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Joe's 280Z EV · 12 January 07

Controller and Electronics front view

Sitting in my overflowed mail queue from this summer and fall (resend emails if I haven’t answered yet) was a few nice in-progress shots of Joe Porcelli’s 280Z electric conversion.

I believe his Z is a 1975 and he picked up most of the conversion parts from Bob Batson at EV America, and it looks like he also took Bob’s suggestion of using a painted MDO board for component mounting.

Controller board side view

Here we can see, top to bottom, a DC-DC converter (I’m pretty sure that’s what it is), the Curtis controller, a heavy duty fuse next to a pair of contactors. To the right of the board you can see the big Anderson connector that allows the board electronics to be disconnected from the battery pack. Then the hinges (left top & bottom) allow the whole board to be swung up to provide access to the batteries.

Front Battery Layout

And here’s what the front batteries look like. First off, as you’ve probably noticed by now, he’s using Trojan J150’s, which on paper looks to be a great 12 volt deep cycle battery if you want to go with twelve volts. The only bad thing I’ve heard about them so far is that if you don’t run your wires just right you can easily block the filling caps. You may also be able to get ganged filler caps.

I’m amazed that he found room for six batteries up front and would love to hear if that involved extensive metalwork and fabrication. Since the Z is rear-wheel drive that has to have helped quite a bit, the motor is covered with a plastic bag below the top battery rack.

Rear battery layout

And here’s the other half of his Trojan Twelve Pack! Nestled in the trunk and looking mighty snug (but not imposing on the back seat it seems: correction, no back seat!).

These photos were from October, Joe has since finished the EV and just registered it (I told you I was behind!). I’ll pester Joe to see if we can get some photos of the finished Z and maybe some info regarding how he likes his EV and the Trojan J150’s.

I’ve added his 280Z to the EV Calculator vehicles list should any of you want to take a peak at the specs.

Thanks, Joe.

Comments 4
  1. — Rich Long    Jan 15, 2007 09:22 AM    #

    Yes, that’s an Astrodyne DC-DC converter. I’m experimenting with the same type.

  2. — Joe P.    Jan 20, 2007 20:57 PM    #

    Yeah, I’m on my second one, the cooling fan inside seems to stop running after a while, but Astrodyne is very supportive and is aware of this issue.

  3. — Blaine    Jun 24, 2008 10:13 AM    #

    I have a 280zx that I am thinking of converting if there is any plans or directions or suppliers you could help me with it would be appreciated

  4. Joe    Jun 25, 2008 14:32 PM    #

    is where we got most of the parts. Here the Z info links: www.evalbum/1436