So uh, this is early planning stages, i'm just going to lay the plan out and fish for feedback from you guys on feasibility, suggestions, thoughts, etc.
I've wanted to do a classic car EV conversion for a very long time, and soon i'll be in a financial position to do so.
The plan is to get a classic, drive it and enjoy it for about a year, get used to the platform's quirks/specs/aftermarket/maintenance, THEN jump into the conversion.
As for which classic? it's still a bit of a tossup between an S30 and a C3 corvette since the styling of both really speak to me. They both have strengths and weaknesses in my eyes, both the cars themselves and as EV swap candidates
The EV drivetrain will be a tesla model 3 performance rear motor placed where the differential lives. No driveshaft (but probably an armored tube for coolant+power lines), no taking up space in the engine bay, just half shafts and probably extra welded in mount points for the model 3 motor casing's subframe mounts. 400 wheel horse power is very reasonable, if not a little less. This thing will haul ass, to the point where really wide tires with fenders are probably a necessity to keep from just skidding everywhere.
The batteries will be chevy volt modules, 2.5 battery packs worth to get right to 40kw of capacity. This should get me like 150 miles of range on a good day, although i may drop that to 32kw for 120 miles of range but less weight and cost and packaging complexity. Volt packs are low energy density but high power density. Not much range, but you can THRASH them for power and they won't voltage sag, which you can sort of equate to heat soak. Also they have built in coolant pipes and they're super friendly to DIY hacking.
Battery placement will be in the engine bay, in the area where the gas tank was, possibly one or two in the empty transmission tunnel, and maybe one or two in the rear luggage compartment. I have a somewhat ambitious wish of making the battery (not the motor) install largely reversible by making use of the original motor and transmission mount points to make a battery "cage". This is because i imagine WAY better batteries will be available from junkyards in as little as 5 years and i want to not be "Stuck" with one kind of battery geometry forever, so it pays to plan for obsolescence.
CCS quick charging is a must. being able to 30 minute fast charge is basically a requirement for usability when you're under 150 miles of range. More ambitious plans include putting a chevy Volt engine on a trailer with a shorty exhaust and tiny gas tank with an armored cable to provide a continuous 30-ish-kw while cruising on the highway, giving me a muuuuch longer cruising range.
for perspective, the electric conversion parts alone will probably total 15 grand if not more. yikes!
Thing is, i don't know much about the Z (hence this post), so here's some questions:
How strong is the rear subframe? can it handle 400hp going through a differential or do high horsepower v8 swaps have to beef it up a lot, and if so how?\
How spacious is the area around the diff? is it right up against the body or sitting kinda low? the model 3 drive unit isn't THAT big but it's definitely bigger than a standard diff, and weighs a good 200-300 lbs
Would you say the engine bay is pretty spacious? Or kind of cramped compared to most other cars?
Same question for where the gas tank is mounted up. Really limited space or pretty roomy?
Do they handle really well and not-sloppy stock? Or do they need a ton of suspension work to feel more "modern" (like how the corvette c3 needs newly made most everything and a rebuilt steering box or it's a boat)
would an extra 500lbs to the curb weight completely kill the car? or can some stiffer suspension keep it feeling tight with that much extra heft?
how simple are the electricals/vacuum systems? If the engine is literally missing, how much of the car will be screwed up? Beyond the obvious things of the A/C compressor, power steering pump, and brake booster. Like if the door locks will need to be converted to electric, etc.
what's a better starting point, a bone stock s30 that was well kept, or an SBC swap that was done well and not hacky? I'd prefer the SBC unless there's some fundamental discrepancies that'll make an ev conversion harder