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Old 03-16-2012, 01:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I would check ebay regularly. Try doing vague searches. Every now and then you find a good DC heavy forklift motor in a strange category. Like if you type "dc motor", it will put up around 30,000 results, but then narrow it down by going to surplus or motors, or something like that, and then just go one at a time. I found 2 DC motors that way, and an AC motor suitable for a car for like $90 including shipping.

Then for a controller, you can do a super easy version if you find some igbts on ebay. Also, I would get an ev200 contactor from ebay. They are around $70 new. Then get a fuse on ebay. I like ebay. Then you need a throttle pot or a hall effect throttle. The hard part is mating the stupid motor to the friggen transmission, but you can pretty much bootleg that, or pay someone to do something. Then you can get a pile of crap batteries for like $10 each if you search around for awhile, and that will at least let you get a few miles of range while you test everything out. Then you can start the official saving for fancy pants batteries.

I wouldn't really bother with any of this though, since gas just keeps getting cheaper, and the middle east is on the verge of peace, and the earth just keeps getting cleaner. hahaha.

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPaulHolmes View Post
I wouldn't really bother with any of this though, since gas just keeps getting cheaper, and the middle east is on the verge of peace, and the earth just keeps getting cleaner. hahaha.
And here I thought gas would only continue to go up in price seeing as its a limited resource and all and the middle east hates our guts... Maybe I don't need to spend all this time and frustration converting a car. Thanks for talking me out of it and helping me to see the light MPaul! :P

Ideally I'd like to find a cheap forklift motor as that seems to have been good enough for several builds that I've seen. But on the other hand I've also seen a great many builds that bought the fancy 4001 DC motor. Since I'd like to do this whole project as inexpensively as possible the forklift motor is what I'll be concentrating on finding and lead acid batteries for the battery pack. If I can prove to myself and my wife that I'm able to do this maybe for the next project I'll get to do something sexier with the fancy pants batteries with maybe a convertible top... one can dream right? But anyways, off to search for forklift motors.

-Brad
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm impatient, cheap and lazy, so my suggestion is to buy a used electric car or someone else's half finished project and finish putting it together, there are a handful of EV's on Ebay right now that pretty much just need batteries, EV Photo Album: Our Electric Cars on the Web has a classified ad section as well and sometimes you luck out on Craigslist too.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I just bought a DC motor from EPC Corporation in Massachusetts - they still may have some used motors left. They did have some 8" + 9" motors that they used for testing. I paid $388 + 50 shipping for a used Prestolite 7.5X18". A bit small, but for my application it should word. Give them a call 508-923-9503 and make sure you leave a message when they don't answer - they will call you back.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Truth be told, if I were looking for a vehicle (as opposed to looking for "a project"), I'd buy a used Solectria Force. They're a slick little car, very efficient, have regen, and the price now is more than competitive with a DIY EV. Assume it will need batteries of course.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I wouldn't really bother with any of this though, since gas just keeps getting cheaper, and the middle east is on the verge of peace, and the earth just keeps getting cleaner. hahaha.
Ha! I almost fell off my unicorn laughing when I read that.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hello everyone! My name is Donovan Gibson and I just wanted to throw my two cents in here about my time converting a 1994 Geo Metro. I am 18 and undertook this project a year and a half ago with my father. I started out with a $400 refurbished Baker Electric forklift motor from ebay and a $500 donor car. The batteries are some fairly crappy large car batteries, 12 for the drive system and a thirteenth for the car electronics. The vehicle has a 15 mile range at 60MPH and a top speed of 65 MPH. I use this for my daily commute to school and back, although since the school is 12 miles away I have to let it charge during my classes. The amp draw is 55 amps at 60 MPH and 60 amps at 65 MPH with 145 volts. There have been no modifications to the exterior of the car. Without passengers the car weighs in at 2140 Lbs. To go 50 miles a lithium pack would be ideal.

Just my two cents!

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Old 03-18-2012, 05:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Since I'd like to do this whole project as inexpensively as possible the forklift motor is what I'll be concentrating on finding and lead acid batteries for the battery pack. If I can prove to myself and my wife that I'm able to do this maybe for the next project I'll get to do something sexier with the fancy pants batteries with maybe a convertible top... one can dream right? But anyways, off to search for forklift motors.

-Brad
I'm just another guy like you, dreaming of a conversion down the road, so, I'm not talking from experience here. But, I have to say, from examining battery specs., comparing prices and reading lots, I have to agree with MPaulHolmes on the batteries. Every time I run the numbers, lead seems to come out the most expensive in the long run and LFP's the cheapest. You have to factor in cycle life and that a lead acid pack has to be larger to store the same energy. Lead is cheaper up front, but lithium is cheaper $/mile. If you spend all that money on lead and it doesn't do what you want it to, your wife may shut you down for good.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I will also speak from experience on batteries. I *hate* my lead-acid battery pack. It's heavy and does not put out much power in the winter. In the summer I can floor the car and get to school in no-time, in the winter I have to hold at 45 MPH in order not to be stranded...
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Lead acid batteries just don't like to be discharged, I have lead acid batteries and am doing just fine, I have a 40 mile range and if I have to run a bunch of errands around town I can put on 20 miles in a day but most of the time it's 4 miles each way to work over some decent hills and I plug in at work, so I'm able to keep my lead acid batteries very happy, someone at our local electric auto club meeting the other day said that you can expect a lead acid pack to last around 3 years... I'm going to be starting out on my 3rd summer this year and I don't think I've lost any range yet, but like I said, keeping lead acid batteries happy is key, of course when it is time to replace them I hope to go with Lithium, but it looks like for my car that would cost about $4,000 to $6,000 at this time while lead acid was $900 and has gone up to about $1,200 last I checked.

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