I recently had the pleasure of working with @Inwo and @MikeKC while installing their AC motor kit in my 2013 e6S. I had been watching the evolution of the AC motor setups but having already installed a new D&D motor (ES-132-69) I didn’t think I would make the switch any time soon. @MikeKC called it though. Sure enough, I had been running the D&D motor at its limits for about a year and a half when one day I forgot to let up coming down a bridge (the only hills in my area) and went too fast resulting in a damaged motor. The motor kept working for a few weeks with some erratic behavior but eventually failed. I considered having the motor repaired but it seemed cost prohibitive and I didn’t want to dial back the performance to protect the repaired motor. I spoke with @LithiumGods, @Inwo and @MikeKC and it was clear the AC conversion was the best option for what I was looking to do.
It turned out I was the first to try their kit on a 2013 GEM which uses a different throttle setup compared to the earlier models. It was both interesting and fun working with them to get it all sorted. Installation of the motor was simple, it simply bolted in place of the old motor. There were no modifications that need to be made to fit their 8kW AC induction motor on this style GEM.
We went back and forth a fair bit on which size controller I should use. The Sevcon S4 or the S6?Given that the cart is the larger six passenger it’s easy to just assume I’d need the largest controller but we looked at the specs and it seemed like the S4 would work just fine. I had some concerns about overheating the S4 as that had been an issue for me in the past with the GE T4 controller. I’m usually one to go with the next size up just to be safe so I wrestled with this decision for a bit. In the end I decided to give the S4 a try plus the smaller footprint would allow me to reuse the heatsink I had installed on the T4 controller.
With everything all mounted and wired up I was anxious to take it out for a spin. I took it easy at first to get a feel for the new setup but it wasn’t long before I was testing the top end speed. This setup is awesome! I’ve had it in the cart for about a month now and I haven’t had a single issue with it. It drives really smooth and has plenty of speed. With my old setup the fastest I recorded on flat ground with a GPS app on my iPhone was 43MPH. Covering that same stretch of road with the new setup I hit 49MPH and I find myself backing off the accelerator often now as compared to before. Knowing that I can keep up with any traffic we encounter on the road is reassuring. I knew I’d be trading some low end acceleration with the swap but I don’t really notice it as the AC motor ramps quickly. Besides I’m sure some of the passengers prefer the softer start from the AC motor compared to getting tossed back by the DC motor.
Here are some photos from the install:
Some additional notes/thoughts:
- With my 205/45R17 tires and zero offset wheels the passenger side tire will make contact with the motor if I try to turn full lock to the left. I don’t lose much articulation but the turning radius on the e6 isn’t the best to begin with. It hasn’t been an issue though and the only time it’s rubbed has been at very low speed either backing out of my driveway or maneuvering while parking. Initially I thought I would come up with a mechanical stop to prevent the wheel from turning too far or 3D print a guard for the motor case to protect the tire but it really hasn’t been a big enough issue to address it.
- I thought I would miss the info on the dash display and need to setup the digital dash @MikeKC had shared. In reality I barely ever look at the dash. I still want to setup the digital dash as I think it will be cool to have but I don’t think this should be a blocking issue for someone considering the kit.
- It’s worth mentioning some of the other specs on my 2013 e6S. The cart has a 10.35:1 gearbox, 205/45R17 tires and a 24S Bolt lithium battery pack.