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Old 08-28-2017, 01:33 PM
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Default Why I'm going from V6 back to VW

I've made these comments on another thread, but not in this folder. So I'm putting them here in case someone happens to be looking for ideas.

History:
I build this Sebring in 1978 with my dad. At that time, it had a 1600 VW with Rajay turbo. He drove it probably 80 miles a day until 1987, when the VW engine ate a valve. We then found a 1987 Fiero with almost no miles that had been totaled. We pulled out the engine, ECU, wiring harness, etc., and transplanted it into the Sebring. My dad was a rocket scientist. So it was a pretty meticulous job.

He then continued to drive it for many years, but much less miles. Then basically stopped driving it. I got it from him about 10 years ago, but haven't driven it a ton. I'm now about to put back in a VW engine, maybe only temporarily. Here is why:

Pro (or why not to go back to VW):
The Fiero V6 is great. Smooth. Reliable.
The installation is great. The radiator fits well in the front trunk.
We have custom water tubes running through the center channel under the car.
The engine sounds great too.
Engine can power AC no problem.
Engine doesn't burn or leak oil.

Con (or why to go to VW):
Lot more weight in back. Car still handles pretty well, but I also don't push it to its limit, and generally avoid getting in a situation where I'd have to abruptly lift mid corner.
Car burns out mufflers repeatedly. I think it's because of the short exhaust headers straight into the mufflers. But, I have since found higher quality Borla and MagnaFlow options that I think will stop this problem.
The engine is closer to the Sebring gas tank, and in a bad rear end accident (which are more frequent these days), I'm worried it is more likely to push the engine into the tank than with a VW engine, which would be catastrophic (yes, a custom fuel cell would probably resolve this - but I think the body has to come off the chassis to make that happen).
Car just doesn't feel as overall "balanced" as the VW engine did.
Car feels hotter - which is probably more of a result of more power than different engine (but if runs hot, do have extra fan on radiator that brings temp down in all but the 105+ days)
Recently built a 912 and love it now. I'm hoping for a similar engine feel and overall balanced feel in the Sebring.
Just seems like the extra weight and heat are taxing the VW chassis in a way that the VW engine didn't.
Even with the V6, it's not like it's competitive with today's hot cars - and certainly not for its looks! I'd never actually use that as a goal anyway - too much else on the car couldn't match such power.
If the VW engine isn't what we hope for, we can always go back to the V6 (but before doing that, we'd probably also first put the Rajay turbo back on and have fun with that first)
I'd actually try out electric, and put the batteries in the side pontoons, if the batteries weren't so damn expensive.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:50 AM
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Battery prices have come down significantly in the past 2 years and continue to fall. There are always some great deals on ebay and a few threads I follow for batteries that were packaged for something else that are no longer popular, ie hover boards etc.

I have considered the electric option on more then one occasion and by the time I start back on #310 car it may be the power I choose. If AC weren't such a necessity in these cars I'd choose electric hands down. I know AC can be worked in to an electric Sterling however it does add a level of complexity.
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Last edited by ratrog64; 08-29-2017 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:07 AM
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This is a link to a pretty interesting guy who has a youtube channel. He does a lot with batteries and comes up with pretty good deals. He also has an electric Samba (bus).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTetQ37ZKIU
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:41 PM
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One other aspect. When I got the car from my dad, the tranny had issues. So I had it rebuilt, with stronger gears for the V6. Transaxle Engineering did it. They're pretty well known in the baja racing world and for Porsches too. I have to say, it is one of my favorite transmissions in all my cars. It shifts just beautifully.

So, one other reason why I am not 100% electric is because of how much I like shifting!

But, thanks for these ideas. I'll take a look.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:30 PM
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You can bolt up an electric motor to your VW transmission and still shift if you want to.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Laifman View Post
One other aspect. When I got the car from my dad, the tranny had issues. So I had it rebuilt, with stronger gears for the V6. Transaxle Engineering did it. They're pretty well known in the baja racing world and for Porsches too. I have to say, it is one of my favorite transmissions in all my cars. It shifts just beautifully.

So, one other reason why I am not 100% electric is because of how much I like shifting!

But, thanks for these ideas. I'll take a look.
I have a standard VW gear box in my electric VW kit car. No clutch but I do still shift through the gears.

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Old 09-01-2017, 08:24 AM
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Default Batteries

Another good youtube video with links to batteries that could be used on an electric car conversion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U53pceWXLO8
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratrog64 View Post

Wow, is that that old Bentley kit car, heavily modified?! I was just watching an Avengers episode last night. I don't know what Stead would say of that one.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B57-1974 View Post
You can bolt up an electric motor to your VW transmission and still shift if you want to.
As I understand it, with the electric motor there is no reason to use any gear other than 1st and 2nd, and that the constant use of just those 2 gears and extra torque wears them down quickly.

To me one of the absolute joys of driving a car is downshifting to 3rd and then to 2nd when coming into a turn. The engine just sings then.

But, again, I do love the idea of an electric Sebring.

When I looked into it, I asked EVWest, the place that sells the kits, if I could buy the $6k motor kit and less than their $10,000 battery pack for 80 miles. My commute is short these days. I figured I'd do that now, and when battery prices came down, I'd upgrade my batteries. But he was adamant that I could go with slightly less, but not much. He said "the battery needs to be big enough to produce a full 650 Amps at 120 Volts for good performance from the motor."
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:08 AM
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The Bentley was chopped up a bit. I cut 24" out of the length by eliminating the front seat area and about 8" out of the overall height. I lowered the body on the chassis about 6" and set it on a slant to give it a better stance.

The motor kit in the car is only 72vdc. The kit originally came from Wilderness EV and it was in a 61 bug I bought just for the EV stuff. This kit was ok for what I was doing and really for just getting my feet wet in the EV world. My battery space was limited in this car so I only have 6 Trojan 12volt deep cycle batteries & 1 12volt battery for the lights. When they were new, I would get around 18 miles per charge. This was fine for what I used it for which was not much more then from my house to my shop and taking the dog to the doggie park for his walks.

If I were going to buy a kit for a Sterling I would do 120vdc or 144vdc. 72vdc isn't bad for a neighborhood car but It only has about a 50mph top end. I use 2nd, 3rd and 4th when driving, no down shifting . Using the lower gear to get the car moving draws less amps and extends the range. Typically you just choose your gear for the top end you want to achieve. Not really any different then driving with ICE power.

The new lithium batteries take more technical expertise then the lead acid batteries when it comes to charging, balancing etc. I have been out of the loop for a while and have been waiting for the prices to come down. You can buy a used Volt or Leaf for what you can buy batteries for now a days. Conversions will become a thing of the past and more of a hobby thing then for real world applications now that Mfg's are producing EV's for the main stream.
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