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Hello all! I am a builder from Colorado looking into doing my first EV conversion. I am not an expert any any field, but have usable knowledge in electronics, fabrication, and basic car mechanics.

I have a few vehicles that I am kicking around doing an EV conversion on. Looking for a bit of performance, stock or better. Range, 100 miles plus. Budget, variable.

1969 GMC K2500 - This has been in my family since 1972 and is immaculate with only 78k original miles. Doesn't get driven much as it is currently 2WD and unusable in the winter months in Colorado, also, feeding that 396 is costly, so not a great daily use vehicle either. Thinking an EV conversion and 4WD upgrade might make this a usable vehicle. If I can keep the tow/haul performance, it can replace my 99 Silverado. Pros - won't ever sell, more "value" in investment. Cons - $$$ to get a powerful enough motor, irreplaceable as family vehicle (new to conversions and don't want to screw up).

2006 Mini Cooper S - My daily driver. Everything works great, gets decent gas milage. FF layout works great in Colorado for 99.9% of conditions. Seems like a potentially good platform for an EV conversion. Considering a Tesla S front motor as full replacement of stock drivetrain. Pros - would make nice daily driver. Cons - space for motor and battery, not a "family friendly" size car so not sure of it's longevity.

1946 Willy's CJ2A - Used to be our ranch vehicle, motor blown. Would love to get running again as it's great to move about the property. Doesn't have to go far, 50 miles at most. Stock motor was 60HP 105ft-lbs. Pros - Simple, lower specs needed, less cost. Cons - not high use.

98-01 Subaru Impreza - Don't have one of these, but lightweight and AWD making it the perfect Colorado car. Pros - good all around vehicle. Cons - Starting from scratch.

Sorry for the brain dump, been kicking around a lot of ideas and researching parts the past few weeks. There are just so many variables and things to consider, gets overwhelming. Hoping the experience and enthusiasm of the forum can help me get it done.
 

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I too am a colorado newbie -- fort collins. Going to sell a mercedes that I rarely drive and use those funds to buy an older manual transmission vehicle and start this thing.

I was also tossing around the early 2000s Mini idea. The more I think about it, though, the more I think that it would be nice to start w/ a vehicle that has fewer computerized parts. If, for example, a later model vehicle had built-in electric power steering that received CAN bus messages re: speed, rpm, etc., to change the amnt of power to apply to the steering, then I have more steps to get power steering to work (replacing, or integrating w/ the CAN system).

I have an evernote list of about 20 different makes/models. It keeps growing and I'm still not happy with my choices. Totally understand where you're at! SO GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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Hi Guys

Remember a conversion will ALWAYS cost more and be less of a "car" than simply buying a second hand EV

You should think of a conversion as a "Hot Rod" - and ONLY spend the money if you want that "Hot Rod"

Starting with "I already have a ...." - is not usually a good way

Do you REALLY WANT the end result??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to meet a fellow Coloradan Jeremy. I think you are right, a Mini is probably too complex for a first time. Good luck to you on your build!

Duncan, I agree. I'm now down to the 69 GMC and the Willy's. Both are cars I will never sell, so money is less of a factor. The Willy's is looking good because it has much lower needs, only light offloading, no highway speeds, it would only 10 miles in a day. Hoping I can cut my teeth on this one with a decent motor (WarP11 or the like) with smaller battery pack I can upgrade later, maybe even lead acid to start with.
 
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