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Alternative Fuels For all those conversations about LPG, Electric, Hydrogen. Anything but petrol and diesel...

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Old 12th January 2017, 12:22 PM
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Goran Goran is offline
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Question Forum Project - Electric D2?

Apologies if this is in the wrong section.

I know this is a crazy idea, but it sounds so interesting to me I have to give it a shot.

How does everyone feel about a joint forum project to convert a D2 to electric?
The donor car would be one without an engine and trans, or where both engine or trans have failed. Or simply one which is ultra cheap.

I admit I don't know how the logistics would work on this, and I certainly would not have the technical knowledge to lead the project or be a major contributor as there are much more technical members here, but I'm willing to put effort and money in to make it happen.

The central idea would be to keep it ultra cheap, with parts such as motors etc from scrap yards. The range does not have to be huge, maybe even as low as 10 to 20 miles so it would just be a daily runaround.
Also to keep the conversion simple so that it can be replicated by individuals who might want to have a electric D2 runaround.

I notice that there are quite a few Nissan Leafs being broken these days, and lithium batteries are coming down in price, so it may be feasible.

Or as a cheaper option, motors could be found from scrap yards and old lead acid batteries refurbed?

The added bonus would be that we would be saving D2 bodies if this could be made to work.

Let me know your thoughts.
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Old 12th January 2017, 12:36 PM
mattylondon mattylondon is offline
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Sounds very feasible to me. Was this project born from the latest Wheeler Dealer where they retrofitted a Maserati Biturbo to electric?? That programme gave a general insight but held back a bit on technical knowledge. I'd love to help

2004 A8 3.7q, 1998 A4 2.8q, 1994 Coupe 2.8q SORN,
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Old 12th January 2017, 12:45 PM
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M-A8 M-A8 is offline
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I would be definitely interested as you leave only 10min drive from me.
I could offer some labour, research/sourcing bits, but don't count on knowledge-this is not my cup of tea - petrol is my fuel all day everyday until I die

2006 D3 S8 5.2 V10
Ceramic Brakes, Bang&Olufsen, DTV, DAB, Rear Camera, BT, TPMS, Soft Close, Auto Boot, AMI , 4 Zone AC, Home Link, All Electric Blinds, Fingerprint, Ski Hatch, Black Extended Leather, Heated Sport Seats, Alacantra, Carbon Trim inc Aluminium Pack 2.
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Old 12th January 2017, 12:51 PM
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moltuae moltuae is offline
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Sounds an interesting idea

I might be able to help if any custom electronics or programming is needed (if I can find the time).
2002 FE S8 Ebony Black Pearl

Cars Owned:

The Audi Era: '97 A8 4.2 (Ming Blue) --> '96 A8 4.2 QS (Dark Green) --> '02 FE S8 (present)
The Citroen Era: '84 BX 1.6 RS --> '89 BX 1.9 DTR Turbo --> '94 XM 2.0L Turbo --> '96 XM 2.0L Turbo Exclusive --> '00 Xantia Activa 2.0L Turbo
The Banger Era: '76 1.2L Lada VAZ-2101 (Ruski Fiat 124) --> '80 1.7L Morris Ital HL, finished in Ermine White and Rust
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Old 12th January 2017, 07:40 PM
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homer simpson homer simpson is offline
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If you haven't already seen it, watch this week's Wheeler Dealers (aired 9th Jan). They bought a Maserati Bi-Turbo project that had been partially converted and continued the conversion using up-to-date parts, within a budget of course. Was quite interesting.

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Old 12th January 2017, 07:47 PM
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Ameiseuk Ameiseuk is offline
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Interesting project, spend my time working with electric forklifts so i have a ready source of motors/controllers etc.

For simplicity I'd recommend sticking with good old fashioned lead acid batteries and a dc motor and controller.
Daily drive: 2010 Infiniti Fx30D Sport.....a car that's too complicated to modify

Current 'Project': VW Crafter minibus mid conversion to 4 berth camper van

Previous 'Projects': 2006 Subaru Legacy Spec 'B' 3.0R, 1994 Ex-MOD Land Rover Defender, now "civilianised" 2000 Audi S8 FL

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Old 12th January 2017, 10:06 PM
tintin tintin is offline
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I'd start by talking to Richard Morgan or Graham Swann - oh wait, I already have!*1 from http://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/ 'cos they're good at this.

Seriously though, I only talked to Graham about this for about 15 minutes, but be gave me (me!) confidence that this is eminently doable, whether using Lead/Acid or Li/Ion (from memory, he's used the latter).

He's really approachable, and is doing this because he wants to, not because he wants to build a massive profitable conversion business, so I'm sure he'd be pretty open with his advice.

One of the really beauties of EV propulsion is it's simplicity - it must be easier than some of the projects attempted on here!

I'd be happy to pick up the 'phone to him, if that helps you Goran.

*1 at this in September:


Autos Autos everywhere...
(1) Tesla Model S: (85D). Silent and deadly, and very, very fast...
(2) 2003 D2 S8 Final Edition:Bulletproof and faultless: Ebony Black with Extended (Red!) Leather. Three-times annual winner of Best D2 1st prize forum trophy
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Old 13th January 2017, 12:38 AM
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YorkshireBloke YorkshireBloke is offline
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Default Shine On You Crazy B&*@"~d...

50 of Yorkshire money if you make progress on this...

That is the same as 1000 of Down Sahhth money.

3.7 to the stars... D2, LPG kit, March 2000(road tax...)
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Old 13th January 2017, 11:03 AM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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Wheeler Dealers spent $20K on their Maserati from memory, and couldn't even be bothered to sort out the suspension so it ended up dragging its arse on the floor. They could easily have put all the batteries in the front with a bit more thought on the layout.

I did note that they went for a brushless AC motor though, for better performance and less maintenance. Do Tesla drivetrains come up for sale much? I think a D2 would need a Leaf motor on each wheel to still move

It occurs to me that a 2.8q or even 3.7q (sorry Sergei and Neil) would make a great donor for a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (like a Fisker). If you put the motor where the rear diff is, LiIon batteries where the fuel tank is, and a 1.2 3-cyl engine up front as a generator (along with a few more batteries) you could end up with adequate performance and massive range. Replacing 500Kg of drivetrain gives you quite a lot of potential for things to put in its place

You probably would need bottomless pockets though

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Old 13th January 2017, 11:56 AM
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Goran Goran is offline
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Thanks Steven for the reccomendation their site looks very professional.
Rather than a personal project, I was hoping for this to be more of a forum project, for whoever is interested, to bring together forum skills and so we all learn something. A bit of electronics, engineering, design, machining, etc.

The finished car could then be donated to A8parts as a demo car for the forum and for A8parts, and to show off how versatile a D2 platform is.
The ideal of course would be to have a two motor set up one driving the front axle one driving the rear axle to stay true to Audi's design. But to start with Mikki's idea is best just to go with FWD or RWD for simplicity. They spent $20k on the Maserati! that's nuts, I'll have to watch that episode.

I think weight wise it may be ok. Nissan leaf weighs around 1535kg. A rought back of the cigarette packet calculation for a D2

1730kg for a manual S8 so to get down to the bare platform:
-198 engine
-85 gearbox + flywheel
-66 fuel
-10? fuel tank
-10? front shafts
-10 prop shaft
-11? various other engine bay parts
1340 chassis

+218 Nissan battery equivalent
+58 Nissan leaf motor (not clear if Power module is included)
+23? other random stuff to mount battery and motor
1630kg total

So it seems it would only be 100kg heavier than a standard Leaf. Should be able to move along

There are a few Leafs being broken on UK ebay already, if this project got serious I would be happy to buy a Nissan Leaf motor + power module for around 1300 and donate it to the project. It would probably be easiest to fit it in the engine bay to drive the front wheels and just adapt half shafts to fit the D2 drive shafts.


Alternatively, we could get creative and look for other cheaper solutions such as motors from the various Renault electric cars, Kangoo, Zoe, etc. Or even build our own control module.

Battery cost would be the major hurdle.

I know its all a bit pie-in-the-sky thinking, it would be cool to see a electric D2 though. Or a D3 for that matter (only if we could get rid of the complex air suspension ). To me it seems the lighter weight of aluminium platforms is well suited to electric powertrains.

Last edited by Goran; 13th January 2017 at 12:02 PM.
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