Sparkey at the Kenthurst fair
When I first had the idea to build an EV I started by looking for a car that had a light frame and was cheap. In essence if the idea was a waste of time in the end I could cut my losses and sell it for scrap. After looking around for virtually no time I came across an ad in the trading post for a 92’ Hyundai excel sprint for $500. It was close by so I went for a look with my next-door neighbour for a second opinion. What the owner showed me was a perfect for the job.
The paintwork was a little faded, but we concluded that the body was around 95% with one or two minor dents and no rust. The engine was ok but needed minor work and blew smoke. The interior needed a little love but it wasn’t bad for a 15-year-old car. When took my friend aside for a chat he said, “Your not going to do any better than that mate” we decided I’d buy it then and there.
Getting it home was fun. The car was fuel injected, had a non-functioning alternator and the battery was dead. After a jumpstart I drove it for about 150 meters and the engine stopped so I got a tow.
After making plans to obtain a motor, batteries and a controller I began by removing the engine and all its peripherals (radiator, exhaust system, fuel tank ext.). After this I started work on cutting out the tire well for the rear battery compartment. So I made a rather large hole in-between the rear sub frame structure and reinforced everything with 5×25x25 angle iron, which I welded in place. Sparky’s a little over engineered, but at the time considering this was all new territory to me I thought to myself make this indestructible.
By the time I had completed the battery compartment frame I received my motor. I promptly began adapting to the transmission to the new motor. I used a 25mm aluminium plate and had the coupling made by my local machinist. When I had completed the mating I bolted everything together and started the process of retrofitting the completed engine/transmission unit into the engine bay. I used the two old engine mount points on the chassis and flipped the top mount and welded up a bracket that attached to the front of the motor. With that I place I decided to have a little test. With nothing but a 12 volt battery connected directly to the motor the car happily reversed and moved forward.
With the motor installation completed and checked I went about finishing the rear battery compartment because I had received the 15×8 volt Trojans I had to install.
Gallery, Projects, Sparky | admin0 | May 29, 2009 10:04 am
By T. Mark Jenkins, July 17, 2009 @ 1:57 pm
I have just clocked 300,00klms on my 93 Excel. It has been a great car since new. It is now time to convert to Electric. Are you able to help with the process? ie information and adaptor platesetc. Even cost for your company to complete the entire job.I would be able to do the conversion over many many weekends. Although I would need some clues.
By nathan, July 17, 2009 @ 10:28 pm
We can do the adaptor plate for you, supply you with all the parts and information you need to convert the vehicle your self.
We also do complete or partial conversions and if your doing the job and need assistance with something we can come to you.
By Rodger Kroon, July 21, 2009 @ 3:28 pm
G-R-E-A-T website Nathan.
I’ve seen your work and without a word of exaggeration, it is FANTASTIC! Your conversions are precise and built to go on and on and on. Your work is a credit to you and I wish you well in ALL your endeavours/conversions.
By Kevin, August 10, 2009 @ 1:12 am
I am wondering why you need a transmission on this type of conversion? I am thinking of converting my 83 280zx. I know you may need the drive shaft and trans axles but do you actually shift gears with an electric DC motor? I am curious since I don’t know much about these types of engines.
By nathan, August 13, 2009 @ 11:03 am
With sparky I drive around is 2nd gear most of the time as the speed limit where I am is mostly 60 and at times 70. The advanced dc motor is generally more efficient at 4500rpm as it uses the horse power generated by the pack voltage rather than raw amps to maintain torque. To be honest I’m not sure how many rpm I’m doing at this speed however sparky draws around 55-65amps at 120v (6.6-7.8kW or 8.8-10.4hp) to maintain 60kmph.
From second gear sparky is capable of 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds which is not bad for a 1220kg vehicle sporting an 8 inch advanced dc motor. In 3rd gear it’s more like 25 to 30 seconds. You can take off in 4th gear which I’d consider direct drive but it’s really sluggish.
My advice is to keep the transmission as it’s a torque converter. If it’s around town and you’ve got a 9 or 11 inch motor with a zilla controller you’ll find you’re in third gear all the way. however if you wish to get rid of the transmission go with an 11 inch motor coupled with a zilla controller at 170v+, the car will move.
By Kevin, August 14, 2009 @ 12:28 pm
Thanks for the advice, I am just starting to research this area, as I don’t have a clue on the motors and controllers as of yet, however I find a lot of information on this and other forums.