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Old 05-10-2009, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hit the EV conversion motherlode

In light of recent events involving my proneness for injury involving my finger (I still have all of them), a table saw, my mother's motorcycle, my ankle, my mother's motorcycle's muffler, and my leg...I've been perusing CL for lightweight auto bodies and anything else useful in an EV car conversion. It rains here a lot, and I'm carrying computers around all the time, so I've reconsidered making my own forkencycle and decided to pursue a car instead.

A couple days ago, I found this on CL. If the link is gone it's a $500 72V electric "heavy duty golf cart material handler" with an ADC a89-4001 motor that was allegedly used at a GM plant to transport employees, toolboxes, and welders.

My girlfriend reminded me that we need to be saving up for a house, and after agreeing, I decided to compromise by offering $300 for the thing (I didn't expect the seller to accept the offer), and it flew!

Instead of going to fetch it when I expected to, I spent the whole day fixing the lights on my father's dolly trailer, and getting a temporary inspection sticker. The next day (yesterday) I set off on an epic journey to Grand Island NY. There aren't too many places in New York State that are farther from Binghamton than this island I hadn't heard of up until a few days ago.

On the way I saw some pretty cool stuff


And after about 4 hours of driving, I got the loot:

After another 4 hours and an average trip 18mpg on my father's '00 V8 Tundra, I arrived at my parents house to take a couple photos and drive it up and down the street.



That motor almost looks smaller than the hydraulic pump motor I ripped out of the junkyard forklift, just rated at a higher voltage.

Step 2: Get a host car.

P.S. It's been an epic last couple of days, so I felt inclined to make an equally epic post - sorry it's so verbose.

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Old 05-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pretty sweet loot! Looking forward to what you do with it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mmmmm... Is that the delicious smell of epic conversion? Can't wait to hound you for more eye candy and posts... Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Motor, controller, charger, decent batteries... 300 bucks! Nice.

Grand Island is interesting too - I didn't know about it, right there in the middle of the Niagara River.

Remind us again: what are your goals (range/speed)?
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fascinating! Best of luck with it! I saw a very similar vehicle fully restored as a mini-bus. Interesting base! Enjoy!!
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So what are the Volt and Amp ratings on the motor? Also, how much does the vehicle itself weigh, how much hauling load is it rated for and what is it's maximum rated speed at 72V? How many Amps is the Controller rated for, and does it have a variable Voltage or a single 72V rating?

I don't expect you to have the answers immediately, mind...but once you do you'll be able to make some good guesses concerning the size of your new chassis, maximum speed and range, etc. Also, I recommend you take the take the 72V controller to a Golf Cart or other EV dealer-many controllers for powerful, low-speed vehicles have a built-in governor at the controller which can be bypassed/eliminated by an expert.

Three hundred bucks-great deal!
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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awesome deal for the parts/money.

First thing I'd do (just to tinker with it) is to strip it down as light as possible and see what she drives like at the current weight.

Do you have a battery choice in mind? I'm trying to work out a GB for some LiFE MGPO4 batteries from Valence which would provide you with better range, power all at a lighter weight. I think the cost may be a lot higher though. Just have to wait and see.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks similar to the 36v utility carts I used to use. Similar carts are used at airports for towing luggage carts, etc. If memory serves, they were made by taylor-dunn and would go about 15 MPH, mostly because of the high gearing (13:1 or so) and tiny 8" tires. They had contactor controls for low, medium and high speed (speed being relative, of course 8-)

The 36v motor should have no problem at 48v, and might work at 72v but probably nothing higher. Should make for some fun experiment material. Congratulations on the find!
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow!!! Great deal, I believe you can do a lot with this already!! Keep us posted on futher developments.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Any news? Has the Great Tear Down begun? Found a recycler to take the bones off your hands and recoup some of the cost?

So many questions in this thread

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