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I'll chime in as one of the few people who has serious rock crawling and ev experience. I have a Toyota on 42's locked up and linked front and rear. I think the ev crawler has the potential to be awesome for many of the reasons you listed. I've been thinking about a Sami/Toyota crawler based loosely around the venom rc crawler.
Where are you planning on wheeling? East coast west coast?

A motor capable of being submerged is going to be hard to find. They do exist, but are not cheap and they have several draw backs relating to cooling. Washing is not an issue for any of the motors, nor is the occasional splash, but committee crossing at fordyce is going to be out. As far as motors go a warp 9, or a kostov 9 would both be a good choice. Probably equivalent to having a good 350. Something smaller like an 8 in advanced dc would also work, probably be equivalent in power to toyota 22re. Your also going to need a good high power controller. Killa, solitron, or maybe open revolt in order to handle the kind of powervyou will be working with. I would keep the trans. The deep reduction available in the t-case is great, but sometimes you need wheel speed. Unlike trans Toyota tcases don't like being shifted in motion.

48-96 volts is way to low. You will be seeing lots of current at stall. It's hard on the electronics and pretty inefficient. 144 and up is a much better voltage range. I and most of the people on this board are fans of lithium batteries. Expensive, but well worth it. 4 lead acid batteries will get you about 2 miles of hard crawling.

My personal pref would be 6 batteries on top of each axle saddle pack style. Intigrate them into the axle truss. I could spend the money to go lithium though.

You can spend anywhere form 1000-100000 on a project like this. Realisticly to get good performance out of it I would expect to spent 3-5k for the lead acid version, and 10-15k for a lithium version.

Sorry for the typos the iPad is a little hard to type on.
 

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Cool, I'm not on yotatech much anymore, but I have the same name there as well as on Marlen board. I'm gte719p on Pirate. gte718p got himself banned. I was a west coast guy, but I've moved to the East coast.

Lithiums would work well on the axles. Light wieght and vibration resistant. AGM I think could work on the axle. Flooded lead acids will not work as they are not good with vibration. A trussed toyota axle I think could take the weight. The final weight on the axle is the same. The problem comes in when shock loading the axles. With the weight low it will reduce the shock loading. Either way, you would have to seriously brace the axle. Battery boxs would make a good truss.

Having to much torque is not generally a problem. Judicious use of the throttle peddle can overcome breakage. If your not good at modulating the skinny pedal you can program your controller to limit your power. A warp 9 in the 144 volt range would put you perfectly where you want to be. The drive shaft would not take any more abuse then then behind a mild 350. People have done it several times. If it did become and issue, building a better driveshaft is cheap and easy.
 
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