Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.
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Lurkin
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Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by Lurkin » Jul 08, 2017 4:05 am

I've been watching the sub 10k second hand electric vehicle market on and off for a while now. The preference would be to buy a factory electric vehicle for a daily driver but seriously, this means (in Australia, Melbourne) buying either a Toyota prius or Honda Insight based on browsing carsales or gumtree here in Australia. Whilst they are both probably great vehicles for some, but neither really meet my brief and after taking a test drive.... I'm considering going back to the DIY route.

I've always owned/liked/wanted quick imports and I've been consider an early evo, rx7, crx or even civic or swift as a donor vehicle. I have been driving a Suzuki Swift Sport as a daily but have owned quicker cars in the past and despite the reliability/practicality of the Swift, its is pretty uninspiring to drive. The more practical side of me is arguing for a Subaru Forester as they would be a cheap and practical donor... hmmm... starting to snooze again. Totally open to suggestion here, but note most second hand cars in Australia are surprisingly expensive!

I've assumed a mental budget of AUD10k all up, but really I have little idea of what the real budget should be. I haven't locked down the future drivetrain/battery and would really, really appreciate others input. I know others on here have had more successful installations and I'm keen to hear what suggestions others have. I am not in a hurry to do this at all, the next five years is the plan.

Requirements:
- reliability and safety.
- quicker than your average but rocket speed is not required.
- 100km range is probably enough, could go less but would require fast charging if less.
- depending on how fast/torquey 4wd could be an option
- not averse to buying a 4wd or ute etc.... open minded here

I haven't ruled out paying someone else to put this together for me, but again, it would be budget/time dependent. I'm not in a rush, quality, reliability and safety are at the top of the list here.

Any ideas or suggestions from here would be much appreciated 8)

torker
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by torker » Jul 08, 2017 8:11 am

Just saw a RX7 for 500 in town yesterday. Love the body style. Sorry I am not good help. Are you looking for cars with blown engines? I assume that was the prob with the one I saw. Maybe put a wanted ad somewhere.
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kiwiev
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by kiwiev » Jul 09, 2017 2:08 am

Lurkin wrote:I've been watching the sub 10k second hand electric vehicle market on and off for a while now. The preference would be to buy a factory electric vehicle for a daily driver but seriously, this means (in Australia, Melbourne) buying either a Toyota prius or Honda Insight based on browsing carsales or gumtree here in Australia. Whilst they are both probably great vehicles for some, but neither really meet my brief and after taking a test drive.... I'm considering going back to the DIY route.

I've always owned/liked/wanted quick imports and I've been consider an early evo, rx7, crx or even civic or swift as a donor vehicle. I have been driving a Suzuki Swift Sport as a daily but have owned quicker cars in the past and despite the reliability/practicality of the Swift, its is pretty uninspiring to drive. The more practical side of me is arguing for a Subaru Forester as they would be a cheap and practical donor... hmmm... starting to snooze again. Totally open to suggestion here, but note most second hand cars in Australia are surprisingly expensive!

I've assumed a mental budget of AUD10k all up, but really I have little idea of what the real budget should be. I haven't locked down the future drivetrain/battery and would really, really appreciate others input. I know others on here have had more successful installations and I'm keen to hear what suggestions others have. I am not in a hurry to do this at all, the next five years is the plan.

Requirements:
- reliability and safety.
- quicker than your average but rocket speed is not required.
- 100km range is probably enough, could go less but would require fast charging if less.
- depending on how fast/torquey 4wd could be an option
- not averse to buying a 4wd or ute etc.... open minded here

I haven't ruled out paying someone else to put this together for me, but again, it would be budget/time dependent. I'm not in a rush, quality, reliability and safety are at the top of the list here.

Any ideas or suggestions from here would be much appreciated 8)
I wish you luck mate.

-Options are thin on the ground, I have a Warp 9 brand new in the box going cheap would still need a controller.
-Nissan leaf wreck out of the states I'm looking at filling a container they relatively cheap
- then do a Honda CRX like Arlin its freckin awesome

I was looking at a Leaf in Vic but they still $20K plus and they are not much fun to drive lol.

Cheers Kiwi

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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by kiwiev » Jul 22, 2017 4:55 am

Hey Bro

Check this thread may interest you.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 34&t=89642

Lurkin
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by Lurkin » Jul 22, 2017 7:35 pm

I'll be keeping track of what you are doing generally :lol: things are definitely going in the right direction.

heres some food for thought:
- how many people need a track car?
- how many people need a cheap, reliable small vehicle to get around in?
- of either of those options, do they want a smart car?
- how popular are smart cars vs other cheap options in Australia?
- which of these has been popular enough to have a very low priced second hand market?

the first is a cool, fun thing to have and is applicable to those with disposable income. the second is a much, much larger market which is currently satisfied with very expensive factory ready alternatives. A struggle to get the whole small pie, or get a slice of a much larger pie? I considered the smart vehicles closely when deciding to buy the swift. it had a number of things going for it, including the race applications/Hayabusa etc when the missus wanted (eventually) a replacement (and the swift gets left to my devices... hmmm), parking 'options' or 'technique'.... but the swift offered more and has a more suitable wheelbase.

the base model was selling new in Melbourne for approx. AUD15k when we bought our sport version 2 years ago. Second hand (albeit higher kms) can be had for as low as 3k. move space, more feasible for both track and 'domestic' activities... swifts, including the older chassis/look style have been converted many times before. the base model is all that would be required as other than looks, the sport only offers a more powerful motor, fancier interior and 'sport' suspension. either way, the plan was to use bucket ish seats from a wrx/evo or similar, coilovers (weight distribution after conversion).. no real need for the sport model, base is fine. Parts are readily available and they are cheap here! this matters for long term ownership and panel repairs for accidents. Whilst a small car, there is enough room to work on these more comfortably.

a real, decent solution to replacing a fuel tank with an energy dense enough, cheap enough battery pack to be useful enough - that is really the remaining, major challenge for me... most of the conversions I've seen so far use either the back seat or boot as a battery storage (which I don't want to do). I think a 18650 or similar pack designed to take the fuel tank as a drop in replacement, motor/gearbox mounts to leaf (or similar), 'standard' kit controller, wiring harness and cooling solutions standardized into a kit. this could easily be a very, very successful answer for a retrofit business. Swifts are very, very common in Melbourne, which means they are a popular choice already here. just needs a user friendly, cheap electric answer.

Questions that are running through my mind are:
- are leaf motor setups cheap enough imported from the states?
- is there a non OEM kit that could be reliable enough and put together cheaply? (warp etc)
- are electric vehicles becoming more common in australia and what will the wreaks likely be in the next 5 years?
- how to solve the battery issue? is it possible to make a floor pan/fuel tank pack that is good enough?
- are tesla modules the answer?

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kiwiev
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by kiwiev » Jul 22, 2017 11:30 pm

I thought a bout going DC but once you blow one you get gun shy.

The track side is really for the hoon in me sorry, but a light car is always a good starting place because it is only going to get heavier.

My advice if you can wait get a second hand Tesla 3, but if you are keen I can help you out on the controller. The Tesla packs are to big for a swift to get 360 volts ie 14 modules which is 350 kg bare but you would get your millage.

There whole leafs for sale wrecked in the USA but I think you have to cut them in half to import??

Cheers Kiwi

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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by Cowardlyduck » Jul 22, 2017 11:50 pm

Hey Lurkin,

I was in a similar situation last year, needing a second car as a commuter, but unable to afford a used electric. I ended up getting a 2004 Prius:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... &p=1222922

I was originally planning on doing a DIY conversion to PHEV, but don't think that's going to happen any more. The amount of money it would take to convert it could just as easily be put towards a used EV down the track at some point. Then you can get a newer car, and there's nothing tying you to an old car you invested in.
I might still add solar panels to my Prius, but probably nothing much more than that.

Cheers
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kiwiev
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by kiwiev » Jul 26, 2017 6:16 am

Cowardlyduck wrote:Hey Lurkin,

I was in a similar situation last year, needing a second car as a commuter, but unable to afford a used electric. I ended up getting a 2004 Prius:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... &p=1222922

I was originally planning on doing a DIY conversion to PHEV, but don't think that's going to happen any more. The amount of money it would take to convert it could just as easily be put towards a used EV down the track at some point. Then you can get a newer car, and there's nothing tying you to an old car you invested in.
I might still add solar panels to my Prius, but probably nothing much more than that.

Cheers
I thought you were going to add more cells mate ?

Cheers Kiwi

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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by Cowardlyduck » Jul 26, 2017 7:00 am

kiwiev wrote:I thought you were going to add more cells mate ?
I was thinking about it, but I don't think it's worth it any more. Maybe I still will...eventually, but for now it just doesn't seem worth it.

Cheers
High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled Leaf motor @ 6KW, Heat-sinked Adaptto Mini-E. Battery = 49AH, 14S (51.1V) Sanyo 18650GA - 2.5Kwhr = 200km range!
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Re: Sub 10k Australian retrofit

Post by kiwiev » Jul 26, 2017 5:20 pm

Cowardlyduck wrote:
kiwiev wrote:I thought you were going to add more cells mate ?
I was thinking about it, but I don't think it's worth it any more. Maybe I still will...eventually, but for now it just doesn't seem worth it.

Cheers
Its a bugger we don't have a decent EV wrecking market down here I drooled over Jehu lastest blog all on second hand cells.

Cheers Kiwi

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