Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

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mcudogs
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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by mcudogs » Fri, 22 May 2009, 01:26

Hi Everybody,

I have just started my 1st conversion. It's a 1998 Mazda 121 automatic hatchback.

I bought the donor vehicle last weekend had it weighed, measured the ground clearance on each wheel and put her up on stands so I can start work removing all of the bad stuff. Engine, fuel tank etc.
I have ordered the workshop manual so I will wait till it arrives before proceeding with the hard bits. It still has a nearly full fuel tank so 1st thing to do is to syphon it out before removing the tank. I have to be carefull here as it would be very embarassing to set the car on fire under my wooden house. It turns out I have to lift the rear seat, remove an inspection plate, remove the fuel pump connector, start the car and wait till the engine stops to release the pressure in the tank. I can then remove the fuel pump from the tank and siphon the fuel out. This is going to have to wait for the weekend. What happened to the good old days when you could just bung a bit of garden hose down the filler pipe, a quick suck, lots of choking and out comes the fuel.

The plan for the car so far is
Netgain Impulse 9 DC motor - on order
45 off Thundersky 90 AH Liffepo4 batteries
everything else is still flexible

Any help from you guys would be much appreciated.

Here's a picture of the car ready for surgery.
Image

Don
http://mazda121auto-ev.blogspot.com/
Last edited by mcudogs on Thu, 21 May 2009, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by acmotor » Fri, 22 May 2009, 01:39

Wow, electric blue !

Auto and FWD ? what are your plans ? Is is a separate diff or all in one with gearbox ?

Take care with the front/rear weight distribution i.e. not too many batteries at the rear. GVM should be OK for 5 seater.

I hope you don't plan on leaving it on the chassis stands to work on it. Image
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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by mcudogs » Fri, 22 May 2009, 02:00

Yes it's very bright blue, a bit girly, but the thing I love about these cars are that they are like a small panel van when you fold up the rear seats. Tons of storage room and you can still seat 5.

The plans are to keep the original gear box including TC and either idle the motor or provide an external pump and accumulator to keep the pressure up to the clutches.

I've used this conversion as the basis for mine.
Protege5

I was only going to use the stands to pull out the fuel tank and exhaust. Is there a safety problem with that?

Don

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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by coulomb » Fri, 22 May 2009, 03:42

acmotor wrote: I hope you don't plan on leaving it on the chassis stands to work on it. Image

Um, yeah, what's wrong with stands for working under?
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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by acmotor » Fri, 22 May 2009, 03:45

Hmmm, sounds OK but not having looked around at auto conversions I am still a sceptic. It will work, but how well ? Dimitri hasn't finished his conversion yet ? Power losses around town and in planned 'idle' may be an issue.

Do take care with the chassis stands. They are only stable up to a point. The vehicle can be pushed so the stands all tip over.
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Post by mcudogs » Fri, 22 May 2009, 04:06

Thanks for the warning.Image I took a fair bit of care when putting it on the stands to make sure it was centered on each stand and then gave it a couple of good pushes from all angles before I got under it. I just read on another forum that you should use a trolley jack as a backup as well and I will be doing that from now on.

I will have to devise a test to confirm the efficiency losses with the auto. It has an electrically controlled TC lock up so I will monitor that with a led to see when it is locked. I might look into locking it using a micro when the car is not moving, so the power loss from start is minimised.   

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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by acmotor » Fri, 22 May 2009, 07:08

If in doubt re safe work practices, contact the worksafe office in your state.
Understanding the potential hazards is the key. A trolley jack should be backed up by chassis stand(s) in normal safe practice so your backup of chassis stands (axle stands) by a trolley jack should be a trolley jack under each end of vehicle or a substantial (unlikely to tip) block at one end with trolley jack at the other.
Think of it as preservation of EV convertors !

Do you know the specs of the TC lockup ? 4 speed auto ? LU in 3rd and 4th ? at engine RPM or road speed ?
LU when vehicle is stationary may not be practical as the TC and pump must be running at idle speed for the auto bands (hydraulics) to operate for 1st gear. (you could LU soon after take off ?)
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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by mcudogs » Sat, 23 May 2009, 01:25

I agree totally, it's hard to show that EV grin if your dead.

The workshop manual just arrived and my 1st major disappointment with it. It looks like there were 2 types of AT supplied with this car.

A 4 speed electronically controlled box with TC lockup and a 3 speed mechanically controlled box. It looks like I got the 3 speed. Oh well it looks like I won't have to worry about designing a controller. Image

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Don's Mazda 121 Conversion

Post by Peter C in Canberra » Mon, 25 May 2009, 01:48

Just a comment on the stands. I used the same four blue stands for my charade conversion and worked under the car. I was conscious of the slight possibility of pulling the car off the stands if I was really wrenching hard on a tight bolt in the deconstruction phase. I made a habit of keeping a couple of wheel ramps under the car with me so the car could fall as far! This paid off when some kids (I assume) saw the car in the car port on stands and thought it would be funny (I assume) to push it off. I had the front wheels off at the time. Instead of crashing into some bits that were not intended to take weight it landed on its back wheels and the wheel stands supported the front end.
Peter.
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Post by mcudogs » Thu, 28 May 2009, 00:58

I spoke to an auto gear box specialist today about removing the torque converter and coupling the electric motor to the box. He agreed it does work and said I just have to find the right pump and accumulator / pressure switch to keep the pressure up when the motor has stopped rotating. He suggested an electric power steering pump might do the job. I can connect the pump in series with the oil cooler on the output side.

The gearbox has a vacuum solenoid that alters the change points according to how much intake manifold vacuum is being developed. so I will connect that to the electric vacuum pump for the brakes.

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