Showing posts from 2020

The buck starts here

After clamping the subframe on top of my old printer stand to make a vehicle buck , I had somewhere to place all of the components I had gotten so far.   Importantly, I already got the Hyper9HV motor as well as the HyperDrive X144 motor controller and inverter.  The motor is approx 60kg and man-handling it by myself from its box onto the temporary supports on the buck without hurting my back was a lesson in either humility or resistance training... I'm not sure which. The red wire spool is some 1/0awg 600-volt flexible welding cable that I'll be using to carry current from the batteries to the inverter, as well as from the inverter to the motor. The rest of the components to control the batteries and drive the motor I got from ThunderStruck Motors and are seen here sitting on the buck's table, mostly still in their boxes.  Other than a J1772 handle and cable (in orange), you can see the  144V DC-DC converter and the accelerator pedal . Having the buck on wheels means th

An EV needs some batteries

The motor I'm using is the NetGain HyPer9HV IS  AC motor, which requires me to have batteries that output around 144volt. After looking at a bunch of options, I decided to go with first-gen Nissan Leaf battery modules, since (a) they are inexpensive, (b) they don't require active cooling, and their form factor allows for some fun options on the Classic Mini (more on that later).  To get 144V total, I got 20 first-gen Nissan Leaf battery modules. I sourced them from ThunderStruck EV, since they are local and I could go pick up everything by car. Shipping those batteries was a non-starter. Above is an image that shows the batteries in their current, temporary home, in our family room next to the Nintendo GameCube. They are sitting between the legs of an old Epson P7000 printer stand on wheels that I modified a bit with some plywood, thereby creating a serviceable vehicle buck . The batteries are in a single stack that should fit into the trunk of the Mini, after I do some cutting

The VTEC subframe and axle(s)

Before getting an electric motor into the Mini, I needed to get a subframe that would fit both it and its associated transmission, etc. Don from MiniMania helped me source from MiniTec a VTEC B-series front subframe  and two modified axles.  The subframe arrived mounted on a pallet with the parts in a box inside, and looked great! Counting the axles, I sensed that something was missing...  However, that didn't seem like a big problem at the time, since I had lots of stuff to do still, before a missing axle would be an obstacle.  Some emails were sent and I moved on. More on this axle later.


Er... I guess I'm making a plug-in electric vehicle to be used in the US, and I'll need to plug it in.  Best learn about  SAE J1772  and all that jazz. The charger I'm using is the TSM2500 144V from ThunderStruck and I added a female J1772  plug for it to get power from a standard EV charger (which eventually gets it from the wall or via hard wiring). Ultimately, after some time spent recalling and practicing how to reliably splice and solder wires, the result was the Frankencable shown in these images. Jutting out from the middle of this Frankencable are a ground wire (with a standard wall-socket plug) as well as both the J1772 proximity and pilot wires.  These proximity and pilot wires go directly into the ThunderStruck EVCC 3.0 that will actually turn the TSM2500 on and off using CAN commands. As part of making this Frankencable, I messed up the nice Anderson connector that came installed on the TSM2500. I replaced it with a Delphi Metri-Pack 280-series sealed connec

Unboxing the body shell

The first thing I did was rent a garage and get it in shape to contain the car, as I was building it.  This was a significant amount of work, because the only reasonably-priced garage close to where I live was in terrible shape, so I had to start by refurbishing the garage itself. The body shell comes in wooden box and is very well packed, with multiple layers of protection. The box has four heavy-duty rollers on the corners, so you can maneuver the box pretty easily.  The box itself is significantly heavier than the body shell that it contains. The quality of the body shell is great, and my son and I were excited to take the next steps.

It makes sense to have a build thread

I was inspired by to build an EV Classic Mini. To pay it forward, I'm going to try to record what I've needed to do in my build here, in case others find it interesting or useful.  A big shoutout to Don Racine at MiniMania , who encouraged me to make the leap, as well as whoever did the build in the picture below, which showed me exactly how a Honda transmission and Hyper9 motor would look in a classic Mini.