Converting a truck

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Kasterborus
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Converting a truck

Post by Kasterborus » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 07:46

Hey guys so I've been trying to get onto the National Heavy Vehicle regulator for about two weeks now to discuss what is required in converting a vehicle that exceeds 4.5 tonnes

Now they have been very hard to get on the phone and after successive emails I've practically given up on asking them

For those that are curious the vehicle that I am looking to convert is a 1960's International ACCO

The vehicle in question will probably be an ex-military variant and I'm considering the 6x6 version

Now the 6x6 weighs in at around 4.5 tonne empty, and approximately 12 tonne fully loaded.

So this gives me the capacity to have approximately 2 tonne of batteries while still maintaining a sufficient payload.

Now the factory specs are rather underwhelming with around I believe it was 52 kilowatts of power and only about 150 Newton metres of torque so it was rather pathetic.

This means the practically any reasonable electric motor will be able to put out as much if not more power so the truck will actually be getting a sufficient upgrade.

Plus the fact is that the original truck had very limited range with a small petrol tanks so this means that using 2 tonne of batteries despite being expensive would actually lead to a sufficient increase in range.

Unfortunately I won't be able to keep it period correct with the original gearbox because the original gearbox was a non synchromesh style and considering that is a limitation of an electric motor as soon as it has no load I'll be unable to change gears so for this I'll have to swap in some form of synchromesh heavy vehicle gearbox.

No I haven't even looked into which gearboxes would work but I'm thinking something like a five or six speed box out of a small Isuzu NPR might be a good contender.

As far as engines go I was considering something along the lines of an ac51.

But as I said at the start my biggest hurdle is getting this discussion started with the National Heavy Vehicle regulator because any modifications to vehicle exceeding 4.5 tonne have to come from the National Heavy Vehicle regulator and not from the local state-based authority.

So really has anyone here conducted any modifications on a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 4.5 tonne anchor point me in the right direction for the regulations governing this?

I've even considered the thought of ripping out the entire chassus and replacing it with a 3 motor setup on a completely new chassis.

But again this means that the current ICV laws I can't really uses guidance because the vehicle is going to be over 4.5 tonne and the national code of practice only really applies to vehicles under 4.5 tonne

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brendon_m
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by brendon_m » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 08:03

Kasterborus wrote:
Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 07:46
Now the factory specs are rather underwhelming with around I believe it was 52 kilowatts of power and only about 150 Newton metres of torque so it was rather pathetic.

This means the practically any reasonable electric motor will be able to put out as much if not more power so the truck will actually be getting a sufficient upgrade.

Unfortunately I won't be able to keep it period correct with the original gearbox because the original gearbox was a non synchromesh style and considering that is a limitation of an electric motor as soon as it has no load I'll be unable to change gears so for this I'll have to swap in some form of synchromesh heavy vehicle gearbox.

No I haven't even looked into which gearboxes would work but I'm thinking something like a five or six speed box out of a small Isuzu NPR might be a good contender.

As far as engines go I was considering something along the lines of an ac51.

Those AVASS bus motors and gearboxs maybe a good fit

http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6024

You'd have to do all the calculations but they are designed for large vehicle use.

Kasterborus
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by Kasterborus » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 09:04

brendon_m wrote:
Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 08:03
Kasterborus wrote:
Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 07:46
Now the factory specs are rather underwhelming with around I believe it was 52 kilowatts of power and only about 150 Newton metres of torque so it was rather pathetic.

This means the practically any reasonable electric motor will be able to put out as much if not more power so the truck will actually be getting a sufficient upgrade.

Unfortunately I won't be able to keep it period correct with the original gearbox because the original gearbox was a non synchromesh style and considering that is a limitation of an electric motor as soon as it has no load I'll be unable to change gears so for this I'll have to swap in some form of synchromesh heavy vehicle gearbox.

No I haven't even looked into which gearboxes would work but I'm thinking something like a five or six speed box out of a small Isuzu NPR might be a good contender.

As far as engines go I was considering something along the lines of an ac51.

Those AVASS bus motors and gearboxs maybe a good fit

http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6024

You'd have to do all the calculations but they are designed for large vehicle use.
Shit they have some good specs

T1 Terry
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by T1 Terry » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 12:12

Once the heavy vehicle has had an original registration, repowering with a different motor/gearbox configuration only requires the numbers to upgraded on the paperwork. As long as the fitting is sufficient to stop it falling out on the road, they don't seem to really care.
The whole electrical part will be a different story, so a suitable engineer on board before the conversion even starts is important, they get a bit "hard to get on with" if you turn up on their door step with the whole project completed and buttoned up.

T1 Terry
Green but want to learn

Kasterborus
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by Kasterborus » Wed, 05 Jun 2019, 11:37

T1 Terry wrote:
Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 12:12
Once the heavy vehicle has had an original registration, repowering with a different motor/gearbox configuration only requires the numbers to upgraded on the paperwork. As long as the fitting is sufficient to stop it falling out on the road, they don't seem to really care.
The whole electrical part will be a different story, so a suitable engineer on board before the conversion even starts is important, they get a bit "hard to get on with" if you turn up on their door step with the whole project completed and buttoned up.

T1 Terry
Wow, I thought it would be more like a car with a whole heap of regulations on what you can and can't do

T1 Terry
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by T1 Terry » Wed, 05 Jun 2019, 12:05

They figure the truck already has a chassis designed to carry more than its rated load and brakes good enough to stop that load, so it isn't likely you would repower it with something that would exceed those stress requirements. As the vehicle is already limited to 100km/h max permissible speed on Australia roads and subjected to all the weigh bridges and random roadside inspections, they figure if there is anything dodgy they'll pick it up there. As long as the numbers match up and it passes the usual oil leaks and obvious road side torch inspection, all is ok. The electrical part will be the tricky bit, but once engineered the mermaids are sure to leave that part alone, way beyond their pay grade to be checking out that sort of stuff. Weight and visual inspection will be about the limits, but they may ask a heap of questions just out of personal interest.
Once got directed in for a South Australian roadside inspection while I had my VW kombi on the back of my Cargo vehicle carrier. They didn't really look at the truck at all, they just wanted to know about the kombi :lol:

T1 Terry

EDIT: The thing you can't do is put an engine with worse emission control than the one that came out standard in that yr model truck. If you decide to go hybrid, the gen set could be an issue.
Green but want to learn

Kasterborus
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Re: Converting a truck

Post by Kasterborus » Wed, 05 Jun 2019, 12:59

T1 Terry wrote:
Wed, 05 Jun 2019, 12:05
As the vehicle is already limited to 100km/h max permissible speed on Australia roads


Good point, would need to work out a limiter.
T1 Terry wrote:
Wed, 05 Jun 2019, 12:05
EDIT: The thing you can't do is put an engine with worse emission control than the one that came out standard in that yr model truck. If you decide to go hybrid, the gen set could be an issue.
Found one today, 1964 model, I don't think they even had emissions requirements back then, so I'd probably be OK in that respect

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