Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post up a thread for your EV. Progress pics, description and assorted alliteration
lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 07:02

I thought I better tell you all about it cos its almost finished!

I'm doing a '91 Corolla Sedan. Manual, non power steering. I do a lot of thinking, reading and asking at the Melbourne AEVA meetings before taking each step. My first learning experience was that everything costs a lot more than I thought - think of a number and add a 1000 - but we will save enough each year not using petrol to clear the credit card debt sometime.

I am using an Advanced DC 6.7" X motor and Curtis Controller. LiFePo batteries have reduced in price a lot over 2008 so I started planning for Lead-Acid and trying to ignore the weight issues and ended up buying Thundersky 90Ah.

I am putting the batteries in the boot. They take up about half the boot space. 135kg in replacing about 60kg of full petrol tank and 12kg of muffler and pipe.

I'm keeping the back seat for school runs. Should be interesting to see what happens when its all loaded up.

I had a plate and coupler made to attach the motor to the transmission. Neither component is very heavy and it was pretty easy to get it all back in. Easier than getting the original engine out anyway.

The engine bay is quite empty but I wanted to be able to show people the motor and controller not just have a shelf of batteries. The car is a bit lighter on the front end and heavier on the back, but not much.

The hardest thing to get out was the heater core. I think there is a department somewhere in toyota whose specific job is to find cunning ways to conceal how a dashboard and air channels all go together. It was easier after I took out the seats but I still spent a long time upside down with a work light trying to find the "last" connecting point. The manual was pretty helpful - it said unscrew and unclip everything you can.

I am really looking forward to driving it.

Cheers

Lachlan

User avatar
evric
Site Admin
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun, 20 Jul 2008, 01:57
Real Name: Eric
Location: Adelaide SA
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by evric » Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 07:08

Lachlan, It sounds great. Have you got some photos or a website? ...Ric
Prius Plug-in Conversion: http://www.evplus.com.au ...Holden Barina EV: http://www.evric.kestar.com.au

User avatar
Richo
Senior Member
Posts: 3674
Joined: Mon, 16 Jun 2008, 00:19
Real Name: Richard
Location: Perth, WA

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Richo » Thu, 22 Jan 2009, 07:37

Yeah the car dash is the ultimate jigsaw.
No matter how many time it comes apart and goes back together there's still bits left over. Image
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

cram
Noobie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat, 13 Dec 2008, 03:07
Location: Brisbane

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by cram » Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 02:51

lachlan
sounds great - I just bought a mint one family 1988 corolla seden - petrol atm, but you never know!
some pics or more information about your conversion would be welcome!

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 07:17

Heck, I wasn't expecting anybody to read this let alone reply.

I have just signed up with evalbum and after I downsize all my pics Ill add them to the listing and put a link here.

The charger, battery management system and DC-DC converter arrived two days ago. Now I have to figure out where to put them. There are lots of things to connect, lots of potential (and expensive) mistakes to make.

A week or so ago I finally fitted the LCD Volt and Ammeters into the dash. They look like they came with the car. The electronics needs a 12v supply from the car battery and earth return. Behind the dash were two metal frames which the radio was attached to so I used one as the earth return. There are two main car earths on metal frames below the dash. Plug everything in and nothing lit up. I expected to see 0.0 volts and 0.0 Amps but I saw nothing. I pulled it all apart again and checked wiring etc. Those metal posts were not connected to the vehicle chassis at all! I shifted the earth wire and checked with a meter this time. Switch on and two beautiful blue zero displays lit up. It felt like an electric car.


lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 07:48

I did the work
Here are some photos

Lachs Corolla at Evalbum
Last edited by lachlanmac on Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 19:08, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Johny » Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 17:13

I think the link is a bit scrambled but I entered in on the browser address line and had a gander. Are you going to be running a BMS?
Love to see some pics of the dash when you have time.
Lookin' good.

moemoke
Groupie
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue, 20 May 2008, 04:47
Real Name: Andrew Pugsley
Location: Moe, Victoria,

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by moemoke » Fri, 23 Jan 2009, 19:22

Why wouldn't we reply Lachlan, I for one am envious.

I had the same prob with the link as Johny but got there in the end.
Looks like a good conversion.

What sort of perfomance / range are you expecting?
When do you think it will be on the road?

Keep us posted on your progress.
Good luck.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Sat, 24 Jan 2009, 06:20

Im hoping for 80 to 100 km but expecting 60 to 80 km. To and from work is just under 50 km and I can charge a bit at work if I need to. I dont drive fast but I think the car will do 100 km/hr. I expect I will spend most of the time in 3rd gear.

Im hoping to have it running in a week!!!. I just have to connect the batteries together and wire in the BMS then run through the startup charge and testing.

Problems I still face. I do not have a vacuum assist for the brakes yet so my leg will get a work out. Ive heard about reducing the throat dia of the master cylinder to get more leverage but more pedal travel.

I want to mount the AC compressor and run it off the other end of the motor.

I have a PTC heater core and will be testing that and installing it sometime before winter.

I need to protect the batteries, protect the cabling and put a moisture and dust barrier over electronics in the engine bay oh and install the Dc-Dc.

A lot of that stuff doesnt stop me driving it.

Lach

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 05:57

It drives!

I finished connecting up the batteries yesterday (90 bolts later). Because they come with a half charge, I had to try out motion. Step one was put the car on blocks and make sure when the peddle was down things turned not burned - and the wheels spun forward in forward gears. Then I took it down and back up the driveway a few times. It was a very good feeling and very strange to drive. No sound, little bit of peddle, squeal from the controller and you are moving.

I now have to strip and join all the bms wires (90 again) so I can charge up.

Bad news was that when I connected the positive cable I sent a spike through the meters and stopped them working. The backlight still shows a beautiful blue but no digitd display. I will replace them and and add some spike protection.

It moves and it feels good.

Lachlan

User avatar
Simon
Senior Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun, 19 Aug 2007, 19:38
Real Name: Simon
Location: Perth WA
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Simon » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 08:35

Congratulations Lachlan!
Any chance of some pictures?
How are you powering your digital meters?
Are they just wired directly into your 12v accesory battery? I think they need to have a small DC-DC 12v-12v convertor to power them.

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 19:29

I do have the 12v dc-dc convertor. the Voltmeter is wired in before the main contactor as I wanted to be able to measure battery voltage with the ignition switch on AUX and then watch it as the contactor closed and when the motor started. When I first connected the +ve lead to the battery pack, there was a brief current flow, a tiny spark. I think thats what zapped the meters. I think I will separate the Ammeter and Voltmeter and get a second DC-DC. Also I will include some kind of spike suppression and RF suppression too. Pictures will come too.

Cheers

Lachlan

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Johny » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 19:52

I am surprised that the Voltmeter was damaged. Normally there is a resistor built in to the PCB to drop voltage down to a reasonable level (usually 200mV). The spark-cause must have exceeded the resistors rated voltage.
Out of morbid curiosity, where was the tiny spark?

munter
Noobie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu, 13 Nov 2008, 19:03
Real Name: Monty

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by munter » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 20:16

With all that room under the bonnet might you not want to consider putting some batteries up there to restore the weight distribution?
Conversion looks great btw.

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Wed, 28 Jan 2009, 22:26

I am surprised that the Voltmeter was damaged. Normally there is a resistor built in to the PCB to drop voltage down to a reasonable level (usually 200mV). The spark-cause must have exceeded the resistors rated voltage.
Out of morbid curiosity, where was the tiny spark?


The spark was from the positive battery terminal to the end of the positive cable.
I quickly tapped it onto the battery first just incase something bad had happened somewhere and there was a big short. I was surprised to get a little spark so there was a current flow into something.

With all that room under the bonnet might you not want to consider putting some batteries up there to restore the weight distribution?
Conversion looks great btw.


I didnt want to split the battery pack and I still have to mount a few things. maybe Ill find a way to put the spare wheel there.

Cheers all

lachlan

mikedufty
Senior Member
Posts: 628
Joined: Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 00:15
Real Name: Michael Dufty
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by mikedufty » Sat, 31 Jan 2009, 07:20

75 to 89 model subaru 4wd wagons all had the spare under the bonnet above the flat four engine. Not sure if looking at one would help you out as they had a bit of a recess built into the body under the windscreen to accommodate it.

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Sat, 07 Feb 2009, 07:33

It works, it drives, its wonderful.

I finished the wiring of the BMS and the charger tonight
Put a few ergs into it and drove around the block just on dusk with smiling wife and child. It's quite a strange sensation. Its like rolling a car downhill except that we were going along the flat and uphill. Around our block means winding dirt roads and trees so driving a nearly silent car was very eerie.

The car is a bit back heavy as all the batts are in the boot so Ill have to do something about that and the charger wiring is very temporary. I think I will move the charger the under the bonnet and if a full size spare doesn't fit there too, I will get a skinny spare. I will probably have to make some srt of carrier for the wheel.

I havent wired in the Dc-Dc convertor yet so the electrics are being run off the original 12v battery. I have used that for all sorts of things and tests over this 2008 and it is not strong. I wasn't game to put the car into reverse because the reversing lights caused the main contactor to disconnect. the 12v must have the capacity of a few AAAs now I think. Im putting on the chager all night and I will replace it soon.

We are going out for a longer drive tommorrow complete with tow rope and follow car.

Its a really bad for fires day where I live tomorrow so we are going somewhere else for the day and taking the pets and the photos etc. My wife encouraged me to get the last wiring done so we can take the EV too. Im glad. I dont really want to loose it and it now works.

Cheers all

Lachlan

User avatar
Johny
Senior Member
Posts: 3729
Joined: Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 16:26
Real Name: John Wright
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Johny » Sat, 07 Feb 2009, 18:40

You must feel great Lachlan (at least about the car). Hope everything goes well today regards safety of house etc. (or went well since you will probably read this on Sunday). I'm in the eastern suburbs so I hope to meet you and the car sometime (when it's cooler).

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Sat, 07 Feb 2009, 23:53

Thanks Johny

The day is going well. We have the ducks and chooks and dog in an airconditioned room. Couple of other teaching staff have turned up too. We have technology, cold water and no fires.

The car went really well. So Ive now driven about 30km. Its mainly downhill from kallista to Ferntree gully its easier to swap into neutral and not make the motor spin. I had cooked the current and voltmeter but when i got to school I hooked up a multimeter to the current shunt. I dont think I pull much more than 80 amps getting going even in fourth gear. There is a distinct vibration at I think a particular rev range. I dont know if its wheels drive shafts transmission or the motor complaining. I can make it stop by changing up gears so it might be the motor. I dont know what revs it is doing as I dont have the corolla drive ratios. I must get them. It is an amazing sensation driving an electric car.

You are welcome to look come and have a ride, anything.

Lachlan

User avatar
Thalass
Senior Member
Posts: 741
Joined: Sun, 12 Aug 2007, 07:29
Real Name: Ben Rypstra
Location: Perth, WA, AU

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Thalass » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 05:29

Great conversion, Lachlan. Hope everything went ok for you with those fires. It's craziness over there now.
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

Nutz
Groupie
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat, 07 Feb 2009, 17:46
Real Name: Troy Nuter
Location: Lilydale,Vic
MSN: tenutter@bigpond.com
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Nutz » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 07:38

Hi Lauchlan, I'm in the process of considdering an ev conversion for an old Mazda as part of a resto/update could I meet up with you sometime?
Weather you think you can, or you think you can't, you will usually end up being right.

lachlanmac
Groupie
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun, 16 Nov 2008, 05:56
Real Name: Lachlan Maclean
Location: Kallista Melb.

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by lachlanmac » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 17:59

Im happy to do a show and tell.
Ring me at work on 97242918 or home on 97551906 so we can work out a time.

Cheers

Lachlan

Nutz
Groupie
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat, 07 Feb 2009, 17:46
Real Name: Troy Nuter
Location: Lilydale,Vic
MSN: tenutter@bigpond.com
Contact:

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by Nutz » Thu, 12 Feb 2009, 00:52

Thanks, will do soon.
Weather you think you can, or you think you can't, you will usually end up being right.

HeadsUp
Groupie
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat, 28 Feb 2009, 09:13
Real Name: Mark W
Location: Sydney

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by HeadsUp » Tue, 03 Mar 2009, 18:41

good work lachlan

just wondering , the gearbox mounts are rubber , and will probably have a little bit of movement

the cables from your motor to the controller look quite short and tight

just wonder if you need to have more cable length to accomodate vibration and flexing , adding 200 - 250 mm extra length in the cables will tolerate more vibration without snapping the lugs off your curtis controller

also , was there any existing bolt holes in the boot that you can use to fasten the batteries down with ?
guess you can always make new ones and bolt in a steel frame to stop the batteries flying forwards in an accident and hitting the occupants.

actually , does anyone know on the thundersky batteries , are those sawtooth grooves on the batteries intended as channels to allow airflow for cooling ?

if so , then perhaps we should have air gaps under the batteries and vent holes to allow air to be sucked in at the bottom and rise up through the grooves , then vent to outside the vehicle

if the outlet vent is positioned like a reverse bonnet scoop , then we wouldnt need an electric fan to vent out the heat

cheers and best wishes

PS ....... its possible you could protect the controller lugs from vibration by putting the cables into clamps before the controller , something like Stauff clamps used for hydraulic hoses , they are plastic half clamps



Stauff hydraulics half clamps

Last edited by HeadsUp on Tue, 03 Mar 2009, 08:25, edited 1 time in total.

antiscab
Senior Member
Posts: 2431
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Toyota Corolla Conversion

Post by antiscab » Tue, 03 Mar 2009, 19:20

terrific headsup,
i was wondering how to prescure the traction cables.

cheers,
Matt
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

Post Reply