Chevy S10 Conversion
This section has a lot of
pictures, so you can learn by seeing.
Regardless of the vehicle you want to convert, what you see here
will give you some guidance and ideas.
Mount - I made this from 1" wide by 1/8" thick stock
Motor-to-Transmission Adaptor Kit - (Canada
- Advanced DC 9.1" Motor,
203-06-4001 - (Cloud Electric)
Controller, 1231C-8601, 96-144VDC,
500 Amps max, 0 to 5 k/ohm input (Cloud Electric or
- Curtis PB-6 Speed Control w/micro
switch (Cloud Electric
250/300 A Circuit Breaker (Cloud Electric or
Contactor, Albright SW200 with 12V coil (Cloud Electric or
- #2 or
larger Welding Cable (local welding supply store)
control box (See Wiring
Terminal Clamps, (local automotive store)
wiring and terminals (Home Depot or Lowes)
System (See Distributed
Charging System page).
Converter to replace alternator to keep vehicle's 12V battery
charged, SWS60015 TDK-Lambda (Digikey
engine has been removed and the compartment has been cleaned using
mineral spirits and degreaser.
After cleaning, the frame was primed with a zinc primer and
the motor mount that is bolted in place above the cross member
awaiting the motor.
page, Engine Removal.
close-up of the motor mount shows that it is suspended between two
rubber engine mounts. Later,
these engine mounts ripped almost immediately because I did not
have an anti-torque bar attached to the motor.
I replaced the rubber with metal tangs welded to the rubber
mount bases. There is
no reason to mount the electric motor on rubber – there is no
vibration. Mount your
electric motor solidly.
shows the metal tangs/flanges welded to the original rubber mount
base. I chiseled the
rubber off and burned it with a torch to clean the metal base of
all remaining rubber.
Add axle or bearing grease to motor housing around shaft.
Slide the spacer ring over the shaft against the
Insert lock key into keyway on shaft.
Now slide the taper-lock bushing onto the shaft.
Make it barely snug against the spacer ring.
Note that the shaft key is even with the end of the motor
Also note the threaded hole for a set screw that is in the
back ring of the taper-lock bushing. Insert and tighten
the set screw. Apply lock-tight to the threads.
Slide the hub into place over the taper-lock bushing.
Three counter-sunk holes are provided through the hub into
which the provided Allen-head bolts are placed to tighten the
hub into place. The three Allen-head bolts pull the hub in
over the taper-lock bushing, which causes the bushing to
squeeze tight around the shaft. Use lock-tight on the threads
of the three bolts. Tighten the three bolts slowly, a little
at a time, one after the other consecutively until they are
tight according to the torque specification provided with the
assembly. If these are not tightened properly, the clutch
assembly may wobble causing a very noticeable vibration.
The motor-to-transmission housing is now slipped over the hub and
bolted onto the motor with four supplied bolts. Again, use
lock-tight on the threads of the bolts to prevent loosening from
The six stock bolts are used to attach the flywheel to the hub. You
will discover that there is only one way that the flywheel will
attach to the hub. Rotate the flywheel slowly until all of the holes
match the hub holes behind. Use lock-tight on the bolt threads and
Make sure that there is no grease or oily film on the flywheel,
clutch disc or the pressure plate. Use paint thinner or acetone to
clean these before assembly. If these are not clean, you will
experience clutch slipping, which creates vibration that ranges from
subtle to extreme. It will make you think that the hub on the motor
Now the clutch and pressure plate are added. Look carefully in the
photo above to see the plastic guide that is set into the center of
the hub and clutch to hold them in proper position to each other
until the perimeter bolts are tightened. If you don't have one of
these guides, they are available at all auto parts stores.
As before, use lock-tight on the threads of the clutch assembly
bolts. After all clutch assembly bolts have been tightened to
specifications, remove the plastic guide. The motor is now ready to
bolt onto the transmission.
time to install the motor. I
made a strong wooden frame with the electric winch on top.
A hand operated control made it easy to maneuver the motor
I inserted a bolt and connecting fixture in the threaded hole on
top of the motor to attach the winch cable.
a lot to see in the photo to the right.
is a look under the hood as it is today (after January 2010). There
are several things to note in this photo:
- You can see the motor mount strap and a large bolt on top of the
This bolt goes through a short metal tab that is welded to
the top motor mount strap. The
bolt and tab prevent the motor and transmission from twisting
from the enormous motor torque.
to the front of the motor, you will see my old oil pan.
It now serves as a debris shield to deflect rain that comes in the front of
the vehicle and prevents it from getting into the motor brushes
without blocking airflow.
Plate - Top right is the variable resistor and micro switch pot
plate assembly, which is
mechanically connected to the ‘gas’ pedal via a flexible
cable. The variable
resistor tells the controller how much current to feed to the
Box - The system control box is to the right in the photo.
See the Wiring
Diagrams page for details.
PowerWheel Controller - The commercial version of my controller is
shown dead center in the photo.
Converter - The 600 W DC-to-DC converter is shown in the upper
left in the photo tucked in between the battery and the computer.
Contactor - The
gray box, mounted to the firewall and behind the control box on
contains the heavy-duty contactor that passes the high current to
the controller when it is energized.
The control box circuitry and the micro switch control the
For added safety, the contactor opens when your foot is off the
accelerator pedal and closes just as you put pressure on the
photos to the right are those of the original setup under the hood
back in early 2007. I started with the Curtis 1231C-8601
controller and the PB-6 Pot Box, as many enthusiasts
do. I have kept these photos because of the popularity of the
Curtis and the PB-6 Pot Box, which is shown in the upper left of the
I had a homemade HV battery charger under the hood, as shown to the
right in the photo. Today, I have a distributed charging
system mounted to the wall in the garage next to the truck.
then, the Control Box was much larger than it is today.
lower right photo shows how the speed control (PB-6) is installed. I added a piece of aluminum angle on the
right of it with a larger flat piece screwed on to capture the accelerator cable
sleeve. A piece of scrap iron flat stock was used to mount the control
to the remaining plastic plenum for the air-conditioning evaporator. Note the added
return assist spring that helps pull the control arm back and elevates the gas
pedal. A crimp-on closed wire terminal was used to connect the
accelerator cable to the control arm with a lose bolt and acorn nut. You
can see the three micro switch terminals with attached wires. See the Wiring
Diagrams page for details.
purchased a small welding machine, a 14” cutoff saw and an angle
grinder to do the metal work.
The metal stock is 1½” by 1/8” think steel angle and
some flat stock. The
rack is securely bolted to the frame on each side and holds two
rows of eight batteries.
Locating the batteries here, behind the cab, provided near perfect
balance on all four wheels.
gray box hanging on the right side of the battery rack is a
makeshift fuse box. It
contains a 600 A fuse, but 400 A would have been fine. I
drilled some holes for venting in the plastic electrical box.
the flat-stock strapping across the top of the rack between the
straps are bolted on with self-locking acorn nuts.
Holding the batteries securely in place is very important
to prevent additional damage and injury in an accident.
you look closely, you'll notice the terminal lugs connected to the
terminals with a wing nut. I have replaced the terminal lugs
with terminal clamps for much better contact and to avoid terminal
melt-down. I melted 3 terminals before changing to post clamps.
Original battery bank - 16 batteries
entire battery bank was replaced on October 31, 2008, increasing
the number of batteries to 24. Normally, only 20 batteries
are needed for a light truck conversion.
DID YOU PUT ALL OF YOUR BATTERIES BEHIND THE CAB AND NONE UNDER
did this because I wanted a lot of elbow room under the hood to
install and remove EVH-PWX16 controllers to test and calibrate
them before sending them out to customers. I didn't want to
be reaching and stretching around batteries.
DID YOU NOT PUT THE BATTERIES DOWN AROUND THE FRAME TO SAVE BED
choice. I wanted to easily see and reach all batteries for
quick and easy servicing. They stay clean there too. I
wanted to get rid of the 320 lb. bed and make a lighter one with a
special enclosure for the batteries. Also, when these heavy
batteries are placed behind the rear axle, most of the total
battery weight is on the rear axle and there is a lot of outward
force when rounding corners - not good on slippery roads.
YOUR CENTER OF GRAVITY TOO HIGH AND TOO FAR BACK?
high? No. There is no handling problem at all. I
usually turn corners at less than 30 mph (humor). Weight distributed
too much to the rear? Yes, a little, however, it has not affected handling at
all. I may move 4 batteries under the hood in the future or
simply remove 4 batteries and run with a total of 20. (I have
removed 4 batteries since the above writing for a total of 20.)
New battery bank - 24 batteries -
October 31, 2008
batteries installed to allow 153 V, 500 A testing and calibrating of
EVH-PWX16 controllers (when I was selling them).
have since remove 4 batteries from the back-most battery rack for a
total of 20 batteries. This provides a good compromise between
performance and weight.
removed the original bed, sandblasted the frame, primed it and
painted it. As you can
see, it looks fresh from the factory.
the new-bed rails that I added to provide a firm and flat
foundation for the new bed.
the extensions (shackles) I added to the leaf springs and
the air shocks to gain height. This
combination gives me the front-to-rear height balance that I
original bed weighed 320 pounds.
Using aluminum framing and ABS plastic sheathing, I was
able to reduce that weight and provide a nice compartment for the
sheathing can be used as well.
90-degree angle plates and angle brackets give the new bed
excellent rigidity. Self-drilling screws make the frame work
ABS sheathing was attached using countersunk stainless-steel #8
sheet-metal screws. The ABS sheathing can be painted with
standard auto paint if you desire.
detail and additional photos are available for $19.95. Mail
your check made out to Mark E. Hazen - 5215 NE 14th Court - Ocala,
she is! The taillights
and side running lights are very bright LED assemblies purchased
from the local auto parts store.
I added fog lights to the rear, just under the bumper on
each side, for backup lights.
For additional safety, I placed a 12-V beeper under the
rear bumper that activates when I set the transmission into
reverse – a courtesy to parking lot pedestrians.
total conversion time was about 4 months, which included most
evenings, most weekends and about 7 vacation days.
My total cost including the truck was about $10,000, which
included tinkering, research and development.
truck is very maneuverable and fun to drive.
It still has its power ABS brakes and cabin air bags.
The DMV had no problems with it because it is basically the same
vehicle with a different source of power.
this vehicle was no problem either. I kept the same insurance
company and they didn't care when I told them about the
conversion. They wouldn't give me a discount either. :-)
gate hinges are placed so the gate is flat and even with the bed
of the truck when the gate is open (down).