I have picked out :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So Ive landed on the Nissan Leaf motor and Chevy Volt batteries gonna get 2 full assemblies for a grand total of 32kwhs which by my math should get me 64 miles out of each charge and I have a 28 mile drive to work. So my question now is which controller and charger should I use?
I found this one that i know will obviously work with the leaf motor, questions is, is it any good?

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/dilithium-vcu.html

Wanted to hear thoughts and opinions on it before I purchased.

http://www.zivanusa.com/NG3BatteryCharger.htm

Here's the charger I was looking at but again wanted to be sure this was the best option before comitting to it. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So I've landed on the Nissan Leaf motor

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Engine-EM61-Electric-Traction-Motor-Fits-11-LEAF-9858686/233200417334

and Chevy Volt batteries

https://www.ebay.com/itm/11-12-Chev...n-Complete-Battery-Pack-Assembly/153465501099

gonna get 2 full assemblies for a grand total of 32kwhs which by my math should get me 64 miles out of each charge and I have a 28 mile drive to work. So my question now is which controller and charger should I use?
I found this one that I know is obviously compatible with the Nissan leaf motor, question is, is it any good? Lol

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/dilithium-vcu.html

http://www.zivanusa.com/NG3BatteryCharger.htm

Here's the charger I was looking at but again wanted to be sure this was the best option before committing to it. Any ideas?
 

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Interesting project. I really like the Opel GT and wish they were delivered here.


The Leaf motor is a good motor but I wonder if it is right for you. It is an integrated unit combining the motor with the drive train. So in your car you would be left with a few choices.


1. Mount it up front and make the car front wheel drive.
2. Mount it down the back to make the car rear wheel drive.
3. Undertake some significant modification of the package to make it suitable for front mount rear wheel drive.


The volt batteries are great (I have some in my car) But they are on the bulky end of the spectrum which again might not suite your car as it seems rather tight for space.


I also agree with the previous poster. You can't run a DC controller on a Leaf motor. There are some threads talking about options for leaf motors but from what I can see there is nothing like a plug and play option. Some please correct me if I am wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
would like to keep the car rear wheel drive, i think the plan right now is the Nissan leaf motor to the original opel GT tranny and ill have an adapter plate and coupler made, still working out the details on that tho.
going to be looking at measurements of the volt batteries and making cardboard mock-ups to see how and where they will fit, plenty of room in the nose of the car where the lead acid battery would normally go and plenty of room behind the seats with the fuel tank out.
 

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Hi
If you are going to join the 21st century and use the Leaf unit I would suggest that you use the whole unit - motor, reduction box and diff

I would mount the whole thing in the rear - you look to have space - and then sort out some rear suspension - you may be able to use the Leaf front suspension in there just making up a space frame to transfer the loads to strong parts on the shell
That way your gearing would be about right and you get the full benefit of the modern motor - from my POV that would be the easy bit
Then you have the hard bit getting the electronics to work
 

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Use Leaf suspension in the rear???? How old school LOL :) I had to read it twice. I agree though. I think this would be my chosen approach. I am not sure if the Opel was independent rear but either way it would be the least trouble. You just need to mix and match hubs, splines, CVs, drive shafts until you get a combination that works. Worse case scenario would be needing to have some custom shafts made the correct length with the inner CV to suit the Leaf unit and the outer CV to suit the Opel hubs.
 

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The Opel GT's could run the 80's BMW IRS setup with some mounts put in on the Opel. I was loo8ng into that at one time on my 73 GT I had.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
im sorry but im not sure im following, i would have to modify the suspention? wouldnt be able to just mount the leaf motor to my opel gearbox with an adapter plate and coupler?
 

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Mounting the Leaf motor to your gearbox takes up all of the space you need for batteries and it would have the wrong overall ratio

It's designed to run at about 7:1 - so in second gear it would be about right - but in top it would be gutless

Throw away the rear axle and the gearbox and all those bits

Put the Leaf motor/drive unit in the back (mid engined) - then sort out your suspension

If I build again I would probably go that route
 

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Mounting the Leaf motor to your gearbox takes up all of the space you need for batteries and it would have the wrong overall ratio

It's designed to run at about 7:1 - so in second gear it would be about right - but in top it would be gutless

Throw away the rear axle and the gearbox and all those bits

Put the Leaf motor/drive unit in the back (mid engined) - then sort out your suspension

If I build again I would probably go that route
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my concern with direct drive and not having a gear box is from what ive read theres no idle with that kind of a setup and that can be dangerous as well as difficult to reverse. also seems to be alot more complex and ill-advised from the rest of the community. sounds to be easier to come up with an adapter plate and coupler and keep my opel gearbox
 

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Having a gearbox or not having a gearbox is valid either way if that is the only decision. I chose to have a gearbox only because I need high speed reverse. But that is an unusual requirement. Most people can achieve reverse with or without a gearbox. I'm not sure where the danger would come from. Yes there are some challenges with reversing a DC motor electrically rather than using a gearbox but there are readily available solutions for that (reversing contactors). But you are talking about a leaf setup which is AC and handles reversing electrically as standard / from the factory. So again I am not sure where the danger would be.


The other key point is the packaging. Your adaptor plate idea would indicate that you are expecting a cylindrical motor like most of the motors available off the shelf. A cylindrical motor would require an adaptor to either a gearbox or diff. The Leaf power plant is not off the shelf. The Leaf power plant is a single rectangular box which contains both the motor and diff. Yes it is possible to disassemble it to configure it in a different way but this is a difficult route and would require significant engineering. Using the whole Leaf unit and using drive shafts straight out to your hubs is way less engineering and much more achievable for a DIY person.
 

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Or to look at it another way. The ideas you are expressing are valid for a DC cylindrical motor. Maybe you should ditch the idea of the Leaf motor and stick with DC? Either direction is valid but many design considerations for an AC setup do not translate to a DC setup and visa versa. I am not saying this to be mean, I am saying this to save you pain. You need to do some more research and make sure you understand a bit better before you commit to one direction over the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok I'm begining to understand a little better now.

plz excuse my ignorance. I wasnt aware of the ease of reversing an AC over a DC and was not aware of the leaf including an internal gearbox type deal.

I'm not a big car guy this is my first restoration of an old car and my first convertion, this is the most work ive ever done on a vechile, so again excuse my ignorance and thank you for explaining.

In the begining this seemed like a much easier project then it's turning out to be but I'm diving in either way because I know the outcome will be worth it and im excited as hell for that.

When I first started researching AC vs dc motors I found alot of information stating ac was the best option but was also more expensive so most people go with dc because of thier budget, it would seem alot of my findings were outdated and are now days not as acurate.

I started looking for complete Nissan leafs this evening and found some for around 5 grand. I'd hate to buy a perfectly good car just to tear all the guts out and put in an opel tho so I starting looking for wrecked or salavaged leafs and only found multiple auction sites closest one to me is at a current bid of $200 plus a $750 dealership fee but its and automatic (does that make a difference?) and its about 3 hours away in KC MO. Might have to start calling junk yards in the area and see what else i might be able to find.

Thanks again for all your help and input it is very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So with what I know and understand now then my plan is to use the leaf because iv heard such good things about them and the price point at $400 and being able to avoid the troubles of having to come up with a custom fabricated adapter plate and coupler.

However I'm concerned with the size shape and weight of the leaf motor in not sure how or where I would mount it, im not a huge fan of having to do any sort of cutting on the opel body.

If I was to switch my focus back to DC I'm again back to trying to hunt down a motor that's not $2,000 (warp 9) with a $2,500 controller (zilla 1k) I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around all the details and specifics of using a DC motor and finding a good cheap forklift motor I'm not sure what I'm looking for in a motor everyone of them that I find that I think meets my specifications and needs, I'm told wont work but not why it wont work or what I should be seeking.
 

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Great to hear. Don't give up. We all start somewhere.


The "internal gearbox deal" is not a bad thing. It just means there is no simple way to integrate it to a gearbox or diff....and probably no need.
Take the leaf unit. Mount it in between your rear hubs at a height that aligns the driveshafts both horizontally and vertically so there are no extreme angles when the car is at the expected ride height. Then work out how to connect the drive shafts (either 1.using the Leaf shafts, 2.Opel shafts, 3. Frankenstein Leaf + Opel, 4.Custom shafts).
Then you just need to sort out all the electrics, controller, BMS etc etc.
You should have it done by the end of May...……...2020 :)
 
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