the best tool for removing old ICE - the Gorilla bar
just like a rotten tooth - out it comes
the hunters gather for a trophy shot
Randy's '83 Plymouth Scamp project begins ...
the oil demon has been expelled
The scamp weighed 2305 before, and at this point I have lost 275 lbs. in engine, exhaust, rear bumper and gas tank. I still have the starter, alternator, radiator, AC unit, etc. out, but have not yet weighed them.
Was able to work on the Scamp last weekend and made good progress. I started at the rear and removed the bumper (remember I am going to sculpt a new back end), tailpipe and muffler. A previous owner had removed most of the smog control stuff, but I was surprised to see that included the catalytic converter (should be in the center of the exhaust pipe), so this car was extraordinarily dirty. Maybe being electric for the rest of its life will kind of make up for its earlier transgressions.
I was especially glad to pull the gas tank, knowing this car would never again use a drop of petrochemicals, foreign or otherwise.
Since last weekend I pulled the radiator, overflow reservoir, battery and bracket, fan, tagged all the electrical wiring and pulled the harnesses out of the way. I will pull the a/c unit, alternator, and power steering pump Saturday, and have invited the local electric auto club to an "open garage" party Sunday afternoon when we will pull the greaseball engine. Woohoo! That will be the first real milestone for the conversion.
Rolling resistance (tire friction, drivetrain losses, and aerodynamics) is critical to an EV, as is weight. The parts in the picture weighed 55 lbs and the motor I'm guessing at a couple of hundred. With a little luck and trickiness I hope the conversion will not add much total weight to the car. We'll see.
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Last Saturday I worked late into the night getting the infernal combustion engine ready to be removed. That entailed pulling everything I could in the engine compartment and labeling all the wires that connected everything.
Sunday, two of the ACEAA members came with tools and an engine hoist. We rolled the Scamp to the edge of the driveway, attached a chain to the engine and hoisted. It would not come up. Then one of the guys saw the 1 bolt that I missed holding the engine to the transmission, and after some double jointed wrenching and miscellaneous chicanery with a pry bar, the engine came up and out.
I took the motor to a scrap metal yard where they weighed it (220 lbs.) and gave me $4.80 cash. Woohoo!
I convinced my wife that she really could tow me in the Scamp to and from a local self-service car wash where I cleaned the engine compartment, never to be greasy again. Since then I’ve done a little body work, filling in the holes where decorative rails attached to the sides of the bed.
I have been looking for a motor, and could not decide whether I wanted to get a separately excited motor (known as sepex motors - where the field windings are finer than in the more common series motor and take less current to create the same magnetic field) or what. I found some surplus sources of potentially suitable motors, as well as some very good prices on motors and controllers from a Chinese company, but was shy of the surplus because of unknown condition, and shy of the foreign motors due to unknown quality and lack of tech support.
Ultimately, I decided on not one motor, but 3! They are permanent-magnet motors, each producing about 10 continuous horsepower and 3000+ RPM at 48 volts. I need about 20 hp to roll down the freeway so the 3rd motor should help go over the little hills between home and work, as well as help get the Scamp rolling from a stop. I know 30 hp seems terribly low, but that is continuous and the early VWs had only 36 hp peak. The Scamp’s ICE was claimed to produce 96 hp at ~ 3k RPM, but I drive in hyper-miler mode – slow and smooth, so we’ll see how gutless it is.
Anyway, the reason for the change in motor plans was the realization that though a separately excited motor takes less current to achieve the same magnetic gauss in the field as a series motor, a permanent magnet motor uses zero current for the field - thus allowing the car to go farther on the same theoretical battery capacity. The present plan is to run the 3 motors in series, through 1 controller at up to 144 volts (3x48=144). I have heard of people using multiple motors with a controller for each, but it seems that would be hard to get/keep the motors synchronized. It is important that no single motor significantly out-pulls the others, since these motors are known not to take high current for long periods without overheating.
The downside to using 3 motors is that instead of having to make one motor adapter to the transmission, I have to adapt to the transmission and make 3 motor mounts and use cog-belt pulleys to tie them together. The upside is that I can tweak the pulley sizes to fine tune the relationship between the motors and the drive train so that the motors draw the lowest average current at typical vehicle speed. The other awesome advantage is that each motor weighs 22 lbs, so all 3 will weigh 66 lbs, less than one half of a comparable series or sepex motor. Weight is the enemy!
So that is where I am at now - just doing a little body work closing up the holes in the front of the Scamp to make it more aerodynamic, looking for a suitable 144 volt controller, and waiting for my motors to arrive.
Best wishes to all,
1991 Toyota MR2 in process
"we are only using these puny little batteries and motor "
"I know the engine was just here a minute ago"
homemade ABS battery boxes
single, double, five and four = 12 = 144V
it goes somewhere around ... here
test fit for two Trojans up front
adapter plate and coupler by Revolt in Austin, stock pressure plate and flywheel.
The turbo model has the half-shaft supports bolted to the engine block. This will have to be replicated on the new engine mounts. The non-turbo MR2 has the supports going to the car frame so this wouldn't be a problem. Better tranny with the turbo but harder installation.
beautiful job by Revolt on the adapter plate and coupler. the transmission had 3 mounts so that made it easier. the motor mount is being figured.
a motor mount only a mother could love. the half-shaft mounting was tricky but worked out fine. the bracket below takes advantage of the motor lifting bolt hole.
a crowded shop but never too many EV's. notice "the thing" in the corner? soon to be "the EV thing".
The two-bar system at work again. It seems to work well - two big bars across the main car frame members to support the battery box and then two small sub-rails for electronics. A bit cluttery here but more pictures will show this better. This is gonna be a nice EV!
ok, I'm stumped for a caption but I know there's a good one here ...
All the metal work is done, just simple wiring left. First drive next week!
The electrical box is done and the controller, box and DC-DC are mounted on the electronics bridge. The charger is mounted in the trunk with five batteries. Four more will go in the engine bay with the electronics.
Potbox, contactors, inertia switch, shunt, fuses, relays, circuit breaker and lights all prewired and connectorized.
two of many EV cycles and scooters in Charles collection
Finished welding, mounting and wiring - all tests passed and the car is basically done. It's being disassembled for powdercoating and cleanup.
AMP CPC connectors were used for house wiring to the electronics box.
Throttle cable connection to potbox.
First drive on 5/12/09. Everything is working well. A few more days to clean up the body and interior, and then install some battery box fans and lids.
What a nice EV this car makes! The two-seat mid-engine design allows plenty of easy access to the flooded batteries. It has a perfect tunnel from the front compartment to the mid-engine compartment for instrument wires and battery cable conduit. The motor/tranny dropped in easily and it had three tranny mounts so only one simple motor mount needed to be made. Everything fit just right in this car - highly recommended!
The red cross-bar is stock for the turbo MR2. It was powder-coated to match the rest and fits back in over the batteries and electronics.
Magnetic signs and future charge port.
converting 1979 MG Midget
Curb weight 2300 lbs.
11/14/09 - I plan to take care of the body work first and then start the EV Conversion. I have removed the I.C.E., transmission, gas tank, exhaust system and radiator. As you cen see in the pictures it's down to the bare bones. Hope to have it up and running sometime in 2010.