Jimmy's Electric Adventures

J1000

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I am so glad there is a new subforum for EVs! I have had normal project vehicles in the past, but recently I have started getting more and more EV stuff. I figure I'll just post all of my projects here and add as I go. I'm in to EVs just because they are new and cool and the tech appeals to me. Who knows if they'll save the world or if the technology will ever progress far enough to replace gasoline but in the meantime they're fun to play with. I am really attracted to EV conversions for old vehicles that have obsolete engines but the styling or other aspects of the vehicle far overshadow the engine...like an 80 series for instance! Instead of LS swapping everything or rebuilding original motors, an EV conversion is the perfect fit, especially for a low-mileage classic car.

Now that I've introduced myself here are my EV projects:

1: EVJ80 Land Cruiser conversion. This is my flagship project but also the one that I have gotten the least done. It's a '96 80 series with 324k miles. Rough shape but it's all there. @DanielChase used his superior negotiating skills and I drove away in it for $1000. 6 months later and I now have it licensed in my name in the state of Colorado (via Vermont)! So now I can get started! I plan to fit all of the EV parts from a Nissan LEAF into this 80. Motor, inverter, chargers, batteries, and maybe even the AC and heater! The LEAF makes 100hp and 250ft-lbs in the first generation and the later generations made 140 and 200hp and upwards of 300ft-lbs with just an inverter upgrade (which I can also do). Also 35s, OME 2.5" lift, rear LOKKA, and stuff like that. Tow bar on the front so I can flat tow it with my 100.

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Donor vehicle acquired:

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2: 1982 Unique Mobility Electrek. This is an original EV that was built in Englewood, CO. There were only between 60 and 80 of these cars ever manufactured. This one is one of the very last Electreks to be built and has 20,000 original miles. The running gear from these cars came from VW Rabbit Diesels with a custom fiberglass body. The motor is a General Electric 11" 32hp continuous DC motor. It drives through the original VW Rabbit 4-speed transmission. This one I am restoring back to driving condition and will upgrade to Nissan LEAF lithium batteries for hopefully 200 miles of range. I put together 8 old car batteries and powered it up and tested it! It runs! This car is very ugly.

How I found it:

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Restoration begins:

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3. 1988 Toyota Pickup EV conversion. I just bought this vehicle for $1000. I drove all the way to South Carolina to get it and back. Yep. It was converted to EV about 10ish years ago by the previous owner and it was completed with everything except batteries. This is very common with EV conversions; people wait on the batteries because they are by far the most expensive single component and future battery tech always promises to be better so people just wait and wait and then lose interest in the project. Unfortunately, the owner of this vehicle took his own life before he completed this vehicle. I can tell it was his prize possession and he must have put hours and hours into it. I low-balled his family with a $1000 offer because it had been sitting for a long time and I promised them I'd get it running and they accepted it so now I have to. Everyone else just was going to part it out. It has a 75kw (100hp) electric motor and 500 amp controller at 144 volts. It's a solid build with good parts. I want to make this truck a little camping/tiny home/nomad vehicle. With a twist. It will have solar panels and maybe wind generator on it so that it will be "FREE TO DRIVE" as long as you leave it parked for a day or two in the sun then you can drive it! It will be perfect for the ski-bum or mountain hippy type of person we all know.

One thing that intrigues me about EVs is that having a completely self-sustaining vehicle is totally possible. Instead of having an EV that makes you more dependent on the grid, you could do the opposite...

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My EV projects have rapidly grown out of my control so I thought I'd lay them all out. Lots of people are always asking me and I can't even keep it straight. I realized I have so much stuff I'll never finish at this rate so I'm going to ask for help. Want to be a part of this madness? If you think this stuff is cool or want to help with a specific project please reach out! I can put you in charge of simple jobs or complicated jobs. From cleaning and painting to assembling and welding. It doesn't look like I'll be cloning myself any time soon so more bodies willing to help would be appreciated!

Of course we are always looking for batteries! Batteries of all shapes and sizes! If you have batteries laying around not being used I can offer a warm, loving home for them!
 

bassguyry

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This is so cool. I'm really excited to see these come to fruition!
 

gungriffin

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Rock on Jimmy! You definitely have some really cool projects going on.
 

Notyourmomslx450

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I'm almost always willing to help w/ something.....
I've got a lot of my own projects coming up, but if I've got free time I'm willing to help w/ something.
 

MonPetiteShoe

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Count me in. I'm available on weekends. I'll shoot you a PM.
 

J1000

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Oct 11, 2018
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Morrison, CO
Thanks everyone.

Here's a list of big ticket stuff I need to get done:
1. Strip donor LEAF for battery, motor, chargers
2. Separate Electrek motor and transmission and paint trans
3. Weld cats into unrelated Dodge Van so it can be moved
 

nakman

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so many awesomes here Jimmy... can't wait to see where you take this! :beer2:
 

60wag

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Thanks everyone.

Here's a list of big ticket stuff I need to get done:
1. Strip donor LEAF for battery, motor, chargers
2. Separate Electrek motor and transmission and paint trans
3. Weld cats into unrelated Dodge Van so it can be moved
My Leaf is identical to that minus the front end damage. I'd enjoy helping to disassemble yours just to see how it is put together. LMK if you want help.
 

Romer

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Curious on what you do with the tcase and diffs for the 80 in an EV conversion
 

J1000

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Morrison, CO
The plan is to pull the engine and transmission and direct drive the electric motor into the transfer case. So the diffs and transfer case will be stock. I am adding a BlackBox doubler (https://www.northwestfab.com/BlackBox-c-Land-Cruiser-Edition_p_3396.html) in between to further reduce the motor speed.

This will give good acceleration from 0 to about 75MPH top speed in high range and it should crawl really nicely in low range.
 

Notyourmomslx450

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Nice!
 

DouglasVB

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How soon until I can send my 4runner to you for a conversion?

(only half joking! would looooove to have my runner be electric.)
 

J1000

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Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
602
Location
Morrison, CO
Thanks y'all! I really am blown away with everyone's positive comments! @Lastresort576 yes I still have the Honda. I would love to convert it to EV some day also. @DouglasVB that may be something I get in to down the road. I'd definitely help you out with the conversion at least. I think we may have a few EV 4x4s in this club in the next few years the way people are talking.

I got the rear suspension and brakes all done on the Electrek. Time to move on to the front. Got the motor separated from the trans also and exposed the clutch.

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