Electric Victa Mower Conversion Build Thread-Dealing With The 2 Stroke Stinka

Electric Victa Mower Conversion Build Thread-Dealing With The 2 Stroke Stinka

Left: Electric Motor. Right: Victa The Stinka with fuel tank removed.

Left: Electric Motor. Right: Victa The Stinka with fuel tank removed.

 

The previous introduction post discussed why do an Electric Mower Conversion, the requirements of the Electric Mower, basic parts list and tools list. This post will discuss how we deal with the 2 stroke stinka engine and the basic design decisions that are being made. The advantages and disadvantages of the design decisions are outlined.

Most people who do EV conversions or Electric Conversions tend to remove the smelly gas engine to make way for a clean electric motor. This is a sensible approach so why would I keep most of the Victa the Stinka gas engine in my Electric Mower Conversion? The reasons why I intend to keep the engine block and crankshaft are:

  1. I’m not sure what strain the mower blades will have on the electric motor so I have two choices. One is to add another support bearing to the electric motor, but that is tricky for me. The other option is to utilize the existing bearing of the gas motor and bolt the electric motor to the crank case via an adapter plate.
  2. No need to take the blades off during this conversion.

What stays and what goes on the Stinka 2 stroke engine?

Obviously, I won’t be keeping everything on the Stinka 2 stroke engine. I don’t intend on making this a hybrid lawn mower, but rather a full electric mower. However, I plan on utilizing some of the gas engine components, but the incomplete gas engine will not be used to power the mower. Items removed from the gas engine are:

  • Recoil starter and cover.
  • Fuel tank.
  • Cylinder head.
  • Air filter and air cleaner hose.
  • Piston and conrod – although, originally I had thoughts of not removing these parts because
  1. it would have helped with maintaining balance.
  2. there would have been no need to remove the bolt on the crankshaft which held the conrod in place, especially when you don’t have the special Victa tool to remove that bolt.

Items that stay on the gas engine are:

  • Engine block.
  • Crank shaft.

The advantage of keeping the existing, but incomplete gas motor are:

  • Protection of electric motor should the mower blade strike a rock since the gas motor bearing will be the first bearing to take the shock.
  • Easy conversion process.
  • This method has been successfully done before as published in ReNew magazine.

What are the disadvantages of keeping the existing gas motor?

There are several disadvantages of keeping the existing (but incomplete) gas motor such as:

  • Extra weight.
  • Space wasted which means where does one locate the batteries?

So now that the basic design decisions have been discussed, the next few posts will discuss the implementation and build processes of this Electric Mower Conversion.

This is Al Bunzel signing out.

Electric Victa Mower Conversion Build Thread-Introduction

Electric Victa Mower Conversion Build Thread-Introduction

 

Electric Mower Conversion In Progress

Electric Mower Conversion In Progress – working out adapter plate.

 

Why do an Electric Mower conversion?

You may be wonder why I would want an electric mower, let alone bother converting a Victa 2 stroke mower to electric considering you can buy a decent electric mower at a reasonable price. Several reasons why I wanted an Electric Mower were:

  1. No need to worry about fuel. With a gas mower, every time I want to use it, I have to ensure I have enough gasoline and if I don’t I have to go the gas station and get some which results in wasted time traveling to and from the gas station.
  2. No need to worry about mixing 2 stroke fuel, changing air filters or spark plugs.
  3. No starting issues. I found gas mowers often had starting issues due to various reasons.
  4. Less things to go wrong with Electric compared to gas powered mowers.
  5. Less noise to put up with since electric motors are inherently more quiet than their gas equivalents.

The reasons why I did not go out and buy an electric mower from the shops were:

  1. To reuse a mower base where the only thing wrong was the gas engine.
  2. I wanted the ability to be able to service and repair my own mower and not be locked into a propriety system.
  3. I read in Renew Magazine several years ago about how someone converted a Victa Mower to electric & thought it was a good idea to do something similar.
  4. Because I can.

Requirements

The requirements of this Electric Mower were:

  • Be able to cut a quarter of an acre of grass within 4 hours.
  • Use an existing mower base (in this case a base from a Victa mower).
  • Battery operated so I don’t have to be plugged into a power point.
  • US$200 budget (excluding batteries).

 Parts List

The following was a rough list of parts which I believed I would require:

  • Mower base with blades and wheels – in this case, a Victa 2 stroke mower base was used.
  • An electric motor – in this case a Hitachi GSB-107-06 12V 0.9HP motor was selected. It will be interesting to see if this motor is capable of doing the job as per the above requirements.
  • Batteries – most likely selection will be Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) cells.
  • Contactors.
  • Various cables and wires.
  • Possibly a motor controller if variable speeds are desired.
  • U-Channel to make a coupler.
  • Steel plate for making an adapter plate to mount the electric motor.

Tools List

  • Spanner or wrench set.
  • Socket set.
  • Screw driver set.
  • Hacksaw.
  • Angle grinder with cutting blade and grinding blade.
  • Marker.
  • Jigsaw with cutting blade that cuts metal.
  • Drill machine.
  • Drill press.
  • Drill bits of various sizes.
  • Center punch.
  • Hammer.
  • Transparent plastic that holds its shape – used for making a template for the motor adapter plate.

The next post discusses how the 2 stroke stinka (the gas engine) is dealt with along with design decisions and the advantages and disadvantage of the decisions. The subsequent posts will discuss the build process and the various issues faced.

This is Al Bunzel signing out

ElectricCarConversionBlog.com is under reconstruction

ElectricCarConversionBlog.com is under reconstruction

Hi,

due to various reasons (including replanning and working out which projects to do next), this blog is under reconstruction. As a result, my activities will be posted on https://www.facebook.com/ElectricCarConversionBlog

So come and join me on facebook and please like my page.

Thanks

Al

General Motors, Ford and Toyota to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017 – a good thing for Electric Cars and Auto Workers!

General Motors, Ford and Toyota to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017 – a good thing for Electric Cars and Auto Workers!

Ford factory facing extinction have still failed to electrify their cars.

Ford factory facing extinction have still failed to electrify their cars.

Within the last 12 months, General Motors (owner of Holden), Ford and Toyota have announced that they will cease manufacturing cars in Australia by 2017. I’m not happy about the resulting job losses and the negative impact it will have on their suppliers.

So why could it be a good thing for Electric Cars?

Ford and GM’s Holden did not manufacture any Electric Cars in Australia, so no great loss there from an EV perspective. Even when EV Engineering engineered a bolt in electric drive train for Holden with swappable battery packs, in my opinion it appears GM’s management failed to seize the opportunity that was handed to them on a silver plate. Toyota did manufacture the plugless Camry Hybrid so that was a half hearted attempt at electrifying their cars!

Electrification of cars (whether full electric or hybrid) is seen by many car makers as a way to meet upcoming tough emission laws being enforced in various markets around the world. Car makers that don’t electrify kill of their export sales potential.

However, the last time I recall a Toyota factory closure was in early 2010 which was the NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing) plant in California. GM also shared that plant with Toyota, but for GM, factory closures are nothing new. They do it quite regularly. However, what is significant is that Tesla Motors is manufacturing the Model S in the old NUMMI site, hence, it is not all doom and gloom for the workers.

If Tesla have managed to make a profitable Electric Car manufacturing business in the United States, then what is there to stop the same thing happening in Australia? Just like the United States, Japan and Germany, Australia has proven that it has a capable workforce to produce a car from inception through to production.

What’s more, in Australia, there are numerous people who have done Electric Car Conversions and Electric Vehicle Conversions so their experiences can be leveraged to good use. In fact, there are businesses involved in Electric Vehicle production in Australia, whether it be doing conversions or building vehicles from scratch. Let’s list a couple:

Then, there are companies involved in supplying parts. Here’s a list of some of them:

Why is it a good thing for auto workers?

In my opinion, the management at Ford and General Motors is pathetic. From my perspective, I could see decisions made that were not in the interest of auto workers and I feel the auto workers deserved better.

If EV entrepreneurs and the auto workers team up, they could produce really nice Electric Cars, just like what Tesla Motors did at the old NUMMI factory. Perhaps, some of those EV entrepreneurs could be the Auto Workers affected by the closures.

As mentioned already, there are EV businesses in Australia, but they are running at a small scale. With Ford, GM and Toyota closing up by 2017, it will create a void giving those EV businesses an opportunity to fill and hopefully provide sustainable employment for the auto workers affected.

Conclusion

Now is the time for EV entrepreneurs and auto workers to get together and secure their futures. EV entrepreneurs will have access to talented workers who are easy to retrain to manufacture Electric Cars. Suppliers will be willing to negotiate with EV manufacturing businesses (if they want to stay in business) and opportunities to acquire facilities (like the old NUMMI plant) to produce Electric Cars should become available.

Some auto workers may embrace expanding on their current skills and set up Electric Car Conversion businesses. Others will want to work for the EV entrepreneurs. Auto workers and EV entrepreneurs will need each other to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

EV entrepreneurs and auto workers need to act quick to minimize job losses and to get involved in what I see as a growing industry because if they pull this off, then it will be a great thing for Electric Cars and also for the Auto Workers.

This is Al Bunzel signing out.

P.S. Check out EV Secrets so that you can learn how to do Electric Car Conversions

http://www.batrium.com/

Some BMW i3 Sneak Preview Videos

Some BMW i3 Sneak Preview Videos

Here are some sneak preview videos taken at a BMW dealership of the BMW i3. A sneak preview report on the Australian version of the BMW i3 is also available.

External view of the BMW i3

This video shows what the BMW i3 looks like from the outside.

Where the front seat belt is located in the B-pillarless BMW i3?

The BMW i3 has no B-pillar, so where is the seat belt for the front occupants located?

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