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GNR782 12-05-2013 09:39 AM

Newbie introduction
I have enjoyed trying to eek out a little more mileage out of whatever I drive. It started when I had to start paying for my own gas in high school. I enjoy a good display of power in a machine once in a while as well as performance. The engineer in me is interested to see what something is capable of. I have been intrigued by electric and hybrid vehicles. I have recently changed jobs and moved to where I am much closer to work. (2 miles one way) It is now extremely feasible to tinker with an electric conversion project. I have recently made a deal on a 1971 Karmann Ghia in pretty good shape. It had an engine fire and the owner gave up on it. It has been sitting dormant for 5 years. The engine has been taken out so that part of the project is complete. I am in the early stages and trying to figure out what I want to do as far as motor, controller, batteries etc. I am going to get the car this weekend in Central Texas and bring it back to Houston. Any recommendations will be welcome. Anyone close by that would like to join in any brainstorming, wrench turning or just supervising standing around in a garage and telling lies, that's good too.


cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 12-06-2013 05:46 AM

Karmann-Ghias are nice, but wouldn't be my choice for an EV conversion, I'd rather slap a Subaru engine into one.

But it may be a good base for your project, due to the good aerodynamics (taking the standards from its era as a reference), lightweight, and it seems easy to get a good weight balance between the axles to not compromise the driveability so much.

GNR782 12-06-2013 08:49 AM

Thanks, Rooster, for the reply. Subaru engine eh... Interesting. I've had the idea of doing something... anything! I seriously need some tool therapy. I just got the rest of my tools out of hibernation (read: storage) and need to get the wrenches turning, grinders grinding and sockets... sockin'. The electrical-ness of an EV conversion is a little out of my mechanical-wheelhouse-comfortzone and will be a challenge and learning experience. My boys are interested (now) and think the car looks good pre-restoration. They seem eager to assist. The 15 yr old wants me to finish soon so he can fully inherit my Jeep. I will try to keep posting to the forum with updates as they happen.


MetroMPG 12-06-2013 04:54 PM

If you're interested in a conversion, I say dive right in. Everything bit of knowledge needed for doing it was learned on the Internet. :D

(Though I'd also say... 2 miles to work is a very good bikin' distance. Doesn't over-ride taking on a fun project through. Pun not intended.)

ForkenSwift was put on the road ~6 years ago, and the car's still going. (Well, I just pulled it off the road for the winter yesterday.)

Welcome to the forum!

elhigh 12-06-2013 07:27 PM

"Standing around telling lies," dude, I think I'd probably enjoy hanging in the garage with you. If you can't swap BS stories while wrenching, well, the wrenching just isn't as much fun.

With the prismatic Lithium-Ion cells coming out now, I think you have the possibility of building a K-G with some useful range. Maybe not Tesla territory but certainly more than used to be possible in that little chassis. But with only two miles to go on your commute, you could get a few days' trips out of almost any kind of battery arrangement and still have a pleasantly light chassis to drive.

+1 on the biking distance, but it's frikkin Texas. I like to ride too, but when it's as hot and humid as Houston in June, forget it. I'd be wringing sweat before I got out of the driveway.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 12-12-2013 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by GNR782 (Post 402130)
The electrical-ness of an EV conversion is a little out of my mechanical-wheelhouse-comfortzone and will be a challenge and learning experience.

I'm also not so used to electric drive. Anyway, if I were doing a similar project I'd be lurking around a kind of redneck hybrid with a built-in genset...

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