1957 conversion to electric

jack-in-sac

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Thunderbird Year
1957
Thinking about conversion from ice to electric. Appreciate any thoughts.
Start with a fat wallet. Ford reportedly may be offering such a package in the future that can be adapted. By the way it took me a moment to think what is an ice car. Then the light bulb came on.
 

74 Harley

Active Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1962
While at some point this may become necessary or even required, I am not a fan. To me, I enjoy every part of the classic car experience the smell, the sound, vibrations,and even the maintenance. Electric cars have their place. But I am not going in to that pool until the power grids have been updated and technology improved. My opinion, ymmv.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I had to scratch my head also. ICE = internal combustion engine. Yah I love the smell of my garage after a drive and the smell of a cooling classic car in the garage is a smell you will never forget.
My first thought is that the cars are very heavy as they were built from inexpensive reclaimed steel from decommissioned WWII ships. The opposite of what you want from an EV ( all electric vehicle ). Second where would you put the batteries to get more than the range of a golf cart? The engineering costs would be astronomical. Plus even more added weight. Batteries weigh more than a gas engine.
Second, Why would you buy a classic car to just completely reengineer it? I understand the simplicity of EVs' mechanics but the future for EVs is evolving. There are new platforms being introduced and I'm sure that they will be available now that the laws have been changed for low volume cars that are excused from many of the NTSB safety standards.
Kit car reproductions are all over the place along with Classic T-Bird bodies. If you want to go EV I'd look in that direction. I'm sure somebody is playing with the idea, Probably less expensive than an almost impossible conversion.
For now I'd have you appreciate your car as it is and weigh your options and do tons of research.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Thunderbird Year
1957
I had to scratch my head also. ICE = internal combustion engine. Yah I love the smell of my garage after a drive and the smell of a cooling classic car in the garage is a smell you will never forget.
My first thought is that the cars are very heavy as they were built from inexpensive reclaimed steel from decommissioned WWII ships. The opposite of what you want from an EV ( all electric vehicle ). Second where would you put the batteries to get more than the range of a golf cart? The engineering costs would be astronomical. Plus even more added weight. Batteries weigh more than a gas engine.
Second, Why would you buy a classic car to just completely reengineer it? I understand the simplicity of EVs' mechanics but the future for EVs is evolving. There are new platforms being introduced and I'm sure that they will be available now that the laws have been changed for low volume cars that are excused from many of the NTSB safety standards.
Kit car reproductions are all over the place along with Classic T-Bird bodies. If you want to go EV I'd look in that direction. I'm sure somebody is playing with the idea, Probably less expensive than an almost impossible conversion.
For now I'd have you appreciate your car as it is and weigh your options and do tons of research.
Thanks for all your thought. Lot of conversion packages are already available. Things are changing fast, just look at the shift by the major auto makers to EV. As we move to more restrictions on pollution the gas gussler will become more of a headache. I want a driver not a garage trophy. Thanks again.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
I had to scratch my head also. ICE = internal combustion engine. Yah I love the smell of my garage after a drive and the smell of a cooling classic car in the garage is a smell you will never forget.
My first thought is that the cars are very heavy as they were built from inexpensive reclaimed steel from decommissioned WWII ships. The opposite of what you want from an EV ( all electric vehicle ). Second where would you put the batteries to get more than the range of a golf cart? The engineering costs would be astronomical. Plus even more added weight. Batteries weigh more than a gas engine.
Second, Why would you buy a classic car to just completely reengineer it? I understand the simplicity of EVs' mechanics but the future for EVs is evolving. There are new platforms being introduced and I'm sure that they will be available now that the laws have been changed for low volume cars that are excused from many of the NTSB safety standards.
Kit car reproductions are all over the place along with Classic T-Bird bodies. If you want to go EV I'd look in that direction. I'm sure somebody is playing with the idea, Probably less expensive than an almost impossible conversion.
For now I'd have you appreciate your car as it is and weigh your options and do tons of research.
Yes, new(er) cars have thinner, lighter sheet metal, but overall they've gotten heavier. A new Mustang, for instance, weighs at least 1,000 lbs. more than a 1st-gen. The weight of the sheet metal would be among the least of my concerns, if I were to consider an EV conversion.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
I got the Internal Combustion Engine immediately. Another is IEB or Internal Expanding Brakes. I wouldn't do it. If we ever experience an E-bomb the only way to move about will be the old school ignition system on an ICE.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I got the Internal Combustion Engine immediately. Another is IEB or Internal Expanding Brakes. I wouldn't do it. If we ever experience an E-bomb the only way to move about will be the old school ignition system on an ICE.
LOL You must be an engineer who likes acronyms or a bureaucrat with the same inkling.
I shy away electronic conversions. I prefer the simplicity of mechanical ignitions, IMHO the increase of stability VS diagnostic ability is not worth the conversion, That E-bomb happens sometimes out of the blue.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Thunderbird Year
1957
If we get the E-bomb we will have a lot more problems than moving about. Need electric to pump gas.
LOL You must be an engineer who likes acronyms or a bureaucrat with the same inkling.
I shy away electronic conversions. I prefer the simplicity of mechanical ignitions, IMHO the increase of stability VS diagnostic ability is not worth the conversion, That E-bomb happens sometimes out of the blue.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
bonneville, I think you should do whatever you want; it's your car, your money. I don't see why converting a Tbird would be more difficult to convert than any other car. Eventually, the younger members might not have a choice, if they want to continue driving theirs. If I'm still alive when/if that happens, I probably will no longer find driving desirable. Here, in California, it's becoming more of a challenge every day.

Anyway, maybe you'll be the first to tell us how it's done.

By the way, President Biden just lifted the ban on 15% ethanol.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
bonneville, I think you should do whatever you want; it's your car, your money. I don't see why converting a Tbird would be more difficult to convert than any other car. Eventually, the younger members might not have a choice, if they want to continue driving theirs. If I'm still alive when/if that happens, I probably will no longer find driving desirable. Here, in California, it's becoming more of a challenge every day.

Anyway, maybe you'll be the first to tell us how it's done.

By the way, President Biden just lifted the ban on 15% ethanol.
Should be interesting. I just question where you would put the batteries?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I won’t need the gas tank anymore. I assume that area would be the place to start.
I hate to dissuade you but that much weight over the back would cause handling issues. That's why they went away from the Continental kit. I really think you would be better off starting from scratch with a purpose built vehicle both in satisfaction and cost.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Thunderbird Year
1957
I hate to dissuade you but that much weight over the back would cause handling issues. That's why they went away from the Continental kit. I really think you would be better off starting from scratch with a purpose built vehicle both in satisfaction and cost.
All depends on what you want the car for . Batteries for EVs with 250 mile range weigh a lot more than a vehicle with a 100 mile range. Eliminating an engine also give you the opportunity to distribute battery weight over the vehicle area. Gasoline is going away.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
All depends on what you want the car for . Batteries for EVs with 250 mile range weigh a lot more than a vehicle with a 100 mile range. Eliminating an engine also give you the opportunity to distribute battery weight over the vehicle area. Gasoline is going away.
There is no way gasoline is going away in the next 30 years. The entire economy runs on fossil fuels. You can't just wish it away. At least 1/2 of the current inflation is due to the price of fuel. It is needed to transport everything we use. Electric Semis? The weight of the batteries to run the tractors would weigh so much to provide the torque to move to make them impactable let alone the rare minerals to make them. You think you can haul 40,000K in freight with batteries? Plus the electrical grid is no way capable to handle the load if you can even find a reliable electric source. Oh and are you going to spend $1000s to upgrade your home to charge them? Trains are pretty efficient but they use Diesel engines to run their electric motors.
How many people buy $1000 beaters just to get around? Are you going to buy them EV's and cancel their college debt? Don't think it won't cost you more than you could ever think. Not out of my wallet, Thank You.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1957
If fossil fuels are available gasoline will be manufactured if the demand is there
Simple facts
Fossil fuel is needed to manufacture electricity
the range of current production models are close but don’t match current gasoline cars
As said the availability of recharging electric cars is limited right now
and takes too long to be practical
I personally think an electric Tbird is a kool idea and can be accomplished
 
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