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A few pictures of my electric Midget conversion project

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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
It's hard to say exactly. I'm under $6,000 total. The motor was $1,100 shipped, batteries were $1,100 shipped, I built the controller for about $800, the DC-DC was $600, and the charger was $600. I got the car for $250, and I redid the interior, top, etc. on the cheap with some eBay stuff and I put some new wheels and tires on. Those are all of the big components, the rest was bits and bobs, wire, and scrap.

In reply to # 3713326 by GeorgeOhr Don't know if it's been asked yet but how much do you have in the conversion?

Thanks.

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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
This is absolutely my intention. I like the car's appearance just as it is. The decals are honestly one of my favorite things about it. It has a little "Cal Customs" script on the quarter, which I think is neat. I still need to do the shocks, and I think I'll put some heavier springs in the back due to the batteries in the trunk. I did a look over the suspension, and the bushings are all pretty questionable as well. They're going to be replaced, as well.

In reply to # 3712982 by Kerr I hope that you will keep the exterior just as it is, oxidized paint, '70s decals and flat, faded bumpers, but with fully restored suspension, nice interior and fantastic drivetrain. Should be quite a surprise to other motorists as you zoom on by!

jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Thanks! It is quite a lot of fun. My goal is only to prevent the pinion from lifting so much under load. It causes a lot of nasty vibration and deflection, and I'm sure it's murdering the u-joints. That aside, I'm not doing anything to improve traction. I agree that the diff and axles wouldn't survive. Spinning the tires is fun, anyway XD

I did get some generic slapper bars, but they were far too wide. I might have to make some, but I'm trying another style first.

In reply to # 3712993 by nonracer Great build Jefferson , sounds like a fun car to drive . I would be cautious about a traction device , while I’m sure its needed to control axle wrap it will most likely be the end of your axles and differential if you completely eliminate tire spin. This is the same situations we faced when building our drag cars , once we were able to get the car to “ hook up “ we found the weak links . You can experiment with spring bias by putting an extra leaf or 2 in just the front half of the spring pack , this can help the spring from flexing too much . A traction bar with a rubber snubber or “ slapped bar “ might be good also since you can adjust the gap where it makes contact with the spring eye . I would think with a little tire spin you won’t break anything. Just my .02

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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Well, I got my parts when I got home today, so I went ahead and made the brackets for my traction bars and installed them. I used some threaded hex tubing and 3/4" heim joints. They're left and right threaded, so I can adjust things as I see fit by just turning the hex tube with a standard wrench. I need to get some of the same tubing that is an inch shorter, however. These ones are 15", and are off by a little bit when adjusted to the shortest length. I'm going to return these and try the 14".

In testing, they performed very, very well. The pinion still lifted, but it was reduced by at least 80%. I took it up to 750 amps with no issues at all! I'll call this bit fixed once I polish everything off. I have some new bushings and such coming in for the rear end, but that can wait for now.


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Havenor Avatar
Havenor Richard Costa
Fairhaven, MA, USA   USA
I love what you did but keep in mind the limitations that are still in place, braking, suspension, and handling. Our modern day cars can adapt somewhat to torque and HP because of the strides made in braking and handling, but you don't have that. These cars were engineered to be nimble, not fast. Be careful.

jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Yeah, I'm with you there. The brakes feel woefully inadequate for this power level. I'm looking into options, but I'd welcome any advice in that area for sure. I'd like some much larger disk brakes up front. The suspension is definitely on the to-do list, but the front shocks top that list at the moment.

In reply to # 3713469 by Havenor I love what you did but keep in mind the limitations that are still in place, braking, suspension, and handling. Our modern day cars can adapt somewhat to torque and HP because of the strides made in braking and handling, but you don't have that. These cars were engineered to be nimble, not fast. Be careful.

trevorwj Avatar
trevorwj Trevor Jessie
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
You may have said this earlier (but since you mentioned brakes again) ... what does the car weigh?



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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
The batteries and electric motor are close to the weight of the original engine and transmission. It's a bit heavier, I'm sure, but not much. I'll have to weight it some time.

In reply to # 3713514 by trevorwj You may have said this earlier (but since you mentioned brakes again) ... what does the car weigh?

Perdido Avatar
Perdido Gold Member Rut Rutledge
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA   USA
Getting to the party really late and reading all the posts...Wow, just wow! Jefferson, you really made something to be proud of and best wishes on your upcoming marriage! Can’t wait to follow your adventure!
Rut, green with envy!



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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Thank you! I appreciate that very much. I am enjoying the project, and I'm looking forward to using it in my wedding.

In reply to # 3713538 by Perdido Getting to the party really late and reading all the posts...Wow, just wow! Jefferson, you really made something to be proud of and best wishes on your upcoming marriage! Can’t wait to follow your adventure!
Rut, green with envy!

Also, I took some pictures of the traction bars I made. They still need work, but they function perfectly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-09 12:15 PM by jbman.


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PeterC Avatar
PeterC Platinum Member Peter Caldwell
Madison Wisconsin, USA   USA
Can't the electric motor provide significant braking?


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jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Yes, sort of. Since this is a brushed series DC setup, however, I would have to expend battery pack energy to brake, whereas in a brushless DC or an AC setup you can just flip the motor into a generator to cause a lot of drag and slow the car down. From what I've read, it is technically possible to use regenerative braking with this kind of setup, but it is very difficult and usually doesn't turn out well. So I scrapped that feature pretty early in the process. The next car will definitely be an AC setup with the bells and whistles, but that's a long way off.

In reply to # 3713628 by PeterC Can't the electric motor provide significant braking?

GeorgeOhr Nonya Business
Yes, confused, USA   USA
In reply to # 3699399 by jbman
I want to use the electric car after my wedding,


We drove off after in ours. I'll see if I can find pics.

jbman Avatar
jbman Silver Member Jefferson Black
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Well, I finally got the front shocks replaced. I ordered some nice ones from Peter, and I installed them today. My bushings are toast, so I ordered some of those as well. The difference is AMAZING. The ride has vastly improved, and the car feels a lot safer. I took a video of the old shocks. They are completely gone...

GeorgeOhr Nonya Business
Yes, confused, USA   USA
That's cause all the oil leaked out; see how it looks a little dark and wet by the shaft? You did the right thing but coulda got some dampening out of it if you'da checked/put oil in them.

That musta been a heck of a ride with that much torque and no front dampening!eye popping smiley

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