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Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:50 am
by Spitfire
Hi Everyone,

I was looking for a Volt donor for an electric DIY on a 76 Spitfire I've owned since 1980, but came across a wrecked MIEV. The plan would be to mount the MIEV rear axle (complete with Drive motor) onto the Spitfire, then find room for all the other components and maybe two batteries in the Spitfire engine bay.

Anybody familiar with or heard of MIEV's getting used in this manner? Suggestions?

Re: Conversions

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:53 am
by Don
I suppose it could be done . . . . by someone who is very well versed in computer controlled EV's and understands how all the components 'talk' to one another and can modify the software to make it all work, but I think it would be impossible for most people to do - I've never heard of it being done

It's an AC drive motor with regenerative braking and all that is computer controlled - Install an incorrect size tire and you lose traction control and more importantly, regenerative braking. The Inverter/Charger which controls the Motor also recharges the batteries and the battery monitoring hardware is linked to the computer. You would need all the batteries, 340 volts or so minimum for the system to work. If you wanted a smaller pack, they would need to add up to the correct voltage and just be smaller AH cells

I fear you would end up getting halfway into the project and end up with unsolvable problems and a car that you can't drive. There are more knowledgeable experts here who will weigh in and tell you the technical aspects that will be a problem

I had once considered converting a Miata, but it was going to be a much simpler project, with a DC drive motor, no regenerative braking, no air conditioning and so on. It still would have cost me twice as much as a good low mileage iMiEV with all the bells and whistles. so I (thankfully) abandoned the project


Re: Conversions

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:07 am
by jray3
I'm a big fan of conversions (own three of 'em) and think that the i-MiEV motor would be very well suited for such, but don't have the software chops to do any hacking. Transplanting nearly the entire wiring harness would be in order unless somebody comes up with a 3rd party controller for our inverter, as has already happened for the TESLA and LEAF drivetrains... Finding the inverter that powered our motor when it was only in forklifts could be a good start, as I'd doubt it had CANbus communication then....

Re: Conversions

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:49 pm
by Spitfire
My Spitfire has been in the barn with engine issues since 1984 and the MIEV was written off with some front driver side wheel damage. I drove it around the scrap yard today and can have it for $2500. I could probably sell some MIEV parts if the project bogs down, so no huge financial downside.
The wheelbase widths are within 3/8ths" of each other. The Spitfire is 15" shorter but only two seats so actually more room for gear.. Both run on 13" wheels.
The plan (such as it is) would be to swap in the complete rear axle/motor asembly and delete the entire Spitfire drivetrain. There is more than enough room in the engine bay for the battery. Other components would go in the trunk or engine bay.
As MIEV tech support is very limited (and likely to gt worse) I would do as Jray3 suggests and essentially transfer all wiring and components possible, right down to the ignition key and gear shifter.
The resulting car would weigh about 700 lbs less than a MIEV so maybe better range and acceleration.
Invariably there will be issues and a big part of the decision is figuring out where to find support when those issues arise and the project is 95% complete....which is why I am here :)
Thanks for the replies...please keep them coming.

Re: Conversions

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:12 pm
by jray3
Hey Spitfire, did you pull the trigger on either donor- the i-MiEV or a Volt?

I'm now actively looking for a way to control an i-MiEV motor in an EV conversion, as I'm just not enjoying my gasser Karmann Ghia Cabriolet anymore compared to what is should be, which is quiet and green. An i-MiEV motor would fit into the engine bay beautifully, and running that motor through a 4-speed gearbox would really improve the performance!