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Westfalia T3 with Chevy Bolt drivetrain

72347 Views 174 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  remy_martian
VW Vanagon T3 with Chevy Bolt drivetrain


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.


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Things are going forward. I've start the design of the integration of the Bolt booster brake and master cylinder in the Vanagon.
The Bolt cluster will sit just over the master cylinder.

The most challenging part will be to find another brake fluid reservoir or modified the original Bolt reservoir.
It need to fit under the cluster and don't touch it (in blue on the picture).
Do someone have advice to weld / fix a Chevy Bolt plastic reservoir to ''any other'' plastic reservoir?
Something like these Wilwood pieces might work:

If not, you may have to machine some hose adapters to mimic the fitting on the base of the stock reservoir(s) to connect to a remote reservoir like this

A neat trick is to mount the reservoir somewhere in the line of sight, as your driving, behind a viewing slot in an access cover to keep an eye on the fluid level . Maybe include a small light to view it at night. Another option is to find an OEM remote reservoir that has a float switch that lights a warning light, when the fluid is too low.

Or, use something like this aftermarket unit:
The Model 3 looks like it uses something damned close to a skateboard. See 3:35 here:

Though it's not obvious it wouldn't fold up due to the coilovers being unsupported if it wasn't on the factory carrier, you would support them in a graft onto a host vehicle.

But, the likelihood of matching up wheelbase and track being almost zero, you have to question the bother unless you're building your own car body.

I just knew the "skateboard" people would glom onto this factory video. The so-called "skateboard " in the video is just the front suspension sub assembly, the battery/electronics box, and the rear suspension sub assembly sitting in a fixture ready to be bolted, individually, to the unibody car frame. There's no "board" tying these pieces together other than when they are attached the unibody of the car.

You could cut away most of the Tesla unibody and graft on the main part of another vehicle like the guy with the Prius pick-up. It looks like a lot of work with potentially dubious results. You would probably have to completely redesign the vehicle for strength and stiffness. Think of all of the gaps and seams(some in inaccessible places) that have to be addressed to make a practical vehicle.

With the modular Tesla pieces, It's much easier and more practical to just adapt them to an existing unibody or ladder car/frame. I don't think practicality is the main goal of the Prius pick-up guy.
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