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Road Legal StreetQuad conversion

83458 Views 216 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Firehuntah

Been lurking this awesome forum for nearly 2 years now, gathering information about all the components for a conversion and I think it's time to slowly get started on my first project.

First let me introduce myself. My name is Rob, I'm almost 24 years old and I live in the Netherlands. Currently I'm working as a maintenance mechanic for a cable company. I'm really into cars and anything else on 4 wheels, always have been. It's only since 2 or 3 years ago that I really started to like electric vehicles though. I think mainly because of the performance of the Tesla Roadster, never thought an electric could go so fast while not emitting anything. Little did I know back then. :)
The more I started researching electric cars after that, the more I started to like them. And now I'm at a point where I really don't want anything else than electric anymore. Sadly for my job I'll still have to stick to gas since it's a company car. But for driving in my free time I'm planning to get a quad bike converted to electric. And maybe in the future a car when I have some more experience.

So, moving on to the project with the quad bike I'm planning.

My skill level: Not that great, but I know the basics since I studied for car mechanic for a few years, I just ended up doing something else. As for fabrication, I don't know how to weld and stuff like that so I'll probably have to get motor mounts and battery boxes made. Or I could start learning how to weld. :rolleyes: Fabricating small things like copper plates for battery connections shouldn't be a problem though, have the tools for that.
Range: I'd like to get a range of at least 80km (50 miles) at 80% DoD, which I think should be possible since the quad bike I'm looking for weighs only 170kg (375lbs). Not sure how aerodynamic it is, it is pretty low to the ground though. Make and model of the quad bike is a JLA Loncin Streetquad in case you want to look it up since I don't have any pictures myself yet.
Performance: The top speed has to be between 85-100kmh (53-62mph). Also want decent acceleration, compareable to the original 250cc motor. Not sure how fast that would be though since I haven't driven on one yet. Max 8-10 seconds to top speed I guess.
Budget: I want to spend around 6.000-6.500 euros ($7.800-$8.400) max for the conversion. Any more than that and I'm not really sure if it'll be worth it for a quad bike.
Parts I've already considered:
GBS 12v 100Ah pack x4 (for 48v system) + BMS and display
LMC LEM-200 127 Motor (contacted LMC, they suggested I use a LEM-200 D95B instead but I'm not sure which would be better)
Alltrax AXE4844 Controller (LMC suggested the Sigma PMT445 if I'd go with the D95B Motor)
Curtis PB-6 Throttle
DC DC Converter (not sure how much watt I would need)
Charger (not sure yet, needs to fit in the small frame where the gas tank currently is, do want to get a full charge within 6 hours or so though)

With these parts I expect to be around my budget price, I'm just not sure if these parts will be good enough to get the performance I want, especially with a 48V system. Was looking for 72V as well but I'm not sure which batteries I could best use for that since I can't really fit 72V with prismatic lithium cells. The A123 pouch cells would have been nice but I guess it's not really possible anymore to get them from a reliable source.

Also, being in the Netherlands it's pretty hard to find good parts for the conversion since there has to be a CE mark on all of the electric components I'll be using to avoid an EMC (or EMI) test for road approval, which would cost 1.300 euros ($1.700).

That's about all I know right now, hoping to get some feedback on the parts I've chosen. Or suggestions for other parts that are better suited and not too expensive. :) And if it's possible to do this conversion with a 48V system or I should go higher to 72V with different batteries.

Thanks in advance!
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By the way, I still don't know if I should connect the sender unit of the EV Display, the main fuse and the emergency switch mid pack or on the positive line to the controller. What would be better/safer?...
Either is fine, and technically speaking, electrically equivalent. In a fault condition which results in two points on the pack contacting the frame (etc.) at the same time, putting the emergency disconnect contactor in the middle of the pack is better because it has a statistically higher chance of preventing the above fault from occurring.
Okay mid pack it will be then. Just seems safer if anything would ever go wrong (hopefully not of course!). And also when working on the pack, 2 x 36V is always safer than 72V. I haven't experienced any high voltage shock yet though so I'd like to keep it that way. :p I'm sure 72V DC will already hurt quite a bit.

Thank you very much for answering my question. :)
Time for some updates again. It's been a while and there's hasn't been that much progress really. But there have been some important changes.

I had to replace the coupler for the front sprocket as the set screw to hold the coupler in place was in the same line as the cutouts for the RPM sensor. So ofcourse this would never work well (it wasn't my idea to have set screws :rolleyes:). I had a lot of trouble taking this coupler off though and found out that it had damaged the motor's axle a bit. So I already had a bit of repair work to do and had another coupler made just the way I wanted it from the beginning. It turned out quite well but still not perfect. Especially since I needed a keyslot in the coupler and it's been very hard to find someone who could do this. Fortunately I did find someone and I'm pretty much having everything made there now since they do a good job.

Anyway, here's the new coupler with the sprocket on it.

And attached to the motor's axle.

You can also see that I mounted the sensor already, but I need a new mounting plate for this as well as this one isn't good enough. It's a bit too high, the top nut isn't using the full thread on the sensor. Can't really adjust the sensor any lower because of that. So that will be fixed soon.

I also had a coupler made for the rear sprocket so I could put this more inwards to get both of the sprockets aligned.

Mounted on the rear axle of the quad bike (Forgot I actually needed 6 cap nuts instead of 4, will also be fixed soon :rolleyes:)

But as you can see here the chain is perfectly straight now. Also measured this and turned the wheels a few times to see how the chain sits on the sprockets. I don't think it could be any better.

Side view.

So the motor part is finally done now, doesn't need any more changes.

Battery boxes I'm working on, but they're still not done yet. More on this soon. They're all made from 3mm ABS plastic and I really like the strength and weight of it. It's been easy to make and glue together. I just still want to plastic weld them on the outside and that's where I'm having some problems. The welding itself is no problem but the plastic just bends too easily when heated. Already had to take 3 boxes apart again since the batteries wouldn't fit anymore. But I'll figure it out and hopefully have them done as well soon.
Here's the biggest battery box, still not done. It's already looking a lot like how I made them in Sketchup though.

I'm having mounts made now for the Soliton Jr which will be mounted to the frame here.

After these are done and the Soliton Jr is hanging on there I should be able to get the wheels moving after connecting some cables. So hopefully more updates soon!
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That said, more EU citizens need to complain about these EMC rules to their elected officials. I'm not saying that minimizing EMI isn't a worthy goal, but the requirements are just too stringent - they essentially apply the same standard for noise emissions to a 150kW EV motor controller as to a 20W car stereo...
If they can be achieved by bolting that leaky sloted box to your kit you can't be far off mark already. Is the EMC kit just that box or is there a ferrite set in there too?
There's more to it, not just the aluminium enclosure. Shielded cables have to be used from battery pack to controller and from controller to motor. The shielding from these cables has to be earthed on the enclosure. You also need to place RFI filters (ferrite set as you call it) on these cables as close to the terminals as possible. And Rebbl also modifies some things on the inside which ofcourse I don't know anything about, their secret recipe. ;) Only if this complete package is done and installed you can pass inspection here in Europe.
Big update this time.

The mounts for the controller are finally made. While waiting for them I got a bit bored so I tried to make a 3d model of the Soliton Jr. Think it turned out pretty well, just can't get it to shine like the real one. ;)

But anyway, the mounts for this controller. My thought was that this cool looking controller just needed cool looking mounts. So I went all out drawing these and had them made. Still had a 25mm aluminium plate here so they used that one. It's definately strong enough. :D They also made a small mounting plate for the RPM sensor since the one I made myself didn't really look so good.

Mounts on the frame. Had to use some rings on the rear mounting points to get the mounts straight since they were more to the inside of the frame than the other 2.

And here with the Soliton Jr placed on there. Still have to put that enclosure around it but for now I rather see the controller itself. :)

Then I just couldn't resist and started to connect some cables so I could see the wheels spinning. :p I just used some small wires for this.

And yes, I finally achieved one of my goals for this project to get the wheels spinning! EV grin was definately present. :D Only at 20V 50A, though I didn't really get higher than 25A. Probably because of the small cables I used or that the motor just went to 20V quickly without needing much amps. There's no load on the wheels afterall.

Wheels or the rear axle seem to be a bit unbalanced though so will still have to check what's up with that. But maybe it's just because there's no weight on the axle in the video.

Probably another update tomorrow as I've placed some bigger cables to the controller and motor. Want to try and make my first test run with a bit more power.
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The first test drive has been a success! :) Now I really know what the EV grin feels like. :D

I used some bigger test cables for this to see if I could push some more amps through them.

Also used EV display so I could see how many amps I'd be drawing and to see voltage.

I placed 2 12V starter batteries in the frame, figured that would be enough for a first test ride.

Also mounted my other new toy. :)

And then it was ready to go outside for the first time. :D

Though I expected just a bit more power from these starter batteries I still had a lot of fun! It was drawing 50-60A sometimes, didn't really get much higher. The Soliton Jr was set to 25V max to motor and 120A battery/motor. The voltage sag was pretty bad too, ran out of power rather quickly. But yeah, starter batteries aren't made for this. The first few runs were great though and still at the end with pretty much empty batteries it managed to crawl uphill. To me that really shows how strong it already is, even at less than 1kW. I just can't wait now to test with the lithium pack. Just still have to get the battery boxes done and figure out how to secure them properly on the frame.

Anyway here's the video that was made. :)

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Just read the entire build, great to see someone else from the Netherlands build EV stuff. Keep up the good work, i am really interested in the part were the RDW has to legalize it.
It's been a while but I think it's time for another update.

Also sorry Eric for the very late reply, but well.. better late than never right? Getting the approval from the RDW will be quite a challenge yeah and I'm really looking forward to it. With everything I work on for the quad bike I really have to make sure that it'll give no problems for the RDW. But I think it'll go just fine, have to wait and see though. I see you're converting a go-kart, very nice. It's coming along nicely as well I hope?

After that first test drive the project has been on hold for about 6 months. I had quite a few side projects (not EV related), some personal stuff happened and also became unemployed (which I sadly still am). So yeah, nothing much has happened in that time. But since march I've been busy with it again. First off I finally got around to making a blog so I could store all of the information, pictures and videos in one easy to find place. That took quite some time as I made the blog myself, it's not just some basic template and code. And that's just how I am, I always like to challenge myself to see what I can do. Turned out pretty good I think. If you're interested you can find the link to my blog in my signature. It's in both English and Dutch.

Anyway back to the actual project. In april I started working on the quad bike again. As I was working on the battery boxes for a very long time already I just had to finish these first. So that's what I did. I made clamps which hold all of the cells in place, and they're also used as mounting points for the covers. Rivet nuts are really great for this, I also covered them with rubber so there's never a chance of them touching anything high voltage. And I added some rubber between the box and cover to make them more waterproof.

And test fitting them in the frame. To actually attach them to the frame I'll be using some steel corner profiles and put some steel tabs on both these profiles and the frame so I can bolt them onto the frame. I don't think welding plastic tabs on the boxes will be strong enough to keep such heavy boxes in place.

The charger fits nicely in the middle as well, I'll just have to bend the rear mounting points down a bit so I can just place some tabs on the frame there as well. On the front it's easier to attach, can just use some long bolts and let them drop down from above.

I also got a new throttle. Was thinking about getting the Magura but after reading about it on some other forums I decided to go with a Chinese one instead since these have hall sensors and should last a bit longer. All the popular ones like the Magura or the expensive Domino use a potbox which wear out a lot faster. I did already have the Evnetics throttle and I really do like it. But the thing is, I never really liked throttle cables, especially when they break. And I had to build another enclosure for it to keep water and dust away while the space is already limited in the frame. So I thought it would just be easier to get one of these throttles. Or two actually, they're Chinese so I need one as backup.

I also got a new speedometer which I can use to display the voltage of the 12V lithium battery I'll be using and temperature of the motor. And I also have the EV display and a seperate RPM gauge. So I want to have plate made for these as well and to add a few switches. It'll be bent on the red line so they're aimed more towards me when sitting on the quad bike.

Fitting it with a paper model. It's an old version though, the drawing above is how it'll actually be made.

I also had to buy the standard mode 3 type 2 inlet since the RDW doesn't approve anything else anymore. But I'm happy with it now anyway, looks a lot better than a CEE inlet. So I'll need a mounting plate for this as well, it'll be in the same place where the gas filler cap used to be.

Again fitting with a paper model.

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A while ago I also made a drawing for some other mounts. These are meant for a top case and the rear lights.

The usual paper model again. :D

They were actually finished yesterday and are looking great. They fit perfectly, couldn't be any better I think.

And finally a picture of how the quad bike looks like right now. The back is pretty much done, now I need to do something about the middle and front. :p

I must say that I really like doing this project, definately something I'd like to do again in the future. And it isn't just an EV project to me anymore, I'm also trying to improve this Chinese quad bike in every way possible. ;) Really looking forward to the day I can actually do a real test drive.

More info and pictures about this all can be found on my blog. I'll update this thread more often as well now, probably every time I update my blog.
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Today I modified the smallest battery box a bit since this one didn't fit very well below the carbon front fender (which comes on top of the red one ;)). First I just cut a small part off to try.

But this just wasn't enough, so I had to cut off some more. Because of this I had to move the mounting points for the cover to the outside and there's also no clamp for the batteries on this side. But this isn't really a problem for this box since this will be placed almost straight up, the one clamp on the other side should be enough.

Also made a new cover since this had to be a bit longer. The bending went pretty well.

After that I made the holes in it, attached it and evened it out nicely. Then I tried fitting it again. Fits reasonably good now. Still not perfect but I can't cut anything off it anymore. If it won't work out like this I'll unfortunately have to modify the carbon fender a bit. But I think it'll be fine.

And a new layer of EPDM rubber inbetween to keep any water out.

Also rounded off the corners on all battery boxes where the steel corner profiles will come up against since the corner profiles are a bit rounded on the inside as well. Tomorrow I can start making these corner profiles to size.
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The corner profiles for the rear of the battery boxes are done. Now I still have to work on the ones for the front/cover but that'll take some more effort since I have to cut a few parts out for the cable glands and bolts.

I also bought some extra enclosures to place some other high voltage parts in. Bit easier than making something myself again. The DC-DC converter, sensor for the volt/amp meter and the main fuse will come in this large one. It'll be placed where the gastank used to be. It really fits perfectly, took a good guess for the sizes. It only wasn't available in black so it still has to be sprayed.

And this smaller one is for splitting up the high voltage cables to the DC-DC converter and charger and for both a seperate fuse. It'll be placed where the 12V battery used to be. It fits nicely as well and there's still enough space for the big orange cables which will run to the motor.

Then I also still have this one for some 12V things (main board for the Battery Management System and a few relais). Think I'll just place this one on top of the large enclosure, there's still some space for it.

Tomorrow and in the weekend I'll continue again with the corner profiles so these can hopefully get welded next week.
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Past few days I've been busy drawing the whole wiring diagram. I'm pretty sure everything will actually be connected like this now. Only those 3 wires of the Battery Management System I'm not really sure about how to connect them yet. I can't use the Soliton input for this since I'm already using all 3 inputs (start input, reverse input and throttle limit input for switching between 2 drive modes). But the manual of MiniBMS is pretty clear so I can probably just use the diagram for hall sensors and it should work fine.

Also made 2 extra circuits in it with a few buttons and relays. The one on the top left is for switching between low power (Drive Eco), high power (Drive Sport) and Reverse. And the one in the middle is for starting and stopping the charge process when the charge plug is connected. I might still get an actuator for this so the charge plug will get locked with this circuit while charging.

If you see any errors or have any suggestions on how to wire certain things in a better way, please do let me know. ;)

I've also been trying to get a few tachometers to work but was unsuccesful. But I now have another new tachometer, this time one from Hong Kong for 10 euros. And third time's the charm, this one works perfectly. :)

For the rest I've still been busy with the corner profiles on the side of the covers. Have to make quite a lot of cutouts in them for the cable glands and bolts. So this'll still take me a while. But for this battery box they're all done, still 3 to go.

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The corner profiles which are going to be holding the battery boxes in place are finally all done.

For the small box I had to do something different, this will be 2 seperate parts which can be attached to eachother and also to the frame. But you'll see this when it's welded, it's hard to explain.

Here's everything together. It all fits perfectly and is ready to get welded now. I'll only get these corner profiles welded first, it's a bit easier to see where the mounting points will have to come once everything's stuck together.

Hopefully this can be done coming week but after that it'll take some time again to make all the mounting points.
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The corner profiles are all welded now. Done very nicely again by the same welder that welded the blocks onto the rear swingarm back then. He also grinded off the welds on the outside already. I still had to grind some off myself on the inside to make everything fit well.

I just wonder how it'll fit once everything has been sprayed but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. There's also no clearance at all anymore now between the frame and the 2 big battery boxes so it's important now that the mounting points will get welded in exactly the right spots. But I'll still have to make them all, will keep me busy for a while.
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Looking very good! This is going to be an impressive build and vehicle when finished. I hope the motor gives you the performance you want, it should be good though. Keep doing great work sir.
Thanks Tyler!

I hope so too but as long as it outperforms the original 250cc engine I'll be happy with it. And an upgrade is always possible, that's the nice thing with the LMC and Agni motors as they're all the same size. But I'll know very soon how it'll perform when I go for a real test ride. :)
Much has happened again this week. I completely dismantled the quad bike so that all parts of the frame can be sprayed soon. Was pretty fun since I've literally had each and every part of the quad bike in my hands, I know exactly how it all fits together now. I've also come across certain things that I'll be replacing right away with better alternatives, especially the bearings and the bushings in the front swingarms and rear swingarm.

I was able to remove the whole brake system without even having to disconnect a single brake line.

And this is what the quad bike looks like right now, only parts everywhere.

I already removed the bushings in all of the swingarms. These are all still new bushings but they don't really look like that. These Chinese bushings also don't really work like rubber bushings are supposed to work, they're actually hinging in the swingarm itself instead of in the rubber so it's steel on steel. This will wear out very quickly, especially since there was no grease at all anywhere. The plan is to place POM bushings in here, works much better and lasts much longer too.

I also got some new parts again. These are all the wires that I'll need to make the whole wire harness.

There's also a handle switch and 2 mounting points for the mirrors. And also a seperate killswitch with cord so the high voltage will be disabled if I leave the quad bike in any way.

But the most important is that the gauge and charge plate are done and they turned out very nicely again. Everything fits perfectly again as well. I just can't really show yet how it'll all be mounted exactly since the quad bike is dismantled but to give an idea I've made a few pictures.

I'm working on making all of the mounting points to size now, these might get welded to the frame this coming week then.
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The less good news first. I wanted to remove the bearings and axle from the bearing house so I can soon place much better bearings of the brand SKF in here instead of the Chinese bearings. This just didn't go so well on one side, a piece of the bearing house broke off and there's a small crack as well. So I can't use this one anymore.

But I did get everything out so at least I know how everything fits together now.

Here's one reason already why I don't want to use these Chinese bearings. Just look at the difference between the 2 bearings, the one on the left has no grease at all in there while these are still new closed bearings. But they're bad quality anyway, these bearings break very quickly. Especially that one without any grease.

Meanwhile I already got a new bearing house. There were also bearings in this already but everything went well removing them this time.

And then the good news. All mounting points for on the frame and the battery boxes are finally done. Was quite a bit of work, especially since I had to make these to size using only a bench vice, hammer and file. But they can all hopefully get welded within a few days now.

The ones for the smallest battery box up front were the hardest because they needed a few corners and a part that's skewed. But they turned out pretty good, definately strong enough for the 2 batteries that are going in there.

I also made the holes in the front fender already with mounting points for the charge plate. Ofcourse I used rivet nuts for this again.

Hopefully another update soon once everything's welded.
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This weekend I took the time to take on the frame. There were still some small parts of the old mounting points on there which I had already cut off last year. You can't see anything of them anymore now. I also removed a few other mounting points which aren't needed anymore and took off the paint in the spots where the new mounting points will be. So I really have everything ready now to get it welded, just have to wait a bit till the welder has some time.

Also made the corner profiles already which will be mounted across the frame. These will be carrying and dividing the weight of the battery boxes. It was just tricky to get it all to fit, I really don't have a millimeter to spare anywhere. So I just grinded them out a bit so the frame's tubes fit right in.

But now I can't really do all that much anymore till everything is welded. So I'll have to wait once again.
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