Topics

Electric CD Wagon Project


Bruce Derenski
 

Greetings, fellow Crosley fans! My name is Bruce; I'm a brand new club member from the Tampa area. My car is a 1952 Super CD Wagon, currently in a jillion pieces while I tackle the frame and body work. Overall, the car is in great shape and is a very good candidate for the type of restoration work I do. I've lost count, but I think this is the 8th body-off restoration that I've tackled. It's my first Crosley, though.

At some risk of offending purists, I've decided to convert this car to electric drive. I recently procured the motor, controller, assorted converters, wiring and contactors. The plan is to be extremely respectful of the originality and current condition of the vehicle, and keep any modifications non-permanent. That means using existing mounts, the existing clutch, transmission and rear axle, and not drilling, welding or grinding any changes into the car. I've studied this conversion for about 4 months, and I'm confident it can be done. The Crosley is a superb candidate...it's lightweight, mechanically simple, and has minimal electric loading. With modern lithium batteries, the weight gain should not be a problem. The wagon configuration offers ample room for the extra equipment, and the engine compartment is very spacious once the old running gear is out of the way.

Before I get to the fun part, though, there is the normal dirty restoration work to tackle. I plan to separate the body and frame this week and do all the underside repair and refurbishment over the next couple of months. Then the bodywork and paint job, aiming to install the electric stuff over the Fall and into the winter. This is a long-term effort, with the project probably not seeing a road test for at least a year, and more if I get bogged down. I'm excited about trying something new, and I'm committed to doing nothing to the car that can't be un-done if I ever decide to rebuild the original engine and put it all back to factory.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Crosley fans and working with the community here to make the car something that the Crosley Club can be proud of. Thanks in advance for your assistance and hospitality. Regards, Bruce D


Jim Bollman
 

Sounds like a great project. We have at least two electric Crosleys in the club now. A FarmOroad in California and a wagon on Long Island. 

Do you have any estimates of speed and distances with the conversion you are planning?

Please keep us up to date on progress.

The Florida region is planning a gathering to reorganize on Feb. 22 in Sarasota, contact  Dave Anspach <tmkldwwj@...> for more details.

Jim...

On Jan 21, 2020, at 10:08 AM, bruce.derenski via Groups.Io <bruce.derenski@...> wrote:

Greetings, fellow Crosley fans! My name is Bruce; I'm a brand new club member from the Tampa area. My car is a 1952 Super CD Wagon, currently in a jillion pieces while I tackle the frame and body work. Overall, the car is in great shape and is a very good candidate for the type of restoration work I do. I've lost count, but I think this is the 8th body-off restoration that I've tackled. It's my first Crosley, though.

At some risk of offending purists, I've decided to convert this car to electric drive. I recently procured the motor, controller, assorted converters, wiring and contactors. The plan is to be extremely respectful of the originality and current condition of the vehicle, and keep any modifications non-permanent. That means using existing mounts, the existing clutch, transmission and rear axle, and not drilling, welding or grinding any changes into the car. I've studied this conversion for about 4 months, and I'm confident it can be done. The Crosley is a superb candidate...it's lightweight, mechanically simple, and has minimal electric loading. With modern lithium batteries, the weight gain should not be a problem. The wagon configuration offers ample room for the extra equipment, and the engine compartment is very spacious once the old running gear is out of the way.

Before I get to the fun part, though, there is the normal dirty restoration work to tackle. I plan to separate the body and frame this week and do all the underside repair and refurbishment over the next couple of months. Then the bodywork and paint job, aiming to install the electric stuff over the Fall and into the winter. This is a long-term effort, with the project probably not seeing a road test for at least a year, and more if I get bogged down. I'm excited about trying something new, and I'm committed to doing nothing to the car that can't be un-done if I ever decide to rebuild the original engine and put it all back to factory.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Crosley fans and working with the community here to make the car something that the Crosley Club can be proud of. Thanks in advance for your assistance and hospitality. Regards, Bruce D


 

Welcome Bruce!
     I am fairly new to Crosley’s too, and when I purchased mine in November,( a 1949 CD station wagon that the previous owner had converted to a panel van ) I was thinking these cars would be excellent candidates for converting to electric. Please be sure and document your progress. We also have a Facebook page which might make it easier to document to ( Crosley Automobiles fun little cars ). I will be following your progress with a keen interest. Even though I have not been a club member for very long, I can tell you that the people here are fantastic. They have been extremely helpful to me, and very patient with all of my newbie questions. I am not too far from you and live in Orange City Florida. We will be having a meet in Sarasota on Feb. 22nd if you are interested in attending. Contact Dave Anspach for details ( his email is on the club website ) if you would like to attend. Glad you are here!
-Tim King


On Jan 21, 2020, at 10:35 AM, bruce.derenski via Groups.Io <bruce.derenski@...> wrote:

Greetings, fellow Crosley fans! My name is Bruce; I'm a brand new club member from the Tampa area. My car is a 1952 Super CD Wagon, currently in a jillion pieces while I tackle the frame and body work. Overall, the car is in great shape and is a very good candidate for the type of restoration work I do. I've lost count, but I think this is the 8th body-off restoration that I've tackled. It's my first Crosley, though.

At some risk of offending purists, I've decided to convert this car to electric drive. I recently procured the motor, controller, assorted converters, wiring and contactors. The plan is to be extremely respectful of the originality and current condition of the vehicle, and keep any modifications non-permanent. That means using existing mounts, the existing clutch, transmission and rear axle, and not drilling, welding or grinding any changes into the car. I've studied this conversion for about 4 months, and I'm confident it can be done. The Crosley is a superb candidate...it's lightweight, mechanically simple, and has minimal electric loading. With modern lithium batteries, the weight gain should not be a problem. The wagon configuration offers ample room for the extra equipment, and the engine compartment is very spacious once the old running gear is out of the way.

Before I get to the fun part, though, there is the normal dirty restoration work to tackle. I plan to separate the body and frame this week and do all the underside repair and refurbishment over the next couple of months. Then the bodywork and paint job, aiming to install the electric stuff over the Fall and into the winter. This is a long-term effort, with the project probably not seeing a road test for at least a year, and more if I get bogged down. I'm excited about trying something new, and I'm committed to doing nothing to the car that can't be un-done if I ever decide to rebuild the original engine and put it all back to factory.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Crosley fans and working with the community here to make the car something that the Crosley Club can be proud of. Thanks in advance for your assistance and hospitality. Regards, Bruce D


crosleyshortsport
 

Bruce, Sounds like you are going to do a great job on your Crosley. I believe you will really enjoy your Crosley electric. We are all here to help you through your project in any way we can. You might consider coming to the Crosley Automobile Club 2020 "The Vision Continues" national meet. July 6 - 11 Fulton County Fairgrounds, Wauseon, Ohio. You will see over 100 Crosleys all in one place and an entire family of Crosley loving folks. This is a family oriented event and I guarantee you will have a great time. Sincerely,
Jeffrey Ackerman, Vice President and Chairman of the Meet.

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 10:50 AM Tim King <lking124@...> wrote:
Welcome Bruce!
     I am fairly new to Crosley’s too, and when I purchased mine in November,( a 1949 CD station wagon that the previous owner had converted to a panel van ) I was thinking these cars would be excellent candidates for converting to electric. Please be sure and document your progress. We also have a Facebook page which might make it easier to document to ( Crosley Automobiles fun little cars ). I will be following your progress with a keen interest. Even though I have not been a club member for very long, I can tell you that the people here are fantastic. They have been extremely helpful to me, and very patient with all of my newbie questions. I am not too far from you and live in Orange City Florida. We will be having a meet in Sarasota on Feb. 22nd if you are interested in attending. Contact Dave Anspach for details ( his email is on the club website ) if you would like to attend. Glad you are here!
-Tim King


On Jan 21, 2020, at 10:35 AM, bruce.derenski via Groups.Io <bruce.derenski=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:

Greetings, fellow Crosley fans! My name is Bruce; I'm a brand new club member from the Tampa area. My car is a 1952 Super CD Wagon, currently in a jillion pieces while I tackle the frame and body work. Overall, the car is in great shape and is a very good candidate for the type of restoration work I do. I've lost count, but I think this is the 8th body-off restoration that I've tackled. It's my first Crosley, though.

At some risk of offending purists, I've decided to convert this car to electric drive. I recently procured the motor, controller, assorted converters, wiring and contactors. The plan is to be extremely respectful of the originality and current condition of the vehicle, and keep any modifications non-permanent. That means using existing mounts, the existing clutch, transmission and rear axle, and not drilling, welding or grinding any changes into the car. I've studied this conversion for about 4 months, and I'm confident it can be done. The Crosley is a superb candidate...it's lightweight, mechanically simple, and has minimal electric loading. With modern lithium batteries, the weight gain should not be a problem. The wagon configuration offers ample room for the extra equipment, and the engine compartment is very spacious once the old running gear is out of the way.

Before I get to the fun part, though, there is the normal dirty restoration work to tackle. I plan to separate the body and frame this week and do all the underside repair and refurbishment over the next couple of months. Then the bodywork and paint job, aiming to install the electric stuff over the Fall and into the winter. This is a long-term effort, with the project probably not seeing a road test for at least a year, and more if I get bogged down. I'm excited about trying something new, and I'm committed to doing nothing to the car that can't be un-done if I ever decide to rebuild the original engine and put it all back to factory.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Crosley fans and working with the community here to make the car something that the Crosley Club can be proud of. Thanks in advance for your assistance and hospitality. Regards, Bruce D


Bruce Derenski
 

Jim, the EV package I purchased had been used to push a custom 2000lb car comfortably at 60mph. The DC motor is rated at 30hp continuous, 83hp peak when run at 120V on a 400amp controller. He was belt-driving a Harley rear axle with 26" tires. If I've done my math correctly, the Crosley on near-stock tires, stock rear axle and 3rd gear should give very close to the same overall reduction ratio he was running. The DC motor can run up to 6500rpm, but I'll probably rev-limit it to 5500. So top speed would be whatever a regular Crosley could achieve at that RPM.

As for range, It depends on how much battery I can comfortably pack into the car. I'm hoping that switching to lithium cells will greatly reduce weight while extending range. The guy I obtained the conversion package from was getting 80-100 mile range from a bank of 12 batteries. I plan to do considerably better.


Bruce Derenski
 

Thanks, Tim! Great to know that there's a solid following in Florida. I'll try to attend the Sarasota meet. I can make Sarasota in a couple of hours in light traffic.


Jim Bollman
 

Sounds like a good cruiser. From my calculations many years ago a Crosley engine with stock tires (4:50x12 - 21 inch diameter) does 93 RPM/MPH in high, so that is just over 59mph add slightly larger tires and you are over 60mph.

Jim...

On Jan 21, 2020, at 4:10 PM, bruce.derenski via Groups.Io <bruce.derenski@...> wrote:

Jim, the EV package I purchased had been used to push a custom 2000lb car comfortably at 60mph. The DC motor is rated at 30hp continuous, 83hp peak when run at 120V on a 400amp controller. He was belt-driving a Harley rear axle with 26" tires. If I've done my math correctly, the Crosley on near-stock tires, stock rear axle and 3rd gear should give very close to the same overall reduction ratio he was running. The DC motor can run up to 6500rpm, but I'll probably rev-limit it to 5500. So top speed would be whatever a regular Crosley could achieve at that RPM.

As for range, It depends on how much battery I can comfortably pack into the car. I'm hoping that switching to lithium cells will greatly reduce weight while extending range. The guy I obtained the conversion package from was getting 80-100 mile range from a bank of 12 batteries. I plan to do considerably better.


parkhunter@...
 

Bruce,

Sounds like a great project! You’ll find Crosley folks are generally good natured and supportive of experimental projects. 


There are three major parts vendors for almost anything you need during your restoration: Service Motors, Yankee Crosley, and Dave Edwards. You can find their contact info in the parts page of the club website. 


30hp sounds like a nice upgrade. The peak 83hp might push the durability of the transmission and rear end, so be gentle. There is a bolt upgrade kit for the ring gear available from Service Motors that improves the reliability of the differential. 


My daily driver is an ‘02 Honda Insight hybrid with a 5-speed, which I often think is the modern equivalent of a Crosley. Looking forward to reading about your progress. Have fun!

Park