Direct Drive options

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Honda_N600
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Direct Drive options

Post by Honda_N600 » Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 13:12

Hi Everyone,

I am new on the forum. I have a 1970 Honda N600 which I have been restoring for a year or so now, and in the process, I have learned that the engine and drivetrain is quite a fragile thing, having been designed as a budget, throwaway item. I have been rebuilding the engine anyway, but am keen to do an electric conversion if possible.
The problem is this: the engine, gearbox and differential are all contained in the one engine case, and so adapting an electric motor to the gearbox or diff would be impossible.
The options that I see are either to first put in a gearbox out of another vehicle, then adapt the motor to that, or I look at direct drive.
I am looking for opinions on what will be best in this situation. I want to keep it light, going for more performance than range, and reasonably simple.
The car is front wheel drive, weighs under 600kg in it's present state, has independent front suspension with disk brakes and driveshafts.
This is a long term car, so I want to do it well.
Thanks for your time!

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by jonescg » Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 16:21

Try and source a Nissan Leaf motor-drive assembly. It might be a very tight fit for the old N600, but it's the most compact and efficient way to deliver power without losses through the gearbox.
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by brendon_m » Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 19:17

I tossed up the idea of a golf cart drive line for my moke but they were all a bit small and all were live axle (no good for front wheel drive.) I wanted to go direct drive but couldn't find anything suitable so I just made the gearbox work. I did come across some dedicated ev gearboxs for front wheel drive but either they are crazy expensive or I couldn't find a price(and if I have to ask, I can't afford it).
Possibly a diff out of a small rwd car with independent rear suspension,suzuki cappuccino maybe? Subaru Rex? or mx5?.
Then get a motor with that torque required to direct drive?

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Mon, 10 Jun 2019, 13:05

AC24LS with AT1200 might be doable - a bit rare though.
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Mon, 10 Jun 2019, 13:11

Here is one that's done...
http://www.evalbum.com/1238
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Honda_N600 » Mon, 10 Jun 2019, 14:58

I remember seeing that one, Richo. The concern I have with it is that it uses up a lot of space, and keeps a lot of the weight. My particular car has the automatic transmission, so I would rather do away with the whole unit. I think if I am going to replace the transmission, I will put in something a bit more modern and conventional in design, something easily adapted to an electric motor, maybe a Civic or Acty box.

Brendon_m, I will look into something like an MX-5 diff, and look at the logistics of mounting the motor to it. It might have to be vertically mounted, or have some sort of belt drive.

Jonescg, I have done a bit of reading up on the Leaf, and my concern is that I will introduce a lot of complexity by needing all the extra sensors and controllers, etc. I was looking at some of the videos aobut running a Leaf unit on the bench, and it seemed like it might be a lot more work than I was expecting. This is the ideal solution, but realistically, how much more complicated is it? I like the idea of having the complete drivetrain put in, keeping maximum efficiency. It will definitely be a tight fit! The car is only 1295mm wide for an 850mm wide drive unit.

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Tue, 11 Jun 2019, 12:55

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by jonescg » Tue, 11 Jun 2019, 13:15

The Leaf motor and drive unit can be powered directly without any additional sensors - some guys over in New Zealand have developed a drive interface which plugs right in. You would simply need to devise new driveshafts and engine mounts. Arlin Sansome dropped a Leaf motor into his record-breaking Honda CRX. He was using his own inverter though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmn7EfY14r8
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Adverse Effects » Tue, 11 Jun 2019, 20:13

If you don't have time to do it right,
When will you have time to do it over

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 11 Jun 2019, 20:30

I saw the ones in the first link and they look really good, but I was too scared to ask the price.
The second link is just a golf cart rear end, not really suitable for on road stuff.

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Wed, 12 Jun 2019, 12:55

I'd guess $15k+ just for the motor - not the actual transmission.
So $25k-$30k for the motor+gearbox+controller.

All really nice but ludicrously priced.
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Wed, 12 Jun 2019, 13:12

Somewhere sometime ago I remember seeing a conversion to a small car where they used dual brushless motors Etek/Mars etc that ran a chain reduction to adapters that fit the inner CV joins.
That was small and compact.
Motor + controller 10kW ~$3k
or $6k for 20kW cont which is more than plenty.
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by antiscab » Thu, 13 Jun 2019, 21:01

I remember that setup in a mini moke
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 12:41

Hmmm not quite what I was thinking...
https://www.mokeforum.com.au/index.php?topic=7783.0

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 12:59

Have a look at the Quaife QBA2R in this link under fiat 500 drive train.

Reduction drive + reverse.
https://www.zcars.org.uk/kits/the-kit-guide/

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Honda_N600 » Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 13:45

Richo wrote:
Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 12:59
Have a look at the Quaife QBA2R in this link under fiat 500 drive train.

Reduction drive + reverse.
https://www.zcars.org.uk/kits/the-kit-guide/

Image
Thanks Richo, I really like the look of this option! I will do some investigation into price and the suitability of the available ratio's. The lowest advertised one is 3.767, so I will do some calculations and figure out if it will be suitable. I could then just get a kit out of China for a motor, controller and battery setup. I will compare this with the Leaf option too.

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Honda_N600 » Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 15:40

brendon_m wrote:
Tue, 11 Jun 2019, 20:30
I saw the ones in the first link and they look really good, but I was too scared to ask the price.
The second link is just a golf cart rear end, not really suitable for on road stuff.
Hi Brendon,

What about this one from the same website?

https://www.mat-con.eu/epages/62158737. ... s/lhg_diff

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by brendon_m » Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 16:30

I worked out to do 100km/h on a set of 13 inch wheels the axles will be spinning around 1000rpm. Those motor/trans appear to max out at 400ish rpm.

The power levels of top level motor would be enough to be a daily driver but you won't win any drag races against a tesla.

I wonder if you can get just the trans and fit your own motor?

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by T1 Terry » Sat, 15 Jun 2019, 11:07

I had on of these little pocket cars with the 2 speed auto many yrs ago, couldn't keep motors up to it. I thing a direct drive into the 2 sp transmission, rather than the torque converter, would make a great little run around car using a much smaller motor than a direct drive approach would require.
Just my thoughts on the whole idea

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Damon500 » Sun, 16 Jun 2019, 17:30

The unit above doesn’t look anything like a Fiat 500 unit- maybe you could use one out of a 500e - it’s pretty compact and 83kw would be quite exciting in a N600 https://insideevs.com/news/322692/wards ... fiat-500e/

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by mikedufty » Mon, 17 Jun 2019, 12:44

The zcars unit above is designed to allow you to fit a motorcycle engine into an fiat 500 to make it ridiculously fast.

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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Mon, 17 Jun 2019, 13:14

Ahh that's because its an after market performance kit.
https://shop.quaife.co.uk/quaife-cd-axl ... riven-cars

Anyway it looks like it would be AUD$6,000 + shipping. :o
And 3.767:1 isn't that great either. :(
So not realistic.

For cost and ratio's I'd still look at a diff like the BMW and hard mount the motor to it.
Something like an E36 with 4.44:1 from an auto 318.
You could put a pulley on both mount the motor above the diff and belt drive it.
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Re: Direct Drive options

Post by Richo » Mon, 17 Jun 2019, 14:17

You could also use a pulley with 1.13:1 with the 4.44 diff making a neat 5:1.
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