Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 89

Thread: The TesLorean

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Houston TX

    Posts:    569

    My VIN:    6313

    The TesLorean

    TesLorean is the codename for my (now) long-term project to create an Electric Drive DeLorean.

    I bought #6313 in 2012 with the sole intention of converting the car to electric - eventually. In the meantime, I have been fixing, customizing, and upgrading various parts of the car. The overall goal was to have a car that could last another 30 years being actively driven. In 2012-2014 I spent most of my efforts on getting the car running right, fixing small things, and upgrading the interior. It has turned out to be a very good example of a well stored car - with signs of occasional fixes and repairs. Like most owners/tinkerers I can't think of many parts of the car I haven't fixed, rebuilt, or upgraded in some fashion or another. My joy in this comes from the process of learning how to convert a car to electric and all things automotive. I will certainly enjoy driving it when its finished, but I'm getting as much of a kick out of the designing and building process. Even when it is done, I doubt I'll have stopped modifying and customizing it. I don't see the car so much as a collectors item as a creative automotive platform. Having said that, I have not modified the exterior of the car and it will remain stock looking (at least to the casual observer).

    Since I knew the electric conversion was going to take a long time, I planned to convert the car to EFI so that I could enjoy driving it prior to the laydown period. However, the plans got waylaid by moving house in 2014. The house and family (2 grandkids) have taken up a lot of my available time, but it is starting to come back into balance. Now in 2016, the next time #6313 is on the road it will be as an electric drive vehicle.

    I'm going to use this tread to document the conversion process (which I'll largely be doing myself) and all the related work (of which there are many tasks). I'm reluctant to set a deadline for conversion (other than "before the kids take my driving license off me for my own safety"), but I'm hopeful that in the next few years the TesLorean will be driving.

    Oh, and about the codename... TesLorean. When I first started the conversion process (i.e. design) one of the main concerns was not ending up with a glorified golf cart - this car had to be able to honor its design roots and that meant speed, acceleration, and handling. While I haven't finalized how much or which Tesla engineering to incorporate into the car, for me Tesla's electric design and engineering set the standard for future sports car performance.

    It's going to be an interesting ride to get #6313 converted into DMC-EV.
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2012

    Location:  Arvada Colorado

    Posts:    94

    My VIN:    04835

    Interested to watch and see how this develops!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Peripatetic's Avatar
    Join Date:  Nov 2015

    Location:  Chicagoland

    Posts:    158

    My VIN:    10322

    Club(s):   (DMWC) (DCUK)

    I've heard a method of electric conversion is to buy a salvage electric car and put the components on the new car. Are you planning the same with the Teslorean? Perhaps a salvaged Roadster or Model S or something. Having never looked at the parts of a Roadster I'm guessing it would be easier to fit.
    http://www.artgemsjewelers.com/
    Fine Geek Jewelry.

    If the above post was DeLorean related it should be noted that I don't know what I'm talking about.

    Tumblr: Going88 || Instagram: Going.88

  4. #4
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Houston TX

    Posts:    569

    My VIN:    6313

    Quote Originally Posted by Peripatetic View Post
    I've heard a method of electric conversion is to buy a salvage electric car and put the components on the new car. Are you planning the same with the Teslorean? Perhaps a salvaged Roadster or Model S or something. Having never looked at the parts of a Roadster I'm guessing it would be easier to fit.
    I've looked at all the options... There are three main components to consider, 1) motor, 2) transmission, 3) battery. Here's a quick round-up of the main options (not in priority order)...

    Motor/Transmission
    1) Tesla Model S Rear motor/inverter/transmission
    - Replace the D's motor and transmission with the Rear drive unit from a Model S
    - Still developing options (multiple) for driving/controlling the Model S motor (best classified as Beta-testing, but promising)
    - Would require significant modifications to the D's rear subframe (significant as in potentially replace)
    - Note: Putting just the Tesla motor into the stock D transmission is a complex high risk engineering challenge

    2) Tesla Model S 'D' Motor/inverter/transmission
    - Use one drive unit from the Tesla dual drive unit configuration (new 70D or 90D models)
    - Fewer modifications to the rear subframe
    - less power (but could it be enough?)

    3) Custom motor/adapter and stock transmission
    - EV-West dual or triple motor design linked to the stock DeLorean transmission
    - Frame mostly unmodified (maybe mounting points for motor and batteries)

    Note: Leaf, Volt, other drive units are configured for FWD and the hacking community has not had a lot of success in controlling or transferring these into other vehicles.

    Batteries
    1) Tesla battery modules from Model S
    - Significant modifications/hacking needed to configure the batteries (fewer batteries, but still near 400v)
    - The hacking community is coming up with solutions, but...

    2) Chevy Volt battery (probably 2+ units)
    - Probably the least expensive batteries available, but they do have an awkward size

    3) Nissan Leaf batteries
    - Unique chemistry, don't have active cooling, but are very reconfigurable to fit into the D's nooks and crannies
    - Lots of community solutions coming up

    4) Off the Shelf Batteries (e.g. CALB)
    - Expensive, but a well known product within the EV car building world

    5) Mr. Fusion
    - Units are available, but don't appear to be functional, some development required
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  5. #5
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Houston TX

    Posts:    569

    My VIN:    6313

    And so the journey begins...

    Two photos of the rear motor from a 2015 Tesla 70D (dual identical motor version), 259HP drive unit. The drive unit includes the motor, the inverter (DC to AC), and the transmission. The photo with the front suspension parts gives a good impression of the unit size. Suffice to say it's small.

    Tesla Drive Unit and DMC-EV.jpgTesla Drive Unit and Front Suspension Parts.jpg

    I'm under no illusion that this is going to be easy or quick, or supported by vendors, or anything other than going where no one has gone before.

    This is going to be fun.
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  6. #6
    Member delgato's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2014

    Location:  Chicago

    Posts:    68

    My VIN:    2483

    Quote Originally Posted by DrJeff View Post
    Two photos of the rear motor from a 2015 Tesla 70D (dual identical motor version), 259HP drive unit. The drive unit includes the motor, the inverter (DC to AC), and the transmission.
    Wow that is cool. Were you able to buy that unit new from Tesla direct or is it from a wrecked out car?

    I would be really interest what that cost however, I would understand if you did not answer that.

    Is there other proprietary parts needed with that motor set up?

    For instance will you need a Tesla controller and other Tesla specific parts to get that working correctly?

    I am very interested in what you are doing there. I am planning to do an EV with my car once it is back together.

    I had thought of the Tesla set up but was unsure if a motor was obtainable.

    I would love to see lots of pics of your progress as it goes. I am really interested to learn how you end up mounting the motor, batteries, and everything else.

    I have a bunch of other questions once you get a bit further into this build.

    Keep us posted please.

    Good luck to you.

  7. #7
    Formally hmm252000
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Hillsboro, OR

    Posts:    447

    My VIN:    4099

    Club(s):   (PNDC)

    Quote Originally Posted by delgato View Post
    Wow that is cool. Were you able to buy that unit new from Tesla direct or is it from a wrecked out car?

    I would be really interest what that cost however, I would understand if you did not answer that.

    Is there other proprietary parts needed with that motor set up?

    For instance will you need a Tesla controller and other Tesla specific parts to get that working correctly?
    I'm would expect it to be out of a wrecked car. Tesla doesn't sell many parts to general public. You can't for example, go to a Tesla service center and order up a 70kWh battery pack from the parts counter. You have to be a registered owner and have the part installed by them and they take the old part in return. So all these Tesla drive modules people have are from wrecked cars.

    As for controlling them, there's already a guy that makes a controller board that speaks "Tesla" to the motor. Granted I haven't followed that carefully yet, so I'm not aware of any actual swaps it's been installed in yet. Just the last YouTube demo I saw was showing it controlling a Tesla motor on the work bench.

    I too am looking forward to seeing how this turns out. As an owner of both a DeLorean and Tesla Model S, this hits close to home for me!

  8. #8
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Houston TX

    Posts:    569

    My VIN:    6313

    I've picked up your Questions and had a shot at Answers....

    Q: Were you able to buy that unit new from Tesla direct or is it from a wrecked out car?
    A: It is from a salvage 2015 Model S 70D. Looks like it hit a snow bank front on - about the best possible case for a salvage car. Written off due to repair costs - probably salvage decision mostly driven by the crack in the front frame. I got the rear motor. The rear was beautiful - as rears often can be.

    Q: I would be really interest what that cost however, I would understand if you did not answer that.
    A: Salvage teslas can be got for $20-30k (if they were flooded they could be $15-20k - but you'd be taking a significant risk as regards damage to the battery and electronics). The battery modules (if undamaged) are worth about $12-15k and find homes in automotive and non-automotive applications (solar panel backup power). My motor was advertised on 'DIY Electric Car' for $4500. Apart from the motors there are many interesting parts on the car.

    Q: Is there other proprietary parts needed with that motor set up?
    A: You need a battery pack that can support 400v and sufficient amps (C rating - the battery capacity can limit the HP output of the motor - you'll see references to "Battery HP"). The proprietary bits are the CAN codes that instruct the motor. The biggest challenge is going to be controlling the motor, either figure out the CAN messages that the motor responds to (EVTV has done this for the large rear motor in earlier and performance Teslas), or replace the motor controller (Michal Elias has done this - also for a large rear motor), or you could replace the controller and power stage (some developing examples here on other motors). So far as I know today - no one has 'controlled' the new 2015 motor out of the 70D model. So there's risk here, but I feel the trajectory of attempts and knowledge is heading in the right direction, and I hope to contribute to that.

    Q: For instance will you need a Tesla controller and other Tesla specific parts to get that working correctly?
    A: The drive unit includes the inverter and controller. The drive unit takes as input the + and - high voltage DC, and a CAN connection. The motor controller is included in the inverter.

    Q: I had thought of the Tesla set up but was unsure if a motor was obtainable.
    A: Only through salvage, although you could buy a Tesla and pick it apart. I've been surprised how many salvage Teslas are available, although the hassle of getting a salvage car varies from state to state, and the cause of the salvage is very important. The main reason for picking the smaller rear motor from the new 70D was fitting the motor into the space left when the PRV V6 comes out. The large rear motor from the earlier Tesla models and the performance models is over 30 inches wide. If you look at where the tesla transmission sits (between the motor and inverter) and where the drive shafts need to be located, it would have meant (essentially) removing and rebuilding the rear subframe and suspension of the Delorean to fit it in. The space at the bottom of our engine cradle is about 16-18 inches wide. The rear small Tesla motor stands a decent chance of fitting into the existing engine cradle (with the drive shaft out points in a usable position) - but I've no doubt some modifications will be needed, above and beyond mounts. I'm only going to know for sure once I lift the PRV/transmission out and trial lower the 70D in.
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Houston TX

    Posts:    569

    My VIN:    6313

    Options for wheel speed sensing

    One of the challenges/benefits of electric drive is instant max torque. The challenge component of this means that there is a greater risk of loss of traction. A Tesla Model S solution is to monitor the speed of each rear wheel (in the rear drive models) and to apply a combination of reduced power and instantaneous braking to individual wheels.

    So the question becomes, how best to measure the speed of the individual rear wheels? Is the only option... having magnets & sensor mounted at the wheel / transmission side (on each side)?

    Thanks
    Jeff
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  10. #10
    Formally hmm252000
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Hillsboro, OR

    Posts:    447

    My VIN:    4099

    Club(s):   (PNDC)

    I would expect a true traction control system to actually requires sensors at all 4 wheels. Similar to ABS. I think a better solution would be to limit the power output at certain RPMs. Wait until you know the car would be moving and then have the controller ramp up power. This is also assuming you go with a fixed gear setup and the motor reports RPMs. It wouldn't be optimized for all conditions, but could at least keep you from breaking the wheels loose all the time and damaging the motor mounts.

    Even with the reduced power at lower RPMs, you should still have a nice instant torque feel. Even though I've had an EV for nearly 3 years now, it still amazes me that when on the freeway I can floor it and the car starts accelerating even before I can get the "gas" pedal all the way to the floor.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •