Morris Minor Conversion

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Morris Minor Conversion

Richard Brown
Hi Guys

Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
started to trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is
difficult to find anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to
purchase in terms of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork
lift trucks advised me that I need to get an induction motor with an
encoder bearing. But he seem to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.

This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
<
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-Car/step3/adapter-plate/
>

Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
sites that might be able to give me some further information and also see
whether it is possible to convert a Minor.

Thanks for any help.
--
Richard Brown
Youth Worker
07747 343637
http://wild-woods.org.uk/
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

rodhower
I'm one of the long time members of the EVDL and there are many others with a wealth of knowledge.
Activity here has been considerably slower than it used to be.  You can still get a significant amount of
good feedback here, but I would also check out, http://www.diyelectriccar.com/


________________________________
 From: Richard Brown <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:23 AM
Subject: [EVDL] Morris Minor Conversion
 

Hi Guys

Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
started to trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is
difficult to find anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to
purchase in terms of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork
lift trucks advised me that I need to get an induction motor with an
encoder bearing. But he seem to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.

This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
<
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-Car/step3/adapter-plate/
>

Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
sites that might be able to give me some further information and also see
whether it is possible to convert a Minor.

Thanks for any help.
--
Richard Brown
Youth Worker
07747 343637
http://wild-woods.org.uk/
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

Lee Hart
From: Richard Brown
> Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
> started to trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is
> difficult to find anything.

Welcome, Richard!

Actually, there seems to be an excessive amount of information on the
internet. But while the quantity is large, the quality is often lacking.
You will have to read and Read and READ, until you begin to get a feel
for what is good information, and what is bad. :-/

I got started building EVs way back in the mid 1970's. As it happens, my
first EV was almost a Morris Minor! A friend of my grandpa's had one he
wanted to sell cheap. But I looked at it, and it needed *way* too much
work. And here in the USA, parts for the Morris are pretty rare and
expensive.

So, I settled on a Datsun pickup for my first conversion. It was much
easier to convert than the Morris. I just put the batteries in the bed.
I used a surplus aircraft starter-generator as the motor, and made my
own (crude) controller and battery charger. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't
fast, its range wasn't very good, but it was cheap, and it worked!

The lesson to take from this is that EVs don't have to be complicated or
expensive. Even a beginner can build a serviceable conversion, as long
as your performance requirements are modest.

It helps a lot if you can find a local "expert" to help. You're in
England? See if the Battery Vehicle Society has a chapter near you.
http://www.batteryvehiclesociety.org.uk/bvsorguk/portal/

> I have no idea where to start or what I need to
> purchase in terms of a motor.

A fork lift motor will work fine. They are a bit on the heavy side, but
are easy to control even with simple controllers. They are low voltage
motors, which saves cost on your battery pack.

You will need some machining skills (or need to make friends with a
machinist). It takes some custom work to connect the motor to the
transmission. The two key parts are the adapter plate (which physically
mounts the motor to the transmission), and the shaft coupler (which
connects the motor's shaft to the transmission's shaft). Things are
easier if the Morris has a manual transmission, and you keep the clutch.

> Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
> sites that might be able to give me some further information and also see
> whether it is possible to convert a Minor.

It is possible to converter *anything*! From what I recall of the Minor,
it would in fact be easier than most.

--
Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the one who is
doing it. -- Chinese proverb
--
Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

David Nelson-5
In reply to this post by Richard Brown
Hi Richard,

Welcome to the list. As others have said, read, read, read. In time
you start to figure out what is good/not so good. In addition to this
list and diyelectriccar.com also look at evtv.me. I have seen some in
the UK post in the blogs. You might be able to connect with them.

As you will discover, if you haven't already, there are some strong
opinions on some topics. Take time to read enough of the various
perspectives/positions to determine what is best for you. Everything
in life is a trade-off. You just have to figure out what trade-offs
you are willing to live with.

On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 8:23 AM, Richard Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Guys
>
> Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
> started to trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is
> difficult to find anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to
> purchase in terms of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork
> lift trucks advised me that I need to get an induction motor with an
> encoder bearing. But he seem to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.
>
> This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
> <
> http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-Car/step3/adapter-plate/
>>
>
> Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
> sites that might be able to give me some further information and also see
> whether it is possible to convert a Minor.
>
> Thanks for any help.
> --
> Richard Brown
> Youth Worker
> 07747 343637
> http://wild-woods.org.uk/
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>



--
David D. Nelson
http://evalbum.com/1328
http://www.levforum.com
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

Mike Nickerson
In reply to this post by Richard Brown
Hi Richard,

There are two books that I consider very good for background on a home
conversion.  The first is "Convert It!" by Mike Brown.  The second is "Build
Your Own Electric Vehicle" by Bob Brant.  There is a second edition of this
book.

"Convert It!" gives more background on the actual mechanics of the
conversion, including a schematic which should be studied carefully.
Brant's book does a better job of going into the theory and calculations
necessary to make sure the conversion will meet your needs.

Finally, don't forget the EVDL Archives.  The active discussions of the past
are all saved for current readers and searching for learning the details of
previous topics.  However, especially when talking about batteries and
controllers, remember that technology might have changed quite a bit over
the past few years.  

The EVAlbum is another good source.  You can browse it or search by car,
battery, motor, etc. to find out if anyone else is using the same parts you
are considering.

Mike
www.evalbum.com/2778

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Richard Brown
> Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:23 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [EVDL] Morris Minor Conversion
>
> Hi Guys
>
> Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
started to
> trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is difficult to find
> anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to purchase in
terms
> of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork lift trucks advised
me

> that I need to get an induction motor with an encoder bearing. But he seem
> to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.
>
> This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
> <
> http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-
> Car/step3/adapter-plate/
> >
>
> Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
sites

> that might be able to give me some further information and also see
> whether it is possible to convert a Minor.
>
> Thanks for any help.
> --
> Richard Brown
> Youth Worker
> 07747 343637
> http://wild-woods.org.uk/
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> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

David Chapman-9
Yes, check the archives. I seem to recall someone converting a Mini many years ago. I assume you are talking about one of the first gen? Dach.


 


"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" - Theodore Roosevelt



On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:56 PM, Mike Nickerson <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
Hi Richard,

There are two books that I consider very good for background on a home
conversion.  The first is "Convert It!" by Mike Brown.  The second is "Build
Your Own Electric Vehicle" by Bob Brant.  There is a second edition of this
book.

"Convert It!" gives more background on the actual mechanics of the
conversion, including a schematic which should be studied carefully.
Brant's book does a better job of going into the theory and calculations
necessary to make sure the conversion will meet your needs.

Finally, don't forget the EVDL Archives.  The active discussions of the past
are all saved for current readers and searching for learning the details of
previous topics.  However, especially when talking about batteries and
controllers, remember that technology might have changed quite a bit over
the past few years. 

The EVAlbum is another good source.  You can browse it or search by car,
battery, motor, etc. to find out if anyone else is using the same parts you
are considering.

Mike
www.evalbum.com/2778

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Richard Brown
> Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:23 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [EVDL] Morris Minor Conversion
>
> Hi Guys
>
> Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
started to
> trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is difficult to find
> anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to purchase in
terms
> of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork lift trucks advised
me

> that I need to get an induction motor with an encoder bearing. But he seem
> to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.
>
> This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
> <
> http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-
> Car/step3/adapter-plate/
> >
>
> Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
sites

> that might be able to give me some further information and also see
> whether it is possible to convert a Minor.
>
> Thanks for any help.
> --
> Richard Brown
> Youth Worker
> 07747 343637
> http://wild-woods.org.uk/
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

EVDL Administrator
On 16 Oct 2013 at 23:02, David Chapman wrote:

> I seem to recall someone converting a Mini many years ago.

I also remember someone doing a Mini.  Minors too?  Someone was working on
(maybe) a minor with (maybe) a pickup configuation.  This would have been a
good 15-20 years ago.  Sorry, I don't quite have it straight in my mind
which were Minis and which were Minors.  

I see four Morrises in the EV Album, including a sweet looking '62 Minor
1000 :

http://www.evalbum.com/type/MORS

And here's a Mini :

http://www.evalbum.com/4768

Wayne of Electric Blue Conversions has mentioned a couple of times that his
first conversion in the '70s was a Morris Minor.

Nikki Bloomfield was working on a Minor 5-6 years ago.  I think she
eventually gave up, deciding that hers was too rust-eaten to save.  Nikki
writes for some of the online EV publications these days.

Steve Clunn and Audrey Martin did a '67 Mini quite recently.

Ah, yes, here it is.  "No brakes!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKiURqO2M3s

Induction AC is certainly one way to go.  This light little guy would be a
good candidate for one of the relatively low cost, low voltage AC drives
that use Curtis controllers.  You'd get regen "free."  

Lots of small DC motors would suit too, but with the common series motors
regen is nigh onto impossible.  You'd want to look hard at how to improve
the brakes, especially if you live in a hilly area.

FWIW, a high school chum of mine had a Morris Minor, a '57 (gas) IIRC.  The
grille had a port for the manual crank, for when the Lucas Prince of
Darkness struck!  However, in such cases my friend usually just stuck his
left foot out the door and got it coasting enough to pop the clutch in gear.
 It was that light.

Alas, his Minor never reached the age of majority.  He tried, carrying on
with patching the body with old license plates, pop rivets, and mud.  But
somewhere around 1971 or so one of the front torsion bars nearly poked him
in the bum, and the car kind of slouched down.  That was the end of that.

I remember thinking some years hence that if not for the rust that would
have been an intriguing conversion.

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

rustybkts
In reply to this post by Richard Brown
Hi Richard,

Welcome to a new and massively fun way to drive. ICE'rs have no idea.

Having now built two cars, the first on www.evalbum.com/1454 is a Lotus Elise which was my daily drive until I completed a kit car Vortex GTEV which is a great winter car with greater range and warm with it.

Both my cars use Siemens water cooled AC motors and I would recommend you considering AC as no clutch or gears are required. Just leave fixed in third.
I do have a spare if you are interested.

Your main consideration is the battery space. Unless the Minor is to be a play thing, you need maximum cell capacity for a reasonable range.

My Elise uses 94 x 50Ah cells and has a range of 60 miles. The Vortex has 100 x 100Ah cells with around 120 miles range.
Download cell specs from CALB or another and see how much room can be found in the front, where the fuel tank is and in the boot.

If you need any more help or info, contact me on the Email from the evalbum site as I am UK based.

Russ Sciville
Vortex GT EV
Lotus Elise EV
Stiga Villa EV lawnmower
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

carrott
In reply to this post by David Chapman-9
On 17/10/13 19:02, David Chapman wrote:
> Yes, check the archives. I seem to recall someone converting a Mini many years ago. I assume you are talking about one of the first gen? Dach.

I'm (still!) converting a classic Mini. While most of the Minors have
the same engine as the Mini, converting to electric will be quite
different because the Minor is rear wheel drive while the Mini is front
wheel drive. This means the gearbox, clutch and engine crankshaft are
completely different.

I don't know much about Minors, but I'm sure a conversion is possible.
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

Martin WINLOW
In reply to this post by Richard Brown
Hello Richard,

I, too, am UK based but up in Herts, though I was at Plymouth Poly (as was) back in the 80's doing engineering.  I did a small van conversion in '08 - since written off - currently ride a Vectrix and am building a EV replica of an Austin Healy 3000.

First thing you need is a copy of 'Build Your Own Electric Vehicle' by Bob Brant which is now in its Third Edition.  Ebay do them for about £20.  This will tell you as much as you could possibly want to know and is a very useful resource.

Cost will (should) be at the forefront of your mind.  It is a very difficult issue as it entirely depends on several variables but the principle costs are the donor vehicle (sounds like you have that covered already), the motor and the battery pack (and arguably the battery monitoring/management system BMMS).  If you want good range - up to 100 miles at 50 mph, say - you are looking at a good £6k for modern LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate), 'prismatic' (quite big - the size and shape of a big Bible 280mm high, 180 wide, 70 thick - and ~ 6kg for 160Ah ones at a nominal 3.2V) cells and for that price you will have to be prepared to import them direct from China.  Sounds griefy but isn't as bad as it sounds.  There are EU suppliers nowadays but they will charge you - quite a bit - for saving you the hassle (and risk) of importing them yourself.  This will give you about 20kWh of energy - much the same as the Leafs, I-Mievs, Zoes etc of this world.

I'm not sure you will get 20+kWh of cells in a Minor, Traveler yes, Minor no (unless you sacrifice the back seats).  This much battery is about 300mm high x 900mm wide by 600mm deep. So your range (and happily, battery cost) will probably be less.  Although I believe the Minor is quite slippery aerodynamically speaking, it weighs quite a bit and this will adversely affect your range if you spend much time speeding up and slowing down - rather than doing a steady speed. The other principle issue energy use-wise is the fact that the faster you go, the more energy the car wastes pushing air out of the way and, worse, the energy needed goes up exponentially with speed ie it is not linear.  So doing 70 mph, for example, uses roughly twice the energy that doing 50 mph uses - for any vehicle, BTW, however powered.

The motor is, of course, equally important but not as expensive and again, its price will be dictated to a large degree on its performance capability.  If you want the same performance as the original Minor's ICE (30HP or so?) then you could get something quite cheap - £500 or so.  Traditionally, EV converters have used 'series wound' DC motors as they are relatively cheap, quite efficient, can be obtained relatively easily second hand (fork lifts), robust and easy to pair with a suitable and equally cheap controller (the box that turns the DC battery power into a form of energy the motor can use and control it smoothly and efficiently). A controller for this would be another £500 or so.

If, on the other hand you want to show a particularly clean pair of heels to the surronding traffic you will be needing something a bit more powerful - Russ (rustybkts)'s AC motor is good for 150HP, I gather but to get that much power you would need a matching AC controller costing 3 times what the DC one (above) would cost.  I don't know what Russ would want for his motor but it would be in the region of £1k to £1.5k (they were going on eBay in the US a couple of years back for around US$2k).  An 'off the shelf' AC motor/controller pair will set you back a good £2-3k but again, it depends on your power requirements.

Alternatively, an off the shelf DC motor/controller of equal power could be had for somewhat - but not much - less.

There is a good BMMS comparison here...
http://liionbms.com/php/bms-selector.php

You MUST use a BMMS if you go with lithium - some will say you don't but £kkk's is a lot of money to lose if you cook your battey pack due to overcharging it or kill one or more cells over-discharging it.  If it's parked in your garage being over-charged, you could lose that too!  A good one would be about £6-700 depending on how many cells you have.

Lastly, there is some basic engineering that needs to be considered, battery racks, bigger suspension springs perhaps but most importantly (and costly, tho it shouldn't be more than £2-300 or so) is the adapter plate and coupler from the electric motor to the existing gearbox/clutch (if you keep it).

You have possibly the biggest UK EV converter not far from you at AVT, Taunton - www.avt.uk.com.  They are a bit expensive (IMO) but have much experience and all the bits you will need in one, relatively close-by, place.

Have a look at evalbum.com for ideas and inspiration - I see someone in Bristol has already done a Minor - http://www.evalbum.com/4776

Good luck!

Martin Winlow
[hidden email]


On 16 Oct 2013, at 16:23, Richard Brown wrote:

> Hi Guys
>
> Totally new to the idea of converting a car to run on electric. I have
> started to trawl the internet for resources and how to's but it is
> difficult to find anything. I have no idea where to start or what I need to
> purchase in terms of a motor. A friend of mine who used to service fork
> lift trucks advised me that I need to get an induction motor with an
> encoder bearing. But he seem to suggest the cost was majorly prohibitive.
>
> This instructable doesn't seem to suggest this:
> <
> http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-your-own-Electric-Car/step3/adapter-plate/
>>
>
> Anyway, this is my first post and I would love to be able to visit some
> sites that might be able to give me some further information and also see
> whether it is possible to convert a Minor.
>
> Thanks for any help.
> --
> Richard Brown

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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

David Nelson-5
On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 1:27 AM, Martin WINLOW <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> You MUST use a BMMS if you go with lithium - some will say you don't but £kkk's is a lot of money to lose if you cook your battey pack due to overcharging it or kill one or more cells over-discharging it.  If it's parked in your garage being over-charged, you could lose that too!  A good one would be about £6-700 depending on how many cells you have.
>

This is definitely something you will want to thoroughly research your
self. There are many different variables in how people have treated
LiFePO4 prismatic cells. Without accurate details it is difficult to
know what killed a battery. There are cases where a BMS system killed
some or all of a pack and cases where it didn't. There are cases of
systems without a BMS which had battery failure so the assumption was
that a BMS would have prevented the issue. That is not necessarily the
case!

I was told by some people on this list that if I didn't have a cell
level BMS on my pack that it would drift out of balance very quickly
and I would kill a battery. Well, that hasn't happened to me in the
past 27 months of no balancing. Also, John Hardy in the UK posted at
http://blog.evtv.me/2013/10/das-boot/#comment-11955 "I now have 900
cycles on the original 8 cell pack of CALB40s. Voltage variance has
DROPPED from 28mV at cycle 50 to about 6mV for the last 100 cycles or
so with no active or passive balancing."

This is why you need to do your own research on this matter to
determine really what you are willing to live with. There are several
accounts of people who had left some sort of parasitic load on their
EV and parked it for an extended period of time only to come back with
a pack of LiFePO4 cells at extremely low voltages, some less than a
volt. Because they bottom balanced their packs they did not lose any
cells.

Again, do your homework.

David D. Nelson
http://evalbum.com/1328
http://www.levforum.com
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Re: Morris Minor Conversion

Mike Shipway
As David Roden pointed out,  Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield is a probably good to
talk to, being a classic car nut with a soft spot for Morris Minors.  She's
done a lot of research toward converting her's.
You can probably contact her through http://www.aminorjourney.com/
or http://transportevolved.com/
Or she might see your post here, if her packed life allows.

Mike Shipway--


On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 1:27 AM, Martin WINLOW <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > You MUST use a BMMS if you go with lithium - some will say you don't but
> £kkk's is a lot of money to lose if you cook your battey pack due to
> overcharging it or kill one or more cells over-discharging it.  If it's
> parked in your garage being over-charged, you could lose that too!  A good
> one would be about £6-700 depending on how many cells you have.
> >
>
> This is definitely something you will want to thoroughly research your
> self. There are many different variables in how people have treated
> LiFePO4 prismatic cells. Without accurate details it is difficult to
> know what killed a battery. There are cases where a BMS system killed
> some or all of a pack and cases where it didn't. There are cases of
> systems without a BMS which had battery failure so the assumption was
> that a BMS would have prevented the issue. That is not necessarily the
> case!
>
> I was told by some people on this list that if I didn't have a cell
> level BMS on my pack that it would drift out of balance very quickly
> and I would kill a battery. Well, that hasn't happened to me in the
> past 27 months of no balancing. Also, John Hardy in the UK posted at
> http://blog.evtv.me/2013/10/das-boot/#comment-11955 "I now have 900
> cycles on the original 8 cell pack of CALB40s. Voltage variance has
> DROPPED from 28mV at cycle 50 to about 6mV for the last 100 cycles or
> so with no active or passive balancing."
>
> This is why you need to do your own research on this matter to
> determine really what you are willing to live with. There are several
> accounts of people who had left some sort of parasitic load on their
> EV and parked it for an extended period of time only to come back with
> a pack of LiFePO4 cells at extremely low voltages, some less than a
> volt. Because they bottom balanced their packs they did not lose any
> cells.
>
> Again, do your homework.
>
> David D. Nelson
> http://evalbum.com/1328
> http://www.levforum.com
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
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> For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA (
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
>
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