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Socal Member needing first project

757 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  brian_
Hey everyone. I just stumbled upon this forum and am just now learning about the possible diy EV projects that I could do. Very interesting stuff.

I am currently house hunting for something with room for a lift in the garage or detached workshop so I can get started on a new DIY project. My interests are class B camper van conversations, overlanding, dual sport bikes, motorcycles, kayak fishing, ICE performance cars, etc.

I have been planning on getting an old Tacoma or 4runner as a project but am now intrigued with the idea of maybe converting an old jeep or something into an EV that could carry the dog/groceries around.

Anyone know any cool ideas for a project that I might like? I'm thinking I should start on something easy at first but I could easily spend 30-50k over 2-3 years if it seemed worth it. I used to be an electrician so I am at least familiar with basic tools

Anyways, looking forward to see what everyone else has been doing around here!
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It depends heavily on what you would actually use it for.

I recommend converting a vehicle you love, and one that is not or will not be easily replaced in the future by an OEM offering...It might cost you about as much as a used Tesla.

I would also take into account the amount of stuff that's controlled by computer in modern cars, and how they might respond when that computer no longer has an engine to talk to...
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Tremelune has good points, as always.

While electric 4WD systems are interesting, the extra complication of 4WD might not be a good match with a first project. 4WD conversions either use a single motor with the existing 4WD hardware (which is bulky and shouldn't be necessary with electric drive), or use separate front and rear motors which don't mix well with the beam axles in the rear of vehicles such as the Tacoma and 4Runner, and both ends of traditional 4X4's.

RVs (van conversion, overlanding style, or otherwise) are heavy, so they have their difficulties as EV conversions - it takes a lot of motor, and a lot of battery. And the range requirements of typical overlanding conflict with the range challenge of battery-electric vehicles.

Performance cars show up way down the list, but might be a better match.

How about a basic functional truck or SUV in 2WD? If you want something novel, one of those forward-control Japanese "kei" type minitrucks or vans (in 2WD) would be relatively easy to convert and due to the small size it wouldn't need a big (that is, expensive) motor or battery. It would certainly carry dogs (in crates if the truck style) and groceries. Unfortunately, unless you get one of the Chinese versions it would be right hand drive.
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