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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Time for EV conversion project #2.

My ATV conversion is still working great and I have decided to start a new EV project. I wanted to do something somewhat unique again and like the body style of the old mustangs, so here is the car that will be converted:

musla exterior.jpg
musla interior.jpg
musla engine.jpg

The traditional classic car owners groan when I tell them what I am planning to do, but in the long run years down the road I think it will actually be better accepted and maybe even desired. Especially when the performance will be better than original.

The car is in very solid shape structurally and requires only minor body repair. We will spend the next couple months doing some mild restoration work on the exterior and interior. Also plan some mechanical upgrades: changing non-power drum brakes to power disc brakes on all 4 wheels; changing front suspension to "mustang II" style, which will result in more room in the engine compartment and better handling/steering. Although it will not be a full daily driver, we do plan to drive it regularly except in the winter.

With regard to the EV components, the part that changes the Mustang to our "Musla" are 10 battery modules that we have obtained from a Tesla Model S (photo of one below), giving a total capacity of ~50kWh. Five will be mounted in an enclosure in the back where the gas tank is currently located. The gas tank is simply bolted into a rectangular hole in the trunk, so replacing this with a nice strong battery enclosure is ideal. The other 5 modules will be in an enclosure in the engine compartment. We plan to design the enclosures with several safety features both from a structural and electrical standpoint.

tesla battery module.jpg

Making a decision on the motor/controller was tough. Ideally would use an AC system like I used in the ATV conversion, but was not able to find an off-the-shelf AC motor/controller that would work with 240V (10 tesla modules in series) and provide the performance we want. So at this point we are planning on using a Warp 11", coupled using a clutch to an upgraded T5 5-speed transmission. Not sure on controller yet.

Other plans for the conversion include:
- a BMS that will monitor the 60 sets of 74 paralleled 18650 cells in the 10 battery modules
- impact sensor that disconnects HV side of system from within each battery enclosure in case of an accident
- some form of tablet or flat panel display that shows the motor, controller and BMS stats
- ability to cool or heat the Tesla modules

Happy to receive any comments or suggestions, and plan to update this thread with photos and more details as we make progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
A quick update on how the project is going.

We have picked up some of the EV and restoration components. Some photos below.

We bought the Warp 11 through Dan at Epic Car Conversions. Great guy to do business with for those looking to source components or outsource a conversion.

arrival of warp 11.jpg

We bought a used Soliton 1 controller from a classic car EV fellow in the US.

arrival of soliton controller.jpg

Also bought the new front suspension and rack and pinion steering kit from Rod and Custom Motorsports, and front disc brakes from Wildwood.

rod and custom front suspension.jpg wildwood front disc brakes.jpg

Picked up subframe connectors from Tin Man Fabrication.

On the car itself, we have started the teardown.

removal of seats and carpet.jpg

We took out the front seats and carpet. The driver's floor pan area in the front and passenger floor pan in the rear have some weak spots due to rust, so we will be replacing those. Luckily, there are several companies that specialize in manufacturing restoration components and body parts for these old mustangs, so you could literally build a car from scratch if you wanted to.

Next up is removal of the engine and transmission, likely in the next week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A quick update on progress.

Engine was removed a couple weeks ago, along with all the other ICE stuff. Engine/transmission alone was about 700lbs, plus about 100lbs of other parts.

289 mustang engine.jpg

empty engine compartment.jpg

We have also removed the front fenders and the rest of the interior, to make working on the car easier. Currently doing the restoration work needed on a car this old, replacing some rusted sections of rear wheel wells, and sections of the floor pans. Will update with some photos as progress is made.

mustang front end fenders off.jpg

mustang interior all out.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Another month gone by, so time for another quick update. Everything has been removed from the car. I built myself a custom car tilter to make working on the underside easier. You can see a video here.

Probably at least another month of body work before I start on the rebuild.
 

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Looking good so far.

As a purest, I would always say NEVER hack up a classic car. But IF you can fit an upgrade in without damaging the original car so if you sell it later it could be restored back, GO FOR IT. Its YOUR car, not theirs. ;)

I have a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda that is 100% stock looking. But under the hood is a highly modified Mitsubishi 4G63 2 L turbo pushing about 450 Horse to the rear wheels. Nothing on the body has been modified so I can put the 273 ci V8 back in, about 6 hours work. It weighs about 2400 pounds so it would be a good EV conversion too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would suggest you check out the work at Bloodshed Motors. They have converted one classic Mustang and are working on another one.
Yeah, I have been watching them for quite a while. My mustang will be quick, but much tamer than theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking good so far.

As a purest, I would always say NEVER hack up a classic car. But IF you can fit an upgrade in without damaging the original car so if you sell it later it could be restored back, GO FOR IT. Its YOUR car, not theirs. ;)
I understand that perspective. To a certain extent I chose this car for the very reason that it will be somewhat controversial to some folks, which will create discussion and any discussion is good.

If it was a classic car that was rare I would never do this conversion, but there are thousands of these vintage mustangs around, so I am not really sacrificing the availability of unmodified versions of the car. Actually, with these mustangs there are plenty of shops that do nothing but "resto-mods" and in many cases if they do a good job the value is actually higher than a comparable stock car.
 

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I understand. Craigslist always has mid 60 - 70's Stangs all the time.

We tubbed my sons 68 Dart, no going back to stock on that resto-mod. We even moved the front section of the rear wheelwell lip 2 inches forward and recountoured the whole opening, a 325/50 20 fits fine.
And what defines a Classic? There were 268,000 68 Camero V8 cars made, my sister had 3 328 2bb's.

I will be watching this build. Hopefully you will post lots of photos. My wife wants a 67-70 Cougar and I may just do a EV Kitten for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thought I would post some photos with a long overdue update.

I have spent quite a bit of time replacing rusty steel in various parts of the car. Bit of a pain grinding all the old spot welds out when removing the old sections. The front and back sections of the rear wheel wells on both sides were quite rotten, so replaced it all with new steel. So it is all solid now, just needs some minor fill to blend it in when I get to the point of priming/painting.

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Also replaced three sections of the floor area. One example below.

20161221_132143 (Medium).jpg 20161221_143742 (Medium).jpg 20161221_162659 (Medium).jpg

I bought a T-5 transmission built with a heavy duty gearset. I temporarily mounted it to the Warp11 so that I could set it in the engine compartment. I needed to confirm that the new cross-member for the new front suspension would allow the motor/transmission to be mounted low enough to get acceptable angles for the driveshaft and U-joints. With the motor mounted as low as possible, I get about a 5 deg slope front to back, which is a little on the high side but still OK. Working angles on the U-joints should be fine based on my measurements and calculations. Will be building some custom cooling channels to strap around the motor ventilation holes over the commutator to connect to a filtration and fan. Then a custom paint job for the whole setup.

20170116_193842 (Medium).jpg 20170114_144537 (Medium).jpg

Also finished welding in the new front suspension cross-member. I strengthened the frame rails since I will also be mounting one of the battery enclosures in the front portion of the engine bay. With the old shock towers removed and the new flat panels welded in place, it looks a lot cleaner and makes more space for mounting other components in the engine bay. It will look even better once it is primed and painted.

empty engine compartment.jpg 20170128_201604 (Medium).jpg

I am now moving on to building the battery module enclosures. I'll post again soon with my plans for how the tesla modules will be enclosed to get some feedback.
 

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Very nice work. I used a T5/WC in my Spitfire and really like the way worked out.

I look forward to seeing how your conversion progresses!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The drawing in the file below shows a cross section of one of the battery module enclosures I am planning to build. The drawing is not to scale and does not show all the mounting hardware, etc. The materials and construction are intended to provide structural strength, fire resistance, and electrical insulation.

Some notes on the shell of the enclosure, with links providing additional details:
- exterior 16 gauge steel, which will provide an exterior layer that is easy to weld and offers the first layer of impact protection
- 3/8" aluminum honeycomb panel, which provides increased rigidity to the steel and a second layer of impact protection with very light weight
- 1/16" glass polyester sheet: this has very similar properties as the silicone infused mica sheets that Telsa uses in their enclosures, with the same UL94-V0 flame resistance rating and is commonly used as an electrical insulator.

The exterior steel will be welded together to form the box and then the three layers listed above will be bonded together with high temp automotive grade epoxy or silicone adhesive.

The battery modules will be mounted in the enclosure using 3/4" x 3/4" aluminum channel. The 3/4" dimension is roughly equal to the flat portion of the side of the battery module under the mounting rail. The channels will be bolted through the exterior shell of the enclosure, and the battery module rails will be bolted to the channel. These channels also offer additional strength to the enclosure.

Between each module will be a layer of the glass polyester sheet material. I may actually have aluminum sheet sandwiched between two layers of the polyester material for additional isolation between the modules.

There will be space inside at each end of the enclosure to allow connection of the cooling tubes in the battery modules at one end and connection of bms wires, bus bars, manual disconnect switch, and contactor at the other end.

This is the basic design for the enclosure that will be in the engine bay. There will also be a similar enclosure in the rear of the car where the fuel tank was located to hold the other five battery modules. It will be somewhat different, with two stacks of modules side-by-side (3 and 2) to get a lower profile.

Any comments welcome.

View attachment battery enclosure 1.pdf
 

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The drawing in the file below shows a cross section of one of the battery module enclosures I am planning to build.

---

Any comments welcome.
Do you have a way to 'fix' the modules from moving upwards? I was thinking of a groove (could be made of two U or square profiles close to each other) where they can slide into, with end stops to prevent sliding.

Also if front and back kan be opened, you might want a 'shelve' mounted to the sides to prevent the sides moving outward.

This is indeed interesting stuff for the 'working with tesla modules' thread.

edit:
Be carefull working with the honeycomb material, lots of very sharp edges..
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Do you have a way to 'fix' the modules from moving upwards? I was thinking of a groove (could be made of two U or square profiles close to each other) where they can slide into, with end stops to prevent sliding.

Also if front and back kan be opened, you might want a 'shelve' mounted to the sides to prevent the sides moving outward.

This is indeed interesting stuff for the 'working with tesla modules' thread.

edit:
Be carefull working with the honeycomb material, lots of very sharp edges..
Thanks for the comments.

Yes, the modules will be secured so they cannot move in any direction. The drawing does not show all the details, just the main components. The rails on the modules will be held down on the aluminum U channel with an aluminum bar that runs along the top of the rails, and this bar will be bolted down through the U channel. I'll probably machine the bar with a step to match the rail thickness and end stops like you mention.

Right now I plan to only have the top of the enclosure removable. There will be enough space at each end of the modules to complete the cooling and electric connections after the modules are in place.
 

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I appreciate the depth of the description in how you intend to construct your battery box. I'm facing this prospect now (in planning stages at least) and am a bit daunted by meeting both the legal requirements here in Australia but also how i hope the battery boxes function and present, weight and strength being a big factor. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
It has been a while since I updated my build thread, so I thought I would post a status update.

I was too busy to make much progress during the spring and summer but I have staring putting some time in again this fall. I decided to replace the old rear leaf spring suspension with a 4-link system with coil-over shocks, and also added a rear sway bar. It will definitely give a better ride, but also will reduce "axle wrap" under high torque and will allow me to adjust ride height after the additional battery weight is installed. It required me to weld upper link mounts on the rear housing. I have some photos below showing the housing after I sand blasted it and welded on the upper link mounts. I decided to have the housing powder coated in gloss black, and but just used regular enamel and clear coat on the center section.

20171014_084111 (Medium).jpg 20171112_192955 (Medium).jpg 20171112_192854 (Medium).jpg

I also welded in frame rail connectors, which tie together the front and rear sub-frames. This is a common addition that is used to add strength to the body when these old mustangs have bigger engines installed. I threw some paint on under the frame rails before welding them in, since the entire underside will be painted in the same color as the car body. The underside will be completely cleaned up, primed and painted eventually.

20171019_182510 (Medium).jpg

Most of my time over the last several weeks has been spent on the battery enclosures, and I am close to having them complete. I will post some photos and details on the cooling and tesla module connections in the near future.

But now on to the main reason for my post! I need your vote on how I will mount the soliton controller in the engine bay. I have photos below where the controller is temporary sitting in two different locations/orientations. The first option is to mount it to the back side of my front battery enclosure, and the second option is to mount it over the motor. Either is straight-forward and strong enough mechanically, and routing the cooling lines and electrical connections is also almost equal. I plan to build a cover for the low voltage terminal strip on the controller in either case. Both also allow access to the front motor shaft in case I want to run an accessory (A/C) in the future.

So it comes down to which one looks better. I have asked local friends and family and have a split vote. What is your vote??

20171209_103601 (Medium).jpg 20171209_103947 (Medium).jpg
 

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I vote put it over the motor.
I think it may be marginally hotter there with any heat generated from the motor but i think it looks better. I like the look of the soliton so why not show it off.
 
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