Electric VK Commodore


New Member
Hi all, this is probably not your average conversion. I have a vk commodore that I am converting to electric. I would like to maintain as much of the current components on the car as possible. I have a few questions that I would help with more will follow....

1. Has anyone ever removed the floor pan as I would like to flatten it and have my batteries under the floor and not protrude any further than below the doors. What should I look for to keep the structural integrity of the vehicle?

2. I'm looking at relocating the trimatic to the rear of the car and mate it to the diff, create some sort of transaxle type setup. Can this be done? Due to the fact that the car uses a live axle setup as opposed to an independent rear end, I am concerned about mounting the motor and transmission in a way that it would hinder its performance. What do I need to look out for?

3. The electric motor will not be running when the vehicle is at rest. My understanding is that if the transmission is at rest, the fluid pressures will drop causing it to disengage gear. To combat this I am looking at using an electrohydraulic pump to maintain the pressures needed for the transmission. How would I connect this up? I would like to remove the internal pump as 2 pumps will not be necessary. Is this doable?

thank you all in advance for your input


Donating Member
I think for starters you'll need to look at scrapping the trimatic and look for a more weight and energy efficient transmission.

VK commodores don't have seperate chassis per say, the floorpan forms the structural integrity of the car. You'll be hard pressed to get approval for much modification of the floorpan.
You're far better off building a custom/kit car from a tubular chassis and have a VK commodore shaped body on that.


As drew said regarding the trimatic.. It's not a worthwhile idea. One reason is what dc motor has a bell housing the size of a commy?

Scrap it and run a motor cycle belt/chain drive style set up and use an industrial speed controller for "gears"

Less weight, less parasitic losses.

As for cutting the floor, it is do able but will need an engineer cert, much like mini tubbing a car.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Donating Member
I think audi's CVT transmission may be a smaller and lighter choice.
Anything's possible to mate together if you're willing to pay to have custom bellhousing's cast etc.
What you need to look for is a transmission that's extremely efficient, can move the bulk of the batteries and car along with a drastically reduced source of torque and horsepower operating it and weigh's as little as possible.


250,000 hits
yeah, your better choice would be to go for an older full chassis car, you will be hard pressed to find an engineer willing to tick off floor modifications.

as far as the pump goes, the internal pump is the whole reason the transmission works, fluid pressure is what pressurise the servos and select gears. a highly doubt any kind of electric or belt driven pump would be able to supply the pressures you need to activate the servos. buuut am i willing to be corrected.

but in the interest of "shits and giggles" lets say you hook up a late model silverado steering pump, which will fit in the original steer pump position, but has dramitcally more pressure than a normal pump, due to the fact it needs to drive the brake booster as well as the steering. use the steering outlet as normal, then run high strength stainless lines to the trans. id guess you would need to tap a thread somewhere in the body of the trans to allow the fluid pressure into where the old vein pump used to deliver. on a t700 there is a pressure access port on the top LHS which may be your out, but you would still need an in. the vein pump on a 700 is not really removable as it seals everything, buuuut you could possibly take the veins out from inside it and just have it as an empty shell. not sure what route the fluid from the torque converter would take though. one way or another, you are not gonna stop its path, so you would need to also figure that out too.

i would think that you could use the PS pump as an assistant at 0 rpm to keep pressures up, then somehow make a shut off so that when the electric motor has started up and you are moving forward, it shuts off fluid delivery from the PS pump and drives solely from the vein pump.

mounting the traumatic further back would require trans tunnel mods as there is no room for it at the rear of the floor pan, but if you are cutting the most important structural part of the car anyway, whats 1 more mod in the grand scheme of things? all the mods will need to have tubular re-inforcement to porve its sound, so you are gonna be adding weight, unless you go with an alloy or carbon fibre floor pan and rivet it in place.

have you looked at a 2-speed power glide? if you are running a hi-torque elec motor, you wont need many gears anyway. the powerglide has a tiny body, so you could cut off the bellhousing and TIG on a newer, smaller housing to suit your elec motor. that way you may not need to increase the rear tunnel too much and keep your back seat looking stock.

mounting it would just be a case of running a trans mount from one side of your tubular chassis to the other. positioning shouldnt be too much of an issue as the uni's will be so close together they shouldnt lose their 'phasing' no matter what angle, but thats just a guess, i could be wrong on that.

anyway, im boring myself


VK Madman
why not mount the batteries up from underneath like they do on alot of other electric cars rather than causing headaches, else talk to an auto engineer about what your planning.



New Member
Should just keep the gearbox in place and put your electric motor up front, you'll still have room for batteries under the hood and rest in boot behind the rear seat, then you'll save a lot of time and mods on the floor pan,
this way you should be able to distribute your weight in the front and back.
and like arri666 said do away with the trimatic, i'd go 2 speed aswell and you can change your diff ratio if you need to