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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1980 Volkswagen vanaggain. Rear engine air cooled. I’m thinking of replacing the drivetrain with an E golf motor,batteries and charging system. I’m wonder if anyone out there has any experience with Volkswagen to Volkswagen swaps?
 

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1971 GMC 1500
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Short answer is no, but three things that may help:

1. have you heard of EVAlbum.com you can search that site by Make and Model (link provided does just that)​
2. I learned when going the used electric car parts route for an EV Conversion see what's "main stream" ie BMWs Yes, VWs No (Here are some red flags: As of December 2015, a total of 19,131 units have been sold worldwide, ONLY 4,589 units in the U.S. Production of the e-Golf ended in December 2020.) This will show you what's out there in the Open Source world "Free(ish)" VW (VAG, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche etc.)
3. Check out Jehu Garcia's YouTube Channel DIY Electric VW Bus Project Introduction he did a VW Samba I know it's a different animal, but he is very passionate and may be connected to Mike at EV West​

what ever you decide on, take a ton of pics, make some videos, and share, we would love to see your progress and learn from each other
 

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What I have learned in my ev conversion using all used electric or hybrid car parts is that taking the hardware and installing it in the new vehicle is not the problem, controlling it is.

You can not just remove the motor, inverter, and controller from a E Golf and bolt it up in a Vanaggain it won't work. If it is anything like a Nissan Leaf (please check out this brilliant Rob Smith YouTube video 2012 Nissan Leaf Drive System Tabletop Demo where he tries to get it running outside the car on a table top) it is going to look for stupid stuff like the OEM gauge cluster, a bunch of random relays, fuses, junction boxes, and god knows what else, and if you were to painstakingly transfer all that crap to the new (old) car you might as well just do a frame swap and weld your Vanaggain shell aka body on the E Golf chassis (I'm sure they are unibody so that's mission impossible) see what I am saying.

So the motor will need a VCU Vehicle Control Unit pronounced controller, same for the battery charger, those things need to be controlled outside the E Golf, the original components essentially need to be fooled into thinking they are still inside the original car so that they will work.

I am not trying to rain on your parade, I am just trying to prevent you from going down a rabbit hole, think economies of scale, the brilliant group of folks who are reverse engineering this stuff, are probably going for the biggest bang for their buck, so would they rather reverse engineer the Nissan Leaf components (second most popular electric car ever sold in the world) or an E Golf (not even a blimp on the radar)

OK, enouff ranting let's hear a solution: well if I was doing another conversion I would seriously consider the Toyota Prius plug in hybrid dual motor drivetrain and that Toyota indestructible Inverter / Converter / Charger of theirs. Time to get acquianted with EVBMW.com and Mr. Damien Maguire Toyota Prius Gen 3 Inverter Hacked
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the resource material that’s a big help. I have similar concerns about the Voswagon golf. I was looking for someone who may have done it before And have some good workaround. My thought right now is to just buy an entire car (e golf ) so I have all of the odds and ends to put it together.a frame swap wouldn’t be possible but I do think I could take the front axle and drivetrain out of the golf fairly easily. I’ll let you know how it goes. Again thank you so much for replying this is all great information.
 

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There is one interesting VW Transporter T3 (or Vanagon, not "vanaggain") conversion in this forum, but it didn't use e-Golf (or any other VW) EV parts:
Westfalia T3 with Chevy Bolt drivetrain
In his thread, Yabert explains how he mated the Bolt transaxle to VW axle shafts, which may be helpful. The Bolt drive unit (motor and transaxle) are quite compact, so other drive units may not fit in the Vanagon as well.

I'm sure that someone has used e-Golf parts, but as gregski explained they're not plentiful in most areas, so they're not a popular choice of donor, and as a result there is little if any information or parts available to make the swap easier. I thought that the e-Golf would use a motor from a supplier such as Siemens, but apparently VW built the motor (and inverter/controller, and gearbox) itself; they call the motor the EEM 85 (the original 85 kW version) or EEM 100 (the later 100 kW version). Since the motor is unique to VW, it would be difficult to find another inverter already configured to work with it properly.
 
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