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Yankee Ev Conversion


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#31 Magneto

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 08:33 PM

Sorry I'm just seeing this today, but John McGee sells a complete subframe for a Honda D series that keeps the original Mini Suspension intact - you can find him on Facebook at McGees Custom Minis, he's in Maryland and has them in stock right now. He does a lot of Honda D series conversions so he had his own design subframe made up and it's really good.

 

As for suspension, if you go with rubber springs, consider the Smooth a Rides sold by MiniSport, I've installed a couple of sets and the ride is SO much better than standard cones. They sell a complete kit with springs, shocks and hi-los included.

 

80 mph top speed seems pretty slow for LA traffic unless you never use the freeways. :-)


Edited by Magneto, 06 December 2019 - 08:34 PM.


#32 schelle63

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 03:12 PM

Hi,

what a nice project! With so many LEAFs on the roads, there should be many donor cars available. I assume the rated 80kW (!) will provide a lot of fun when powering a Mini. The missing space behind the diff. housing is disconcerting (to me), however. Have you already found a solution for this issue? Is there a way to re-locate the steering rack?

Markus



#33 Tremelune

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 06:16 PM

Alas, I did not (yet). Using the stock Mini subframe is out. In the end, I found there just isn't room for the axles. I'd have to cut out one of the suspension pickup points, and I'm unwilling to do so...It could probably be done, but I don't see it being done well. Punt!
 
After much research, hemming, and hawing, I've decided to pick up a subframe from
McGee in the US. They're built from Allspeed towers, but maintain all stock bits—track width, suspension, lowers, bushings, everything. I was close to picking up an Allspeed, but I was put off by the proprietary spherical lowers. With the massive shipping costs to California, the prices wound up being comparable. So. Now I gotta wait a couple months for it.
 
In the meantime, I'm beginning to sort out the batteries, wiring, and charging and what not.
 
subframe-nope1.jpg
 
subframe-nope2.jpg


#34 schelle63

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 10:57 AM

Will the steering rack remain in its original location?

If you are spending so much time and money for a subframe - why not start to modify one by yourself as "DomCr250" suggested?

  • If it works: perfect!
  • If not, You will at least learn what you really need, and know what to ask for when you order one, from whomever.

Markus

 

 



#35 DeadSquare

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 12:31 PM

Will the steering rack remain in its original location?

If you are spending so much time and money for a subframe - why not start to modify one by yourself as "DomCr250" suggested?

  • If it works: perfect!
  • If not, You will at least learn what you really need, and know what to ask for when you order one, from whomever.

Markus

If you alter the position of the rack horizontally, the steering geometry will be wrong.

 

When cornering, you could end up with the inner wheel tracking a larger radius than the outer.............Not good !



#36 Tremelune

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 01:24 AM

The steering rack is staying where it is. The plan is to simply mount the motor 1-2" forward of wheel center, such that the axles are always at a slight angle rearward at rest.

 

The stock subframe mounts the lower arm with a kind of pivot bolt that spans the tower, and it's this mount point that is in the way. On the aftermarket subframes, the lower arm is mounted on a shorter pivot, leaving empty space where the axles want to be.

 

I suppose I could cut out everything just above that pivot on the stock subframe, but...at some point the structural rigidity will suffer, and I don't know where that point is. All I know is that the car is getting something like three times the torque over stock...

 

subframe-blockage.jpg

 

78340931_2568849796562496_10031234992727



#37 Ethel

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 12:03 PM

I don't think the torque would be much of an issue, a couple of ball joints and the rubber bushes would make it hard for any of it to be transmitted through the bottom arm. the lateral push 'n pull of cornering forces will be their stock in trade.

 

My biggest concern would be driveshaft angles at full lock, bounce & rebound. The inner wheel will need the most lock and would be in rebound if cornering "enthusiastically" - conveniently, having the inner end of the shaft further forwards would  help with the lock. Locating the inner joint lower would help with the rebound. If you need to shorten either driveshaft shorter than the shortest original that'll exacerbate any geometry problems.

 

I'd be sorely tempted to see how much can be relieved from the back of the casing in the offending area.



#38 schelle63

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:39 PM

Please correct me if I am wrong: :shy:

If the inner joints have a forward offset, it creates a "basic" angle already when driving straight. During cornering, the corresponding angle will add to this "basic" angle on the outer wheel, whereas the inner driveshaft's angle will reduce accordingly. So the max. angle will result not at the inner but at the outer wheel (?). Anyway, it is an issue.

Imho the driveshafts should be aligned as close as possible straight towards the wheel hubs:

  1. Remove material from the casing is a very good idea, even if this means additional effort to keep the oil inside.
  2. The next step would be to cut off material from the subframe.
  3. I still think the steering rack should move slightly downwards (and automatically backwards) to a cerain degree. Yes: steering geometry must be closely observed when doing this.

I wish you succes!

Markus



#39 Ethel

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:08 PM

If you imagine driving round in circles the one the outer wheel follows is bigger by the width of the car (OK twice the width actually, but you get the gist it doesn't turn in as much).

#40 Tremelune

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:36 PM

Sure, but like, what does "issue" mean here? Accelerated wear? I'll take that over changing the steering geometry of the car or compromising the structural integrity of the subframe or shaving a clamping face of the motor any day. If it's really extreme, it could bind at full lock when maneuvering in tight spaces, but I suspect other things will limit steering travel before that. There just isn't much wiggle room here (the right side of the gearbox is the tight side).

 

DSC03720.JPG

 

A-front-wheel-steering-vehicle-and-steer


Edited by Tremelune, 02 January 2020 - 10:22 PM.


#41 DeadSquare

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:59 PM

If you do extend the bottom arm bolt and its locating flange, cut away part of the subframe and reinforce it elsewhere, for peace of mind, if you are prepared to sacrifice a bit of lock,  might I suggest that you dismantle the rack and slide about 3/4" of nicely fitting tube onto both ends of the actual rack, and then reassemble it,

 

This will limit the travel of the rack and reduce the lock that can be applied.



#42 fuzzy-hair-man

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:14 AM

I'm sure I've seen not just conversions but oem vehicles with some angle on the driveshafts, when raising or lowering a car you'll create a degree of angle on the driveshafts yet this is relatively rarely addressed to my knowledge.

#43 schelle63

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:21 PM

It seems to me as this will be a step-by-step-approach to the goal.

I don't know the availability of Mini-subframes in L.A., but you could just cut away material from one subframe and put the motor/transmission with (maybe some temporary) brackets and reinforcements into its proper location, and proceed installing the assembly into the car (without the steering rack) and see what is further needed to make it fit? In the worst case the subframe would be "sacrificed".

Markus
 



#44 DeadSquare

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:22 PM

Probably more work than you are wanting, but this is what I had to do when I shoehorned a SAAB gearbox and V4 2.2 Taunus engine into a Mini.

 

I had to insert 4" in the wings and the bonnet, which was much harder than making brackets to mount the subframe 5" further forward.

 

For the subframe, the easy bit was to cut and move the front cross member and tie rods back an inch, hard was extending the rear to meet the floor and harder was making the cradle round the gearbox between the two towers but hardest for me was making a 'binnacle' in the floor for the gearbox where the 'magic wand' came through the bulkhead.

 

I had to use an upside-down, left hand drive steering rack and a system of drag links to the steering arms.

 

Was it all worth it ?, not really.  It out dragged most thing at the traffic lights, but had an overwhelming desire to go straight on at the first bend.



#45 Ethel

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 10:25 AM

By issues I meant asking more of the shafts & joints than they're physically/dimensionally capable of. I don't imagine there would be much in the way of accelerated wear. Having the balls travel further, axially in their channels, might even be beneficial: if we take steering gear wear as our model.

 

Plenty of out of line truck propshafts and drive shafts on quad bikes etc. anyway. 






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