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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I have been following these forums for the last year or so with a keen interest in converting a car to electric. The only thing that has really stopped me is lack of money!

To introduce myself I am a 19 year old IT consultant based in the UK. My mechanical skills are OK, I service my own cars etc but I am by no means a mechanic! I have friends that can help me with the trickier stuff if needed. I would say that my electrical skills are up to the required standard but again I can get help / advise if needed.

As mentioned the main thing that has stopped me converting is the cost of doing so! I have a 2000 Vauxhall (Opel Corsa) sat on the drive that I think would be an idea doner vehicle. (picture of a similar car below). Kerb weight of the car is under 850KG. it currently has a horrible rattly 1.0l 3 cylinder engine. There is plenty of room under the bonet (there was a 1.7 Turbo Deisel model that sat in the same engine bay.

I priced up converting this with a Warp 9, Soliton Junior and 45 100AH Thunderskys but the cost came in over £10,000!

Anyway still having a keen interest i have decided to look elsewhere and come accross this motor from a milk float on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200636173188&fromMakeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

My requirements are:

  • Half decent accelleration, i would say to match the standard 0-60MPH but this was 16.5 seconds! Under 10 would be good :)
  • Top speed of 70Mph, any more is a bonus (and illegal over here)
  • Range initially 40 Miles, I find it hard to look at purchasing an Expensive LiFePo4 pack when DBM etc may be around the corner!
  • Hold 4-5 Passengers (batteries can go under the bonet, spare wheel well and under the rear passenger seats)
I could probably stretch to £5,000 total budget.


A few other points. I regularly commute 130 Miles on the motorway to see customers. i'm not expecting this kind of range but it would be nice to upgrade the pack to be capable of this in the future.

I like a good stereo! my current setup draws 1200watts at 12v when on full power. Has anybody got any experience / ideas with audio and EVs? I suppose the ultimate outcome of this is decreased range!

I am assuming that using the existing transmission is the way to go with such a small car. my only concern is if it can take the torqe! I believe it has a Vauxhall/Opel F10 gearbox but cant find any specs for it.

My main question is, would the above motor be suitable?



Cheers

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

I have built several electric assist bicycles and trikes and a lawn mower, but the largest motor I have used so far is only 1000watts, so I don't have experience with a car yet, but I have been doing a lot of research, mostly in the 10Kwatt range. So hopefully some of the experts will chime in!

There are several different types of DC motors, some are easier to get a matching controller for.
If it is a series wound motor and those spec's are accurate and your car is aerodynamic ,In my opinion you should be able to do at least 60.
Depending on the batteries and your driving, and the hills, you should be able to go 40 miles.

At 60 volts, cruising speed the motor should take about 200+ amps, and your stereo will take about 100 amps, so it will definitely ruin you mileage.
( 1200 watts? .. Really? .. Have you shattered you eardrums yet? )

Also fewer lighter batteries will = more acceleration, but less distance.

Also I hate to judge people, but I have found that that young guys that listen to loud music tend to stomp on the accelerator from a stop... Don't.. it is the worst thing you can do to your batteries and mileage.

Also some controllers allow you to program the maxim torque, so you transmission should be okay, but of course this will lower your acceleration, but save the transmission.

So, if you trust the seller, and get a good controller, I think you should be okay. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: A Good Motor???

I have built several electric assist bicycles and trikes and a lawn mower, but the largest motor I have used so far is only 1000watts, so I don't have experience with a car yet, but I have been doing a lot of research, mostly in the 10Kwatt range. So hopefully some of the experts will chime in!

There are several different types of DC motors, some are easier to get a matching controller for.
If it is a series wound motor and those spec's are accurate and your car is aerodynamic ,In my opinion you should be able to do at least 60.
Depending on the batteries and your driving, and the hills, you should be able to go 40 miles.

At 60 volts, cruising speed the motor should take about 200+ amps, and your stereo will take about 100 amps, so it will definitely ruin you mileage.
( 1200 watts? .. Really? .. Have you shattered you eardrums yet? )

Also fewer lighter batteries will = more acceleration, but less distance.

Also I hate to judge people, but I have found that that young guys that listen to loud music tend to stomp on the accelerator from a stop... Don't.. it is the worst thing you can do to your batteries and mileage.

Also some controllers allow you to program the maxim torque, so you transmission should be okay, but of course this will lower your acceleration, but save the transmission.

So, if you trust the seller, and get a good controller, I think you should be okay. Good Luck!
Hi Ken, thanks for the reply.

Do you have a thread or anything on evalbum for your conversions?

I have emailed/messaged the seller to get the information of the motor. (there seems to be a 'plate' in the picture)

You say 60 volts, I have seen some threads that have used forklift motors and doubled the motors voltage, could this be possible?

A bit of a stereotype there Ken! I just like a good quality stereo! 1200 watts is what I have in my main car that i use for motorways etc, its just my way of staying awake and not getting bored when i'm in the car for 3 hours! I never really go over a third volume wise. I dont think I would put anything near this into an EV but wanted to see if anyone has any experience with anything similar. I cant believe for one second that all EV drivers sit in silence!

Brilliant to know some controllers can limit the torque, i'm worried that the gearbox might not be up to it as its only designed for the 1.0 litre engine, I think it produces about 80Nm (60ft/lb) torque.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a suitable motor controller to match this motor? I'm assuming it is series wound until I get a response from the seller.

Thanks again for your help.

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

look for a forklift junk yard, or metal scrap yard and see if you can find a forklift motor about 8-10inches dia. and atleast 15inches long. look for a motor with twin brushes, and one that has many bars on the commutator( copper bars). i picked up a few really nice motors for 50-100$ each and all you have to do is clean and advance them.
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

if you can learn how to solder i would suggest a paul and sabrina controller kit they sell for around 600$, and produce 500 amps peak, which in a 9inch diam. motor is roughly 80-100flbs
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

Hi Ken, thanks for the reply.

Do you have a thread or anything on evalbum for your conversions?

A bit of a stereotype there Ken! I just like a good quality stereo! 1200 watts is what I have in my main car that i use for motorways etc, its just my way of staying awake and not getting bored when i'm in the car for 3 hours! I never really go over a third volume wise. I dont think I would put anything near this into an EV but wanted to see if anyone has any experience with anything similar. I cant believe for one second that all EV drivers sit in silence!
Mike
I was kidding abut the stereo, when I was young, I would put in an 8-Track and crank up the volume!
( Beach Boys - Little Deuce Coupe or 409 --- Jan & Dean - Dead Man's Curve --- Shangri-Las - Leader Of The Pack --- Iron Butterfly - In A Gadda Da Vida)

You can see my bicycles at:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/some-my-electric-bikes-59929.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: A Good Motor???

Thanks for all the replies,

I am still waiting for a resonse from the seller of more details on the milk float motor. I will post once a get a reply.

OMT,
I should have mentioned that have already investigated the forklift motor route. I have a friend that works in a forklift servicing / restoration workshop. He says that for a 7" pump motor that doesn't run they can get ~£150 just in scrap value! if thats the case then picking up a decent motor could be quite expensive due to its value as scrap!

Do you not think that the milkfloat motor (below) would be suitable? 11KW should be enough for a car of this size?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayIS...akeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

I can solder in small amounts (I regularly solder onto laptop motherboards etc) but have never taken on anything like a controller! I will definately investigate the DIY / kit controller route but I dont think I could trust myself that much!

Ken,
Those bikes are fantastic! I bet they are great fun! I knew you were kidding, a great music collection there none the less!

Batteries
I have been thinking a bit more about batteries. My budget wont stretch to lithium, I'd rather wait a year or two for a breakthrough and prices to drop. So lead acid it is for now (unless anyone can convince me otherwise)

I was thinking of deep cycle leisure batteries. I have found a UK company offering 'alphaline' DC31 batteries, 12V, 125AH and 550 cycles. Has anybody heard of 'alphaline'? with 550 cycles (at 70% dod) I would expect at least 2 years service.

I was thinking either 6 or 8 of these for 72V or 96V at 125AH

It would cost £85.46 per battery (delivered) with the below offer (will try to get them down a bit further!) that seems quite reasonable?

battery specs below
http://performanceleisure.co.uk/product/DC31/

deal below
http://performanceleisure.co.uk/packages/50/

Thoughts?

Thanks again,

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

Hi Mike,
Welcome to the forum.
There is a Fork lift breaker near Chesterfield that has racks of motors but last tiem I was there it was £300 a motor.

I've been watching the same milkfloat motor on Ebay. Have you seen this one?
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230654397077&ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT
It is a bit big but cheaper. I am tempted by it myself but already have too many projects on the go.

For your little car a 9" diameter motor will be fine and the Open Revolt Controller kit should be within your soldering ability.

For good sound quality in a car a powerful quality amp is needed but with electric drive you may find that the reduction in noise means that you will be able to hear more of the music and have less of the background noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: A Good Motor???

Hi Woodsmith,

Chesterfield is probably a little bit far for me to go (400 mile round trip) but £300 a motor is still far cheaper than a warp/kostov 9!

No I havent seen that motor, its a good price but probably a little overkill for my car, I think it would destroy the transmission! Its still quite far away (300 mile round trip) so I think i'll have to rule it out (thanks for the reccomendation though!)

With the motor controller, I think I would feel far more comfortable with an off the shelf controller, not ruling it else just yet though. Could anyone recommend a suitable controller?

Thanks for the heads up, it hadent even crossed my mind that there would be less road noise! I will forget the audio untill the car is driving on electric and I am happy with everything.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: A Good Motor???

Just had a reply from the seller of the ebay milk float motor

(http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayIS...akeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en)

"Hi
The motor has 2 pairs of wire coming off it, one pair for the cage and one pair for the stator. There is a plate on it but due to it being aluminium and being on the under side of the milk float it is hard to read due to corrosion. I intended to mate this to a ford type 9 gearbox keeping the clutch and running it on or off on the accelerator.
Hope this helps"


Does this make sense to everyone?

He says there are two pairs of wires, one for the cage and one for the stator. Could anybody explain this? Apologies but I would assume there would just be 2 wires?

Is it right to assume this is a series wound motor?

Thanks again for all your help.

All being well i'd like to pick it up on saturday (providing its suitable!)


 

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Re: A Good Motor???

Just had a reply from the seller of the ebay milk float motor

"Hi
The motor has 2 pairs of wire coming off it, one pair for the cage and one pair for the stator.

He says there are two pairs of wires, one for the cage and one for the stator. Could anybody explain this? Apologies but I would assume there would just be 2 wires?
Like I said before I am new at this but, I thought the part that rotates is called the Armature and the connections are labeled A1,A2

Series wound: the stationary winding is called the Stator and it's connections are labeled S1,S2

Sepex: the stationary winding is called the Field and it's connections are labeled F1,F2

So A Series motor would have 4 connections labeled A1,A2,S1,S2
and A Sepex motor would have 4 connections labeled A1,A2,F1,F2

Are you sure he knows what he is talking about?
He mentions cage and stator. I though cage and stator were both names for the outside windings.

We are both speaking "English" but I call a car's bonnet a hood and it's boot, a trunk.....
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

The seller may not know motors very well and so has misnamed parts.

Two plus two wires seems about right but doesn't say what sort it is.
I would chance it being a series wound motor as milkfloats are old and all the ones I've seen are series wound, including the 12" one I bought and the 9" one I rejected.
Both of those also had 25sqmm cable coming out of the motor frame rather then bolt studs.

Having said that it is your money and £225 is a big bit of budget.
Could you go and see it before it ends?

You would be looking for the wires to be the same size, both about the thickness of a small finger, for it to be likely to be series. If you can get a look inside then you might see the field coils, series ones are usually rolled from copper flat bar rather then fine round strands of wire.
You may be lucky and the wires are marked S1 S2, as Ken says. Mine was marked A,B,C,D.

Also, if you do get a look you should check the size of the brushes and commutator bars.
There should be plenty of comm bars (around 40-60 bars I guess) in the comm and the brushes should be big and there should be four of them (or eight in pairs). The comm bars should be about 1 1/2" - 2" long.

If I was looking for a motor I would go and have a look and take cash with me, if it doesn't sell then negotiate the price down.

My main concern would be the drive end cap. It looks to be slightly domed shaped and that could make it a little more difficult to mount to an adaptor plate. It would need to be machined to give a flat area for location but that isn't a deal breaker if you are having machine work done anyway.

Good luck with it. I won't bid against you.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: A Good Motor???

Some really useful advice here!

Im guessing he doesnt know a lot as he also said he had spun it up while strapped to a pallet using a forklift battery! without any load???!!!

thanks for letting me know what to look for. If it doesent sell i'll contact the seller and view it over the weekend.

I did notice the curved drive end cap. Would this be a lot of work to have it machined? Would I be better off looking for another motor?

Any ideas how much an adapter plate and coupler would cost? I was thinking £300 at the most?

Thanks again!

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

You could contact him to arrange a viewing if it doesn't sell.

The DE cap could be put onto a mill or a lathe and a rim turned onto it to locate it in a large diameter hole on the adaptor plate. That needn't be a big bit of machining but it needs to be accurate and in a way that securing bolts can be used to mount it.
The DE isn't currently used to do any more then to centre the bearing against radial loads of the chain drive and so the bolts on it could be quite small. Also it may be aluminium and/or very lightly made and unable to support the weight of the motor.
That needs checking too.

That doesn't rule it out but it can mean a more fiddly construction with a motor cradle to support the weight while the DE locates the position relative to the gearbox.

There are plenty of motors out there, somewhere, so bear all this in mind when you view.

Chesterfield may be worth a visit. I have been there from Manchester and also picked up motors from London and Surrey.

Another thing is to look for dead electric forklifts from businesses nearer you. Have a look on Ebay for some and also ask at industrial estates that have fork lifts if they know of a dead one or where they get theirs serviced or repaired.
I have a fork lift motor rebuilder only a couple of miles from me in the middle of Trafford Park. Only found it by accident.

An adaptor plate will depend on the motor you choose.
A simple one will be a bit of aluminium plate with a hole in the middle. Then it can be two plates to ease location and add thickness.
Then it could be two plates and a bit of pipe to add more thickness. The price will depend on the materials and how much machining you need to pay for and what you can do yourself.

Don't forget to measure the magic number when you pull the engine out. That is the distance from the friction face of the flywheel to the mounting face of the engine against the bell housing. You will need this whether you keep the clutch or not.
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

to run at high voltages, to get performance you want, you will need a KNOWN good motor like Warp9 and while you might get by with a Curtis 1231, you probably will find it worthwhile to go for a 'modern' controller like Soliton Jr, especially if you intend highway performance.

so..... save up you money, create a little spreadsheet showing savings, and take a loan from family or bank to do it right rather than re-do piecemeal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: A Good Motor???

Thanks again for all the input.

dtbaker, In an ideal world I would buy a warp 9 however this is out of my budget for now. If this project is successful I will definately get known parts next time round! as for the controller, I still quite fancy a soliton Jr to help futureproof myself. again, cost will be the main factor in this decision.


I am hopefully going to view the motor on the weekend. The seller says that all wires are the same thickness and it has a 10" diameter and 16" length. It sounds ideal apart from the dome shape!

This got me thinking... Does the motor have to be directly coupled to the gearbox/transmission? Could a chain or belt not link them together? This would allow for the gearing to be changed(a larger/smaller sprocket could be put on either end) and also provide more flexibility on where the motor is mounted.

The only drawbacks I can see are that it would be noisier and that it is another part to break.

Another option I have thought about is using a shortened driveshaft with CV joints either end to couple the two.


Thoughts?

thanks again,

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

Having the motor separate from the gearbox is fine but makes the build more fiddly and can take up more room.

If you use a short drive shaft with CV joints then you will need to factor in maybe 12" of extra width in the front of the car and you may also find that the front end of the primary input shaft needs a pilot bearing to support the outer end.

Using a chain drive is fine but it does put the weight very high up over the gearbox and you may then have clearence problems. Also the alignment of the chain drive needs to be good to prolong chain life and reduce noise. You will also have the weight of a very strong chain guard to protect things from a snapped chain. I know of a Fiesta conversion that has two Agni motors over the gearbox and toothed belt drive. That worked well but needed a car jack to apply enough tension to the belt to reduce belt slip.

On top of all this, it also reduces the space available for batteries in the front.

It all adds up to a lot of extra precision engineering to use something that may not be the best you can get for your money.

The other option, if the DE is unsuitable, is to make your own DE cap. Have a look at my tractor thread to see how I adapted a golf cart motor that had no DE and also my Trike thread to see how I did the same with a 4 ton, 11" forklift motor.

I would go with simple where cost allows. Direct coupling of the motor to the gearbox on the DE cap. The motor directly replaces the old engine and can then use the same mounting points. There are less components, less engineering, less losses in efficiency, less loss of usable battery space.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: A Good Motor???

Thanks woodsmith,

I will take your advice on this one and mount it directly to the transmission!

As for the adapter, could I use a taperlock or something similar?

I was looking at these
http://www.fptgroup.com/fenner.asp?title=Jaw-Couplings&pageid=2727

Or would I be better off taking it straight to a machinist?

This drive end cap could turn out to be a deal breaker :(

I love the plywood approach on the tractor! do you think I could do the same with say 1/4" or 1/2" sheet aluminium?

Sorry for all the questions! I just want to get off to a good start!

I am getting more and more tempted to have a drive up to Chesterfield!

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Re: A Good Motor???

Taper locks are the usual way to go if you can and have a plain shaft with a keyway.

There are many builds here showing how others have made their couplers, with and without the flywheel and clutch. You will need the centre of the clutch for the gearbox side splines though. If the motor you get has a splined shaft then you could try a taper lock, some think that should be ok if it is a good fit. I have found that some splines are not a standard shaft size and so the taper lock doesn't fit well.
If you had the gear or sprocket that has the internal splines to fit then that could be used as part of the coupler.
On my Trike I turned the gear teeth off the gear pinion and used the outide of that for a taper lock whilethe inside is splined to the motor shaft.

The jaw coupling you linked to may not work. The general experience seems to say that they rubber part isn't up to the job with the intermittant high loads from driving a car. They are fine for pumps and machenery though.
You are better off with a proper coupler that is fixed to the motor shaft and slides on the gearbox splines. Any cushioning can come from the springs in the clutch plate that you use.

The plywood DE cap on the tractor motor was a temporary one to test the motor worked. I did the same for the 11" trike motor. Then I turned one on the lathe to fit it. I have made a mistake with that one though as the bearing isn't tight in the DE cap and slowly vibrates down the shaft. I fitted a spacer on the armature to stop it moving.

The trike motor was too big for my lathe so I took it into work to turn on the college machines. Then I used a hand held wood router to finish it off.

The aluminium plate I used was found as off cuts on Ebay. Search for aluminium plate and the thicknesses you can use and see what comes up. Also if you have a friendly local scrap metal yard you may be able to buy scrap peices from them for a lot less.
 
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