DIY Electric Car Forums banner
21 - 40 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I just had a horrible thought about that Volvo whistling along at 100 mph! - terrifying!
Definitely not going to be doing 100mph in that thing... 65 hopefully... Is this leaf option the best approach or ive been watching videos of building my own battery banks using 18650 cells. And running different motors and controllers.

A wrecked leaf is about 5k and there is the risk of some of the components I need being damaged.. and then also ive read reports of the batteries not holding their full capacity. So I am a little weary going about it this way but I suppose if I go visit each one I can determine weather or not to buy them
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
Is this leaf option the best approach or ive been watching videos of building my own battery banks using 18650 cells.
Good god, no.

An 18650 has about 8-9 watt-hours.

So for 100,000 watt-hours you'd need, what, 11,000 of them?

I think good cells go for $5. In bulk you might get them for $3 each?

$33,000.

If you're quick at soldering, you might get a cell in and soldered in 10 seconds. 6 per minute. That's 28 hours of non-stop soldering.

You'll have to add bus bars, holding pieces, etc to them as well. And probably 20 lbs of solder.

Unless you're getting 18650s for free, there's no reason to ever use them in a vehicle. And even then, (I am), it's a crappy solution.

OEM is definitely the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
I will have to check around.. I just saw that civic hybrid batteries are 144v and 20kwh... 2011+

Wonder how much I can pick them up for? What motors should I be looking at if I dont buy 3 complete leafs?

Also what are the average cost of each equipment piece I would need to purchase?

BMS?

Motor controller?

Inverter?

What am I missing? besides batteries?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
I will have to check around.. I just saw that civic hybrid batteries are 144v and 20kwh... 2011+
A non-plug-in hybrid has a small battery; in this case, I think it is a battery with 20 kW output power rating (to support the 23 hp motor), but the energy capacity will only sustain that for a few minutes at the most... it is likely closer to 1 kWh than 20 kWh energy capacity.

Honda specs for a 2005 Civic hybrid show
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Battery
Output 144v (120 cells @ 1.2v)
Rated Capacity 6.0 Ah
That's 6.0 Ah x 144 V = 0.864 kWh

The capacity of any non-plug-in hybrid battery is so low that you would need dozens of them. Even plug-in hybrids are typically under 20 kWh, so you would need several.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Brian

as far as I can tell those 20kwh 144v batteries are only in 2012+ civics. I know the 05 era had really bad issues with the batteries and most likely because it was those nickel batteries.

What are your thoughts so far Brian? I am almost leaning towards just doing a traditional diesel motor swap and building out the vehicle completely with the camping and expedition portion and letting the EV (mainly battery) technology catch up a bit..

Though I really do love the 3 leaf idea... I might be keeping my eyes out for a few of those!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
as far as I can tell those 20kwh 144v batteries are only in 2012+ civics. I know the 05 era had really bad issues with the batteries and most likely because it was those nickel batteries.
While the first two generations of Honda Civic Hybrid apparently had lots of battery problems, that's not the fault of the NiMH chemistry. Toyota has no problem with NiMH, which it has always used in all non-plug-in Prius variants. Honda made hybrids early, and continues to make them now and then, but Toyota is the master of reliable hybrids. You don't want NiMH for a plug-in vehicle (not enough energy density compared to lithium), but NiMH not working for the Civic is entirely Honda's fault.

Unfortunately, while Honda published reasonable specs for the 2005 Civic hybrid, their promotional machine churned out stupidity for the introduction of the next generation, resulting in this for 2013 specs:
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Battery
Output (kW) 20
Voltage 144
Volume (Liters) 16
Weight (lbs) 48.5
They switched from NiMH to some lithium chemistry, and wanted to promote the increased power rating (up by 5 kW to 20 kW, so the previous NiMH battery must have been limited to 15 kW output), but as I mentioned earlier (with emphasis on the key concepts)...
A non-plug-in hybrid has a small battery; in this case, I think it is a battery with 20 kW output power rating (to support the 23 hp motor), but the energy capacity will only sustain that for a few minutes at the most... it is likely closer to 1 kWh than 20 kWh energy capacity.

Honda specs for a 2005 Civic hybrid show
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Battery
Output 144v (120 cells @ 1.2v)
Rated Capacity 6.0 Ah
That's 6.0 Ah x 144 V = 0.864 kWh.
The 2012+ lithium battery capacity is not specified in the promotional material or owner information from Honda, but the volume (16 litres) and mass (48.5 pounds) are consistent with a few kilowatt-hours (they're about the same as a single Tesla Model S/X module). In lithium chemistry it will have higher energy storage capacity than the same size of NiMH battery, or the previous Civic battery, but not much higher power output... and certainly not 20 kWh in that volume or mass.

Just to fill in the variations, the second-generation Civic hybrid had (according to Wikipedia)
158.4 V (132 x 1.2 V) Nickel-metal hydride batteries with 5.5 A·h capacity
That's 158.4 V x 5.5 A·h = 0.871 kWh

Where are you seeing this 20 kWh spec for any Civic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
What are your thoughts so far Brian? I am almost leaning towards just doing a traditional diesel motor swap and building out the vehicle completely with the camping and expedition portion and letting the EV (mainly battery) technology catch up a bit.
We are still at a point that an EV conversion is more expensive than a conventional drivetrain. If you swap in a used (rather than crate) engine to keep the cost down, and size it relatively small to suit a later hybrid upgrade, that might make a lot of sense. It's likely to take a while to build out the camper and get enough experience with it to know what you really want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
We are still at a point that an EV conversion is more expensive than a conventional drivetrain. If you swap in a used (rather than crate) engine to keep the cost down, and size it relatively small to suit a later hybrid upgrade, that might make a lot of sense. It's likely to take a while to build out the camper and get enough experience with it to know what you really want.
At this point I am looking at going with nearly the same motor that was in the sprinter vans in the 2003-2006 range. People report 20+ mpg easy with them and over 700k miles. I think I will get the 6cyl version the om648. This might be a tad big for a hybrid setup in the future but we will see what happens. I think youre absolutely right by the time I get it completely built out and enough experience with it then I will have more options and a better idea of what to do. I am just afraid at this point to jump in and throw 15-20k at the drivetrain and not end up using it for its intended purpose..

So at this point I think getting it running with a traditional drivetrain and then finishing the rest of the vehicle will be my best option. (all the while keeping an eye out for a good deal on a wrecked tesla or a few of those leaf things =P)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
At this point I am looking at going with nearly the same motor that was in the sprinter vans in the 2003-2006 range. People report 20+ mpg easy with them and over 700k miles. I think I will get the 6cyl version the om648.
The OM648 might be hard to find in North America - the only model I could find which would have it would be an E320 CDI from 2005 or 2006 (and later E320 diesels had a V6). The first-generation Sprinter only came with the OM612 (earlier) or OM647 (later) 5-cylinders. Although the five-cylinders are not powerhouses by the standards of modern vehicles with 5 tons of gross combined weight, they are still a lot more powerful than the C304's original engine, and the 5 tons is within Mercedes' rating for it in the Sprinter. With all of the accessories of a (relatively) modern diesel, I wonder about fitting any diesel six-cylinder into the Volvo.

One good thing about the 5-cylinders might be that Sprinters seem to have been designed with an auto-dissolve feature, so the first-generation ones should all be rusted to destruction by now, making their engines (and transmissions) available for salvage.

This might be a tad big for a hybrid setup in the future but we will see what happens. I think youre absolutely right by the time I get it completely built out and enough experience with it then I will have more options and a better idea of what to do. I am just afraid at this point to jump in and throw 15-20k at the drivetrain and not end up using it for its intended purpose..

So at this point I think getting it running with a traditional drivetrain and then finishing the rest of the vehicle will be my best option. (all the while keeping an eye out for a good deal on a wrecked tesla or a few of those leaf things =P)
Back to the EV or hybrid idea...
The space under the floor is largely a wasteland in a cargo truck, but it is valuable real estate in an RV, and in an EV or hybrid. An EV/hybrid RV has far more stuff to potentially put under the floor than will fit, so one thing to watch in designing the camper setup might be to leave space for a later large battery pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Just found this thread,

I'd be tempted to remove the middle axle and convert to 4x4 .

No one has mentioned the Volvo runs on portal hubs, (yay) they are going to chew a bit more energy than a straight axle(boo)

I've already converted my LandRover & now I have plans on converting my Iveco Daily 4x4, a fair bit bigger than the Volvo and am thinking 160kwh will do me . I'll use 2 motors , one on the gearbox input to the transfer case and one the PTO output ( Both connect to the same shaft internally so turn at the same speed)

Im using 440w/h per mile in the LandRover and expect about double that in the Iveco for a 200 mile range .

this is my Iveco if your interested http://unsealed4x4.com.au/u4x4/issue057/#35

and the EV LandRover http://unsealed4x4.com.au/u4x4/issue056/#55
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
No one has mentioned the Volvo runs on portal hubs, (yay) they are going to chew a bit more energy than a straight axle(boo)
Well I did, but it was pretty deeply buried in a previous post:
With 3.44:1 ring-and-pinion sets at the differentials, and 2.06:1 reduction in the portal boxes, a motor connected directly to an axle's input will be reduced by 7.09:1...
I think the portal axles are basically the point of these Volvo trucks. Having looked at the price and awkwardness of available aftermarket bolt-on portal beam axle conversions, I can see preferring Volvo's hardware. They are one of the few available factory portal-axled vehicles, and other than the Unimog and the HMMWV / Hummer H1 they might be the most available. The other well-known but even more rare example would be the Pinzgauer (which is outright weird :)). I'm impressed that anyone finds any of these vehicles in North America.

The Volvo portal gears are straight-cut, which is supposed to reduce their drag a bit, although it makes them noisy (compared to helical gears).

I'd be tempted to remove the middle axle and convert to 4x4.
The 6X6 configuration does add weight and complication, but I think if one wants a 4X4 of this size the C304 is the wrong place to start. It would be easier and presumably cheaper to stretch a C303 (the 4X4 model of the same range of vehicles) if there were one available.

I can see three issues in a 6X6 to 4X4 conversion offhand:
  1. The 6X6 C304 uses a very different suspension from the 4X4 C303 at the rear, and one axle can't be just removed while leaving a functional suspension. It would be possible to remove the leading axle, remove the leaf springs, replace the locating function of the leaves with a track rod or Watts linkage, replace the spring function with air bags or coils, and build a frame-supported intermediate bearing to carry the prop shaft in place of the leading axle's power take-off... but is that worthwhile? It would also be possible to completely replace the rear suspension with a single-axle suspension copying the C303... but then it would be easier to just start with a C303.
  2. Removing the leading rear axle leaves the remaining rear axle right at the back with a 3.35 m wheelbase; the axle load distribution would be questionable and the frame might not handle the span under load. A stretch of a C303 4X4 could place the rear axle in the optimal position... but that's not what is available.
  3. The axle capacities of a C304 are 1700 kg (front) plus 3000 kg (rear total), which is suitable for the GVWR of 4400 kg, but even with a C303 rear axle capacity of 1750 kg, the 4X4 conversion total would be only 3450 kg... probably not enough for the longer truck, even considering the weight saving of omitting an axle (especially with a hybrid or EV conversion). The 5-ton (4500 kg) loaded mass doesn't need three axles... but a two-axle vehicle of this mass (such as that Iveco) needs higher-capacity axles.
Of course there might be lots of factors and possibilities that I'm missing. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
Or you could leave all three axles and only drive two of them
That's fine on the street... in fact, on pavement it is only a 6X4 anyway, since the front axle drive is disconnected. Other vehicles with tandem rear axles often have a disconnect for the trailing axle so they become a 6X2 (only the leading rear axle driven) on pavement, but the C304 doesn't have this feature; it could be added for lower drag on the highway (for more range), either on the output from the leading rear axle or on the input to the trailing rear axle.

If it doesn't retain full 6X6 functionality when desired, I don't see any point in the vehicle at all - it exists to be a high-mobility off-highway truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
I've already converted my LandRover & now I have plans on converting my Iveco Daily 4x4, a fair bit bigger than the Volvo and am thinking 160kwh will do me . I'll use 2 motors , one on the gearbox input to the transfer case and one the PTO output ( Both connect to the same shaft internally so turn at the same speed)
The Volvo FD 51 transfer case (or auxiliary gearbox, in the manual) has a similar PTO setup, although there is an add-on PTO gearbox to use it; this is probably typical of transfer cases in which front and rear outputs are in line with each other, offset from the transmission output shaft. An EV conversion of the C304 could use a similar approach to mount two motors, and a parallel hybrid conversion could use the PTO to connect the electric motor (while the engine and transmission remain in the original configuration).

Why use the transfer case with two motors? Is the idea just that a large enough single motor is not available?

Don, can I assume that the transfer case would be retained for the low-range gearing? In a typical transfer case - such as the one in the C304 - low range can only be used with the front axle output engaged (which the C304 can't use on dry pavement because it isn't like the permanent 4WD of the current Iveco Daily 4X4 transfer case with its centre differential), but that could be modified. It looks like current Daily transfer case also offers two reduction stages (four ratio combinations), so it's quite a useful transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I think I will try to store most of the water tanks inside the cabin so I dont have to worry about heating the water tanks as well. I will try and leave the underneath between the frame open for the future battery modification.

I found a wrecked 2005 e320 cdi for sale i should be able to get it to my door for ~$4,000. It will be my engine and transmission but I will still need to source a transfer case.

I believe it will fit because there are kits you can buy for the volvo that will drop in a om606 or om603 which are both 6cyl 3ish liter variants of mercedes diesels. So I would imagine I can make it fit

As for the EV. I will plan to keep certain storage open for batteries for the future. I still do like the idea of a small trailer with extra battery storage and a solar array that I can deploy and charge the 400mile range in a week or so. But 400 mile range of batteries right now would cost me too much for me to justify right now. However once its completed and being used I will be more inclined to spend a bit more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
I found a wrecked 2005 e320 cdi for sale i should be able to get it to my door for ~$4,000. It will be my engine and transmission but I will still need to source a transfer case.
Sounds good. :)

It sounds like the original C304 transfer case isn't with the vehicle. I guess that makes the choices
  1. find a Volvo transfer case and adapt it to the Mercedes transmission
    • high effort and expensive to adapt
    • no real reason to do this, since the vehicle is not a stock restoration
  2. use a transfer case which bolts onto the Mercedes transmission
    • easy bolt-on, but...
    • there may be no suitable transfer case from this model (4Matic version), but the same transmission is probably used on many other models
    • mounting a transfer case may require a different tail housing
    • output to rear is likely in line with transmission output (centered), not in line with output to front (offset) to match the C304 axles
  3. find a suitable divorced transfer case
    • mounts separately to vehicle frame, and connects to transmission with a short jointed shaft
    • works with any transmission
    • but not common, heavier, bulkier, requires additional shaft
If not using the original Volvo transfer case, you can get something that provides permanent/full-time 4WD (but is still lockable). If you might use it later with a single electric motor, it would be nice if it can run in low ratio on dry pavement (meaning it has a centre differential or allows reduction when not driving front axle).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
The Volvo FD 51 transfer case (or auxiliary gearbox, in the manual) has a similar PTO setup, although there is an add-on PTO gearbox to use it; this is probably typical of transfer cases in which front and rear outputs are in line with each other, offset from the transmission output shaft. An EV conversion of the C304 could use a similar approach to mount two motors, and a parallel hybrid conversion could use the PTO to connect the electric motor (while the engine and transmission remain in the original configuration).

Why use the transfer case with two motors? Is the idea just that a large enough single motor is not available?

Don, can I assume that the transfer case would be retained for the low-range gearing? In a typical transfer case - such as the one in the C304 - low range can only be used with the front axle output engaged (which the C304 can't use on dry pavement because it isn't like the permanent 4WD of the current Iveco Daily 4X4 transfer case with its centre differential), but that could be modified. It looks like current Daily transfer case also offers two reduction stages (four ratio combinations), so it's quite a useful transmission.
Yes Brian, the Iveco TC is a divorced TC , it would be a reasonable solution for the Volvo. it has some design issues but I have overcome these .
see here http://goingbush.com/iveco4.html

Two small motors are better than one big motor plus the layout of the TC is ideally suited to two motors , or even keep a small diesel up front and electric at the rear.

Look here where a fellow owner had added a Telma Retarder to help with braking , now if that energy wasting retarder was a motor , how good would that be . Marcus is now kicking himself as he could have bought a Hyper9 and a load of Batteries for the $20k it cost for the retarder.

https://youtu.be/SvJLherxBMU
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
Yes Brian, the Iveco TC is a divorced TC , it would be a reasonable solution for the Volvo. it has some design issues but I have overcome these .
see here http://goingbush.com/iveco4.html

... the layout of the TC is ideally suited to two motors , or even keep a small diesel up front and electric at the rear.
That's what I was thinking of in an earlier comment about a parallel hybrid configuration using the PTO (and the motor connection point). That works with both the original C304 hardware and the SCV transfer case in the Daily 4X4, as well as apparently old Land Rover transfer cases. Unfortunately, the Volvo unit isn't with this vehicle any more, and that very capable SCV unit is enormous and expensive. I don't know what's available at a moderate cost.

Look here where a fellow owner had added a Telma Retarder to help with braking , now if that energy wasting retarder was a motor , how good would that be . Marcus is now kicking himself as he could have bought a Hyper9 and a load of Batteries for the $20k it cost for the retarder.

https://youtu.be/SvJLherxBMU
Well that was an interesting detour... :)
The retarder looks like a nice unit, but not $20K nice! (in anyone's dollars) Marcus does provide a nice illustration of how a motor could be mounted for a parallel hybrid, with regenerative braking.The arrangement couldn't be quite the same in the C304, because the shafts are too long: the engine plus transmission plus a shaft plus transfer case plus another shaft plus a motor would be longer than the space available from front axle to leading rear axle.

In general the idea of much lower than usual EV voltage doesn't seem appealing to me, but as moderate-power hybrid system with a battery used to run an inverter (and HV DC to ~12V DC converter) for RV use, the Hyper9 might make sense, and can exert a couple hundred newton-metres of retarding torque.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I do have the original equipment out of the volvo. I figured I wouldnt be using the transfer case because I thought I might have other options with the new engine and trans choice. I am sure I could find a way to adapt the original volvo transfer case. I would have to do some reading about it to see if its up to the task of an engine with much more HP and Torque.

I need to learn more about the different hybrid setups and about the components to do an electric swap. But the battery cost and performance is what has killed it for me. Which seems to be the biggest issue with electrics moving forward.
 

Attachments

21 - 40 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top