To E or not to E?

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mickthemaverick
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To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »

At Neil's suggestion I have started this thread as a place to collate my thoughts and observations with regard to the idea of converting my Mazda MX3 to a Mazda MXE. Ideally it will serve as a notebook for me and a place for everybody with an interest to assess my ideas and contribute their own thinking about the project. It will also provide a platform for posting links to information which is relevant and interesting, so please post anything you come across which may help my thinking.

So I'll make it clear from here that nothing physical is likely to happen before April at the earliest due to a) finance, b) time, c) space constraints.
a) and c) will resolve themselves as soon as I sell my two motorcycles which are holding both space and funds. b) will not improve until I have finished moving my mate from Mallorca to Campoamor, completed my March Meander and resettled domestic arrangements after SWMBO's return from Oz at the end of March. (Sidenote to Michel, are you still interested in the bikes? :) )

My initial idea was the realisation that when the job is complete I can turn the 3 in the badge upside down and the car will be authentically badged! :-D

So currently I have come to the following decisions as to my aims for the project:
1) To produce a vehicle with a minimum range of 200 miles
2) To build a vehicle which will pass current safety legislation
3) To keep the outside profile of the car standard
4) To convert the interior from 2+2 to comfortable 2 seater (thereby releasing potential equipment installation space)
5) To manufacture in the man cave as much of the kit as possible from component level in order to keep the costs down
6) To ensure the performance is not degraded in terms of handling and acceleration although I am willing to limit top speed to around 90-100mph.

Up to this point I have had the following random thoughts

AC motors are more powerful with less maintenance required
The current car is an auto which is not good - change to a manual or maybe some form of CVT (Old DAF system would be cheap)
Run two wheel drive on the front wheels with rear wheels used to drive a KERS type system
Possibly gut the engine, replace crankshaft with straight shaft fitted with Permanent magnets and build field coils around it. much research needed
but that would permit all the auxiliary equipment to stay as is for steering, brakes, alternator etc.
Buy existing electric vehicle and swap the bodies
look into induction charging
On board GPS charging point indicator for SATNAV and ease of range nervousness.
Possibly raise ride height to make exiting a little easier for SWMBO

Finally for collation I'll put in the link I have already posted elsewhere:
https://zero-ev.co.uk/userguide/

That's it for the first post! Here's to an interesting and fruitful discussion even if it never gets off the ground!! :-D :-D

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mick just a quick comment...Excellent....the thread will gather pace as you go on and I'll chip in where I can. There are plenty conversions of the MX5 or miata in the US. I presume the MX3 maybe has a bigger footprint...slightly more space to work with. Maybe some decent background/ gathering knowledge info re MX5 conversions out in internet/you tube land which may help.

Regards Neil

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mickthemaverick
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »


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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »

Schematic illustration of my idea to convert the engine to ac motor thereby allowing me to keep engine mountings, transmission linkage and all aux systems as standard. I could therefore source a wrecked engine and build the new one before touching the car. Then when completed it could be swapped out. This concept would also allow the reinstatement of the original engine should the need arise.
Own work and design
Own work and design

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mickthemaverick
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »

This is similar to the block that will need modifying, machine out main bearing cases 2 & 4 and fit twin rotors while keeping the centre bearing might be the way forward. I need to do the sums to see if sufficient power can be produced from the stator and rotor sizes I will be limited to! :)
Borrowed from ebay
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xantia_v6
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by xantia_v6 »

Can you clarify whether this is a fantasy project, or a serious scheme to build something that meets the specifications given above?

It looks to me as if you are challenging the laws of physics and economics with some of your ideas. An EV with a range approaching 200 miles requires an extremely efficient motor and low-loss drive train. You are not going to build that yourself without a lot of specialised knowledge, equipment and materials. Any EV conversion that hopes to compete for performance and price with professionally designed mass-produced products is going to either leverage other designs by lifting motors, controllers etc from a mass-produced EV, or is going to have a team of professional engineers wo are donating their time to the design of the project.

I would like to make an EV conversion as much as the next bloke in a shed, but you have to understand the challenges and look at how they have been solved (or not) previously.

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EDC5
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by EDC5 »

Making your own AC motor sounds very challenging but as to making an EV yourself that should be great project.

Have you seen Damien Maguire's YouTube channel? He appears to have made many EV conversions, mainly of BMWs, and goes in to a lot of detail with regards to all of the different systems you need to consider:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8sR7I ... S_oz3JH3qw

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mickthemaverick
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »

Mike, just to clarify I am a retired professional electronic engineer with 45 years experience in electromechanical and electronic systems, including three years in electromagnetic motive system design. I have access to two small engineering companies, CAD systems included, who both work in the electronic production world as well as automotive systems. I never accept that something cannot be achieved until I have completed the research and done the calculations myself. At this stage it is just first thoughts on paper so that others can join in if they wish. I have every intention of converting the car but I always start with the widest possible set of options open to me and refine them down as the thinking develops. If we automatically accepted that what is mass produced, in any field, is the best solution, we would never develop new ideas and techniques. While I appreciate your initial assessment I assure you I have no intention to defy any laws of physics, merely to use them in, possibly innovative, ways to achieve my aims!! :)

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white exec
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by white exec »

I think you'll have to ditch ideas of working with old, heavy crankcases, and CVT (why on earth, given what induction is capable of?).
Not the easiest bodyshell; lots of constraints. Can see the attraction of the imagined finished article, though.
BX, with its flat floor (and constant height) might be more fun, although not at all what you want.
Interesting project, and certainly good for the grey-matter - yours and ours!

For real shed stuff, try this...
Annotated circuit.JPG
...described here
https://patents.google.com/patent/US3809978A/en

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Paul-R
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by Paul-R »

Nah, this is more like it.

Image

I'll get my coat...

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myglaren
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by myglaren »

Just what I need to control the drawbridge on my castle.

Hell Razor5543
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I must have got my copy wrong. When I triggered it I woke up in the middle of last week. I only remembered it when I built the circuit again, and (just before I triggered it) my memory of this event came back to me, otherwise I could have been trapped in an infinite loop!

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Michel
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by Michel »

I think a Mazda RX-8 would make a superb EV project..
There's loads of them cheap with knackered engines. .. ripe for a decent electric motor in place of the wanker engine

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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Havent read to the end of the blog to see how it was turned into reality but a Mazda RX8 EV Conversion story is here......er.....not sure if it got finished the blog peters out :-D Nice looking car tho!
Regards Neil

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mickthemaverick
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Re: To E or not to E?

Post by mickthemaverick »

Only one problem with the RX7/8 idea - I don't have one, but I do have an MX3!!
I've been looking into the weight issues today and the weight of an engine casing is almost irrelevant compared to the battery problem. As yet I havn't found enough info on Hydrogen cell construction but it may be the better option. I have come across HHO systems and I may even consider that option if I can satisfy myself that it really does offer the claimed emission levels!! The search goes on..... :)