Install your DC-DC converter. This unit will take the 144 plus volts from your pack and convert it to 12 or 24 volts for running lights and the like. Optionally
you can just use a separate 12V system** but that means extra wiring and charging. Hook the DC-DC output to your homemade electric cars electrical system.
Rewire the ignition switch so that it can turn on the contactor and all accessories. If you tagged into the original 12V input to your car's electric system and fuse box, this should be a smooth operation.
Now you want to consider the steering and brakes. Most cars post 1970s
have power assist steering and brakes. You can steer the car and brake
without vacuum assist. However, the steering will be incredibly hard and
you will literally have to stand on the brakes at times
Now is the time to mount and hook up your electric vacuum pump and
vacuum reservoir. The reservoir will recharge automatically; it works great
if you get a good pump. You can get a used reservoir from an old GM rig for
about 3 bucks or something.
We did not do AC even though it got pretty hot. AC draws a lot of current and cuts in on the range of homemade electric cars. AC units are out there though.
Homemade electric cars do need some sort of heater. These are available on ebay for around 50 bucks. You can hook into your cars existing electrical system accessory circuit.
For gauges we recommend an eMeter for EVs. Interestingly, the Scientology people also make a device called an e-meter. It costs a lot more than an EV eMeter and won't measure EV volts or amps. Anyway, a good digital eMeter is
the equivalent of a gas gauge, plus it will store data on your battery system
state of charge and so on. If you want to just use a Volt and Amp meter,
they do about the same thing for a lot less.
If you have made it this far in this article and are uncertain about the work ahead, there is another option. The quickest way to convert your car to electric is to first sell your existing car, and then get yourself a used EV. Used electric vehicles are covered here.
Continued from previous page:
The next install on homemade electric cars is the controller. We recommend at least a 500 amp controller. If you want to burn tires, upgrade to a 1000 amp or more controller. Remember this will also use a lot of stored energy. Hook the batteries and motor to the controller with heavy EV 00 or 0 gauge cable.
Frame ground: Find a good clean frame ground for your pack. Remember that once you complete this circuit, you are HOT!
The main contactor: This is the transfer point for your battery pack to the motor. Hook the hot from the pack to the back of the contactor. When you turn the key, you will hear a click. That is the contactor closing to send energy to the motor.
Mount and hook up your Pot Box. This is your new throttle. It takes some adjustment, like most cable operated switches.
Combination digital eMeter
DIY electric car under the hood
Nissan Leaf uses 12 Volts too:
The Nissan Leaf also uses a
12 volt system to run accessories. Make sure to keep your 12 volt battery charged up!
Homemade Electric Cars