I have a 1946 Willy's Jeep. The motor needs rebuilding or replacing, and I would LOVE to convert it to electric so that I could off road w/o the usual noise and fumes but it seems that EVERY option out there is big $$$.
Would it be possible to find some items used, like a motor, to cut down the costs?
From what I have found so far I think an AC system would be more desirable for the constantly changing needs of off roading, any suggestions?
As a matter of fact, yes.
You can convert a car to electric for little money, but the tradeoff is that you have to buy components used or scavenge them out of other vehicles (like electric forklifts), you have to do your welding and fabrication yourself, and you have to sell off the old parts that you don't need to recoup part of your costs.
The more willing you are to work, borrow equipment, and wait patiently for the right component to come up for sale, the cheaper your EV conversion will be.
So why don't more people do this?
It's human nature. Your budget's enemy is enthusiasm! People want to get started on their EV project NOW, so they run out and buy the first components they can get their hands on. They get the BUG. (It's completely understandable, but costly; )
There are some articles to get you started up there on the right under "Recommended Reading".
Your AC system can also be done (relatively) cheaply, but you'll have to scavenge a motor and build your own controller (actually VFD or inverter).