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Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 09:08
by smokinjoe
Hi guys,

Here's my 1970 Beetle I've been restoring for the last couple of years. In the last few months I've finished the panel and paint and now I'm starting on the fun stuff :) Mounted on the original transaxle is a Nissan leaf motor and inverter which will likely be controlled by an openinverter drop-in board. In the front I am mounting 6x 60v 2.3kWh LG Chem modules for a 16kwh 360v pack. I'll probably be using zeva BMS on the battery, and still working out charger and dc-dc.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 12:02
by jonescg
Ow! My neck hurts! :D

Glad that slab of ally worked out for you.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 15:38
by smokinjoe
Whoops :oops: Should have previewed the post before submitting. :lol: The aluminium definitely did the trick thanks Chris.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 21:03
by reecho
smokinjoe wrote: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 09:08 Hi guys,

Here's my 1970 Beetle I've been restoring for the last couple of years. In the last few months I've finished the panel and paint and now I'm starting on the fun stuff :) Mounted on the original transaxle is a Nissan leaf motor and inverter which will likely be controlled by an openinverter drop-in board. In the front I am mounting 6x 60v 2.3kWh LG Chem modules for a 16kwh 360v pack. I'll probably be using zeva BMS on the battery, and still working out charger and dc-dc.
ZEVA BMS comes highly recommended from me. But If you are thinking of adding DC charging the Orion BMS2 has controls for that that built in now. It also has pilot signal control for AC charging.

https://www.orionbms.com/products/orion-bms-standard/

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 09:10
by jamie85063
Nice beetle and the leaf motor looks a great fit. Looking forward to seeing this build.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 09:48
by T1 Terry
Did you ever consider doing away with the VW gearbox and transaxle as well? I'm planning on converting my '74 Kombi after the body is restored to its former glory or maybe better than when it left the factory. I'm tossing up doing the conventional 3 phase motor adapted to the existing gearbox, or removing the whole lot and looking at a suitable transaxle and electric drive to replace the whole lot. With the gearbox out of the way, there is plenty of room for a FWD motor and transaxle to fit into the existing body cavity.

T1 Terry

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 20:03
by smokinjoe
T1 Terry wrote: Mon, 24 Feb 2020, 09:48 Did you ever consider doing away with the VW gearbox and transaxle as well? I'm planning on converting my '74 Kombi after the body is restored to its former glory or maybe better than when it left the factory. I'm tossing up doing the conventional 3 phase motor adapted to the existing gearbox, or removing the whole lot and looking at a suitable transaxle and electric drive to replace the whole lot. With the gearbox out of the way, there is plenty of room for a FWD motor and transaxle to fit into the existing body cavity.

T1 Terry
I did consider that but being a swing axle beetle I would've had to mount trailing arms from a later super beetle and a large chunk of the fire wall would need to be moved if I used the leaf drive unit, I wasn't keen on the fabrication involved. There'd definitely be room in a Kombi though and the IRS suspension is already there too.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Tue, 25 Feb 2020, 12:04
by T1 Terry
I've been digging into just what would be required to convert a Prius Gen2 transaxle to electric only drive. It seems that if I can spin the ICE input shaft at 1,000rpm above 65km/h I can wind it out to around 120km/h. But it might still be a bridge too far and simply adding the 3 phase motor to the gearbox would do the job.
Can the Leaf drive unit handle being flat towed? I want to drag the Kombi around behind our motorhome when we travel and the VW gearbox doesn't handle being towed in neutral, so I'd have to tow in 4th gear and let the electric motor spin.

T1 Terry

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Tue, 25 Feb 2020, 20:14
by smokinjoe
I'll have a look at what's left of the leaf gear reduction when I get a chance. It shouldn't be any different to leaving the Kombi in 4th, there is no neutral so it's in gear all the time.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Mon, 13 Apr 2020, 15:10
by smokinjoe
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Progress has been a little slow on the beetle, but I had a chance to get a bit done this weekend. Fitted the headliner and windows, which was a job I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. :x I also fitted out the doors and on the ev part of the build, I fitted the open inverter adaptor board to the inverter. I wish I took more photos of the job :( the kit arrives as a bare adaptor board with connectors and resistors to be soldered in.
The main plug in to the inverter needs to be salvaged from the old board, and soldered to the new. Then it pretty much bolts in.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Tue, 14 Apr 2020, 10:03
by jonescg
Looks great - got a link to the inverter board guys? Interested to see how they've put it together.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Tue, 14 Apr 2020, 10:49
by smokinjoe

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Fri, 23 Oct 2020, 01:08
by Klemmy
[/image]
smokinjoe wrote: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 09:08 Hi guys,

Here's my 1970 Beetle I've been restoring for the last couple of years. In the last few months I've finished the panel and paint and now I'm starting on the fun stuff :) Mounted on the original transaxle is a Nissan leaf motor and inverter which will likely be controlled by an openinverter drop-in board. In the front I am mounting 6x 60v 2.3kWh LG Chem modules for a 16kwh 360v pack. I'll probably be using zeva BMS on the battery, and still working out charger and dc-dc.
So what are you using to couple the Leaf motor to the VW transaxle? I have a Sterling ( in Australia, it's the Eureka) that i'm going to convert over to electric.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 08:10
by T1 Terry
Klemmy wrote: Fri, 23 Oct 2020, 01:08 [/image]
smokinjoe wrote: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 09:08 Hi guys,

Here's my 1970 Beetle I've been restoring for the last couple of years. In the last few months I've finished the panel and paint and now I'm starting on the fun stuff :) Mounted on the original transaxle is a Nissan leaf motor and inverter which will likely be controlled by an openinverter drop-in board. In the front I am mounting 6x 60v 2.3kWh LG Chem modules for a 16kwh 360v pack. I'll probably be using zeva BMS on the battery, and still working out charger and dc-dc.
So what are you using to couple the Leaf motor to the VW transaxle? I have a Sterling ( in Australia, it's the Eureka) that i'm going to convert over to electric.
Have you got the Eureka engineered yet? Or are you planning to do the whole lot in one hit, engineered for the body swap and the electric conversion?

T1 Terry

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Fri, 30 Oct 2020, 01:03
by Klemmy
T1 Terry wrote: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 08:10
Klemmy wrote: Fri, 23 Oct 2020, 01:08 [/image]
smokinjoe wrote: Sun, 23 Feb 2020, 09:08 Hi guys,

Here's my 1970 Beetle I've been restoring for the last couple of years. In the last few months I've finished the panel and paint and now I'm starting on the fun stuff :) Mounted on the original transaxle is a Nissan leaf motor and inverter which will likely be controlled by an openinverter drop-in board. In the front I am mounting 6x 60v 2.3kWh LG Chem modules for a 16kwh 360v pack. I'll probably be using zeva BMS on the battery, and still working out charger and dc-dc.
So what are you using to couple the Leaf motor to the VW transaxle? I have a Sterling ( in Australia, it's the Eureka) that i'm going to convert over to electric.
Have you got the Eureka engineered yet? Or are you planning to do the whole lot in one hit, engineered for the body swap and the electric conversion?

T1 Terry
Luckily I live in the USA so we don't have that kind of thing out here. The car was already rebodied when I got it. I'm looking at swapping the swing axle for a IRS, and some other mods as well but the Leaf conversion has me stumped. I have the motor and reducer (or whatever Nissan calls it), and a set of original axles in case i have weld the VW and Leaf axles together. I have the inverter, and the high voltage harness as well but i'm still kinda hazy on the battery situation what exactly i'll do.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Fri, 30 Oct 2020, 14:10
by T1 Terry
Half ya luck, getting things engineered before they can be registered and that changes state to state so a new engineers certificate if you move interstate makes the whole vehicle modification scene a dying art over here. I'd love to do a Eureka conversion, so many drop in kits available to bolt up to the beetle gearbox I doubt I'd mess with trying to get the Leaf motor to fit in the engine space in a Eureka.

T1 Terry

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sun, 01 Nov 2020, 10:07
by smokinjoe
So what are you using to couple the Leaf motor to the VW transaxle? I have a Sterling ( in Australia, it's the Eureka) that i'm going to convert over to electric.
Hi Klemmy,
I've just seen your post haven't been online for a while. I wish I had photos of it, I basically had the input of the Nissan leaf reduction unit machined so the clutch centre from the beetle would press in. then I tack welded it to stay there. there is a pilot bearing in the middle of the coupler to keep it centred.

[ Edited Coulomb: fixed quoting (first tag should not have the slosh character). ]

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 20:02
by smokinjoe
It has been far too long since I've updated this thread, I got the beetle moving with battery power for first time last weekend :D . There's still so much to do, tidy up and secure heaps of wiring , fit an interior and many other bits and pieces. Its running a simpbms which communicates to volt gen1 BMS slave modules. I'm still trying to get the TC charger to talk to the BMS so I'll be having a good look at that this weekend. Pretty stoked to hit this milestone though. :D

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 20:31
by smokinjoe

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 06:39
by francisco.shi
Are you in QLD by any chance?

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 06:44
by Bryce
Hi Francisco: going by the rego plates in the background and Joseph's being listed in his signature as in Eaton - I'd say Eaton WA? Am I guessing right Joseph? :?
Cheers
Bryce

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 07:50
by francisco.shi
I couldn't quite make out the number plate colour from the video. So I thought it may be WA but I thought I would ask.

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 10:42
by smokinjoe
Sorry Francisco, yes I'm in WA

Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 16:53
by Adverse Effects
just for your looking

(jack is dead now but he still did some good things in DIY EV world)



Re: Smokinjoe's Beetle conversion

Posted: Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 21:35
by brunohill
Sounds like a LEAF too. I would love to do a LEAF Brumby some day.