Introducing the Electric Duster Project

General Discussion

  1. hemifish69

    hemifish69 Dain bramaged Hemi freak

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    I have to apologize.

    My revulsion to electrics was well earned.

    TWA had more than a few electric aircraft tugs and bag cart tugs at the STL hub.

    They had poor throttle control, took 7 hrs of charge for every 1 hr of use, puked huge amounts of carbon dust from the motor brushes, and the smell of a bank of overcharged lead/acid bats is one of the few smells that will make me puke.

    Seriously. I'll sooner duct-tape a roadkilled possum to my face than smell that.

    On the other hand, a ride in a well-executed conversion might temper the above slightly.

    But, I have my reasons.

    Sorry again for the original post.
     
  2. J-MacsMopars

    J-MacsMopars curiosity causes chaos

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    I am curious and maybe I missed it, but how much does that thing weigh? It's got to be heavy.
     
  3. tobysoldblue

    tobysoldblue tobysoldblue

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    maybe i need 2 convert my rampage to electric
     
  4. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    How true - very good point! I believe the negativity is all a matter of perception. I spent a lot of hours over 2 years bringing this car back from the dead. It has basically been my "practice" project for paint and body work, among other things. It needed a trunk pan but I started this project before I got that far - so I cut out the center portion of the old one. Even cutting THAT was traumatic for me. The only other original piece I have cut is an inconsequential part of the left motor mount area. Part of my personal goal was to not harm the car and retain it's muscle car appearance.

    Hemifish69 - Thanks for the explanation. Apology accepted - although yesterday I would gladly have supplied the possum for you :)

    C_stripes, I weighed the car before I began and have kept pretty good track during the project. My target completed weight is 4000#. The car has SS springs which are a necessity. The battery weight is balanced front/rear so the car sits right and has a low center of gravity. In the very short test drives I have made with it, it feels natural and stops nicely - although I've only had it up to 26mph. Still, I don't anticipate any problems due to the added weight. This is based upon other "heavy" conversions I have studied (mostly pickups).
     
  5. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Well, love it or hate it, it's ALIVE! Still looks pretty cool coming down the road :)
    ~Bruce

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dfnsmn34

    Dfnsmn34 Margarita Mike

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    ALRIGHT! hard work and working parts finally paid off! Way to go!

    Aloha
     
  7. armyofchuckness

    armyofchuckness The Flying Valiant

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    That is awesome! I just read the report on your blog. Great work on this project!
     
  8. vynn3

    vynn3 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on a job well done! Continue to keep us posted!
     
  9. IfItsGotWheels

    IfItsGotWheels X S Tech

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    Be proud in what you've accomplished. Now if you can find a way to extend the range and get it up to a highway cruising speed you've got it made. One question. With the silence of the electric motor, what's road noise like?
     
  10. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Thanks guys. I do expect to attain highway speed with this build. After I get the remaining little bugs worked out and get some benchmark numbers, I will concentrate on improving top speed and range. There are lots of ways to do that. If I were to replace the lead acid batteries with lithium ion, which is highly likely in the future, both speed and range would be quite livable.

    As far as road noise - it's kind of a strange combination of gear and motor noise. The tranny and rear end are noisier than I would have imagined. Hear it for yourself. I posted a couple of vids on my blog. http://electricmopar.blogspot.com/

    ~Bruce
     
  11. waggin

    waggin moving on ain't easy if you drive a Ford :p

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    now if you can just make some room for a 12 hp gas engine to help with takeoff and for limp mode to get home in case of a failure and maybe an alternator to help with the chores of running the lights and wipers to prolong the battery life,start scraping the undercoating and some glass fenders ,doors,etc. to lighten her up a bit,awesome project!!!my friends were on me to put a v-8 in the waggin but I toughed it out and have finally gotten to drive it and the old slanty does the trick,gits up and goes,has a nice sound to it with the duals and gas mileage for cruising.
     
  12. waggin

    waggin moving on ain't easy if you drive a Ford :p

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    now if you can just make some room for a 12 hp gas engine to help with takeoff and for limp mode to get home in case of a failure and maybe an alternator to help with the chores of running the lights and wipers to prolong the battery life,start scraping the undercoating and some glass fenders ,doors,etc. to lighten her up a bit,awesome project!!!my friends were on me to put a v-8 in the waggin but I toughed it out and have finally gotten to drive it and the old slanty does the trick,gits up and goes,has a nice sound to it with the duals and gas mileage for cruising.
     
  13. IfItsGotWheels

    IfItsGotWheels X S Tech

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  14. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Yup, that video is a pretty good example of the possibilities. It's cool except for the guy's smug attitude that sort of helps perpetuate the negative way people perceive electric vehicle owners. LOL

    There are all kinds of ways to improve performance of my Duster. Very soon I will be able to see exactly what I have to work with as far as speed and range. Plus I'll go get it weighed again. Once I have the benchmark, then I can work to improve the performance numbers. I am putting together the last few necessities before I can take it out and push it. Also, the batteries need to be run through quite a few charge cycles before they reach peak performance. One of the good things about the Duster is that there are a lot of fiberglass aftermarket parts to lighten the load. It will become a cost vs benefit situation then. One thing though, I did not build this for racing. I am shooting for the optimum combination of top speed and range to make it a practical daily driver/commuter.
     
  15. HemiMark

    HemiMark Well-Known Member

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    I just want to own the land fill for the batteries at 500.00 a pop!
     
  16. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Mr Hemi, where did you get your information about battery disposal? No really. Because I'd like to know why you think that.

    This is one of the common pieces of misinformation that unknowing people always seem to spout. Have you ever disposed of a battery or seen one in a landfill? No! When you purchase a battery, there is a core charge because they are recycled. In fact 99% recycled. Go look it up.

    I personally don't give a crap where the old batteries go. And I don't mind that some people disagree with the validity of what I am doing. But I get tired of defending all of the misinformed reasons that people regurgitate to oppose electric vehicles.
     
  17. armyofchuckness

    armyofchuckness The Flying Valiant

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    Hey, Bruce! Just saw the videos over at your blog. Very cool stuff. Looks like it still has a decent acceleration, even if it's not the same as the old 360. :) Love the dashboard too.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Don't let the haters get you down. They don't get it. They never will. I'm a huge believer in doing things "because you can," and I'm thrilled that you have discovered that you can make an electric Mopar.

    Also, don't get your hopes up, but I read this article recently about the potential for Lithium Ion batteries that recharge in seconds rather than hours. It made me thing of this project and the potential for making electric cars a truly viable commodity.

    Hey, it's more gas for my Slant 6 and the other fine Mopars in your livery, right?
     
  18. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Thanks very much for the kind words - I really appreciate it. Yeah, I've been keeping up with the advances in the lithium batteries. There have already been quite a few improvements in them since I began this project, and the price has dropped a lot too. If I were to do another conversion I would likely use them now.

    Yup, gas is still cheap and plentiful. The weather is warm this week and I am off work. I'm going to dust off my 68 Dart and burn some rubber (and some fuel). LOL
     
  19. GhostDuster

    GhostDuster Member

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    Speaking of Speed and Range... was a little suprised that since you were doing a electric conversion Duster that you didn't use the lightest production version available...

    That being the 1976 only "Feather Duster" with its special aluminum bracing in the fenders, trunk lid and hood, plus the bumper mounts etc.

    You might consider changing side (including door) and rear window to thin lexan or plexiglass with aluminum shim in frame area...

    going to light weight bumpers, either aluminum or fiberglass, fiberglass hood if not already done, lightest alloy mags available

    Walt
     
  20. MoparGarage

    MoparGarage Winter Sucks!

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    Hey Walt,
    I actually didn't set out to convert a Duster specifically. Last year I had decided to do some kind of a conversion, but I really hated all of the little cars that people usually use. I got to thinking, even if I converted a Honda or something, I probably wouldn't want to drive it.

    I love '70 and '71 Dusters and have one of each. I started thinking about using one of those because it was something I already owned, and it was a car I knew I would still love to drive when it was finished. I did some research and discovered it was feasible. After that, the more I thought about the idea, the better I liked it.

    I know I'll probably have to lighten it up some to get the most out of it. But keeping it looking the same as it does now is important to me. There are lots of ways to shed pounds. I probably should swap out the 8 3/4 rear end but I don't want to lose those big brakes. I guess the "weight loss" will be a project of its own.
     
  21. GhostDuster

    GhostDuster Member

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    Got it Yeah might as well have something fun and eye appealing even if electric...

    FYI you could go to the 8 1/4 Mopar lighter duty found in later Dusters and etc. Yes you would have to adapt the larger brake drums to it but it wouldn't be that hard...

    start by comparing the backing plate mounting area... you may have to do some grafting if sections of the 8 3/4 backing plates to the 8 1/4 backing plates... once the backing plate stuff is solved...

    the assembly should go pretty easy... if you need any help getting machine work or parts fabrication done for your conversion let me know

    Walt
     
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