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WaxyChicken 01-15-2008 05:42 PM

Practical? Possible? Taurus EV Conversion
I've fallen in love with the thought of having an EV.
I'm considering modding my own (it would have to pass the 'wife' test though)
I would like to know how feasible one is for my work commute, though.

possiable project car:
1991 Ford Tarus 4door sedan. Everything is fine but needs a break job.
AC in questionable condition.
cost me $900.
i didn't like it, tried reselling it, no luck. but as an EV?
looks alot like this:

demands the ev modded car would need to meet:
1 - cheap to mod. (i know that modding can range from $1k to $9k USD
depending on what parts can be scrounged for free - the cheaper the better to pass the 'Wife' test)

2 - Complete my round trip to work. One way trip = 26mi, 15 to 45mins
depending on traffic, speeds able to reach ATLEAST 65mph (or i'll have to
spend an extra hour fighting surface street traffic)

3 - recharge within 8 hours.

4 - 'feul' gauge to show me how much of a charge is left.

how I'm considering doing it:
I would like to get rid of fluids as much as possible. I know I'll still need power steering fluid. i'd like to ditch the automatic transmission for something simple like this CVT:
using air cooling i wouldn't have to worry anymore about tranny leaks.

I would like to remove the gas-tank completely and mount the batteries underneath in a splash proof way to hopefully keep trunk space (but how would i water them that way though?) and use the spare-tire space in the trunk for other batteries (i'm considering looking into the new no-air tires or mounting the spare on the trunk or underneath.)

I would like the motor to be brush-less so i wouldn't have to replace it every few years.

I would also look into how regenerative breaking works. (why not? needs a break job anyway.)


Any thought from the community are welcome while i'm considering this project.

It would be my first.

SVOboy 01-15-2008 05:48 PM

Why would you need to keep power steering? I imagine the car is old enough that a manual steering rack from some model could be swapped in, na?

Anywho, there are definately better bases than the taurus, but if you want to do that, then I guess it's important to know the old cd, cda, and weight, eh? Any idea on that?

Also, you mentioned 1-9k, but what's your target price? I'm sure you could go ahead and spend 100k and have a killer ev to blow away a lot of cars, :p. But I'm also sure you know money is usually the limiting factor.

Welcome to the site!

WaxyChicken 01-15-2008 06:13 PM

Thanks SVOboy.
The Tuarus project car is because i was in desperate need of a car at the time, got
it, didn't like it, and am having trouble selling it even though it's a good little

My target price will be between 3 and 4k - and even that will be extreemly hard to talk my wife into (for those of you who are married and only earn 40K together then you know how the wife factor is.)

The nearest i've found for specs are for the SHO model. Mines not a SHO but the year is the same so it should be close.
the major difference between the normal and the SHO models are the DOHC
engine changes.
the sho model:
Curb weight 3440 lbs.
Wheelbase 108 in.
Length 198 in.
Fuel tank 16 gals.
Oil 6.5 qts with filter

other information, which is probably useless, can be found here:

i want power steering quite simply because i like it. (i like it more than A/C and i live in Arizona!!!)

BTW, my accessories are:
ABS, Airbag, Pwr Locks, Pwr Steering, Cruise Control (i don't care about CC),
pwr windows, am/fm radio (i wouldn't mind using a seperate radio if the reception is good), htr/AC (if the car can go fast enough to keep me cool then i'd be willing to ditch the AC in exchange for breeze. but the htr would be needed for fog/frost control during arizona december/jan mornings.)

:) let me know if you need any more info about the project car.

SVOboy 01-15-2008 06:17 PM

Mmm, I've not done my own conversion, of course, but I'd say off hand that that thing is damn heavy, :D.

I'll defer to Darin's judgment right now since he has done this sort of thing already, :p. I'm sure he'll post here pretty soon.

WaxyChicken 01-15-2008 06:25 PM

i'm seeing:
Engine, out.
Heavy tranny, out (lighter CVT tranny in)
Gas Tank out
starter/alternater out (or put to alternate use)
Catalitic converter & exhaust out
? maybe back seat can be modded to carry batteries under the seat?
AC doesn't work, so that won't be hooked up to the resistance (but heat?)
don't need a heater 9 months out of the year.

I'm wondering where else weight can go and space can be added for batts.
(most likely I'll be going with standard car batteries)

I'll yeild to your and the board's greater experience.
(I'd sell it for a lighter conversion car, but no one will buy the damn thing!)

Yaristock 01-15-2008 08:40 PM

I miss my old Taurus but it was a 1992 Taurus so it was much heavier. Not the lightest out of the five generations of Tauri. the forth gen is the lightest. There never was a Taurus with manual steering so good luck at that. It seems heavy but even the little engine could move my big tank.

MetroMPG 01-15-2008 09:23 PM

Hi Waxy - welcome to the site.

You've made a pretty tall order. You've basically specified that you want an AC conversion (brushless), and you want to retain trunk & rear seat space. Unfortunately (for your budget), the only way you'll be able to accomplish that is by using advanced batteries (more energy in a smaller package & at the voltage that AC requires).

The DC series (brushed) motor + golf cart batteries is the most cost effective way to do a conversion. And really, replacing brushes every once in a while is no big deal.

I tend to agree with Ben about the concerns over the weight of the car.

Have you spent some time at the EV Album? It's a great place to go in order to get a feel for how much people have spent on their conversions and what kind of specs they ended up with for their time & effort:

WaxyChicken 01-15-2008 09:37 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh a link! perfect for me to do some nomadding! :D

i'm with the understanding that a motor alone can cost an easy $2k ( USD ) so if i have
to replace it every 2 or 4 years (obviously i'm not much of a motor head, more of a
comp. chip head ) then my wife wouldn't see the lack of paying gas. she'd just see the
cost of the motor. ( she falls victim to the frog in the pot of water analogy. )

You are implying that if i went with a brush motor than perhaps more options would be open. Educate me. :D i love to learn.

I'd like to stay away from the more expensive batteries. Although they would last longer and hold more juice, eventually all batteries must be replaced and it'd hurt less with the standard automotive lead batteries.

I suppose i could sacrifice the trunk and carry groceries and computer junk in the back seat...

My greatest concern is that it can get me to and from work with only 8hour recharge time (crazy work schedule- that's why the freeway option must stay open) and still have room in the back seat for family outings. (i'd convert my wife's lighter Corsica but she'd kill me if she saw it in pieces.)

hum... i wonder if someone would trade me a 4door EV for these two cars....

DifferentPointofView 01-15-2008 10:51 PM

The SHO specs are probably way off. The SHO is basically the SRT-4 version of the dodge neon. Very large engine, and basically everything is tuned for sports car-ness. Your best bet is to find a reliable source for your model if you wanna get numbers on the costs and weight issues.

LOL, have you considered that $10 metro?

WaxyChicken 01-15-2008 11:13 PM

Can't afford shipping costs.

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