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How would you describe the suggested conversion?

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· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have just joined the forum after reading through a lot of the information and material provided on this site and its links. An EV conversion looks like great fun (and about enough hard work to keep it interesting).

So as per the suggestion:

Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication:
My father rebuilt a ICE vehicle 15 years back with my older brother and will be willing to give me a hand. I have a bit of welding and general fabrication experience but nothing fantastic. Design is more my forte, I am a mechatronic engineer and Project Manager at Argon Technology, a Robotics and automation company in perth WA​

The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
It is a little over 40km (25Miles) from my house to work. Mostly on a highway at 100kmh (60mph) (or I can take a freeway 34km at 80kmh with more stop start traffic). So 100km range at high speed would be the minimum I would require for my daily commute + a bit to spare. I may be able to charge at work but would prefer not to need to rely on that if possible.​

What level of performance you are hoping to get
This seems to be a bit of a loaded question. There are 2 answers here, what I need... and What I would like.
I will need to be able to travel at 80-100km/h in order to get to and from work on the highway without getting shouted off the road.
I would like to get good acceleration as I am another one of those guys who likes to dispel the myth that new and emerging technology's (if you can call EVs that) are not able to keep up with the old tried and true methods. Well that and a sluggish Trans AM would be just a little sad. Top speed is not really a huge factor as much more than 110Kmh is a bit redundant due to speed limits.​

How much money you are willing to put into your project
I would hope this car can replace my current 2011 Honda Insight Hybrid which is $32K so I guess around about that is a justifiable figure.​

What parts you've already considered, if any.

Any suggestions or warnings here would be very much appreciated.
Note all prices in Australian Dollers. They seem to be more in AUS then US or Europe, does anyone know if it is worth trying to import it myself, or if there are other options to keep costs down?

I would like to use a 1982 TransAm. (but am open to suggestions, I notice not may are done and wonder why people tend to use Fireos) There are a few main reasons for this.
  1. I am a Knight Rider fan, This is what got me into Engineering and I feel now engineering has the chance to get me into a knight rider
  2. Air resistance looks reasonable in these which will be importaint for me with most driving being at high speed.
  3. I was thinking of doing a smaller car like a VW or Mini but then realised that these are not very comfortable and I would likely get sick of driving them once the novelty wore off. I think its importaint to have a car I will want to drive.

Motor - Kostov K11 Motor 192V 11in Series DC $2400 Its a bit hard to tell what size motor is required but it seems to me the K9 would work but may be a bit sluggish and the K13 just seems like over kill. The Kostovs seem to be a good price for their power as well as efficient and light. Seems I could rip out the gearbox and couple this directly to the prop shaft using a DPDT contractor for reverse selection?

Batterys - From my looking on the net so far it seems LiFePO4 is the way to go for batterys. I am looking at 60 ThunderSky 3.2V 90Ah total $7086 to give the 192V for the motor and the 90Ah model to give a total of 60x3.2x90 = 17280Wh as I am guessing this would give the range I need. (as these are a huge cost I am particularly interested in comments on this. ie what range might I expect from the 60Ah or 90Ah? what if I find I dont get enough. How would I fix this? Can one simply add a few more to the cell and up the total Volts and Watt hours a bit?) I am assuming these will probebly be wired into 2 packs. Front and back but given the size of the pontiac bonnet (hood) I think it may be possible to fit them all up front. I'm guessing this shouldn't be too bad from a load balance point of view given the trans AMs have up to 7.5L engines and these must not be light.

Controller - EVnetics Soliton1 Advanced 300V 1000A DC Motor Controller $3175 seems to be a good choice to match the Kostov K11, although it is a bit pricy, seems to have nice customisation etc compared to the kelly or cirus. Is it worth it? Has anyone got experience to compare them?

BMS - 60 x EV Power BMS-CM100 BMS Cell Module for ThunderSky cells at $13.50 each = $810 (am I right in thinking I put one of these over each battery + to - terminal? If so why are they not simply built into the batterys??)
ZEVA EV Management System Contactor control, precharging and BMS MCU in one - Not really much info on comparisons here, this is simply the one that is on the site I'm looking at getting the rest of my parts from.

Contactors Nanfeng Reversing (DPDT) contactor SW202 equivalent (400A rated, 12V coil) 2(one per battery pack) at $165 Each. Seems DPDT is a good option if I want to go with direct drive motor to prop shaft. Again no real reason for this model, simply whats on the site with the rest. Any other recommendations?

Fuses Bussmann FWH Fuse - 600A 2 at $117 each.

Charger - ZIVAN NG3-144VDC Switchmode charger for lithium and lead acid packs $1,595.00. Seems a like the charger is more than I expected. Was kinda thinking these are just a 240V AC to xxxVDC rectifier with a cut off when the BMS says its done but I must be wrong. Can anyone clarify why these are so pricey? (I know this is a 144VDC model I assume they do a similar one for 192V?)

DC-DC Converter Not to sure yet the site im looking at only has the IOTA DLS-55 HV 240-360VDC in, 13.4V 55A out (750w) $422.50 and im not sure how that will go with the 192V Pack I have. Also $400 seems to much for a buck converter.... Might just need to make my own if I can not find a better alternative.

Instruments The ZEVA Fuel Gauge Driver Plus SoC plus tacho ammeter and low battery light $175 seems to claim to do it all and simply hook up to existing taco and speedo... Seems to good to be true. Anyone used one? Are they really that easy and convinent? and idea how compatable they would be with the Trans AM dials. (obviously these will need to go if I get around to a KITT conversion... But that will be another project all together)

Others Chuck in some Wires, Braids, hall effect throttle and inertia switch and I should be set.

TOTAL $17,321.25 + 2000 Tax and shipping. = $19,264.18

Additional Estimations
Doner TransAm $10-15K
Repairs to TransAM Body, interior and mechanics (other than motor/gearbox obviously) as they tend to need some work at this price $5-10K
Motor mounts and adaptor to match drive shaft $1K
Aluminium Frame for battery Packs $1K

Total $40K ... Wow that adds up quick.

Please tell me there is nothing I have missed. It looks like I just allocated the deposit for a house to a 30 year old car.

Thanks for sticking it out to the end of such a long into piece and thank you in advance for your proffered assistance.

· Registered
277 Posts
If you're going to do that, get an '85 or newer Trans Am, but use the earlier aero wheels, for best drag coefficient (0.29 according to this)

T/A's are heavy... if you have the budget, then instead of rebuilding 30 year old suspension parts, save yourself a LOT of weight by getting aluminum brake calipers from AP, Wilwood, etc., along with racing control arms and aluminum bodied shocks. Some of these parts are not much more expensive than what equivalent OEM parts would cost.

With an 11 inch motor, you'll probably still need a transmission for respectable acceleration.
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