Assembly Instructions

for Electric Vehicle Conversion
using the Wilderness Highway Kit

Note: To begin this process, go over kit components list and familiarize yourself with the parts.

Preliminary Process:


  • gasoline engine from vehicle.

  • exhaust system

  • fuel tank and gas lines

  • radiator and cooling system components

  • all unneeded electrical wiring

  • smog equipment

1. Measuring and Sizing the adapter plate and shaft coupler:

The components that you receive in your kit are generic and are designed to work with most manual transmissions.

These components requires a little extra work but are very versatile and have been installed in hundreds of different vehicles. With this generic kit a blank adapter plate and a custom made shaft coupler have made to work on many different vehicles such as a Datsun pickup, Honda CRX 2 door, MG Midget, Isuzu pickup truck, Honda Civic hatchback and others.

You must have machining experience or work with someone who has in order to use this generic kit. (We will not be machining any custom part for this kit.)

Machining of the part is a simple process to match the shaft coupler that we send you with either the fly wheel for the vehicle or the clutch plate for the vehicle.

Your clutch plate from the vehicle will be used for your conversion if you intend to have a clutch-less setup; or you will have a part machined that matches your flywheel. The motor is mounted to the adaptor plate and the shaft coupler set at the right distance on the motor shaft using the key pin and set screws so as to get maximum alignment of the splines with the clutch plate. The motor assembly then can be slid on the transmission shaft splines and clamped to the bell-housing. Paint is sprayed through the bolt holes around the bell housing, or as scribing tool is used to mark their locations. The plate is removed and holes are drilled that match the transmission bell housing. The assembly is then bolted to the transmission and the mechanical work is completed. The plate measures 15" diameter for extra width for the wider bell housing transmissions.

You can also connect directly to the rear differential of your vehicle through the U-joints if you have a light weight enough (under 3,000 lbs). The 10 inch motor included in your kit is the only motor that we offer with enough torque to accelerate a vehicle from 0 mph with out a transmission. When doing this method of installing the motor, you will want to have the maximum gear ration possible in the differential. This method also pulls much higher amperage when accelerating from 0 miles per hour, thus the need for a lighter weight vehicle. This method is not recommended for pickup trucks if you intend to drive the freeway much.

2. Installing the Motor

    Using a floor jack or engine hoist, lift motor and slide onto transmission shaft. Rotate slightly to mesh the splines in the transmission shaft to the coupler. Slide motor plate assembly flush against transmission bell housing. Put in the four or more bolts or nuts around bell housing and tighten finger tight. You want to make sure that the motor/adapter plate/coupler is flush against the transmission bell housing. Make sure that the motor shaft and transmission shaft will not hit each other leaving 1/8' to a 1/4" gap.

It is VERY important to make sure there is no side stress on the shaft coupler, or there will be excessive motor vibration. Our warranty does not cover improper alignment issues. As mentioned above you must not tighten the bolts fully (only finger tight) until the coupler is aligned to true center. This is done by rocking the vehicle back and forth while in gear (usually 2nd gear), and observing the far end of the motor to make sure there is absolutely no wobble on the back end of the motor. Adjust the jack height up and down, and tap plate side to side as needed. Do not put extra pressure from the jack, on the motor. Then after the bolts are tightened, spin up the motor to about 1/4 speed (never go more than half throttle in neutral!) and observe that there is no vibration, that the motor spins smooth. A good way to tell if it’s aligned correctly is that there will be no vibration on the gear shift handle when starting out at very low speeds. If it vibrates the bolts need to be loosened and the alignment process repeated. With practice this process becomes very easy, we call this “dialing in the motor”.

3. Installing the Batteries

    Build battery racks in the vehicle or install pre-assembled battery racks. Mount rear battery rack behind or under back seat and bolt or weld to car frame. Additional batteries for the vehicle can be added in the gas tank compartment by removing the gas tank or cutting off the top of the tank (Make SURE it is cleaned, or fill with water first). The best material to build battery racks out of is 1.5 inch angle iron, 1/8th inch thick. The batteries should be installed in a ratio front to back that preserves the manufacturer's recommendation of weight distribution from front to rear axle. You will also want to make clamps or straps with your battery racks that will hold the batteries down. Many people like to have an insulated box around their batteries to protect them in cold weather. This box can also have an exhaust fan added to remove gases when charging wet cell lead acid batteries. This is not needed with sealed or lithium batteries. Consult the battery manufacturers information as to specifics regarding the battery orientation and their installation.

4. Large Cable Installation

    Run the large #2/0 Ga. cable from back to front if using more batteries than can fit in the engine compartment. Go under rear seat and between front seats and through the firewall or under the vehicle through tubing. Make sure one cable is marked with red on both ends for the (+) positive terminal. Sometimes you can go through the a/c tubing holes in the firewall. Secure the cable to the frame or chassis.

5. Throttle Box Installation

    Install the PB5 throttle box in engine compartment. Its easiest to use self-tapping screws and secure it right to the inside of the firewall. Make sure you don't screw into your already placed batteries behind the seat. Attach "L" bracket the correct distance from the throttle box to mount the throttle cable sleeve. Attach cable to throttle box and adjust for proper range of travel. You want to make sure that you get a full 90 degree sweep on the throttle box to get full acceleration. (So that the metal swing arm hits the metal stop). Depending upon the stiffness of the throttle pedal cable, you may want to add an extra spring to pull the metal swing arm completely back to the stop position.

6. Assembling controller and parts

Mount controller, contactor, fuse, and shunt in an appropriate location in engine compartment. It is best to keep parts as close together as possible to make for short cable connections. Follow included schematics and pictures for best locations. It is a good idea to mount all of this on an aluminum plate before installing it in the vehicle. This gives you better heat transfer from the controller and makes it much easier to assemble the components.

7. Gauges

Mount amp meter and volt meter in appropriate location on or near the dash. We usually mount them in front of the fuel and temperature gauges. They can also be mounted in place of the fuel and temperature gauges but the point is they need to be easily seen. The amp meter is the most important one that you need to see when maximizing your range per charge.

8. Battery Jumpers

Build heavy #2/0 Ga. wire cables using high current ring terminals or battery cable terminals. There will be eight, plus a few more depending on your battery setup:

  • Battery (-) to controller (B-)

  • Controller (M-) to motor

  • Motor to controller (B+)

  • Controller (B+) to shunt

  • Shunt to contactor

  • Contactor to fuse

  • Fuse to motor

  • Terminal Jumper on the motor

Please consult the wiring diagram for controller and the motor. Connect up all these cables. Build battery to battery jumpers using battery cable terminals it is a good idea to wrap each one of these cable ends with electrical tape. Connect batteries together. For the last connection, it is important to just tap the battery terminal with the cable . With a controller you may get an initial short spark, but only one. If arching occurs, re-check wiring for correct polarity. Always make sure there is a fuse installed before doing this!The Alltrax controller will also blink red if wired improperly. The Curtis controller will not. With the WildernessEV controller, the indicator light will come on when it is wired correctly.

9. Small Wiring

Run the light gauge wire to amp meter and volt meter. Wire contactor to 12 volt accessory battery system through the key ignition switch. It is important NOT to wire the contactor in with the main battery pack. The voltage sag will cause the contactor to chatter and can destroy parts. Install 12 VDC accessory battery in existing battery rack (use deep cycle 100+ Amp Hour battery for best performance). Connect to existing wiring in vehicle. Wire the 5-k throttle box and key-on connections according to the schematic. The vehicle can now be tested. Make sure it is in neutral with parking brake applied or on jack-stands when testing for the first time. Never stand in front of the vehicle during this test!

10. Installing the Chargers

    Wire the main charger (72 - 120 VDC) to battery pack. Wire auxiliary charger (12 VDC) to accessory battery. It is very important to observe polarity, RED being postive (+), and BLACK being negative (-). You may need to run a cable pair from front to rear of the vehicle to accommodate these chargers. Wire these two chargers together and to a charger port, usually located in front of vehicle, or in small gas tank compartment door. These two chargers are designed for on-board applications and should be mounted securely as a permanent installation. After test driving the vehicle, plug in and recharge.

As with a Gas Motor, Never! Never! Never apply power to the motor without a load!!! (Revving the motor in Neutral) You will blow the motor and the warranty WILL NOT cover it!

Please, see Q&A, Videos, and Mechanic's Blog for more information.

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