Yet another Voltswagen

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
Post Reply
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

G’day,
After spending the last 4 years building a ‘54 MG TF that followed me home in some 20l plastic drums plus a few loose panels I found myself looking for a new project. A classic EV conversion was the logical choice but there is a fair amount of resistance from the purists to de-iceing anything from the vintage/veteran brackets so a more modern classic it would have to be and one that is sufficiently plentiful for replacing tired parts.
I’ve owned a couple of Passats and a T5 campervan but was still a bit surprised when I found myself looking at Beetles. Daughter who is in lockdown in London is very enthusiastic about Beetles and plans to inherit this one when she eventually gets back to Aus. A few weeks ago a stalled restoration of a 72 Superbeetle showed up on gumtree so I went for a look, liked what I saw, came home and agreed a price with a buyer for my Triumph Stag and bought the Beetle on the same day!
Two trips to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast with a trailer and all the pieces were in the shed. Not in plastic drums this time, but in cardboard boxes. The floor pan has been repainted and looks like new. The body is a bare shell on temporary wheels and has been cleaned and painted on the inside, the outside is in primer. I have just completed an inventory of the boxes which have been carefully bagged and tagged and so far all I can positively say is missing are the disc rotors and one set of brake shoes. The ICE is completely stripped but looks complete with little wear. The gearbox/transaxle is also completely stripped and probably missing a few bits (synchro rings etc) though the PO seems to think it needs quite a lot of work. There are many new boxed bits - rubber seals, strut inserts, ball joints etc. and the upholstery has been replaced.
I liked the idea of the Super beetle with its Macpherson struts and and front disc brakes also the IRS plus a little bit more space than the earlier Beetles.
I estimate 1 - 2 years for the painting and rebuild which gives me plenty of time to research the conversion and who knows where battery technology will be by then.....
Having been a lurker for a couple of years I am now looking forward to some interaction with the forum.
Regards to all,
Chris
User avatar
brendon_m
Senior Member
Posts: 779
Joined: Sat, 28 Oct 2017, 11:00
Real Name: Brendon McCarrol

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by brendon_m »

So having lurked for a while, do you have any plans/ideas on motors, batteries, range/power goals, etc?
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

Currently spoiled for choice! Two local suppliers offer kits using Hyper9 motors with Leaf or Tesla batteries. Easy motor mount with no structural engineering required. That’s before I start thinking about how brave I am re buying a wrecked Leaf and dismantling.
Range and power aren’t high priorities. We are retired and Maleny to family in Brisbane is not much more than 100k and we usually stay overnight so rapid charging isn’t even a necessity in the short term. The return trip is more of a concern as the last 10km has a height gain of around 500m. No power steering or brake booster required but enough in reserve to run ac (and stereo) would be nice. Depending on where daughter lives/works when she gets back she might like to use it for commuting.
As the original VW gearbox may need an expensive rebuild I would like to look further at using a motor with a transaxle as that would also eliminate the need to de power the motor so as not to overpower the VW diff.
In the mean time I have lots of painting prep to do.
Chris
T1 Terry
Senior Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu, 30 Sep 2010, 20:11
Real Name: Terry Covill
Location: Mannum SA

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by T1 Terry »

The idea of repowering my '74 Kombi as an EV has me in two minds a bit as far as bastardising a classic v upgrading it to the 21st century and beyond.
The Super bug is probably the best choice for an EV conversion because they are a bit like the T3 Kombi, they don't really get to share the classic love the other VW's get ... cruel but that's the way it is eh :lol:
Have you thought about a Camry hybrid or Gen 3 Prius transaxle with the aftermarket inverter as the drive? Easy and cheap to pick up from around the wreckers and plenty on line about the modifications.

T1 Terry
Green but want to learn
User avatar
brendon_m
Senior Member
Posts: 779
Joined: Sat, 28 Oct 2017, 11:00
Real Name: Brendon McCarrol

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by brendon_m »

Or even running the prius / lexus inverter as well. They have been hacked to the point of being basically plug and play and they're robust. Not to mention can be set up for charging and include a dcdc etc.
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

Thanks for expanding my horizon guys, Prius has not been on my list of things to occupy my evenings with till now! I’m very much at the beginning of research and not expecting to need to make any decisions for at least a year.
The transaxle certainly looks interesting and a couple of questions immediately spring to mind: how do they cope without an ICE attached - will this tend to overwork the man MG? Without starting a string of calculations I can see that the Bug would probably be a much smaller package to move along the road.
If I were to rebuild the VW gearbox (maybe less a couple of gears?) I would certainly be reducing the flywheel mass and wonder if there would be any part of the Prius system that would be similarly redundant.
Any thought or links to projects are much appreciated.
Chris
User avatar
brendon_m
Senior Member
Posts: 779
Joined: Sat, 28 Oct 2017, 11:00
Real Name: Brendon McCarrol

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by brendon_m »

Damien Maguire videos on youtube will probably be able to answer most of your questions related to toyota\lexus drive usage
https://youtu.be/mTkw31wrkLg


Long story short is you can weld the gearbox up and make use of both MGs to drive down the road or if you're happy with less power run just MG2 (still requires welding) and use the MG1 inverter section as a high power charger. Only real downside is you have to run a highish voltage battery pack as while the Prius(et al) runs a 200ish Volt pack the inverter itself runs on up to 700ish Volts via MG1 and a dcdc. You don't need to use the full 700V and I believe that you can get away with running as low as 100V but the higher the voltage the better the outcome

In terms of overworking the MG, I wouldn't worry about it. The secret little trick in the Toyota hybrids is the MG always drives the car down the road.
It's actually the battery/dcdc that causes the limp wristed EV only mode.

Here's the beginning of a rabbit hole
https://youtu.be/roLqayjWpb0
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

Wow Brendon that was one hell of a deep rabbit hole you sent me down! It’s taken me nearly a month to find my way back to near the surface.
Much of my reading has been around the Toyota/Lexus MGR Q211. It’s spec’s are, at first sight, close to the original VW1600. It’s light, compact and quite cheap so what’s not to like?

Orientation. To fit the superbug it might need to be mounted backwards to fit the engine bay without cutting the bodywork and to get the half shafts to line up. Different CV joints at each end are achievable so that leaves 3 more problems: physically mounting the motor, moving the oil around for lubrication and cooling (‘cos it will be permanently running in reverse) and possibly needing to add additional oil cooling.

Inverter and controller. There are a number of projects on the openinverter forum that look as though they are close to having this sorted but I am not sufficiently confident to go down that track if an off the shelf system is available - Suggestions welcome! If Damien Maguire’s ‘blue yacht’ proves to be a success then I will be much more confident. Even the need for needing some very high voltage battery packs may be resolved so I await his next communication with great interest.

In the interim my head is spinning faster than any ICE - not the least by having to learn all the new TLA’s (and FLA’s) that come with the territory.

Chris
T1 Terry
Senior Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu, 30 Sep 2010, 20:11
Real Name: Terry Covill
Location: Mannum SA

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by T1 Terry »

I hope you stay with the Prius hybrid idea. If I had the time and spare brain cells I'd have converted one of my two Prii to full electric by now and maybe even my Kombi. I can assure you the Gen 2 Prius transaxle can go the distance, my '08 ex taxi Prius has close to 800,000km on the clock now and only had a single traction battery replacement and that was a cheapie from a wreckers.

T1 Terry
Green but want to learn
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

Physical progress continues to be slow - mainly preparation for painting the body shell and making sure all the parts for the suspension and brakes are present and in good order. This gives me plenty of opportunity for research and here there have been some significant developments:

It now appears that the MGR will fit into the original VW gearbox space whilst still facing in the original direction. This is important as, although electric motors seem generally to work well in either direction, the MGR relies for internal cooling on a flow of oil in a particular direction. It remains to be seen if extra cooling will be necessary.

Zookeeper, often seen on the ecomodder.com forum, now has an MGR running under full control using, I believe, a Prius Gen2 inverter with software and VCU developed in conjunction with Damien Maguire and Johannes Huebner as seen on the openinverter.org forum. I’m very much looking forward to this actually moving a vehicle!

Chris
fffffred
Noobie
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 10:16

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by fffffred »

The MGR is certainly appealing in regards to its packaging (and price):
https://toyota-club.net/files/faq/19-10 ... wd_eng.htm

Is this a DC or AC motor? I can't seem to work it out. From my limited reading, the caveat has been powering it up with full 650V????
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

The guys on the Openinverter forum seem to have it pretty well worked out running from a range of different inverters. The potential for it to run from 650v isn’t being seen as a prerequisite more a function of how it interacts with the the original MG1/2 and ICE combination. Damien McGuire (aka Jack Bauer) is installing one in his “Blue Yacht” project which is a BMW E39 with a Toyota Yaris inverter and his own VCU to develop the 3 phase supply. Hopefully their semi universal VCU board and associated firmware will be available in the not too distant future.
My current plan is to use a Prius Gen 3 inverter and some repurposed leaf cells so I am gathering other bits of hardware with this in mind. If it doesn’t work out the cost of the MGR will go down to experience with the other bits being suitable for an alternative plan.
I still have lots of painting and basic mechanical work to do on the Beetle while I await developments from the grownups. In particular i need to work on how to mount the battery packs. Probably half behind the rear seat and half where the petrol tank was but I haven’t done any sums on weight distribution yet.
Chris
fffffred
Noobie
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 10:16

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by fffffred »

Thanks Chris. Will continue down the rabbit hole... where and when are you planning to purchase your MGR units?
Ctwidle
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 12 Dec 2020, 05:53
Real Name: Chris Twidle

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by Ctwidle »

There were 2 on eBay here in Aus. Prices were $300 and $880 even though the cheaper one had only 1/3 the mileage on it! I figured that if Damien gets his running as planned then the availability will decline rapidly so went ahead and grabbed the cheap one. When I mentioned that it was to be repurposed in an EV the warranty ‘evaporated’ as it was not being used for its original purpose.
Can I recommend a side passage to the rabbit hole with a visit to John Kelly on the Weber University site. He has done a ‘deep dive’ into the MGR (aka the Toyota Q211).
Chris
fffffred
Noobie
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 10:16

Re: Yet another Voltswagen

Post by fffffred »

This one?
Post Reply