DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Is there any reason why not many people use the GS 450h transmission as a motor for conversions? Seems like a great package for RWD conversions.

For the drivetrain sounds like I'd need:
Transmission ~ $750
Inverter ~ $750
Damien's VCU ~ $400

Total of around $1900 seems reasonable.

I have a RWD 88 Toyota pickup that I'm looking to convert. Am I crazy for considering the 450h?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
Is there any reason why not many people use the GS 450h transmission as a motor for conversions?
Sure...

1 - Projects take years to plan and execute. There were people this year still spending $10,000 on used CALB LiFe cells, buying Warp9 and Hyper9 motors, etc, presumably because projects they planned years ago are still being taken to completion.

2 - It takes a while for people to catch up to what's popular.

3 - Most DIYers tend to be 1 generation behind the leaders and 2 generations behind pioneers. Damien is a pioneer, him completing a 450H gearbox build inspires other EEs to use his hardware but you have to be pretty smart and ready to go to use it right away. But when those next generation of projects start being shown off, that's when the rest of the crowd starts adopting what they've seen demonstrated to work.

We are just barely seeing vehicles rolling using the Prius Gen 2 platform Damien already had working in a not-very-user-friendly-way 2+ years ago. When this next gen of leaders start showing off their builds more, we're going to see an explosion of DIYers adopting the Prius hardware. Damien's GS450H build is a year or two behind his Prius ones, so, I haven't yet seen a single other person get a rolling vehicle with one and translate the high-tech to the for-Dummies proofs. This'll happen, and then boom we'll see an explosion of that hardware being adopted by DIYers.

Total of around $1900 seems reasonable.
Compared to the price of even a DIY inverter from just a couple years ago, or any other purchaseable AC system ($5k minimum, plus motor), it's extraordinarily reasonable. Practically free, relatively speaking.

I have a RWD 88 Toyota pickup that I'm looking to convert. Am I crazy for considering the 450h?
No, it's perfect. And ridiculously, absurdly powerful.

You know of the gearbox oilpump fatal flaw and the difficulty and expense of getting one right? That kind of stuff needing a cheap workaround is what holds back the average DIYer from jumping in. It's a solvable problem (it's an oil pump, not rocket science), but it's still intimidating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh wow, thanks for the detailed reply!

Sure...

1 - Projects take years to plan and execute. There were people this year still spending $10,000 on used CALB LiFe cells, buying Warp9 and Hyper9 motors, etc, presumably because projects they planned years ago are still being taken to completion.
Yeah, fair enough. I've been thinking about an electric car project for about a year now, without any "real" planning, so I totally understand.

3 - Most DIYers tend to be 1 generation behind the leaders and 2 generations behind pioneers. Damien is a pioneer, him completing a 450H gearbox build inspires other EEs to use his hardware but you have to be pretty smart and ready to go to use it right away. But when those next generation of projects start being shown off, that's when the rest of the crowd starts adopting what they've seen demonstrated to work.

We are just barely seeing vehicles rolling using the Prius Gen 2 platform Damien already had working in a not-very-user-friendly-way 2+ years ago. When this next gen of leaders start showing off their builds more, we're going to see an explosion of DIYers adopting the Prius hardware. Damien's GS450H build is a year or two behind his Prius ones, so, I haven't yet seen a single other person get a rolling vehicle with one and translate the high-tech to the for-Dummies proofs. This'll happen, and then boom we'll see an explosion of that hardware being adopted by DIYers.
Luckily I'm thinking about this project now! I don't mind tinkering with the 450H to get it going. I'd like to think that I am up to the challenge. Excited to see other people use it in builds. I've seen one person on YouTube putting in some work on a Jaguar with a 450H. Here is the link. He uses Damien's setup!

Compared to the price of even a DIY inverter from just a couple years ago, or any other purchaseable AC system ($5k minimum, plus motor), it's extraordinarily reasonable. Practically free, relatively speaking.
Right! Totally agree that the drivetrain is reasonably priced. Forgot about the oil pump controller, so lets add in an extra $600. $2500 still sounds reasonable.

You know of the gearbox oilpump fatal flaw and the difficulty and expense of getting one right? That kind of stuff needing a cheap workaround is what holds back the average DIYer from jumping in. It's a solvable problem (it's an oil pump, not rocket science), but it's still intimidating.
Right, I noticed Damien mention something about this. It's mostly a wear related issue on the pump, correct? Meaning, if it goes bad, I can replace the pump? I realize that the pump is expensive, but maybe I can just chalk that up to cost of doing business with this transmission. Any other issues I should look out for?

Also, with all this in mind. I am also thinking of batteries to go along with this setup. Any thoughts on batteries to get around a 100 mile range? Battery tech is constantly changing, so I dont mind getting some older batteries if they are reasonably priced. Prices are pretty steep for batteries...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
Right, I noticed Damien mention something about this. It's mostly a wear related issue on the pump, correct? Meaning, if it goes bad, I can replace the pump? I realize that the pump is expensive, but maybe I can just chalk that up to cost of doing business with this transmission. Any other issues I should look out for?
The pump costs more than the gearbox, because the pump failing is causing non-salvage cars to be inoperable and salvage ones are the only place to get them.

Some have pointed out the section where the pump goes is often hidden from ads because it's already sold. Also, kind of just expect it to be pooched even if it's still there. Though, it's surely easier to adapt a pump using the old pump housing, so, regardless, get one with the pump still on there.

Also, with all this in mind. I am also thinking of batteries to go along with this setup. Any thoughts on batteries to get around a 100 mile range? Battery tech is constantly changing, so I dont mind getting some older batteries if they are reasonably priced. Prices are pretty steep for batteries...
OEM batteries are the way to go. Avoid Tesla, they're overpriced and overdemanded by the racing crowd.

Beyond that I haven't kept up on market much, I don't know what's popular. There was a smaller form factor cell that was gaining in popularity, but then I think word got out that they were being sold not for their own vehicles and they pulled the plug on them. I forget what that is.

The OpenInverter forums occasionally have good deals on bulk purchases from someone clearing out and inventory.

It's not really critical, all used OEM packs are two orders of magnitude more reliable than new small-market cells. Maybe avoid Gen 1 Nissan Leaf cells since they're often cooked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The pump costs more than the gearbox, because the pump failing is causing non-salvage cars to be inoperable and salvage ones are the only place to get them.

Some have pointed out the section where the pump goes is often hidden from ads because it's already sold. Also, kind of just expect it to be pooched even if it's still there. Though, it's surely easier to adapt a pump using the old pump housing, so, regardless, get one with the pump still on there.
Souds good. I'll keep an eye out for transmissions with the pump installed. Too bad that the pump is so expensive...

Thanks for the help on the batteries. Hopefully I come something reasonably priced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,950 Posts
Almost all modern EVs use lithium-ion batteries with a nominal voltage around 360 volts (96 cells in series in most chemistries), so almost any EV is possible source of modules... as long as the voltage and total energy capacity is suitable for the application.

The GS 450h battery (assuming it never changed) runs 288 volts nominal (40 modules in series at 7.2 volts each, consisting of 6 NiMH cells in series); that corresponds to 77 typical lithium cells in series at 3.75 V per cell. BMW i3 modules are 12S each, so six or seven of the eight stock modules would have about the right voltage, but 120 Ah or less (depending on version of i3) of capacity.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top