My dad bought this car in running condition in 2004 off ebay from texas for dirt cheap because he wanted to do an electric conversion for committing to work(about 8 miles round trip) and for small grocery/ hardware store errands. after tearing into it, he discovered why it was so cheap; with bad rust in the usual places and bad repairs from what looked like a high speed sideswipe on the passenger side. He put the car up on a rotissery and replaced most of the bottom sheet metal, and ordered a conversion kit including the motor, adapter, controller, and contactors. After that, it sat until last summer, when I got motivated enough to finish it for him. He wanted a very spartan, lightweight car that could still be sporty and fulfill his range needs, and also experiment with.
Last summer, I finished the motor adapter,built new mounts, and then got sidetracked with school, a summer job, and other projects.
This winter, we decided to just cut out the rear sheetmetal for a little weight reduction and build it back with square tube to hang the battery boxes. Although Li-ion batteries are getting cheaper and have much better specific energy, my dad decided to use lead acids because of their price. The car has 12 12v and one aux for lights and such.
I then built the Polypropylene boxes to house the batteries. polypro supposedly is impervious to the gases the batteries generate during charging and hard discharging.
There are 6 batteries in the back and 7 in the front
A little more weight reduction
The first controller we used was a curtis 1231c, which was a good controller 20 years ago for little put-put electric cars, but is fairly obsolete now. It is totally analog and can only really take 500amps. On the first test drive I managed to fry it. The motor is an Advanced DC fb4001. We also got a DC-DC converter to evenly charge the aux battery with the traction pack, and a 240v charger that should charge the whole pack in 4-6hrs at 80% discharge.
13 Trojan 12v deapcycle batteries. They weigh about 900lbs!
We ordered a reproduction 916 front bumper as well as a few bolts of chop weave, s-glass, and carbon fiber to build new doors and trunks. But I'm trying to get the car running first so I can drive it out of the garage for more space to do layup work.
Two weeks ago I took it out for its maiden voyage but blew the controller. I had never driven an electric car before and wasn't really expecting much, but this thing flies! Easily lays rubber with the thin eco-mileage tires. The only down side was that we got rid of the clutch(a solid coupler made from the clutch plate slips over the motor shaft) , which in retrospect would have been really handy. Since then we have received a new controller, a WarPdrive Industrial 1000a 160v watercooled beast! Surprisingly, this was the bottom of the line for fully digital EV controllers. For about a grand more, you can buy a 260v 1400a controller from NetGain Controls.
For now I will detune it to 500amps, so we don't fry the motor or the 2/0 cable! It's water cooled, has two canBUS ports, and uses and OEM Prius hall-effect TPS. I need to now rewire the controller, build a linkage for the new TPS, and design a hall effect tach sensor that will emulater the aircooled motor's tach signal(so I can use the stock tach). I also need to build the rock gaurd over the heat exchanger
Tiny Coolant Pump
I am also going to cast a plug recepticle that will be mounted centrally on the tailpan, where the trunk lock was: