Electric Spider - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #46 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 08:59 AM
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Well, as the saying goes:
"Whatever turns your crank."

Bob,
Avatar is the 68 Super, bought new.
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post #47 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 08:37 AM
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I am really glad to see this project. I love the idea of retrofitting classics to electric. I just did a conventional engine transplant to an e30 BMW.

So much stuff besides the engine long block to deal with. Reminds you how much garbage is needed to keep an ICE engine running. In this day and age, using hot expanding gasses to turn a crank seems very "steam-punk." All the intricate moving parts requiring tight tolerances, lubricants, coolants, pumps, hoses, etc. While electric is just a battery, controller, and motor. Just one or two moving parts, if you delete the transmission.

I have a driver quality '69 Spider with a later 2L Weber engine. Never drive it more than 20 miles at a time. This conversion is tempting. Maybe in a few years when the process is finessed. Please carry on.
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post #48 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Project update: Motor mount assembly and front battery box mock-up.

Created a MDF version of the motor mount assembly to check for fit. I am using some LS V8 universal motor mounts instead of the stock Alfa. Electric motors run infinitely smoother than a gas engine, so no need for squishy motor mounts meant to reduce vibrations. The motor controller will mount to the face of the motor mount assembly; brake vacuum pump and canister mount on the side. The battery box mock-up is made from dollar store foam board. Even though all of these parts are being designed on the computer, nothing beats seeing it in real size in the engine bay to see if it will actually fit! Also been stripping paint, more on that later...
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post #49 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 06:45 PM
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Nice and tidy.

I assume these batteries will be heavy (?), from a handling point of view would it make sense putting the batteries where the fuel tank used to be, or would there be a problem getting the current from one end of the car to the other? I was going to suggest putting the batteries where the engines oil sump used to be, but that would make the chassis very nose heavy.

Another option maybe: If you replaced the T bar on the rear suspension with just a trailing arm and installed a panhard rod for the sideways axle location, you might be able to package the batteries either side of the driveshaft under the rear seat. Nice and low and where the weight needs to be, i.e. close to the rear wheels.

Best
Pete

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post #50 of 124 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Nice and tidy.

I assume these batteries will be heavy (?), from a handling point of view would it make sense putting the batteries where the fuel tank used to be, or would there be a problem getting the current from one end of the car to the other? I was going to suggest putting the batteries where the engines oil sump used to be, but that would make the chassis very nose heavy.

Another option maybe: If you replaced the T bar on the rear suspension with just a trailing arm and installed a panhard rod for the sideways axle location, you might be able to package the batteries either side of the driveshaft under the rear seat. Nice and low and where the weight needs to be, i.e. close to the rear wheels.

Best
Pete
I thought about putting batteries under the car. There is room for maybe 4-6 on either side just in front of the axle where the muffler used to be. My current configuration is going to be about 375lbs (motor, battery, motor mount) in the front and 120lbs or battery behind the seats. With all the parts removed, I think my curb weight will be pretty close to stock!

Seth Friesen
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post #51 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 01:43 PM
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I am really glad to see this project. I love the idea of retrofitting classics to electric. I just did a conventional engine transplant to an e30 BMW.
I'm in Seattle and am investigating whether there could be a scaleable business converting platforms like the E30 into electrics while keeping their driving dynamics robust and authentic. Like zelectric.com - but without the premium prices and/or long wait list.

If you're interested in chatting further, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the E30 as a platform.
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post #52 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 04:48 AM
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Here's one of my favorite electric spiders.


It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Spider and Sport Sedan
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
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post #53 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 06:24 AM
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:-) subscribed

'86 Quad Spider
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post #54 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:30 PM
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subscribed. This is awesome.
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post #55 of 124 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 04:39 PM
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Got a few PMs; Can't PM you (or anyone else) since I have < 10 posts; sorry about that!
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post #56 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Plunged head-first into the restoration phase of the project. I chemically stripped the paint (yuk), and started with a couple coats of SPI epoxy primer over the metal. This car clearly led a tough life. Not really any panel that isn't dented! A few sections had three coats of paint; original OEM silver, re-sprayed silver, and finally the dark metallic blue. I knew when I bought this car that it was going to be a choir to get the bodywork right. On the plus side, no rust!

Note the condition of the nose. It has been repaired before and resembles a golf ball. Unfortunately, the metal has been overworked and has lost some of its integrity. Please don't lean on the nose!

I decided to delete the side marker lights. The front will be replaced with the little orange Carillo lights, nothing on the rear.
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post #57 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:58 PM
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What are you doing in the rear?

I ditched those huge license lights.

Also cut off the bumper mounts and am making a rear roll pan.
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It's Giuseppe's giubos, not Guido's guibos, on my 78 Spider and Sport Sedan
REFRESH CONNECTIONS BEFORE REPLACING COMPONENTS
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post #58 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mshobe View Post
I'm in Seattle and am investigating whether there could be a scaleable business converting platforms like the E30 into electrics while keeping their driving dynamics robust and authentic. Like zelectric.com - but without the premium prices and/or long wait list.

If you're interested in chatting further, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the E30 as a platform.
I replied to you by PM, but it seems you may not have access to that. So here's what I said:

I think an electric conversion makes more sense on infrequently driven vehicles with frequent or prohibitively expensive reliability problems.

So, classic cars older than 40 years old where all the rubber lines and seals are failing, oil leaks, fuel leaks, finicky carburators, etc. Like these old Alfas.

Or, top-tier cars with very expensive drivetrains, like air-cooled Porsches, any Ferrari, old Jags and Astons, etc., cars whose owners are more interested in the style and coachwork and want to be able to continue driving the car even when qualified mechanics or access to gasoline disappears.

As for the e30 BMW, I don't think it's the best candidate (yet) for a conversion. The cars are still cheap to acquire (less than $10K), and easy to own and operate, thanks to a durable drivetrain (often over 200K miles). And the drivetrain is so good and cheap, you need a pretty compelling reason to replace it. I replaced mine for a modified, stronger engine. If you can get the equivalent of 300+ HP (or torque) electric conversion for the cost of an S52 transplant, then you might be in business. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Sorry for the hijack. Things look like they're going well on this Spider conversion. I continue to follow with anticipation!

69 Spider, 2L, street; pursuit of happiness
69 Spider, 1.8L, race; happiness of pursuit
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post #59 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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What are you doing in the rear?

I ditched those huge license lights.

Also cut off the bumper mounts and am making a rear roll pan.
I probably should have welded the holes for the license plate lights, but I left them. The chrome on the lights is good, so Ive got that going for me. The plan is to convert to stainless bumpers. The new bumpers from Classic Alfa appear to have holes for lights, so I'll ether have four lights, or find some nice looking plugs. If I ever do this again, I will probably retain the stock side marker lights, the welding and bodywork added a lot of time. What is a rear roll pan?

Seth Friesen
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post #60 of 124 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
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Or, top-tier cars with very expensive drivetrains, like air-cooled Porsches, any Ferrari, old Jags and Astons, etc., cars whose owners are more interested in the style and coachwork and want to be able to continue driving the car even when qualified mechanics or access to gasoline disappears.
I am highly skeptical that such a market exists - at least a market of any size. Perhaps in 100 years when fossil fuels are outlawed and all cars are self-driving. But for the forseeable future, people buy top tier cars to enter them in tours and concours. And no serious vintage event would accept an electric conversion. Even buyers who aren't "car guys" don't want a 6 or 7 figure Ferrari/Porsche/Aston that they can't use to show off and win trophies.

I know - the Jaguar and Aston Martin factories are now offering to convert vintage cars to electric. And it is completely reversible. This is a PR ploy and while a few people may spring for it, they will be seriously degrading the values of their classics.

Yes zelectric has a nice business converting VW's to electric. But these are hardly "top tier" cars.

Jay Mackro
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