I went overkill on my Ford Think. It was worth it

Hello all. After a solid 6 months since buying my Think Neighbor I have finished the resto and modifications. As I always do with projects I went waaaay overkill (as you will see from the photos.). Maybe this will inspire someone to do a full frame up restoration or scare them.

I will be making a video for my youtube channel soon that goes over all of these modifications. Find my channel by search “The Turbo Dad” (youtube and Instagram)

Range: 63 miles real world driving
Top speed: 51 mph (GPS recorded)
Motor: ME1114 PMAC
Controller: SEVCON Gen4
Batteries: Nissan Leaf Gen2 (30 modules at 72v)
Charger: Thunderstruck TSM2500 w/J1772 socket
Charge controller: Dilithium design
BMS: Dilithium design
Drive: Silent Sync belt drive with Sprockets
Display: Samsung Tablet w/ SEVCON adapter to OBD2
Wiring: custom made

Here are a ton of photos that will show more than what I can describe.

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Perfect!! Looks like a fun setup. Go Team Overkill!!!

Is the noise down to acceptable levels using belt vs chain?

In case you haven’t figured out yet, lay a straight edge across the sides of the cogs to make sure they are parallel and aligned. They can handle a little error, but the closer you get is better. Keep an eye out for rubber bits/dust. Unfortunately most of them may fall out the bottom of the car and you may not notice you are having an issue.

I can’t quite tell how you are getting belt tension. Is there a screw/foot in there somewhere?

How is your input bearing in the trans holding up? This huge side load on it now might get it a little upset. Is it getting hot?
Since you have been running the same concept with the chain maybe that was a good test?

51 MPH?!?!! Hopefully you upgraded the brakes too. Maybe emergency Bat chute?

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Wow. Looks good. I’m definitely looking forward to watching the YouTube video. I really like the look and upgrades.

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Yes the noise is very acceptable. I was very surprised how quiet the belt is. It is a great solution.

I was able to get the alignment correct a.ad the tension perfect to what the belt manufacturer sent. So far after 20 or so miles there is no scuffing of the belt at all.
The tension is just used a pry bar between the motor and the differential then tightened the bracket bolts on one side. Then with a small jack I held the motor in place and put the bolts in on the other side of the motor bracket and tightened that side. Its solid.

For the side load I will have to keep an eye on it. I haven’t noticed if its getting to hot but I’ll check it next time after a long drive.

The braking with the drums isn’t bad. The regen helps a ton with that. Though I can go 51 mph I rarely do. 35 - 40 is cruising speeds.

Got the transmission in. Here are preliminary fitment.

Top is Oem Gem motor.fits by machining bearing retainer and building centering hub and bolt holes.
I hole fits. One more has an unskilled boss.
5kw ac

Middle is 8kw a.c. motor. Near same fitment as Gem motor. Cart end bell needs machining for cv clearance.
Upside to this motor is that the end bell comes off easily. It can be machined or even replaced with custom fit bell.
Cv has zero clearance but easily machined bell.

This is great. Very promising seeing as it shoulsnt take much machining to clear the CV.

When you have final length mesaurements I can check clearance if you need that still.

Bottom is 10kw pmac.
Fits with bearing retainer. Only one hole lines up.
Upside is being a short motor.
Downside, it may need to be relieved all the way into the windings. 3/4" clearance from spline to flat aluminum with fins shaved off.
If someone made a small diameter cv it would be a piece of cake.

I have a customer who has disassembled these motors. He claims that there is no loss of magnetism.
I’m sure he would do it for us for free or little cost.
He may know the thickness and layout of casting and windings.

Did you need something from me?

Did you see the pictures above? Balls in your court now.
None are perfect fit but all can be done, I think.
Anything you want me to measure?
The bottom Pmac might be easiest, but only if there is enough material to relieve for the knuckle.

Realize that TurboDad here is already running one of the smaller Pmac motors but not direct drive(belt drive).
Any of the options will work but he may not need it.
It’s cool to see all the options.

I was waiting to see what each option would cost.

I have a friend local that is waiting for me to give him the specs and price for what you can offer so he can decide.

For each option we need to know what the best controller would be and if it should be 72v or 96v.

I have a 2 seater I will need to get running with one of your options.

For my personal 4 seater I could be interested in cutting down my current motor to clear the axle but from the last time I checked clearance the motor would sit to high and have to cut the base of the rear seat cover.

So if say the 2 AC motors would be what we need to know what a complete kit would cost.

It won’t be a kit.
S4 80v controllers new $550 delivered
8kw ac motor $550 delivered
5kw oem Gem motor used $500
10kw pmac $550 delivered-only have one or two
Smaller kw same frame pmac $400 delivered. I have one and Mike has one.
A couple S6 80v $1200 each. Mike may have one for less money.

Feel free to test and return. Pay shipping both ways.
Seems the oem motor is easiest to get running. Then you will have a feel for performance.
Same dcf will run both induction motors. They are simple to tune.
Be really close to clearing the shaft.

I feel like I need to ask more questions so here goes.

Will either the 8kw or 5kw motors come ready to go? Meaning we can bolt them on to the Think diff? Or am I going to have to figure out how to get the motors to bolt to the Think diff bolts. As above you mention one bolt works and others do not.
I’d like to have the solution ready to bolt on. I do not really have time to modify. I need it to bolt up and then I can bring in our wiring guy again.

For the controllers. Whats the benefit of the S6 over the S4. Is one needed for a certain motor?

No, the motors will not bolt up. It will take some machining to get them to fit. The 5kw only needs a way to bolt up, and the gearbox bearing retainer relieved.
The 8kw the same, and also machining the removable end bell of motor. I have an issue with time also, plus no easy access to a machine shop. Given time, I can work on it more.
The s4 works for us in all cases. Your guy might be able to squeeze more performance from the s6.

I can help you source a bolt on motor, now that I see the issues. Let me know if you find something, so I can pass it forward.

If there are motor options that would bolt on please let me know. I have no experience in that world.

It seems to me that installing a Gem differential would be the easiest way to go.


I agree.

If someone has one I can try and Mount it on one of these 2 seaters I have. See how the axles will work or not.

I have one, but it’s 6:1. What is your total ratio now?