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Axle-less Car

Axle-less car for off-roading and rally racing
  [vote for,

Occurs to me one of weaker parts of the car is the axle, long drive shaft and transfer case in rear and 4WD cars. So I came up with the idea of direct drive axle-less power. On the back of the transmission, the power will be split out to either side of the car to a transfer case. This transfer case will control both wheels on one side of the car, and can send power to the front, back or both wheels. So any of the 4 wheels can be run independently controlled.

Next problem was how to get the power to the wheels and the suspension. I envision the car having four arms/struts attached at the mid body on pivots, of which the chain or screw drive will be run down to the wheel, similar to the rear wheel of many motorcycles. These will be supported with springs and shocks off the main frame and attached to a pivot point for 4-wheel steering.

Sorry I don’t have any drawings, and this is an original idea so no links. Looking for some feedback to refine the design.

azmatsci, Dec 23 2003

Leading Edge Design's Hallucigenia http://www.lleedd.com/
Each wheel has its own motor. No transmission. [monkeywidget, Oct 04 2004]

(?) GM "Autonomy" review http://www.edmunds..../48581/article.html
Four individual motors... the entire engine, transmission, brakes, etc are in the base; the body is mainly for show [monkeywidget, Oct 04 2004]

Ferdinand did it http://student.foi.hr/~molama/History.htm
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004]


       The way I see it, you're substituting chains/screws in place of drive shafts to transmit power to each wheel of the car. I can attest to the strength of drive chains on race bikes, and know that you have to keep them well lubed and serviced to get decent preformance. Rally and offroad racing would subject the chains/screws to a lot more dirt, rocks, and other substance which can cause one of these devices to fail premautrely. The idea of taking a 4-wheel drivetrain and turning it sideways is interesting, however.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 23 2003

       Could even include a mechanism to raise and lower the entire vehicle. The shaft lenght would stay the same, just rotate the arms down which would shorten the wheel base and raise the vehicle. Could even raise and lower each arm independantly for going over bolders or washes, etc.
azmatsci, Dec 23 2003

       How about an attempt to make all the drive shafts in the driveline the same length. Make them interchangeable, and able to withstand similar tolerances. It seems as though the drive shafte more prone to breaking are the longer ones. The ones running from front to rear.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 23 2003

       [monkey] nice articles. Still waiting for that GE thing to show up on the road, but sounds like a winner.   

       But I still doubt that concept would work for 4WD as it would most likley lack the tourque needed, and would require bulky hardware right next to the wheel. Either way, their idea is the next thing we will probably drive.
azmatsci, Dec 23 2003

       Use electric hub motors in each wheel. Porsche did it 103 years ago (link). Volkswagen and a few others are working on it again to build electric cars. The electronic devices are already available and magnetic materials (long time show stopper) are catching up with requirements. With a hub motor all you have to run down to the wheel is an armored cable.
kbecker, Dec 23 2003

       I believe that the original Hummer(H1) already has something like this.
spectralcodec, Dec 23 2003

       Cannabalize four motor scooters, mount the engine/trans/wheel assemblies at each corner- voila, a 4-engine, 4WD vehicle with no driveshafts. Mount the front two on swivels so you can steer the thing. Automatic transmissions would work best, I think several scooter companies now have belt-drive CV trannys. Reverse gear might be a bit of a challenge.
whlanteigne, Nov 03 2004


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