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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
VW Vanagon T3 with Chevy Bolt drivetrain

Hi

I'm asking myself if DiyEcar is still the best place to put a build thread and to obtain help.
It was the case many years ago when the overvolted forklift motor was the rule, but now?

Well, my plan is to put a 200 hp 60 kWh Bolt drivetrain in a Westfalia... Exciting right?
Yes, but all the electronic and control in the Bolt fear me a bit.
Anyway, I will have the crached Bolt in few days and the West in few weeks.

Let me know if you have advice or help.
Thanks
 

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This sounds like an interesting project, and could work well. I don't have any advice, and with no questions or problems presented yet there's nothing to help with... but I have questions:

Will the Bolt drive unit (motor plus transaxle) will fit into the T3's structure and under the floor? The motor is concentric with the axle, but the reduction gear housing sticks up substantially.

Where is the battery going? In the stock box it is long and wide and wouldn't fit anywhere except in the interior as a huge box of cargo. Are the modules to be re-arranged to be stacked behind the axle in the engine area?

This is, I believe, an image of the bottom of a VW T3 (with the van's rear to the left in the image):
http://www.westfalia.gomez-perales.com/Images/jackpoints.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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My only question at the moment is to know if there is a better place than DiyEcar to start a build thread or if this one is still relevant.
I don't know where else would be more suitable for a DIY EV conversion build thread than DIYElectricCar, and I won't see it if it goes elsewhere (which of course doesn't matter to anyone else).

The forum's future was looking pretty shaky, but seems to be stable for now and I assume that anyone writing a build thread would keep a copy of everything themselves, so they could re-post elsewhere if necessary.
 

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About the Bolt motor, my understanding at the moment is that the reduction gear housing don't sticks up, but the protrusion is facing the front of the car.

https://www.motortrend.ca/en/news/2017-chevrolet-bolt-ev-drivetrain-first-look-review/
Interesting. I've seen quite a few images of the Bolt motor and transaxle, but not in the vehicle; it is usually displayed with the reduction gear housing upward, but apparently that's not the operating position. That video is a really nice presentation. :)

Having the housing protruding forward will help with floor clearance, although that might not have been an issue in the T3 anyway.

The video shows an "electronic precision shift system", which is hilarious, given that the transaxle doesn't shift. Like other typical modern EV transaxles, is a single-ratio design, so the system is just the switch lever and the electrically-engaged parking pawl.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Few pics from the Bolt.
By a lot of chance, no major component was destructed by the accident. Even the fluid heater in the passenger corner wasn't touch despite there is a lot of sheared steel sheet in this area.
Globally, the windshield, the dash and the passager pillar are destruct, but all the others parts are fine.

But, despite I replaced the lost MSD with a temporary solution and I cleared many DTC, the car still don't move at the moment.
By chance, I'm able to see that the battery cells are in good shape at 3.8V.

Next step is trying to find why this car don't move.
 

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I love seeing these projects

Are you planning one of these

https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/hybrid-hot-rod-2-0-pria-ghia-36697.html

Types of projects where the Bolt still thinks it’s a Bolt but with a Westfalia body or are you starting from scratch just tugging out parts and bolting them in?


The guy above can do body swaps to Prii skateboards in a few months normally which if I ever do it it will be how I approach the issue.
 

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Few pics from the Bolt.
By a lot of chance, no major component was destructed by the accident. Even the fluid heater in the passenger corner wasn't touch despite there is a lot of sheared steel sheet in this area.
Globally, the windshield, the dash and the passager pillar are destruct, but all the others parts are fine.

But, despite I replaced the lost MSD with a temporary solution and I cleared many DTC, the car still don't move at the moment.
By chance, I'm able to see that the battery cells are in good shape at 3.8V.

Next step is trying to find why this car don't move.
You'll have to re-flash the controller to erase the permanent codes set by the airbag control module.

Cheapest way is to order a GM VCX Nano, around $120-130 and a subscription to AcDelco Tis. You get a 2 year subscription to one vin for $45 bucks.

Or find a shop that can come out and reflash it for you.
 

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That's a 180-post thread, and no indication in the first or last pages whether the thing actually got built or not. It's not worth it for each of us to spend an hour to read the whole thing to find out. Do you have a link to a specific post (or page) showing the result?

The guy above can do body swaps to Prii skateboards in a few months normally which if I ever do it it will be how I approach the issue.
The Prius doesn't have a "skateboard" structure, and neither does any Tesla; it's unfortunate the Tesla people incorrectly used this term. Cutting away the roof of a Prius leaves a lot more than a skateboard and yet destroys the structure, so the "rebody" project must replace the structure.


The driver and front passenger sit over the front wheels in a T3 (and earlier VW vans); it seems unlikely that the Bolt's packaging of components would work for the T3, even if one were willing to get a front-wheel-drive van out the project.
 

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Few pics from the Bolt...
In the last photo a jackstand is holding up the car by supporting the middle of the control arm. I strongly advise not to do that; the arm is not designed to take vertical load at all, and particularly not there. Even if you're not going to use the control arm, it's just not sound. I would directly support the vehicle structure somewhere; at the control arm pivot mounts would likely be fine.

I assume that the plan is to use just the drive unit (motor and transaxle) - at the rear of course - in a custom subframe with the original VW suspension... so none of the Bolt suspension parts will be used. Perhaps they can be sold to recover some of the cost of the project, if they are not damaged. On the other hand, there may be no market for them yet (since the car is so new).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Types of projects where the Bolt still thinks it’s a Bolt but with a Westfalia body.
Kind of. I plan to do a Westfalia who think it is a Bolt ;)
Plan to transfers all components needed to allow this computer on 4 wheels (the Bolt) to work properly inside a West body.


You'll have to re-flash the controller to erase the permanent codes set by the airbag control module.
I have the VCX nano and I erase many DTC and reset few event, but it seem impossible to reset properly some event.
I'm not able to reset the crach event and I'm not able to communicate with the airbag module to apply the procedure to clear secured high voltage DTCS.
I bet I probably need a new airbag module to allow the car to move despite no airbag and no belt pretensioner have been activate.
Complex new car...:(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I assume that the plan is to use just the drive unit (motor and transaxle) - at the rear of course - in a custom subframe with the original VW suspension... so none of the Bolt suspension parts will be used. Perhaps they can be sold to recover some of the cost of the project, if they are not damaged. On the other hand, there may be no market for them yet (since the car is so new).
Right, right and probably right.
 

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That's a 180-post thread, and no indication in the first or last pages whether the thing actually got built or not. It's not worth it for each of us to spend an hour to read the whole thing to find out. Do you have a link to a specific post (or page) showing
https://ecomodder.com/forum/member-hoopie-albums-pria+ghia-picture8228-5d084ff6-ad33-4e75-8b92-ab4541ccb7be.jpeg

He is in the final stages of fit up, once bodies are matched up limousine style he will weld and structurally finish it off then start replacing doors, trim and interior
The end result will be stronger and safer than the original Ghia with the front crumple zone and drivers airbag intact.
What Ghia do you know of that has traction control and an airbag?
Here is an older video of the tub driving around
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wJwypgZQWS0

The beauty of his method is that the vehicle runs and drives throughout the process, his last Prius build into a 1940’s pickup took a couple of months.
He has been using that pickup as his daily driver and brings it to car shows for the humor and possibly inspiration.
This one will be done in a similar period of time and he has inspired a Prius Mustang build by someone with totally different motivations that too only took a few months to finish.

Getting polluting antiques with rusted out floorboards couple into rolled Prii breathing new life into both is something I hope to see expand.
 

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Thanks :)

He is in the final stages of fit up, once bodies are matched up limousine style he will weld and structurally finish it off then start replacing doors, trim and interior
I think that's very far from the final stage of anything, but I suppose the front and rear clips are in place. As it is, the windshield won't work (even a custom windshield couldn't have a reasonable shape without substantially modifying the frame shape) and the doors will be far too short.

Assuming that the Type 14 Karmann Ghia has the same wheelbase as a Type 1, it's 2,400 mm (94.5 in). That's significantly shorter than even the shortest Prius (the first generation), at 2,550 mm (100.4 in). This is why there is an awkward gap in what has been cobbled together. Although front wheel drive is really unfortunate for an old VW (and would be bad for the T3), and arguably even worse for a classic pickup truck, a truck has an advantage in being easily stretched or shrunk in the cargo box area. Any vehicle combination also has a problem in matching the front axle to driver's position dimension.

A T3-on-Bolt would be even worse, due to the wheelbase mismatch (2,600 mm and 102.4" for the Bolt, and only 2,461 mm or 96.9" for the T3) and and a mechanically more challenging mismatch in driver's position. Fortunately, that's not the plan for this project.

The end result will be stronger and safer than the original Ghia with the front crumple zone and drivers airbag intact.
What Ghia do you know of that has traction control and an airbag?
Here is an older video of the tub driving around
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wJwypgZQWS0
I wouldn't leave a live airbag in anything that far from the vehicle for which the airbag was designed.
Driving around is very different from being structurally sound, but I realize that this is an unfinished stage and just demonstrates that everything functional come from the Prius.

Traction control would be good, and could be had without using any of the powertrain donor's body structure... although I don't know if anyone has done it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have the VCX nano and I erase many DTC and reset few event, but it seem impossible to reset properly some event.
I'm not able to reset the crach event and I'm not able to communicate with the airbag module to apply the procedure to clear secured high voltage DTCS.
I bet I probably need a new airbag module to allow the car to move despite no airbag and no belt pretensioner have been activate.
Complex new car...:(
Is anybody know if I absolutely need to change my airbag module to communicate with him.
Seem like I absolutely need to communicate with him to be able to drive the car and it's seem than when something detect a crash event it destroy this module. Or at least make communication impossible.
A new module is expensive and I would like to have inputs before paying.
Thanks
 

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I had couple conversions with nissan leaf powertrain and all it electronics, as I remember that I even do not connected airbag module, main thing was to erase/eliminate all high voltage and powertrain errors.
 

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I know nothing about airbags but I do know the drivetrain will fit and you will need to cut the half shafts and put extensions on them just as I have done with my Leaf VW. I like this project.
 

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I know that there is a shunt resistor about 1/8 watt probably 1K ohm across the airbag activator that gets destroyed when the airbags go off.

What do the autobody people do to reset the computers? I have heard that if the airbags deploy the car gets insurance totaled.
 

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I have heard that if the airbags deploy the car gets insurance totaled.
Vehicles are declared a total loss when repair costs exceed the value (after salvage recovery) of the vehicle. When airbags deploy there is usually quite a bit of damage (including the expensive airbags and their installation), so it's not surprising that those vehicles are often declared a total loss... but it's not simply a rule that airbags deployed means totalled.
 
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