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About WisDesign

  • Birthday August 7

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  1. Yeah... I assume that most are surprised by the weight based on how light lithium-ion 12Vdc starter batteries and the like are compared to their lead-acid counterpart. However, in most of those applications, the battery is just providing a burst of power. In this case, we also need it to provide a lot of energy capacity to keep you moving down the road as long as possible.
  2. Ha! Back at ya! Is that the proper "Pastelblau" color for a 2002? Mine is actually Porsche's Etna Blue.
  3. Empty they weigh about 25lbs... Full of lithium-ion batteries, they weigh 145lbs.
  4. Now that the motor is mounted (see below), it was time to get serious about the batteries. I have known which battery modules I was going to run for awhile, but not exactly how I was going to mount them or position them in the car. The battery modules themselves are 59Vdc lithium-ion "blocks" built by LG for the Chyrsler Pacifica Hybrid. I chose these for a number of reasons, but mainly because being from a hybrid means they offer good power and the voltage/capacity of each block works out nicely to build to the voltage (360Vdc) and total energy on-board I'm targeting. They are also readily available for a good price and since the vehicle itself has only been available since 2017, I can be sure that the modules I receive are relatively new and in good overall health. After considering a few different options, I elected to build an aluminum t-slot frame around the cell modules to keep them protected, under constant pressure, and make it easier to mount into the car with simple brackets. The top and bottom face sheets are .125" 6061 series aluminum. This will provide a nice, conductive interface for the integrated cooling sink plates on the bottom side of the module. Since one set of boxes will be stacked, the fasteners are countersunk and I'll use the t-slot to tie the two boxes together structurally. I won't go into gruesome details over the BMS (Battery Management System), but I've selected a really nice system that will connect to measure each cell voltage and a series of 5 thermistors per module to monitor temperature. The cell group monitoring units communicate up to a configurable master BMS unit over CANbus. Here's a finished battery box, complete with a dual set of power terminals, 4-pin sealed CAN/12Vdc power connector, and removable handles to assist with loading into the car... I will need 4 of these battery boxes in the vehicle in a 2P2S (2 in parallel, then 2 in series) configuration. Here's the position of battery #1 in the space between the rear wheel wells... (the towel was just to make it easier to slide around) As of now, I think I need 1 in the trunk, 2 in the backseat area, and 1 under the hood to get a nice weight distribution. Early indications are that I'm also going to need some stiffer spring rates in the rear! Let me know if anyone out there has a good source!
  5. The battery will be distributed in two areas. The first is between the rear fender wells in the forward cavity of the trunk space. The frame has been reinforced in this area to support the weight of the battery (roughly 240lbs). This will be the "rear" battery. The "front" battery will either replace the rear seat or be located up in the engine bay. I'd prefer not to mount it in the engine bay to keep that area looking nice and clean, but it may have to go there. Lots of pros and cons to work through on that one... Look for a future blog post on battery selection and location.
  6. The motor is not terribly hard to get a hold of. It needs to be ordered with a particular winding chosen and a few other details. I could help you with this if you're interested. It's a water-cooled motor designed for OE traction applications, so intended exactly for this purpose. i.e... this is not a "hobbyist" level motor. I intend to pair it with either a Cascadia Motion (formerly Rinehart) PM100DXR or PM150. I have used this pairing for years now in electric motorcycle racing across the US and Isle of Man TT, so have some pretty strong confidence in that pairing for what I'm looking to achieve. I have never used the Netgain motors, but I am somewhat wary of air-cooled designs. I also think your motor choice highly depends on your battery selection as the Netgain motor is designed to run at 100Vdc, whereas the Parker is intended for higher voltage applications as you would find in an EV from a major manufacturer.
  7. Progress has been slow. (I promise not to start every blog post that way!) However, I now have the electric motor (Parker GVM 210-150) mated to the 4-speed transmission with a coupler from Hayes to mount the clutch assembly and a custom aluminum bell housing adapter. That motorcycle in the background of the photo below is one of the reasons why progress has been so slow, but I'll save that for a separate post... So what does it look like in the former engine bay?... tiny. There's more "stuff" required to fill out the motor bay, but it's still a surprise to see how small a modern EV motor is needed to outperform the original drivetrain. As a reminder, this is a 100# water-cooled, internal permanent magnet motor producing 189 lb-ft of torque and somewhere around 160hp. Unfortunately, the weird stock engine mounts didn't provide a lot of good options to mount the motor, so we improvised and came up with unique steel mounts that will attach through urethane bushings to the frame rails via a new welded-in bracket. I was hoping not to compromise the frame rails, but this car is never going to be converted back, so what the heck... Now that the drivetrain is nearly in, I'll need to make some progress with the battery assembly and wiring harness next. I've also got a few more big components to get on order - namely the motor inverter, which will sit above the motor on a yet to be designed bracket. Stay tuned!
  8. Last year, through a friend, I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Egger, the creative genius behind Specialized Bicycles. He was an awesome guy, and I think this article describes him perfectly... https://rouleur.cc/editorial/egger-specialized-fun-creative-director/ Besides us both having an industrial design background, there was another common thread between us... BMW 02 ownership! Robert had recently completed his project car and I got the chance to get a look at it up close. He went for a more "race" inspired look but intended the car to be his commuter vehicle into the Specialized office. He considered other options - a Ford Focus RS or a Toyota Prius, but ultimately decided he wanted to build something unique for himself. He said he was surprised by how many "young kids" in the office were interested in the car when he drove it in for the first time. The car was also displayed at the Specialized tent in 2017(?) to launch a new Stumpjumper at the Sea Otter Classic. The car also showed up last summer at one of the Canepa Cars & Coffee events in Scotts Valley, CA. Robert has an amazing home and workshop, so completed most of the restoration work himself. I'm forgetting what exact year car he started with, but maybe someone on the forum can sleuth it from the photos. He wanted the interior to be stripped down and race inspired. The paint finish on the roll cage and floor pan is better than most have on the exterior! There was a story behind the tartan insert fabric as well, and he brought it home from a trip specifically for this build. It's also used beautifully in the trunk area. No back seats, but cool little "cubbies" he fabricated himself... An interesting solution to making those cute little bullet mirrors actually functional... Yup... when you're Robert friggin' Egger, you can even put your name on the valve cover... A very unique/bold/cool build. I hope it inspires all of you as much as it did me! Who wouldn't love to roll up to work in this?!!!
  9. BTW - I've been searching for the little plastic "Recaro" badges that press into the seat back. Thought I had a lead on a set from a dude in France, but he cancelled the order on me. Anyone know where I could find some?
  10. Thanks for the comments! Hoping the rest of the car lives up to them... 😂
  11. I've had a couple of questions about the seat upholstery on my project car, so I'll provide some additional details... First of all, the car came to me with a set of VW GTI Mk2 Recaros installed. I immediately loved the size and support of the seats, but the blue velvet just wasn't quite the look I had in mind. 😉 Given all the work ahead, it seemed kind of silly to target the seats as one of the first pieces to complete, but it really helped me "anchor" the rest of my choices. I spend some time looking around online for options to refurbish with specialists, but I wasn't looking for a typical re-upholstery and I worried that trying to explain what I was after would get lost in translation over the phone. Luckily, I found a local upholstery shop that was familiar with the seat type and had been doing customs and hot rods for some time - Tony at Brandt's Custom Upholstery. He had just moved to the Medford, Oregon area and was trying to get his business established so he had time to take on a "quick project" like this. In the end, I'm glad I decided to go this route as I was able to consult with an expert and review tens of samples of materials before making my final selection. Tony is tee'd up to complete the interior with matching carpeting, door card inserts, and a desperately needed re-build of the rear bench seat when it's time. Before... After... With the foam rebuilt and fresh upholstery, these things look and feel great. I don't have any experience with the other Recaro options out there, but it looks like the E21 seats are very similar and I'm sure make for a similarly awesome upgrade.
  12. Congratulations! Well done and oh so clean with the trim and bumper choices. Hope you enjoy the fruits of your labors and go for a drive this Memorial Day weekend!
  13. Thanks for the kind words! I'm excited to see it all come together.
  14. Some of the other parts I've collected for my "restoversion" of my 1968 1600-2. Picked up these custom 15" MIM wheels from the buy/sell section of the forum as the owner was upgrading to BBS basketweaves. I think the gunmetal centers and polished lips will work well with the Etna blue and provide a slightly more modern look as this is certainly not going to be a "period" correct restoration. I got a chance to check them out on chargin's car in the BMW corral at the historics at Laguna Seca before they got swapped and sent to me. It was great speaking with Garry, who answered a ton of questions and provided some great advice having done a pretty amazing restoration himself... My car came with VW Mk2 Recaros installed that I was pretty pleased with on comfort, so I had them reupholstered with a saddle-brown like leather (actually GM Khalahari) and a technical looking tweed center. I was a little nervous about how all the colors would look together, so the image on the right shows the major materials/finishes together. That's the all black 390mm Nardi steering wheel I'll be fitting to the car as well. Here's pretty much as far as I've gotten thus far, just mounting the driver's seat and thinking about the massive amount of work left to do! That's also a fully refurbished 3-piece dash that I just got back from JustDashes after about 3-4 months. My wife really likes it though! And we all know how important that is to completing a project... What do you think of the color choices thus far? Yay or nay?
  15. As reported in my first post, I intend to build my 1968 1600 into a full electric conversion while retaining the character of the car that we've all come to know and love. It's a great idea, and one that I owe much credit to my father for planting. My Dad has always been into British cars. He owned Triumphs, MG's, and even a XKE Jaguar when I was young. There were always projects in the garage and you always knew where to find Dad... Fast forward 20+ years, and he's still at it. This time, though, he decided he'd learn more about electric vehicle technology by converting a 1972 MGB-GT, one of his favorite British sports cars. It took about 3 years to complete the restoration and conversion, but in the end, he's got a daily driver that's more powerful than the original and certainly more reliable! He's taken it to the ReFuel races at Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA twice now and while he's not scorching the track with new lap records, he's having a great time with it. He's running a 100hp permanent magnet motor with about 240Nm of torque coupled to the original 4-speed with a racing clutch. The lithium-ion battery back is courtesy of our former employer, Brammo, who got acquired by Cummins (yes, the diesel company) for their electrification strategy. He squeezed about the same size capacity battery pack as a 1st generation Nissan Leaf, and more than a Chevy Volt, all while keeping the curb weight to the original gas car's at ~2,300lbs. So... I guess you could say his car is the proof-of-concept for my conversion and certainly the lessons learned on that car will help keep us out of trouble on this one. As this is a blog about the BMW, I'll not cover much of the development of the MGB-GTe, but hit me up with a PM if you want to know more.
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