To give a brief explanation of this project; I will be enrolled in Senior Design courses at the University of Northern Iowa in the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 semesters. For my senior design project, I plan to build some sort of electric vehicle. My main concerns for this vehicle are for it to be safe, save me money by driving it,decrease my need for petroleum products, and to be adaptable for future energy saving expansions. Due to the time I will have allotted and available to complete this project, I think it would be in my best interest to find a vehicle that will work to convert to electric.
I have run across someone who owns a 1989 Mazda RX7 that is missing the motor and transmission, I am still waiting to see pictures of it to see if it is in a condition that I can work with. So far, the RX7 sounds the most promising to me. It is rear wheel drive, with ample room under the hood and rear hatch. It has independent rear suspension, which means the rear differential is mounted to the body of the car. This allows more possibilities for me, since I could mount the motor and transmission in the normal engine bay with a drive shaft to the differential, or possibly directly attach the motor/transmission to the differential without a drive shaft. The rear seats are nearly useless in these cars anyway, but I can use the flat floor from the rear of the car to behind the front seats for batteries. I will probably end up putting in a firewall (or maybe I should call it an acid wall) behind the rear seats with a window that will offer more protection in case of an accident.
I will try to post more of my plans soon, but the posts will probably be few and far between until the Fall semester starts. The first semester normally is used for research and fundraising, and the second semester is for development.