Classic Holden Conversion

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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carnut1100
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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 05:22

Back on the conversion topic again........

Looks like we have an option of taking a bit of a loss on the damaged iMiEV but retaining the car...or get it repaired.
We are very tempted to take the write off and keep the car, then use it for parts and conversion.

Now, what to convert?

My wife had an EJ Premier as one of her first cars, a rough example that no longer roams the roads but still holds a special place in her heart.
I grew up with an early Holden loving father who had hot FJs and HRs and more bac in the day, and I have always loved EJs as well.
A little reading says the EJ kerb weight is 1130kg, less than that of an imiev...
Performance of a manual EJ is around a second slower than an imiev to 100 and similar on the 1/4 mile....so Imiev running gear would match or slightly exceed the original ICE performance.
200kg of batteries vs a similar weight of six cylinder engine plus gearbox, means final weight should be similar to the original and certainly no heavier than an imiev.
Worse aero would degrade range slightly but not too much at normal speeds.

New racks should fit the batteries in the engine bay nicely.
Drivetrain package.......might need boot floor modification to clear it.
Thinking that the motor/reduction unit mounted where the original diff was, with a fabricated deDion axle mounted on the original leaf springs...

Now....the hard bit is going to be figuring out how much imiev hardware I would need to run.....probably have to transplant the entire wiring harness complete.
Dash would be tricky.....wouldn't want to have the imiev digi dash in an EJ!

Already got my eye on a few possible base vehicles....

Talk me into it/talk me out of it......
What have I missed?


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Post by antiscab » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 06:08

If you use a GEVCU, you could probably get away with just the motor, motor controller, charger and battery

Not sure if the GEVCU supports iMiev hardware yet, but you could be trail blazer

out of curiosity, are you planning on buying another iMiev to drive around in the mean time?
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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 13:56

Not heard of gevcu....what is it?
Would be keen to use as much imiev hardware as possible to keep costs down, restoring everything else will cost a bit already...nice tidy EJs start at $10k and go up, but ones that have been modified already and lost their originality can be had cheaper.

Not buying another imiev, the damaged one is my wife's and we still have mine...but we also have a two week old baby which is why we were selling the one that got smashed....the family transport is now a VW minibus as a four seater just doesn't work when the family hits five!

Long term I would love to convert the VW as well. But that is long term and imiev bits just wouldn't cut it!


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Post by Adverse Effects » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 14:44

Last edited by Adverse Effects on Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 03:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 15:04

wow that would be awesome converting an early Holden built for comfort not speed

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Post by Bryce » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 16:23


Hmn - would that be similar to the Tritium ethernet bridge?

http://tritium.com.au/products/can-ethernet-bridge/

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Post by Johny » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 17:22

carnut1100 wrote:Now....the hard bit is going to be figuring out how much imiev hardware I would need to run.....probably have to transplant the entire wiring harness complete.
Dash would be tricky.....wouldn't want to have the imiev digi dash in an EJ!
I wouldn't rule it out. The iMiev dash is fairly basic and you may be able to do similar to mine in keeping all the original styling but embed the digital stuff in the original speedo casing etc. to create a retro hi-tech style. In the Vogue I used an old speedo housing and made a drop-in replacement with the LCD displays. I still have the original intact.

You sound pretty savvy on older cars but watch out for many dollars going into restoration. That said there is lots of support for classic Holdens out there. The other "watch out" is time. You have a new family. My family felt the strain when doing the Vogue.

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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 17:22

Yeah....original EJ performance would be ok, especially as it is similar to imiev performance anyhow....and similar weight means that swapping the entire system should give similar performance and range.

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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 17:35

Time is indeed going to be the biggest thing....
Looking at base cars for the project, ones on the mainland we are watching include a fairly straight unmodified example with a few dents, needs paint and seat retrim but stuff all rust going for $3k.
Other one has a few rust spots but straight body, red motor and auto conversion with kingswood seats and horrid purple paint....all running and drivable $4500
Wife would be happy to leave the horrible paint and interior, get it converted then in two years or so repaint and retrim.
The other one I'd be happy rocking the weathered outback car look for a while, just repaint undercarriage as I do conversion work then do repaint later....recover seats now.
End goal is premier replica, the silver paint and white roof, leather seats, gold plated badges, white steering wheel etc...

Main concern right now is packaging the imiev drive train....I think it would mean cutting a big hole in the boot floor and losing some boot space....fabricating a deDion axle to run the original leaf springs.......drop in an HR or Torana front end for discs and losing the kingpin front suspension.
Other possible option is to fit a Volvo 240 rear axle to get rear discs and keep the early Holden bolt pattern, but the lowest diff ratio I can easily get is 3.9:1 with a 140 axle at 4.11:1 possible and a 3.45:1 easy to get...to keep the performance and range I would need to replicate the 7:1 reduction of the original, meaning finding some sort of 2:1 reduction to fit on the end of the motor and fitting the whole in the trans tunnel...
Will need to research 2:1 reduction drives that can handle 200nm plus...other possible option is machined housing using planetary gears from an auto trans...

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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 17:40

Actually....looking at an EJ dash, it's a semicircle speedo with two round dials either side....retro refit might work!

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Post by Adverse Effects » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 20:01

Bryce wrote:

Hmn - would that be similar to the Tritium ethernet bridge?

http://tritium.com.au/products/can-ethernet-bridge/


nothing like it

the GEVCU is a control unit not a VPN type of unit

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 20:22

Bryce wrote: Hmn - would that be similar to the Tritium ethernet bridge?

No, it would be much more like the Tritium Driver Controls: http://tritium.com.au/products/ev-driver-controls/ (but with the convenience of wireless configuration added).

The Tritium ethernet bridge is to allow you to talk to the CAN based motor controller via a laptop with ethernet. Well, talk (via a PC-based app) and listen (log data to a spreadsheet).
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Post by Adverse Effects » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 21:04

coulomb wrote:No, it would be much more like the Tritium Driver Controls:


and its not locked so you can upgrade , mod , reprogram it in any way you want

it is also able to be used on any driver you want all it needs is a small control module written for it not just tritrum only
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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 13 Jan 2015, 23:26

For future reference.......would it be a viable option for controlling Prius motors?

Might be able to get away with running the imiev electrics complete......

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Post by Adverse Effects » Wed, 14 Jan 2015, 01:36

carnut1100 wrote:would it be a viable option for controlling Prius motors?


i dont know you would have to contact Jack (the short fat guy) at EVTV.ME

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Post by carnut1100 » Wed, 14 Jan 2015, 20:50

So I have been doing a lot of research, poked my head under a rusty EJ ( too rusty for me right now...) and researching gearing etc...

Mounting the imiev drive unit complete would only work if I can flip it around and run the motor in reverse. Otherwise the motor housing and the rear seat base would want the same real estate.
Flipping it would mean cutting a hole in the boot floor, but the fuel tank is there anyhow and I would want a battery box on the vicinity so no biggie...

The other option is ditching the imiev transmission and keeping a regular differential. I want to swap in LH Torana front end for balljoints and discs, and I would probably swap in a Volvo 240 diff which has same stud pattern but a strong diff and disc brakes. Also being the same Dana 30 centre as a Jeep, a Truetrac LSD Torsen style is $300 from the USA...
There is a Volvo ratio that matches a Powerglide in Low to give an overall ratio almost identical to the imiev reduction gear...
Take the valve body out of a Powerglide, shim a big spring behind the servo piston that engages Low band and it would be permanently locked in L without the need for the pump to be spinning....and still retain the selector linkage to engage the Park pawl...
Tails shaft is easy, trans mount bolts right into EJ shell...adapter plate to imiev motor.

Split the battery pack between a boot mounted box and the engine bay. Controller and charger etc all in engine bay along with AC unit and the rad for water cooled motor and controller.....

Hopefully swap the entire ecu, bcm, and all major electrical components straight from the imiev...even should be able to keep chademo functional...


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Post by reecho » Wed, 14 Jan 2015, 23:09

Have you got the service manual for I-Miev?.......PM if you haven't...

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Post by carnut1100 » Thu, 15 Jan 2015, 03:09

Think I've got it....would be on the computer somewhere I think...

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Post by carnut1100 » Thu, 22 Jan 2015, 20:44

Well, the crashed imiev is now home....
Step one is completed.

Step two is to find the right EJ to convert.
Delicate balance of not too much restoration work and not too expensive to purchase...with a side helping of not messed around with too much

I'd rather a sun bleached bush car than one with pretty paint hiding who knows what!


Now...technical question.
Does anyone know if there would be a problem with mounting the imiev drive unit backwards and running it in reverse?
Can't see a problem with it myself.....but I may be missing something.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 22 Jan 2015, 23:33

carnut1100 wrote:I'd rather a sun bleached bush car than one with pretty paint hiding who knows what!
Amen to that, brother
Now...technical question.
Does anyone know if there would be a problem with mounting the imiev drive unit backwards and running it in reverse?
Can't see a problem with it myself.....but I may be missing something.


wouldnt the controller spit the dummy at going in reverse all the time ?
not to mention the gears where not cut to run that way

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Post by Gabz » Fri, 23 Jan 2015, 14:26

it's speed limited in reverse to like 30km/h .... there is no reverse gear its just a phase swap.
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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 27 Jan 2015, 00:40

I know, but is there a way to spin the motor backwards with the controller thinking it's going forward?
And will spinning it backwards all the time at full speed damage anything?

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Post by carnut1100 » Tue, 27 Jan 2015, 00:41

The gears are one thing I was concerned about....

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Post by acmotor » Wed, 28 Jan 2015, 05:08

Just swap two phase wires of the 3 going to emotor and swap the A and B lines of the encoder.
Motor controller then thinks motor is running forward, but in fact will be running in reverse direction to the RWD IMiEV.
The gears won't care. They are bidirectional of course. The emotor itself will be quite happy to run either direction.
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Post by Johny » Wed, 28 Jan 2015, 13:47

acmotor wrote:The gears won't care. They are bidirectional of course.
Not sure about that. Do iMievs "whine" when going in reverse. I think adverse mentioned that most automotive gears are cut for a preferred direction.

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