Builds fj60 going to EV FJ45 (2 Viewers)

workingdog

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I'm putting this over here, because it seems the only suitable place, even though this forum doesn't seem to get much traffic any more.

I had started this in another section when it was still a gasser, but now that we are going EV, I'm restarting it here.

Starting point is my 1984 FJ60 which has been through a couple of iterations of builds. First, a long time ago, to a 5.3/4l60. Then, a few years ago, to dana 60 in front and 14 bolt in the rear and an atlas and SOA.

Since I'm getting old and senile, I decided to throw all that away (except the axles) and do the following.
Replace the 60 body with Aqualu FJ45 6" stretch cab (I'd do the 12" stretch if they made a top for it) and all the front parts and a custom aluminum flat bed. Replace the leaf springs with 4 link front and rear. And replace the drivetrain with a EV drive train consisting of dual Hyper 9 motors and Tesla battery packs. Battery packs will go in the floor of the flat bed. I'd put a 3 or 4 speed manual transmission in (that's how they like to mate the EV motors) and keep the Atlas.

So, let me start the discussion by pre-stating some of the objections. Electric cars suck. Electric cars suck for rock crawling. It will never work. Why are you cutting up a perfectly good car? You're crazy/stupid/idiot/etc. You're kids are ugly.

Now that we have that out of the way, Here's the beginning

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if anyone wants any of the remaining body parts, they are here for the taking. I am not willing to ship.
If anyone wants the drivetrain, it's for sale with ALL the parts.

Engine is coming out the next couple of days, and we are going to start laying out the suspension.
First EV parts will be arriving in a couple of weeks and we'll start mocking up the motor mounts.
Body parts will take a while.

My first question is - What 3 or 4 speed would bolt up easily to either the Atlas or the 4l60 adapter plate. It can be anything, it's not really going to get used.

Thank you for your kind attention.
 

Bripars40

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Love it! We just created a department in our company devoted to installing EV charging stations.
 

cruisermatt

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How much for the blower setup? I just don't understand using the flexy 60 frame instead of the nice fully-boxed Aqualu frame that's designed for their bodies.
It's a shame to part that 60 out but it didn't look like anyone wanted to buy it while i was watching the classified add
 
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You could use a sm465 to go to the atlas. What is the expected range for a ev setup like your planning?
 

cruisermatt

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I think electric has HUGE potential for offroad. Especially once it can go in the axles. Then no need for anything in the engine compartment and the whole vehicle can be radically redesigned to not be a comprise around the engine bay ... but for now I'm looking forward to seeing how this engine replacement setup works. What are the specs? what components?
 

workingdog

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@cruisermatt - is the aqualu frame that much better? I didn't know. I can, I'm spending this much, why not a little more. Make life easier.

Range on the first iteration we are hoping for about 100miles. Although the double Hyper 9's may make that not possible. However, I'm hoping there's room in the flatbed for another set of Tesla batteries that I'm hoping would get me to 200 miles. The big question about range is how much the thing is going to weigh. Aqualu couldn't tell me what the individual parts weigh. So, I have no idea what final weight will be - other than a lot less than the 60.

The goal is jus to get it running around town. But, I'd love to take it on the Rubicon. Ideally, drive it to Ice House, spend the night charging, do the trial (with an appropriate generator along just in case, and a couple of friends with trucks), get out to Tahoma and charge up again for the drive home. Short of that. Drag it up there, go as far as we can, and then bug out before it dies.

So, SM465 is an option. As is NP435. Would both just bolt right up? I need to find with with the right tail. Ship it to Texas where the EV guys will build and adapter plate for the hyper 9, and then they'll ship it to me.
 

cruisermatt

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@cruisermatt - is the aqualu frame that much better? I didn't know. I can, I'm spending this much, why not a little more. Make life easier.

Range on the first iteration we are hoping for about 100miles. Although the double Hyper 9's may make that not possible. However, I'm hoping there's room in the flatbed for another set of Tesla batteries that I'm hoping would get me to 200 miles. The big question about range is how much the thing is going to weigh. Aqualu couldn't tell me what the individual parts weigh. So, I have no idea what final weight will be - other than a lot less than the 60.

The goal is jus to get it running around town. But, I'd love to take it on the Rubicon. Ideally, drive it to Ice House, spend the night charging, do the trial (with an appropriate generator along just in case, and a couple of friends with trucks), get out to Tahoma and charge up again for the drive home. Short of that. Drag it up there, go as far as we can, and then bug out before it dies.

So, SM465 is an option. As is NP435. Would both just bolt right up? I need to find with with the right tail. Ship it to Texas where the EV guys will build and adapter plate for the hyper 9, and then they'll ship it to me.

I have no personal experience with their frames, they look nice though. Brand new mandrel bent 2x4 tubing is waaaay better then the stock FJ60 frame by miles, especially if you're doing links, not only for rigidity but nice fresh steel to weld to. And they make the FJ45 body you're buying so why not just buy the frame they also make for their body? Seems logical to me? I would think it would save you a ton of work. You could probably even order it without the leaf spring hangers
 

workingdog

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So, fj60 is about 107", fj45 frame from Aqualu is 116". I think that would be fine for what I'm doing. They'll do it without the leaf hangers and with a saginaw plate. one advantage of the 60 frame was the steering was fully functional and it has very nice skid plates under the engine trans and transfer case. So, I have to think about how valuable all that it is. It represents a lot of fab. But maybe the 60 steering box won't even fit under the 45 body.

Dammit @cruisermatt , now you've made me think!

And, that would mean all the work I did taking the body off was wasted ...
 

GLTHFJ60

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I'm not sure it's worth the expense of going with an aqualu frame. They're slick for sure, but they don't make a frame for 60s, and you already have a frame that's in good shape.
 

workingdog

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@NTAPHSE - there are several places you can acquire an EVE drivetrain. I'm getting mine from a guy called Hawkeye Innovations in Plano Texas. He's not well known, just a one guy shop, but responsive. Larger operations are EVWest and Electric GT which are both having growth problems right now.

@GLTHFJ60 @cruisermatt - I want to have this discussion. I have the 60 frame with great skid plates and cross members and mounts as well as built high-steer and rock rails. But I think CruiserMatt may be right. Putting a 45 body on a 60 frame means all the mounts are in the wrong place and I have to make new ones and spend all the time, getting them exactly right. In addition, who knows if the steering and crossmembers will work in the 45 body. The Aqualu frame is $2,500. Given what I'm spending already, it's actually all that much. It would be worth it to have a good starting point that I'm not having to 'accommodate' down the road. Mentally, I have giving all that stuff up and it means I have to all the geometry from scratch - which for some reason it scares me to have to locate the axles and the engine and the cross members. I kind of like having all the decisions made. I tend to 'lock up' if I have too many choices. But, I think I need to get over that and realize that a blank slate is a better place to start.
 

GLTHFJ60

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Oh duh, 45 body. You can pay aqualu to put on spring hangers and whatnot.

If the money isn't a concern, yeah, spring for the aqualu frame. It's a better starting point for sure.
 

workingdog

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Also, the fj45 frame from Aqualu is 116", the fj60 frame is 107" wheelbase. I think 116" would serve me better on this build.
 

workingdog

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Okay, one more thing to think about. The Aqualu frame is not DOT certified. The 60 frame is. I'm planning on street driving this thing. In California, am I taking a risk that the CARB guy that confirms the EV conversion might notice the frame and flag it as not a DOT approved car?
 
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my only concern about the 60 frame is the width between the rails. optimally, you'd put the Tesla battery(ies) as low as is possible because they weigh 1200 pounds (each - I think total is somewhere near 3k lbs). If you have to stack it on top of the frame (because they are a wide beast), then your COG is going to be higher. As far as strength - weld the 60 frame and fully box it - then it's ever bit as strong as a 2x4 mandrel bent frame. So with that lead in, why Tesla batteries? lithium battery packs can be custom built for just about any shape.... to the point that I'd suggest looking at the Volt battery - it's long and narrow - or a bunch of Leaf batteries (which are roughly 24x12x12)....
 

workingdog

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Thanks for that great information. The fj45 frame isn't any wider than the 60 frame. And I was assuming that the batteries would sit in between the frame rails and maybe outside the frame rails in a box under the flat bed. I think the guy said the battery pack would be 385 lbs.

As to the Volt and/or Leaf option - I've heard good things about the Volt battery packs. For now, I was just going with what the guy recommended it. I'll look into it further. I think one reason is the prices are coming down on the Tesla batteries.
 
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each lithium plate isn't that large - 6"x8"x 3/4" - but the Tesla 'configuration' is a 60x48x6 inch assembly of 1200 or so of those plate (give or take) that sits under the passenger compartment (and is also part of the structure)... I know when Tesla made the Model S (which is the blueprint for the others) they hoped that people would take their 'skateboard' and adapt it to other body shapes - it hasn't happened, mostly (this is a guess) because they've already sold more cars than they can produce thus doing crate versions of they system isn't likely to happen any time soon.

and why do I know so much about this? - well, my wife wants a/c that keeps her mantrailing bloodhounds cool without the engine running in her car - I spent way too much time designing it (and then she changed her mind - yeah, a woman changes her mind, shocking).... that said when I was looking into this, you can buy the raw plates from A123 and build your own pack that fits your space - and it was either that or the Leaf battery pack, the Volt T battery pack (it's T shaped and looks about like a GM side-saddle tank) was too big. In the end, my quest was going to take just the HVAC system out of a wrecked Leaf and power it with the battery pack... then she changed her mind... A123 is the people who produce the plates for GM

one last thing, cooling is the biggest issue facing EV cars right now - if that fails, the result is pretty ugly
 

workingdog

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Okay, it's all ordered, including the Aqualu frame. The transmission turned out to be complicated. Finding one that would mate to the Atlas and have a chevy bell housing and was readily available and not a total piece of junk (many of the first recommendations were for transmissions that you could not get on Ebay that looked like they'd been at the bottom of a lake for 10 years). Generally, they could not mate to the 27 spline input on the Atlas. Ended up buying a complete AX15 from Advanced Adapters with the appropriate adapters to take it and the atlas to 33 spline. They were concerned that most of the transmissions I was looking at were too light weight.

You'll be happy to know the body went to a local guy in Petaluma with bad roof rot and a recent Cummins conversion who is going to do a body swap.

And now I realize that before I can install any of the EV stuff I need to turn the frame into a rolling chassis. I'm cleaning off the dana 60 and the 14 bolt. But, first thing I'm going to have to do is install the 4 link suspension. I've got the calculator and lots of thoughts, but it would nice to find an fj45 4 link that I can mostly just copy - if anyone knows of one.
 
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