Matt's Electric GT Projectlog
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Thread: Matt's Electric GT Projectlog

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    Matt's Electric GT Projectlog

    Status: Committed.

    Well, I've paid and vehicles have begun moving, so, I'm committed now.

    First post of a thread I usually like to keep updated as the project progresses so that someone can get the gist of the details without reading every post. I'll probably do that here.

    -- Short summary --

    Car:

    Opel GT, mixture of 1969 and 1972, mostly 72. Rear defroster. Pop out windows. '69 rims. Engine and transmission are gone. Will link the thread later.

    Electric Motor:

    Not settled yet, but probably a 3-phase forklift motor I already have, got it for free spending a few nights pulling it off a Hyster carcass. More on that later. May repurpose an OEM EV driveline instead if it works out better.

    Battery:

    Custom-built battery from recycled tool pack cells. Had a source of these for free, probably have enough collected now.

    Speed controller:

    Not sure. A variety of choices, all costly. If I was using a DC motor I could use just about anything cheap, even just a starter battery to get it moving around, but a 3-phase AC motor means a fancy and expensive inverter to even make it rotate. May rig up a smaller DC motor just for testing and positioning.

    Brakes:

    Electric brake booster, otherwise stock brakes. Was given one from someone's aborted project. Will also have regenerative breaking from the motor if I go 3-phase.

    ...

    Please feel free to ask questions about the electric part of the build process, but, don't worry about it. I have that covered and I have an EV community I'll ask for those details if I hit a wall. I'm sure I"ll be asking lots of car-related questions here though and would appreciate the community's help.

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    First order of business...

    Scramble for parts!

    I have 2 cars 1800 miles from home I'll be picking up this week. I'm only taking 1 home with me. What to yank?

    Orange: Body and glass (no engine) of a '72 with half the firewall and all the trans tunnel removed. And no interior.

    Yellow: '69 donor for most of the trim/interior/spare parts. I'll be removing the firewall and trans tunnel with a sawzall and roughly fitting them into the '72 before I go.

    I might have a day or two of SLCRacer's spare time to help strip some parts. And maybe a day in person to do the rest myself.

    https://imgur.com/a/FvCXuGa <-- Pics so far. (Outer 2 vehicles, not middle one).

    ...

    What should I take?

    What spare parts should I take?

    - Door cards, dash, firewall, trans tunnel, bumpers/chrome, lights/lenses all planned already.

    - Extra (new) interior carpet pieces and seats (new, paid for) already accounted for.

    - Glass and old seats are now gifted to Mike Shannon (who bought middle car and helped load/tow my cars from seller with SLCRacer).

    - I was considering taking both front and rear suspensions because I have no idea about what might need replacing. Bushings and linkages and other things I have no knowledge of. Also, a mockup to change either (or mount a transaxle from OEM EV donor) would be convenient.

    - What else non-engine-wise?

    - Master cylinder?

    - E-brake?

    - Fuse box? Wiring harness?

    - Honestly don't know much else about what's under the hood I might want or what I should be eager about taking with me. If you were describing what to take to a child who has no car instincts, what would you tell them to focus on?

    I've got a cargo van (Astro) to tow the car trailer, and can stuff the opel itself full of spare parts. So, aside from the 2nd body itself, I probably have room (but not time) for anything else.

    Any last minute advice much appreciated. I leave in a couple days.

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    Good Luck Matt,
    We just finished building a electric 1973 VW Thing. We bought a complete EV West setup from a stalled Opel GT project. My buddy had a VW thing and a wild hair to make it electric. I like gas in my Opels. He has spent over $12,000 dollars to make it right. 5 Tesla S batteries give it a 100 mile range at freeway speeds. This post is to let you know that I have a Curtis electric motor to Opel transmission adapter available to anyone that can use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by californiagting View Post
    We bought a complete EV West setup from a stalled Opel GT project.
    Oh neat, EV West are good guys.

    This post is to let you know that I have a Curtis electric motor to Opel transmission adapter available to anyone that can use it.
    Well it won't match my motor, but it's 90% of the way to having an adapter plate that will. 1" thick aluminum I presume?

    I wonder what it'd cost to USPS ship to Phoenix, and if it could get there before Saturday when I'm in town there?

    Once upon a time I worked in southern California. We ordered a sample of bulletproof glass that was 1 step down from grenade proof. Shipped via USPS. Arrived shattered. True story.

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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Going to be intresting

    This is going to be an interesting thread. Hope it pans out.
    What should I take? (Quote)

    What spare parts should I take?

    - Door cards, dash, firewall, trans tunnel, bumpers/chrome, lights/lenses all planned already.

    - Extra (new) interior carpet pieces and seats (new, paid for) already accounted for.

    - Glass and old seats are now gifted to Mike Shannon (who bought middle car and helped load/tow my cars from seller with SLCRacer).

    - I was considering taking both front and rear suspensions because I have no idea about what might need replacing. Bushings and linkages and other things I have no knowledge of. Also, a mockup to change either (or mount a transaxle from OEM EV donor) would be convenient.

    - What else non-engine-wise?

    - Master cylinder?

    - E-brake?

    - Fuse box? Wiring harness?(Quote)

    Everything you can stuff in the van and car. Better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Just my thoughts, Jarrell
    You lose your dreams, you lose your mind. (The Rolling Stones)

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    Senior Member GTRoy's Avatar
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    A quick update here. Matt left Cave Creek this morning with his 'new' GT in tow.
    1600 miles to go. I'm sure he will provide more details soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Inventory Time!

    I rented a 40' x 10' storage unit for $20 for 5 weeks (Ending July 1). No commitment, but if I'm not out by then, it's $300/month. I have a heated parkade to keep it in for free, but no automotive work is allowed there. If I'm inside my vehicle, it's none of anyone's business what I'm doing I'll argue (wiring, drilling, interior work, etc), but certainly welding and grinding will have to be done before I get there (it'll set off the smoke alarms). Once it's there, it's hard to shade-tree it too since it won't be legally allowed on roads either until it passes an out-of-country safety inspection.

    So, welding and grinding need to be done (ish), before July 1.

    Plan B is to rent a retiree's garage for the summer, lots of people on fixed income could use a little extra money.

    Task 1: Figure out what I've got, and what I need to start ordering or keeping an eye on to pick up.

    I wasn't there for the vehicular teardown, so I'm not sure if I'm missing key things.

    Last night I inventoried everything that came home with me. There's a few unknowns.

    ( 6 picture maximum per post? Great... incoming 7 posts... )












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    (Aha, #19 = Sun Visor).





    Last edited by MattsAwesomeStuff; 05-30-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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    Whew. So....

    Things I need:

    - Transmission (Keith's co-op has several for me).
    - Rear orange tail light lens (Keith's co-op has some).
    - Clutch (? Or is that part of the transmission ?)
    - (Maybe windshield?)
    - Windshield rubber
    - Rear window rubber
    - Door window rubber
    - Brake lines (??? Napa/Autozone/???).
    - New master cylinder?
    - The missing half of the seat rails?

    - Others? Tell me so I can add them!
    Last edited by MattsAwesomeStuff; 05-30-2019 at 08:45 PM.

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    Hoosier Opeler Site Supporter rrossjr's Avatar
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    Looks like a good start.
    At least for sheet metal, I am assuming the body is intact enough to go forward, but the hood looks pretty rough.
    You may want to look for a replacement. Do you have both headlight buckets?
    As far as inventory goes, it might be easier to break it down like the FSM (skipping the engine and other related drivetrain stuff you will not need) and see what you may be missing.
    Without a doubt, there will be lots of little stuff that you will find once you start reconditioning and rebuilding systems like the suspension,
    electrical, interior, etc.
    Good luck with your project. It imagine it will be a challenging, and hopefully fun build.
    Cheers,
    Ron in Indy

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    Quote Originally Posted by rrossjr View Post
    Looks like a good start.
    At least for sheet metal, I am assuming the body is intact enough to go forward, but the hood looks pretty rough.
    You may want to look for a replacement. Do you have both headlight buckets?
    As far as inventory goes, it might be easier to break it down like the FSM (skipping the engine and other related drivetrain stuff you will not need) and see what you may be missing.
    Without a doubt, there will be lots of little stuff that you will find once you start reconditioning and rebuilding systems like the suspension,
    electrical, interior, etc.
    Good luck with your project. It imagine it will be a challenging, and hopefully fun build.
    Cheers,
    Ron in Indy
    Ron has it about right, you have some of the main "stuff". Shame you aren't on the East Coast. I have a blue Gt that is intact and 2 others that are good. If, that word, if, I had known about your project. I could have set you up so you wouldn't have to be scrambling for "stuff". If you need, or desire to rethink this, PM me and I'll give you my phone nos and email and we can talk about it. I can provide pictures if you need as well. It will be a lot cheaper depending on what you need. Jarrell
    You lose your dreams, you lose your mind. (The Rolling Stones)

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    Senior Member GTRoy's Avatar
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    This illustration is from GM illustration Catalog for Opel and GT Models thru 1975.
    Opel GT Source has similar in there online catalog . Maybe better.
    In your pics, lightweight foam after door pic glues to inside roof... #13, 14, 28 are kick panels, round holes line up with
    ventilation vents that have plastic dampers.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrossjr View Post
    At least for sheet metal, I am assuming the body is intact enough to go forward, but the hood looks pretty rough.
    Hood needs to be rebent, and I'm not sure what to do about it being rusted all the way along.

    I don't want to weld it, it'll make the paint blister on the opposite side.

    I'm still half thinking I can get away with a 20' paintjob by using touchups. I really don't want to do blasting, priming, painting, etc. But maybe I'll have to.

    Maybe I'll just wirewheel into the crack there, then epoxy the support beam back to the sheet. I've got some long welding clamps to hold it down, bricks would work too.

    Do you have both headlight buckets?
    Yes, more on that later. The yellow is a spare. The other yellow had rotted itself in place, Doug wasn't successful in removing it.

    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 'Soybean"
    I could have set you up so you wouldn't have to be scrambling
    I should be okay from Keith's co-op. They've got several vehicles worth of parts. Shipping is the killer in Canada, Basically double or triple what any of you have to pay for shipping, so, just having something on this side of the border is great.

    It's just knowing what might go where or even just general advice on what to replace. For example, Roy told me to not save the breaklines, they'll be packed with cholesterol. Doug told me to probably not bother with the brake booster or master cylinder for similar reasons. I'm generally clueless about that and would've just re-used them.

    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GTRoy
    In your pics, lightweight foam after door pic glues to inside roof... #13, 14, 28 are kick panels, round holes line up with
    ventilation vents that have plastic dampers.
    Foam I knew. Donor body still has most of the foam in it.

    Kick panels... aha. I see them now. Thanks.

    Those are the old ones, did it look like I have new ones in that pile of new upholstery, or, am I restoring the old ones?

    ...

    Was going to save this for later, but, might as well post pics of the body next. It needs work.

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    Phase 1: Bodywork Bonanza

    Before I start doing much electical planning, I need to have a body that's usable.

    Two main issues:

    1 - I need to finish up replacing the exterior body panels, they're just jammed (really jammed) into place right now around the original firewall and trans tunnel. I'm dreading getting them back out to work on them as it took 3 of us to get it in there and it fits by a hair. Windshield fitment has me particularly concerned, as only the lower rim is original and my spacing might not be perfect.

    2 - The exterior body panels aren't as rust-free as I'd hoped. There's a couple holes, and the start of rust along the bottom edges.


    Cosmetically, I wasn't as careful to protect the paint during transit (first time hauling, and certainly first time hauling a car), so there's a fair amount of transit damage to the paint. I'm considering a stop-gap solution that avoids stripping and painting the entire vehicle, just because feature creep kills my projects. Is it possible to touch up paint and give it a 20-foot paintjob or is that dumb to even try?

    Incoming several posts worth of body shots...












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    ...

    Particularly with the rust, I don't know what I'm doing besides "remove all rust with grinder" and "prime and paint".

    I could back the wheelwell spots with new sheet, weld in place a few places.

    ...

    With the interior floor panels, I was thinking of cutting along the lines indicated, forcing the two floors together with self-tapping sheet metal screws, and maybe removing one screw at a time and replacing it with a rivet. Then perhaps weld along some of the overlap seams, which I aim to be in structural corners where the box beams from the seat lie.

    I'm a bit concerned about that leaving flaps of metal for water entry along long overlaps, but not sure what to do about it. Silicone, seam sealer, epoxy? Running a watertight weld bead long distances along sheet metal with flux-core seems a bit like a fool's errand.

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