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Dradus 04-07-2008 10:13 PM

Another greenmodder coming out of the woodwork....
Hey everyone,

I discovered this site a few weeks ago, and I've become obsessed with the idea of tweaking and eking out every bit of mileage I can from my car. My goal will be a little different from most of yours however.

I'm aiming to increase my MPkWh.

I'm in the beginning of an EV conversion, and I will have the opportunity to do some ecomod stuff in between the larger parts of the project, while saving for the expen$ive bits, or while waiting for it to show up.

I picked up a 1991 VW Golf Wolfsburg edition 4 dr 5 speed for $500 off of craigslist. It is in great shape all around, well, except for the blown head gasket, but that doesn't matter much.

After poking around these forums for a bit, and seeing some of the projects others have done, I definitely want to enhance the aerodynamic properties of the car, as each bit of resistance I eliminate extends my range. I plan on most of my driving being around town, but once or twice a week I'll make the 40 mile round trip to the next town, which may push the limit (we'll see) of the battery pack, so anything and everything that helps extend that range will be looked at, at least within <the wife's> reason.

- I'm planning on a grill block, both upper and lower, but I may need just the tinniest bit of air flow to keep the voltage controller cool on hot days. I could probably get away without direct venting if I mount it on a heatsink. I was toying with the idea of milling a liquid cooled heatsink, running the water line along the bottom edge of the bumper to cool and circulate. For the grill blocking material I have access to lots of extruded PVC of various colors and thickness, so thats probably what I'll use.

- Full belly pan. Well, the pan is already pretty flat and smooth on the Golf for the most part. Under the nose and engine compartment will need a pan, as well as the muffler route through the existing floor pan. I don't know if any one has tried this , but I was thinking of using heavy duty industrial shrink wrap for much of it, its cheap, attaches easily, and I can make smooth stand off strapping ribs to hold it off of sharp parts and to even it out. Just kicking that idea around.

- Mirror delete? I'm not sure its kosher with the regs here in Washington State, but I was thinking something ala Aerocivic, with the mirrors on the inside. Thats flippin' sweet.

- Low profile wiper blades. Any suggestions on a brand or if they make much difference? Complete delete is out, as I doubt my wife would go without them, this being Washington and all.

- Moon hubs, thinner tires. The rims I have are the VW teardrop style, which are flat and flush, but they have little teardrop holes for brake cooling. I'm a little hesitant to go with thinner tires, because the car will be effectively fully loaded at all times. Stopping in the rain with over inflated skinny tires = gray hair.

- Spoiler for the hatchback? I'm just learning the ropes of this whole aerodynamics thing, so I don't really understand how much of a difference it will make. The GTi spoilers look cool one way or the other.

- VGs. I have a friend that makes these for private airplanes, so I'm familiar with the concept. Any hard data out there on the real life effectiveness on vehicles?

- Air dams for the wheels?

- Antenna delete. But I like listening to the radio too.... any ideas on how to have that both ways?

- Can you tell its a slow workday? This is an epic introduction post as I look back over it. Jeez....

I'll post some pics once I get home, I'd love some feedback from the pros on this board, and thanks in advance. I look forward to doing all this stuff!

Arminius 04-07-2008 11:41 PM

Yeah, welcome. I've always wanted undertake such a project, but I never have the time.

I'm curious whether or not you have a plan for heating the car.

SVOboy 04-07-2008 11:54 PM

Welcome to the site, it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle of the basic aero junk thus far.

What are your goals for the EV conversion?

MetroMPG 04-08-2008 12:41 AM

Hi Dradus.

That list is a good start for optimizing your EV.

As for the rear spoiler, have a look here and here (starting @ post #78) for examples of partial "Kammbacks" for hatchback type cars.

As for VG's, I've yet to see any evidence that they help in any way at the trailing edge of a bluff body (like a van/hatchback). We know they work on wings, and at the roof/rear window transition on some 3-box sedan configurations.

Anyway, looking forward to reading about your project.

Arminius 04-08-2008 01:10 AM


Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 18390)
As for the rear spoiler, have a look here and here (starting @ post #78) for examples of partial "Kammbacks" for hatchback type cars.

I think your second link was a mistake.

Dradus 04-08-2008 03:22 AM

The teardrop link was helpful Metro, thanks.

Dradus 04-08-2008 03:27 AM


Originally Posted by SVOboy (Post 18380)
Welcome to the site, it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle of the basic aero junk thus far.

What are your goals for the EV conversion?

I'm going for 45-50 mile range and a top speed of 55-60.

18 x 6v deep cycle batteries. I really really wish LiPo was affordable. :(

ADC 9.1" motor 28hp peak

Curtis controller

Its going to be a long term project, as I have a business and a young child to attend. It gives me a creative and constructive way to have fun, learn stuff and just maybe get other people interested in the option of electric cars.

Dradus 04-08-2008 04:49 AM

As far as heating goes, I'll probably get one of those plug in seat heaters, defrost I'll get a 12 heater fan and velcro it to the dash for the winter. I can go out in the AM and turn on the seat heater and the defrost, then go back inside and eat breakfast while its warming up. Since the 110 charger will still be hooked up until I'm ready to go, it can get nice and toasty without taking much of pack voltage hit.

I've owned a few VW of the 60's and 70's era, so I know what its like to have an essentially non-existent heating system. Sucks.

cbergeron 04-08-2008 04:59 AM


I'm contemplating an EV conversion myself. It's much cleaner and easier to work with than a combustion engine. I'm looking forward to seeing/talking about your progress...!

Welcome to the site!

MetroMPG 04-08-2008 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by Arminius (Post 18396)
I think your second link was a mistake.

Yup, it was. I meant to post to AndrewJ's Civic thread. Fixed it, thanks.

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