This electric Wrangler was cheap to build and simple to repair.
This Jeep Wrangler is a home EV conversion that is about as simple as they get. The owner, Mike Browne, says the donor vehicle was passed down by his grandparents, but it returned such poor gas mileage that he decided not to daily it any more. He then got the idea to turn it into an EV, but he wanted to do it on the cheap.
Neither the motor or power storage solution he used for the conversion were new. The former was initially intended for a Chevrolet S-10 pickup, and it was bought for a project but never used, while the lithium-ion batteries had been sitting on a shelf for three years and they weren’t in tip-top shape either.
After some fiddling and installing a new battery controller, he ended up creating a vehicle with a range of 30 to 50 miles and the same off-road capability as any Wrangler; he spent around $11,000 in total on the conversion. Now he uses it regularly for off-roading, where he says it performs quite well, although since it’s not a fully-sealed factory build, pressure washing it if it gets muddy can cause some problems.
But that’s not why the owner brought the car to Rich Rebuilds’ Electrified Garage. The problems he noticed were a high pitch whine that was audible when the Jeep was driven at higher speeds, as well as rubbing noise - it turns out some of the electric motor's balancing weights had broken free and they had to be fished out of the motor housing, and once they were, the noises were no longer present.