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Old 04-15-2014, 07:23 PM
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Hi Folks,
Just joined. I have had much to say thanks about joining other forums so here I am.

This post is somewhat different. I have a 1994 SC2 coupe that has been converted into an electric car, It's very cool. I am taking this project further than the dude who built the car. I want to try something different with the wheels and tires. So my first question is....can the standard cast aluminum wheel rims be converted to standard rims? The second question is... if the car will only take the cast rims, how narrow of a tire size will fit it? The goal is to put a very small tire footprint on the pavement to reduce drag and to apply wheelcovers that are aerodynamically smooth. Odd as it may be, it is these little things that improve mileage on an electric. I figured Saturn owners and a forum like this might be the fastest route to an answer....as opposed to trial and error.

Thanks all, glad to be here.

EVsaturn
 
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:12 PM
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Welcome to the forum and good luck with that project. I don't have a clue.
 
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:17 PM
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2014, 02:54 PM
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"can the standard cast aluminum wheel rims be converted to standard rims?"

What are standard rims?
 
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:00 AM
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When Saturn first hit the Street, the company was active in small sedan racing in the Sports Car Club of America SCCA racing as I remember. (Google Search = Saturn SCCA) Saturn was also some what active in an Electric Race Car series. (Google Search = Saturn Race Electric) so the company did campaign racing use of the car. As I now own a 1994 Saturn Coupe a car which I personally enjoy and like and have since 1996 those memories are there. I think technology went on by the status of the car and it was a bit heavy for it's class but briefly it was successful. While to me and Electric Car is more wishful thinking than a functional solution to anything they are interesting. I drove the EV1 a series prototype car that GM test marketed here in Arizona and while absolutely pretty and a neat car to drive. It was not practical to drive across town to Apache Junction back home to where I live in less than two days. And I personally think today's heavily advertised Electric hybred cars a complete waste of money and time. I would not mind building and owning a small roadster built on the order of the old Morgan ( http://www.gtspirit.com/wp-content/u..._3_wheeler.jpg) configuration for running around locally. A number of years ago I also visited and electric car company near Mendocino California. Like I said I find them interesting. But they are not much better today in function then they were in 1916 or so when the last of the electric car companies died. I am sure you have an interesting car but I also ask what to you mean by standard rims? If you mean steel wheel a listing of wheels that can fit the car has been provided earlier. But what would the point be if you are looking for something which would be the same size tire. The aluminum rim would be lighter than a comparable steel wheel. As you state a small foo print is important, as to streamlined? The wheel and tire are enclosed by a fender as it is now. I do not see a small narrow tire be aerodynamic as they exist. And I am not sure the tire you are looking for could also support the weight of the car as determined by the weight of the batteries used to propel it but certainly some motor cycle tires could work for you
Good Luck
 
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:28 AM
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Thanks folks for chiming in. The electric SC4 is in real terms pretty cool. Of course, like most EV's , it does not replace the usefulness of a gas powered car. What it does do is give you about 30 miles of real driving before the lead acids start fading and that is good for many things. It is personally satisfying to drive by gas stations, especially when prices spike, imparting a true sense of independence from fossil fuel. It is very quiet. As with most homebuilt EVs there is a constant quest to reduce drag, lighten and increase efficiency by lowering powerpack drain. What could be improved with this machine is to replace the motor driven headlamp system with fixed low amp draw bulbs. I certainly wish there was a way around the motor driven windows. While reading your responses it made me think that changing the wheels might not be as useful as covering the wheel wells with a smooth louvre to deter drag. The rubber on there is pretty wide and I will try to bring that to a narrower profile. I would guesstimate the car to be about 800lbs lighter than the gas mill model so a lighter tire would be ok. Soon I will post the links to the news story done on this car and some updated pix. I hope within the next few months to be charging off grid which would truly give me some sort of independence. The time will come soon to upgrade to lighter and more powerful batteries as they become more plentiful and cheaper but for now the EV is just a lot of fum to drive.
 
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:27 PM
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Ahhhhhh koool
 
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:25 AM
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800 lbs is a lot of weight to get off of the car, and considering you have to have a drive train which is probably the Saturn drive train with an adapter to put an electric motor on to it, throwing away the engine and than adding a bunch of lead acid batteries, most conversions I have seen way far more than the original car.
Also removing the electric operated doors is hardly worth the effort. If you have to run them the amount of power to open the head lights is miniscule compared to what you are using to run the lights. Not only that, closed it is a cleaner body style.
As to tires yes they are wide and the wheels are designed to be used with them. A narrow tire is best used with a different wheel but in the mean time I would look for a replacement tire in the 75(ish) series and a bias or bias belted type which is older and not only would the contact patch be smaller but the tires flex is less. Or just run more air in the radials.
While I find the concept impractical it is to me interesting. The EV-1 was test market here in Phoenix but for a reason. it is Flat in the urban area and no snow.
But and that is a big but! IT IS HOT and with HOT comes the use of A/C and for me that is a killer. If no A/C then I am not interested.
And with a 30 mile range? That hardly gets me down town and home.
So if it was a light weight convertible i would find it fascinating. But only as a toy.
But it would be the heck out of running around Sun City West, a huge retirement community, on a street legal golf cart.
And yes they do exist.
And by definition they are restricted from interstates as being unable to maintain the speed limit. A converted Saturn or an electric car (or motor cycle considering the 3 wheel definition of a motor cycle) would have the 75 mph speed. But not for long.
Yes I am interested in what you are doing.
I may not think it is the answer to anything but fun, but that is what things are for.
 

Last edited by uncljohn; 04-18-2014 at 09:28 AM.
  #9  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:21 AM
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Unc---you live in a retirement community?
I knew you were old , but ,,,,,
____________
Cool project

Post some pics of it -- including under the hood
 
  #10  
Old 04-19-2014, 07:40 AM
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No retirement community yet. They have home owners associations. I have way too many cars and they don't let you work on them in driveways.
 

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