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That's only sort of accurate though. Yes, it does have 2 speeds, but only in 4WD, and the Defender 4WD system can not be used on asphalt as it doesn't have a central differential. In 2WD its only 1 speed. The only reason to connect it directly to the transfer case is to lose the gearbox.
??? Defenders are permanent 4x4, and can be used on asphalt. There is no 2WD option for a Defender. I think the Series 3 Land Rover had selectable 2WD/4WD though.
 

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Thanks for that...Ill have a look at the ratio calculator and input a chosen motor in there to see the rpm/speed it would give.

This would be 99% for onroad driving, and getting rid of the gearbox and just connecting it to the transfer case would be the easiest/neatest installation. Direct drive isn't really an option though as it would render the front solid axle useless and way overkill to just do the suspension/steering work. For a direct drive the ideal thing is a 2WD pick up, or an SUV that is sold both in 2WD and 4WD versions like a Toyota 4Runner.
I'm pretty sure the ECC direct drive Defender was keeping it's 4x4, but to be 100% you'd have to ask them.

Talking about steering above, whats the plan there? obviously it will need power steering but you're going to loose the pump when the engine goes. Are you going to convert it to EPAS?
 

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I agree, Defenders are permanent AWD. Only hi & low ratios. I'd recommend trying to lose the AWD completely and go directly rwd. Either use the transfer box for 2 speeds and lock/weld the diff without a front drive shaft or if you can get a crawler crown & pinion ratio (or swop to a different axle with crawler ratio like a Dyna) go directly to the axle. Only trick then is running an empty front axle or swapping to a solid beam?
Personally it's alot of work but I'd build a custom independent suspension subframe for the front and also the rear and mount entire leaf motor into subframe in the rear. You could pack all battery into the engine bay in a nice brick/block of cells easily removable.
Whatever way it has potential to be a brilliant conversion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
??? Defenders are permanent 4x4, and can be used on asphalt. There is no 2WD option for a Defender. I think the Series 3 Land Rover had selectable 2WD/4WD though.

Yes duh...sorry, forgot to engage brain before writing! I was thinking the older style Toyota/Jeep transfer cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I agree, Defenders are permanent AWD. Only hi & low ratios. I'd recommend trying to lose the AWD completely and go directly rwd. Either use the transfer box for 2 speeds and lock/weld the diff without a front drive shaft or if you can get a crawler crown & pinion ratio (or swop to a different axle with crawler ratio like a Dyna) go directly to the axle. Only trick then is running an empty front axle or swapping to a solid beam?
Personally it's alot of work but I'd build a custom independent suspension subframe for the front and also the rear and mount entire leaf motor into subframe in the rear. You could pack all battery into the engine bay in a nice brick/block of cells easily removable.
Whatever way it has potential to be a brilliant conversion.
Yeah...this would be waaayyy beyond the scope of this project. This is meant to be a straight forward electric conversion, not a complete redesign of suspension systems etc etc

If I were to go this route Id do something different. Im working on a few small bits and pieces for my other "project car", a 73 Firebird, and one of those is working with a metal shaping guy (http://www.chris-isaacs.com) who also does customs chassis work so a completely new chassis with IFS and only rear wheel drive would be the ticket! Some other time :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I'm pretty sure the ECC direct drive Defender was keeping it's 4x4, but to be 100% you'd have to ask them.

Talking about steering above, whats the plan there? obviously it will need power steering but you're going to loose the pump when the engine goes. Are you going to convert it to EPAS?
There is a company doing EPAS for classic cars...that may be an option. Ideally Id love a front driven accessory plate like the one EV West does which includes the AC compressor and such. I'm still on the fence about this one. There's also electric power steering pumps...that might be the most straight forward solution.
 

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Yes, that's true that no current EVs have a gearbox...
Just to be clear: they all have a gearbox, but they don't have a multi-speed gearbox (just a single ratio or "single speed" gearbox).

...this would only be for simplicity sake. That being said though, would there not be a benefit to keep the electric motor in a certain RPM range to extend the battery life? Or is that completely irrelevant for electric motors, and they use the same amount of power regardless at what RPM they're running at?
Motor speed does matter both to available power and to efficiency. In most production EVs, the manufacturers have decided that the efficiency benefit of changing ratios is not sufficient to justify the cost, weight, and complexity.

To me, the main reasons for wanting multiple ratios would be:
  • use of a motor which does not have as wide an effective speed range as the high-voltage motors used in production EVs, or
  • wanting to operate well at both highway speeds and very slowly, such as crawling off-road.
For just crawling off-road, the low range of a typical "transfer case" (which is really a multi-function device with auxiliary transmission, front drive disconnect, and "drop" or "transfer" gear or chain set) would provide the desired reduction gearing... especially if extra-low gearing is available, such as 4:1 rather than the more typical 2.5:1 or so.

The other option which I forgot to mention is getting rid of the gearbox, and replacing it with a 2 speed over drive unit which would give 2 speeds.
A more compact and simpler two-speed gearbox - intended as an auxiliary unit behind a conventional transmission but used in this case as the only transmission - is an appealing idea. A couple of notes, though:
  • You probably need an underdrive (with one direct ratio and one reduction ratio) rather than an overdrive (which has one direct ratio and one overdrive ratio), since you probably want the motor to run faster, not slower.
  • These are not nearly as easy to find as they were a few decades ago.
 

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Personally it's alot of work but I'd build a custom independent suspension subframe for the front and also the rear and mount entire leaf motor into subframe in the rear.
At that point, wouldn't it be a completely custom chassis which happens to have a Defender body - and perhaps some of the frame - on top? Like this:
Im working on a few small bits and pieces for my other "project car", a 73 Firebird, and one of those is working with a metal shaping guy (http://www.chris-isaacs.com) who also does customs chassis work so a completely new chassis with IFS and only rear wheel drive would be the ticket! Some other time :D
Some people do stuff like that, but it's pretty extreme.
 

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Ideally Id love a front driven accessory plate like the one EV West does which includes the AC compressor and such.
This one?
EV West Accessory Plate & Pump System For HPEVS AC-34/35/50/51
I can't imagine wanting power steering that doesn't work under 5 MPH or air conditioning that shuts off when stationary or creeping. I suspect that they built this for people using Powerglide transmissions (which make the motor turn all of the time), and then decided that it was usable even without idling.

In contrast to what EV West says, a separate motor for each accessory - suited specifically to that accessory and running only as required - makes far more sense to me. Even using their accessory mounting and drive set with a single motor dedicated to the accessories (and running at constant speed) would be more effective.
 

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I agree with Brian, I can't see how an accesory plate thing would work with a power steering pump. Surely when you need it most is at very low speeds, but then the motor wouldn't be turning enough to make the power steering pump work.

Also, I'd be surprised if the companies that make EPAS solutions for classic cars have a Defender kit. The reason being that they usually make kits for classic cars that didn't originally have power steering. Making a kit for a car that originally had power steering would be a very VERY small market for them :D Maybe they can sell a generic kit that you can fit to any car, although it would need to be powerful enough to deal with the Defender's steering torque which is huge. I'd be wary of getting one off a production car that has EPAS like a Vauxhall as it might not have the grunt for the Defender application.
 

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I just thought..... the classic Range Rover that ECC converted to electric last year must have originally had power steering on. A quick search on ECC's facebook page turned up this EPAS converted steering column they made.



Maybe it's the same or similar to a Defender one, or maybe they can convert your column for you as they're going to have a similar problem to overcome with the 2 Defenders they're converting. If they're building 2 anyway maybe they can build a 3rd for you cheap :)
 

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... it would need to be powerful enough to deal with the Defender's steering torque which is huge. I'd be wary of getting one off a production car that has EPAS like a Vauxhall as it might not have the grunt for the Defender application.
That raises a question: if you want to use the original hydraulic rack and just provide electrically-pumped fluid, what's the heaviest car that came with electro-hydraulic power steering (EHPAS or EHPS)? My Mazda 3 has it, along with all the other cars built on the Ford C1 platform, probably using TRW pumps, and maybe all the same model of pump; however, TRW does offer different pumps with different capacities. The 2006–2013 Volvo V70 isn't small, and the Defender probably has slower steering which would reduce the load on the pump.

Toyota pioneered production use of this system in the W20-generation MR2 (to avoid long hydraulic lines between the steering rack and the mid-rear mounted engine); however, I don't know what else they have used it on, and I have read that Toyota has discontinued this system. They apparently don't even sell the fluid for it any more, so the system probably hasn't been used in new Toyota vehicles for at least a decade.

The trend for a decade has been away from this system of steering boost, which was an interim step between engine-driven hydraulics and directly powering the rack or column with an electric motor (Electric Power Assisted Steering or EPAS). There will now be a huge selection of non-hydraulic EPAS systems from production cars, some with the motor in the column and others with the motor on the rack, but any of them will be a challenge to control unless offered as an already sorted-out aftermarket solution because they expect commands over CAN. Even the pumps for electro-hydraulic systems can be difficult to control; the simple operation of the Toyota W-20 system is one reason for its popularity in EV conversions and engine swap projects.
 

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Been away just caught up with this. Following with intrest

Ive been building / modifying LR for 35 years

Defenders don't have rack & pinion steering have a PAS steering box . I would not even bother I have armstrong steering in mine & its a non issue.



If you do there is no problem putting an RRC column in a Defender , Ive done it in a RRC/ Series hybrid , Defer steering wheel even fits.

This is my Electric LandRover www.goingbush.com/ptev.html

If you want to ditch the constant 4x4 ( I'd keep it) Santana PS10 / Iveco Massif have a 2WD /4WD version of the LT230 transfer case , it will bolt straight in.

or Ashcroft have a 2wd/4WD kit for your LT230

http://www.ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk/miscellaneous/part-time-4wd-kits.html
 

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Defenders don't have rack & pinion steering have a PAS steering box .
Good catch... but the electrically-pumped hydraulic assist option is still available... it's just a hydraulic steering box instead of hydraulic steering rack. :) The hydraulic cylinder in the Land Rover PAS box is very short, so it may need a lot of pressure to be effective, compared to a typical hydraulic rack.

Of course in the straight electric assist, the only option would be the column-mounted motor, since no one builds a motorized worm&sector box. It could be done, of course, but powering the column is the more obvious solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I agree with Brian, I can't see how an accesory plate thing would work with a power steering pump. Surely when you need it most is at very low speeds, but then the motor wouldn't be turning enough to make the power steering pump work.

Also, I'd be surprised if the companies that make EPAS solutions for classic cars have a Defender kit. The reason being that they usually make kits for classic cars that didn't originally have power steering. Making a kit for a car that originally had power steering would be a very VERY small market for them :D Maybe they can sell a generic kit that you can fit to any car, although it would need to be powerful enough to deal with the Defender's steering torque which is huge. I'd be wary of getting one off a production car that has EPAS like a Vauxhall as it might not have the grunt for the Defender application.
Th EPAS company Im thinking about (cant recall their name right now) doesnt make set EPAS for each classic, they do more of a retrofit to any type of steering column type of thing. So their system would definitively work on a Defender. Essentially its custom made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Been away just caught up with this. Following with intrest

Ive been building / modifying LR for 35 years

Defenders don't have rack & pinion steering have a PAS steering box . I would not even bother I have armstrong steering in mine & its a non issue.



If you do there is no problem putting an RRC column in a Defender , Ive done it in a RRC/ Series hybrid , Defer steering wheel even fits.

This is my Electric LandRover www.goingbush.com/ptev.html

If you want to ditch the constant 4x4 ( I'd keep it) Santana PS10 / Iveco Massif have a 2WD /4WD version of the LT230 transfer case , it will bolt straight in.

or Ashcroft have a 2wd/4WD kit for your LT230

http://www.ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk/miscellaneous/part-time-4wd-kits.html
Thanks for that info! Id definitively leave the stock transfer case...no need to add additional complexity.

On a side note...Ive seen your videos a while ago. Excellent build! My wife actually originally wanted something similar to your lightweight but the UK weather doesnt much lend itself to driving a Land Rover with a canvas roof year round... Its a sham because of all the cars Iv oned one of my all time favorites was a Jeep CJ8/Scrambler (I know, I said the J word) which only had a bikini top pretty much year round. Then again that was in Florida...

Oh and yes, no rack and pinion, but an electric pump to power the stock steering box should work just fine.
 
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