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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

I'm seriously considering building an electric Jeep truck, probably a Comanche because it makes more sense than a FSJ. I won't start it any time soon, I have another project to finish first, well other projects. This means I will be doing some research in the meantime, and seeing if I can actually source any useful used parts in the frozen wasteland of Northern BC.

I've built multiple offroad vehicles over the years, and have a half decent home machine shop now and significant fabrication ability and experience. Professionally I work on aircraft. I also run an offroad forum for Northern BC, and have a Youtube channel (that I haven't uploaded anything to in ages), but I'm not going to plug those here.
 

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Welcome! :)

While the announcement of a plan to convert a particular model of vehicle usually leads to discussion of the other examples of the model already converted, I don't recall anyone doing even an XJ Cherokee, let alone a Comanche. If you proceed with the project, I suggest that you consider a long-bed truck: although long wheelbase is not generally desirable off-road, and the extra rear overhang is unfortunate, the extra 175 mm (7") of wheelbase might be valuable battery space. But that's detail for later...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome! :)

While the announcement of a plan to convert a particular model of vehicle usually leads to discussion of the other examples of the model already converted, I don't recall anyone doing even an XJ Cherokee, let alone a Comanche. If you proceed with the project, I suggest that you consider a long-bed truck: although long wheelbase is not generally desirable off-road, and the extra rear overhang is unfortunate, the extra 175 mm (7") of wheelbase might be valuable battery space. But that's detail for later...
There's some XJ Cherokee conversions around that I know of. No Comanches though. To me it makes more sense, the XJ doesn't have the space to put batteries really anywhere without losing a lot of useful space, it's just not big enough. The LWB Comanche has a decent amount of space in front of the rear axle to fit something, along with some space behind the axle if you give up the spare tire (not worried about that). They're also pretty light, 3000lbs~ is a standard curb weight basically.

I also have one that's missing the drivetrain. Soooo...
 

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The best truck to convert is the one you've got! I think a Comanche is an awesome candidate, every other Jeep is dime a dozen except that one. Hell my neighbor has two flat fenders but I can't remember the last time I saw a Comanche.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent idea! I am planning to convert my '91 Comanche as well. Perhaps we can tag-team and share information if our timing coincides.
Oh perfect, it will be good to see what you think makes sense. I'm probably a year out from actually starting on this, just given how slow I am with things.

I'm leaning towards keeping the transmission (well, I'll use an AX-15 because I have one, there is no transmission in the chassis) and using something like an AC-51 or similar motor. It will be slightly underpowered, but I want to use it as a truck still, so I think this combo will work. I'd also like about 50-70 miles of range, I don't need any more than that for what I plan to do with it. This is all subject to change as I do more research, and see if any EV components are actually available to me. I live in an area that's considered to be the middle of nowhere, and there's maybe 2 or 3 Teslas in the area, and even less other EVs/hybrids.
 

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Hey 2drX4, my timing is the same, at best, because I am still recovering from the cost of making a 1948 electric Willys (see Chick Magnet posts). Here is a picture of my Comanche:
Plant Tire Wheel Car Vehicle


It screams for an electric motor. Same range expectation as you, roughly 50 miles, and same philosophy to keep the original tranny. I have already developed an Excel spreadsheet to derive torque, power consumption and driving range, I would be happy to share it. We can avoid duplicating efforts on the following tasks:

  • Designing the motor adapter to the clutch housing (assuming you have a stick shift too).
  • Designing the shaft hub to which the flywheel bolts to.
  • Electrical diagram
  • Sourcing/drafting a CAD model of the engine compartment. I am thinking about investing in a 3-D scanner.
  • Drafting the motor mounts and all the custom parts for fabrication.
  • I already have a battery pack and vehicle platform design that works. It adds a little weight but allows to swap battery under 10 minutes.
  • Bill of material
  • Project budgeting

This should give our projects a good head-start, regardless of our own timing. In the execution phase, I know a good shop to fabricate custom parts.

Feel free to PM me your email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm more of a cardboard aided design type... And intimately familiar with the platform. So I won't be 3D scanning anything myself.

It is pretty amazing what the technology offers though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey 2drX4, my timing is the same, at best, because I am still recovering from the cost of making a 1948 electric Willys (see Chick Magnet posts). Here is a picture of my Comanche:
View attachment 126096

It screams for an electric motor. Same range expectation as you, roughly 50 miles, and same philosophy to keep the original tranny. I have already developed an Excel spreadsheet to derive torque, power consumption and driving range, I would be happy to share it. We can avoid duplicating efforts on the following tasks:

  • Designing the motor adapter to the clutch housing (assuming you have a stick shift too).
  • Designing the shaft hub to which the flywheel bolts to.
  • Electrical diagram
  • Sourcing/drafting a CAD model of the engine compartment. I am thinking about investing in a 3-D scanner.
  • Drafting the motor mounts and all the custom parts for fabrication.
  • I already have a battery pack and vehicle platform design that works. It adds a little weight but allows to swap battery under 10 minutes.
  • Bill of material
  • Project budgeting

This should give our projects a good head-start, regardless of our own timing. In the execution phase, I know a good shop to fabricate custom parts.

Feel free to PM me your email.
Nice truck! Really looks to be in great shape.

I actually have some "stuff" around that helps answers some of the adapting questions already, they're leftover parts from a Mercedes/Jeep adapter that are basically useless for anything but further prototyping, but I have not gone as far as laying out the motor pattern against them or figuring out the shaft length. I'm actually totally in the "sucking up information" stage, where I'll just look at builds and see what I can learn before I even think about what I would do.

If I start to figure anything out specifically I will just make all of the info freely available in a thread in the build section. I don't know if I will actually proceed with this, but I do like playing around with ideas and numbers. You mention budgeting, and that is the big stumbling block, I am taking what is basically a worthless chassis and considering throwing $25-30K at it to make something worthwhile, which is nonsensical. I haven't sussed out the junkyards here for EV options yet, but I suspect they are not touching them, and the only "cheap" used EVs I've seen are Leafs (Leaves?), which aren't worth it given I'd probably only be harvesting the batteries from them.

Actually fitting the motor in the chassis and building mounts is the least of my concern. I've done multiple engine swaps and weird fabrication before. I'll probably tackle it the way I normally do, which is to locate the transmission as the factory would, then hang the motor off it and adjust it as required, then imobilize the motor in place with temporary mounts and build the actual ones. The swap I'm currently wrapping up has custom mounts that were just built in place to fit the chassis. If you don't have a full center console, or are willing to modify it, the transmission can go forwards or back a bit without much trouble. Bending the shifter may or may not be required. However, I think the stock location likely will be totally fine for a starting datum point.

Are you intending to shoehorn some battery modules in the front? I think I'll figure out how much space I have under the bed and see if that gets me anywhere near what I think I need.
 
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