Motor suggestions

Greetings all, well I’ve managed to get the Think stripped down for Paint, motor and controller, suspension upgrade but would really like to know what is the best Motor option for fitment and speed, I have a grey motor and looks like D1 controller. I saw that Dave runs a D&D ES 18A is this the same as a Gem motor? Can someone suggest the best motor option and model number I having trouble finding the right motor.

See if you can squeeze a 10" long motor in somehow.

From what I’ve seen and read looks like a bag of snakes. I mean spending cash on elec. parts that may or may not work is really not money well spent, jmho…

Looking for a proven winner with 35 to 40 mph flat roads. I will need a motor and controller. ES 18A and D2 seem the best option.

No risk, but lots of work.
Yes, I’m looking for snake handlers that want to go fast. :slight_smile:

I believe this subject has been kicked around for some time:
Lets start with batteries. To get the kind of current you are going to need with your limited space and weight restrictions Pb batteries are not going to cut it. Example lets say you choose to use something like Trojan Ranger a 8 volt 160 AH battery in a 48 volt configuration is going to weigh 460 pounds, with only 80 Amp hours usable. Any acceleration greater than 100 amp sis going to incur a very large voltage sag (You are going to need 500 amps to accelerate).

For the same money you can have a 16S LFP 100 AH battery that takes up half the space and and 1/4 of the weight at 120 pounds. In addition more usable capacity, and no problem with voltage sag under heavy acceleration. It is a NO BRAINER decision.

Next the differential ratio is such that obtaining the ground speed of say 45mph is difficult. You really need about 5:1 if you use a Golf Cart DC motor, and 6:1 if you use a high RPM AC motor. This is one of the road blocks. Absolutely no problem if you had a standard golf cart differential because there are hundreds of places to get the replacement gears. You have one of a kind differential no one makes parts for. You would have to have a machine shop custom make you the gears.

As for motor choices there is DC and AC. Of the DC motors you are pretty much SOL. All DC motors made for 19-spline are series golf cart motors. That means fairly low RPM of about 5000 RPM max. With your differential gear ratio puts 35 mph pretty much out of reach unless you use a lift kit that does not exist to allow you to use larger wheels and tires.

However if you use say an HPEV AC9 or AC15 motor you can get your 35 mph because the RPM limit is much higher of 8,000 RPM. Catch is the AC motor cost about 3 times more than DC, and the Controllers are also about 2 to 3 times higher than DC controllers. An AC9 with 650 amp controller is going to set you back $2500.

For less money than you are going to spend trying to make this thing work, you can buy a used EZGO 2FIVE and remove the RPM limit via controller programmer and replace the speed gear and have your 35 mph. Just removing the RPM limit in the controller will get you 30 mph. Remove the RPM limit and change gears you get 37 mph. You get a real road legal NEV you can title, has DOT windshield, 4-wheel disc brakes, seat belts, lights, mirrors, and horn. Additionally tons of OEM add-ons and accessories for sale everywhere.

My buddies Ford Think is all stock with the 6 h.p motor Ford put in under warranty along with the D2 controller. Only thing that has been done is the controller has been programed otherwise it’s completely stock. It has stock Deka Gel batteries and it runs 35 mph.

If he would go with bigger tires he would gain more speed and there’s plenty of room for 14" tires to fit with no modifications or lift kit. I have 14" tires on mine and I bet I could get away with 15" or even possibly 16".

IMO going back to 48v and golf cart parts is the wrong direction.
If changing motor, controller, and batteries, go with proven high performance.
Big motor and high voltage. That’s how grant built his 48v Gem into a 50mph street car.
Not trying to sell you my stuff, as it’s untested in a Think. I am trying to get someone to do the work, so Thinks everywhere can get on the high performance wagon.
I can do it myself if I find a rolling chassis.

1 Like

“The Ford Think was made one year and that should tell you something” Is what one golf cart professional told me. I have spoken to several Think specialists since I acquired mine last month. One even said that a crash in one over 35 mph could be deadly.

All in all 50 mph in one of these Ford Thinks presents 1. Suspension and 2. Breaking. So beef up the suspension and go with disk breaks preferably on all 4 14" or 15" wheels…

Then you get into the gearbox ratio - it would need a total upgrade to preform at higher than 35 mph.
Cluster will not read speed above 35 mph.
Any Motor change requires a new controller and speed sensor.(cluster still will not read above 35 mph)
Battery upgrade will result in new charger and DC to DC converter.

What have I learned? A Gem is not a Think and a Think is not a Gem. Both are completely different platforms. How much is it worth verses value. I have spoken to experts who really know the Ford Think and some have differing opinions on upgrading the Motor system etc, a couple make it very complicated and a couple make it simple.

I’ll let you all know how this project proceeds, I do believe we need a forum that is dedicated only Ford Think owners with solid answers and sound advice with pics.

This is in my Ford Think going 40 mph at 3,900 RPM. At 4,980 RPM it goes 51 mph.
17 inch wheels with stock shocks and drum brakes.

To achieve this I went with a totally different set up then everyone talks about. I used a different motor with a Belt drive with sprockets to change the ratio.

Is it safe in a crash at 50? Heck no.
Is it affordable to achieve this speed and a 60+ mile range. NO!

Is it worth it? HECK YES.

This is my daily driven vehicle. To the grocery store, pick up my son from school, trips to the movies, dinner dates with the wife, etc. Until the raining season ofcourse.

@TheTurboDad That is a great looking think and very ingenious setup using the belt drive!
I know this post was a while ago so I hope you’re still around.
I have so many questions though I’ll try to keep it to just a few here. :slight_smile:
I’ll start with what may be the easiest upgrade for me.
I’m assuming those are car wheels/tires.
4x100 with 4x4 to 4x100 adapters spacers is that correct?
What size wheels/tires and are you running and what offset?
What width spacers?
I’d also like to know more about the motor/controller/ batteries/software for the tablet. Though that would lead to hundreds of questions so any details you wouldn’t mind providing would be great.

The best way to reach me is through Facebook.

I am not on here to often.

Find me on facebook
Uploading: Screenshot_20210616-120200_Facebook.jpg…

Or Instagram

A Gem was not designed to do 60+mph either. That has not stopped me from going that fast and faster. The ac motor/controller setup @Inwo @MikeKC and a few others have put together is bulletproof. Would be great in your Think. As for crashing, chances are if someone hits you it’s going to hurt and not matter how fast your going.

Basic physics would say at 15 mph it probably will hurt, at 50mph it’s fatal.