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#1064385 - 12/06/19 11:09 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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30 years ago, EFI swaps had parts available in the junkyard, but not many people made the swap because of the lack of computer and wiring understanding, and concerns over high pressure fuel systems.
20 years ago, not many people could pull off an LS swap because the wiring and ECU control was still too complicated and expensive, and it was reserved for magazines and people with "too much money".
10 years ago, no one did VVT/DOD motors or Drive by Wire swaps into older cars, because there weren't cams that would work with it and/or a lack of understanding about it.
2 years ago, no one tried a Direct Injection swap themselves, only some of the big boys.
LS1tech had tons of threads asking how to make a green/blue PCM work in a 98 Trans Am, and all kinds of other similar questions, with long threads discussing the intricacies of the factory parts and internal limitations.

But now those same questions simply get a "READ THE STICKY, NEWB!!!!"
You can do an LS swap for $2000, VVT is a minor added cost, DBW is completely normal, and its still kind of expensive for a direct injection swap, but doable for the average gearhead. I see no reason it won't follow a similar trajectory for electrics.

I predict in 5 years, you will be able to swap a Tesla drive unit into an older car with a random battery pack for less than $5000, and in 10 years, I think we'll read this thread and laugh at the challenges we thought we'd have.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1064386 - 12/07/19 12:17 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Hunter,

No doubt you're right, although I think the timeframe estimate may be a bit optimistic. Like any new technology (at least new to us,) it will take time to get past the learning curve, but it will most assuredly come. Here's hoping it comes sooner than later!

Best,
MAP

#1064389 - 12/07/19 09:53 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Originally Posted by MAP
Correction: larger wheels actually give the Cybertruck a disadvantage, not an advantage.

I think we're continuing to miss the point. Forget people. Forget marketing. Forget politics. This is about physics. Buick, you probably didn't have the time to read my last post, which hit only a minute after yours.


You are right, I was thinking of the drive wheels as bull gears rather than pinions. Still larger wheels provide more traction, especially with Ag style lugs on non paved surfaces.

With electro motive power, the issue isn't power output, its input. Railroads have used electric drive locomotives for 100 years. However they use either power pickups or onboard diesel powerplants.

As for not trusting Elon, he has pointed out that his endgoal is to outlaw all manually driven cars as he considers them death machines. That his dream is that everyone rides in electric self driving car ride shares.

Not sure about other EVs, but Teslas are loaded with digital rights media (DRM) that protects their software from being tinkered with by outside parties. It would take a group of well trained hackers to unlock the operating software. Also Tesla systems are linked to the internet so the company can monitor their cars, collect data, and update the software. They can even remotely shut down their cars or modify things. For example, they can remotely extend or restrict your range depending on how much you pay. It is very much a Big Brother situatiion with Teslas and hopefully the other car makers do not follow this path with their EVs. If GM's E package comes with Big Brother monitoring, I would for sure not purchase it. Using junked EV powertrains will probably require air gapping them so they can't be remotely shut down by OEMs for non aproved use, if it can be done. Not to mention what kind of legal issues that might be entailed.

Networks are an issue too. The owner's manual for my CVPI warns Police upfitters to not splice into the factory harnesses as it would cause network issues with the various modules. Instead, CVPIs come with extra power leads for add on Police equipment to avoid network problems. Panthers are dinos compared to the even more complex modern automotive networks.

Over on Gbodyforum, there is a similar topic to this. One poster states he owns a Asian EV with aircooled batteries, and remarks that they are a weak link in an otherwise well made car. He states that aircool batteries are known for having much shorter service lives and higher premature failure rates than liquid cooled batteries.

Last edited by Buick Runner; 12/07/19 10:39 AM.

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#1064392 - 12/07/19 10:09 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Buick,

Thanks for those interesting inputs, Buick. But my advice to you and everyone reading here is to focus just on the physics of the matter, and forget the personalities involved. If we can get junked assemblies and separate components down to the absolute essentials, such as batteries and motors (and when I say batteries, I mean that we can connect directly to the anode and cathode,) then we ought to be able to build-up from there and bypass all of these issues. After all, the batteries and motors are the most expensive and significant components of the system.

Here's proof such a thing is possible: EV West is selling used Tesla battery packs. Here is their offering for the Tesla 18650 pack:

https://www.evwest.com/catalog/prod...63&osCsid=eobcea7q6d87gejd9ss4m94ip4

What's very clear, however, is the need for various safeguards to ensure bad things like fires don't happen. That's why I think that the aftermarket jump from ICE to EV will happen more slowly than the jump from the early SBC motors to the LS motors: we have to switch from mostly the mechanical realm to the electrical realm. The electrical realm is less intuitive than the mechanical, so it's more abstract.

My inclination would be to work with a very solid EV vendor with proven technical chops (EV West seems to be such a vendor but I have little data at this point,) that can be trusted to guide me to a good, safe solution at a fair price. A GM e-crate package seems like another good route, but I'm guessing they'll start conservatively, meaning less power than I'd like. The best compromise IMO would be a modular one, but I don't know whether GM would trust the installer to not do something foolish.

Best,
MAP


Last edited by MAP; 12/07/19 10:16 PM.
#1064406 - 12/10/19 08:48 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Folks,

Just read this GM announcement

It's becoming increasingly hard to ignore that GM is saying repeatedly that they are aiming for a "100% EV future." "Zero emissions," of course, is patently false since when one considers the entire energy chain, the source is still transducing chemical energy into electrical energy (most likely with natural gas-combusted turbo-generators,) and in so doing certainly emitting hydrocarbon byproducts. Admittedly, however, this is still much cleaner than ICEs typically achieve.

Take-away for us: the worldwide pressure to improve battery performance is enormous. R&D in this field is prodigious: certainly in the realm of many billions of dollars per year. (I can't put my finger on a total global figure, but GM's single investment of 2.3e9$ with LG for a battery plant is revealing. Panasonic supplies Tesla.)

I believe this will result in rapid improvements in the ratio of energy stored to cost/volume/mass. Such improvements would benefit us just as much as it would the OEM. For me this indicates that the short-term strategy is justified to minimize battery investment and sacrifice range as much as possible, with the great benefit of reduced mass.

Best,
MAP

PS: Just curious if anyone out there reading all this is seriously considering an EV conversion? If I had the resources, I'd be all over this like white on rice.

Last edited by MAP; 12/10/19 09:05 PM.
#1064409 - 12/11/19 04:23 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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I was gathering components for an EV conversion a while back, but more of an economy project. I've got an 85 S10 short bed regular cab base model truck. I also had access to a 30 hp VFD with DC bus input capability and 230V 3 phase output, and a 25hp 230 3 phase motor (scrap from my then-employer). I was hoping to get a 30 hp, but didn't get the chance.
The plan was to get a cheap battery bank (likely from electric forklifts) mounted in the bed, and place the motor and drive underhood mounted to the existing 4 speed, and swap some taller gears in the axle. Running through the manual transmission would overcome some of the low power aspects of a 30hp motor, and taller gears would allow for ~75 mph top speed (which matched the original 4 cylinder smirk ). I was hoping to put it together for maybe $1500 and make commuting costs go way down.
Then I changed jobs, left that equipment at the old place, and haven't had time to mess with thinking about it again.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1064414 - 12/11/19 09:03 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Hunter,

Your reply highlights a key defect in an EV conversion geared toward performance that equals or betters an ICE: it's expensive, and despite strong trending in reduced battery cost per unit energy with the passage of time, it's likely to remain so for probably several years or possibly more.

The earliest adopters are therefore likely to be relatively wealthy and not afraid of exploring new frontiers. In this forum or any other public forum for that matter, this demographic is likely to be very sparsely populated.

But that will only improve with time...

Best,
MAP

#1064416 - 12/11/19 10:30 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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It will be quite awhile before it's anywhere close to common or mainstream to do EV swaps for performance. It will come but it's all about price/availability and of course performance being worth the swap as it improves/gets cheaper. Those doing it now will be like Hunter79764, for mpg/cost reasons on a daily commuter and people comfortable in handling the "new" technology. Took LS swaps maybe 10 years, very roughly, to go from avant-garde to commonplace. So EV I'd suspect is at least 10 years out from that trend. Plus there will be more natural resistance, some people like the natural combustion engine and the fun sounds and rumble they can make as part of the appeal.


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#1064424 - 12/12/19 08:09 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi PB,

Sounds right! I've mentioned that one of my friends from high school days is the chief valvetrain engineer at GM. He did the LS7 motor valvetrain, for example. I've communicated a bit about EVs with him, and he says they're great but he has the eye-watering, rich smell of partially-combusted hydrocarbons in his blood! (I know he loves big cams with big overlap triangles with a terrible quality of idle. He says the transmission folks require stable idles, so he has to tune that out. Emissions, too, sadly.)

As for me, I'd never do it on the basis of "fuel" cost alone. It would have to perform better than an ICE in a global sense (traction and handling) and do less than 3 sec to 60mph. 1/4-mile concerns me far less; that happens only rarely in daily driving (!)

I'll see how resources evolve for me.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 12/13/19 02:01 AM.
#1064433 - 12/13/19 02:49 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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This thread belongs in the Lounge!!


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#1064434 - 12/13/19 06:14 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi 86,

I've been wondering also if this thread had deviated too far from the original intent. I think I'll steer it back to top dead center: high nines (ok, "ish",) from an electric drvietrain.

Best,
MAP

#1064435 - 12/13/19 06:43 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Originally Posted by MAP
1/4-mile concerns me far less; that happens only rarely in daily driving (!)



Speak for yourself! I've got an on-ramp that is wide open every morning, and it isn't safe to try merging with highway traffic at anything less than 70 or so wink


I think the economy conversions have been around since the 90's, just in very small communities and typically not the folks or the builds that get into magazines. DIY Performance EV's can probably trace their history on a similar timeframe as the rise of Tesla, i.e. both going from a relatively rare duck to being a legitimate endeavor in the last 10 years. My guess is that pure economy conversions are probably going to continue to decline unless and until there is another massive, long lasting cost increase for gas/diesel, and the same for pure economy EV's from the major OEM's. Nissan is talking about moving away from the Leaf model and into high end EV's, GM is making more noise about a hybrid Corvette than they ever did about the Volt.

At today's rates, I can't justify trading my 2004 Yukon Denali that gets ~12 mpg on my daily commute to work for any other "normal" car that gets better mileage (I don't want to lose utility, and something new enough to keep the utility at a lower fuel cost won't pay off at 2.xx/gallon). When we were at $4/gallon, I was weighing the options between the EV S10, a LP or CNG conversion on an F150 I had, or buying a tiny hatch for commuting and could have justified any of them but chose to change jobs for a shorter commute instead. I'm guessing I'm not alone in that scenario.
But if/when an EV conversion can be done on a shoestring budget of ~$5k and have similar performance to a V8, coupled with $4/gallon gas for an extended run, I think the switch will flip and performance conversions (with a side benfit of relative economy) will start coming out of the woodwork.

GM's apparent strategy of stacking motors in an easily retrofittable package becomes a great option. You can buy the electric equivalent to the existing 290hp 350 crate motor, or the midlevel HT383, or the high end LS7 crate, and possibly upgrade the one you got at a later date while keeping your existing controller and/or battery. I really don't think it is that far on the horizon...


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1064437 - 12/13/19 08:39 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Hunter,

I like the sound of that. But I'm just fearful that GM will release a one-size-fits-all EV option. I'd hope they'd make their kit scalable in at least two different power levels, with the lower of the two being 450hp as mentioned here:

https://electrek.co/2019/11/05/gm-electric-pickup-hotrod-concept-bolt-ev/

They say this truck does 0-60 in 5 sec. Not bad, but hardly exciting. I don't know how much that truck weighs, but given that 0-60 time, I hope it's a lot(!)
BTW, 1/4-mile times: I agree the likeliest place to see that on the street is a highway on-ramp. But I also hope 70mph comes up faster than the end of that ramp(!)

Best,
MAP



Last edited by MAP; 12/13/19 08:42 PM.
#1064441 - 12/14/19 01:56 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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MAP, since the thread really didn't pertain to the 4th generation Monte Carlo, it should have been in the Lounge from the beginning.


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#1064442 - 12/14/19 03:54 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi 86,

As the OP, I can say it has everything to do with the MCSS. I see you're a late joiner here - please read from the beginning: the MCSS has a terrible weight distribution from the factory, and an enormous trunk by modern standards. Both factors make this platform an ideal candidate for an EV conversion. And it certainly belongs in the "Engine" forum because we're talking first and foremost about a change of prime mover. "High nines" is also a calling card that works best in this forum.

Let me draw a parallel: talking about an EFI conversion could apply to hundreds of other old car models and has nothing to do inherently with a 4th-gen MCSS. And yet, that topic finds its home here too.

I certainly invite a verdict from the moderators (PB86?) because I'm not interested in speaking of housekeeping here, but as I see it, the "Engine" forum is this thread's rightful home.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 12/14/19 04:22 AM.
#1064444 - 12/14/19 04:42 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Nope, not a late comer, not interested in something that isn't directly related to the 4th gen cars!!


Leo Paugh
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#1064445 - 12/14/19 04:44 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Ya know one of the funny things about this subject is if you asked a 100 car guy what's under the hood, 50 would say it's an engine, and 50 would say it's a motor.
We all know it ain't no motor, it's an engine. But, the times they are changin.
Bob

#1064449 - 12/14/19 06:58 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Issue submitted to the moderators for resolution.

Last edited by MAP; 12/14/19 07:12 AM.
#1064458 - 12/15/19 07:10 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Wow.. I get to moderate? Let me see if I remember how to do this.

I see both points about relevance or the lack there-of. The thread has wandered here and there away from what it would take to make the conversion, to general EV industry and trends. Let's keep it on track related to what it would take to convert a Monte to electric. I view it in the same light as what it would take to do an LS swap etc, which is certainly fair game here. Any general EV industry trends and discussion should be taken to the Lounge. The seats there are comfy, and the drinks are cheap.

PC


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#1064464 - 12/15/19 05:12 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Paul - thanks again for all you do. Carrying forward on that theme:

MAP - You give me hope that there are alternatives to our current/upgraded drive trains which could promise to keep our cars on the road in any eventuality! If I were closer to your Yuma address I'd swing by (yes with a stop at Lance's...) to scope out what it would take as we discussed. You know my car and that I have pitched the computer and have all Speedhut gauges. If one were to make the jump to electric, assuming that the parts had evolved and were installation ready, what controls and instrumentation would be needed today and what are your thoughts of where this might lead say 10 years down the road? I would not be enamoured with a single Tesla control screen in the middle of the dash with no other displays... hahaha). One would assume the batteries would come with their own dedicated cell management systems. You might want to get a business going on providing conversion packages...?

Gordon

#1064468 - 12/15/19 08:22 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Paul,

Thanks so much! Will gladly do all you say.

Hi Gordon,

That was a lot to fit inside a single post (!) I think it's going to take years to figure out where this is going to take us in 10 years - I just hope it's significantly less than 10 years wink A business: tantalizing for sure, but the starting point for me would be doing my own conversion on an MCSS, and if I did that, it wouldn't be only the EV conversion proper, but the whole vision I have for transforming an MCSS: unibody, suspension with IRS if possible, etc. Basically, I see the evolution of that as potentially touching just about every forum in this site.

Given Pual's direction, I expect my rate of posting here will drop to zero or thereabouts for quite a while, because I see myself as currently possessing about 1% of the knowledge base necessary to proceed with confidence on a conversion, where I'm defining 100% confidence as a simple ICE swap. Hopefully someone else here will beat me to the goal and we'll see interesting posts by that person. Or persons...

Best,
MAP



Last edited by MAP; 12/15/19 08:28 PM.
#1064480 - 12/16/19 01:55 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Thank You MAP and Paul. Best of luck to you MAP, hope your ideas gain some traction in the conversion world!!


Leo Paugh
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POW*MIA
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#1064482 - 12/16/19 03:24 AM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Thx, 86!!

#1064484 - 12/16/19 06:26 PM Re: High nine's from zero liters (0 CID) [Re: MAP]  
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Thanks all, I'll try to keep it directly on MC's as well.

On reusing gauges, for the potential GM style solution (a "Crate" that bolts to the existing transmission), your speedometer would stay exactly as is, but the tach might need a revisit depending on the motor type. You could probably have a controller set up to give a useful output for motor speed.
Not sure what Water Temp/Oil Pressure might be used for that would more or less match the function and readings that you would have on an ICE.
If you ran liquid cooled motor/battery, the temp gauge is easy but I'm not sure how common those are on retrofits.
Volt meter on the 12V circuit would still be useful to make sure the DC-DC converter is working (or alternator if you opt for that route).
Might be able to monitor battery charge level on the gas gauge for a quick indicator?
If you could rework the oil pressure gauge to show amperage, that would be neat (lower at idle, higher under load, so the trend sort of carries)
I'm not sure how much else you would really need to monitor. If I was GM, I'd incorporate those outputs into the controller to make it easier to plug and play into an older car. They might even have a battery or motor temp sensor that would be a direct correlation for the coolant temp gauge. The rest of the information would probably be accessed via laptop for exhaustive tuning and troubleshooting, same as an EFI setup now.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
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