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Teen Gives Old Jeep New Life With Electric Motor
When Matt Goode attends Iowa State University this fall, he won’t have to spend money on gas traveling from his off campus apartment to classes. He’ll drive the Jeep that he converted to electric power as part of an FFA project. His father, Steve, supervised the project and helped fund it.
  “Dad and I are on the nerdy side,” admits the Coggon, Iowa, native. His father is an engineer, and they enjoy working on projects in their hobby farm shop.
  After attending a meeting about home-built electric vehicles, Goode decided to restore and convert an old Jeep that his father purchased a decade ago.
  Before they could begin the conversion they had to remove the rust and sludge. They also rebuilt the axles and transmission.
  Because of the poor condition of the Jeep body, which would have required major restoration, they decided to purchase a new fiberglass body for $3,500. They also knew it would be lighter.
  Under his father’s watchful eye, he welded and fabricated parts and learned a lot about electrical when he wired the Jeep. He’s proud of how neat and compactly he fit the bank of 16 6-volt batteries into the back of the Jeep. The electric motor that replaced the engine is coupled directly to the transmission.
  Apparently, FFA judges were impressed too. Goode earned a first place in Iowa and gold star at the national competition.
  In addition to the trade skills he learned, Goode emphasizes that he learned about communicating and networking with neighbors and businesses who got involved with suggestions and contributed scrap materials.
  The Jeep cost $8,000 to $10,000 to convert. Lithium batteries would greatly increase the distance, but cost two to three times as much as standard batteries.
  “It gets up to 65 mph,” Goode says, “but only goes about 30 miles per charge.”
  While the short traveling distance isn’t practical from Goode’s rural home, it will work well for getting around at college. Goode plans to move the batteries from the back to underneath to the frame and to add a soft top to close the Jeep up for winter.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matt Goode, 2097 Linn Delaware Rd., Coggon, Iowa 52218 (ph 319 213-1246; mattgoode0@gmail.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6