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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I've wanted an EV for quite some time now and still don't have the funding for a 3rd vehicle that would be a project car.

the basics:

Skill level: I'm an architect and do my own minor repairs to vehicles. I understand basic mechanics and machining but have a very limited set of tools.

Range: that depends on how much I can afford battery-wise. I'd like to get as much range as possible, but understand that this may be a comuter vehicle of about 50 miles/charge.

Level of performance: Hoping to get a fast vehicle that can also maybe get up to 60-70mph. Is that possible on a limited budget?

Budget: I'd like to stay as simple and cheap as possible so that I'm up and running as soon as possible, otherwise the wife may not go for me working on a vehicle too long.

Parts I've considered: I've thought about using an older model Jeep Wrangler; either CJ-5 or CJ-7 or even a CJ-8 if I can find one. Using the older model will minimize the amount of computer or power components. I'm fine with manual brakes and steering on it, if it makes the conversion easier and more efficient.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to make this a full 4x4 so that I could off road with it by trailering it and towing with my current Jeep. I'd also like to make it out of a Jeep so that I can thumb my nose at the purists that usually are sneering up at me as I drive my Wrangler with the top down and the doors off while they sit smugly in their Prius and drink their latte. I want to be the odd ball at Earth Day and just beg them to ask how I have the nerve to be there with a 4x4.
Meech:D
 

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Meech,
I converted a 1952 Willys jeep, and it still has the 4x4. I think a Jeep is an easy conversion if you have some competant help. Do a search for Electro-Willys and you can read about my trials and successes. If you have questions, I'll be glad to answer them for you, based on what I know. I'm not a professional mechanic, just a capable DIY jeep guy.

M38Mike
 

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Converting a Jeep is fairly simple. Start by removing the exhaust system. Then remove the fuel tank and fuel lines. Remove the radiator and drain the oil.

Once the ICE parts have been removed you can start planning your EV installation. You will need a transmission plate and hub to connect the electric motor to the trans. If you are saving money than install a 9" motor, but if you want power install an 11" motor. You will need some welding done for custom motor mounts. Here is our list of parts suppliers:

http://www.ecedra.com/sponsors.html

Good luck! You can ask me any questions you need to, I am a certified auto technician. ;)

Hey all,
I've wanted an EV for quite some time now and still don't have the funding for a 3rd vehicle that would be a project car.

the basics:

Skill level: I'm an architect and do my own minor repairs to vehicles. I understand basic mechanics and machining but have a very limited set of tools.

Range: that depends on how much I can afford battery-wise. I'd like to get as much range as possible, but understand that this may be a comuter vehicle of about 50 miles/charge.

Level of performance: Hoping to get a fast vehicle that can also maybe get up to 60-70mph. Is that possible on a limited budget?

Budget: I'd like to stay as simple and cheap as possible so that I'm up and running as soon as possible, otherwise the wife may not go for me working on a vehicle too long.

Parts I've considered: I've thought about using an older model Jeep Wrangler; either CJ-5 or CJ-7 or even a CJ-8 if I can find one. Using the older model will minimize the amount of computer or power components. I'm fine with manual brakes and steering on it, if it makes the conversion easier and more efficient.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to make this a full 4x4 so that I could off road with it by trailering it and towing with my current Jeep. I'd also like to make it out of a Jeep so that I can thumb my nose at the purists that usually are sneering up at me as I drive my Wrangler with the top down and the doors off while they sit smugly in their Prius and drink their latte. I want to be the odd ball at Earth Day and just beg them to ask how I have the nerve to be there with a 4x4.
Meech:D
 

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Nobody touched on the range / performance issues here very much yet so I'll take a stab at that.

1) you are looking at converting a vehicle that as an ICE gets maybe 15mpg

2) On the plus side, it can carry a lot of weight and volume.

3) You want 50 miles range at 60mph (the low end of your top speed spectrum)

If you are thinking lead acid, don't. A typical lead acid conversion will have range someplace between what the vehicle would have been able to get on between 1 and 2 gallons of gas; 30 miles tops in other words. So you are looking at a lithium pack to get enough range. Maybe 20KwH usable which would give you 50 miles range at 400wh/mile. (a good efficient small car conversion does more like 200wh/mile for comparison sake). 144V at 160AH would give about 20KWH usable.

You won't have any trouble carrying the weight or volume of such a battery in a Jeep/small SUV. Maybe 750lbs of battery.

As for motor, Pick a torquey motor (11" warp or kostov) and mate it with a soliton controller. If the battery you spec out can back up the motor and controller you will have very good power with that setup.

You should be budgeting at least $20K for this setup (gut feel)

fast - far - cheap
pick two.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you! I was worried that I'd be looking at about 20K in addition to the donor Jeep. Couple of Questions:

I was thinking about getting a 4 cylinder if possible just because I can buy them cheaper, but the 4 bangers come with 410 greared axles. will this be of benefit to the power consumption?

The other question is: Standard Transmission or can I go Automatic? My wife can't drive a standard and I'm stuck with having to buy all automatic vehicles.

I'm excited about getting this started. sounds like the batteries will be the most expensive part of the whole conversion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I've now found the part of the Wiki that discusses Auto vs Standard Transmission, but is it easy to just do away with the transmission all together and go straight from the motor to the drive shaft or the transfer case on the Jeep? Will I be sacrificing efficiency at that point and should i just stick with the standard transmission?
 

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You can certainly do that and it will gain efficiency in the sense that you are not spining gears.

However, you will need to work out what speeds you want to achieve in both high and low ratio. You may find that for the Jeep to be tractable it will have a quite a low top speed.
Also when off road you might find that the gear ratio won't be low enough.

In real life terms I think you would be better off keeping the transmission, either manual or auto.
This would also give you the advantage that you can keep the motor spinning at higher speeds and so gain electrical efficiency. A low reving motor is less efficient then one that is spinning near its practial maximum speed range.

It is possible to run an auto with an electric motor, it has been discussed a few times on the forum. There should be a thread in Technical about using Autos if you can search for it.
 

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I had thought about doing away with the tranny in my Electro-willys but I'm glad I didn't. Not having the tranny would be like being in 3rd gear on the 3 speed tranny all the time. What I found is that there are many times when I prefer to have 2nd gear, and even 1st gear to keep my speed down low. I also like having the clutch in line because then if something goes wrong electrically then I can manually disconnect the motor from the tranny. And besides, my T-90 tranny has synchronizers that are 1940's technology. They don't take the pressure of the 100 lb motor shaft like more modern transmissions can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Next question for an electric Jeep. I live in the Southeast of the USA and not in a hilly area. Most folks love to rock crawl in their Jeeps, but around here, it's all about the Mud. Any chance of me driving an EV-Jeep through say, 3-4 feet of water? I'm asking for it to short out, aren't I.
 
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