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Old 01-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Trooper EV conversion

Hey everyone! Just found this site, looked around, and thought this is a place I should join and join in the communication, since you are all about doing what I am getting ready to do.

Let me tell you a bit about what I have and am converting.

I have a 1995 Isuzu Trooper (awesome SUV, by the way!) with nearly 300,000 miles on it. Body and running gear is in great condition, interior in great condition, you'd never guess it has 300,000 miles on it.

Anyway, the motor and tranny are getting a little weak, and, let's face it, it gets sucky gas mileage (16-17 mpg). So I am getting ready to pull the motor, have the tranny rebuilt, and convert to a gas/electric hybrid.

My plan is transplanting the engine with a large (120+ hp) electric motor/controller, driving the tranny with the back of the motor, the a/c compressor/power steering with the front of the motor, connect these to deep cycle 12v batteries, and use a small diesel Kubota lawn mower engine connected to an alternator to recharge the batteries.

This set up was originally used by Mother Earth News in the early 70's in an old Opel with a regular gas lawn mower engine and flooded lead acid batteries, so the principle is proven, and this would get some pretty good flexibility for me.

What I am doing now, and would appreciate any input from anyone who has info, is locating the specific parts I need to use, which batteries would be best & most cost effective, etc.

I look forward to reading more about what you guys are doing and appreciate any input you can give.

d. duck

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Old 01-28-2008, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi - sounds like an ambitious project!

Originally Posted by d. duck View Post
What I am doing now, and would appreciate any input from anyone who has info, is locating the specific parts I need to use, which batteries would be best & most cost effective, etc.
Have you found the web sites you're looking for?

E.G. www.evparts.com

And the best place to spend a few hours looking at what kinds of equipment choices and performance you can expect in a truck-based conversion: www.evalbum.com. (Many of the vehicles there also give you the cost of the conversion.)
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
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Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't be misled by horsepower ratings. A 120hp motor is gigantic - like 900lbs gigantic. Your truck doesn't need that kind of power. A large vehicle-duty motor will deliver 120hp for the brief period that you need that much power, like during acceleration. But before it can become completely heat-soaked and destroy itself from overheating, you'll have achieved your desired speed and backed off the throttle.

I think the power rating you're looking for is more along the lines of 50-60hp.
http://www.go-ev.com/motors-warp.html is the link to NetGain Tech, they've been dealing EV motors for a long time and provided the two 8" motors that drive White Zombie, a record-breaking EV dragster. Check it out.

Lead or follow. Either is fine.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I want to take my 98 tooper where you are going!

I would love to keep up with your conversion. I have a rising High School student who will be helping me prep 'his' car (either my Trooper or his mom's Volvo.) Gotta go electric/nat gas hybrid. I need to watch your progress! I am stoked!

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Old 03-02-2008, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a great project!

One thing to remember is that when you're stopped at the lights or something, your motor will be stopped, and so the A/C and the power steering will be stopped, too. A separate small motor could be better, if you're in traffic lots - though even if you're going slow over rough terrain they wouldn't be going very quick.

I look forward to reading more! Sounds alot like my project, only I'm aiming to use an old Brumby/BRAT ute
Making do with a Honda Civic. Tesla Model 3 reserved. Still kinda want an SVX for fun, though.

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Old 03-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to the community!
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Real world dreams?

I had read that I'll need another small motor to keep those (A/C/PS/PB) running. I was planning to review the high efficiency RV A/C units and maybe just trade out the whole shebang? PS & PB shouldn't take alot of ummmphhh. I am so foolish/bold as to want to try towing my L'il camper with this baby. It will make for an interesting journal of real world applications.

We all must stay tuned! I eagerly await anyone's progress.

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm getting ready to do the same thing with my 94 Trooper. Definately keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Few "Ideas" for you to consider

1) Use an Electric power steering pump from a Toyota MR2 or a Electric Rack from a Saturn Ion. If I'm not mistaken the New 7 series has a similar (but heavier duty setup).

2) Separate motor for A/C if in traffic much. If you drive on the highway a lot, consider a Diesel swap.

3) Use a Window unit A/C Hold on NOT in the factory case, Disassemble, mount parts wherever you need to, have an HVAC technician Re-charge. You could run it off of a decent sized inverter. Also you could get a Heat Pump for winter. (just an Idea)

4) Don't forget Vacuum pump for power brakes.

5) Know your Goals.

6) Like others said Electric HP ratings are continuos, where as Gasoline is Peak. Get a big controller and a Pack with some voltage and you can make a lot of power for a short period of time.

You Trooper guys sure do like those things, I know a guy locally who drives them, and wouldn't trade if for anything even though it spends more time in the shop than on the road.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Also try to find your closest chapter of the Electric Auto Association:

I was finally able to make it to a meeting (four hour drive away, yet worth it!)

There are some amazing people there.

Don't forget to check at the library for books on electric conversions. Always amazing what you can order through your public library!


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