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Electric vehicles are in use everywhere. They have proven to be efficient, quiet, economical and clean. The price, range, speed and load capacity of electric cars today fit as much as 80% of the driving needs of commuters in the United States.

This is a journal of my attempt at...

A 4CV to 4EV Conversion

9 May 2005

The Advanced DC motor will need to be supported in alignment with the input shaft of the transaxle. 1959 Renault 4CV
The original gasoline engine could be started with an electric starter or by using a hand crank inserted through the bumper and a hole in the body. I removed the bumper (only 1 of 4 bolts was rusted so badly that it broke). It just so happens that an ordinary 1/2" (nominal) schedule 40 CPVC water pipe will jam-fit over the end of the transaxle input shaft. Using a length of this pipe plus a framing square and a small wooden wedge, I managed to extend the line of the input shaft through the hole in the body.

The rear crossmember has a slight dip in the center, just enough to clear the bottom of the crankshaft pulley. The pipe allowed me to measure this. The crossmember is only 2-7/8" below the centerline of the input shaft. That 8" diameter motor will need a minimum of 4" of clearance. I will have to make a new crossmember or make hangers to drop the old one at least 1-1/8" plus the thickness of whatever I use to make band clamps on the motor.

1959 Renault 4CV
Here's the pipe passing from input shaft through the hole in the body. The wooden wedge is hiding in the glare from the flash, at the end of the pipe (center, bottom in the photo). It's at a slight angle to the pipe to push up and left, as dictated by the framing square to bring the pipe into a straight line.

One thing that worries me is that without the engine in place the transaxle can make a lot of rocking motion. I don't like the idea of the electric motor having to be the brace against that motion.

1959 Renault 4CV
The left rear fender has been removed. All but 2 bolts broke in spite of all the penetrating oil and patient back and forth working of the bolts. There is some significant rust in that frame rail just left of center in the photo. I will have to weld a repair panel in place. The brake drum is still resisting so I don't know the condition of the brake shoes yet. Likely they will need to be relined.

20 May 2005 - Still chasing parts and options for suspension and brakes.
2 July 2005 - No new photos or progress to report. I've been busy with other things, including expanding my garage to have a decent place to work on the 4CV and a 1949 Oldsmobile.
21 July 2005 - In case anyone wants to see what's kept me from working on the 4CV . . . my journal on It's in reverse chronological order by default.

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Copyright 2005 Terry Vessels
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