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I'm 17 years old, but I'm very good with mechanics. I'm in the process of fixing a rod knock in an old S15 sonoma. After I finish with the truck I'm hoping to sell it and get some money to start an EV conversion. I'm thinking of getting an old geo, or something small like that... or maybe an S10. I was wondering if anyone could let me know:

-How to find batteries for cheap
-What kind of car would be best to convert
-Where to find a cheap/used motor
-Where to find all the parts, etc.

I would really appreciate any help you could give. Thanks a lot!
 

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Sam's Club has Energizers made by Johnson Controls. Probably the least expensive new batteries on the market. I bought 15 - 8 volt Energizers from them for about $1100.00

Look thru the cars in the Garage here on DIY and also check out www.evalbum.com
You can do a search there for any particular brand or model and most builders will reveal the conversion cost. They also have a trading post for used parts.
Hope this helps.
 

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You can start with trying to estimate how much range you need, how fast you have to go, approximately what budget you have and other decisions like that. Before you know that it's very hard to pick a suitable donor.

For example; a truck is good for loading up a lot of lead to be able to go far, but a truck has the aero dynamics of a brick so if you want to go fast it will consume vast amounts of energy. A small, more aero dynamic car will be able to go faster than a truck, but on the other hand you won't be able to put in as many batteries so the range at low speeds will be shorter.

How fast you want to go and what donor you pick will also affect what motor and controller you need. If it's ok with a small car that doesn't go very fast your controller and motor will be much cheaper than if you want to run a truck at highway speeds.

Etc etc etc.

So what's your needs?
 

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depending on your wants / needs either the S10 or the geo are good candidates. You can get kits for both and the hard stuff like adapter plates are readily available for those models.

Stick with the geo if you want to keep costs lower. If you are OK with a top speed of 40 or 50mph you can keep to a 72V system and that will substantially reduce costs as you are now in golf cart territory and there are a lot more options for various components.

Visit some golf courses and ask if they have any surplus or used golf cart batteries that you can buy cheap to get yourself going. As a younger person embarking on an interesting project you will probably be able to sway somebody to give you a good deal. (Hey, it worked for me once upon a time) Make sure the batteries aren't more than a few years old though or they won't be worth too much, and get a few more than you think you will really need in that case since there will probably be a few weak ones.

Good Luck!
 
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