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Greetings,
I am an electronics and car enthusiast living in Northern Wisconsin.

I recently acquired a 1988 Ford Econoline E350 type III ambulance (dual rear tires & step-thru box) with a 7.3 L idi diesel engine. The engine is toast after an oil leak, the ford C6 transmission (3 speed no overdrive) seems to be fine. I would like to replace the engine with dual motors or a large power train to move this heavy vehicle.

I am looking for a good place to start as far as heavy-duty electric drive setups for this type of vehicle. I will be doing most of the work myself with assistance from an experienced EV conversion enthusiast. Id be interested in keeping parts costs under $10K.

Id be interested in hearing people's thoughts and look forward to an electric discussion
 

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If the transmission is fine, then it is a part that can be sold for a few dollars to cover some of the cost. Unless you are skilled in modification of automatic transmissions, it couldn't be worth the cost of adapting it for use in an EV.

There have been lots of electric trucks built on chassis which usually have diesel engines. The most common configuration is to use a large AC motor (induction for older designs, now more commonly permanent magnet synchronous) with a single-speed reduction gearbox, replacing the engine and original transmission. This assumes a relatively high-voltage battery pack and a motor that can use it to enable full power over a wide speed range, so a multi-speed transmission is not needed.

Another forum member is planning to use components salvaged from a Smith Electric Newton truck - that's the type of vehicle that has a suitable motor and gearbox.
Smith Electric / Dodge Ramcharger mashup

A typical electric car motor is too small to handle the sustained power level needed to drive something as heavy as this ambulance.

Just curious... what is the intended use of this vehicle? I assume that it won't be operated as an ambulance - perhaps a motorhome?
 
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