Technical Electrifying little blue

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Technical Electrifying little blue

phate3161

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Joined
Nov 4, 2022
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2
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Sn10 3nb
Just wondering if anyone else has electrified a fiat900 as yet.

Little blue has been on and off the road for a number of years now, reliability issues, overheating, modifications.
Head gasket going has been the last one, she has sat under the carport for a year now as I havnt had time since our business expanded to work on her.

So we thought as the lease on our car was due for renewal in a year we would think about having her converted to e.v.

Anyone tried it yet, I know the company closest to us is swindon powertrain, they make conversion kits etc but we really want to have it all done in house with 100/150kw battery, fast charge done in one job.
 

bugsymike

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
998
Location
Torbay
Just wondering if anyone else has electrified a fiat900 as yet.

Little blue has been on and off the road for a number of years now, reliability issues, overheating, modifications.
Head gasket going has been the last one, she has sat under the carport for a year now as I havnt had time since our business expanded to work on her.

So we thought as the lease on our car was due for renewal in a year we would think about having her converted to e.v.

Anyone tried it yet, I know the company closest to us is swindon powertrain, they make conversion kits etc but we really want to have it all done in house with 100/150kw battery, fast charge done in one job.
Everyone will have different thoughts on this.
Mine are, rather than spending loads of money on ruining an original car, spend less on having it fixed as it should be. If it is only used as a classic runabout it will be unlikely you will ever get the money back on the conversion.
If you feel strongly about the environment then buy a new EV that has been designed to carry the extra weight of all those batteries from a manufacturer likely to still be still in business and able to service and supply parts for it in 10 years time.
As I say, everyone has different thoughts. By the way have you spoken to your Insurance company about the cost of insuring a "special" or modified vehicle after a conversion?;)
 
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phate3161

phate3161

New member
Joined
Nov 4, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Sn10 3nb
We're planning to use her as a daily commuter, it's never about making our money back, I bought her for my wife's 40th and we have owned her for 12 years, I only paid £450 for the van and £250 for transporting it from Norwich to home.
It's not just about the environment, we all know that the fiat 900 cooling system is naff even with the tin ware all intact.

I rebuilt the engine from the ground up rings, big end shells, crank bearings rebored cylinders, new valves, springs, crank reground, gaskets the whole nine yards.
Twin choke webber, 4 branch manifold and a fiat 850 spider gearbox, even having the radiator recored.
What failed was the stupidity of going to the local car store and handing over the radiator cap and asking for a new one then not checking it before putting it in.

Ended up after 15 miles she overheated, she had blown all of the coolant out of the rad because I'd been given a short reach cap instead of a long reach one, hence having to have the head skimmed, I've had new hardened valve seats put in so she can run on unleaded without additive.
She will ride again on her normally aspirated engine for a while but eventually we will go down the e.v route, we have solar panels at home so charging will work out cost effective

The ruining a classic car argument is a poor choice, yes a fiat 900 is an old bus, but would be even more fun buzzing along completely quietly with great torque and peeing on a porsche acceleration.
 

bugsymike

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Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
998
Location
Torbay
We're planning to use her as a daily commuter, it's never about making our money back, I bought her for my wife's 40th and we have owned her for 12 years, I only paid £450 for the van and £250 for transporting it from Norwich to home.
It's not just about the environment, we all know that the fiat 900 cooling system is naff even with the tin ware all intact.

I rebuilt the engine from the ground up rings, big end shells, crank bearings rebored cylinders, new valves, springs, crank reground, gaskets the whole nine yards.
Twin choke webber, 4 branch manifold and a fiat 850 spider gearbox, even having the radiator recored.
What failed was the stupidity of going to the local car store and handing over the radiator cap and asking for a new one then not checking it before putting it in.

Ended up after 15 miles she overheated, she had blown all of the coolant out of the rad because I'd been given a short reach cap instead of a long reach one, hence having to have the head skimmed, I've had new hardened valve seats put in so she can run on unleaded without additive.
She will ride again on her normally aspirated engine for a while but eventually we will go down the e.v route, we have solar panels at home so charging will work out cost effective

The ruining a classic car argument is a poor choice, yes a fiat 900 is an old bus, but would be even more fun buzzing along completely quietly with great torque and peeing on a porsche acceleration.
Just a thought before the skimmed head goes back on, have you checked the block is true also (straight edge and feeler gauge), I had a machine shop send out to me a block that resembled a rain gutter after fitting liners! As you say 900 cooling leaves something to be desired.Maybe a Kenlowe electric fan?
Re the rad cap, there used to be so many choices, in height and pressure so we always checked, modern motor factor assistants are probably only used to plastic threaded things. I think I still have my Smiths cooling system pressure tester that you could test the caps on as well.
I like the "sleeper" car idea, it is just the brakes , suspension, even tyres for the extra loading of a performance E conversion.
Sorry I am quite negative re EVs, though I like the idea of the high performance etc. I saw the Goodwood Hill climb on TV, very impressive, mind you I am not sure if a conversion will include the ground effect fan setup for handling;)
 

Badget

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
71
I did a little research into an EV conversion on mine and came to the conclusion that the charge time vs range would make the van impractical for any real use.
A £7k conversion gave an 80 mile range for an six hour charge.

Coupled with the lack of charging points and the recent cost hike it simply didn't make sense for me.

What I can add is that if you anticipate porsche (or even fast fiat) levels of performance then you're going to be crashing it a lot.
Flying away from a set of lights may sound like fun until you realise that everyone within 50m will pull out in front of you expecting you to be slow.
The chassis and brakes are not up to these kinds of forces either, not to mention the gearbox and drive train components you'll be going through.

I've often thought that the under floor space on these vans make them ideal for EV conversions and classic 500s and vw camper kits are common place so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for any competent company to do.

If the numbers stack up for you then go for it

Just be mindful of what you're asking of your van, and the idiots you'll be sharing the roads with.
 

rmjbn1

hello
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
728
Location
West Clare
Personally I can see the appeal of an electric conversion on a classic, seems to me a fine way of travelling :)

In my idle moments I idly wonder about carrying it out on an old heap.

But it is expensive, and how long would I trust the thousands of batteries to last, when they're the same 18650 cells my old laptop uses which last about 5 years...

This outfit in mid Wales is experienced in carrying out fiat 500 conversions, so I'm sure they could do it: https://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/
 

Dan at Adrian Flux

Official Trader
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
397
Location
Norfolk
Hi.
If you have any issues with insurance fir this type of conversion then please feel free to drop me a line.
Regards,
Dan.
 
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