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Project: "Fox-E-Lady" or "How to ruin a running Fox for no good reason"

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  • Project: "Fox-E-Lady" or "How to ruin a running Fox for no good reason"

    *EDIT* My lovely lady lumps likes "Fox-E-Lady" for the project. 'Cuz it's a Fox, and it's an "E"-lectric. Get it? Of course, other suggestions are welcome, but that's what I'm going with for now. *END EDIT*

    OK, so here's the deall'yo:

    I'm an electrical engineer at a small-time business in Jackson. We've done some electric car work before, but have never actually built one top to bottom. So, I decided that I wanted to do my own. I'm "competing" against my boss' old AMC AMX. Mine is a budget build. His is all-out spendalotofmoneybecauseIhaveitandthiswon'tbeeconom icalatallinfactthiswillbemoreexpensivethanusinggas oline.

    I picked up a 30hp induction motor for $400 new over Christmas. It should put out as much or more peak power than the original engine, if I get enough batteries. I'm going to use lead-acid for the power source because they're cheap, but that's going to involve some reinforcement of the trunk and rear suspension. Not sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I have some thoughts. Batteries are prolly gonna be $1500 - $2000 for a set to get me from Lansing to Jackson. I'm going to lay out and build the electronics myself. Parts and assembly for three drives should set me back about $500, and I can program them at will, compared to $2500 for a single off-the-shelf drive.

    Being a budget build, I had to land a cheap car that I didn't care about killing. My brother "wrecked" my dad's Fox about two years ago, but since the body and everything was sweet except the front end, I promised to take it off their hands for free, never to take up garage space again.

    So, they finally agreed, and I drove my truck home and trucked it back up to Michigan, where it sat for about 4 months. Back in December I finally got a few minutes to pull the engine, so here's some pitchers of the first steps. Is all VW coolant that funny dark green color? Not that I care, since my car bleeds Spartan Green :D:

    My sweet VW Transport (because it transports my VW):**EDIT**If this doesn't show right away, refresh the page. dunno

    Half the delay was because I didn't want to dig it out:

    Bleeding green. Spartan green.

    Any takers? It started and ran nice in December.

    What the hell is all that stuff? I guess if I don't know, I can rip it out, too, right?


    So, I gotta admit, I first joined this forum for VW advice and as an outlet for selling parts. I haven't sold any parts yet, and after poking around this site, I'm really starting to come around to VW. I'm getting visions of a future overhaul with a 100hp high-speed motor (300hp peak) with an airbag suspension and NiMH or Li-Ion batteries. Maybe when I win at Club Keno. But for now, it's time to get this thing running.
    Last edited by meiermat; 02-27-2009, 10:31 AM.
    Matt's got too many cars
    1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

  • #2
    Oh, I apologise for hurting your eyes with those pictures. I took them all ('cept the one my mom took of the truck) with our work camera. It has a flash, but no exposure compensation or white balance. Effer. I was too lazy to take them home and Photoshop them, and too impatient to wait another day for me to bring my camera or my GF's digital back to work.
    Matt's got too many cars
    1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

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    • #3
      are you going to use the same trans in the swap or exchange with something?
      i'll be watching how this goes...
      GO APR.COM

      Community Automotive

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      • #4
        totally amped (pun intended) for this build.
        Your friend Raven
        92 Corrado VR6t
        05 Audi A6
        90 Miata (because racecar)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Boreas View Post
          are you going to use the same trans in the swap or exchange with something?
          i'll be watching how this goes...
          I'm keeping the clutch and transmission intact. Unless you want it and have cash money...

          I was going to ditch the clutch, but then I would have to drive a crashbox, or program the drive to sync the motor with the transmission for whatever gear I'm going into. Since I'm not telepathic, at least with machines, and I didn't want to push a button saying "I want 5th gear now", that just seemed like too much. So, the clutch stays. Makes it easier to let other people test-drive it, too.

          I had considered RWD, but that would require more modification than I'm ready for.
          Matt's got too many cars
          1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

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          • #6
            no better way to stick it to the man! cool project!
            EMKAY FOUR. 1.8T.

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            • #7
              Alright, I've ripped out all that nonsense from the engine compartment, and likewise from the interior. Damn that's a lot of stuff that I'm not going to need. I originally was worried about the increased weight of the electric motor. Now I'm worried that it's not heavy enough to weigh down the car. When I roll it out this weekend I'll take some shots of the front end, sittin' like a hi-roller, yo.

              So, anything you don't see in the car right now is up for sale, minus the dashboard itself and the radio. I've got a for sale thread going that I'll update soon. Y'all better hurry up. I already got rid of the front alternator pulley, and a buddy is buying the gas tank and fuel pump to put in the bed of his S-10. dunno Guess he just doesn't want to go through the hassle of taking out the old tank to replace the pump.

              I took the bumper off for convenience, and cut the mangled pieces away. I might have to extend the front end of the car a little bit, since the motor is longer than the engine was. Or I can machine new endbells, but our lathes aren't big enough, and I don't really want to try to get the CNC mill running. We'll see. I've always wanted to learn how to fiberglass, so maybe a new fiberglass hood and some fender extensions are in order.

              Next up: That crossmember that connects the lower control arms and holds the engine mounts is now in the way of the electric motor. So, I'm going to weld in a sister beam underneath and cut a notch in the top.

              Also, I finally got into the trunk. All I had to do was get the valet key copied onto a master blank. :ugh!: At least now I can start cutting out the trunk floor for my battery box.





              Matt's got too many cars
              1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

              Comment


              • #8
                Are you keeping it "stock" looking?
                04 XC-70 - R.I.P.-00 VR6 GTi -64 Vespa - 06 Jetta TDi (the lady's)

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                • #9
                  The exterior will be as original as I can make it. Obviously if I extend the front end then it'll look a little funny and probably a little more aerodynamic than the classic boxy look.

                  I'm going to put the interior all back the way it came, but without all the wires and stuff. I'll have to redo the gauge cluster, since all the gauges were broken when I got the car. I'll probably put in an electronic readout of sorts, but we'll see. The heater controls will also be different, but I plan on keeping the stock radio and all the trim.
                  Matt's got too many cars
                  1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    do yuo have pics of the motor and how many batteries are going to be ran in this thing, i very interested to see how this is going to end up
                    audi 90Q
                    soon to come mkI 2.0t
                    http://michiganvw.org/forum/showthread.php?t=34688

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                    • #11
                      No motor pics yet. It's disassembled right now so I can lighten it up and figure out just how I'm going to cool it. I'll get some soon. Our work camera that I've been using just crapped out, so I've got to remember to bring my GFs down with me, or find a cord so I can charge my flash battery.

                      The battery situation is difficult for me. If I was going low-voltage it would be easy. I'd just use golf cart batteries. Unfortunately, low-voltage high-power motors are harder to come by, so I went "high"-voltage. It's a 240V 3-phase induction motor, so I'm going to need a 340V battery pack. I can't afford lithium, so that's out. That is, unless someone knows where I can get $16,000 that I don't need to pay back.

                      So, I'm stuck with lead acid, which normally would be easy. Golf cart batteries are cheap, easy to find, and they take lots of abuse. Unfortunately, I would need 56 batteries to get the voltage I need, and at 50lbs each that's too much weight. So, I'm now forced to go with 12V batteries, which are generally more expensive for the same capacity in Wh.

                      My current quest is to find a pack of 28 12V lead acid batteries that give me about 40 Ah each at my discharge rate, which I figure will be around 40A. Of course, I won't know my real current draw until I get some motor tests done, so this is all estimated.

                      I'm going to try and get a battery company to sponsor me for some free advertising. If I'm lucky someone will give me a sweet discount in exchange for putting their logo on my car and website and all that so they can get some good press. If not, I figure I'll spend between $1500 and $2500 for the pack, which will last about a year if I'm lucky. At $2/gallon that's about a wash for me in my Aveo, when I figure in the cost of electricity to charge the car.
                      Matt's got too many cars
                      1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not sure exactly what you need but used Prius batteries can be had for $500-$700 each.
                        Travis -aka- Turbo!
                        '01 Chevy Blazer
                        '67 Volvo 122s

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                        • #13
                          I thought about the Prius batteries, because there are enough of them out there now that I could assemble a pack to get me to work. Unfortunately, the Prius batteries are 275V (a little too low) and are only 6.5Ah. That ends up being 1788 Wh, or just under 6.5MJ. I would need at least 7 of those packs to get me to work, so that figures $3000 for a pack of used and unknown batteries.

                          If I could be sure they would last me a year, and also that they were still good for at least 80% of their capacity, then I'd jump on it. Unfortunately, that's a lot of risk. Those batteries don't do well if they've been sitting in a junkyard for a month, and to make things worse I'd have to go through the time and $$$ to put together a proper charging system.

                          It's still tempting, because the pack would only weigh 300lbs and wouldn't take up much space, but for $4000 I can get a new NiMH pack that would do the same thing and weigh 500lbs. Money is the main thing here. In a couple years I'll probably convert to something other than lead-acid, when I'm rich and lithium is cheaper. Until then, I've got some welding to do. 1200lbs worth of welding.
                          Matt's got too many cars
                          1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...25C_Car_Lipoly

                            There ya go. lol
                            They have a bunch of different Li-Po packs.
                            If you bought enough, and figured out how to wire them up. You could have a cool setup.
                            ?\_(ツ)_/?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheLinkster View Post
                              http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...25C_Car_Lipoly

                              There ya go. lol
                              They have a bunch of different Li-Po packs.
                              If you bought enough, and figured out how to wire them up. You could have a cool setup.
                              Dude, I almost wet my pants 'cuz I did the math wrong on those batteries. I figured they would cost me $1000 for a pack. Too bad I was off by a factor of ten. Oops. $11 grand is a little more than I've got. The assembly of the pack is actually not the bad part. It's just the cost. I'd LOVE to do LiFePO4, and I probably will in the future, but now I'm still paying off some loans and don't have the resources.

                              I'm really not a pessimist. I'm just trying to do this on a very restricted budget, but thanks to all for the input on battery sources. Pretty much what I need is a 40MJ pack, which translates into 11kWh.

                              In other news, some pictures of my FoxE Lady sitting a little higher than she used to.


                              Matt's got too many cars
                              1972 Ford Truck; 1982 Rabbit - If you can't speed, they can't write you a ticket; 1988 Jeep Wrangler; 1991 VW Fox - the FoxE Lady; 2005 Chevy Aveo - For Sale

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