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Old 05-11-2017, 02:49 PM
AmaToolBox AmaToolBox is offline
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Lightbulb Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Ok, I am starting from scratch here, and want to learn as much as I can to do a full EV conversion of a 96 ford bronco. I know, before anyone says it, it's a heavy vehicle so it's not going to be easy and it will be expensive... I intend to strip and rebuild the truck with lighter parts from the ground up to save on the weight for the EV.

I want the bronco to be able to cover 200 miles on one charge (or I may have to default to having a backup generator for it for extended trips). I would like to be able to hit highway speeds, but I am not looking to win any races.

I'm in the research phase to understand what my limitations will be and learn as much as I can as to what components are needed and what will fall into my skills and out of my skills.

My conceptual idea right now is to create a 4 wheel drive setup, where I will have a gear box created for each wheel. I'm looking for what I need to research when it comes to a controller that can independently control 4 wheels when in 4wd mode (note that I will design the gear box to engage on the front tires only when enabled) as I still want to off-road with the truck.

The next piece i'm looking to find out about is the proper engines for this type of use. I've seen debates between AC and DC, Brushless and a few other different variations for the actual engine, but haven't found anything that says "best for your use" in what I've read.

When it comes to controllers, I am a clean slate and i'm looking for options. given the model of 4 independent tires/engines i'd like some people's opinions on options to work in that design.

and last, batteries... looking for the best storage options available. I've been tempted to buy a tesla house unit for the build but i'd like to explore what other options may be on the market or something I can build.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2017, 05:35 PM
dcb dcb is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

do you understand the importance of Aerodynamics if you don't want to waste the limited energy storage of a portable battery?
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:18 PM
AmaToolBox AmaToolBox is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcb View Post
do you understand the importance of aerodynamics if you don't want to waste the limited energy storage of a portable battery?
Yep, note my opening statement.

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Old 05-11-2017, 06:23 PM
dcb dcb is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

nope, I don't see anything about comprehending aerodynamics. You want to drive a brick at hiway speeds for 200 miles on battery, got it.


And when you run out of range with 160 miles to go, you think the best option is to just turn on a generator? So if you were getting 15mpg with the original motor, you would rather get, say, 10mpg (for enough 200 mile trips for it to matter)?
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:35 PM
AmaToolBox AmaToolBox is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcb View Post
nope, I don't see anything about comprehending aerodynamics. You want to drive a brick at hiway speeds for 200 miles on battery, got it.


And when you run out of range with 160 miles to go, you think the best option is to just turn on a generator? So if you were getting 15mpg with the original motor, you would rather get, say, 10mpg (for enough 200 mile trips for it to matter)?
Actually, if I have no way to meet my range requirements, the engine I was looking at, and the generator design I had equated to about 50mpg. It was a high efficiency engine, not throwing a generac in the tailgate. Specifically a clean burning multi fuel engine. And, that's only if I need it. Given the advancement in both batteries, reclaim technology and capacitor storage, I feel something can be done.

My knowledge gap is noted above, high efficiency generators utilizing clean burning technology is not in the list.

My goal in this thread is to learn enough about the ev technologies above to eliminate a V8, 8mpg burned out engine from the road. If you don't like that, fine, don't reply. To attack the mission rather than provide real responses is just frustrating.

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Old 05-11-2017, 07:05 PM
Jeremyfc1 Jeremyfc1 is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

I'm Jeremy currently building an electric rock buggy. Using solid axles and dual toyota transfercases along with an e450 air cooled ac motor out of a hybrid shuttle bus.

Realistic range is 30-60 miles for a 4wd vehicle even in 2wd you still have all that drag unless you build in some hubs at the wheels. Even then moving say a 32" mud tire at highway speeds isn't efficient.

Generator tech can move a long way soon. It just needs to happen. I'm in the same boat as you in my build that I want a better generator for longer trips. 40 miles rock crawling or offroading of any kind is a very long way could take you 6hrs to go 3-4 miles depending on the terrain

Pm me I'd be happy to chat more. I'm in North Carolina how about you
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:11 PM
dcb dcb is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmaToolBox View Post
the generator design I had equated to about 50mpg.
You must have figured wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AmaToolBox View Post
fine, don't reply. To attack the mission rather than provide real responses is just frustrating.
You absolutely figured wrong on that account, what is this "mission" crap anyway? And why are motors and batteries and generators the solution? What magical properties do they have in your mind?
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:33 PM
AmaToolBox AmaToolBox is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcb View Post
You must have figured wrong.




You absolutely figured wrong on that account, what is this "mission" crap anyway? And why are motors and batteries and generators the solution? What magical properties do they have in your mind?
We did it with a Civic, using old equipment stripped from used cars 5 years ago. I figure with new tech the bronco becomes possible.

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Old 05-11-2017, 07:43 PM
AmaToolBox AmaToolBox is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyfc1 View Post
I'm Jeremy currently building an electric rock buggy. Using solid axles and dual toyota transfercases along with an e450 air cooled ac motor out of a hybrid shuttle bus.

Realistic range is 30-60 miles for a 4wd vehicle even in 2wd you still have all that drag unless you build in some hubs at the wheels. Even then moving say a 32" mud tire at highway speeds isn't efficient.

Generator tech can move a long way soon. It just needs to happen. I'm in the same boat as you in my build that I want a better generator for longer trips. 40 miles rock crawling or offroading of any kind is a very long way could take you 6hrs to go 3-4 miles depending on the terrain

Pm me I'd be happy to chat more. I'm in North Carolina how about you
I am in NY, Hudson valley region.

Actually have a design for a gear box that replaces the front hubs. It has a gear drive direct to the wheel that can detach. Only issue is it must be standing still to enable 4wd, but I am fine with that.

I don't know much about electric motors, and I figure if I drive all 4 I will have a lot of drain on the batteries plus maybe amp issues. So I was even considering 4 separate battery banks with a cross connect that the rear when 4wd is not enabled can use the front power too... I can make the circuit, but without knowing the draw I don't know how to figure it out. I also know nothing about controllers.

On mobile at the moment, don't have pm abilities.

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  #10  
Old 05-11-2017, 09:01 PM
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madderscience madderscience is offline
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Default Re: Researching a conversion - A Bronco

I'm sorry there was a bit of hostility / incredulity in some of the prior posts, but they do make a point - a full size bronco 4x4 isn't efficient and you are making a very ambitions range goal for any DIY EV given the current state of the world. A good rule of thumb for an EV conversion looking at the MPG of the original vehicle is you will get about the same amount of range from 10kwh nominal battery capacity as you did from 1 gallon of gas. I'm omitting the math here but it factors in the energy density of gasoline and the relative efficiency of an EV drive vs. the ICE.

This means for a 200 mile EV range in a vehicle that originally got 15mpg, you would need about a 130kwh battery. To put that in perspective, the biggest battery pack available in a Tesla model S right now is 100kwh. (and weighs about 1000lbs)

You are right, battery tech is improving. In another 3-5 years tesla might be manufacturing 130kwh batteries, and in 10 years, I would not be surprised to see a 200kwh battery in that same size/weight range.

As for motor and inverter technology, there isn't much room for improvement. those systems are already well over 90% efficient and capable of much more power density (HP per pound) than any gasoline engine.

I wouldn't bother trying to do motor-on-each-wheel. It requires complex control systems that are too much trouble for the gain for most DIYs. If you have or could upgrade to a shift-on-fly capable transfer case I'd just bolt up the motor to that (removing original engine and transmission) and keep the rest of the driveline intact. A part time 4x4 drive with freewheeling front half would help with Rolling Resistance.

Right now, your best bet for an economical conversion to something getting better mileage is a diesel conversion and some of your aforementioned Weight Reduction, and some subtle aerodynamic improvements, like belly pans and such that don't detract from its 'truck' factor.

If you do want to do a 200 mile EV (and you don't want to just buy a bolt or tesla model 3) best to start with a more appropriate chassis (1st gen insight or such) and you will need probably 2 healthy nissan leaf packs to get the range even in a chassis like that.

Good luck.
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Last edited by madderscience; 05-11-2017 at 09:04 PM.
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