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Old 02-27-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
sailfish11
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Default E-Stang Build Thread

Hi all,

I'm converting a '65 Convertible to an electric vehicle (EV). I posted some info in the new members' forum, then added some more in another thread, so I thought I'd put it all together here (and stop hijacking other threads )

Here's the before picture, as the car looked when I bought it:

Click the image to open in full size.

The guy I bought it from had started converting the car to be a racer about 25 years ago. He swapped out the rear end (to a 9" from a Lincoln Versailles), beefed up the suspension, added four-wheel disk brakes, a T5 tranny, and replaced several panels, the hood, and trunk lid with fiberglass. Then he lost interest (or ran out of money) and the car sat in storage since.

I started looking for a car to convert a little over a year ago. My plan was to do the conversion myself, but I'm in the Army Reserves and got deployed to the Middle East. So I decided to go ahead and buy a car, then pay someone else to do the conversion for me. I found this car on Craigslist and knew right away it was the one I wanted! (My first car, bought when I was in basic training way back in 1985, was a '65 convertible.) The racing mods make the car lighter and stronger, which is also great for an EV.

The car is in a shop in Oregon now, being converted. I'll have the car shipped to my home in NY as soon as it's ready (hopefully in March, when I get home). The car obviously needs a lot of restoring too -- I'll do that myself. My goal is to use the car as my daily driver.

As an EV, the car will go roughly 60 miles on a charge -- more than that in the city, less on the highway. Its performance will be WAY superior to stock. Electric motors have a great torque range, even at low rpms, so 0-60 is no problem. The car should top out at about 100mph in third gear, which is probably as high as I'll go -- but in fourth or fifth, who knows?

I'll put some more photos of the conversion as I go along. Here's some more before pics:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see, I've got my work cut out for me -- both with the conversion and the restoration!
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:52 AM   #2
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holy **** you must be made of money

what is this conversion going to cost you like 40k???????

plus you still have to restore the thing wtf.............

cant wait to see finished product
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:11 AM   #3
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Not exactly made of money, but I do have some extra cash on hand since I've been over here for the last year playing in the desert with nothing much to spend my money on.... I need a new car anyway (sold my old one when I deployed) so this will be my daily driver. I can use my wife's car on the days I need to go more than 60 miles.

This conversion will cost about $25K -- that's way at the high end of what it would normally cost to convert a car to electric. Many have done it for less than a few thousand. The biggest cost is the batteries. My pack is lithium and costs just under $10k, but it should last 10 years or more.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's what my battery looks like. This is actually four 3.2V cells put together into a 12.8V module. I have 98 cells (24 modules, plus two individual cells).

And the restoration won't be as expensive as it might look from the pictures in the first post, the car came with all parts -- they just weren't attached to the car!

Click the image to open in full size.

But you're right, I'll still be droping some coin to bring this car back to life! I plan on many resto-mods (power windows, locks, etc.).

Last edited by sailfish11; 02-27-2009 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:54 AM   #4
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I'm cutting and pasting this from another thread, so that I don't hijack it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gun Jam View Post
I figured the speed controller could be programmed for max amp draw.

Im sure you did the math...the batteries will never pay for themselves when cost is measured against fuel prices right? 5k+ worth of lithium right?

How do you plan to charge them and at what C? You have a total of 60 Amp hours right? Im guessing the lithium-iron is rated for 1c recharge with 20C discharge...Finally what about balancing cells do you have a balance system setup?

Keep us posted...good stuff.

-Gun
The batteries cost almost $10K But they should last more than 10 years. Whether or not they'll pay for themselves depends on what happens to the price of gas during that time. The good news for me is that battery replacement should be about the only 'maintenance' cost for the car during that time -- no oil changes, tune-ups, engine rebuilds, filter changes -- nothing. EVs are practically maintenance free.

These batteries have a max charging rate of 3C and max discharging rate of 3C (constant) / 10C (pulsed). I have a 20A charger, and I'll typically only use about 1/2 the energy (i.e. drive only about 30 mile/day) so recharging should only take a few hours -- and I'll be able to quick charge at home (on a 240V outlet) in half the time.

The car will also have a battery management system (BMS) to ensure the cells stay balanced during discharge (the smart charger will keep them balanced during charging). I'll also have a monitoring system to track cell voltages and make sure everything's good.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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No offense, but why a classic mustang (aka muscle car)? I think it is a cool conversion, since my field is electrical anyways, I think the conversion should be on a car that fits the profile of being electric.

With that said, I say go for it as it will BE a cool finished project. I'd like to see progress pics!
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmetalmilitia View Post
No offense, but why a classic mustang (aka muscle car)? I think it is a cool conversion, since my field is electrical anyways, I think the conversion should be on a car that fits the profile of being electric.
The main reason is because I love the Mustang and think it will be cool.

But the classic Mustang has some advantages for converting too. It's fairly light (< 3000 lbs) compared to its more modern brothers. It's also a simple setup (no on-board computers, airbags, etc.) with plenty of room for batteries.

There were a few other classic cars I considered (Corvair, Falcon, Corvette) but the Mustang was always my favorite. So when I saw this one on Craigslist, with all its racing mods -- that made it even lighter and stronger -- it was a perfect fit.

Besides, I like the idea of expanding the 'profile' of what people think an electric car should be!
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:26 PM   #7
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A 3c charge is impressive but i figured the Li-iron would have a better discharge rate. With 3c you can sustain 180 amps at 340ish volts.....on second thought that ain't no punk. I just expected discharge rate to be at lest 10c

what the pack weight?

and why did you choose the iron over say the lithium-manganese which I believe can support a 15c discharge rate no sweat and is fire safe.
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Last edited by Gun Jam; 02-27-2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmetalmilitia View Post
No offense, but why a classic mustang (aka muscle car)? I think it is a cool conversion, since my field is electrical anyways, I think the conversion should be on a car that fits the profile of being electric.
this sort of thinking is exactly why they dont sell more hybrid cars. if they made hybrids look like sports cars, everyone would buy one! instead they made them look like the offspring of a minivan and a stationwagon cough*prius*cough
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gun Jam View Post
what the pack weight?

and why did you choose the iron over say the lithium-manganese which I believe can support a 15c discharge rate no sweat and is fire safe.
-Gun
Each cell weighs 5.5lbs, so the pack comes in at about 540lbs.

Lithium iron is only chemistry that's got any sort of (good) track record in EVs. There are a lot of other ones out there that look real interesting, but spending $10k on batteries is hard enough, without also wondering how well they'll work.

In the next few years I think we'll see some great advances in battery technology. Prices for lithium iron are coming down (about 50% in just the last year and a half). There are even some people doing great things to improve the old standby, lead acid.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:45 PM   #10
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I saw a camaro converted on a hot rod show and was intrigued by the thought. If I was a smarter man I would consider this option. I am looking forward to your progress pics and updates. Keep us posted and welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:45 PM
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