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Hello all, my first post here. Looking for some thoughts from those more experienced.

Been interested in restoring a Fiat X1/9 for a few years, and as of last year decided that I would probably have more fun with an EV conversion instead. I've recently found one I'm strongly considering buying, and was hoping to get some ideas. Base weight is on the order of 2,000 lbs, after everything ICE related is removed I should be down in the 1600 range.

I've done some mechanical/electrical work before but I'm far from gifted with it -- done brakes, a head gasket on a simple i4, some light suspension work... build myself a ground up lithium battery bank (18kwh) for an off grid solar system, and related wiring. Haven't done much wiring in a car before but I'm sure I can get the basics settled.

My goal would be to start off with a light commuter (20-30 miles range fine) and upgrade the battery bank in the future.
I'd like to be able to get up to highway speeds, and I'm while I'm sure it wouldn't take too much to get such a lightweight car moving pretty quickly, high speed or acceleration isn't my immediate goal.

I would like to be able to do somewhat of a budget build as I learn some of the ropes -- but that'll depend on what options are out there. I'll be doing similar sourcing for my batteries as I did for my solar work, so I'm expecting at or slightly above $100/kwh for high c rate lithium ion. I don't think I'll be going power brakes or steering to start off with, though might add it later as an option. Don't need heat or ac either, and I'm fine with basic instrumentation. But honestly I have very little idea how much I should budget for an overall build. I know it can vary from dirt cheap to astronomically expensive but a few ballpark guesses couldn't hurt from those that know.

Car has a 5 speed manual in it right now, which I could either attempt to track down an adapter plate for or find another solution.

Thank you all for any help you can offer as I start to think through this project
 

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Great little car!
It just calls out for replacing that whole power unit with a Nissan leaf power unit

Space for the batteries is going to be a pain -
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great little car!
It just calls out for replacing that whole power unit with a Nissan leaf power unit

Space for the batteries is going to be a pain -
Those are definitely affordable and would be more than enough power for something this small. How is a custom wiring harness and controller setup for those units? And I think I've seen they are direct drive out of the unit and don't need any further gearing?

Space for the batteries wouldn't be ideal for sure, but for short range I'm sure it wouldn't be too bad. It'd be longer range that would require some creativity.
 

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Space for the batteries wouldn't be ideal for sure, but for short range I'm sure it wouldn't be too bad. It'd be longer range that would require some creativity.
Even short range will be difficult.
The best place for battery mass is the engine compartment, but a Leaf drive unit with inverter and other supporting electronics is about as large as the X1/9's original engine and transaxle, so there's little if any room there. The stock fuel tank location is tiny, so not much of a battery pack can go there, even if the spare tire space is included. Some mid-engine cars put a fuel tank in the console, and that could be a battery pack location, but they are wider than an X1/9. There are front and rear trunks, but if you fill those you have no cargo space, and battery mass in the rear is undesirable for vehicle dynamics.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.

Previous Discussion
DIY Electric Car: 2013 500e to 1978 X1/9 conversion? (proposed project; did not proceed)
included this:
X1/9 Reference
While looking for other conversions, I stumbled across this site with some specs and drawings that might be useful for planning:

1975 Fiat X1/9 (1300cc) - Specifications & Data
Other X1/9 Conversions
Some X1/9 conversions show up in a Google search for "fiat x1/9 ev":
I don't know if anyone has done an X1/9 conversion recently, or with a modern EV motor or battery modules.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats a valid point, the leaf drive unit does look rather large. Definitely still open to options, but I'm looking to get the motor used/salvaged as to avoid the rather steep costs of new components.
Really appreciate those links to other X1/9 electric builds -- I'm especially fascinated by the one that ran off lead acid with a claimed range of 25 miles, that seems impressively high especially given he said two of the batteries were on the down and out. Give me hope that a moderate range may be achievable.
The lithium ion modules I've got installed in my travel trailer, the cells for which came from a chevy bolt, are impressively power dense. Each approx 70 lbs and 4.5x14x20 inches for 6kwh. I think with some creative module assembly I should be able to fit 20-30 kwh in the X1/9, assuming I stay well hydrated because I'm sure plenty of sweat and tears will be necessary.
Hoping to have my hands on the car next week at which point I'll get some measurements and start contemplating options in my spare time while I get enough other projects finished to start digging into this for real.
 

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Don't forget about fabrication...I just spent hours fabbing two stupid brackets to mount my DC/DC converter in my engine bay...Excluding pricey kits for old VWs, you gotta roll your own everything...
 

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Don't forget about fabrication...I just spent hours fabbing two stupid brackets to mount my DC/DC converter in my engine bay...Excluding pricey kits for old VWs, you gotta roll your own everything...
that will definitely be a bit of a learning experience, I haven't done hardly anything in terms of fabrication before. If it took me less than 5 years to have it drivable I'd be somewhat surprised.
 
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