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Discussion Starter #1
Located in Wellington, New Zealand.

I have a 1957 Austin A35 two-door saloon that has been in my family for a loooong time. As well as restoring the car from a rolling shell, I want to take out the stinky ICE motor and do a stealth EV conversion.

Pros of this conversion: Car is lightweight (705 kgs in factory spec) with no additional gizmos such as power steer, air con, etc. needing to be powered.

Cons: Limited space for batteries, drivetrain and brakes will need upgrading.

• My skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
Good at dis-assembling things, not so good at putting them back together. Will be outsourcing tricky stuff to the experts.

• The range I am hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
80km (50miles) range would be plenty.

• What level of performance I am are hoping to get
Original ICE engine in the Austin A35 apparently produced 34hp (25kW) so I would be happy with 1.5 times that = 51hp = 38kW. Need to factor in that these cars were prone to snapping axle shafts – even with the original ICE engine. Also a braking system upgrade required (thought: How much would the regen braking of the EV motor provide a braking system ‘upgrade’ ?.

• Budget
NZ$12 ~ $15k
Funding will be provided by selling my 1973 Datsun 240Z.

• What parts already considered, if any.
Was looking at the Netgain HyPer 9 which would be stacks of power. I like the idea of the integration of this unit.
Today I was pointed to the Motenergy ME1616 which I am investigating further.
Battery type & placement is not decided, hopefully can fit all I need under the bonnet without needing to use any boot space.

• Other
Not sure how many suppliers of this kit exist in NZ – if any - so I presume most of this gear will need to come from overseas so need to allow for lots of shipping costs.

Keen to hear of any similar projects.

Michael.
 

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Hi, I had the AU model A30 with 840cc?? motor. I fitted a Morris 1000 motor , it went like a rocket up to 40mph and then became asthmatic. Diff ratio was approximately 4.7 to 1. Have you considered direct drive with regen? This would ease the load on the axles.
 

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Found after googling diff ratio is 4.875.Good for direct drive. The alloy Mowog gearbox doesn't weigh much but every kg less is a bonus.
 

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Hi Michael
Have a look at my Device

https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/duncans-dubious-device-44370p15.html?highlight=duncan

I would suggest something similar for the electric bits
Chevy Volt Battery
9 inch Forklift Motor - direct drive to the diff (I'm using an 11 inch)
Paul & Sabrina controller - the old 500 amp one would give you about 75 Kw

Costs
I paid $3300NZ all up including GST and shipping for my Volt Battery
9 inch motor - $150
Controller - $700

You are on the wrong Island but if you get down to the bottom of the Mainland you can have a drive - or give me a bell or a PM
 

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Michael - are you still working on an conversions - I am in Christchurch, have not done anything yet but looking at converting my 1989 Honda City Cabriolet
with a low cost chinese motor
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Kevin,
Well I'm still dreaming about it, yes. :):)

The selling of the Datsun 240Z to fund this project is yet to happen, I need to get my $h1t together to make that sale so I can kick off the Austin transformation.

Latest thought was to do the Austin in the 'derelict' style where everything underbody is new and hi-tech but from the outside it looks like a beat-up wreck.
See the amazing Tesla powered 1949 Mercury Coupe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVNb6ywH000


Michael
 

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Under the rules regen has to be disabled for the certification test. Ie it's not allowed to be counted. If you stick to a motor that gives no more power than before you don't have to upgrade. If you do you will have to somehow convert to front discs I think. 🙂
 

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Sticking to the same power is easy - but the voltage and controller are not on the cert plate so you can start with a controller set to an appropriate power level and then.......
 

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Lol really? The advantage of being forced to have all my battery's in the back is much less cabling and not having to run battery coolant from front to back either. Disadvantage is im fairly sure its going to sink low with 150kg of Chevy battery. I don't want it to failed due to too much rear weight. I can of course put spring spacers and or heavy duty springs but the key is what the weight rules are. It would be pretty frustrating to be told no front battery's but your now too heavy in the back 🙂. Having seen a thermal runaway on youtube I can see the reason why having front battery's isnt permitted. So many in the USA have batterys jammed to the front though.. oh well. 🙂
 

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Hi Mons
The Volt battery is quite a lot lighter when you ditch the armour plating

Do you need to have your full battery when certifying?

Why not certify on a minimal battery and then "improve" it later
 

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Show me evidence of a volt battery in thermal runaway that isn't physically damaged or leaking coolant. Could be one that was overcharged or run to below 2 v per cell, but that wouldn't be battery fault.
 

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Hi Mons
The Volt battery is quite a lot lighter when you ditch the armour plating

Do you need to have your full battery when certifying?

Why not certify on a minimal battery and then "improve" it later
Hi Duncan

Always great to have you around. Not only do you know a lot but you always kindly offer to help. What armor do you speak of? I am going to use cut to fit pieces of the original volt mount to save on a complete custom mount in the back. Unfortunately the volt mount is very heavy I guess as it was part of the cars structure. Right now Im playing around with having my two (lego like) reconfigured volt modules side by side end on to the front or side on. If it gets pinged for too much weight I guess I could "remove" one pack and it could mysteriously reappear later.. I figure a modest range that could be improved by another chunk of 144v later say in the old fuel tank space. Anyway again re weight I saved the fiber glass cover (cut into three pieces) which is very light and I think I will use it if I can as it will help give some additional strength/tidiness, and heat control. Still no idea re BMS as all are too expensive for my tastes. I may just check them manually and use a hobby charger to balance as needed. There are some Chinese bms for 12cells but not sure how good they would be. They tend to say to not use for used cells. The idea of all that bms wiring scares me as I have seen what a short on a volt battery module does. A huge spark and instantly drained cells.. Ask me how I know.. :)
 

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Show me evidence of a volt battery in thermal runaway that isn't physically damaged or leaking coolant. Could be one that was overcharged or run to below 2 v per cell, but that wouldn't be battery fault.
Hello,

In a frontal impact with a volt battery mounted right behind the front bumper as I have seen in US and UK conversions a decent impact could pierce the battery leading to headlines of a fireball EV conversion. They will run away with a impact. I saw one in a run away in early Volt testing. They added armor. But with us converters we take all that armor away and stick it in the worst place where its designed to go in the middle of the car in a tunnel. So having thought about it being forced by rules to shove it all in the back isnt too bad but yes could get a shove in the back and be a flaming rocket too. From what I have seen thermal runaway is more controlled and less explosive than a petrol tank. From a Tesla runaway I saw it seems to smoke up for a while before going to full blow torch. Time to run when the magic smoke appears. :)
 

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Hi Mons
The only time that I have every heard of a Volt battery burning was about a week after the crash - it took that long to ignite

I took the heavy bottom armour and drilled out what seemed like a 100 spotwelds until I was left with the bits that actually clamp onto the battery

A bit of cutting and welding later I welded the two clamping parts to 20mm square tubing
The two bits of 20mm square were then bolted to the floor of the car

You can see the two 20mm square bits peeking out underneath the battery
 

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Re-BMS

I'm not using one - I just check the cells periodically and I have a http://www.evdl.org/pages/battbridge.html
To warn me if a cell craps out

If you can get to the top of your batteries it's dead simple to check the individual cells - I have to move the controller to do that which is a pain

But I am abusing my cells (1200amps) and still no drift
 

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Re-BMS

I'm not using one - I just check the cells periodically and I have a http://www.evdl.org/pages/battbridge.html
To warn me if a cell craps out

If you can get to the top of your batteries it's dead simple to check the individual cells - I have to move the controller to do that which is a pain

But I am abusing my cells (1200amps) and still no drift
Wow. My chinese controller only does 129Amps nominal. I guess it might go higher at brief moments. Maybe with my lower amp usage it might last longer. I was reading the car it came from a Chevy volt has two electric motors (excluding NA backup) a 111kw and a 55kw. The smaller one would be more powerful than my 15kw. :) . Maybe you could answer something simple Im curious about Duncan. What effect on range does the KW size of the motor have putting aside that some are more efficient than others. Obviously a more grunty motor will get the car up to speed faster like a v6 or v8 or turbo 4 will get up to speed faster than a standard NA fuel motor. I guess I will find out when my car progresses to that point. With your drilling out I guess you removed the ribbed parts under the mounts? That steel is very dense. How many drill bits did you go through? :)
 

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Drill bits?
I forget - at least five!

The size of the motor has less effect than with an IC as the efficiencies are not that different

You are keeping the gearbox? - so your smaller motor does not need as much torque as my direct drive one
 

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I have an A40 Devon, and, at a casual glance, it looks like Healey 3000 front spindles would basically swap right in. Easy disc brake conversion....


I think the 35 and 40 have similar front ends.....


Worth a look...
 

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Drill bits?
I forget - at least five!

The size of the motor has less effect than with an IC as the efficiencies are not that different

You are keeping the gearbox? - so your smaller motor does not need as much torque as my direct drive one
Yes I have kept my 5 speed gearbox and the clutch. I may possibly have got some measurements wrong as I cannot disengage the clutch in testing but then again its been sitting engaged for over a year so might have stuck? That or the complete lack of pressure in the brake system for that period might have an effect. I guess in an electric car having the clutch stuck on isn't the pain it would be in a ICE. I certainly wouldn't pull everything off to fix it if it truely is stuck on. :) . The car wobbles a bit with the motor spinning but then again its on jack stands so maybe torque is doing that. When I am employed again and can put money into it again I hope to bring enough news to share a thread on the car and maybe some youtube videos. Conversions seem less popular right now but I think interest will come back again if petrol keeps going up or someone has a classic car or just a favorite car they dont want to part with. It will also just always been a fun project for people to do wither or not its cheaper than buying a factory electric car. I am recycling a lot of parts including the car itself and that really appeals to me.
 
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