Removal of engineRemoving flywheelMotor cradleKathi and her 1971 VW bus (pre-electric)Motor installed!!rear crossmember motor mountmotor mount
OwnerJack M. Lurie
LocationFort Myers, Florida United States map
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Vehicle1971 Volkswagen Type 2 (bus)
My wife's vintage VW bus, with flag/patriot/peace theme paint job. I think the paint scheme and EV drivetrain are a good combination!! Practical application remains to be seen!!
MotorAdvanced DC FB1-4001A Series Wound DC
Considered a smaller motor, but experienced amateur converters all leaned towards a larger motor for a bus. We are going with the proven ADC workhorse!!
DrivetrainStandard 4 speed manual; retaining the clutch for ease of use. Clutch or not seems to be one of the great unresolved EV conversion issues!!
ControllerCurtis 1231C-8601
Again, going with the conservative, proven workhorse. We will be using a heatsink and ducted cooling (fan as last resort).
Batteries24, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Trojan or US Battery, depending on price and availability when we reach that stage.
System Voltage144 Volts
Originally leaning towards individual chargers; now inclined to go with a PFC (probably 30 amp Manzanita Micro) This will provide ultimate flexibility in an onboard charger for both home and opportunity charging.
HeaterIt's Florida, man!! We will most likely install a hair dryer ducted to the defroster.
DC/DC Converter
Originally planning a dead loss 12 volt battery; now thinking small 12 volt battery and Iota charger/ DC-DC.
InstrumentationTentatively 12 v voltmeter
Traction pack ammeter
Traction pack voltmeter
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
Based on others' experiences. More than adequate, as we do -0- local freeway driving.
AccelerationI would anticipate roughly the same as ICE version. We are not in a hurry!!
Range45 Miles (72 Kilometers)
Hoping for 45 miles without "digging too deep" into DOD.
Seating Capacity5 adults
2 in individual front seats; 3 in bench seat in back.
TiresNothing special; may switch to low resistance Michelins in the future.
Conversion TimeJust getting started October 1, 2008.
Conversion CostEstimated at $9,500 for the conversion and miscellaneous repairs of the vehicle.
We are beginning this project with an open mind! Motor and controller are being ordered so that we can start on motor adapter and coupling fabrication. The VW bus is probably not the ideal candidate for EV conversion, but it is a very practical vehicle for hauling both people and cargo. Any input on this project will be appreciated!!

10/07/2008 Received motor and controller from EV America. Very good service, and had both items in stock.

10/12/2008 Removed original gas engine, gas tank, and other miscellaneous parts. Trimmed away excess sheet metal in motor compartment. Began assembling control board with controller cooled with finned heatsink and fans.

10/14/2008 Sold gas engine (without flywheel) for $400 on Craig's List.

10/18/2008 Ordered motor coupler and adapter plate from Canadian EV

10/28/2008 Received adapter kit from Canadian EV. Amazingly, no instructions came with kit. E-mail for request for instructions has not been responded to. We will muddle through.

11/26/2008 Installed adapter kit onto motor and bolted up to transmission. Had to replace the three 2" socket head machine screws that draw the taper hub into the motor adapter with 1 1/2". The 2" that came with the kit would have protruded through the hub, and not allowed the coupler assembly to be positioned properly. It is now all bolted up, and we just have to fabricate a rear motor mount/cradle that will tie in with the original cross member VW motor mount

12/03/2008 Fabricated the rear motor mount. Used 3/16 x 2" flat steel to make a cradle and top strap. The flat steel was bent by lag bolting to a telephone pole, and walking it around. Then I welded 1/4" ears on each end to make the bottom cradle and top strap. The bottom cradle was welded to the original crossmember. If you use this method, the form you use should be about 20% smaller then the motor (the steel has a tendency to spring back).

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