OwnerSteve McDonald
LocationCastro Valley, California US map
Email email image
Vehicle1987 Honda Civic
DX hatchback "hatchy" named by my 4 year old son.
MotorAdvanced DC 203-06-4001 Series Wound DC
8" motor
Drivetrain5 speed MT
ControllerCurtis Curtis 1221C-7401
I bought the Deluxe universal conversion kit from Electro Automotive. Nice people Mike and Shari.
Batteries15 US Battery 8VGC, 8.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
originally planned for 120V but I can fit an extra 2 in the center rack..I will start with 120 and see how performance is and then determine if I will go 136V...are there chargers for this odd voltage? UPDATE 8/31/07..YES apparently the Zivan people in Sacramento California can reprogram my NG3 to handle 136V. Currently though..120 seems very adequate.
System Voltage120 Volts
ChargerZivan NG3
Decided to upgrade to the Zivan after my first charger, a Russco SC 18-120 refused to even come on. I got a 220V Bycan offboard loaner charger from a friend...220 sure charges it up quick!
Heaterceramic to be installed later.
DC/DC ConverterVicor
InstrumentationState of charge meter
Amp meter
volt meter
all analog in a pillar mount pod..cool!
Top SpeedI'm hoping for at least 65-85 mph..seems like it will but I just got it finished and just driving it around the neighborhood to start. Update! Went 70 easily on the freeway...wheeee!
Accelerationabout stock in performance
Range60 Miles (96 Kilometers)
This is my goal and I am using a very light car with weight saving techniques I've learned from a 3G civic racing site called redpepperracing.com.
50 miles is realistic
EV Miles
Start:89 Miles (143 Kilometers)
Current:97 Miles (156 Kilometers)
Total:8 Miles (12 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity2, I have found that since I wanted 120v, I needed a center rack. Unfortunately, the bench seat above it will not fit unless I sink the rack dangerously low. I could modify the back rack to accept 7 batteries instead of 6 and go 112V to keep the bench if I wanted though. Also, center rack could hold 2 more batteries if I want 136v in the future.
Curb Weight2,700 Pounds (1,227 Kilograms)
2700 right on the nose with no driver. I took it to the dumps and they were kind enough to accomodate my request...then the scale guy had a look under the hood. :)
Tires14" Civic "HX" wheels made by Enkei for Honda. These are the lightest wheels Honda offered at 11.5 lbs each (except for the Civic VX 13") I had to go to 14" rims because of the larger Integra brakes. Powercoated black satin and wrapped with Bridgestone B381 185/70/14s.
Conversion Time2 years , chipped away at it mostly weekends.
Conversion Cost9k
Additional FeaturesLarger front and rear calipers/rotors(slotted), thicker rear springs, brake proportioning valve, all from a 87 Acura Integra 3dr. Akebono ceramic pads front/rear, larger bore 85 Prelude brake master cylinder with stock Civic DX 8" booster (may upgrade to 9" Integra booster if pedal is too heavy)
UPDATE!9/1/07 stocke DX booter is adequate..it stops on a dime! ,KYB gas shocks front and rear, full polyurethane suspension bushing set, aluminum short shifter, aluminum steering wheel, pillar mount gauge pod, lightened flywheel (no ring gear & balanced with new Daikin clutch),MP3 cd stereo. Civic HX rims powdercoated satin black (larger rims because original 13" rims would not fit over the Teg calipers..slight weight gain. Various parts powdercoated chrome and translucent blue...(es for fun!) Battery watering system. TO BE DONE= complete LED lighting conversion (not bulbs..individual LEDs that I will integrate into stock lamps (except headlights),polycarbonate plastic(tinted)rear side windows and rear hatch too.
My original motive was to save money on gas.I was motivated to do this by the tremendous rise in gas prices after Hurricane Katrina and disgusted by Big oil/auto makers killing of the beautiful electric cars like the EV1. Over time I have come to appreciate the green values of what I am doing and now take pride in that as well. It feels good to be doing something to cut down on pollution and my use of foreign oil. I pass 8 gas stations on my way to work and I will give them all a big finger as I pass by. If there are any other 84-87 Civic converters out there, please feel free to email me,I would be interested to see other's solutions to converting 84-87 3G Civic hatchbacks. UPDATE! ITS ALIVE..started driving around the neighborhood.
Update: Did 70mph on the freeway no problem...wheeee!!!

Update 8/22/07 I want to share with anybody doing this vehicle a VALUABLE link that I have been following for about as long as I've been working on my car..2 years. This link details how to drastically reduce the weight of these vehicles and is a MUST read! I will not do everything he does but most. Its 69 pages of great information and pictures detailing how to upgrade the brakes, suspension, and reduce weight. Although its aimed at gas cars..it has the info that we want!
WebPage

UPDATE 8/31/07 I am now insured! Progressive had no problem whatsoever adding it to our policy. I stressed to them that it is an electric conversion and this did not seem to phase them at all. All they really wanted to know was how many miles did I think I would drive it in a year. After explaining its range the agent said a fair estimate would be 6k per year I've heard all kinds of stories about how hard it it is to insure electric cars but when I told the agent this she said, "why in the world wouldn't we insure you?!" PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE ROCKS!...Thank you SO much Progressive for your positive attitude! I will recommend all my uninsured EV buddies your way!

9/21/07, Got inspected by California DMV today but they will not give me stickers until I cover my batteries inside. I've been meaning to so I'll bang this job out soon.
UPDATE 12/29/07 Finally got registered at Pleasanton California DMV. I did all the final work to cover the batteries nicely and put nearly all my interior back in and the DMV inspector was very impressed and passed me. The fun began when I went back into the office, took my #, waited for an hour, and presented my paperwork to the DMV clerk who kept insisting that I had a hybrid. I finally got the guy that inspected it to come over to help but then nobody there seemed to know how to handle an electric car...about 20 minutes later, they figured out a work around and I got my stickers. Man I hope I don't get a letter stating I have to smog it!

Update 4/17/08, DMW sent me a letter..hand written from the office I visited in Pleasanton. I went in..paid some more money..and they registered it correctly. The girl that helped me last time ended up putting it down as a hybrid it turns out. Now..I was assured by somebody that really seems to know what they are doing there, that I am 100% legal to drive on California roads. To date, 2,960 gas free commute miles!

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