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Truck Conversion Help Plz

A friend of mine, is considering converting his 1997 Ford Ranger to electric, but is a virgin to converting vehicles, but is a knowledgeable farm kid. The truck is a 2.3/4 cylinder, 5 speed, shortbed with a regular cab. Any ideas/help? Relevant links are welcome.

Picture of Truck Conversion Help Plz
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=SMART=8 years ago
No idea but that is a cool truck !
skunkbait8 years ago
I've been kicking around an idea about an electric add-on to make similar vehicles hybrids. It would require a small "trailer" (with electric motor and drive-train, that's fixed (doesn't turn), and fits in the reciever hitch. If the brakes and steering aren't power assissted, it should be fairly easy to peice together.
LOL. One of the members of the MAEAA that I mentioned in my essay answer in here, who is also the webmaster of the EV Album, did the same thing in reverse. He drives a Honda Civic electric, and he hacked off the front end of another gas Civic and rigged it up as a pusher trailer. The controls were hooked up via the cruise control, so attaching it basically just required hooking on the trailer hitch and attaching a plug. He drove his Civic over 100 miles in a day and retained a full charge.
Cool, that sounds about like (the reverse of) what I was thinking. I started thinking about a pusher-trailer years ago. In New Guinea, I travelled a long section of highway (fairly regularly) that was very dangerous. If you broke down (especially at night) you WOULD lose your vehicle, and possibly your life. I was thinking of a back-up power plant and drive train to keep a vehicle mobile in dire circumstances. Then (back in the U.S.) when gas prices rose a couple of years ago, I realized: "My finances are in dire circumstances NOW!".
CameronSS8 years ago
The Ford Ranger used to be sold as an electric...if you tracked down one of those nearby, it might give some idea about where to place components.

Under the hood: who cares what engine's in it? You're ripping it off and selling it for scrap... You're going to have to fit an electric motor in there obviously, and the controller. There also needs to be some sort of 12V power supply to power lights and accessories, this is usually a DC-DC converter if the controller can handle it, or just a large deep-cycle battery that you charge with the truck.

Batteries: many pickups have the batteries placed under the bed, in trays built between the frame members. Others, like ours, just have them in the front of the bed...this allows easier access and requires less modification, but you also lose bed space. Keep balance in mind when placing batteries; if you put too many under the hood, there will be too much weight on the front wheels, and it will be a pain in the neck to turn. On that same note, you didn't specify power or standard steering or brakes. There's too much on that to explain here, I'll let you find that on other web sites.

Other references: I would recommend joining up with the EAA (Electric Auto Association, not the airplane one), they are a national organization that can help find information about your conversion. My dad is a member and I am the president (weird story, they decided it would look good on my resume, and they needed a name to send in) of the MAEAA, a Kansas City chapter of the national EAA. While you/he obviously couldn't come to a meeting, the Yahoo group on there is a good place to get information from people who have converted their own vehicles. The EV Album has plenty of pictures of EV conversions, and many of Ford Rangers.

If you/he have other questions, I'll try to answer them as best I can, but no guarantees. We have all the parts to convert a 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit hatchback, and will be making an Instructable on it whenever we get around to doing it.
bumpus (author)  CameronSS8 years ago
Thanks Cam.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. Try typing "EV conversion" (without the quotes) into the Search box above. Don't forget to click the search button or press the return/enter key when finished entering text.
bumpus (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Har har. I was kinda looking for kits, and the like. Which ones are recommended, which he should stay away from.