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You just described inspector gadget. You will want sealed wheel motors and sealed batteries to keep the elements like water out or you will wind up with a lot of dead fish floating around you the first time you take it into the lake. Of course with everything sealed up it will be a challenge in figuring how to dissipate the heat. I do not under stand why you need to expand the length and width of the vehicle. It would probably be better to pick a specific size and put the extra engineering into suspension and body flexibility.
 

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This is what happens if you get too much education without spending some time out in the shop. Academic disorientation. Take a little break from school, and do a simple dc conversion and learn how to wrench, grind, and weld. The higher testosterone levels produced from this kind of activity will get you back on track.
I have seen education work the opposite also. If it is not in the book it can’t be done. An example I like to throw out is one involving my brother in-law. He is a self taught electronic wiz. Years ago he was working for a big photo developing company. He was left in charge while the head of the maintenance was on a short vacation when a computerized machine went down. The part needed would take two or three days to be delivered. In the meantime the company was loosing thousands of dollars an hour. So my in-law builds a replacement. Forgive the lack of detail but from what I remember it was a resistor and some other components and a finned heat sink with a couple of biscuit blowers. He got everything up and running with in a couple of hours. The head guy (a college boy) got word and was back in a day or so. The first thing he said as he stood there looking at the repair was that shouldn’t work. He was strictly book learned while practically everything my in-law knew was hands on. Evmetro’s advice to get some shop experience is sound but the main thing is keep that unbridled imaginative enthusiasm and don’t let school or anybody else beat it out of you.
 

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We used to visit an aunt and uncle in Kansas City when I was a kid. They lived in a second floor apartment over looking the city street. I was mesmerized by the electric busses. I remember siting in a little bay window watching them from above. Every once in a while they would make sparks when they changed power lines as they went around a corner. I suppose they went the way of the red car in Los Angles. I don't know about The electric rail adapting to weather related climate change but the big business sure knocked the hell out of them.
 
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