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What unkel got next

  • 04-07-2022 9:34pm
    Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭

    And now for something completely different. Damien Maguire's "Red Arrow", a '96 BMW E36 318tds - formerly diesel!!!

    I've been following this car for years and now it's mine. Got it late Saturday night, in a very sorry state, not charging, not driving. But I managed to fix it today, the hardest part was actually finding some obscure software that I needed to re-program the charger.

    Plan is to tidy it up, get it taxed and tested and use as a local car. I expect summer range to be around 60-70km. System can handle 500A easily, so with a fully charged battery of nearly 200V, I should have about 100kW of power. The car is fairly light so I'm expecting pretty decent acceleration. Can't test yet as I have to score myself a 12V battery first. Currently working with a tiny 12V lead acid battery from an ancient electric scooter 😂



  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭Bioscaller

    Wow nice, had a similar 318 converted for testing in Arklow many moons ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    An E36 compact? If so that was Damien Maguire's car too. His first conversion done 12 years ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭Bioscaller

    Yes it was a compact. Defo Silver and in Arklow. Currently looking as I made a picture of it. Is the car still alive?

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭Bioscaller

    Found the picture on Facebook. That was taken 10 years ago in the Arklow test centre. My first EV I have ever encountered and all the lads were like, wtf is that thing. I remember the fella saying max speed is like 50mph or something?

  • Registered Users Posts: 459 ✭✭HorseSea

    Unkel, did you have any problems getting insurance on it?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @Bioscaller - I believe it is alive and well and living in Northern Ireland

    @HorseSea - will find out soon, I'm not expecting any problems. The car was insured by Damien Maguire, his insurance disk is still in the holder. Also the car is officially registered as an EV (motor tax €120) and it passed the NCT 60 miles ago (but has been sitting up since, so it has expired now)

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    What is the battery size and technology? If they are not already LFP is that what you are thinking??

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    They are Valence LiFePO4 batteries, 9 of them, 6 cells each, 69Ah capacity

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭Sabre Man

    Very cool. Definitely one to bring to the next local cars & coffee!

  • Registered Users Posts: 924 ✭✭✭sh81722

    It's definitely a solidly left field choice for an EV. Hope it will turn out to be usable in real life. And if you choose to keep it you'll be able to reduce your running costs even further from 120 yoyo tax to 28 (just did the same on my '92 motorcycle).

    Are you planning any upgrades? Use it as a mobile solar energy store?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @sh81722 - I already have a 20kWh power wall. And other EVs totaling nearly 100kWh, but yeah if I have excess PV and I won't get paid for it, for sure I will store it in the cars!

    Doing some more fixes to the car this morning. Got a lead acid 12V battery almost brand new (Damien, please look away - I know you said no lead acid 😁). Found out that the (lithium) 12V charger isn't working so I have temporarily replaced it with my bench variable voltage power supply. System is working now, only charging the 12V battery when the HV battery is being charged. Interesting setup and I guess good enough if you regularly charge the car for a few hours. Reset the service indicator too. Still have airbag light and ABS light on. I had a BMW old style diagnostics cable until recently but I think I threw it out when doing a clearout :\(

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    So the windscreen washer pump was missing 😂 ordered one on Amazon for £8 including shipping

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,780 ✭✭✭eddhorse

    Very nice, well wear....or no wear.

    Should be an equivalent EV phrase for that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,272 ✭✭✭eagerv

    unkel you ate mad. I’m telling you, you are mad. But I am still jealous🤣🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,423 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Typically abs light will come on after 12 volt replacement but it might go off after driving and sometimes after driving and a turn off and on cycle. There may be a minimum speed required before it will reset.

    Airbag might be a bigger challenge, but they can come on if battery voltage is low, so check voltage first before assuming airbag system is at fault. They give an error when battery is low as the energy required to deploy the airbag might not be there. Often there is passenger present sensors on seats which if seats have been removed can trigger airbag error that needs to be reset.

    Some unscrupulous people install a circuit that turns on and off the abs and airbag light just to pass NCT when system itself is still faulty. Lately NCT have started plugging into odb port and long term they will be failing cars based on the response from the car computer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    The steering wheel was replaced, it feels soft in the middle where the airbag is supposed to be and the horn is not working either so that and the airbag light might be related. Hope you're right about the ABS light, that would be a nice bonus. I just tested the Rolec Wallpod that came with the car (wasn't advertised) and that's working too, so the proceeds of selling it will go nicely towards covering some of the costs 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭ewj1978

    Well wear lad. Hopefully she stays going for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,048 ✭✭✭✭ted1

    If you had if waited every VW garage will have spare 12v batteries.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,976 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    So, now that you have 2 other EVs is that fluence for sale!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,079 ✭✭✭fricatus

    Well wear Unkel, that is awesome!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Not yet / quite. Bought the Fluence primarily for my daughters to learn to drive in, it's perfect for that. And the E36 most certainly isn't 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭Orebro

    Didn't know there was a process to get cars re-registered as EVs here - do you know if that is difficult? Have notions of transplanting my Leaf into something classic when I'm done with it.

    Edit: well wear with the E36 btw - mad stuff altogether!

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @Orebro - you will need an engineer's report. Fiachra Cooke - who converted his own Audi 80 to electric - has this helpful post about it:

    It's also now in the wiki:

    Your Leaf would be an excellent donor for converting another car to electric. Basically everything you need is already there! The only thing in the way is that it is already a good EV in its own right, would be a pity to butcher it up, unless it was written off or no longer economical to repair for other reasons than any issue with the electric drive train.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 14,640 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy

    I have an e90 320d and I would absolutely love to convert it to an EV..... 50-70km range would suffice for my needs...

    It's painful paying €710 to tax it when it probably does less than 500km per year!

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Tell me about it. The last time I taxed my very last ICE car for the year, it cost €1080 and I drove it maybe 6 times. Yeah right, I wasn't going to repeat that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,226 ✭✭✭Orebro

    Outstanding - thanks for the info, you learn something new every day!

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    I've just implemented a V2L / V2H system for €5. Damien Maguire style 😂 Working great, will be a help if the grid ever goes down. No need starting to connect any inverters or walking around with battery packs, just like this:

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,423 ✭✭✭zg3409

    In terms of leaf most reuse the motor and inverter, batteries and bms but run their own controller a non Nissan for regulating speed and driving clicks and displays. I don't think a full transplant is that easy as electronics would expect everything 109% correct including door locks and wheel rotation speed. While it could be done it would be a major project requiring both electronics and mechanic modifications and to get it road legal everything would need to be up to specification which might be difficult if you need to cut chassis or modify suspension set up. It can be done, has been done and in Ireland the regulations are less than some other countries, but you would need your eyes wide open and most conversions end up being a max of 7kW charging rate with nothing faster. CCS and ChaDeMo are options, just not that common and typically with chademo you need 2 "fuel caps". In order to fast charge you need at least forced air cooling or liquid cooling of batteries which adds complexity. Some dont use the Nissan batteries either due to shape, cost or lack of capacity. Some roll their own BMS. Costs soon rack up, particularly if you need to pay for help.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 685 ✭✭✭jackbauer

    I am very happy to see she found a good home at last :)