Motor In...Motor-Transfer CoupledEngine RemovalCar Engine OutUnder the hood - Almost finishedGearbox and TransmissionGearbox Gears
OwnerAndrew Baker
LocationWodonga, Victoria Australia map
Email email image
Vehicle1989 Suzuki Vitara
This is my project car. It is a Vitara, I
believe known as a Samuri in the States.
MotorNetgain Warp 9 Series Wound DC
This motor seems like a good compromise
weight and power. It also seems to be an
industry standard these days.
DrivetrainCoupling motor to transfer case, no
gearbox, just 2H, 4H and 4L. Front
hubs can remain unlocked around town. So
basically have 2L for around town.
ControllerNetGain Controls Warp-Drive 1000A 160V
Arrived just before christmas.. Nice..
Batteries45 Thunder Sky 60Ah, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
System Voltage144 Volts
QQE Technologies 144V LIon Charger
HeaterReverse cycle Heat/AC. It gets hot here
DC/DC Converter Nil
Watt Hours/Mile200 Wh/Mile
Hopefully around 200Wh/Mile
Seating Capacity4 adults
Curb Weight2,200 Pounds (999 Kilograms)
Right on stock weight currently.
TiresStock rims with 50% off-road tyres.
Conversion Time2 Years, 1 year thinking, 1 year working.
Conversion CostSo Far,
Suzuki Vitara not running - $2000AU
Electric Motor - $2800AU

Expect around AU $16000 total.
5/12/2009 - Removed engine, done over two days, spent
total 8 hours to achive. Could do it quicker a second
time i think.

20/12/2009 - Removed gearbox and transfer case. Seperated
gearbox from transfercase. Surprised how light the
gearbox is, was going to do a direct drive to the
transfercase, however, might keep gearbox for now. This
took 4 hours and one squashed little finger... bugger..

22/12/2009 - Went down to the local transmission place
today. To my pleasent surprise, they see the adaptor for
the Electric Motor the easy part. providing i have direct
shaft to connect to the gearbox. So, the plan from here
is to extract the spigot (female spline from the clutch)
from the engine. So maybe tomorrow ill try taking that

23/12/2009 - Took some more info to trans guy. Thinking
it may be easier to couple direct to transfercase. Will
still have low and high range. Effectively two gears.

24/12/2009 - Took the remaining gearbox parts off. Also
finally made a decision about the drive method for my ev.
I will couple the Motor directly to the 4WD transfer

-Easier to manufacture adaptor and coupling.
-Should save around 30kg off the build.
-I will still have L and H range gears, Low range is
equive to about gear 2.5 with the normal gearbox anyway.
-More space under the bonnet for batteries and elec gear.

-Because it is a 4WD transfer case, using the Low range
around town will mean the front drive train will still
turn. However, it has manual locking hubs, so it can
remain in 2WD. Downside is loss of efficiency by spinning
front drive train whilst it is not even required. But
this against losing 30kg, and the reduction of loss
through the gearbox, i am probably breaking even or ahead

2/01/2010 - Pulled the gearbox apart to get to the main
shaft which fits into the transfer which i need to
attatch coupling to.

9/03/2010 - Got Transfercase shaft engineered by a local
guy to take a taper lock for the motor coupling $150.
Then went down to a transmission joint and purshased the
coupling parts $131.

1/05/2010 - Spent a lot of time cutting the gearbox in
half thinking it might be useful for a adaptor bell
housing, only to discover that it probably wasnt strong
enough for the torque of the motor and the engineer felt
it was better to make a whole new one.. So the motor and
transfer case are off for two weeks getting that done..

21/05/2010 - Got the now coupled transfercase and motor
back from the engineers.. Looks great, cost $420 to get
done. Not too bad i rekon. Thanks Wodonga Engineering

12/06/2010 - Motor finally went into the car.. Relatively
easy job. Went very well.. New pic is now up.

6/08/2010 - Found and ordered manual steering box to
replace the power steering. This will save having to
power the steering.

1/08/2010 - Tested Motor using 12V source. Should have
done this much earlier, so this was a very nice feeling.

8/08/2010 - Tried to remove steering box, failed, need to
go get the right tool..

10/08/2010 - Purchased Warp-Drive Controller, on
backorder, expected to recieve in September.

27/12/2010 - Batteries and Controller arrived just before
christmas.. Nice.. I am continuing now with the
construction of my front motor mount and battery boxes.

28/12/2010 - Began designing the battery boxes on the
underside of the car.

28/1/2011 - The arrival of my first son has slowed the
project a little, but I have had time to take my car down
to the engineer and chat about a few elements of the

1/08/2011 - Still working on the battery boxes..
Prototype 3 has won, which is angle iron brackets
suspended from the chassis directly underneath the car..
This will lead to far better handling, lowering and
centralizing the weight.. And before I hear you say, "but
what about keeping the weight over the front wheels now
the engine is gone." Remember that big box at the back
which holds the bang liquid. Well that weight was behind
the rear axle, effectively lifting the front end. With it
gone, my weight distribution will be almost perfect.

2/08/2011 - Spoke to safari tanks about making some
fiberglass boxes to surround and protect my batteries
from the elements, and from shorting on any steel. They
are local for me and have fabulous service. I have
previously purchased two DRZ400 long range tanks..

10/10/2011 - Installed Brake Vacuum Pump.. Very easy
process. Is Nice. Bracketing all made up for controller
and charger, charger is about to arrive, all getting
exciting now.

17/07/2012 - Bracketing almost complete for holding
batteries.. Batteries are very close to being put on the
vehicle. All bracketing and placement of underbonnet
electronics is now complete. Getting exciting now..

23/7/2012 - Removed front drive shaft. Intend to remove
front diff and CV's once I work out how to seal bearings
etc. More weight saved. All electronics is ready to be put
on and plugged in. Most of the 12V wiring is complete. On
the home run.

21/3/2016 - Car completed and has club registration. Of five seen
it was the first EV that the VASS enginner has actually passed.
Some niggles to iron out, coupling, which was professionally
installed, still has a slight vibration. Have some options to fix
this including going direct drive.

code by jerry