DIY Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I have decided to do an electric conversion on a 1969 Bajabug, I have no idea what I am doing, and everything I know I learned from spending too much time on the internet looking at other conversions. :rolleyes: So I figured I would go ahead and start this thread to document my adventures/misadventures on this project.

The Donor - is a 1969 Volkswagon, which had been converted to a Baja bug, so the front and rear are all fiberglass now, and there is a cage that goes over the engine bay instead of any sort of hood, so which ever motor I end up getting is going to be exposed to the elements... unless I end up making a cover.. not sure how this would affect the motor or controller but that what the wiser members of this forum are for right? :eek:

The idea - so I would prefer to be able to take this guy on the freeway, it is a 10 min drive for me to get to work, and if possible take it is school and back, which is a 30 min drive each way, so that would possibly be out of my limits. Either way, I would like a motor/ battery combo that is both decent speed (55-60) and if possible a 60+ mile range (tall order, but that is the minimum for a round trip to my campus and back, could scout a plug in though so it could charge while I am diligently studying :cool:)
So, I was tentatively thinking about a 144v system, and maybe a warp9 or FB1-4001, or maybe that GE11' that has been for sale on the forum for a while. Or whatever motor I happen to find in the junkyard this weekend. But I really dont know enough to make the proper choices, so I will ask for ideas/ advice.

postscript, it is a jacked up Baja bug and any ideas on how to keep a bit of offroad power would be epic.

Budget for this project is about $3,000, lord knows Im going to go over, but new and amazing technology is going to have to sit this one out. and FYI my electrical skills are about a D-, and am currently rereading Electronics for dummies, so up until I get better, layman's terms please.:D


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
well, to start off, your budget, and excpectations are very similar to mine.

i would go with/try to:

motor-scavanged forklift motor( i found mine at a metal yard, they had sevral there)

batteries- lead acid *brand new*( with your budget forget about lithium, you just wont get as good range for that low cost of leads.)

volts- i would go with 144v, if you can find a cheap controller used on ebay, or something like 120v( pretty much 96-144v)

power- it should be able to keep its offroad power decent, considering the torque, but im no expert in the performance of forklift mtors as im not even 100% done my own conversion.

goodluck on your nice looking conversion!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
60 mile range is possible, but as OMT said, probably not on that budget. VW Bug gets about 200 wh/mi. That means to get 60 mi you need 12,0000 wh. Even if we forget a depth of discharge, meaning that every time you take this trip you will irreversibly damage your batteries, we still need to increase by 20% (if AGM) for puekert, meaning a minimum of 14,400 wh. With a 144v pack (you could go higher, but fitting room in there for batteries will be a challenge already, and that is 12), that's 100 Ah. A typical battery of that size is aroun 67 lbs, so you're looking at adding 804 lbs of batteries in that tiny thing. And that's if you damage the batteries every trip. It's not impossible, but you should pick a battery, make a cardboard mock up, and ensure you can fit all those batteries in before you put down any money for them.

The warp 9 is total overkill for a car this light. You'll have great acceleration, but you could save some weight and money with a smaller motor. I'm not being down on it at all, I just think it's over the top for such a tiny, light vehicle. Also, make sure you measure the space between your transmission and the mount point to make sure it will fit. I seem to recall someone saying they could not fit the warp 9 in their Bug due to the size issue, and had to use an Impulse9. I think, strictly power-wise, a Warp 7 (if you're set on warp) is a better size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice,

As of right now I have the motor out, which was ridiculously easy based on the fact that there is no rear apron to mess with, the open engine compartment of these baja's make engine work a snap. I tried uploading some pics, but they kept failing, must have been over the size limit..

So the next couple of steps are continuing to strip out the (soon to be) unnecessary parts and equipment, such as the gas tank, seat-belts and airbags (j/k :rolleyes:) And hope some of the many area scrap and junk yards calls me back about a forklift motor and controller... I think I have called everyone from Jacksonville to Charleston. The part I love about living in the south, after I explain what I am looking for and why the person on the other side of the phone line invariably asks," Your doing what son?....(I reexplain).....well hmmm" pretty funny,

OMT, Rillip3 thanks for the tips, I have been pouring through the wiki as well as going over other bugs as much as I can trying to get the key electrical concepts down.

If I settle on a Fb1-4001 and a 144 volt system with lead acid batteries, would it be easy enough to upgrade to LI-ion in the future with out doing a major system overhaul? also I have noticed that some people try to keep to a 110 system to utilize standard plugs, is there a thread that better explains the reasons behind this? (aside from the being able to charge anywhere

Thanks again, once I am able to figure out why my pics aren't uplaoding Ill post the new set. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Since a Baja Bug has no rear bodywork anymore, just about any common EV motor will fit size-wise. I would worry, though, about hanging a 500 lb motor in place of the 250 lb bug motor, but if you are similar weight or less that should be good.
... I seem to recall someone saying they could not fit the warp 9 in their Bug due to the size issue, and had to use an Impulse9. I think, strictly power-wise, a Warp 7 (if you're set on warp) is a better size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
I agree with most of what others have said. You could easily get away with an 8inch motor and, at 96volts or higher, still have highway speed capability. Best to check if you can plug in while at school. Getting 30-35 mile range should not be a challenge, but seeking 60 with lead acid is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

The bug is very light, so a smaller motor and controller should do you fine. For comparison, my EV was 2500lbs before conversion. I used an 8" ADC motor, 400amp Curtis controller and 15 8 volt batts for 120v. I could easily get up to 70mph on highway and could get 35-40 mile range (in city driving). Total weight after conversion was 3200lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As of right now I am not married to any particular voltage/motor/controller combo.I have been leaning towards the 144v standard setup, based on the cars I have seen, but going 120 does seem a bit more practical,as I understand it, if I keep to 110, I would be able to charge anywhere with a standard plug as long as I dont draw to many amps and hit a breaker, (right?)

The bug is mostly fiberglass, with the central body still the original, but I alone can pick up the front end without killing myself, so this sucker seems to be closer to a buggy in weight that a true Bug, Once I dig up a motor, depending on what it is will probably commit me to what ever voltage it can handle, darn budgets. I am going by a metal scrap place tomorrow afterwork and between classes to check out a few busted forklifts a guy said he had, hopefully there is something good in one of them.

Budgets, fun fun, but if I had money to buy it all new, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun diging through these junkyards, and rebuilding parts. I think its more fun this way, although some Thunderskys would be stellar..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
i think you have a misunderstanding... which is totally ok, i had many when i started LOL.


you can plug in anywere to charge regardless of your vehicle voltage, alsong as your charger is meant for a 110v plug, or whatever the common plug is in your location. for example, i have 72v in my car, and i have a charger that i can plug into any 115v 15A plug, the charger converts this into 72v, and voila!

sorry if i miss understood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Nope, you hit the nail on the head, I had seen instances of higher voltage vehicles, and their owners having electricians install (what seemed to me) separate lines specifically for charging their cars, like a pedestal at their workplace, ect.

So that was because their car's charger ran off a different voltage, rather than the other way around ( so the random 288 volt car can still charge from a regular outlet as long as their charger is 110, and the guy with the 76volt car might need a special line if his charger is 220) Do I have that right?

I seem to know just enough to get me in trouble. ha:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
No not exactly. You can step up the voltage, but the current drops and you lose some efficiency to heat. If you can find a charger that takes 120 and puts out a higher voltage, it will work. For example, some Zivan chargers will take 115 and put out 144. I've seen some Quick Charge take 110 and put out 144.
 
G

·
With a little work you can do a decent electric for $3k. I did mine for about $3200. 85 mph top speed and about 20 to 25 miles driving at a good clip and 8 + miles at freeway speeds. Best at 55 was 28 miles with lead and 96 volt system. It was hard on the batteries. We are building a Buggy and a 67 Bus now. We will be using Lithium in the Bus and AGM in the buggy.

Pete :)

156 volts for the Bus and 156 volts for the Buggy when we are done. That's the plan anyway. My controller (Synkromotive will do 156 volts at 700 amps) which is perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
so pretty much all in all, in normal talk

you can plug in any voltage CAR( 1v-999v)
in ANY normal PLUG

aslong as the charger is meant to have an input of the plug, and an output of the car

so you could have a charger with 135.6v in but it puts out 144v to charge your car.


now this is keeping it in simple terms though, a charger is not only a voltage converter, its more complicated, but im sure you can find out if youde like to know by google.


oh, and the only reason i can think of, for installing seperate cables to hook up to your charger is if the person wanted to charge their car quicker with a higher Watt output plug. to find watts you simply multiply Volts by Amps

hope this helps
 
G

·
A charger to work at charging your 144 volt pack from a normal 120 outlet means it needs to buck up the voltage and that will lower your amperage and you will have longer charge times but yes you can charge a 144 volt pack from a 120 outlet. Yes my 96 volt charger actually puts out more than 96 volts so it can charge the pack to its rated full capacity.

Pete :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Awesome, thanks for clearing that up for me,
So the junk yards were a strike out:(, but I did get to tear down a hydraulic pump. ha, well I bet I'll have better luck this weekend. There used to be a guy here in town that rebuilt electric motors, but unfortunately my law firm is representing him in his ch 13, and the trustee wont let anyone on the premises until the auction, so I cant go poke around his shop, I bet there is some gold in there. The guy is in his late 80's, would love to pick his brain, bet he has forgotten more than I will ever know about motors.

So I have been wondering about the tailend of the bug and motor support, the ICE motor was about 260 llbs (I guess) and if I strap another motor to the tranny with a adaptor plate, it should be fine, or should I try to figure out a way to support it, as you can see (or will, once I get the pics up) there is nothing to attach any type of support to. hmm well, cross that bridge when I get there, have to get a motor first.



Would this be complete overkill, gut says yes, but it is so pretty...:cool:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/11-general-electric-motor-44831.html

Also, I think I saw a thread about this Controller somewhere, but If anyone has any personal experience with it, please share. I rather like he idea of building one myself, abeit with my pop's help.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/paul-sabrinas-cheap-diy-144v-motor-controller-6404.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Well, I was hoping there was an adequate electric motor and controller, but gas lifts don't have electric motors for the hydraulic pump do they? darn
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top