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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I finally managed to get ahold of my high school car, it's a ford probe. The body is... acceptable, but the engine is in pieces in the hatch -- I could try and put it back together but I'm pretty sure I'm missing a few pieces. Since I have my old car, I might as well follow another high school dream of making it electric.

My goals are
--Decent performance, this is a 2700 lb car, about 1600 less pounds than the mach e. I know I'm going to be adding weight with batteries, but now sure how that will even out by removing all the ICE components
--I'm not going on road trips with this thing, it's going to be an in town car or something to show off, but I'm comfortable with ~150 ish miles between charge
--While I don't want to butcher the inside of the car, I'm totally ok with doing something like a rotary ford gear selector (like are used in the new edge, escape and mach e suvs) and a flat panel instrument cluster

I've done some basic research, the best option seems to be the e-luminator (which is rather fitting considering the probe was a failed mustang). I know that the traction control is sold separately, and it looks like the AEM VCU200 is the appropriate controller. I have some very basic fab skills, but I consider this a learning project as well. Unfortunately there just isn't documentation on these motors, so I'm kind of putting these ideas together from pictures -- I have a hard time dropping $4000 on a motor without some planning, so these are back of the napkin thoughts. I was hoping since people on this forum appear to have some knowledge of these I might be able to get a few questions answered.

First the sample ones without pictures

  • Is the AEM the correct motor controller?
  • If so, do either the high voltage wiring harness or low voltage wiring harness have the correct molex plugs to connect to the AEM motor controller, or would I need to do electrical crimping myself?
  • I don't see any incredibly obvious high voltage terminals (like you might see on a car amp, but probably bigger), Is this thing powered entirely through that one black electrical connector you can see? Is the AEM supposed to handle the high voltage of the batteries?
  • Speaking of, what are the acceptable voltage ranges for the above two harnesses?
  • Does the harness provide a 12v accessory branch for things like lights, horns, infotainment etc? If so what is the amperage for this output?
  • Is a BMS or charging circuitry included, or would I need to figure out that side of things?
  • Which side of the motors sits towards the "front" of the car, the side with the electrical connector, or the other side?


Then the complicated questions with pictures. I see the obvious dogbone mounts and what I think are upper mounts. Dogbones probably need to be sized to my particular application of course, but the interface to the motor is really just a bolt. The parts that I am assuming are the upper mounts though appear to be custom sized; are there components shipped in the kit that fit these areas? If I'm assuming I would weld some stock steel to the hypothetical mounts in the kit and then my vehicle.
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But I also see it sitting on these rubber(?) feet from pictures at the SEMA show. would I use these for mounting, or is it just a stand? Even if it's not suitable for high torque mounting, could I use these to let the engine rest on while I fab the upper mounts and dogbons?
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I also know that this engine has very little in the way of amenities for other parts of the car like power steering or air conditioning, but I do see these barb fittings on the left, are those for an integrated vacuum pump, or something different?
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Just as a realism check...

How much were you expecting to spend on this conversion, to get 150 miles of range?
Oh? 150 was actually on the high side, I really have little to no idea of how to convert the AH ratings if batteries to range, but an flexible on that. I would have guessed that with production cars getting 300 miles of range, 150 wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.

That said, to answer the actual question, I was eyeing someone selling refurbished leaf battery cells at 7v at a max of 20 amps per can and around 40 AH, to get in the ballpark of the 440 volts an eliminator would need I'd need ~64 cells at about $5000 (the asking price per cell is around $80)

I suppose I may not be understanding the range conversion math (the actual "a car weighs x so it needs y joules to push it z miles math), but 40 AH at a 20 amp max output means 2 hours of runtime, and given I'm splitting the max voltage I'd guess that motor needs, I would imagine 75 mph (thus for two hours at 75 id get 150 miles) is sustainable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
For a city car, you don't need more than 100 miles range. If you have a place to build it, you have a place to charge it every time it's in the driveway/garage...takes 20 sec to plug in and unplug.

If you exceed the curb weight of the ICE car by more than 100lb, you're doing it wrong in my book.

AEM is a CAN controller. You still need an inverter from Ford, available from the parts department - tack on another $2 grand last I looked. I'm not sure AEM is ready - they weren't when I looked. You need to get their docs...good luck with that one.

The Eluminator is really WIDE - I seriously doubt it'll fit in a Probe...it won't fit in my C5...too tall AND too wide. It also needs an IRS. It mounts from the top via isolator pucks (not included) that attach to a crosscar beam (not dogbones) which again increases the effective height of the drive unit and the torque reaction is via those lower mounts. The "stand" is not a mounting point and I'm not sure production units would be drilled and tapped there.

The "kit" comes with drive unit and inverter cables, last I looked. No documentation.

It's not a Ford Falcon with a vacuum pump built onto the fuel pump. Those barb fittings are for the motor cooling glycol loop....you provide the pump etc.

All moot - I doubt it'll fit.
Is it really that big? I guess I had just assumed it was the size of a small V6 or large 4-cylinder, and since it has (to my understanding) output shafts that you connect straight to your wheels by CV shafts, it would negate the need for a transmission.

That said, I'm not opposed to getting the traction inverter, but it is kind of a bummer that ford is selling them as paper weights pretty much.

And I wasn't thinking dogbones up top-- I assumed it would be isolator picks (but didn't have the word for it) kinda crap that the kit doesn't even come with those. I'm starting to realize from this thread that this motor is kind of an ass-pull by ford though isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello. Probes are cool cars. Never see them in New Zealand anymore. I dont know anything about that option you are talking about. Myself I went with the most budget solution I could find at the time which was a chinese AC motor and converter. Its no longer the most budget solution. What I think would be great for you would be a Nissan Leaf motor and the inverter of your choice. I would go the open inverter route. You can google this to see what I mean. This is currently one of the best options. Plenty other options but they usually cost more. A ultra budget option is a used forklift motor and DC controller but you might be unsatisfied with that.
I'll look into a leaf motor -- while I have daydreams of a Drag-electric-probe, a suitable around town probe would be nice too. It looks like a leaf engine provides comparable hp to the stock probe motor. One nice thing about the E-luminator is that it just has CV shaft ports, so I hypothetically just drop it in and strap it down, is the leaf motor (with transaxle) the same story?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Eluminator is the front drive unit from the higher-power GT version of the Mach-E - yes, it is a motor with transaxle (reduction gearing and differential), so no additional transmission is needed.

Since it designed for the front of the Mach E, if you're still interested I suggest having look under the hood and trunk insert of a Mach-E GT, to see how the mounting points are used.
Whelp, time to go "test drive" some vehicles. Honestly though maybe if I just tell them "i'm doing some research on the eluminator engine" they'll just open the hood for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Not at all -- just my calibration of what one category of cars cost vs the other. A non-destroyed econobox from the 90's (a ford probe) is actually worth decent money due to how rare it is -- a wrecked nissan leaf is 1.) Not hard to find 2.) Not worth anything to anyone, so they really are cheaper. If I can talk my wife into letting me buy one, it'll be hard to explain "Yeah this more recent car was $1000 at auction in the same zip code, but this shitbox from the 90's was $2000 and we had to drive 14 hours to get it"
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Again, in comes the horsepower and torque confusion by both of you.

As a pimple-faced 12 year old at the time, I can assure you that my 15HP International Super A tractor would pop a wheelie...on tires that, I'm guessing, were 2x the diameter of a car tire.
Isn't that just because the transmission on the tractor was built for very low top speed but absolutely redonkulous torque? Like, yeah HP and Torque absolutely matter, but so does the gear ratio to the final drive.

The reason electric "feels" like more power is because HP ratings for ICE cars are taken from the top of a very narrow RPM range (which is typically kinda high) while electric motors have a very broad power band, right?
 
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