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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks - This is to kick off my build thread, which I should have started the better part of a year ago...but I think I have an interesting project that folks might like to follow and offer their insights. Any are much appreciated.

I'm a first-timer to electric conversion, and an ecologist by training (read: NOT an engineer). I've got a 25-year-old knowledge of high-school auto-shop mechanics, and I'm working in my 2-car tandem home garage...What could go wrong?! :p

There is a fair amount of restoration work being done first, (salty British roads have done her no favors), so the conversion portion has moved slowly. That said, several decisions have been made over the last year...

The gist of the project is a marriage of the 45 year old drive train, a Siemens/DMOC 645 motor-controller, and as much of a 2012 Nissan Leaf salvage vehicle as I can squeeze. :)

  • Donor. 1968 Morris Minor Traveller ("Bonny" - she's a Scottish lass).
  • Batteries (Nissan Leaf 24 kWh lithium pack - 48 modules @ 7.5v and 8.6 lbs each. The car had 10,000 miles on it when it took a header.)
  • Charger (hopefully, the one from the Leaf)
  • Motor (Siemens 1PV5135-4WS14 AC Induction Motor)
  • Controller (Azure Dynamics Force Drive DMOC 645)
  • Shaft Coupler (Siemens coupler with Bonny's original clutch disc center spline welded to it - clutchless design)
  • Adapter Plate (measured...working on it with smarter folks than me...)
  • DC-DC Converter (Leaf?)
  • Cables & connectors, contactor, shunt... (also hoping to reuse much from Leaf)
What else on the components?

Although I've upgraded the brakes, this is never going to be a high performance or particularly "safe" car. It was designed for puttering down Britain's 2-laners at mid-century speeds. Goals for the conversion are for an around town driver that needs to go freeway speeds for short stints, fairly matching the original ICE performance of the Morris. For occasional trips to the in-laws, I'd like to have a 40 mile range capability. I figure the Leaf pack and Siemens combo should have these criteria well covered.

Lots of questions remain...

  • Battery boxes and their placement. The pack will need to be broken into 2 or more, as the skateboard design of the Leaf isn't going to work with the RWD Morris.
  • Instrumentation and BMS. I want the interior as original as possible.
  • Motor mounts.
  • Emergency kill switch.
  • Motor/controller cooling. Siemens/DMOC are water cooled, like the Leaf, so could potentially reuse pumps and such...
  • Suspension upgrades. Undecided. Maybe not a necessary expense...
  • Cabin Heater. Leaf climate systems too physically unwieldy for this application.
...and no doubt a hundred other things...

 

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I owned a new Traveller in the 1960's. Mine was same color as yours. I'm traveling in time looking at yours. Great car!
Good luck with your project.
Your car will be much lighter than the Leaf, 1600Lbs. less.
You should get around 60 miles per charge.
Try to source out a 1980 MGB inertia switch and use this 12volt switch to disconnect a high voltage/amperage relay in the event of an accident. This will give you a failsafe with the manual switch.
In five years a battery pack equivalent to the Leaf's will only be 1/2 or 1/3 the volume and weight.
BMW is coming out with their lithium-air batteries very soon. Also lithium-sulfur batteries are on their way, as well.
It is an exciting time for battery development today.
 

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There are some excellent coil over shock kits for your MM.
This is a very easy to install kit.
After restoring the piston shocks for the 1961 sedan and Traveller, I found that they are inadequate for road handling in this day and age.
You may be able to find an American made kit.

http://www.jlhmorrisminors.co.uk



Here is an ingenious rear suspension upgrade that replaces the old leaf springs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, good stuff! If you're interested in the Minor, and the Traveller in particular, Ray Newell published a fantastic book last year.

Interested folks can follow my restoration thread at the MMOC boards. Like this thread, I'm just getting it started, but soon you'll be able to see how deep the rabbit hole goes... :eek:

True the JHL suspension is simple...and $$$. I think you're right that mods (esp in front) are probably going to be necessary to deal with the battery weight, but other expenses have my attention at this point...

I love the semaphores! They're not correct for my '68, but I have a pair I bought on UK Ebay and I plan to retrofit into the B posts anyway. :p

As for the vans, I never much cared for them, though they certainly have their fans. Same space as the Traveller back there, just in a window-less box with no back seats. For me, I don't want batteries exposed to the passenger compartment. So I'll have an array in the gas tank well (maybe 1/3 of the cells), and the rest in the generous engine compartment.

Thanks for following! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looong overdue update.

Here's some info on the gearbox adapter work.



Siemens motor coupler is female-female, so I just needed to turn one end into the right splines.



to match the Morris' input shaft:


So the clutch plate was sacrificed to cut out the center spline, and then lathed to fit perfectly on center in the Siemens coupler:






And all Tigged up good and solid:




 
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