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Old 04-29-2008, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
Peter
 
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I took the plunge! My Saturn conversion

So I bought a 1996 Saturn SL1, 4 door to convert to electric. I have been taking pictures and will post some. I don't want to "reinvent the wheel", so I am going to try and copy what other people have done that works well. That's one reason I chose a Saturn, as it has been done before.

I will try to post what I learn, to make it easier for anyone who does a Saturn in the future.

One good thing about a 1996 is that the speedometer runs off the transmission, so it will be easy to make the speedometer work. No computer to worry about.

Today I started by draining the gas tank. There is a fitting in the filler tube that goes to the tank so you can't put a hose down it to syphon out the gas. I messed around under the back of the car where I managed to remove the filler tube from the gas tank. I could then stick my syphon hose right in the tank an get the gas out.

Then I figured out the easy way to get the gas out. Under the drivers side are two rubber fuel lines, one big one small. The small one is the return to the tank. All I did was put a pan under the lines and cut the return line then start the car. The last remaining fuel poured out and the engine died.

Then I drained the motor oil.

Then I removed the AC compressor. It was not working, and there was no freon in it. Actually, one of the hoses was completely disconnected when I got the car. I won't be reusing the AC.

Thats about all I got done today.

The plan is to get one of the 72 volt Curtis controllers that are on Ebay. Motor and batteries are still to be determined.

Thanks

Peter

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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best of luck with your conversion
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Whoo Hooo! Another conversion!

I always thought Saturns would make great conversions.

Keep us posted.
(said the guy who hasn't done any work on his electric car conversion in two weeks.)

In case you wanted to see the wrong way to drain a gas tank:
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sweetness, good luck with the conversion
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
Peter
 
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Thanks for the encouragement.

That Saturn looked great in the video. I only need about 30 miles range so I plan on using much less batteries. I was hoping to still have useable trunk space on mine. I may go with 12 batteris x 6v, four in the front and eight in the back? Still TBD (To be determined)

I was hoping to not have to do suspention improvements.

Thanks

Peter
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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loved the video...
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
Peter
 
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So carrying on with the conversion.

I am going to try and strip as much as I can from the engine block. I want to make it as light and as small as possible to make removal as easy as possible. There are many aluminum parts as well and I figure I can get more from metal recycler if it is separated.

I drained the coolant, removed the rad and rad fan. I removed the exhuast manifold. I am starting to take the head off. I took the valve cover and vavles off. I almost got the head off, just a few more bolts.

After some consideration. I have decieded to remove the engine and transaxle in one piece. I posed this question on EVDL, and it was suggested to do it this way. I originally thought I would remove only the motor and leave the transaxle in, just so I would have less work to do. The reasoning is you can bolt the electric motor to the transaxle on the work bench and test it first. It will also be easier to do it on a bench. Now my problem is I have to clean off my tiny workbench.

On another note, my wife, who agrees with the idea of having an electric car, has already yelled out the front door "GET AWAY FROM THAT STUPID CAR" It's going to be a long, hard conversion!


Any advice is appreciated

Thanks

Peter
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well i was at a place last night where a guy had converted a SL1. He had all the batteries in the trunk (12 of them) and did not do any suspension improvements (and it looked it) the motor was on out of a 48v forklift (he estimated 16 hp) and was directly connected to the tranny so he had no clutch, the controller was also from the forklift. He had a range of about 30 miles and a top speed of 65 i think. He drove it for about a month then the controller gave him problems and he hasnt fixed it yet, He was thinking about replacing it with an alltrax controller but i dont think that is big enough is it? He said he would sell it to me but i already have a car so the price would need to be right. BTW the conversion did not look to hard but then again i was not the one doing the conversion.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heynow999 View Post
On another note, my wife, who agrees with the idea of having an electric car, has already yelled out the front door "GET AWAY FROM THAT STUPID CAR" It's going to be a long, hard conversion!
Yeah, my wife is such a sweetheart, except for my obsession with energy saving things. It's only after I've made changes and she can see the benefits that she likes them. It's good that your wife wants the conversion.

I have no advice for you, but I will watch your progress with envy, and hopefully learn enough to do it myself.

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