BMW e30e

Tell us about the project you do with the open inverter
Post Reply
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

Hello all,

So I'm a total newb here but I've been interested in getting my E30 ('87 316) converted for many years. I've finally come to the conclusion that to afford it I'll have to do it myself.

My limited abilities:
  • I'm a qualified Electronic Engineer, but haven't been working in this field for a long time.
  • I've previously torn the car down for a respray and rebuilt it after, I've replaced a lot of the running gear. etc., repaired instrument cluster, etc. etc.
  • I have experience developing on Raspberry Pi (not arduino but close enough!)
  • I build PCs, repair laptops and iMacs, etc. as a hobby.
  • I have a basic tools but no fabrication or welding tools (yet).
  • I currently have no garage but intend to have one in the coming 6-12 months (I'm hoping to build the gear on a test bench before putting into the car). I'd love a fitted out garage like Fiachra!
I've watched a lot of the build videos by Cookie6000 which are excellent and show amazing detail! I've also watched a lot of Jack Bauer videos, but they're a little over my head just yet.

-------

I'm looking for advice on how to start off. My ~€10k budget I don't think will be compatible with Tesla motors, etc. so I'm looking for advice on what kind of parts I should be looking for (use existing drivetrain vs remove for example) and specifically if anyone has parts in Ireland they'd be willing to sell me. I'm looking to start buying parts monthly as cashflow allows.

My intention is to use this as a first pass, proof of concept so that I can learn as I go and then possibly upgrade various parts in the future and recycle the parts onto other projects after. The end goal will be to build up to converting my Dads Jag XK8.

Any help, advice, ridicule and any available parts all greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Kevin
IMG_5820.JPG
nkiernan
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:59 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by nkiernan »

What part of the country? If a Lexus GS450H setup is an option, I may have one idle kit and you could take a look at the project I'm doing with the other 450H kit (gearbox, inverter, oil pump, etc)
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

nkiernan wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:29 pm What part of the country? If a Lexus GS450H setup is an option, I may have one idle kit and you could take a look at the project I'm doing with the other 450H kit (gearbox, inverter, oil pump, etc)
PMing you now...
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

I am leaning towards a full leaf system similar to Cookie6000 due to it's simplicity for my first build, but don't know if the car will be too heavy for it.
User avatar
Cookie6000
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 9:27 am
Location: Wicklow, IRL
Contact:

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by Cookie6000 »

kevpatts wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:59 pm I am leaning towards a full leaf system similar to Cookie6000 due to it's simplicity for my first build, but don't know if the car will be too heavy for it.
From a simplicity aspect, the Leaf setup I have used is 'relatively' straightforward compared to the Lexus/Prius powertrain option. That said, now that I have a much greater knowledge, I would go the Lexus route right away. The Leaf VCU is a great starter for anyone learning the ropes. The new VCU's Damien and Johannes have developed subsequently, allow for a lot more tuning and fettling. WIth the Leaf VCU, it's simply 12v perm, 12v ign, ground, some 5v from the pedal and CAN L and H... that's it! I started off pretty much alongside James (Project FigLeaf) and we helped each other along to fine tune the integration process after wandering down many dead ends lol!

After the digital element, it's what route you want to go on the drive train - keep the E30 gearbox of stick with the Leaf reduction gear and get 2 x output shafts made up. 10k is plenty to be working with for a build these days. You should build a very decent conversion with that and there is SOO much help here to get you moving in the right direction and avoid any build pitfalls.

Just keep it simple. Use as much OEM hardware as possible. Thats's it. Dont try and reinvent the wheel. These guys have spent gazillions on R&D... why make it hard on yourself! Cut as little of the car as possible too. It makes engineer certification much easier. You are in a great time to be building with so many EV's and hybrids being written off for very little damage by insurance companies... a recent one was a Model 3 in Kilock breakers. Yeah the rear quarter was a bit smacked but... hell... the entire car couple have been stripped of its wares and transplanted into a great conversion.

Look forward to some updates!
Home of the #Audi8e - https://twitter.com/FiachraCooke
User avatar
Bratitude
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by Bratitude »

I recon the gs450h gear box would be a prime fit.

Very minimal fabrication compared to other options, and leaves your engine bay open for batteries!

leaf motors are awesome. Powerful, cheap, abundant. but the fabrication requirements to mount one to the e30 gear box is going to be your biggest hurdle. this is an area I’m working on to simplify for folks. but still aways off to providing full bolt together leaf motor kits.

Both options have very proven method of control over the power stage.

I’d start off with loosely defining your requirements for the build ( range, charge speed, hp)
and go from there. It’ll make it easier to pick comments and find deals.

a outlander phev 3kw charger can be had for 100$ Vs a Tesla gen 2 10kw charger would cost you 600-700$

definitely can be done for well under your budget!
https://bratindustries.net/ leaf couplers + adapter plates
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

Hey, thanks guys first of all. I'm sold on the GS450h now for many reasons, again, just hope it fits but I'm less worried than I was before.

My priorities are:
  • EV certification so I can actually drive it!
  • No external visible change. No structural changes. Minimal bodywork changes. Minimal changes to running gear (keep live rear axle for example).
  • Relative simplicity of conversion. I'm not a pro and have to buy all the tools, rent a garage, learn to fabricate, etc. to do this.
  • Driveability. It's currently a lovely comfortable car to drive. Not around corners but as a cruiser! Like me it's built for pleasure, not for speed.
  • Fast charging. Preferably CCS as I've been watching the recent progress and there's a CCS charger on my road.
  • Regen braking.
  • More interested in usability than power; range over speed I guess. Don't want to have to upgrade loads of other components (brakes, diff, suspension, etc.) on the car. This can be an option in the future though. The car is currently only 66kW!
  • Don't need too much range, 75Km should be fine but should be upgrade-able if it becomes an issue.
  • Long term parts and upgrade-able batteries. I'd prefer to invest more in a better motor now than have to replace it in the future, for example.
  • Potential to use this as a template for other E30 owners to use to convert theirs at low cost.
I haven't found much info on here about the criteria for selecting batteries. I've read about lithium vs phosphate, risks, etc. and how to calculate voltage and current capacity and limits. I haven't found any information about compatibility; what interaction is there between the batteries, BMS, charger and the gear I've already selected (i.e. the inverter). Does it all go through the VCU or are there compatibility considerations here? Also, do certain chargers have compatible batteries and BMS systems or are they all interchangeable?

Basically I'm a little lost choosing the battery/BMS/charger combination!
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a gobshite considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

I wish I'd found this project when I was unemployed at the start of lockdown!
User avatar
celeron55
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:04 pm
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by celeron55 »

A 75km range can be achieved easily and economically by using two PHEV battery packs, so in terms of range you're good to go.

The battery/BMS/charger combination is what you'll have to plan next. Maybe look into SimpBMS - as in which hybrid packs it can support and what chargers people have made it talk to.

Of course this all will be a lot easier if you can grasp some Arduino/CANbus programming, but there are projects like the ZombieVerter that try to make all these integration projects easier for non-programmers.
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

Okay so thanks everyone for the help so far. I've made significant progress but still a long way to go and looking for a little guidance.
  • So far I've got the GS450, inverter, and oil pump. I have the GS450h VCU V2 from Damien and all wired up and working (this was all done when I purchased it from nkiernan!).
  • I've started playing around with the code a little to become familiar with it and implemented some new features, so I'm happy with that.
  • I've got the faceplate cut and have a clutch disc on the way and will get that all in place.
  • Done a few calculations regarding axle weights, range, etc.
  • Have an E46 hall effect pedal on the way too.
I'm looking to order battery parts now and I have actually found stuff available and in stock! Have an offer of a full 24kWh Leaf Gen 2 pack with good SOH, charger and cables. I'll be ordering a ZombieVerter too.

I'm looking to get CCS, home AC charging and general high compatibility. For CCS I can get a BMW i3 LIM easily and cheaply. Is this compatible the Leaf charger, etc? Just want to know as there's a lead time for all of this and want to get ordering before I delve in deep. I know I'll need an extra HV junction box too from the video of the grey goose.

Based on this I think all is good, but just checking I'm not making a mistake.
Isaac96
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:50 pm
Location: Northern California, USA
Contact:

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by Isaac96 »

Leaf charger has not been hacked as far as I know.
A good charger is one of the Chevy Volt units, they are easily CAN controlled.

CCS is separate from the Leaf charger system since it's just DC straight into the pack. So yes they are compatible, but the Leaf charger can't do anything for you.
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by kevpatts »

Isaac96 wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 3:27 pm Leaf charger has not been hacked as far as I know.
A good charger is one of the Chevy Volt units, they are easily CAN controlled.

CCS is separate from the Leaf charger system since it's just DC straight into the pack. So yes they are compatible, but the Leaf charger can't do anything for you.
I think you spoke about an hour too soon! Damien just got it working (patreon video). That's pure fluke!
User avatar
johu
Site Admin
Posts: 3064
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:52 pm
Location: Kassel/Germany
Contact:

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by johu »

The man's a machine, huh :)
viewtopic.php?p=31213#p31213
Support R/D and forum on Patreon: https://patreon.com/openinverter - Subscribe on odysee: https://odysee.com/@openinverter:9
Isaac96
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:50 pm
Location: Northern California, USA
Contact:

Re: I'm a "newb" considering a €10k E30 build in Ireland

Post by Isaac96 »

kevpatts wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:16 pm I think you spoke about an hour too soon! Damien just got it working (patreon video). That's pure fluke!
Awesome! 8 minutes late as a matter of fact. That's great to hear!

So yes that whole setup would work great.
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

Battery disassembled. More work than you think it will be!
IMG_1490.jpg
IMG_1491.jpg
IMG_1493.jpg
IMG_1497.jpg
IMG_1499.jpg
IMG_1502.jpg
IMG_1503.jpg
IMG_1504.jpg
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

So a little progress, but not much. Had @paaa over to trade a battery box for some soldering skills and we got both of our ZombieVerters finished. Had some trouble with IC21 & IC22 but got them in the end.
IMG_1585.jpg
Got the VCU powered up with basic 12V and connected to it fine but no other connections wired up yet.
IMG_1587.jpg
IMG_1636.jpg
Got the Leaf pre-charge circuit disassembled. Question: can any of this be re-used? It seems these contactors need flyback diodes and PWM so I'm guessing it's easier to just get standard contactors like the Kilovac or Gigavac ones. Any recommended guide on building a junction box would be appreciated as that's my next task. Hoping to re-use some of these parts such as the 30 Ohm pre-charge resistor and the pre-charge contactor. Have to buy a shunt too.
IMG_1640.jpg
Also got the CCS Voltage Sense board from @muehlpower. Waiting on the LIM connections from auto-click.co.uk; they got sent back by An Post so hopefully second time lucky.

Got a lot of wiring in my near future!

Edit: Also waiting for a CCS port from a Kia E-Niro or Hyundai Kona from Calvin in EVBreakers. Looks like I may need to pull a resistor out of it after Damiens latest video. I'll check it when it arrives. Also a granny cable on the way for Type 2 port.
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

IMG_1641.jpg
Also got the vacuum pump controller from the web store.
nkiernan
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:59 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by nkiernan »

Making some progress 8-)
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

Not much happening recently except for deliveries, deliveries, deliveries.
IMG_1864.jpg
Thinking of buying/borrowing a rolling chassis E30 to convert as it looks like I'm now going to have to drive my E30 until Feb/March as my Lancia and Datsun will still be getting restored.

Nearly have the components now to start building both (alpha) HV junction boxes (pre-charge and CCS).
User avatar
Gregski
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:28 am

Re: BMW e30e

Post by Gregski »

kevpatts wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:16 pm Battery disassembled. More work than you think it will be!
IMG_1504.jpg
IMG_1504.jpg (42.76 KiB) Viewed 1305 times
that looks Wife Approved, love it!
User avatar
Gregski
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:28 am

Re: BMW e30e

Post by Gregski »

kevpatts wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:56 am So a little progress, but not much. Had @paaa over to trade a battery box for some soldering skills and we got both of our ZombieVerters finished. Had some trouble with IC21 & IC22 but got them in the end.
IMG_1585.jpg
Got the VCU powered up with basic 12V and connected to it fine but no other connections wired up yet.
IMG_1587.jpg
IMG_1636.jpg
Got the Leaf pre-charge circuit disassembled. Question: can any of this be re-used? It seems these contactors need flyback diodes and PWM so I'm guessing it's easier to just get standard contactors like the Kilovac or Gigavac ones. Any recommended guide on building a junction box would be appreciated as that's my next task. Hoping to re-use some of these parts such as the 30 Ohm pre-charge resistor and the pre-charge contactor. Have to buy a shunt too.
IMG_1640.jpg
Also got the CCS Voltage Sense board from @muehlpower. Waiting on the LIM connections from auto-click.co.uk; they got sent back by An Post so hopefully second time lucky.

Got a lot of wiring in my near future!

Edit: Also waiting for a CCS port from a Kia E-Niro or Hyundai Kona from Calvin in EVBreakers. Looks like I may need to pull a resistor out of it after Damiens latest video. I'll check it when it arrives. Also a granny cable on the way for Type 2 port.
Loving all the detail, and along for the ride to see how the Zombie fares?
kevpatts
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: BMW e30e

Post by kevpatts »

Moving very slowly recently. Finally got round to butchering the old loom
IMG_1908.jpg
that was made for the GS450h dedicated VCU and tidied up the connections and labelled the ZombieVerter cables. Pain in the ass work but only took a few hours.
IMG_1895.jpg
IMG_1910.jpg
Also got the pre-charge circuit mocked up and working.
Received a Kia CCS port and connections for the LIM en-route as well as CCS contactors. Thinking of leaving the CCS part until a phase 2 (or 5 or 10 depending on how many phases there will be before it's on the road!) though. I'll only need slow charge initially but at least I have all the parts.

Hopefully I'll have it spinning off the bench source this weekend and then think about running a HV source and start wiring the charger too. Reminds me: need to get a granny cable for testing.
User avatar
Bratitude
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: BMW e30e

Post by Bratitude »

kevpatts wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:56 am Got the Leaf pre-charge circuit disassembled. Question: can any of this be re-used? It seems these contactors need flyback diodes and PWM so I'm guessing it's easier to just get standard contactors like the Kilovac or Gigavac ones. Any recommended guide on building a junction box would be appreciated as that's my next task. Hoping to re-use some of these parts such as the 30 Ohm pre-charge resistor and the pre-charge contactor. Have to buy a shunt too.
a few folks are using the leaf contactors in conversions, not sure what the contactor control on the zombie is rated for, but the fets on the oi main board can drive them as is from my understanding.

The contactor assembly is quite a nice unit when not disassembled. Pre charge already wired up!
https://bratindustries.net/ leaf couplers + adapter plates
Mons2b
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:25 am

Re: BMW e30e

Post by Mons2b »

kevpatts wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:16 am IMG_1641.jpg
Also got the vacuum pump controller from the web store.
Which website?
User avatar
johu
Site Admin
Posts: 3064
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:52 pm
Location: Kassel/Germany
Contact:

Re: BMW e30e

Post by johu »

Mons2b wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 9:08 am Which website?
https://openinverter.org/shop
Support R/D and forum on Patreon: https://patreon.com/openinverter - Subscribe on odysee: https://odysee.com/@openinverter:9
Post Reply