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Hybrid replacement transmission

replace old transmission with hybrid conversion transmission
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

Most car manufacturers use interchangeable transmissions in different models, and often different manufacturers use the same transmission in their respective products.

My idea is for a replacement transmission that bolts up to an existing vehicle. This would contain an electric motor, a generator, and a torque converter coupled to a direct drive (no lower gears, the electric motor would start the car from standing. The electric motor would propel the car up to about 25 mph, the ICE would begin charging the battery pack as the car began moving, and would take over driving duties over 25 mph).

I'm pretty sure this is possible using off-the-shelf technology, if not off-the-shelf parts, the problem would be offering it at a price competitive with conventional replacement transmissions.

In practice, when the origninal transmission goes out, I would take my existing car to a transmission shop and ask for the "Hybrid conversion" transmission. The transmission would be installed for the same price as a conventional transmission swap, plus the added cost of control boxes and a dozen or so off-the-shelf deep-cycle marine-type batteries. There is ample room for a battery pack in a car such as my 1983 Ford Crown Vic, under the seats and in the trunk.

whlanteigne, Sep 24 2005

After-Market Hybrid Kit After-Market_20Hybrid_20Kit
My idea for a similar system [discontinuuity, Sep 24 2005]


       See the link. I brought up a similar idea before, but as several people pointed out, there might be some mechanical or cost problems with the plan.
discontinuuity, Sep 24 2005

       Good points. It only works if the conversion is an exact, bolt-in replacement, and can be manufactured and sold for the same price as a conventional replacement transmission. With an electric motor replacing the functions of the lower gears, a torque converter would also not be necessary; I think it would all fit within the space constraints of a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicle, such as a pickup or van or 2wd SUV or full-size American sedan. The real challenge is manufacturing it and selling it at an affordable price. I'm pretty sure this would be a project for a company that already manufactures automobile transmissions.
whlanteigne, Sep 26 2005

       I like this idea better than the "electrocharger" bolt-on; putting the hybrid aftermarket kit directly in the driveline makes a lot more sense than trying to do something useful via the alternator drive.   

       Kudos to both [rasberry] and [whlanteigne], espec. [ras]'s realization that the elec. motor could do away with the torque converter.   

       If someone comes up with a viable way to do this, I'll offer up my old Toyota pickup for experimentation. The chassis is light enough, and it's conveniently rear-drive for relatively roomy installation, and paid for.
elhigh, Sep 26 2005

       It was [whlanteigne] who said a torque converter would be unnescessary. I thought it would be best to add electric motors to an existing drivetrain, either after the transmission, or driving the front wheels in a previously rear-drive car.
discontinuuity, Sep 26 2005

       I think if I was going to do a dual-powertrain conversion, I'd go with a front-wheel-drive ICE setup and an electric motor powering the rear wheels. Rear-wheel electric for initial acceleration, ICE front-drive for cruising. You would want a PTO on the front transmission to power the generator, and you'd need to find a place to put the battery pack (under the seats?). Heavier and maybe more work to do, but probably off-the-shelf components could be used. Two advantages to this: you've got 4WD if needed, and a backup motive source if one powertrain fails.
whlanteigne, Oct 01 2005

       Why have the ICE 'take over'? Plenty of very powerful, compact electric motors exist these days. Remove the need for mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels and you have a generator that can run at efficient speeds, located wherever is convenient in the chassis.   

       Such an arrangement allows for a Stirling Engine to be the generator, which is far more efficient and non- polluting (being an ECE) and can be produced as a sealed unit.
timbeau, Dec 20 2005

       The advantage of a hybrid system is in using each component at its most efficient operational mode- thus an electric motor, having maximum torque available from rest to cruise speed is more efficient for accelerating. Internal combustion engines are most efficient within a narrow rpm band, thus most efficiently used for cruising speed or for running a generator at a constant speed. The use of the ICE is assumed to be more efficient at propelling the vehicle mechanically than running the generator; less power is lost in direct power transmission.
whlanteigne, Jul 03 2006

       This one is good. My concern however is that I'm not yet convinced that the geometry of the transmission will really allow for a bolt-in replacement in most vehicles. For instance, how big of a motor would really be required for a Crown Vic to get up to cruise speed? I don't have any idea. Even so, I like this one. [+]
zigness, Jul 03 2006

       Personally I'd go for the front-ICE, rear-electric version. Ideally you'd want a newish vehicle with advanced electronic stability/braking control systems which you could tap into and extract useable realtime information to feed to your add-on's controller. You might also have to do some reprogramming of the existing control system, which could be iffy, although I know such aftermarket software mods exist for some vehicles.
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 10 2006

       I have to assume my Crown Vic 302 ci V8 puts out about 150 hp or so. I'm thinking the electric motor should be around 40-60 hp (30-45 KW). I have no idea how large a 120-240V 40 hp DC motor has to be.
whlanteigne, Sep 17 2006

       a 302 V8... that's about 5 litres, putting out 150 bhp?? I mean, the 150bhp explains what about 3 of the cylinders are doing....
bs0u0155, Oct 08 2012

       I have my "hillbilly hybrid" all set in my mind: just put in a shorter driveshaft (RWD) and use an EM to fill the gap.
FlyingToaster, Oct 08 2012

       I think this could work but only as a 100% bolt in replacement. Internal battery packs. This will limit gains due to battery size but will still save a lot of gas, and would be realistic to expect normal people to have installed when their clunkers tranny dies. People don't want fussy wiring or loss of luggage space. They want zero- compromise Bolton solutions.
white, Oct 09 2012

       ^just enough batteries for regen then... you could toss out Reverse gear, maybe 1st as well, and just use the electric-motor for both . . . not sure how much room that would give.
FlyingToaster, Oct 09 2012

       Only if you have a Traf-Ford …
8th of 7, Oct 09 2012

       Battery tech has advanced incredibly in the last 15 years; a Tesla Model 3 battery pack weighs just over 1,000 lbs; I think a hybrid, with the existing ICE providing some motive power, could get by with a considerably smaller pack; say, half the weight.   

       (I sold the Crown Vic about 13 years ago. Somebody is still driving it.) [1984 Ford LTD Crown Victoria 4-door (104.5 kW / 142 PS / 140 hp) (September 1983 for North America U.S.) specs review.]
whlanteigne, Oct 23 2020

       Has anyone here experimented with gutting a junkyard chassis and taking it all-electric?   

       In the scenario I imagine, the car is past saving in its original form because the moving parts are too far gone, but a new, all-electric power train would make that irrelevant. The result would look like an old rust-bucket until it accelerated in eerie silence.   

       This would be (a) a good practical joke and (b) a kind of recycling.
pertinax, Oct 23 2020

       // the car is past saving in its original form because the moving parts are too far gone,//   

       This all depends on the environment the car has lived in. Road salt causes corrosion that kills cars in colder climates, the engines and gearboxes tend to be doing ok when the body is decayed to powder. In sunnier climbs, UV turns the paints and plastics to white dust and the dashboard splits.   

       Where my brother lives, mechanical parts do wear out because the air is just a fine suspension of sand particles and the concept of maintenance is yet to be discovered.
bs0u0155, Oct 23 2020

       Thank you, [kdf] and [bs]: those were exactly the sort of clues I was interested in.   

       And whereabouts does your brother live, [bs]? Your hints suggest either North Africa or Central Asia.
pertinax, Oct 24 2020

       The middle east. The first/last time he took his car for a service, they removed the air filter. This is fine if a new one is fitted before reassembly. But that step was omitted.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2020


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