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Old 01-25-2013, 12:23 PM   #117 (permalink)
EV test pilot
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
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Yesterday, I talked on the phone a bit with a guy I know in western Wisconsin who did an EV Hot-Rod.

What's neat about it is that it has a DC motor rigged directly to the rear differential. SO, it's direct-drive AND rear-wheel drive, which is exactly what I want to do with the pickup truck. (Except that mine will just happen to have a transmission and diesel engine in front of the motor.)

He gave me a DVD a while back that he made which had a slideshow on it about the construction of the car. I looked through it for ideas in how to mount my motor.

I pulled these stills to show you what he did, and might give ideas for what I may do. So, take a look at these first....

You'll notice a few things in the photos.
What nice mounts those are for the motor.
That the motor goes directly to the differential
That the motor sticks up through the finished floor, between the bucket seats.

On my project, I want the motor to be directly behind the transmission. The motor will be coupled as directly to it as possible. I'm imagining something similar to the splined double-female connector I used to couple the motor to the transmission in the Electro-Metro.

A "Chinese Finger Trap" connector could fit between the transmission and the motor. The transmission is mounted to the frame, and the motor would be mounted to the frame in a way similar to the hot-rod shown above.

Since the truck is front-engine, I'll still need a drive-shaft to reach from the electric motor to the differential. This will re-use the original drive-shaft, only shortened, and the front end will have to be modified to fit the electric motor.

On the hot-rod, you can also see how the motor sticks up through the floor, between the seats. My preliminary measurements seem to show that basically the same thing is going to happen in the truck.

I think that if I swap out the bench seat for bucket seats, it all works out fine. I'll have to sawzall a hole in the floor (which I did in the Metro for the back-seat battery box) and then install a "hump" cover over the top of it.

For more info on that hot-rod, you can see it at: EnviroTech: Lightning Electric Car The motor in it is a 9" Netgain and it's running a Netgain brand 1000 amp controller at 156V

The other thing I've started thinking about is steering. The truck has power brakes and power steering, but manual everything else. I've already dealt with converting power brakes to electric on EVs, so that's not an issue. The Metro had manual steering, which I always liked on that car, but I need to figure out the best way to deal with the power steering in the truck.

Seems to me there's three ways to go about it.
Add an electric motor to run the power steering.
Loop and cap off the power steering hoses.
Replace with a manual steering rack.

Is that about it? Am I missing any other options?

At this point, I would be leaning towards installing a manual steering rack. It's the simplest setup and the truck would steer the exact same whether in diesel, EV, or hybrid mode.

I've never converted steering over like that before. Sounds like some hard mechanics work. I've also heard that manual steering was NOT available for the Gen2 S10s, but that manual steering off Gen1 S10s will fit Gen2, but that they are getting hard to find.

Your thoughts on steering for the project?
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