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Choice of kit chassis for 4wd electric


Peter Reynolds
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Hi there ll.

I'm a biker and light sports car fan by night, and bus driver by day 🙂

 

I always meant to build a Luego Viento with 2-litre BMW straight 6. I love sixes. Never made time to do it...

 

I'm just looking at ideas, but the plan is to have one car that is inexpensive to buy 2nd hand, light and convert it to 4wd EV to cope with Cumbrian winter, with either 2 motors with 2 diffs, or 4 motors.

High voltage electrics and control aren't a problem for me, but I need to find a car that can be converted with driven hubs front and rear, without too much major welding work.

Perhaps a Mini-style kit, with a second front subframe in the rear?

 

Does that ring any bells for anyone, please?

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15 hours ago, richyb66 said:

Just buy yourself a Subaru and save a load of hassle.

Now come on, where's the fun in that? 😉 Or are you selling yours and this is an advert? 🙂

I've never heard of a 4WD kit, certainly not as standard, anyway. If I was you, I'd be looking at buying an old Lada Riva, Suzuki Jimny or Fiat Panda 4x4.

Personally, however, I would never want an EV 4x4, especially if you actually want to use it off-road properly. Can you imagine crawling through a snowstorm, middle of nowhere, with the battery down to your last 5 miles? 🙃

Edited by nelmo
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18 hours ago, Sparepart said:

Are you considering the purchase of a four wheel drive car and replacing the engine ? For example a cheap Audi TT as per the link below.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202203053231965

 

16 hours ago, Sparepart said:

Are you considering the purchase of a four wheel drive car and replacing the engine ? For example a cheap Audi TT as per the link below.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202203053231965

 

Not really. I want something light, basic, and something I built (or rebuilt) so I know every nut and bolt, the way No. 6 knew KAR120C 🙂

 

To explain: I mainly commute between 1 and 12 miles, all of it out in the sticks. Commuting is mostly boring, so why not add some interest and/or fun by doing it in something I made myself?

 

I think the changing climate, pollution, dwindling crude oil reserves and energy security are all telling us the same thing--stored renewable energy is a good option, probably in a battery.

 

And I hate the fashion for big, fat cars that weigh 1.5 to 3 tonnes to do no more than a 700 kg Mini.

 

Weight can be a problem in EVs and I'm in hilly country, so weight's doubly important. More weight-> bigger battery -> more weight!

 

So my ideal car has something like a lightweight tubular spaceframe chassis, lightweight bodywork, and room for drive shafts at all 4 corners.

 

I know I probably won't find the ideal, but I can try 🙂

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18 hours ago, richyb66 said:

Just buy yourself a Subaru and save a load of hassle.

That's how I ended up with a dull Peugeot wiesel, which did everything boringly until the day it lunched its DPF, EGR valve and turbo seals in one day. Not even Peugeot techs could tell which failed first.

 

I prefer things I can keep an eye on, and to avoid one component making the car a write-off 🙂

 

 

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2 hours ago, nelmo said:

Now come on, where's the fun in that? 😉 Or are you selling yours and this is an advert? 🙂

I've never heard of a 4WD kit, certainly not as standard, anyway. If I was you, I'd be looking at buying an old Lada Riva, Suzuki Jimny or Fiat Panda 4x4.

Personally, however, I would never want an EV 4x4, especially if you actually want to use it off-road properly. Can you imagine crawling through a snowstorm, middle of nowhere, with the battery down to your last 5 miles? 🙃

4wd (or snow chains) are the only way I can get up some hills in snow. No need for mud-plugging 🙂

 

I plan ahead, so I'm no more likely to run out of electrons than I am to out of petrol 🙂

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2 hours ago, Peter Reynolds said:

I plan ahead, so I'm no more likely to run out of electrons than I am to out of petrol 🙂

Yeah but you can have a spare can of petrol in the boot 😉

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2 hours ago, nelmo said:

Yeah but you can have a spare can of petrol in the boot 😉

I have friends who used to do special effects.

 

The only reliable way to make the car burst into flames for the cameras is to include a small can of petrol. Trying to rig the normal fuel tank didn't work.

So no thanks 🙂

 

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I'm sure the can wasn't just sat in the boot - setup with something to ignite it, maybe.

If you're an accident bad enough for that to become an issue, I'd imagine you'd have far more serious issues to worry about, like finding your missing body parts...

 

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1 hour ago, nelmo said:

I'm sure the can wasn't just sat in the boot - setup with something to ignite it, maybe.

If you're an accident bad enough for that to become an issue, I'd imagine you'd have far more serious issues to worry about, like finding your missing body parts...

 

Tell that to the people burned in American Ford Pintos, with the fuel tanks bursting into flames after rear-end collisions.

 

But better than that, any chance we could avoid the subject, since I started by saying I'm planning an EV? :-)

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On 3/16/2022 at 1:57 PM, Peter Reynolds said:

 

Hi there ll.

I'm a biker and light sports car fan by night, and bus driver by day 🙂

 

I always meant to build a Luego Viento with 2-litre BMW straight 6. I love sixes. Never made time to do it...

 

I'm just looking at ideas, but the plan is to have one car that is inexpensive to buy 2nd hand, light and convert it to 4wd EV to cope with Cumbrian winter, with either 2 motors with 2 diffs, or 4 motors.

High voltage electrics and control aren't a problem for me, but I need to find a car that can be converted with driven hubs front and rear, without too much major welding work.

Perhaps a Mini-style kit, with a second front subframe in the rear?

 

Does that ring any bells for anyone, please?

I'm still looking, but I haven't seen obvious choices.

 

On the way I found MEV, who make the Exocet based on a Mk 3 MX5 drivetrain and I gave them a call. They are prototyping a similar EV based on MX5 running gear, but obviously ditching the engine/box for an electric motor driving the rear axle. I think some MX5s have a limited slip diff, which could make for a nice predictable and fun drive.

2wd, though, so I'd probably be back to snow chains in winter. Can't have everything :-)

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Your comment made me look into that whole Ford Pinto saga (before my time) - interesting reading. Bottom line, there were over 3 million Pintos made and there were 4 recorded deaths from fire, 3 of those in one car.

The Pinto was later proved to be no better or worse than any of it's contemporaries - where Ford went wrong was writing an internal memo that got leaked; the memo put values on injuries that might be sustained in an accident ($60k for a death etc) which REALLY annoyed people, understandably. So when the first case went to court, the lawyers said Ford didn't care, the jury bought it and awarded huge payouts to the victims family - that is why it is a famous case. The safety or not of the car was almost irrelevant.

Edited by nelmo
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1 hour ago, nelmo said:

Your comment made me look into that whole Ford Pinto saga (before my time) - interesting reading. Bottom line, there were over 3 million Pintos made and there were 4 recorded deaths from fire, 3 of those in one car.

The Pinto was later proved to be no better or worse than any of it's contemporaries - where Ford went wrong was writing an internal memo that got leaked; the memo put values on injuries that might be sustained in an accident ($60k for a death etc) which REALLY annoyed people, understandably. So when the first case went to court, the lawyers said Ford didn't care, the jury bought it and awarded huge payouts to the victims family - that is why it is a famous case. The safety or not of the car was almost irrelevant.

As I remember it, there were many more deaths and also a lot of serious injuries. There were 3 or 4 people represented in one court case alone.

 

But this is a side issue. What I'm looking for is a lightweight chassis (spaceframe, perhaps) that could easily be converted with driven hubs at all four corners, and it's not going to burn stuff 🙂

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