Archive for the ‘Restoring and Building’ Category

New Video with Lithium Pack

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 27th, 2012

Makerbot EV Wheel Coins and Horn

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 21st, 2012

The wheels on my EV GT-40 have wheel caps that were purchased without any identifying company insignias. It was time to do something special. Using 3D Studio Max I designed a coin that would fit perfectly.


Blank Wheel Caps


The final Makerbot made wheel coins in place

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EVGT-40 on Front Page of the Sunday Sun Sentinel

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 15th, 2012

My work on the electric car has started to get a lot of attention.   I was contacted last week by the Sun Sentinel about doing and interview.  Doreen Hemlock came out and spent about an hour interviewing me about electric cars and how I built my own.  I took her for a ride in the EVGT-40 and she was really impressed.  “What a smooth ride,” she said.  I also provided her with some other contacts in our Electric Auto Association that she could follow up with.  I was surprised and honored to find a photo of my car on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Sun Sentinel this morning.

EVGT-40 on the Front Page and Main Story in the Money Section

Upgrading the front brakes and lowering the front end

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 12th, 2012

S-10 Drop Spindle

The Fiberfab Valkyrie uses a Corvair front suspension system and steering.  This setup in its stock form makes the car a bit high and in the case of the loading on the EVGT-40 it means that the front end sits a bit higher than the loaded down rear where the batteries are located.  Many Valkyrie owners lower the front end by using heavy duty springs and cutting them down.  This does lower the front but the ride is very rough and the travel distance of the suspension is limited.

New Lowered look

This means that if you hit a good bump the suspension tends to bottom out with a good jolt.  I did this to my car and have been driving it that way for a few thousand miles.  Though it works, there is a better way.  It turns out that the spindles on a late model Chevy S-10 pickup has the same geometry as the Corvair.  The ball joints are slightly different but the holes can be machined to take the Corvair ball joint tapered bolts.   As it turns out there are quite a few drop spindle kits readily available for the S-10.  These can be found on eBay for less than $200.

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Spring Festival Flea Market Custom and Antique Car Show

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 2nd, 2012

The EVGT-40 brings home another trophy from the Annual Spring Festival Flea Market Custom and Antique Car Show.  The Gold Coast Electric Auto Association had  a nice turn out with 4 cars at the show.  There were over 600 custom and antique cars at the show and lots of auto fans.

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The EVGT-40 at the Palm Beach Super Car Show 2012

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 22nd, 2012

Some Models Stopped by to Admire the Electricity

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Live Camera to the EV GT-40 Garage

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 27th, 2011

Want to see what is going on with the modifications to the EV GT-40. Check out the live webcam and see what is going on.

Click on the above image. Username: evmania Password: evmania

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Lithium Batteries are Loaded and Ready to Wire

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin October 28th, 2011

Battery and Solar Cell Rack Welded and Ready

The Battery Rack is Bolted to these Rails Above the Motor

The Batteries and Solar Cells Mounted

The Solar Cells Power Fans that Cool the Pack

Compression straps with rods hold pack together horizontally

The Solar Rack Hinged For Easy Battery Access

As seen through back window

The next step is putting in the battery management system which will monitor the status of all of the batteries.  I have been working with Charlie Malone who has designed a really nice system.  I am working on the computer display system for his electronics.  The computer display system will also monitor what is coming out of the motor controler, which in my case is the Zilla.  Below are are some preview shots of what the display is going to look like.  It will run on either an iPad or Samsung Tab.

copyright 2011 Andrew McClary

Battery View Mode - Copyright 2011 Andrew McClary

Lithium Ion Battery Racks

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin October 23rd, 2011

The batteries arrived from Calb Battery nicely packed in wood crates.

My first step was to check out how they would all fit in the battery compartment area. They are very different in size from the lead acid batteries that were removed. This meant I was going to need to make new battery racks.

The lower rack fabricated

Testing the rack in the car

One of the issues with lithium batteries is the heat. They don’t like the heat and if they get too hot it will decrease their life. This is especially true in Florida. To solve this problem, I am installing a ventilation system in the back to remove some of the heat. The system is going to be powered by photovoltaic solar cells mounted over the battery pack. The small solar array will also help shade the batteries from the sun.

Finished Battery Rack with solar panel rack on top

Parts of an EV

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin February 26th, 2011

A Trip to Greenshed Conversions

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin February 5th, 2011

Loaded ready to transport to Fort Pierce

I was having some problems with my battery pack and needed some expert help.  To get that help I traveled to Green Shed Conversions to get the help from Steve Clunn.  Green Shed Conversions in Fort Pierce, Florida is the home of Steve and Audrey Clunn.  Steve has been doing conversions and putting together electric cars for more than 15 years now.  He has a wealth of experience and knowledge on electric cars.

Unloaded and ready for inspection

Steve Clunn looks over the EV GT-40

Steve's Volt Meter with multiple inputs

Batteries wired to Steve's meter

Once we had the car all wired up, Steve and I took a ride in the car.  While I drove, Steve carefully monitored the suspected batteries.  Sure enough, upon acceleration two of the batteries were dropping to less than 7 volts and creating a lot of resistance in the pack.  These few batteries were pulling down the whole pack.   The issue seems to be that the batteries were not being charged at a high enough amperage.  Over time they have developed higher resistance which prevents them from giving up their charge.  To fix this, these batteries were charged at a very high amperage very quickly.  After driving the car a second time, they were showing at least a 10 percent increase.   The process is going to need to be repeated a few times before they come back up to 100% efficience.

Steve had a number of battery packs at his shop.  We tooks some time to look at the Thunder Sky Lithium Ion batteries and compared them in size and capacity to the AGM batteries I was currenlty using.  The battery I have in my hand has about the same energy capacity as the large AGM battery.  The Lithium battery weighs about 8 lbs. verses the 80lbs of the AGM.  Though expensive, the price on lithium batteries is coming down.  A pack with almost half the weight of my current pack could easily deliver four to five times the capacity.  My current pack has about 8kwh of capacity and weighs about 1,000 lbs. .  A 24kwh pack could be done in lithium ion batteries with a wieght about 400lbs.

60 ah Lithium Ion Battery. 4 of these has more usable energy than Hawker Odyssey AGM. The 4 cells would weigh about 24lbs vs. 80 lbs for the AGM battery.

100 ah Lithium Ion vs AGM with about 50ah usable

One of the dangers of lithium batteries is that they are not very forgiving to abuse.  Without a proper battery management system a pack could be killed pretty quickly by allowing them to drain to 0 volts or over charging.   The pack below was removed from a car that was used by an owner who let them all drain to 0 volts.  Steve is going through them trying to revive some of the batteries, but 80 percent will end up unusable.

a killed battery pack

Steve and Audrey’s property is filled with all kinds of electric experiments and projects like the motorcycle below.

Electric Motorcycle

Zap Electric Car

Zap Electric battery pack and controler

Electric Bike

An electric Lamborgini

Electric RAV 4 - This is Audrey's daily driver

I want to thank Steve.  He is one of electric vehicles heroes and was gracious enough to spend the day with me to find the problem in my pack.

Range Calculations

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin October 28th, 2010



Perkert (Adjusted capacity based on perkert principle) 60% capacity

Usable WH = 80% perkert adjusted capacity

AH Used – read from Zillaconfig

AH per Mile = AH used/miles driver

WH per mile =AH per mile x Pack Voltage

Range = Usabel WH / WH per mile

Looking at the above calculations, below is the spreadsheet modified for Lithium pack and comparison of range and cost.

With a Lithium 50 cell 160AH pack the car would have almost an 80 mile range.

EVGT-40 Attends Gold Coast EAA Meeting

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin July 10th, 2010

Got to take the car out on it’s first public outing today. I was asked to give a presentation at the Gold Coast Electric Auto Association. The meeting was only about ten miles from my house but it was the farthest it’s been from home so far.

It was a nice drive to downtown Boca Raton and the car performed well. It got a lot of looks on the short trip. This is a complement in a town that typically has a lot of exotic cars.

It was a real honor to present my car to the guys at the club. A few of the guys there have their own converted cars so they understood what it took to build this one. Though they had been hearing about it from me for two years and a lot of them have been a big help in giving me encouragement and assisting with lots of questions, none of them had yet seen the final product.

Finishing the doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 2nd, 2010

The Headlight Wells

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 25th, 2010

Its Red

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 11th, 2010

A month of preparation and 2 days of painting.

Head Room

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 29th, 2010

The single biggest problem I have with the GT40 design is the head room. The GT40 was given this destination because the roof height was 40 inches. The Valkyrie is slightly higher but not by much. My 6’1″ body is a bit tall for the car. One solution is the Gurney bubble which many GT40s sport. This bubble over the driver was designed to fit Gurney’s tall frame. I never liked the bubble. I think it kills the cars lines. I wanted a different solution.

Photos of the car with the back removed

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

With the back removed for some body work, I took some photos of the completed battery configuration.


Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

Photos of the interior as it takes shape.

I am also including work on the arm rests for the doors.

Redoing the backend

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

With the mechanics and electrical work done it’s time to finish off the body. I never really liked how the back end came out. The bumper was too heavy looking. I decided to redo it. So the back was removed and work was started by cutting off the parts I didn’t like and gluing in new foam to form.

Redoing the steering

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 29th, 2009

After a few test drives of the car I discovered that there was a major flaw in the steering setup. I had used the components that came with the car and the setup done by the previous owner. He had used a rack and pinion system. The problem is his geometry was all off. The control arms were too short and were causing a bump steer problem. The was also an issue with the angles of the control arms which caused issues in the turn. My solution was to go back to the system shown in the original plans which used a modified Corvair paralelagram steering system with a steering box and pitman arms. I had found a Corvair in the junk yard and had grabbed the whole steering system so I had the parts. I ended up using a Corvette steering box. The geometry of the Corvette box worked better and was stronger.

As I put all the new parts in place I could see the design working out a lot better. The geometry all just worked better. The only downside was I had the do some surgery on the nostrels so the were not as deep to accomidate the steering box.

Andrew McClary
Post From My iPhone


The High Voltage Components are Installed

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin September 25th, 2009
The Motor controller

The Motor controller

Once everything was wired on the high voltage board, it was time to install it into the trunk compartment of the car and hook everything up.

Hooked up

Zilla controller access through the trunk

trunk access


Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 22nd, 2009

My vision was for the car to have modern looking wheels with 19″ rims and thin tires similiar to a Corvette. A friend has a great set of rims and tires he was willing to sell me that would be perfect. But I quickly ran into problems. Though they were 5 bolt, the bolt pattern was wrong. The Corvair has a 5 bolt 4.75″ pattern and even though these had come off a Pontiac, they were a 410mm. Further checking, and learning turned up that the Corvair suspension is designed for a 4.5″ back spacing and 0 offset. Most cool new rims are 7.5″ back spacing and a 55mm offset. (not sure why offset always seems to be specified in metric and backspacing in inches).

I have looked at wheels that would fit this backspacing and most look vintage. I really would like the wheels to look more modern. They do make adapters but I have heard mixed advice on using these. Though my friends Porsche came from the factory with spacers already installed so they can’t be all bad. But they do have to be machined right.

The Trunk

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 22nd, 2009

I needed a good dry place to put all of the high voltage components. This includes the Zilla controller, the main contactors, the DC to DC converter, and the charger. The most logical place was in the rear of the car. There isn’t a trunk but there was a nice area just behind the rear suspension that was empty. I decided I would fiberglass in this area with and make a hatch to access it. It would be water tight and away from any road dirt. As an added bonus if done right I might even have enough space to store a small bag or brief case.

The project started by cutting out the hatch with a dremel reinforced cutting wheel being very carefull to make clean straight lines. This was going to be very visible so it needed to be clean looking.

Foam was glued to the inside of the opening to form a lip. Once dried I used a dremel sanding drum to carve out a shape in the lip that would allow for a rubber seal as well as as a trough to carry away any water that came in. This was then fiberglassed.

The floor of the trunk was formed with foam and fiberglassed as well.

The arm rests

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 21st, 2009

The valkyrie kit only comes with a flat fiberglass door pannel for the inside of the door. No arm rest or space for any storage or speakers like modern cars. I needed to create an armrest that would serve as a handle to close the door as well as create some sort of pocket to hold my sunglasses or other small articles.

I started with a couple of peices of foam and my cabinet makers saw and began sculpting. After numerous times in and out of the car to test I had two mirrored rough shapes. One for each side. Using 80 grit sand paper these were further shaped. The final pass was with 120 grit to make them smooth. These then got two layers of fiberglass. Holes were made for the electric window switches and a switch to open the door itself. (The car has shaved doors. There is an emergency handle at the bottom of the seat but the main latch is triggered electronically.)

Reshaping the tail end

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 25th, 2009

The original Valkyrie had a rounded back end. This rounded shape was by far the worst part of the car. The best discription I have for it was a “duck ass”. It has to go. The plan is to widen the back, lessen the curve, add a bumper, and skirts over the wheel wells.

Out of the garage

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 23rd, 2009

Electric vacuum pump for brakes

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 15th, 2009

The car is outfitted with power brakes. Since there isn’t an engine to provide a vacuum, an electrical vacuum pump is being used. This feeds into a resivour to hold enough pressure for multiple brakings. A pressure switch turns the unit on if the pressure drops below what it needed.

Worried About Cost and Emissions of Charging Plug-In Hybrids and Electric Cars?

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 10th, 2009

Click here to see Original Post

EarthTalk is a Q&A column from E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: If you have an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’re paying for electricity rather than gasoline. How does that cost compare to a gas-powered car? And since the electricity may be generated from some other polluting source, is it really better for the environment? — Kevin DeMarco, Milford, Connecticut

When you compare battery to gasoline power, electricity wins hands down. A 2007 study by the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) calculated that powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline — a price not seen at the pump for 30 years.

The calculation was made using an average cost of electricity of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour and the estimated distance the car would travel on one charge, versus a car that gets 25 miles per gallon and is powered by $3 per gallon gasoline. Change any of those variables and the relative costs change. For example, substituting a car that gets 50 miles per gallon doubles the comparative electrical cost (though it still works out much cheaper than gasoline). On the other hand, in some areas where wind or hydropower is wasted at night — likely when the PHEV would be charging — the utility might drop the kilowatt hour cost to two to three cents, making the charge much less costly.

And don’t worry that we’ll run out of electrical power: A 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimated that three-quarters of the country’s current small vehicle fleet could be charged by our existing electrical grid without building new power plants. (And if all those cars were replaced by PHEVs, it would eliminate the need for 6.5 billion barrels of oil per day, or 52 percent of current U.S. oil imports.)

Regarding environmental impact, charging up your car with electricity from the grid also wins handily over filling up at the gas station. In the most comprehensive PHEV study to date, released in 2007 by EPRI and the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), results predict that all greenhouse gases will be reduced as PHEVs begin to penetrate the car market. Estimated cumulative greenhouse gas reductions from 2010 to 2050, depending upon how fast PHEVs take hold, range from 3.4 to 10.3 billion tons.

More than one half of our national energy grid is powered by coal, and in areas where PHEVs are charged through coal-provided electricity, says NRDC, there is the possibility of increased levels of soot and mercury emissions. However, charging up can be much less of a guilt-ridden affair where cleaner electrical sources like wind and solar are available. The website points out that as more power plants are required to develop green power and emit fewer greenhouse gases, the environmental and health benefits will further increase.

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it here or via e-mail. Read past columns here.

Side windows – one peice

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin February 13th, 2009

After installing on set of the originally designed windows I decided I wanted something that looked more modern. I was able to find someone who had a set that was designed for a Valkyrie. Mine is a earlier model than the ones they were designed for so like a lot of things, modifications were going to have to be made.

The regulators are off of a Mazda.

Lambo Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 25th, 2009

Putting lambo style doors on the car has nothing to do with any function of the electric car, but in the eyes of my sons “it’s just cool Dad and you have to do it”. After returning from the Palm Beach Super Car Show last week, where all the coolest cars had lambo doors, the decision was made. I found a pair of hinges on eBay for $250. Just like about every peice on this car they were going to have to be modified.

The lambo door hinges had to be shortened to fit in the tight space of the Valkyries doors. I also didn’t like how high they lifted the doors so I modified them further to lift the door up to 85 degrees. This also meant changing the gas struts that would hold the door up. I consulted my father in law, an engineer, on the math for figuring out how strong a strut was needed. Based on a 40lbs door, I was going to need at least 70lbs. of lift to hold the door up.

parts held in place ready for welding

The modified hinge with the gas strut.  I ended up having to replace this gas lift strut with a lighter weight one as well as longer so the hinge would lift to 90 degrees.

This is a shot of the original hinges in the door.

The holes here have been  filled in and the wall reinforced.  The outer area against the fender was enlarged.

Holes had to be cut into the wheel well to make room for the hinges.  This will have to have a box fiver glassed over it later.

Here the holes for the old hinges has been filled in with body filler and sanded and primed.

The door swings out just a bit and then swings upward.

Here you can see how the door swings out just enough to clear the body.

Tail section locks

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 12th, 2009

The tail section hinges at the rear allowing the section to tilt up for access. This section must be latched very securely. The Ford GT team lost one of it’s members years ago in a race when the tail section popped up during a race, so securing it is important.

The latches are trunk latches from two Cadilac Eldorados. The advantage of these is that once latched, a motor pulls the two parts in very tight. They are also triggered electrically so I can easily run wires up to the front dash.

The motor mount

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 12th, 2009

Fabrication of the motor mount for the Warp 9 electric motor.

This mount replaces the clutch bell housing and keeps the motor in line with the drive shaft. The motor will sit in this frame and be strapped in. There is a face plate which the motor also bolts into which will be welded in place once the motor is connected to the shaft and the alignment is perfect.

GT 40 Reference Photos

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 31st, 2008

Following are photos of the Ford GT40 that this car is modeled after. The Valkyrie used the 1960’s GT as it’s model, the following are some shots of what I believe is a 2003 Ford GT40. Ford made a lot of improvements especially in the way of comfort. As I complete my EV-GT I plan on modeling it as much as I can on this model.

Side windows

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 4th, 2008

The side windows on the Vallyrie kit seem to be the poorest thought out part of the kit design. The plans call for using a 1965 Ford Mustang corner window and 1965 Ford LTD 4DR hardtop side glass. When I bought my car the previous builder had already installed the Mustang corner glass but the LTD glass was missing as was the lifts and regulators. After a lot of searching, Ford LTD glass was found. After receiving the glass and test placing it, a real problem raised it’s head. The LTD glass was going to hit the door locks. It also was not going to match the curve of the Mustang guide rail. There is also going to be an issue placing the door locking lever. This is going to take some thinking.

The problem is the previous owner installed a lot of thing wrong. (Not the first time I have found this.) The Mustang windows were mounted to the door not the inner panel as instructed in the manual. The latch and handle were also wrong. These were all removed and work has begun on doing it right.

The curve is actually wrong but with softer rubber it should work. I ordered new rubber. I have also done some modification to change the curve slightly so the windows will closer match the right curve.

The regulators and tracks arrived and like almost all these old parts they were rusty. It was just surface rust so into a chemical bath they went.

The old 1968 manual makes it all look easy but it misses a lot of details and the photos are poor. As I was mounting the parts on the inside door pannel I realized I was going to need to use bolts as posts to hold a lot of the parts just off the pannel. I also needed to be able to adjust them to get the glass to line up in the car. I had to do a lot of back and forth adjusting to get it right. I also had to drill a couple of holes before I found the right spot. Luckely is pretty easy to fill in old holes with some fiberglass epoxy and glass powder.

Connecting the Motor

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 3rd, 2008

Connecting the electric motor to the Corvair transmission has required a lot of thought. My first reaction to the fly wheel and clutch plates when we took off the motor was that they added a lot of weight and were they needed in an EV. If you aren’t aware, any weight that is spinning in a vehicle does a lot to reduce acceleration. Eliminating a pound of spinning weight is like removing 3 pounds of normal weight so having this big flywheel and clutch in the car was a lot of weight that could be removed. Since an electric motor comes to a complete stop when the power is removed, you don’t have to disconnect it like you do an gas engine which continues to spin even when it idles. After talking to some of the guys at the local EAA club I decided that I was going to eliminate the clutch all together. The reality is that my math shows that almost 90% of my normal driving can be done entirely in 2nd gear. Only on the highway would I need to shift to 3rd and only if I wanted to really fly would I go to fourth.

The Warp 9 motor has a keyed 1.125″ shaft that needs to be connected to the shaft of the transmission. Looking at the clutch, I want to keep the springed system that it uses for dampening the shock. I designed an adapter that would allow me to bolt the inner part of the clutch plate to an adapter that would slip on the keyed shaft of the Warp 9 motor. The motor also has a threaded hole on the end that will allow me to bolt this adapter in place so it doesn’t slip off. I also wanted to eliminate the bell housing since doing so allowed me to drop 4 more batteries in, 2 on each side of the transmission.

Sketch of how it should go together

Sketch of how it should go together

Cross section sketch of the adapter

Cross section sketch of the adapter

Motor mount and clutch plate adapter

Motor mount and clutch plate adapter

clutch plate adapter - motor end

clutch plate adapter - motor end

The clutch plate adapter will allow the clutch plate with the removed friction plates to mount to the electric motor shaft.

This is a photo of the shaft with the clutch plate slid onto it.

This is the clutch plate with the unneeded material removed.

The Interior- Seats

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 2nd, 2008

Today I went and picked up my wife at the airport. She was returning from visiting my father in law in South America. When she left she took with her the patterns for the car seats she and I had worked out. While she was there she and my father in law took the patterns to some local shops and had the seat covers made. I was excited to see the final product. Custom fit and professional. They need to be stretched and tacked onto the seat foam, but I had to see how they were going to look in the car. Special thanks to my father in law for his help.

Batteries and Battery Racks

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 30th, 2008

One of the hardest tasks when designing an electric car is to decide on the battery pack. The batteries you choose are going to be the heart and blood of your car. Which ones you choose and how many of them you use will determine how fast the car will be and how far it will go.

There are a number of technologies available. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

Lets start by saying what is required is what is called a “deep cycle” battery. These are batteries which can be discharged to within 25% of their power without damaging them. A typical car starter battery is not designed to do this. Deep cycle batteries are used for marine applications like trolling motors or golf cart batteries.

There are 3 types of batteries I considered for my project.

1. Wet Lead Acid – This is your standard car battery or golf cart battery. They are made of plates of lead immersed in an acid. They are cheap, easy to obtain, are reliable, and not easily damaged with charging. The down side is they are heavy, require adding water to the cells every now and then, and they must be kept upright so they don’t spill acid.

2. AGM – Absorbed Glass Mat batteries also use lead and acid, but the the acid is absorbed into a glass fabric so the acid doesn’t spill. These batteries are also typically sealed and do not require maintenance. Because the acid in embedded in the glass mat, they can not spill acid and can be used on thier side or even upside down. The disadvantage is that you must be very carefull not to over charge them. Doing so will damage the battery.

3. Lithium-ion polymer batteries – These batteries are an evolution of the standard laptop battery. They can be quickly charged, are light weight, and hold a lot of energy. The major downside to these is that they are still very expensive. Pricing out a battery pack to run the car was going to be between $20-30k. This is the technology I eventually want to run my car on, but it has to wait till the price comes down.

Weighing in price, weight, and size, I have narrowed my choice to either Exide Orbital 34DC 12 volt deep cycle or the Optima D34/78. These batteries have a 10 inch x 7 inch foot print and both about 55ah.

Based on these batteries I have begun designing the battery racks. The frame was modeled up in 3D Studio Max and used as a model for calculating out the battery positions and designing the rack. The rack is designed to not only old the batteries but also keep them from sliding forward in a hard stop or accident.

Frame loaded with 24 batteries

Frame loaded with 24 batteries

Battery Holders are in red.  Note the addition of a roll bar as part of the system

Battery Holders are in red. Note the addition of a roll bar as part of the system

Battery holder Side View

Battery holder Side View

Top View

Top View

Version 2 - Holds up to 24 batteries

Version 2 - Holds up to 24 batteries

Version 2 Racks

Version 2 Racks

Side View

Side View


The electric motor is massed out in purple in these renderings. The transmission is in dark grey. The existing frame is in blue.

The frame is fabricated with 3 types of members, the roll bar is 2″ x .095″ tubular steel, the racks are fabricated from 2″ x .25 angle and 1″ x .125″ angle. Bolt plates are made from .25″ steel plate. The frames are all MIG welded.

1968 Valkyrie Specs and Brochure

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 28th, 2008

These are the original brochures from Fiber Fab on the Valkyrie. The body style of the kit that I acquired has been modified quite a bit by the previous owners to look more like the 2005 Ford GT40 with the deep front nostrils. I believe it was also originally a two piece body and was modified to be a 3 piece.

These are the specs for the Warp 9 motor that is going in the car.

Body Work

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 28th, 2008

Fixing the body.

The Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 23rd, 2008

Like every part on this car, the doors are not going to be easy. The original manual calls for 1965 Mustang corner windows and a Ford LTD 4dr hardtop side windows. The car I purchased came with the corner windows but no LTD windows. That is going to require some searching. The latches were only partially installed and I don’t like the job he did.

The first part of the job was cleaning up the door handles.  They are handles off of a what appears to be a 1965 Ford Falcon. The previous owner had put masking tape on them and left it on.  I am not sure how old this tape was, but it was baked on good.  2 or three layers worth.  The latches were also a bit rusty and needed a good cleaning.

Here it is all cleaned up.

This latch was mounted, but it needed to come off and all of the rust removed.

The trianglular vent windows had also been covered in layers of masking tape that was baked on.  These took a while to clean up.

After quite a bit of work adjusting and working on the latch and connecting rods, the handles and latches were now mounted and working properly.  I still need locks though.


Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

Upgrading the front drum brakes to disc and installing a dual master cylinder and booster. The booster will be powered by an electric vacuum pump.

The front drum brakes were converted to disc brakes for added stopping power. This was easily done with a conversion kit.

The rear brakes are the original Corvair drum brakes.

An emergency brake handle was found at the junk yard that works perfectly. I fabricated a peice of steel plate which bolts to the frame to hold the brake.

The emergency brake uses two cables which come off of the brake handle and go to the back brakes.

The local U-Pull-It junkyard is a great source for parts. In this case, I found an older model Camero with a perfect dual master cylinder and proportioning valve system for the car.

A special mount had to be made to mount the cylinder so it would angle slightly to miss the nostrels and also align with the brake pedals properly.

Here the plumbing for the breaks has been installed. The local NAPA autoparts store was terrific in helping me with this part. My thanks to the guys there. They supplied me with a special kit which included a special tubing that was bendable by hand but rated for high pressure brake lines. This saved a lot of time and was a lot easier that bending steel tubing. The kit also came with all the fittings.

The interior

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

Designing the interior.


Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 17th, 2008

Transmission and linkage.

Rebuilding the front end

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 16th, 2008

The front end suspension on this car is from a 1967 Corvair. When I purchased the car, the front end was completely rusted out. The cross member was rusted completely through and lacked any structural integrity.

Corvair front end rusted out.

Corvair front end rusted out.



Taken completely apart and inspected. Some parts could be restored.

Taken completely apart and inspected. Some parts could be restored.

Sandblasted, rustproofed, and painted.

Sandblasted, rustproofed, and painted.

A new cross member was purchased from Clark’s Corvair which was frieghted to me. Though covered with light surface rust, the new cross member was in good shape. A quick sandblasting, rustproofing, and paint and I was ready to assemble all the parts back together.

The steel had arrived for the front nose as well. After carefully measuring and leveling, the new steel was welded into place. A new support for the rack and pinion was also fabricated.

The next step was to mount the fiberglass nose of the car. I was going to fabricate some hinges but needed a good firm mounting point. To do this I would attach two steel plates that I could weld the hinge onto.

The final hinge welded and mounted in place.

The front nose now hinged forward.

The back hinge I also had to fabricate.

Preparing the frame

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 16th, 2008

When I recieved the car it had been sitting outside in the elements for a number of years.  The frame hadn’t been properly rust proofed so it was in bad shape.  Once all the suspension and transmission had been removed, the body was lifted off so the work could begin.

The Frame with the body removed.

The Frame with the body removed.

The frame showing the rust

The frame showing the rust

The frame was flipped over to get the underside.

The frame was flipped over to get the underside.

This section was rusted out.  The rusted metal was cut out an new steel was welded in.

This section was rusted out. The rusted metal was cut out an new steel was welded in.

The section removed and remaining metal rust proofed.

The section removed and remaining metal rust proofed.

New metal tack welded in.

New metal tack welded in.

The new metal welded into place.

The new metal welded into place.

This process of replacing metal was repeated on a few other sections that needed to be replaced.

Painted silver.  I debated the frame black, but wanted a higher tech look.

Painted silver. I debated the frame black, but wanted a higher tech look.

The frame was finished except the front nose.  Th metal there was really rusted and the welds done by the previous owner looked horrible.  I had ordered a couple of new pieces of steel that I would weld in there.

Almost finished but right side up.

Almost finished but right side up.

Hanging the transmission

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 16th, 2008

Hanging the transmision.

Taking it all apart

Restoring and Building | Posted by Andrew September 3rd, 2008

The peddles and the shift linkage don’t look so good, I am going to need to replace these.

cleaning up rust is a dirty business.  I started with a good wire wheel removing the surface scale and dirt.  Most of the dirt ended up on me.

A before and after shot of the clutch bell housing after it was cleaned up.

The rear suspension being removed.

The Corvair front suspension is removed.  It was held in place with 4 bolts which had to be cut.  The front cross member is in really bad shape.  A newer used one was ordered from Clark’s Corvair Parts.  In the mean time I need to take the rest apart and clean the parts.

These parts will all be cleaned.

The frame is then flipped over so that I can get at the bottom and cut out some of the sections that are badly rusted.  This should have been a job for two  people but I was in a hurry so I did it myself.  I almost broke my thumb when the frame started to slide and landed against my work bench.  With a little more thinking and slowing down I was able to get the frame flipped over.

Sections like these had to be cut out and replaced with fresh metal.  The section was cut out and the inside of the tubes was rust proofed. Then new metal was welded in.

The section removed and treated.

The new steel cut to size and ready for welding.

The new steel welded into place.

Removing the Engine

Restoring and Building | Posted by Andrew September 2nd, 2008

The first step is to take the car apart and remove any rust from the frame and get the suspension and brakes working.

But before I start that, the engine needs to go. This will lighten up the car and make it easier to work on.
Rolling the car in and out of the garage right now is really hard. I think the front left brakes are locking up.

Here are some photos so you can see what I am starting with. A lot of work.

Getting rid of un-needed ICE (internal combustion engine) parts.

Once the engine is gone there will be plenty of room for batteries.

The back glass was carefully removed and stored in a safe place so it won’t get broken.

The engine is hooked up to the hoist and bolts removed. Ready for removal.

The fly wheel, clutch and pressure plate are removed. These are going to be needed and will have to be adapted to mate to the electric motor.

Special thanks to my friend Tom for helping me remove the engine. The engine was rusted solid so its next home will be a scrap metal yard.

The frame is rolled back into the garage. The next step is removing the transmission and suspension so the frame can be cleaned of rust and the bad areas cut out and replaced.

The Car Arrives

Electronics, Ideas, Research, Restoring and Building, The Car Arrives | Posted by Andrew September 1st, 2008
After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a good base to start with I found a Ford GT40 replica that was being sold on eBay that was only about an hour away. The ad was found while I was sitting on the beach browsing the web on my iPhone. A bid was place and the following Saturday my wife, kids, and I went up to Jupiter, FL to pick her up.

Its a 1969-70 Fiberfab Valkyrie kit car that was never finished. It had a non-working Chevy V8 engine with a Corvair transmission and suspension system. The frame is a Fiberfab factory frame. The body was in good condition but the front suspension was in horrible shape. The main suspension cross member was almost completely rusted out. This was going to be a big restore and build before I ever got to the electric part. Like I wanted though, this was my chance to do a almost complete ground up build. The car is light, has a strong frame and is aerodynamic. Its also just plain cool.