1999 Lee Iacocca e-bike.

DennisBrackins

New Member
Region
USA
I own a 1999 Lee Iacocca e-bike, 24 volt. It is currently using two 12-volt lead-acid batteries. Is it possible to replace the lead acid batteries with lithium ion batteries? How would I charge these new batteries? Is there some kind of adapter that would allow me to charge these batteries while they're still in the case?
 

Doc995

New Member
Region
USA
City
Sandy Hook
Believe it or not, your best bet would be to check with the golf cart forums...buggiesgonewild.com being the best. Many MANY guys over there have successfully converted their old lead-acid batteries to lithium. Best of luck and let us know how you make out!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I own a 1999 Lee Iacocca e-bike, 24 volt. It is currently using two 12-volt lead-acid batteries. Is it possible to replace the lead acid batteries with lithium ion batteries? How would I charge these new batteries? Is there some kind of adapter that would allow me to charge these batteries while they're still in the case?
A few years back while volunteering at the local Bicycle Kitchen a retired Ford executive that had worked for Iacocca on their ebike project dropped in. He had several new ebikes that he ended up donating. Their 2x12V lead acid batteries were dead. We were able to replace them with a 24V lithium pack that was an exact fit for the battery case. These were being made at the time by Ping Battery. They told me that they had quite a demand for these battery packs to retrofit the Ford ebikes. They may still be available, but you have to contact them as they weren't available through their normal catalog. They came with matching chargers. We wired in a matching charger plug on the bikes.

The bikes worked great after a tune up and new battery pack. They went like 'bats out of heck', I think because the original motor controller relied on the higher internal resistance of the SLA batteries. With the very low internal resistance of the lithium packs the motors pulled upwards of 900W peak! I was originally concerned about overheating, but it never happened, even on our very steep hills around town.

The Bicycle Kitchen ended up selling the retrofitted ebikes for a fund raiser. I still at least one of them around town on occasion.
 

kmccune

Active Member
You could probably easily convert these to a 36v lithium the speed would increase, Grin has some nice 36 volt battery packs that look to be easily added on, Plus Justin or one of His staff could advise you on what to use and expect.