Convert this car to Electric?

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ArcticFox
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Convert this car to Electric?

Feasible?

1993 Plymouth Sundance Duster, v6, 4-speed auto, FWD transverse engine, 2-door (3-door hatch), 2,500 lb curb weight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Sundance
//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/1993_Plymouth_Duster_green.jpg/800px-1993_Plymouth_Duster_green.jpg)

I've owned 5 of these types of vehicles (1988-1993, Sundance/Shadow/Duster) in a row. I think this might be an interesting project to convert. It's had the tranny replaced once already, engine needs work, body starting to rust. I 'm wanting to gut out the interior for some extensive modifications... should I just go all the way with this beast?

dogman
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

Looks light enough, and assuming it's a stick shift, a decent start. But since electric cars last like, 20 years, maybe a rust free one would be best.

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nasukaren
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

Go for it! You'll be spending more on batteries+motor than the car is worth, but it's all totally portable so you can just jump hosts when this one rusts through!

Working on a Piaggio Boxer (mo-ped) EV conversion: http://gpsy.com/ev

dogman
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

True enough! A really good conversion can cost more than the price of some new cars. One nice thing, once you have the parts to go on the rusty one, you are all set to swap em to a non rusty one you find later. If you only need about 15 miles range, it can be pretty cheap to convert. It just gets expensive if you want to go 70 mph for 200 miles. See the asking price of a Tesla for what that can cost.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

reikiman
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

Recommended to read Convert It not to take his suggestions word by word, but he has a lot of experience and wisdom in the book. One idea is that the vehicle one converts ought to be really popular so that you can always get spare parts. That's why he chose the VW Rabbit as the example to convert, because at the time there were zillions of Rabbits.

I wouldn't convert a car that's rusted out, though. Seems like a waste of time? Unless it's not badly rusted out?

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

ArcticFox
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

It's not real rusted, enough to get my attention, though; two 4-inch areas on the body, areas around the fuel pump, and I had a mechanic tell me he would not attempt to put new rear brake shoes on unless I had parts for the entire drum assemblies - rusted to the point where he can't get the originals off without damage.

I'll see about getting that book, Reikiman. :)

One thing I thought of today: are these electric motors waterproof? Can I drive through puddles? How about salt water effects?

<table border="0" style="border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;"><tr><td>
<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
[size=1][color=black]www.[/color][color=#337799]BaseStationZero[/color][co

PJD
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

AF,

As dogman mentioned, you really need a manual transmission.

An automatic transmission requires continuous power input to keep it's hydraulic system pressurized. Otherwise, the transmission is always in neutral. The idling IC engine normally provides this - but you wouldn't want to "idle" an electric motor.

There is probably a way, with enough custom machine-shop fabricating to somehow connect the motor directly to the differential gear - but it seems it would be expensive compared to finding a car with a manual transmission.

reikiman
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

Oh yeah, automatic transmission. I don't really know this for sure .. but one of the times I talked with Otmar was while looking at a 1984 Subaru station wagon he had for sale (which I was thinking to buy). One quibble over this station wagon was the automatic transmission. As PJD said automatic transmissions are not normally done by EV converters and manual transmissions are the norm. What Otmar explained to me is that the constantly spinning gas engine keeps the transmission fluid ..er.. pressurized? It was over 10 yrs ago and I don't quite remember. He also explained that some people thought (or had tried) using a small motor to keep the pressure going in the transmission would do the trick. Otherwise when you take off from being stopped the transmission will jump a bit until the pressure builds back up again.

Another thing about EV's and the transmission is I regularly see people say they don't even shift. They just leave the transmission in 2nd and don't worry about shifting.

A thought; Maybe in the EV Album there is someone with an automatic transmission..?

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aevalbum.com+automatic

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

rgx
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

One thing I thought of today: are these electric motors waterproof? Can I drive through puddles? How about salt water effects?

Depends on which motor you buy, some of them are sealed but perhaps not waterproof - as in can be installed and operated under water. But either way, you can be sure they are as safe as all other electrical motors already in the car. Have you looked at the starter motor or alternator in the average car? Notice they are not sealed or anything, and the alternator has a fan blowing air through it. When driving on wet roads or in rain they will be sprayed with water.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

As mentioned above - keep looking for a stick shift. The plus side is that they'll be even cheaper when you find one!

A lot of people rave about "Convert It" - I didn't like it so much - you can have my copy (if I can find it).

I recommend Bob Brant's Build Your Own Electric Vehicle - I much preferred that one.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

dogman
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

Sounds too rusty to me. Ideal cars to convert, manual tranny of course, are geo's suzukis, honda hatchbacks, and wierdly, small trucks. The little hatchback cars are just plain light, like under 2000 lbs, and make great cars for 10-20 mile ranges on the cheap. To carry enough batterys to go places, the little trucks can handle 3/4 ton loads of lead batteries, and cost a lot more to build. My grocery getter trike(electric bicycle) has 8 mile range for $750. Hard to beat that for cheap. For another $600 it can go 15 miles with lifepo4. When people talk about range, remember that it's usually at half throttle or less. Real world homebuilt e-car ranges are usually well under 25 miles.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

ArcticFox
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Re: Convert this car to Electric?

After doing a more detailed inspection on the car, there is a lot more rust on it that I originally saw - apparently growing pretty fast (in the desert?!). I'm now working to slow that down, but you guys are right; this is not the car to be used for EV conversions.

And to think my last car, a 92' Shadow, was a 5-speed standard and had a blown motor - I stripped it of spare parts for this one. I should've done that the other way 'round. :(

<table border="0" style="border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;"><tr><td>
<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
[size=1][color=black]www.[/color][color=#337799]BaseStationZero[/color][co

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