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View Poll Results: Which one?
Jeep Wrangler 0 0%
Chevy S-10 18 100.00%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Which vehicle should I convert?

I am looking into converting a old truck into a EV. But, I still want it to blend in with the other cars on the road and work just like them (just for shorter trips).

Now, I am willing to spend some money on this project. But, I still want it to be cost effective. And I am looking into using Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries if I can figure out a way to make them work for me (or is there a better choice in terms of life, cold weather function, weight, size, maintenance,...?)

Now the big question is what car/truck would be easiest for me to convert, and still fit my needs. I already have a Saturn 95 SC2 that gets pretty good gas mileage, but 95% of my short trips to work, the gym, and to the store could be replaced by an electric vehicle. Actually, they have been replaced by my bike now that the weather is nice.

Now, I would like to keep this from breaking the bank, so I am looking at older cars. And I have to decide between a 93 Chevy S-10 or a 89 Jeep Wrangler. Both are manual, and both need paint jobs . What are the things that I should look out for, or problems with one choice over the other?

I am in the research phase of this project right now, and may start in the September time frame. My needs are fairly basic (25 mile range, 55mph max speed, plug in only at my house, will still look good 20 years from now, $10k max (would be more impressed if I could do it for $5k))

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Chevy will be much better for aero, so I'd go for that.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Caps18 -

Welcome to EM! I always pick the trucks because it seems so easy to just "lay out" the battery packs and still have a useful (if a bit shallow) bed. Not that the Wrangler can't take it, but the truck bed is designed to hold the extra weight, right?

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Id say the truck, space is pretty hard to find in a Wrangler
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am trying to avoid having to put the batteries 'in' the bed. I would like to use that space to haul stuff. I would look at putting them under it and if absolutely necessary in a tool box type of thing. I trying to make this to look like a normal car except for the lack of a tail pipe. However, the battery issue will be the most problematic... I thought this LiFe battery was going to be easier to find.

I have always wanted a red jeep, but this may not be the right time.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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well being a jeeper, the jeep would be able to hold the weight but has some serious efficiency downfalls, first you would use quite a bit of room either under the hood and or behind the front seats. also the wrangler is a literal box, giving it bad aero. and lastly, you mentioned hauling stuff, except for the new 4drs, wranglers have very little cargo room (even with rear seat removed) the only downfall that i could think of for the s-10 when comparing the two is that it does not provide top down enjoyment, but thats not a big loss when you consider the impracticality of the jeep.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd love to see an aero, low-rider, EV S-10! If I had the money/skill/workspace I'd be all over that ;-)
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the S-10 is a heavy truck, but people like them for EV's because of the type of frame they have, and the space between the frame rails gives a better fit for the batteries compared to some of the lighter weight trucks, just make sure that the S-10 can handle the weight, I know that at least the automatic s-10 was a quarter ton truck... 500lb's of cargo not including passengers, if I used my civic as a 2 passenger vehicle I would have 400lb's of weight that I could carry within the design recommendations, not sure why they are such a gutless "truck" but I've never been impressed with them.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For your price range, you're going to be doing a lead-acid conversion. The price of a lithium pack & battery management system alone would probably put you over $10k.

I trust you've had a look through the EV Album?

I voted for the pickup, because it keeps the pack out of the passenger compartment, and has more options for aero mods. Plus as Ryland points out they've been done by many people, so you wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. I'm sure there are even kits available.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I voted for the truck
It WILL still look good 25 years from now ( no offense jeepsters)
It has room for batt's that isn't in the cabin
Parts are cheap
Repairs are easy
Its the one I would use if I was making an EV truck
It will be easier to aero-mod
so that's my 33.3 cents
S.

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