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Old 10-06-2009, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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want to a vechile build

hi, i am new to electric vechiles but have always had a big interest in using low fuel bikes and cars (i currently drive a 50cc scooter) and i wanted to know how to get started on a self build starting with a electic motor that gave out as much power as a 50cc engine. plus i would like some pointers on where to learn about and buy breaking systems and other aspects of how a normal car parts will fit with an electric vechile. hope this doesnt sound too much like a stupid question. kindest regards, Philip

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Old 10-07-2009, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What type of 50cc engine? a 1hp moped engine or a 12hp 50cc race bike engine?
I would go with something like an E-tek motor as it is going to be more then enough power for you, is common and is designed for this type of project.
as for brakes, I would start with a base vehicle, that way you have a VIN, a title, wheels, a frame, brakes and you can buy brake parts based off that vehicle.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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where can i get a base vehicle? and the rest of the parts i will need?
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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bjjwarrior I think this project is going to be beyond you, stop now!

For others who want to do this you can start by finding a base vehicle in your local classified ads, craigslist, junk yard, Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market, friend with a yard full of old cars, your own yard full of old cars.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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stop now! thats a bit cold but understandable. i know it would be a big task but can you give me some advice on where i can start from? books to read or programmes to study? i would really appreciate any help. regards, Philip
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OK don't try to break any new ground, you have to walk before you can run. Find something that someone has done that you like, then copy or buy it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I can see you're enthusiastic about the project, but it looks like you haven't had a lot of experience in the field, yet. So here's my suggestion:

Build a go-cart instead.

It isn't that hard to find a frame. If you're even a lousy welder, you can make one that'll work well enough to hold your weight and bear the stresses of the drivetrain. You'll also have a lot more room for mounting stuff: batteries, motor and the like.

Why a go-cart? Well first of all, you can't title and register it for street use. No way. So there's that stressful process eliminated from consideration. Build it well enough to haul you around, preferably in a hair-raising and entertaining fashion, learn a lot of stuff along the way, and most important, this gives you the opportunity to, while you're at it, meet a lot of people who've done this kind of thing already and can give advice both on this project, and on the next one - the one you DO want to ride on the street. When it comes time for that project, you've already gotten your hand in, have experienced acquaintances who know your name and what you're about, and only have the untested waters of titling and licensing to go through.

When it comes time to retire the go-cart, you will probably be able to reuse lots of pieces: the motor, controller, batteries will all be small form-factor models, since even though we're talking about a go-cart, it's still a lot tighter a fit than, say, a Geo Metro. So fitting componentry will be something you've already got a little bit of experience in. The weight of the go-cart will be comparable to a full-up scooter - unless you go with a big cart, in which case you'll be shedding lots of pounds with the scooter. The motor, if you can reuse it, will be all the power you could hope for.

I'm not an EV builder, but I've been reading every EV publication I could get my hands on for about the last 30 years. So my recommendations, while untried, aren't completely ignorant.

Etek motor if you can find it. They're fantastic motors. Pricey, but worth the investment.
See the EV section in this forum for more info on PWM motor controllers. You may be able to roll your own.
Sealed LA batteries, for ease of installation. Wherever they fit, whatever direction, sealed LA lets you get away with it. Mostly.
48-60 volts is lots and lots of speed with a small vehicle and an Etek. Warning: you might kill yourself. Just so you know.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, my response was cold but I've also seen people build stuff that nearly killed them because they have no idea what they are doing and when it comes to building a car and not being sure how to design a brake system? you shouldn't design your own brake system, use off the shelf parts that have been tested and proven.
If you want to make a road worthy electric vehicle start with a bicycle or a recumbent trike, if you want to build a vehicle from scratch I agree with the go cart, E-tek motors are nice because they are cheap ($500) for a user friendly motor and they are avalible new and used.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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sorry maybe i didnt explain too well about the breaking system before but i am more or less looking for a real life lego set style of thing to start off from. so off the shelf parts would be perfect. i have been looking at starter packs for building an electric bike on places like ebay and other simple electric vechile sites. i want to start from a very basic level and move from there. so with saying that does anyone know of a site or company that sell all the parts i will need to build my first project? plus i would also like to be pointed in the right direction in tutorial materials as well. thanks
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My honest reply, having built and restored cars, is that if yoou have to ask where you get a base vehicle from and the various parts to just make the car go and stop then you need more knowledge and experience first.

As a car builder I read a library of around 30 books on motor vehicle engineering and went to college to study the same, I then went to university and did a mechanical engineering degree and also took a welding qualification. I wasn't a professional, I just built for fun because I knew what I was letting myself in for.

If you want to have an electric car then your best bet, after playing with go karts and cycles, would be to get a perfectly sound and road worthy car with a blown engine and then convert just the drive to electric by removing the engine and replacing with a suitable motor. Then add a controller, batteries, charging and battery management system. Maybe add an electric power steering pump and electric vacuum pump for the brakes.

That makes the job manageable and the kart and cycle experience will safely introduce you to electric drive and battery management.

Have a look at http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/ for more advice on getting parts for any electric conversion.

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