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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several months ago I purchased a donor car and have been spending my time reading this forum and stripping the car and getting ready for the conversion.

I am a 60 + retired financial executive. I have owned 4 VW’s over the years and in college my brother and I rebuilt the engine on a bug convertible. I have good mechanical skills and am an electronic hobbyist. Some time ago I installed a 3KW solar PV system on the roof of my home. I have also converted 2 bicycles to electric drive and six months ago I converted one of them to Lithium (48v Headway pack). My desire for more speed and utility led me to considering an EV conversion.

I have no metal fabrication skills except for the ability to cut, drill or shape aluminum with a router.(derived from my woodworking skills) I have found a local source for aluminum plate and several resources for aluminum welding.

I hope initially to have a range of approximatley 10- 20 miles. I will probably start out with a 96v pack of about 100Ahrs. I expect to get 25 mile range for local driving. Phase two of my plan is to upgrade by paralleling another 100Ahr pack. At that point I should be able to take short trips of 40 miles on the freeway. My choice of 32 cells is driven by the investment I have made in some cellogs and a circuit board by rwaudio that will give me LVC and HVC. When I upgrade to the extra capacity I will probably purchase a high amperage charger and a BMS. In the meantime I can charge slowly with a couple of 48v Meanwells.

My initial budget to get the car running for phase one is $15,000. That includes the AC-35 system which I will pick up inin Ontario, California tomorrow. I ordered the motor and adaptor from Thunderstruck Motors in Santa Rosa CA. and recieved a lot of offline help from Frodus and Gottdi. I have received a quote for 100 Ahr CALB cells from Keegan Han and will probably commit that purchase by the end of June. Later in the year I will evaluate the budget for phase two. The car is currently grey primer with the rear fenders, apron and rear hood removed. I am also considering fiberglass fenders, apron, rear hood and trunk.
 

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Welcome, fellow bugger! I'd recommend going higher voltage (144), especially if you plan for highway use.
I will have to agree but 96 will do in a pinch. My little Ghia was 96 volts and it did quite well in the speed, just not the distance because of the lead. With the AC system being used you can go quite a bit higher in voltage. I'd plan on at least 144 volts if not more. Problem then becomes the charging situation. I can tell you about a nice DC DC that will work nicely at high voltages.

I did a 77 MG Midget and ran that at 120 volts. That was nice.

Pete :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome, fellow bugger! I'd recommend going higher voltage (144), especially if you plan for highway use.
Thanks, I do plan on upgrading to the max voltage in phase two of my build. That is why I am putting off buying a big charger until I get the max voltage dialed in. I am somewhat limited by the Curtiss controller which in its current iteration is capable of 120v IIRC, I also didn't want to wait for the frequently touted 144v controller that is in the works. Most of my "highway" driving would be on I405 in LA which is notoriously slow, except early in the morning and late at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
What prompted the purchase of the AC 35 vs the AC 50
It is 2'' shorter and that will make my installation easier. I have some hills in my little beach town and the AC35 has more low end torque than the AC50. The AC50 has greater torque on the higher end but the only time I would need that would be for passing at highway speeds. My only highway is the freeway so I don't care about passing speed.
EDIT: On ramp approaches to the freeway are one area where I might need higher speed acceleration but that might be as simple as picking the right gear.
 

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Haha, just made the connection. What prompted the name change Pete?
Been using onegreenev for some time now. gottdi is an old user name I started using when I got my VW TDI. It was fitting then but no longer. I do still have my TDI. Nice cars. Mine's chipped and has larger injectors and still gets 42 to 46 mpg depending on how I drive. The worst I ever got was 36 mpg. That was with my foot glued to the floor for the entire tank. No range anxiety in a TDI. I hit just over 700 miles once per tank.

Best fuel mileage I got in that was 48/49. That was in serious hyper-mile mode.
Typical is 46 mpg (chipped)
 

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Im right in the middle of my 1973 super beetle conversion. The AC50 will fit in ok with little problems. I am using rebirthauto adapter which is a very nice unit. Using onegreenev's suggestion of lowering the transaxle helped.

Loosen the front mount disconnect the shifter linkage and remove the bolts holding the transmission in place, then lower it with a jack. Jack the motor from the bottom and line up in place and it should go right on. Then back the motor adapter back about 1 inch back from the transaxle and thread the studs (used threaded rod) put in from the back through the transaxle into the adapter. Seat the adapter to the transaxle and bolt tight. Replace and tighten the transaxle bolts/linkage.

I have the starter hole cover done, made a nice polished aluminum back and bottom plates. Next step is to make a holder for the controller/heatsink and contactor/fusebox.

Good luck with your project. I am having lots of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I picked up my motor yesterday and my transaxle should be available later today. I had new seals installed in the transaxle.

I was wondering about the starter hole. I think I will make a cover before I re-install the transaxle. It also sounds like it is easier to mount the motor to the transaxle before I re-install the transaxle.
 

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Trying to install it all at one time may not be a very good idea. remember the main frame "fork" that the transmission bell housing bolts to sticks past the halfshafts making an all in one install difficult. If you have the transmission out of the car it's pretty easy to check fit the motor and bolt it up with lots of room around it and make sure it all mates up well. Then just remove the motor and know ahead of time it will bolt up once the transmission itself is installed in the car.

Zak
 

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The idea behind the trick is to keep you from having to cock the motor in such a tight fitting area. The transaxle will just tilt down for you to mount the motor then tilt it back up into place. It makes for an easy install unless you actually have lots of room. With my 9" GE there is but an 1/8 inch gap between the body and end of the motor. Tilting the transaxle allows me to slip in the motor real easy with out binding or catching when the motor is at such a steep angle if I had not angled the transaxle down. By angling the transaxle you actually make a hard job easy. Removing the transaxle completely is more trouble than its worth. You'd need to remove the axles first. Not something to do under the car.

Pete :)


It really does not take much movement of the transaxle to get the job done. You will want two floor jacks but a jack stand for the trans will do in a pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the good input. My transmission wasn't ready yesterday so I will have to wait until Monday.

I have independent rear suspension so I will leave the half shafts off so they won't get in the way. I also removed the rear apron and rear fenders so I have lots of access. I will fit the motor to the transmision and then decide if I am going to do it in one piece or in stages.

In the meantime I mounted the taper lock to the motor shaft and then had to remove it because it was too close to the motor and that made the flywheel scrape on the adapter bracket. I used a puller to remove it but the parts came off as one piece, so now I need to figure out how to pull them apart. I should have just pulled it up about .125 inch but too late now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I finally got the taperlock separatel and reinstalled with more clearance for the flywheel.

Here are some pictures of the flywheel and the adapter plate. That is a VW flywheel that has been lightened and balanced. It only weighs 7lbs vs the stock weight of about 13lbs. The only negative is that I can't use my gland nut device that runs on the starter ring. The picture on the right shows the clearance that I worked so hard to get.

This build has been a serial group of 1/8 " challenges. LOL
 

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Why did you go with a lightened flywheel? On my bug I had the flywheel and pressure plate ballanced. But not lightened. Was this a mistake?
 

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They say every pound off the flywheel is like 10 pounds off the frame.

My car already had an aftermarket aluminum flywheel, so I'll probably leave it alone. :)
 
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