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jmead

Electric 280z with a massive 13.5" GE motor

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So I've managed to shove an absolutely monstrous electric motor into my 76 280z. This isn't my first electric Z car, but it's different from my first in just about every possible way. For comparison the motor on top is the size I put in my first one, and on the bottom is the motor I've got in my 76 now. 

 

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Previously I kept the stock 4 speed transmission and fabricated an adapter plate to mount the 8" kostov motor. This time I dropped the transmission entirely and went direct drive. That allowed me to mount the motor deep into the transmission tunnel with just a little bit projecting into the engine bay. 

 

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I've completely blocked off the radiator opening with a steel sheet. 

 

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It's outfitted with high-output lithium batteries that are rated to 15C discharge which is 1,500 amps. Each one of those stacks of 4 batteries is ~65v fully charged and ~40v when empty. They're also rated to charge at up to 6C which would be a full charge in just 10 minutes. 

 

The controller is a Soliton 1 that will do 1000 amps continuous at up to 310 volts. At full output thats 400HP but I'm running at a lower voltage than that. I've yet to turn up the power but preliminary testing shows it will break the tires loose on dry pavement even with my brakes dragging.

 

Though if I find one for sale I'd love to get my hands on a 3000 amps soliton shiva. That would take me from 500 ft-lbs to the diff up to 1,500 ft-lbs. The motor is capable of way more than what I'm feeding it now. 

 

Now that the mechanical stuff is done I'll be pulling it all apart to paint the engine bay and battery racks. And I'm going to need to address my brakes and headlight/turn signal wiring before I can get it inspected and on the road. I'm definitely going to go with rear discs but I'm trying to decide between the maxima caliper/rotors or the wildwood setup. 

 

 

Edited by jmead

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Well I removed the engine, transmission, radiator, starting battery, exhaust, all the fluids as well as the gas tank. What does all that stuff weigh? I'll assume I removed about 700 pounds from the front and around 200 pounds from the rear (assuming the gas tank was holding fuel).

 

I've added around 600 pounds to the front, with the bulk of that shifted down and back substantially. 

 

So in total I figure the car is perhaps 300 pounds lighter than stock. 

 

The motor was originally from a 16,000 pound hyster forklift. I got a fantastic deal on it, along with a few others. Around $500/each. if you were to buy something like that new it would be around $5000. Getting the coupler machined to adapt the 29 spline 1.875" shaft to a 1350 u-joint cost about as much as the motor. 

 

Though a Warp 9" motor that would typically be used in this type of conversion costs only $1800 new and weighs just 130 pounds. Even that would be more than capable of breaking the tires loose. 

 

In fact you can't actually buy a motor this big. The next best thing is the Warp 13" which is 1/2" smaller (less diameter = less torque, more speed) and substantially shorter (again, less torque from less armature surface area)

 

I also just finished getting two of those 13.5" motors mounted between the frame rails in a Dodge Ram. One driving the front wheels and one driving the rear. Full time 4wd with no steering issues or surface limitations. Since they are wired in series I'm getting 1000 ft-lbs of torque to the axles per 1000amp of controller.

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Very cool, there is a local guy doing something similar in a zx, but the motor is nowhere near that big. Keep us posted! Would love to see what kind of mileage you get with this.

 

Thanks. The Z cars are a great platform for the same reason that people drop all kinds of crazy engines into them. Nice big engine bay, simple layout, not too many power accessories to complicate things. 

 

When you say mileage do you mean range? I have a plan to bump the range up to around 160 miles or so on-demand. The batteries in it right now only hold about 10kwh, which would be 30-40 miles of range. They are built more for power than energy. But the great thing about electrical systems is they are so flexible and can be totally modular. I'm going to be building these "universal battery modules" that are super energy dense cells packed tight into a format that is easy to pick up and slide into different vehicles. One would power a riding mower for an hour. Two for a go kart or atv. 5 for a dune buggy or UTV. Being only 3" thick I think I can make the back of the datsun accept 10 or more. That would get me an extra 50kwh when needed, but none of the weight when not. 

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Ah, interesting. Is the plan to drag race or do short sprint events? Or just for cruising around town with the ability to smoke the tires at will? Or I suppose with your quick charge, it should be a matter of having an outlet at the destination. 

All of the above I suppose. This is actually the first car I ever bought, so it has plenty of sentimental value. If nothing else I'd like to just keep it running and on the road. But seeing as it's the lightest of my EVs by a few thousand pounds it's the logical choice for motorsports. I'd like to try my hand at autocross, and drag racing could be fun too.

 

I've just recently come across a 4,000 amp controller which would give me 2,000 ft-lbs to the diff and 7,000 ft-lbs to the wheels at around 600hp. Fully tuneable to any level, and the precision control you get with a electric drivetrain really makes massive power plenty driveable even in the wet. 

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with right controler do you really need transmission?

It's direct drive.  I don't see any good reason for a transmission, even if an engine had a linear torque curve and could make power from 0 rpms you'd still need a transmission to provide reverse. But motors will happily spin either direction.

 

And I'd never have been able to fit the motor so low and so far back with a transmission behind it.  

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I've just recently come across a 4,000 amp controller which would give me 2,000 ft-lbs to the diff and 7,000 ft-lbs to the wheels at around 600hp. Fully tuneable to any level, and the precision control you get with a electric drivetrain really makes massive power plenty driveable even in the wet. 

Awesome project you've got going there. Don't axles start shearing off at those hp levels?  Do your controllers allow for a "standard" mode of driving and an "insane" mode?

I would love to see you drag race with a tesla.  You have seen the white zombie datsun 1200 on youtube? It's got 2 electric motors joined together to double the hp.

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Awesome project you've got going there. Don't axles start shearing off at those hp levels?  Do your controllers allow for a "standard" mode of driving and an "insane" mode?

I would love to see you drag race with a tesla.  You have seen the white zombie datsun 1200 on youtube? It's got 2 electric motors joined together to double the hp.

Yeah, I'm very concerned about the axles snapping. To clarify the high-amp controller is a potential future upgrade, I just think it's cool that the motor has a practically unlimited power ceiling that can be achieved with a simple controller swap. 

 

The power is precisely adjustable. You can dial in a maximum number of amps (torque), watts (power), volts (speed) all from a webpage based config screen. You can also adjust the ramp rate, which is probably the variable more important for axle life. I've got it set for 2000A/sec right now so full torque is gradually applied over 1/2 of a second. You can crank it all the way to 100,000A/sec but thats how you break stuff. 

 

I'll definitely be racing it against my Tesla as soon as it's a little more complete. Next step is going to be pulling everything out to paint the engine bay. That and some more brackets and water-cooling tubing and it'll be pretty much done. 

 

The White Zombie is fantastic. That's pretty much the car that got me into fast EVs years ago. Simple, light, crazy fast. John Wayland was years ahead of the rest of us.

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Any progress on this project? Your rear wheel drive Z is no match to the awd tesla.  Too much tire spin with just 2 wheel drive.  Did you see that video on youtube the video of the guy who reverse engeneered a tesla motor?  https://youtu.be/zMQjcukphpA 

He says he's the only person in the world that has used the tesla motor in another vehicle.  You should make a video too when yours is done showing your

monster motor running in the Z.

 

 

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Any progress on this project? Your rear wheel drive Z is no match to the awd tesla.  Too much tire spin with just 2 wheel drive.  Did you see that video on youtube the video of the guy who reverse engeneered a tesla motor?  https://youtu.be/zMQjcukphpA 

He says he's the only person in the world that has used the tesla motor in another vehicle.  You should make a video too when yours is done showing your

monster motor running in the Z.

 

I've got a Tesla. I've done plenty of measuring, it would be very difficult to fit the Tesla drivetrain into a datsun. The Model S is a very wide car, first of all. And it has huge brake rotors. I've got a picture of my Z and Tesla side-by-side somewhere...it makes the datsun look absolutely tiny. 

 

A Tesla makes around 4,000 ft-lbs to the rear wheels. With 2000 amps into this motor it will do around 3,500 ft-lbs in a vehicle 1/2 the weight. 

 

The battery is a much more important consideration. I've working on a battery solution that will beat the Tesla pack in terms of energy per pound and energy per cubic foot, but less power. Mainly because the Tesla pack has a lot of structure and packaging due to it's size, and the packaging density of the cells isn't great due to the water cooling channels touching all the cells. 

 

However the batteries I've got in the car now will blow away the Tesla cells in terms of power output. But not energy density. It's all a trade-off. 

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It's always a trade-off.  Our lithium starting batteries can put out 48C rate for 30 seconds and 28C continuous discharge, so would be ideal for a drag car or a driver.  As you stated, it would be at a compromise of range and very costly. 

 

I assume you will disassemble and make pretty after you make it all work or is it just an exercise in proof of concept? 

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