I've finally decided that I want to build an EV. I thought it would be awesome to use a light-duty pickup, so I scooped up a 1982 Datsun 720 4x4 on the cheap. I was hoping to retain the 4X4 capability, but this particular truck is already on the border of too heavy to convert. (~3,000 lbs pre-stripped).
The truck has locking hubs and a separate gearbox/shifter for the 4X4.
I'm still researching the specifics of how the drivetrain works, so please forgive any stupid questions.
Where would you couple a motor to?
Initially, I was thinking of using the existing transmission, but if I could shed that weight it would be good. Also, the transmission likely needs rebuilding, so there's another reason to ditch it. I've read that a 2-speed gearbox is a decent solution, but I'm not sure how applicable it is in my case.
Seems to me that my choices are:
- Keep existing transmission - CanEV does sell an adapter plate, simple solution with extra weight.
-Couple directly to the driveshaft before it hits the 4X4 gear-box. Mount the motor where the transmission was. Leaves the engine compartment open for batteries. Keeps the 4X4 option.
- Drop the 4X4 option and drive the rear wheels directly using or replacing that 4X4 gear box. The gear ratio is probably all wrong and I'd likely put a 2-speed transmission there. This would shed the weight of the front drive shaft and transmission.
- Sell this truck and buy a light-duty mid-80's toyota.
Any help is much appreciated.