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Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:12 pm
by jray3
With a sub-50 kilomile car now on offer at $3995 (in Utah), our cars are worth more as parts than as working cars. Not necessarily a bad thing. I'd love to transplant a full set of i-innards into a classic small car such as my Karmann Ghia Cabriolet. We've seen a LEAF fully disassembled and functioning on a wall, then transplanted into another vehicle. Anyone attempted this with an I-MiEV? It would be a superior EV conversion to the usual Curtis AC51 retrofit costing $19k in parts alone........

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:33 am
by Don
I think it would probably all fit quite well in a first generation Miata too . . . . and you can pick those up considerably cheaper than the Ghia's I'll bet . . . . but since you already own one and it's looking for a new drive train, why not?

We actually bought our first iMiEV when I was running the numbers for converting a Miata to a BEV. The completed Miata would have been very low tech compared to the iMiEV and doing it 'right' would have cost nearly as much back then when the iMiEV was about $23K after the tax credits. Why go to all that work for a car with no regen which would only go half as far when you could be driving a much higher tech car with A/C, power steering and regenerative braking?? I gave up on building my own from scratch then and there - Too little sugar for my nickel for sure! :lol:

You are oh so correct that transplanting the innards into anything interesting is soon to be a popular use for older iMiEV's. I can't wait to see what creative minds come up with!


Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:11 pm
by JoeS
Thoughts regarding transplanting everything vs. just the drivetrain and trying to hack the MCU vs. trying to match a controller to our motor and, if so, which one?

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:53 pm
by 1kaspars
I-miev + motorcycle...
They transplanted everything. Had problems, if there is no vacuum pump, ABS etc.


Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:55 am
by JoeS
1kaspars wrote:I-miev + motorcycle...
They transplanted everything. Had problems, if there is no vacuum pump, ABS etc...
1kaspars, thank you very much for linking us to this video. I'm afraid I need to see if I can find a Voice-->Text-->Translate (or a fluent friend). Too bad there is only a small amount of i-MiEV detail in the video showing off the finished product.

The image link didn't work for me, but copying the URL into a browser worked fine. It's a snapshot of the video at 3:57 showing the i-MiEV instrument cluster beautifully integrated into the housing just behind the steering. Here it is:

I don't know if he actually got the display to work.

All in all, a fantastic accomplishment IMO, and certainly right on topic with this thread!

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:04 am
by 1kaspars
I'm afraid I need to see if I can find a Voice-->Text-->Translate
in youtube subtitle automatic translation (set to english) worked acceptably. There were no much technical info in Russian language also.

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:03 pm
by tenthousandclowns
i have two electravans, ( with mediocre brakes and no regen and old dying lithium batteries, very primitive analog stuff. they are rear wheel drive and i think with axles from the narrower version of the miev the drive unit would swap in nicely. if small enough wheels and tires could be made to work with the miev innards. they have 10" rims now. just a thought for the future mostly.

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:19 pm
by 318iEV
If anyone has any more info on this that would be great, I’m in the process of re-converting a BMW from a DC electric system to use imiev components.
At the moment I have the majority of the imievs components laid out on the ground all connected up excluding the Lights, air conditioner/heater, power steering rack, wheel speed sensors and airbags/seatbelts.
The car engages ready for a couple seconds before showing the high voltage warning light and the 12v battery light.

The imiev is an m spec model with the Toshiba cells which doesn’t require any air conditioning/heating circulation in the pack. It was also full drivable before it was disassembled (although it was an insurance write off)

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:50 am
by PV1
Plug in some more of the components, and it'll likely stay READY. Namely, I think the car needs to talk to the heater and A/C systems.

Re: Drivetrain transplant

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:20 pm
by 318iEV
I realised I forgot to plug the j1772 communication plug in properly which caused it to lose it’s ready state, the car stays on ready now.
And after plugging in the wheel speed sensors the dash is also no longer a Christmas tree!
It seems the car doesn’t need to talk to the heater/AC units to stay functional.

One weird thing I’ve noticed with all the wheel sensors plugged in is that the car seems to gauge the amount of regen on the wheel speed not motor speed,
where If the wheel speed sensors aren’t there it uses motor speed to gauge regen.