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The Right Electric Motor for a Land Cruiser

by Ian

I have a 1969 Toyota FJ40 that just recently seized up, so I'm going to convert it to electric. I live in Colorado, so its a little bit hilly, so I want to know what kind and size of motor I should get for my vehicle.

Hi, Ian -
Oh, the Land Cruiser. I love it!

I guess the motor that's appropriate depends on what you're going to be doing with your conversion.

In Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Seth Leitman suggests that "before you buy, build, or convert, decide what the main mission of your EV will be."

Possible configurations:

Fast drag racer. For this you want a big series wound DC motor. You'll have to charge it more frequently because that quick acceleration will eat up the amp hours in your battery pack, but it will be a blast to drive.

Longish-range freeway flyer. Get a 3-phase AC motor and controller with high voltage (300v) for this; it will cost you more initially but you'll use batteries most efficiently and regen braking is possible.

Mid range commuter. Don't need to lay rubber but don't want a slug. Here's the gray area most of us live in...and most of us use a mid-sized series wound DC motor for this, too, because they don't cost as much as the AC drive systems.

If you're going to be using your land cruiser in the mud, you'll probably want to go with the DC series wound motor, too. Either a 9" or an 11", depending on how much room you've got in the engine compartment relative to the other components and how much weight you can spare.

Best of luck with your project!


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by: MC.hase

I partly disagree with the previous comment , here's why.
You cannot profile the torque with a DC motor and controller, with AC you set it up to match your needs. I can see why DC was suggested because if you're stuck in the mud you want full torque to get you out but with an ac drive you can utilize hi torque mode when necessary then for regualar driving go to a more gradual torque profile giving you more driving range

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