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I too have a 78Spider I'd like to convert. It's without an engine or transmission and was initially intended as a home for my Daily Drivers engine.
I'd love any help/direction anyone can provide.
 

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Great thread and awesome work. I like the attention to detail in your work practice, too, like the rubber gloves and plastic handled wrenches. I wouldn't have thought of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
It's Alive!
I have been neglecting to update, but the car works! After sorting out an issue with the throttle pedal signal, the car is up and running. The first few drives were just around the block because the car is not technically "registered" for street use. This is my first experience with a non-production electric car, but I can safely say the driving dynamics are vastly improved over the orginal. The motor makes no vibrations, so it is very smooth running down the road. The power is also greatly improved. The Hyper 9 motor makes roughly 120 hp and 170 ft/lbs of torque. It is not gratuitously fast like a Tesla, but certainly quicker than a stock spider. Because of the torque curve, you can start off in third gear, but 2nd seems to be the best combo for zipping around town. I have not ventured out on the freeway, but it pulls quickly to 60 mph.

The thing that takes most getting used to is the lack of sound and the clutch. The motor doesn't need to idle, so to pull away from a dead stop, you put it in gear and press the accelerator, no clutch slipping. You can also row through the gears and it behaves just like a gas engine. Out of habit, I always press the clutch when stopping, but there is no need in the electric car. The car makes a futuristic motor sound that is somewhat pleasant but no substitute for an Alfa engine. You can hear the gearbox and drivetrain noise, which fortunately is tame in this car. The downside to all of this is the 40 year-old car squeaks and rattles which now take center stage with no engine noise to mask it. Once you go above 45 mph, it's all wind noise.

All and all, I am happy with the performance. Next up, reassembling the interior...
 

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It's Alive!
I have been neglecting to update, but the car works! After sorting out an issue with the throttle pedal signal, the car is up and running. The first few drives were just around the block because the car is not technically "registered" for street use. This is my first experience with a non-production electric car, but I can safely say the driving dynamics are vastly improved over the orginal. The motor makes no vibrations, so it is very smooth running down the road. The power is also greatly improved. The Hyper 9 motor makes roughly 120 hp and 170 ft/lbs of torque. It is not gratuitously fast like a Tesla, but certainly quicker than a stock spider. Because of the torque curve, you can start off in third gear, but 2nd seems to be the best combo for zipping around town. I have not ventured out on the freeway, but it pulls quickly to 60 mph.

The thing that takes most getting used to is the lack of sound and the clutch. The motor doesn't need to idle, so to pull away from a dead stop, you put it in gear and press the accelerator, no clutch slipping. You can also row through the gears and it behaves just like a gas engine. Out of habit, I always press the clutch when stopping, but there is no need in the electric car. The car makes a futuristic motor sound that is somewhat pleasant but no substitute for an Alfa engine. You can hear the gearbox and drivetrain noise, which fortunately is tame in this car. The downside to all of this is the 40 year-old car squeaks and rattles which now take center stage with no engine noise to mask it. Once you go above 45 mph, it's all wind noise.

All and all, I am happy with the performance. Next up, reassembling the interior...
A video is demanded by your loyal fan club... :grin2:
...when you get time!
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Project Update. The electric spider is pretty much done! Ive driven about 200 miles so far and everything seems to work great.

The range is about 50 miles with average driving. I was hoping to get closer to 70 miles, which is possible. The battery pack has a few modules that don't have nearly the capacity that they should. This is totally my fault because I bought the cheapest leaf batteries I could find. Most of the pack is in good shape, there might be 4 or 5 of the 38 that need to be replaced.

All thats left is to source some bumpers, install some shoulder belts, and replace the bum batteries. Here are some pictures of the final product.
 

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Gee that is extremely professional looking!

Pete
 

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That looks fantastic, well done!

What a great little city cruiser, that would suit me very well for my short (5 mile) commute to work.
 

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The range is about 50 miles with average driving. I was hoping to get closer to 70 miles, which is possible.
Congratulations on a very well-done job. Must be satisfying to finally be driving it.

What accounts for the range difference between this car and factory-built EV (e.g., Leaf, Tesla)? Is it the challenge of packing enough batteries into a chassis that was never designed to accommodate them? If cost wasn't an issue, could you have put more batteries into the spider?
 

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fabulous work.

what's the final weight compared to stock alfa spider?
 
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