1953 Chevy Pickup Conversion

First I just wanted to say I’ve been pouring through the posts, and you guys, and gals I presume, are awesome. I’m additcted to the EV concept and am finally ready to start work on one. However, I need some help and I’m hoping you all will impart some wisdom upon me.

I have done some solar power installations on the homes I remodel so I have some basic dc electrical knowledge. I also used to renovate older cars back in high school.

So down to what I’d like to do.
[B]Rolling Frame and Body:[/B] 1953 chevy pickup
[B]Use: [/B]Daily driver, but that daily distance is never more than 20 miles total.
[B]Speed: [/B]Top speed of 55 mph, but only for a distance of 10 miles max.
[B]HP: [/B]It will need to cary small loads, a 1000 lbs max, but again only for short distance, and not at hight speed.
[B]Budget:[/B] $5,000 for something that will fulfill some of those requirements–or-- $8,000 for something that fulfills all of them.

So, where do I start? I like the idea of direct drive, but what really works and is cost and energy efficient for what I’m looking to do? Are there kits available? If so, how do you adapt them to the existing tranmission or drive line? The only thing I’ve seen so far that immediately makes visual sense is that Transwarp 11 motor with the 1350 universal joint for connecting directly to a dive shaft or differential.

If you don’t mind giving me as much detail as you can tollerate, I’d appreciate it.

I’m ready to get to work, but I realize there is a lot I need to learn.


ok, to start off, the truck. is it a manual or automatic?

that truck might need a revamp in the suspension depending on the route you decide to go with for providing power. (assuming batteries?)

direct drive is nice, BUT expensive… for your budget i think you would be better off getting an electric motor and just making a plate to bolt it into the existing transmission, and then put in the batteries and the controller.

you shouldn’t have too much of a problem reaching that range/speed on a decent 72V system.

check out “newdawn” and his saturn he converted, i think from there you will see and find what you will need in terms of parts, and assembly.

The truck is a manual transmission along with manual steering and unassisted brakes.

[QUOTE=RyanWallace;1663]The truck is a manual transmission along with manual steering and unassisted brakes.[/QUOTE]

then looks like a conversion will be a synch. remove the stock motor and put in the electric motor and all the batteries/controler and you should be good to go.

Ryan, It sounds like a great project. Your expectations don’t sound too high, which will almost guarantee your satisfaction.
I would defiantly stick with the manual transmission. The multiplying of torque you will get with a transmission will allow you to pull stumps (big DC motors have a ton of torque to begin with). and have the speed you want. You will also have a lot of options to keep the amps to a minimum while starting out, or going up hill. This will help with overall range, and keep your motor from getting hot.
As FEUS said, you would pretty much have to go with an AC system for direct drive, and this would take your whole budget for the motor, and controller. I would however recommend going with more like 120-156volts. This makes for a more efficient system, and makes higher speeds easier to attain.
For the range you are talking about (with a 20% tacked on, for emergencies) I would recommend Either 20-26 small 6v Trojans (t-105, or so) or some big AGM 12v batteries, like the Trojan 110AH model. You could also try the Trojan 12 deep cycle, j-150 I believe? This should give you more than enough range, and keep the weight down, which will give better acceleration, and hill climbing capability. I would also mount the batteries under the bed, rather than in the bed. This will keep weight low, and allow full use of the bed, Win Win.
I would check out a 9in. Advance DC motor, or equivalent. This will give plenty of power, and will be a lot cheaper than the Trans Warp. You may also want to adapt a different transmission. Yours is fine from a functionality point, but it will be much easier to buy a motor adapter plate for a more common trans., and adapt it to your truck, than build an adapter for your rare transmission, Just my opinion.
You could go with either a Curtis, or Zilla controller ($1500-2000) Curtis is available now, Zilla is better, but has a 4 month wait list.
This sounds like a great project. I hope it works out for you, I suspect it will be very rewarding. Good luck, Eric

Thank you everyone for the great info. I’m still absorbing it, but will certainly have more questions. Thanks again!