The Hybrid Convertible Project Prius v

Discussion in 'Prius v Technical Discussion' started by Bill the Engineer, Aug 8, 2014.

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  1. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

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    Greeting all.

    At the suggestion of other members, I am starting a new thread for my Hybrid Convertible project. I first revealed my plans in an earlier thread:

    Connection Diagram for Speedometer? | PriusChat

    In that thread, I outline how I plan to convert a 1967 Firebird Convertible that I have owned since 1979 into a Hybrid by using the lower portions of a donor Prius v (lowercase v).

    [​IMG]

    The v has nearly the same wheelbase, tread width and outer tire diameter as the Firebird.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The entire floorpan and mechanicals of the v will replace the tired and rotted out parts of the Firebird. The finished car is planned to look dead stock with only stealthy differences that identify it as my "Firebrid".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As I progress, I'll use this thread to report in on my progress.

    Bill the Engineer

    [​IMG]

    [Moderator's Note]
    Due to changes in PhotoBucket's sharing process, Bill has created a new thread and added all his pictures to Priuschat's Media Gallery. You can find the new thread here:
    Firebrid: The Prius V Powered Hybrid Convertible | PriusChat

    But you should still take some time to go through the discussions in this thread where he answers a lot of questions.
     
    #1 Bill the Engineer, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2017
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  2. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

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    My lunch time project on my CAD system. The hood must have the right script text on it after all...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bill the Engineer

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Bill the Engineer, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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  3. Mr.Electric

    Mr.Electric Member

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    Nice project! I think it will be an inspiration to other classic car owners. I wouldn't be surprised if you get into one of the hot rod magazines with the projects.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    looking good so far! (y) how much longer until you finish?
     
  5. sfv41901

    sfv41901 Masta S

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    Gonna follow this thread.
     
  6. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Oh my, this just seems wrong. :(
     
  7. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    I disagree, I would buy a Hybrid convertible if available and affordable, I'm going to follow this thread, hope it works!
     
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  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Absolutely amazing.

    I love it.

    Oh, like Noah building an ark, they are going to tell you, that you are wrong, they are going to tell you your wasting your time. They are going to tell you it can't be done, and shouldn't be done.

    But I love this project.

    Please keep us updated.

    PS.
    67 was a great year for a lot of vehicles. Love that Firebird. Grew up with a 67 Mustang.
     
  9. Beachnut

    Beachnut Member

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    Ouch! Have you ever worked on cars? Ever done any body work? That is an amazingly hard task to take on, and you may end up with two piles of wrecking yard fodder. Even just the body of that Firebird will weigh probably twice as much as the Prius body. Plus the frames on the convertibles are strengthened to counter the body flex potential for no integral roof support to the car. Nope,, Not,, I will follow along, but seriously am a doubter. A very big part of the fun of driving a convertible "muscle car" is the "muscle part"! I would say fix or buy a newer Prius for a daily driver, then re-store the Firebird close to stock as all those parts are available re-manufactured, or slightly modified from another "A body" GM car. Unless your a true master craftsman, you will be throwing money away! I know, as I own a 69 Buick Skylark Conv..

    5-15-04 Yosemite trip.JPG
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I think it can be done but it will need a good shop with some good people.
     
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Interesting concept. You won't get Prius mpg out of it, it won't be particularly safe, fast, or handle well. But you will get a classic looking car with a modern drivetrain that doesn't suck gas. As a show car, or Sunday driver, I think it's a great idea.
     
  12. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    It's his money, I say why not. Good luck Bill.
     
  13. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

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    I'm a Sr Machine Design Engineer and a perfectionist. I tend to be slow but pre-plan everything and go straight to the answer to every problem. Did I mention that I tend to be slow? :)

    The idea of a Hybrid Convertible with a picnic basket in the trunk driving to the beach with my sweetheart of 30+ years and a Frisbee loving dog is just too strong to resist!

    My dad was a vocational auto shop teacher the entire time I was growing up. We spent many, many happy weekends working on old cars in his shop. One day, when we were both working on a 1963 Impala Coupe, he put his tools down and told me: "Boy, as slow as you are with your hands you better do something with your brain!" Considering how often I pondered better ways to do what the car designers did, I decided to go to college for an engineering degree. Fast forward 35 years to today. I am now an Engineering Supervisor for a major Transit Bus manufacturer, specializing in reverse engineering and machine design. Just last week I learned that I have been awarded my 5th patent for one of my designs. When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them "I hot-rod old transit buses."

    I know all of the structural pitfalls I could encounter with this project. I have even 3D laser scanned the Firebird to get good geometric reference points. If anything, I'll probably over-design the interface between the old and new parts. I also have a plan for channeling the rainwater from the convertible top away from the traction battery area, plus where to put the dash controls and mount the Lexus HS250h Speedometer into the original Firebird housing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The plan is for the car to be externally indistinguishable from a stock restored Firebird from 10 feet away.

    I already own TWO Prii (2004 and 2010, both bought new) and know the mechanical and electrical systems pretty well. The old Firebird floors are shot, the engine hasn't run in ten years, and the brake lines make puddles on the floor. I have owned many muscle and sports cars before. I don't need a tire burner anymore. The Firebird will have a new life that will suit this uber-geek and his wife well at the beach. :)

    I'm not expecting Prius mileage out of a car with 1967 aerodynamics. That would be silly. It will be much safer that the original 1967 technology by far. In fact, both of my Prii (both without any of the available suspension upgrades) handle better than the Firebird ever did with its mono-leaf rear suspension and slush box transmission. The "Firebrid" will never be a trailer queen, but it will be FUN to drive!

    Bill the Engineer

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 Bill the Engineer, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    when you say slow, will my grandchildren get to see it?:p
     
  15. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

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    LOL!!! Without a doubt!

    At the moment, the old rear suspension is hanging from a few frozen bolts until the weekend...

    [​IMG]

    Bill the Engineer

    [​IMG]
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i wish i were your neighbor. i would love to help out and learn some amazing things! please keep the pics and posts coming, maybe i can take an online course. :)all the best.
     
  17. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    WhoooHooo, progress!
     
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  18. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    I retract my earlier comment after reading your added information. Nice to see someone as skilled as you working on a classic.
     
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  19. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    I love it, but what was the stock Firebird's bhp and will the Hybrid system be powerful enough at around 140 ?
     
  20. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Gosh, that is impressive!
    I wish I had your expertise so that I could match the body of my old 1959 SAAB 93b with the internals of a Gen 3 hatchback. The bodies had similar short, narrow wheelbases and the aerodynamics of that old SAAB were advanced for its day, so I do not think I would give up to much mpg.
     
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