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Hi there!

I'm completely new to this area and I wanted to introduce myself. I recently bought a 1997 Jeep Wrangler that I'm very keen to convert to electric. I've reached out to EVWest and Electric GT about conversion kits and parts to get an idea of what I might need. I honestly have no idea where to start. All the guides out there typically provide a 7 step guide without much detail such as:

  1. First step remove the gasoline engine, fuel supply lines, fuel tank, exhaust system, radiator and other unwanted parts from the car which is of no use to an electric vehicle. But do remember that some parts might be reused so do not remove them let it be in it’s respective location.
  2. After this process fix the adapter plate that was custom built for mounting the motor and transmission together with the help of a shaft coupler.
  3. Install the motor make sure they are fixed rigidly and it should not vibrate which might damage the transmission.
  4. Later batteries, organize these batteries in a box to hold them all in one place and put it in place where the fuel tank existed.
  5. Then install the motor controller in place and now add a dc-dc converter that will power the auxiliary equipment’s of the vehicle like headlight, air conditioner etc.
  6. Now to the power brakes most cars today have them without them one has to press the brakes really hard to get them working and if your donor car needs one then you need to add a vacuum pump that gives some power to the brake when applied.

These guides appear (at glance) oversimplify the process and I was hoping someone could point to a much more in depth resource about all this stuff. Specifically, things like "connecting" seem extremely oversimplified, controllers, ..etc.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Yes, those general steps are massively simplified. It's a bit like describing going to the moon as "1. mount capsule on rocket; 2. fire rocket upwards; 3. maneouver into lunar orbit" Fortunately, actually building a conversion is easier than building a moon rocket. ;) And this forum is full of examples of what can actually be done, even including Jeeps and similar vehicles.

That version of the conversion process makes some assumptions, such as that you will use the original transmission. There are alternatives.

Part of the simplification is leaving out significant aspects, such as a charger, a battery management system (BMS), and power assist for the steering.

One of those simple steps is simply wrong in practical terms - almost no conversion with useful range puts all of the battery in the original fuel tank space, which is never big enough and usually isn't suitably shaped.

I recently bought a 1997 Jeep Wrangler that I'm very keen to convert to electric.
For those not completely familiar with the Wrangler history, to save looking it up like I just did, this is an early TJ Wrangler... the first one with coil spring suspension, smaller than the recent JK/JL generations. It was called the "Wrangler" in the U.S. but the "TJ" in Canada (due to a name rights dispute with the jeans company). It could have the massive 4.0L inline-six engine, or the slightly less massive four-cylinder version of the same engine. The transmission could be a 3-speed automatic or 5-speed manual. It will be a two-door, with the short 93.4 inch (2,370 mm) wheelbase (the longer "Unlimited" wasn't introduced until later).

nyxtom, once you get some general guidance and an idea of how you will proceed, I hope you'll start a build thread.
 

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One tip that may be useful: a lot of people do major modifications to all generations of the Wrangler, and they even do complete frame replacements with frame offered by aftermarket suppliers, so detailed dimensions of the frame are available. Search for that online (you want specifically the 1997-2002 TJ) and you have a starting point for laying out the components of the converted powertrain and battery case(s).
 

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IMO the wiring part of an EV conversion is the easy part, ie "connecting" everything. Just follow the wiring diagrams of the components you buy. Getting the mechanics working; powering the wheels and building a box for the batteries are the hard parts.

I think a Wrangler is an awesome starting vehicle for the conversion. Depending on what transmission it has I would either direct drive into the transfer case or maintain a manual transmission for extra ratios off-road.
 

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I learned a lot from this ebook: http://gavinshoebridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Ebook-1.2-EV-Conversions-Made-Easy.pdf
It really goes into depth about the key components in a conversion and how all of those parts tie together. Although he did use lead acid batteries which wouldn't be sufficient for your build or really any other build these days with lithium ion batteries as an alternative.
I also made a small little slideshow as well: https://docs.google.com/presentatio...2ksQg1/pub?start=false&loop=true&delayms=5000

Hope that helps.
 
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