1996 Land Cruiser EV Conversion - EVJ80 Project

J1000

J1000

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Morrison, CO
For about the last year I have been working on converting my 1996 Land Cruiser to battery electric power. I'm getting close to it driving under its own power for the first time so I thought I'd start a thread here. It'll take a couple posts to bring it up to speed.

The basics of the plan and the build:

Purpose: I wanted an 80 project truck and I wanted to convert a vehicle to EV so I decided to combine them. Will be used to drive short distances around town or for offroad trails. I have a 100 series to tow it to trailheads, or where ever (Moab). I'm just converting it to EV because I think it will be fun to drive and a cool project, not to save the world.

Specs:
-EM57 electric motor from 2013 Nissan LEAF (100hp, 190ft-lbs)
-LEAF inverter and chargers (6.6kw and Chademo fast-charger)
-2017 30kwh LEAF battery and BMS
-Resolve-EV VCU controller
-Blackbox-C transfer case doubler
-FZJ80 transfer case
-Lokka in rear
-OME 2" medium lift

Range won't be great around town and highways will likely deplete the battery in minutes, but at crawling speeds where there is no aerodynamic drag, the range might be further. With double reduction in the transfer case it will have tons of torque from a stop and should be smooth and lots of fun on trails. It should have enough battery to complete most of the popular trails around here (10-15 miles or less) and with double reduction it should be able to climb anything. Either way it is going to be a good time!

Future upgrades are possible including, obviously, more battery capacity. Part of the reason for choosing an LC over a smaller 4x4 is the payload capacity and space for more batteries. I can upgrade to a 2020+ LEAF inverter for 200hp also.

I found a '96 80 series and got it for $1000. It has lived a tough life with 6 or 7 previous owners and 324k miles. But it ran and drove and was 100% stock so I picked it up. That was Nov 2020.

I drove it on gasoline only to pass emissions, get it registered, and I took it for a shakedown run and got it all muddy. I put some work into it and some junkyard finds like seats and LS400 steering wheel and cleaned it up. I took it to the certified scales and weighed it at 5080lbs. I will weigh it again after the conversion.

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I bought a 2013 LEAF SV from Copart and towed it home.

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I stripped out the LEAF for the electric drive components and wiring harnesses. I sold as much from it as I could then junked it.

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Then I pulled out the old iron boat anchor 1FZ with the help of some buddies and the tranny too. Buh bye.

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Comparison between 1FZ and EM57 electric motor:

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J1000

J1000

Joined
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Messages
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Morrison, CO
I power washed off all the grime and junk as much as I could and de-ICEd the truck.

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Rebuilt the front axle:

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Installed the Blackbox-C on my t-case:

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Mocking up t-case mount since the transmission is gone:

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Had an adapter plate machined up to mount my motor to and locate the driveshaft:

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Mocking up the motor position:

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Got the inverter and the chargers mounted up:



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Started mounting my 12v and running wiring:

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J1000

J1000

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Morrison, CO
I got the 12v system working on the truck and my new fusebox to hold the EV related stuff.

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Resolve-EV VCU (vehicle control unit) that controls everything:

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Mounted the VCU exactly where the OEM ECU is, even used the same brackets after some mods. Pretty slick:

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My 3 electric pumps: Power Steering, Vaccuum (for brake assist), and cooler pump for the Blackbox-C.

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3D printed panel for the buttons.

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LandLocked93

LandLocked93

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I hate EVs.
That said, I've been waiting for someone to do this.
Gotta say tho...the output shaft size between the 1FZ and the EV motor would have me concerned.
Beyond that, can it charge by means of solar??
 
Jgunner

Jgunner

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Arizona
Well, other than “why…” but why a leaf power plant? Even the leaf has stupid low mileage in a car that weighs as much as the drivetrain of an 80. I mean, will you have to drag an extension cord behind it thats still plugged into the wall? I could see a couple of tesla motors and their battery packs.
Not trying to be a downer, just a realist.
 
saucebox

saucebox

Slobivius Americanus
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This looks rad, interested to see how it goes.
 
J1000

J1000

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Morrison, CO
I am documenting my build on YouTube. It currently is just starting but I will bring it up to date soon.

See my first two episodes here:





Last update for tonight:

I had a custom driveshaft made by Englewood Driveshaft and Bill was able to understand what I was doing and made me a double-jointed super-short shaft. I used a custom made sleeve for the EM57 motor and a 23 spline chevy shaft and he grafted them together into the driveshaft.

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So with my shaft I could set my motor distance and mount it in place.

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I then did the HV wiring and finished up the wiring enough to do a rough test.

Used welding wire I got for free from a work project. Nice score!

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With that done I could mount mock up everything else and make sure I had clearance to my driveshafts and mount my t-case levers:

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Both in High

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Both in Low

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I powered it up with a battery outside the truck and it....WORKED!!!!!

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J1000

J1000

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Here are some videos of testing the motor. The first I shift the t-cases a couple times which is what the grinding is. The 2nd video is after getting it dialed in a little better and solving the vibrations:





That about brings us up to speed. I will answer questions tomorrow.
 
NorCalFJ100

NorCalFJ100

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Here are some videos of testing the motor. The first I shift the t-cases a couple times which is what the grinding is. The 2nd video is after getting it dialed in a little better and solving the vibrations:





That about brings us up to speed. I will answer questions tomorrow.

Very creative. Always appreciate an outside the box project like this! Look forward to seeing it completed!
 
N

Nemesis1207

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Sydney, Australia
Very interested in how this goes! I love my HZJ80, with its big rattling 1HZ diesel, but I can see the writing on the wall. I want to still have my 80 in 25 years, but if it's going to still be on the road past that point, I think a zero-emission conversion is inevitable. If you can crack this project and make it work, it shows the idea is viable. I like the idea of starting small and simple with the technology and capacity. Larger battery banks, more powerful motors, even in the future perhaps hydrogen or other technologies, are really all just tweaks on what you're doing, and it's still an evolving area. All we need is to make a shaft spin around. If you can make this work for one motor, that knowledge can be transferred to similar projects in the future.
 
DannyG

DannyG

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Southaven, MS
Excited to see this conversion... Will be following this build for future ideas. In the meantime, i've been following a Humvee EV conversion by a guy that goes by JerryRigEverything (aka Agent 47 ;)) over on Youtube.. Cool to watch.
 
Heckraiser

Heckraiser

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Nice to see the progress on the 80! When I stopped by the shop this summer, this thing was still pretty much a pile of parts. Super cool :cool:
 
J1000

J1000

Joined
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Messages
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Morrison, CO
I hate EVs.
That said, I've been waiting for someone to do this.
Gotta say tho...the output shaft size between the 1FZ and the EV motor would have me concerned.
Beyond that, can it charge by means of solar??
Stay tuned! Of course it can charge by solar, it will just take friggin forever. I've got some plans along these lines that are going to be awesome :cool:

Do you have EV experience, or just figuring it out as you go? I'm excited to see this come together.
I'm just a hobbyist into cars of all types and interested in EVs.

Well, other than “why…” but why a leaf power plant? Even the leaf has stupid low mileage in a car that weighs as much as the drivetrain of an 80. I mean, will you have to drag an extension cord behind it thats still plugged into the wall? I could see a couple of tesla motors and their battery packs.
Not trying to be a downer, just a realist.
The same reason I don't have a G-Wagen. I'm on a budget. I also want to finish this project and actually drive it. If I had a dollar for every time someone said "you should use Tesla" to me I'd have enough to buy a Tesla. I got my wrecked LEAF for less than $4000 including the fuel to pick it up. I'd have to spend 4-5x that amount to get a wrecked Tesla. Also a Tesla is basically a driving battery. The engineering and packaging in those cars is insane. Trying to package that into a DIY build would be an exercise in futility. I've seen others try and fail or stall out or end up with 1/3rd the anticipated battery capacity etc etc.

My 100 will satisfy my long range cruisering and it will tow my EV 80 to the trailhead.

Lastly, as just trail rig and around town driver the range and performance will be fine. And let's not kid ourselves, the 1FZ ain't winning any races. Also the upgrade path is clear, I can install batteries in so many locations on the truck, gas tank, exhaust, spare tire, along frame rails, etc. Also I can just do an inverter swap and double my current horsepower. I did think about this for a few minutes before I started ;)
 
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J1000

J1000

Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
834
Location
Morrison, CO
Very interested in how this goes! I love my HZJ80, with its big rattling 1HZ diesel, but I can see the writing on the wall. I want to still have my 80 in 25 years, but if it's going to still be on the road past that point, I think a zero-emission conversion is inevitable. If you can crack this project and make it work, it shows the idea is viable. I like the idea of starting small and simple with the technology and capacity. Larger battery banks, more powerful motors, even in the future perhaps hydrogen or other technologies, are really all just tweaks on what you're doing, and it's still an evolving area. All we need is to make a shaft spin around. If you can make this work for one motor, that knowledge can be transferred to similar projects in the future.
Yeah it's a whole new world to explore!

'zero emission' conversion is an oxymoron.

Looking forward to updates!
Agreed. At this point an EV conversion is just something to do because you want to. On paper there are no good reasons to convert a normal car to EV. Maybe in the future that will change if batteries become a lot cheaper or whatever but right now it's just for fun.
 
J1000

J1000

Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
834
Location
Morrison, CO
Excited to see this conversion... Will be following this build for future ideas. In the meantime, i've been following a Humvee EV conversion by a guy that goes by JerryRigEverything (aka Agent 47 ;)) over on Youtube.. Cool to watch.

I'm so jealous of his project, so cool! An aluminum bodied Humvee is a brilliant donor vehicle too. Other cool projects I have seen is ElectroMod Garage's Land Rover Disco II build. He is using a Tesla motor but that means he has no transfer case so it's going to be more a on-road car than 4x4:
 

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