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Old 07-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #130 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saskatoon, canada
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ChargE (not yet running) - '92 Mazda MX6 LX
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Transmission, Transfer Case, Drive shafts

I was contemplating the difficulty in getting a manual transmission for SalvageS10.

An idea .. hatched .. I was not planning on using the front drive shaft. I don't really need 4wd and it makes steering difficult if the truck is locked into 4wd all of the time. Instead of buying a transmission - could I repurpose the front drive shaft and instead connect it to the electric motor?

This may need a sketch ... but I'll attempt to explain without the sketch. Electric motor shaft to a new yoke that fits the front drive shaft, the drive shaft fits the transfer case as normal, but is driving the transfer case instead of being driven by it, the transfer case to rear drive shaft as usual, and the rear drive shaft to the rear differential, and on to the wheels.

How does that help? Well, if I can buy a new yoke (I think that's the name of the part) the same as the yoke on the front differential, then bore it out to fit onto the electric motor drive shaft (2.125 inches), I could mount the electric motor not-quite-straight in the engine bay, connected to the front drive shaft. The motor drives the front drive shaft, which goes to the transfer case, which connects the front and rear drive shafts, which transfers the power to the rear drive shaft ... and I can try my direct drive without paying someone to machine a coupler to go from the electric motor to the transfer case. The other option is putting in a manual gearbox and coupling the electric motor to the original position of the clutch.

So off I went to the local parts store where I was told that the transmission is bolted directly to the transfer case because the rear transmission bearing supports the transfer case. The spline that drives the transfer case also keeps the gears aligned and prevents the transfer case parts from moving too far forward or back.

Well, it was an interesting idea. Just another that didn't happen to work out.

This brings me back to the requirement for a manual gearbox. If the transmission supports the transfer case, then I need the transmission anyway. If it's going to be there taking up space and weighing so much, I guess it makes sense to have the electric motor couple to the transmission and use the selection of gearing that is provided.

Such are the ups and downs of my 'hobby'. That's how I'm describing SalvageS10 these days. I'm enjoying the learning experience and all of the 'gotchas' that are lurking around every twist and turn. You've got to enjoy the journey!

You may have noticed that no bearing in the transfer case means that I cannot go directly from the electric motor to the transfer case unless the electric motor bolts up to it directly to provide some support. The electric motor is too large (diameter) to do that without hanging really low beneath the truck. And I'm worried about the torque that I have right now accelerating the truck to a decent speed on direct drive already, so a smaller motor is not an option right now.
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