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1998 Rav4 conversion

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hey all, im thinking of taking the plunge and plan/budget out a full conversion of my 98 Rav4. I'm very strapped for cash, so I'm trying to figure out a way to do the initial conversion with a balance of quality versus cost. Ideally I would setup the initial conversion to make space for better motors, controllers, batteries, etc. as time goes on. ive been watching many youtubes and reading a bit but a little more direction would help loads

the Rav4 is manual so i was thinking of just strapping the EM into the main belt after removing the cylinder head and piston internals, using the block as a motor mount of sorts.

I would consider my self handy with tools and assembly work but ive only done a few auto-related projects (regular maintenance, breaks, small stuff under the hood)

just trying to figure out the best way to approach planning/budgeting for the project.
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What does "strapped for cash" mean?

Strapping into the accessory will get you a golf cart in the amount of power you can transfer.

There's also no such thing as "leaving space" in your puny target. It's a do-over each time you change a major component.

Save your money, do it later when you have spare cash and at an age people can call you senile for spending 30k on a Rav4.
 

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i was thinking of just strapping the EM into the main belt after removing the cylinder head and piston internals
You'll be much better off focusing your efforts on making a motor shaft to gearbox converter (or getting a shop to make one). Carrying an engine block around will be heavy, you'll lose a lot of precious space in the engine bay and you'll lose a lot of range just twirling the redundant components around - you'll have to block off the oilways that once fed the rockers in the cylinder head, or you'll have no oil pressure to keep the shells oiled for the crankshaft. Also the aux belt won't be able to transfer enough torque.

Have a good think about where your batteries will go - and how it will alter the weight distribution in the car, having a trunk/boot full of batteries seems nice at first but you can end up with a rear-heavy car which isn't ideal.

Keep looking and surfing the interweb and youtube... i've found that after doing initial costs you need to pretty much add an extra zero on the end to reach something realistic lol

good luck!
 

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I'm inclined to agree with the other two above that its best to wait if you can't properly actually go all-in from the start

and likewise to that I indeed too would had just pulled out the entire greasy gas engine completely out of there only leaving some of the non-engine accessories in place nevertheless .. and mount the traction motor onto new brackets at that

but on a different kind of footnote, at least in theory if you only want to use one smaller salvaged lithium battery pack weight-wise (at where the gas tank might had been perhaps, I don't know what the official mounting placement for the nickel-hydride batteries was) then it seem like you would probably be almost building your own modern retake on the original rav4-ev itself which was basically literally a stock rav4 with the gas-related things removed and minor interior/exterior swaps done (eg: no rpm tech in favour of a battery/voltage tach instead)
 

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As the others have said, keeping the engine block is daft for all kinds of reasons.
A relatively low cost solution could be to find a Nissan Leaf & use the motor & batteries out of that, with a new controller.

There is likely to be an adaptor plate available - but if not, they are pretty easy to fabricate (you don't need a huge, CNC Machined, billet aluminium adaptor). I've made them out of welded steel plate before.

You will have to get the rotor adaptor machined - though, even this is fairly easy. I don't know what kind of output shaft the Leaf motor has (once you've stripped the gearbox) but you could potentially salvage the input to the gearbox. Use the splined centre from the clutch. Machine the two such that the clutch centre fits perfectly in the other bit & weld the two together. This approach has worked for me!

For an even more 'farmyard' solution, you can divorce the motor from the gearbox & put a flexible coupling between the two. Then the adaptor plate doesn't even need to be particularly square!

You can always improve things down the line as money allows.

Where there's a will....
 
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