gholm's Morris J2 Van- 1966

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gholm
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Post by gholm » Sun, 05 Sep 2010, 21:46

Hi all

Thought I'd start by saying hi to all, and introducing my new EV project.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Photos of Interior pre-conversion
2) 3d renders of preliminary battery box design
3) More 3d renders of various battery box designs
4) Final box design with cell connection flow diagrams
5) Photos of under the van, pre-conversion
6) LED lighting selection
7) LEDs installed, and rear differential photo, pre-conversion
8) Decision to change motor and controller choice, to support direct drive solution = NO GEARBOX
9) Some 3d renders of a CVT idea I was pondering... perhaps for a later date.
10) Photos of the Battery box build and seat installation.
11) Photos of the 5 day marathon session, ripping out the ICE, building the motor mount, install of all things EV.
12) Report on the first EV drive
13) Some 12v and 12v relay ramblings
14) WIP Photos of control box and 12v wiring
15) Arduino Tachometer and my first impressions of driving an EV
16) Collision, repair and more thoughts on driving an EV.


I recently got hold of a 1966 Morris J2 van that a current contender for EV conversion.
Image

Current specs are :
- ICE: 1.622 litre inline 4 cylinder rated at 61bhp, @ 4500 rpm, max torque 90 lbs/ft at 2200rpm
- Unladen weight : 1250kg
- GVM : 2100kg
- 4 gears with 4th gear @ 1:1 ratio
- rear diff very low at 5.625:1 ratio (definitely a town car with max speed of around 50mph)

It does currently run like a dream having a genuine 36,000 miles on the clock, and I'm under tremendous pressure to keep it original, ICE et al.
Any guilt will be washed away when I first hear the silence of the electric motor :)

My wishlist for EV conversion is :
- Direct drive 9" Warp, Kostov or Advanced DC (practicalities of this I'm researching otherwise I'll keep the gearbox/clutch)
- Zeva or Curtis controllers at 500A max
- LiFePo battery pack for 80-100kn range (still researching)
- proper BMS and charger combo for maximum life.

My commute to work is 20km each way with some reasonably steep hills, so I'll need at least 60km in the tank for various errands I might need to make during the day.

I'll definitely be running a blog while I'm doing the conversion, and I'm yet to list this on evAlbum, so you guys are the first to know.

My first step is research and this post is in the hope that I can finalise that process with proper practical advice.
So please feel free to throw some of that AEVA expertise my way, since it's my first conversion and there really is SOO much information to absorb and filter. Let me know your thoughts.

Oh.. I'm based in Sydney for anyone nearby.
cheers to all.
James

edit : 01 Sept 2011 to add Table of Contents
edit : 06 Sept 2011 to update TOCs
edit : 01 Dec 2011 to update TOCs
Last edited by gholm on Thu, 01 Dec 2011, 17:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GRMarks » Mon, 06 Sep 2010, 04:38

Welcome to the forum James.

Can't give much in the way of technical help (others do that much better) as I am on my first EV conversion as well. I am doing a motor bike so not too many similarities. I am going with a brushless DC hub motor (thats 3 phace AC power to the motor ???) why they call it DC I don't know. Some have told me so its not confused with an induction motor. I am also using LiFePo4 batteries from CALB (formerly known as Sky Energy) My controller is a 400 Amp Kelly (the motor was specificley desined to work with this controller)

Wouldn't this van be a collectors item ? Looks in mint condition. If its worth $$$ sell it to finance a more recent van for conversion - something prior to 1995 (to avoid pesky ADR requirements).

Regards

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Post by gholm » Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 03:51

GRMarks wrote:
Wouldn't this van be a collectors item ? Looks in mint condition. If its worth $$$ sell it to finance a more recent van for conversion - something prior to 1995 (to avoid pesky ADR requirements).


Well, that's part of my initial struggle with guilt. Granted the pros are that it is in a fantastic condition and running beautifully, it has low mileage for its age and it could be considered a classic.But I still feel the cons outweigh them.

The current ICE engine feels quite underpowered, maxing at 66bhp at its best, the gearing is very low (max revs in 1st gear is barely faster than a jog, and max speed is 80mph, engine REALLY straining and minimal response to acceleration between 60kph-80kph) and the biggest complaint of its the many owners, it that it is SO loud in the cabin when driving. Conversation is almost at shouting level.

In my admittedly short stewardship to date, I'll gladly reach the top of a hill, then coast down the other side for respite from the massive din the engine makes, and to hear the silence of the road noise and wind. Add a slight whirr and I can already imagine it already converted to EV. Bliss.

Oh and another minor one. Summer-time will be a nightmare. The engine heat does permeate the cabin quickly, and that will not marry Sydney's summer heat/humidity with business meetings at all.

For those reading this in disgust, I will be keeping the ICE equipment in dry storage just in case a "collector" needs it as original, but my intention is to fit it out as an EV and actually use the thing for what it was built for. Driving.

I can almost guarantee that servicing a rare 60s English car in Australia could well end up costing much more than the conversion over a longer term.

So, back to questions/answers/research. Based on my reading on various forums etc, direct drive could be a real option and my current thinking goes like this.
Please feel free to jump in and correct me at any time.

The rear differential is geared at 5.625:1.   Maximum power is 66bhp at 4400 rpm , so at top speed 80kph in 4th gear (1:1 ratio), wheel spin is ~ 800rpm.
This puts my tyre circumference 1.6m (roughly correct on my tape measure)

I can easily take off on 2nd gear (2.4:1), so to match current performance of the current ICE engine torque 90ft/lb (122Nm), I need to aim for a direct drive motor with torque equivalent to 2.4x122Nm = 292Nm in order to get the same acceleration as I do now in 2nd gear.
Is that right?

I have NO idea how to calculate how much power is used to maintain "highway" speed.
Current max speed is around 80kph where the ICE feels really straining at ~4000rpm
On a flat road, the accelerator pedal is not flat to the floor to maintain that speed. It's just that I'm nervous about straining the engine to failure.

The van is 1200kg empty, add 150kg for fluids and me, so round it to 1350kg.
It's a bit wider than a VW van, but roughly the same size, so I *could* use that as a guide for Coeff of Drag but many other factors come into play (tyre pressure etc)
Any suggestions on how I can calc how much power I need to maintain 80kph? 100kph?

Since most motors have a reasonably flat torque curve to 3500rpm, with recommended maximum rpm at 5500rpm, I *should* be able to get away with an direct drive if torque is high enough, yes? I can live with low acceleration at highway speed, since I'm never in a rush to overtake.

I have read that you should aim to choose a elec motor with a standard rated power output is around 1/3 of current ICE, making my aim for electric motor rated power 22bhp. For overtaking/hills, they recommend a 1-5min max of the orig ICE. (66bhp or 45kw)
How am I doing so far? Should I be more generous to compensate for the van's inevitably large wind drag? And passenger weight?

This van isn't supposed to be high performance. It's a slow delivery van, obviously geared for city use in the 50's and 60's and I'm happy with that.
I can definitely live with the current performance since my usage will be city commuting, but like anyone, I don't want to be "that guy" who slows the traffic on speedy patches. Acceleration is fine up to 60kph and I can mostly keep up with any traffic except on freeway patches where I could use another 10-20kph.
I have a "wishlist" top speed of 100kph and be able to get there a bit faster than I do now.

Oh, I should also mention, there's no power steering or brakes, so I won't have the added complexity of vacuum pumps etc. The (drum) brakes were designed to stop the vehicle fully laden (15cwt or 750kg, placing GVM at 2200kg) so thankfully there's plenty of capacity there. Steering is light once rolling, so no point changing that either.

What's the AEVA's thoughts on this? I can just as easily keep the gearbox and clutch and go with a lower rated motor, but I'd prefer to not since these parts can get pricey to replace when worn or need maintenance.

Anyway, back to research. Anyone with any corrections or suggestions, please chime in. I'm currently flying solo on this project and need all the advice I can get.

thanks
James
Last edited by gholm on Mon, 06 Sep 2010, 17:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by EV2Go » Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 04:32

Hi james, I kind of like to start with the pro and cons approach...

Cons: you driving the equivilant of a block of flats (actually it may not be all that bad).

Pros:
Simple wiring and hopefully simple conversion.
You have so little power / performance now the only way is up.
Plenty of battery room.

For me it's all about the Cd, there seems to be a lot of roundish edges but if the Cd is high, that is what is ultimately going to dictate your results.

The faster you go the worse the problem becomes, so I recommend finding out how bad the drag is first, then you can work out how much power you will need.

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Post by Johny » Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 15:36

James it seems to me that some roll down tests are in order.
These tests require a working vehicle (you have that) and a flat piece of road about 2 to 3 km long. Slight variations are OK.
The result should be a figure for Cd and Crr.
I really regret that I didn't do this with the Vogue before I ripped it to pieces.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Measure ... -your-car/

Other than that it sounds like you are in the ball park. That diff ratio would suit an electric drive, AC or DC, well.
Just a point. Going direct drive won't so much limit your high speed acceleration, it will limit your "off the mark" acceleration as there are no selectable gears to increase torque at low vehicle speeds.

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Post by EV2Go » Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 19:30

Thanks for the link Johny that should come in handy when I have my trike on the road.

James I just did a quick measure of a new 235/45/17 tyre I have waiting to go on some rims, and it comes up a shade over 2 meters (2.02) I went to one of my favorite tyre calculator websites here and put in some measurements to see how big 1.6 meters was.

155/60/13 is 1.621 and 145/60/13 is 1.584 which are not overly big tyres coupled with a 5.625:1 diff you should be able to nearly climb walls...

Without knowing the other data or jumping the gun, I highly suspect you shouldn't have any issues with take off if you went direct drive.

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Post by Johny » Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 20:21

Vehicle weight 1300kg, diff 5.625, tyres 165/60R13 (1.65M circumference) Headway 600V, 20Ah pack, ABB 4HO 18.5kW rewound to 270 volts star (156 volt delta), running delta, controller current 250 Amps.

0 to 100km/hr in 8.011 seconds Image.
Cd and Crr guesswork and pretty favourable).

200 Amp controller makes it 8.9 seconds.

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Post by gholm » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 03:43

hey guys
Great link for the Cd and Crr guesstimation.... guess what I'm doing this weekend! All I have to do is get around the very wide margin of error of my speedo, currently quite loosely calibrated in mph and jumpy as a cat on cracker night.
I think my regular car might need to come along as a side-by-side speedo buddy.

And yes, the tyres are small. Combined with a fair bit of torque (122Nm) and low rear diff ratio, the van feels like it would certainly be able to lug its GVM up very steep inclines, albeit at less-than-walking pace.

Johny, the calculation you came up with above... are those numbers from evconvert website? What Cd and Crr did you use?. And what range did you get with that battery?

Your choice of AC controller on your blog is interesting but probably way beyond me as a noob. Is there some online AC drive-motor primer that someone like me could prep themselves with, for sake of learning why a AC motor needs to be rewound to a different voltage, star/delta etc... it's all very new to me.

That said, I had a chat to a guy from Vacon today. He's really interested in the project, and will be sending me some suitable recommendations from his line of AC drives from a company very established in the industrial end of town.
He wasn't sure of regen capability so I might be out of luck there, but I suppose I'll wait to see.

Anyway, I'll be back with some guesstimation of my Cr and Cff, plug it all into evconvert calc and see where that leads me.

Thanks for the pointers so far.
Last edited by gholm on Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 17:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by antiscab » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 04:43

at this stage, a coast down test will tell you the most about how much energy you need.

accelerate to 85kmh, clutch in, time how long it takes to coast down to 75kmh.

repeat until you are doing around 45kmh.

weigh the car (with you in it).

report back and well do our physicsy magic :D

Matt
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Post by Electrocycle » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 05:03

except the top speed is only about 80 :P
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Post by antiscab » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 05:14

any short hills near by? :p

kind reminds me of the diahatsu mira EVShop lent me (660cc engine).

being an engine from the 60's, chances are its low compression, could get away with bolting a scuba diving air tank to the air intake for a lil boost.......
k i might be being a bit silly now :)

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Post by Johny » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 15:46

gholm wrote:Johny, the calculation you came up with above... are those numbers from evconvert website? What Cd and Crr did you use?. And what range did you get with that battery?
I used the Cd and Crr guesses from the Vogue - as I said optimistic.
That said, I had a chat to a guy from Vacon today. He's really interested in the project, and will be sending me some suitable recommendations from his line of AC drives from a company very established in the industrial end of town.
The problem as I see it with regular AC controllers (VFDs) is that they are continuously rated and so are very BIG. That's why my end plan is an upgraded VFD with high peak current and modest continuous power.
That is also why I keep saying the Wavesculptor is VERY good value - you might see why why you see the Vacon prices. Considering that you can pick up the AC motor for around $1000 it's worth investing in a good controller. See also weber and coulomb's MX5 members machines entries about trying to fit a Telemecanique VFD in the MX5.
He wasn't sure of regen capability so I might be out of luck there, but I suppose I'll wait to see.
You get regen with AC - it's difficult not to (you do have to design your throttle interface to take advantage of the fact that regen is available).

VFD requirements quick list:
- DC Bus input
- Torque control
- Shaft encoder input
- Vector mode (insert fancy vendor specific term here)
- weight, size
- High 60 second rating. Somewhere from 150% to 200% overload rating.
Most of the above are NOT available with HVAC units.

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Post by Johny » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 15:55

gholm wrote:All I have to do is get around the very wide margin of error of my speedo, currently quite loosely calibrated in mph and jumpy as a cat on cracker night
Do you have a GPS or someone who would lend you one. Most of them will display speed.

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Post by rhills » Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 17:59

gholm wrote:All I have to do is get around the very wide margin of error of my speedo, currently quite loosely calibrated in mph and jumpy as a cat on cracker night
Hmmm, "jumpy as a cat". Sounds very much to me like a cable-driven speedo with a broken strand (wire strand sticks out and snags inside the tube, stops the rotation for half a rev or so until the tension builds up and then lets go). How old is the speedo cable? I assume you'll need it (the cable-driven speedo) regardless of the type of propulsion you have, so it may be worth looking at getting a new cable.

Failing that, a GPS isn't a bad idea. Don't forget that many (most?) modern mobile phones have them built in now.
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Post by EV2Go » Thu, 09 Sep 2010, 03:09

worn plastic cogs at the gearbox end can also be just as likely a culprit of the jumpy speedo. Owned a number of mid 70's Holdens that required both the gearbox cogs to be replaced (if you replace just one they wear out very quickly)

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Post by woody » Sun, 19 Sep 2010, 05:57

gholm wrote:I recently got hold of a 1966 Morris J2 van that a current contender for EV conversion.
Welcome to both you and your awesome looking beast!

Something that helps me sleep at night converting the Cortina which is not quite as unique as your van, but very original too, is that I won't be doing very much that isn't easily reversible. i.e. I will be unbolting the fuel tank, motor, radiator, gearbox, exhaust etc, but I won't be cutting huge holes for battery boxes or modifying the tunnel or firewall. I'll just be using the original engine + gearbox mounts, the battery box will bolt in where the fuel tank was and maybe onto a towbar for extra strength.

If I end up using the gearbox output shaft as part of my drivetrain, I won't be cutting up the original one, I'll be buying a scrap one to chop up.

The motor I'll be putting in a trailer with a generator, mostly to give me extra range for the odd long distance trip, but also to keep the motor in running order, rather than let it rust away under the house.

cheers,
Woody
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Post by gholm » Wed, 29 Sep 2010, 03:10

Hey all
OK, finalised a few things and thought it time for an update.

Firstly, I got it registered.
It had been on club plates for the last 10 years or so, and there was a bit to do to it in order to meet the needs of blue-slip inspector.

Thankfully nothing related to the ICE, but of note the work included a resleeved brake cylinder, new universal joint for the main shaft, new king pin on front right steering arm, and replacement of various rubber suspension mounts.
All this took about 2 weeks and I only just got it back.
Then off to the RTA to pay lots of money and get some real numberplates onto it.

Last weekend, I pulled out all the old camping get-up. A bed and shelf and sink setup that was probably carefully crafted back in the day by the first owner. After that, I did my first very-thorough rust check, isolated a few spots and treated them all with Rust converter, Cold Galv, EtchPrimer and then RustKill enamel. Nothing major, thankfully, but wanted to get on top of it before it got too far out of control.

In the mean time, I had decided on a motor/controller combo and so I'm now the proud owner of a Warp9 and Curtis 1231C, courtesy of the Swinburne Electric Racing team.
I've already done a 12v rolling test of the motor and it definitely is in fine shape, brushes hardly worn and all sound smooth and quiet. No idea how to bench test the Curtis but am reading up on that now.

Battery-wise, I somehow magically shoehorned a last minute battery order on top of a bulk order made recently on these forums. As luck would have it, someone else had made an order for 45x CALB 180AH but cancelled at the last minute which just by sheer fluke were exactly the same batteries I wanted! The guy supplying reckons they'll arrive in the country before mid October, which is much much sooner than I ever anticipated.

To suit those cells, I've ordered a BMS with matching charger ( a top balancing module based system) which should arrive soon as well.

Now on the hunt for recommendations for a main contactor (I'm looking at Albright $$ or Nanfeng. And also either a fuse or circuit breaker?

Also need suggestions as to where I can get an adaptor plate and coupler made up specific to my van. I know this process of measure/fit will take it off the road for a bit, but I would like to keep driving it as an ICE until the week or so I'll take off work to actually do the conversion.

And sorry, I haven't done any flat ground rolling or coefficient of drag tests yet as I don't have access to a GPS with accurate speed readings. Or for that matter, any clear flat ground!!

Anyway onward and upwards. Plenty to do, but all the right things are happening so something was meant to be.

Current To-do's
1) Source a main contactor.. what rating do I need? Albright or Nanfeng? or other?
My Curtis 1231C can handle a max of 500amps, but the Albright recommended to me is rated at 200Amps, how's do they figure that? I wont be running it as a drag machine all day, but I also don't want to bork the contactor by overrating it unwittingly.

2) Source either a main fuse, or large capacity circuit breaker. Again, what rating should I look for?

3) Adaptor plate and coupler - who in Sydney can do this without taking my van off the road for weeks on end?

4) Battery brackets and boxes - need to get these designed and built so they pass muster at the RTA inspection. The battery pack is a lot smaller than I thought (I mocked up a cardboard version) so I suspect I'll dump it under a rear seat I'll install as well.

5) Plenty else no doubt, and will keep you posted.

cheers
Last edited by gholm on Tue, 28 Sep 2010, 17:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by woody » Wed, 29 Sep 2010, 03:46

gholm wrote: 3) Adaptor plate and coupler - who in Sydney can do this without taking my van off the road for weeks on end?

4) Battery brackets and boxes - need to get these designed and built so they pass muster at the RTA inspection. The battery pack is a lot smaller than I thought (I mocked up a cardboard version) so I suspect I'll dump it under a rear seat I'll install as well.

5) Plenty else no doubt, and will keep you posted.
Hi gHolm,

gttool on this forum has done adapter plates for a lot of sydney EVs.

have you found/chosen an engineer? They have to sign off on most of the modifications, after that a "blue slip man" will check the usual rego things plus check motor and body numbers. The engineer may have a different understanding of the rules than you do - so it's good to get at least your ideas OKed before you start to avoid "bad luck" + rework.

There is an engineer thread here - I think there is a longer one around, but a quick search only found this one.

Oh a4x4kiwi posted a good summary of rego process here along with the engineer he used (consulmotive)

cheers,
Woody
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Post by EV2Go » Wed, 29 Sep 2010, 04:10

gholm what are you trying to do make us look bad... in next to no time you have done more than some of us that have been at this longer Image

EV Works have quite reasonable prices...
Fuses can be found here.
Contactors can be found here.
I believe Geoff (gttool) also does battery boxes too.

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Post by gholm » Fri, 01 Oct 2010, 03:17

Ah yes, of course. The engineering certificate is definitely still on the ToDo.

Is it just a matter of calling around until I find someone a) with experience with EVs, b) sympathetic to DIY costs, and c) reasonably available and priced. or d) all of the above? haha

Has anyone here had any particular (recent) experience with a EV friendly engineer? (preferably Sydney East)
I know it's sometimes a necessity, but I do hate the redtape.



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Post by soyachips » Sun, 03 Oct 2010, 04:41

I used Bruce Elson for an old Vespa scooter I just finished. He also did Electrocycle's first motorbike a while back and a Mercedes B class in the last few months. Everything went smoothly and he was reasonably priced.

Good luck with the conversion. The old van looks great!

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Post by gholm » Tue, 05 Oct 2010, 03:58

Ok thought it time for some photos.

Below are two shots of the cockpit, very raw, no winders for windows, no heater(the ICE heats up the cabin fine), no fan, no sound insulation. Engine is inbetween driver and front passenger and very loud when on the road. The seats come off easily allowing side access to the engine and is quite a large area (under each seat) where I'll probably mount charger, contactors, controller etc since airflow is good down there.
Image
With engine cover off showing the hot and noisy ICE beast within.
Image

Below is current instrument panel. Will use it as is, and only add a digital EV meter to the right of it (there's a shelf space in front of the driver where I can mount it.) I'm looking at the TBS E-Xpert Pro which I've read a lot of good things about.
Image

Below is the view from the cabin into the back. That piece of cardboard is the approximate size of 3 rows of 15 cells 180AHA CALB all lined up.
Image
And below are some possible layouts of the battery pack. I mocked it up in 3d but can't get exact camera calibration since it's an iPhone and I can't be assed doing it properly :) so treat it's just a reasonably good visual guide for size. These cells will definitely be housed inside a box of some sort, and I'm planning on putting a rear seat above the box. It all comes down to how the engineer responds to my proposal. I'm trying to keep the weight forward without impeding the rear passengers legroom (which is currently pretty generous even though the photo doesn't feel that way.) This many cells (45 x 180AHA CALBs) weighs in at around 252kgs which is forward of the rear axle.
Image
Image
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Below is a shot from the rear door looking into the rear of the van. The piece of cardboard with bottle on it is approximate the size of version 1 battery pack above. It show just how raw the van is, and how much space there is. (lots). Budget pending, I'll definitely try to trim up the rear part of the van, to make it more comfortable, less road noise etc.
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Most of this long weekend was cleaning and rust proofing. I've gone through about 4 cans of fish oil and am only beginning to slow down. Thankfully I've got the odor-free version :).
I dropped by Bunnings with a piece of the van with the correct external paint on it, and picked up a perfectly matched tin of Wattyl KillRust Enamel which I'll be using to patch old chips and black patches from rustkiller. Blew me away how exact the paint is, as I applied some with a fine foam roller and came back in 2 hours and it was very difficult to find exactly where I'd painted. (the current condition of the paint is not exactly superduper so foam roller with a bit of turps to thin the paint is perfect )
So at least I'm sorted for any dings/chips and rust treatment.

Waiting on batteries to build my battery box, and chasing a motor mount/adaptor plate/coupler guy this week.
Lots to do and I'll try to keep this updated with photos.

[edit] spelling and grammar fixes
[edit] 01Sep2011 - removed photo of Netgain Warp motor, since I didnt end up using it
Last edited by gholm on Thu, 01 Sep 2011, 15:04, edited 1 time in total.

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EV2Go
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gholm's Morris J2 Van- 1966

Post by EV2Go » Tue, 05 Oct 2010, 04:29

You won't know yourself with a whisper quiet electric motor in there Image

Also you will have plenty of amps available with those big batteries.
Last edited by EV2Go on Mon, 04 Oct 2010, 17:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Johny
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gholm's Morris J2 Van- 1966

Post by Johny » Tue, 05 Oct 2010, 15:05

You might need a bigger Ammeter Image
Seriously - good work. Great idea for the rear seat.
It will be interesting when the ICE comes out to see if you need to move more weight forwards.
I changed my layout when I realised that my front end was lighter than original and have moved anything heavy that fits into the engine bay.

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EV2Go
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Joined: Wed, 16 Jul 2008, 00:21
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gholm's Morris J2 Van- 1966

Post by EV2Go » Tue, 05 Oct 2010, 16:52

Personally I would take a slightly differet approach, I would be inclined to fit the electric motor and components (take the ICE out first Image) then weigh it front and back, and then place the batteries based on the weights.

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