McMichael High School Fox Body Mustang EV Conversion

Posted by on May 16, 2011 - more

The Fox Body Mustang has always been the go to car for fun and unique projects, such as dropping in a Coyote 5.0 engine or working to get 110 MPG using E85 fuel. People just seem to never run out of ways to create a cool project out of a Fox Body Mustang.

This leads us to McMichael High School, located in Mayodan, NC about an hour north of Greensboro. McMichael has put together an EV team, headed by instructor John Butler, to swap out the stock 5.0 engine inside their 1992 Fox Body and turn it into a purely electric powered vehicle.

John teaches Technology Education at McMichael, which is a third level tech class built around learning design and engineering. The team consists of students whose expertise range from mechanics, expertise in electronics and those who take care of documenting the process via video. You can read more about this years team on their blog.

I asked John why he chose a Fox Body Mustang for their project car and it turns out he is a bit of a Mustang enthusiast himself.

I’ve always loved foxes and any mustang especially 79-04. My personal car is an ’01 cobra. 2 years ago (2009) I had 2 students that wanted to do something they would remember for the rest of their lives. We decided to convert a gasoline car to electric and enter the SMARTT Challenge (Now EV Challenge). – John Butler

The team paid 300 dollars for the Mustang and ended up selling the 5.0 and AOD transmission for more than that, netting them a free car to start the project with.

The Mustang
As you can see from the pictures below, the car has been completely gutted of the old engine. The new engine, an Advanced DC 9″ 4001, weighs in at 151 pounds and can reach a peak of 100hp at 144 volts. The team, however, will only be running 12 8 volt batteries, peaking their horsepower at 70. They expect the range of their Mustang to be around 20-30 miles, so you won’t be taking any road trips in it anytime soon.

The 12 8 volt batteries need a home, so the team fabricated a mount by cutting out the trunk area, where the spare tire used to sit.

The power has to get to the engine somehow, so John and the students work on crimping the 2/0 gauge wire.

None of this would be possible without support from sponsors. One of their major sponsors, LateModelRestoration, has contributed many restoration parts to the project.

We did 5 lug conversion, MM (Maximum Motorsports) coil over front, AJE Kmember, MM Panhard, MM control Arms, and MM HD springs rear. – John Butler

On top of that, John and the team also received replacement taillights and completely new carpet.

Once the Mustang is completed they will be entering it into the SMARTT Challenge, where they will compete against other project cars for awards.

We can’t wait to see the finished project and we will be following their progress during the SMARTT Challenege. You can follow all of their work on their blog Lab306.


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