My FrankenOpel ( EV conversion )
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Thread: My FrankenOpel ( EV conversion )

  1. #1
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    My FrankenOpel ( EV conversion )

    OK Time to start the thread, as by the end of the month (April 08) I will be starting on my Blue Max EV

    Anyone following my EV research and trials and tribulations knows I have been looking at doing an Opel EV for a while. I at first was going to do the Blue Max I had.. but had "almost" decided against it. I was going to do the Kaddett.. but then said never mind to that.. Then almost traded for a GT.. then decided against it and went back to the Manta.

    I kept coming up with about the same basic range, and such on all three cars. So I decided I will go with the Blue Max. Just not with the Blue Max interior..

    In the meantime, I know others have contemplated and asked for info on doing a EV Conversion, so I will post my contacts, insights, experiences, and screw-ups ( Although I am sure everything will go smoothly and there won't be any though.. ) here.

    All I know is that my motor will be ordered within the month and the project will get started shortly there after.
    Last edited by GoinManta; 04-02-2008 at 01:03 PM.
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

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  3. #2
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    OK.. lets start with the cars..

    Wieghts:

    Opel GT -From GM and assorted magazines

    1969 1.1L GT 4-speed, curb weight 1863 - 1881 lbs

    1969 1.9L GT 4-speed, curb weight 2070 - 2109 lb

    Opel Manta (My project)

    1972 1.9L Curb weight : 2232

    Approximate wieght of:

    1.9L Motor : 275 lbs (bare motor)

    Motor Accessories : +/- 45 lbs
    (Manifolds, Alternator, Carb, Starter, etc.. )

    Manual Transmission : 65 lbs

    Automatic Transmission : 115 lbs
    (Manual states add 50 lbs for Auto)

    Weight of exhaust : +/- 20 lbs

    Weight of gas tank/metal lines/filler neck : +/- 10 lbs

    Weight of radiator and hoses : 10 lbs

    Weight of GT headlight buckets & assembly w/ cables, etc.. : 25 lbs

    .................

    Transmissions

    Manual - 3.428 / 2.156 / 1.366 / 1.00

    Automatic - 2.40 / 1.47 / 1.00

    S-10 5 Speed Transmissions
    (Much easier to swap to now that you wouldnt ahve a Opel motor, and kits are out there for mating to this transmission pretty inexpensively.)

    1985 Minivan : 4.3L : 3.50 / 2.14 / 1.39 / 1.00 / 0.73
    1984-86 Chevette: 1.6D : 3.76 / 2.37 / 1.49 / 1.00 / 0.86
    1985-86 S10 : 2.5L & 2.8L : 3.76 / 2.18 / 1.42 / 1.00 / 0.72
    1982-1984 S10 : Most : 4.03 / 2.37 / 1.49 / 1.00 / 0.86

    Personally if you are to go the S10 route, go for the 85-86 S10 as the 0.72 5th gear will give you a better top speed.

    .................

    Rear Ends:

    Std Opel Rear Dif Gear - 3.44
    Optional GT (Kadett) - 3.18 / 3.67
    Optional Manta Rallye - 3.67

    For top end speed (especially lower voltage projects (Under 96 V) go with the 3.18 and the Chevy S-10 tranny. The lower the ratio the higher the top end. The thing to remember is the Electric motor has a ton of torque.. and no problem turning the higher gear ratios (Or is it lower.. I always get that backwards - either way the lower numbers) What it lacks is RPM. You can get some that want to go into the 6000 range, but they are happiest in the 3000 range. Also lower the RPM range, the less power the motor uses.
    Last edited by GoinManta; 04-02-2008 at 01:00 PM.
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

  4. #3
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    OK.. A couple of thoughts I had about body modifications.

    1) Order & Install front spoiler from GTS

    2) Install side skirts for Manta

    3) Install rear deck spoiler (similar to my sons Manta)

    4) Cover the opening in front of the radiator

    As for rims and tires.. Sticking to a with a 185 profile and will probably go with a light 13" BMW rim.. probably the "Turbine" wheels I orginally had on the Black Manta.
    Last edited by GoinManta; 04-02-2008 at 12:59 PM.
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

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    Mid-West Opeler sawdust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoinManta View Post
    4) Cover the opening in front of the radiator
    Will you have enough air to cool the electronics ?
    Projekt 2019 - Der OPEL GT
    1971 Opel GT (Green) 10/28/06 VIN: 77 232 5469 Body U1032187 Build date: 10/70
    1972 Opel GT ..(Red) .05/11/07 VIN: 77 237 3202 Body U1049159 Build date: 11/71
    I am past the Age of knowing when I should know better

    Other Cars:
    2010 Fusion Hybrid (White)
    LINK to my picture Albums

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    Detroit,where my home was 2 Fast 4 U's Avatar
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    Charles, you are doing a electric conversion, why are you talking about S-10 5 Speed Transmissions all you need is a gadget that works like a gas peddle, nothing nicer than a electric motor that has a RPM control , you would be able to hook up the electric motor direct to the rear dif , and place all the batteries and electronics in the enginebay
    Opel Ascona;
    Only built from 1970 - 1975




    Understeer: The front of the car hits the wall,
    Oversteer: The rear of the car hits the wall,
    Horsepower: How fast the car hits the wall,
    Torque: How far the car pushes the wall.

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    EV dreamin'

    I have been slowly working on converting a 1974 SportWagon for the last couple of years. I have a blue 1975 just like the one at the top of the web page here that I'm using for parts and doing a mock up. I drive the signal green one too regularly to tear it apart until I know for sure how it's going to work out. I'm using an 8" Advanced DC motor and 10 Deka Intimidator deep cycle AGM batteries. I really should try to start a website to post the project to....

  10. #8
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    That would be good.. I currently have the motor for my Possible Kadett conversion...

    Since I got a 66 GTO, I dont have a ton of time or cash to invest in the conversion..

    That said, if I sell the GTO this year the Kadett will get converted.. since if I have to rebuild the motor or go eletric.. I might as well go electric.
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

  11. #9
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    Funny how things can change so quickly.. I had the money for the EV conversion.. and fully intended to do the Blue Max.. but while at Carlilse to get a rottisere to do the Manta body.. a 66 GTO came into my life

    So plans changed.. The Blue Max got sold to Steven.. (oldopelguy) to make room and the GTO started its restoration.

    I have since come about 75% of the way in the GTO restoration.. and my son blew the engine in my 4 door Kadett. So the plan is I will do a EV conversion.. But will I do the Kadett, or a future GT or Manta...

    But I will do a conversion.. and when the time comes I will be sure to post it all here.

    Charles
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

  12. #10
    Tennessean Site Supporter hrcollinsjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoinManta View Post
    .. and my son blew the engine in my 4 door Kadett. So the plan is I will do a EV conversion.. But will I do the Kadett, or a future GT or Manta... Charles
    Charles,

    Isn't your 4dr. Kadett fairly rare here in the U.S.?

    HC

  13. #11
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    Yes, very very rare..

    The conversion to EV though would be completely reversable.. add to that although rare its rare for a reason .. no one wanted them when they were new and fewer when they were old

    Not 100% sure I will convert it to an EV.. still thinking of doing it to a GT instead.. smaller lighter and more aerodynamic.. that or a Manta (More load capability and thus larger battery pack..)

    If I know me.. once I am done with the GTO, and get my money out of it I will want to do another project one way or the other. So it all depends on what cars come up for sale, and when.. etc.. etc..
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

  14. #12
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoinManta View Post
    If I know me.. once I am done with the GTO, and get my money out of it I will want to do another project one way or the other. So it all depends on what cars come up for sale, and when.. etc.. etc..
    Well I do know me.. The GTO is sold and I am looking at doing my next project...

    So.. an update to a point.

    While a EV project is on the top of my list. The batteries I choose keep getting in the way.

    A new battery type that is MUCH cheaper than the NiMH or LIon batteries is hitting the market LiFEPO4.. BUT they are still 2-3x the cost of Sealed Lead Acid Deep Cycles, that said SLA is almost $1500 just for batteries.. and they last about 2 years.. a LiPO4 setup would cost almost $5000 but last 2-3x longer.. damn the budget..

    Speaking of budget. Looking at the funds for the next project. The Battery cost and future Battery technology get in the way of pulling the trigger on doing an EV. Mainly because if I go with Lead I have to update the suspension (Be it the Kadett or a Manta) to handle the wieght which would sacrifice the handling.

    If I wait.. the LiFE batteries are at least 1/2 the wieght and with some judicious trimming and stripping I could get the vehicle within the GVWR and not have to do much. I could even do performance mods to the suspension and not worry about wieght.

    As with any engine swap project (2.2L, 3.4L, etc.. etc.. etc..) variables and modifications have to be wieghed. Braking Mods, Suspension mods, etc.. to handle the extra HP or Wieght or both.. So its really lookling like waiting maybe the best option.. Since if I don't know the wieght or the torque I will be dealing with I can't balance the other equations.

    So that all said.. this are the options I am looking at are in no particular order:

    The Suzuki G13B DOHC (about 105HP) VERY light and small... should be easy to modify and I shouldnt have to reinvent a lot to get the Kadett running great.

    The GM 60 degree V-6 (Seeing and Reading all Ron went through on WillIts conversion.. its almost too much.. I have to give him and all those that did a 60 degree job a ton of credit.. its a LOT of work... )

    The GM LS1 (OK this one is crazy thinking.. especailly in a Kadett. But the LS1 is really light compared to a 1.9L and the wiring wouldnt be an issue.. etc.. etc.. now in a Manta.. HMMM... )

    The Nissan KA24DE (had one and it looked like it would fit really well, but its heavy and I am not sure worth the effort)

    The Nissan SR20DET (this project, like Rons.. looks great.. but again a LOT of work.. not that I am against work.. just not sure if I ahve the paitence and skill to pull it off.. )

    EV Conversion (Netgain transwarp 9 -120V)

    The Opel 2.2L FI

    OR rebuild the 1.9L into a 2.0L

    Right now the direction seems to be the 2.2L due to the amount of work verse the amount of power. Also I want to keep the Kadett an Automatic.

    Since I have seemed to have sold the GTO, I have the money for any of the projects.

    I am thinking of doing the Kadett as 2.2L and all the goodies.. and then doing a Manta as an EV. I figure in a year or so maybe the LiFE battiers will be inexpensive enough to go that route.. there is also the matter of motors and controllers. Two years ago you had Curtis and Zilla.. now there are at least 5 manufacturers making controllers.. and prices are all over the place.

    Once I have the money in my hand from the GTO, then all bets are off.. I may start the Kadett as a EV project.. but design it in a way I can change my plans as I build it..

    Its though.. if it werent for the batteries. an EV Conversion wouldnt be much more than a standard engine..

    So.. that all being said.. Budget in the $4000-$6000 range. What do you all think an EV..? Modern Opel Motor? Or something completely different?

    I hate when I am at this part of starting a project.. figuring which one I will do.. Heck even when I have decided what I am going to do things change.. ($950 for a convertible 1966 GTO that runs for instance..)
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Red Baron"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels and a even few GTs

  15. #13
    Perma-project Danforths's Avatar
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    I would look into an Atlas 4.2 inline 6 with a re-programmed ECU. 350 hp from an all-aluminum engine that you can pickup cheep.
    The problems we face today can not be addressed at the same level of intelligence we were at when we created them - Albert Einstein Or with the same level of $ - Me

    '73 Opel GT - Northstar powered
    '95 90Q
    '98 Jetta GLX
    2000 Durrango

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    Opelicious JaredT's Avatar
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    call me crazy, but a TDI would be a fun swap. My DD is a TDI and can get over 700 miles to a tank in a bug. Something aerodynamic and lightweight like a GT should be even better.

  17. #15
    Perma-project Danforths's Avatar
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    A 5-cylinder TDI with a kennedy engineering adapter to GM corporate 60 degree bellhousing and a T5.
    The problems we face today can not be addressed at the same level of intelligence we were at when we created them - Albert Einstein Or with the same level of $ - Me

    '73 Opel GT - Northstar powered
    '95 90Q
    '98 Jetta GLX
    2000 Durrango

  18. #16
    Opelicious JaredT's Avatar
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    I'd actually be pretty happy with a 1.9L VW TDI with an upgraded turbo and a T56.

  19. #17
    Perma-project Danforths's Avatar
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    there isnt an adapter available to mount a T56 currently behind a TDI.
    The problems we face today can not be addressed at the same level of intelligence we were at when we created them - Albert Einstein Or with the same level of $ - Me

    '73 Opel GT - Northstar powered
    '95 90Q
    '98 Jetta GLX
    2000 Durrango

  20. #18
    Opelicious JaredT's Avatar
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    I suppose a T5 would work then... ;-)

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    Opeler vrod's Avatar
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    I guess I will be carrying your EV torch, then.

    I have already built a ground-up electric trike (2wheels front-1 in rear), which really hauls butt!

    I plan to use the same equipment on the '72 Opel GT, that I just put a deposit down on last week. Zilla-1K-EHV, Warp 9 motor, Lifetech LiFePO4 168V-30aH battery pack. (battery will double or triple in size, would be nice to boost voltage to 288V)

    I see no reason why it could not achieve 0-60mph in 7 seconds or less. In reality, it may even be less than that!

    I've got some EV experience and I'm really familiar with the equipment, so there shouldn't be any surprises.

    Dig around on my site (under XSO project) and see my trike in action.
    -Vic
    ecsotec | electric concept solutions

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