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LouMan 09-24-2010 08:32 PM

LouMan's 94 Ford Aspire Electric Conversion
Hey everybody,

MPaulHolmes 09-24-2010 10:05 PM

Heck ya, Louman!!! Do you have a camera to take pictures????!!! I want to see that car.

Cancerkazoo 09-25-2010 04:55 PM

I was reading a build somewhere where a guy was restoring an Aspire and converting it. It looks like a nice car as it has ABS and airbags, the insurance co should like that. Fairly light also.

Christopher Jordan 09-25-2010 09:51 PM

Probably be one of the first - if not THE first - EV Aspire. My Aspire (Kia) ABS never worked and the airbags had already "popped" before I got it, but it has an excellent air conditioner; so I have put up with it for 4 years. Interesting conversion. Good luck!

MPaulHolmes 10-01-2010 09:06 AM

I've heard people talk about doing it. My motor gets pretty hot to the touch. It seems like you could possibly make something like that work, but there's also the carbon dust from the brushes, so you might not want to just use a fan directly blowing on the inside of the motor to the inside of the car, if you could rig something like that.

Cancerkazoo 10-01-2010 10:03 PM

Nice motor ! :thumbup:

MPaulHolmes 10-01-2010 10:44 PM

Holy mackerel that's a motor. That is an amazing deal you got!!! Awesome! :thumbup:

Daox 10-02-2010 10:02 AM

Nice project! I wouldn't count on getting heat from an 11" motor though. Paul's motor gets hot, but its much smaller.

For ideas on battery placement and a few other things I'd check out the two aspires on
David Lucente's 1995 Ford Aspire
Lawrence Rhodes' 1997 Ford Aspire

Good luck with the project! Looking forward to updates. :)

Cancerkazoo 10-02-2010 10:47 AM

Some Tim Taylor nomenclature may now be required when deciding on the nameplate for that thing.

Did you get that motor on Ebay?

jackbauer 10-03-2010 01:23 PM

I could get you battery lugs but they would be for metric cable sizes 50mm sq and 70mm sq. I've also got an albright style contactor. Not sure if its working though.

vpoppv 10-04-2010 05:54 PM

$30/piece for batteries is a really good price, but if you don't mind a little extra work, you can call all the places you have in the area that sell batteries and ask if they will sell you battery cores. Not very many places are willing to do it, so you have to make a lot of calls- or even better go in and talk to the manager and explain your project. Most of the batteries you get will be good and just need a charge. You can exchange bad cores for good ones elsewhere, and eventually you will end up with a good solid set to work with. I used to pay $7/each for battery cores, and now I found a place that sells them to me for $2. A word of advice though: don't leave your batteries outside. I got a whole bunch stolen that way.....

Automcdonough 10-04-2010 06:43 PM

ebay?? no kidding. Guess what other website I just opened...

jackbauer 10-05-2010 02:49 AM

drop me a pm with your address and i'll get the bits on the way.........

Automcdonough 10-05-2010 04:07 PM

lol ok well let me know which auction it is and I promise not to bid-war your friend. :)

jackbauer 10-05-2010 04:11 PM

Your biggest problem with used slightly old igbts is switching speed. That one in your spec is horrendously slow. I run a pair of fuji 1mbi800-u4l parts bought on ebay from a guy in germany. They are pritty slow and old 3rd gen parts but have yet to fail. I run 8khz switching frequency. I would look for a 5th gen part if you can get your hands on one. There is a guy in massachusetts on ebay selling some good parts. I'll try to dig out the details ......

jackbauer 10-05-2010 04:33 PM

Powerex IGBT, 400A, 600V, CM400DU-12F Mod 4 Piece Lot - eBay (item 190305777785 end time Oct-28-10 00:30:03 PDT)

these are the guys you need. I'm building a new controller with 4 off. Beauty is that you short the high side gate emitter and it becomes the freewheel diode. I'm using a 15v dc dc converter on the control board in place of the 12v for extra turn on power. Regards calculating the switching times yeh you can do the math but why bother. At the end of the day you need the lowest toff and ton that you can find and afford. Your 1200amp module probably has a very high gate charge hence the slow switching.

jackbauer 10-05-2010 05:17 PM

Those are both good modules for the vintage. That toshiba is widely used in forklift chargers being run at 20+ khz in a switching converter topology. I would still run at 8khz though as it makes life easier on the parts and reduces switching losses by 50% compared to 16khz.

jackbauer 10-05-2010 05:43 PM

Yeh i think the toshibas would work well. i'm too tired right now to go looking up switching times but i did drive them quite hard in a charger design quite recently and they worked well. 700v dc bus and 100amps :) DO put a good snubber between B- and M- and poly caps in parallel with the elecs. To my surprise my caps ( 4 big 400v comp grade elecs) are showing no sign of distress. Another ebay guy in new york sells caps at good prices.

jackbauer 10-06-2010 04:03 PM

no problem i'd had a few too many coffees! I'll send those bits asap.

Automcdonough 10-06-2010 07:28 PM

yes actually this is a precision area.. There's a few threads on here and over on diyelectric about how to set the motor brush timing.. this is one thing you don't want to blow off as a minor detail!

jackbauer 10-07-2010 02:34 AM

Very important to have the brushes advanced AGAINST the desired direction of rotation. I did a few videos on the subject. Here's the first one:

thingstodo 10-10-2010 04:44 PM

How to estimate amp-hours from a couple of short tests?

Originally Posted by LouMan (Post 198022)
my thoughts exactly boydfoose,

I was wondering how you calculate the amphours on a battery if it dosn't tell all the data?
how do you calc the ones that says the amp hours but dont say what the draw is?

I'm interested if there are 'rules of thumb' for estimating amp-hours on used or new batteries, or perhaps a test you can run at a couple of discharge rates to estimate usable amp-hours - there seem to be so many variables in manufacturing (or in how they were used by the previous owner) that affect what current you'll get, and for how long ...

Even when the amp-hours are listed on the side of the battery, that's now what you get out of them. In my example I have a couple of (very used) 100 amp-hour 12V cells that will give me about 15 amp-hours at a 30 minute rate, 30 amps for 30 minutes. You can't do that sort of test in a store or at an auction before buying them. Is there a short test you can do to get a reasonable estimate?


jackbauer 10-12-2010 02:32 AM

Sadly the 20 hour rate or c/20 means very little in an ev. Expect to get a maximum of 50% of c/20 due to peukert effect. This is why forklift batteries are rated at c/5.

jackbauer 10-12-2010 01:00 PM

Your too big concerns there are driveshaft clearance between motor frame and motor to frame rail clearance on the far side of the engine bay. Are you keeping the clutch?

jackbauer 10-18-2010 03:00 PM

i mailed the lugs on saturday. sadly the contactor contacts were too badly worn to be of any use. sorry :(

jackbauer 10-25-2010 04:28 AM

To find the center of blind holes try this: Get a big sheet of gasket paper from an auto supply store. Big enough to span the bellhousing. Now you want a scrap bolt slightly bigger than and of the holes and dirty , oily hands (seriously). Pick one hole and punch through the gasket paper and pin it. Then with your oily hands press down on the paper over the hole positions. The dirt and oil will help locate the holes. Then take a small hammer and the over size bolt and tap around the impressions until the little disc of paper over the hole pops out. Pin each new hole with a bolt and continue. You now have a paper template of the bellhousing. Some engines have a metal gasket behind the flywheel end which saves a lot of work.

I'd caution the use of a lovejoy coupler. It caused me no end of grief. The biggest problem being its tendency to slide apart. Does your gearbox input shaft have one or two bearings? A flexi coupler is a good idea if its a two bearing (most fwd cars are) but something like a tyre coupler where the two ends bolt through the donut would be better.

I had that problem with the clutch. Could only buy a kit for crazy money. So i started calling around independent garages and got 2 discs with perfect centers but ruined linings for free.

MPaulHolmes 10-25-2010 09:13 AM

I also had trouble with the lovejoys coming apart until I (this is going to sound really really crappy... But it worked) wrapped the lovejoys in electrical tape. Not around the circular way, but so that it sandwiched them together. Then I coated the electrical tape in a thin "carmelization" of gorilla glue. It didn't take much to hold them together.

MPaulHolmes 10-25-2010 05:07 PM

Let me know how the Climax shaft collar works for you. Um, I'm not going to make any comments on the name of the company, or the part or anything. I'm just going to say that I hope it works well for you. :D

jackbauer 10-26-2010 02:28 AM

We call em a HRC coupler over here. Bit less risque :)

jackbauer 10-26-2010 02:09 PM

No probs. Sorry it couldn't be more.

vpoppv 10-27-2010 02:28 AM


Originally Posted by LouMan (Post 200900)
man Jackbaur if more poeple were like you and paul this world would be a lot better place, cuddo's to you,
if I lived close to you I would give a helping hand to anything you needed
cuddo's to by buddy Kenny for all his help also, I'll be giving him a big hand on his project when it get's started also.

if anybody got a amp meter or shunt, volt meter, contactor, fuses, dc breaker, cheap I'll be interested also, I made a wopping $40 this weekend on the yard sale, I'm still putting in applications here and there but responces are few and none existant.

Voltmeter is a Harbor Freight $1.99 on sale
contactor: Kilovacs usually go for $35 on eBay
fuses: couple bucks on eBay
amp meter and shunt I haven't found any cheaper than $34 on eBay

MPaulHolmes 11-21-2010 09:31 PM

Louie, that thing is beautiful. You are seriously talented. It looks professional. What do you do for a living?

jackbauer 11-22-2010 02:25 AM

Ya got me beaten hands down! well done :)

SoobieOut 12-02-2010 05:35 PM

Great thread and project!

I have always wanted to follow a cool electric car build on a shoestring budget.

I had a boss who drove a Ford Aspire. We used to call the car "The Speck". One time we picked it up and put it up on the sidewalk at work. The my boss got a nasty email from management about his parking practices.

jackbauer 12-03-2010 05:46 AM

I wouldn't worry about a dc dc. Its not essential especially at this stage. I use a good agm 12v battery , no dc dc and converted all the lights except the main beam headlights to led. AND i'm running power brakes and steering.

Tweety 12-03-2010 06:15 AM

Or you could build a very efficient and reliable one for very little money... But that would probably be a later stage...

A good way to get decent headlights and decrease consumption would be to retrofit HID projectors... They use ~35W instead of the ~55/65W most halogen bulbs of similar output uses... Combined with LED's you get very low consumption...

MPaulHolmes 12-03-2010 08:02 PM

Go to a high school metal shop and get all buddy buddy with them. "Oh, I have this very educational project. Is there any way one of your really smart students could cut this out for me?" I got two 1/4" steel plates for the adapter plate for $10 doing that.

Christopher Jordan 12-04-2010 12:51 AM

Fascinating thread. I have been VERY lucky with my Aspire just leaving it alone! Runs great with everything working. My living situation is so temporary since my condo is being rebuilt. This complex I am in now is not planned for electric cars- an entire floor of parking places- and not even 1 outlet. If your Aspire became similar to the White Lightning electric dragster; I just might begin transferring mine into an EV dragster!

Christopher Jordan 01-26-2011 10:25 PM

Impressive project! I would not have any tips or suggestions of any kind (I would probably confuse you- suggesting "hey! try the green wire!)". Best of luck!

Nevyn 01-28-2011 01:48 PM

Perhaps a PM to Ben Nelson?

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