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Lists of Lists · 5 December 05
It’s that time of year.
Time to make lists.
We’ve had a few folks wondering what needs to be taken out of the old donor car, what to keep, and what “new stuff” goes into making an EV. I’ve posted partial lists elsewhere but never a full, comprehensive list.
Not that these lists will be comprehensive right off the bat. I’ll probably forget things and everyone’s EV will be slightly different.
The first list shows everything coming out of the donor car. How you remove this stuff is up to you: do it yourself, hire someone, or maybe the local High School shop class would be interested? In a perfect world we’d go to the local car dealer and order a “glider”, a brand new car without any of the gas engine stuff included.
Hey, we can dream…
Some of the parts might find use in the EV, if so I’ll put a yellow check next to the name. Green checks signify things you’ll probably be keeping. Even though you have no use for the other items you should still be careful while removing them. You never know what someone else might find valuable.
Instead of cutting wires off try to disconnect the connector and label the wire left behind with masking tape, if you can. You may never, ever need the wire but it’s far easier to get rid of it or put it out of the way if it says “engine heat sensor” than trying to discover what it is after the fact.
- R.I.P. First drain oil, anti-freeze…you’ll thank yourself later.
- Radiator Fan
- Nope. In fact you can probably close up most if not all of the front grill.
- A/C & A/C Radiator
- You can keep the Air Conditioning by hooking it to the main motor or even a separate electric motor. If so you’ll need the A/C radiator. Be careful unhooking compressor from engine and around the A/C hoses.
- Gas Tank
- Gone! Ditto with fuel pipes and pumps and sensors.
- Heater Core
- Located behind dash. You can buy an electric liquid heater option that hooks to this core and uses anti-freeze to transfer heat. Me, I go electric
- A few EVs use only a DC-to-DC converter to provide the normal system 12vdc (lights, signals, meters, etc..), others opt for the battery and the DC-to-DC.
- I suppose you could rig up the old alternator to the DC motor instead of using a DC-to-DC converter.
- Unless you are springing for a custom gear box/AC drive then most likely you’ll keep the old tranny and adapt the DC motor to it. Most EVs use manual transmission because they don’t have to rig things up to keep the transmission hydraulics “pumped.”
- Yes, maybe, no? I don’t use a clutch, others swear by them. Depends on who’s driving the car, etc.. Unless you have regen the motor can’t be used to slow down the car (as you might do with a gas engine), so downshifting to slow down isn’t applicable. If you choose not to keep it then you can also get rid of the pedal and any cables/hydraulics.
- I’ve never used them, but some EVs do. Helps keep a “load” on the motor, especially when shifting with the clutch.
- Brakes/Master Cylinder
- Yep, still need brakes. In fact without the gas engine to make vacuum you’ll need to install an electric vacuum pump and additional reservoir.
- Muffler system
- All of the pipes, catalytic, muffler, and those rubber-hangy things…gone!
- Radiator Reservoirs
- Not needed.
- Wiper Fluid Reservoir
- You’ll need this and the windshield drive motor of course.
- Power Steering
- This includes a pump and a whole bunch of pipes. We found that our first EV was easy enough to steer without any power assist. Maybe if you spend each day parallel parking you’ll disagree. To keep you’d have to rig up some sort of connection to the drive motor or use a separate motor.
- None of this is useful for the EV, although some cars have a wire attached to the distributor for running the Tach. Keep this wire around, labelled, in case you decide to rig up a tach drive for the new motor.
- Mount brackes
- The old engine and transmission will have a bunch of brackets hooking them to the frame and chassis. Keep those, you’ll need to mount and brace the new DC motor and these may come in handy.
- Heat panels
- Your gas car puts out a LOT of heat, Summer and Winter. All of the heat shield panels, underneath and inside, can be removed.
- Spare Tire
- Depends on your commute. Some folks leave it at home to save weight and/or because they use the space for batteries. Carry a can of fix-a-flat instead?
- To keep gas engines running these days requires one or more onboard computers. We don’t need no stinkin’ ‘puters!
- Dummy Lights, gauges
- If you are pulling apart the dash then some of the meters will no longer be needed (fuel, oil, heat) and some of the dummy lights can be removed out as well.
- Air Intake/Cleaner
- Not needed, what little air we might need for cooling the controller can come from anywhere (small fan).
- The large cable, relays, and wiring just for turning the engine over aren’t needed.
- You’ll need all that and a bit more if you have a heavy set of batteries (and most of us do).
- Factory Radio
- In a world with iPods and XM radio? You can do better…
- All depends on how crazy you want to be.
- Electric Motor
- DC typically (lower cost, wider availability) or AC if you have the money and source.
- The controller translates your subtle foot commands (hey, go!) via a potbox into electric pulses that turn the motor. Type and cost of controller varies based on how much performance you want and DC vs. AC control.
- As Lee Hart so deftly put it: Miles = BatteryType x Weight. For each mile of range, a particular EV might need 5 pounds of lead-acid batteries, 4 pounds of nicads, 3 pounds of nimh, or 2 pounds of lithiums. Pick your battery type, and you know how many pounds of them you need for a given range.
- For filling the battery back up with worker electrons. Also a cord or plug to plug into a nearby wall socket.
- Misc. Electronics
- Relays, fuses, and wiring to hook the electronics up.
- To help monitor and measure the system, notably the batteries.
- Motor Adaptor
- The motor needs to be hooked to the transmission.
- Batteries need secure hold downs. If you aren’t in a warm place or the batteries are near a passenger compartment you’ll also need enclosures.
- DC-to-DC Converter
- Something to keep the car’s regular 12vdc system fully charged/happy. You could just use a battery and then recharge it each night with the larger pack (separate charger), depends on how much juice you need for lights, wipers, and blowers.