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News 08-27-10 07:30 PM

Inner Geek: Electro Jeep
 
One of my favorite things in life is tearing things apart and putting them back together to see how they work. Over the past couple of years, I have taken that to a whole new level ' by converting two automobiles from gas to electric.

It got started about 5 years ago when I acquired an ugly purple 1975 Porsche 914 ' specifically because I wanted to do a conversion:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/...fffa61d626.jpg

True to form, I tore it apart and put it back together (without the original engine) ' I had to get at various rust-damaged areas of the body to repair them. Not to mention, silver is a much nicer color than purple:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4140/...9974745e_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4081/...f30dd7f1_m.jpg


Using a kit ' specifically designed for the Porsche 914 ' I then put in the electrical components ' electric motor, controller, batteries, etc.:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/...457a22d5_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4114/...84e48b57_m.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/...0cf2e408_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4137/...2929b1a4_m.jpg


There are many more details on my blog at http://volt914.com ' including a video that describes everything.

As fun as converting the Porsche was ' it was just a warm-up for the main act. I converted a 1986 Jeep Cherokee to electric. Unlike the Porsche, I did not have the benefit of a kit ' everything had to be done from scratch. Here is the donor vehicle ' our family car in the '80s and '90s (you can also see it in the background of the silver Porsche picture above):

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/...2ec165f69d.jpg

Without a kit, I needed to design and build every bit of the conversion. This included the high-voltage and low-voltage wiring design:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4100/...77a7083011.jpg

Battery rack design and construction:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/...c10b4b1c_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4100/...2166f0fa_m.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4114/...62fb1f8f_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4101/...2918454d_m.jpg


Motor mounts and dashboard customization:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4120/...3c757813_m.jpg http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/...34957745_m.jpg


And 1001 other details. So, now I have two fully electric vehicles to drive around ' one for me and one for my wife. And, being a complete geek, I documented this one as well at http://electrojeep.com ' including Google Sketchup CAD drawings of all the mechanical parts. I've probably invested 800 hours or more in the projects, but I've learned quite a lot, and had plenty of fun!

I still tinker with both cars from time-to-time. However, I have my eyes open for the next conversion vehicle. Stay tuned, I'm sure I will blog that one as well!

http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/nTersect?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/nTer...nk:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/nTersect/~4/7R3DuZ5blBo

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