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Old 03-09-2012, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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01 Dodge 3500 4x4 dually challange!

The challenge... use any and all eco mods and reasonable driving mods to enable one to still commute 120 mile RT. No the house will not move... the job might sometime, but hopefully not. One always has the option to park it... but I didn't buy it leave it parked... I enjoy the truck. I get 18 mpg with in now running 65, 17 at 70... not sure at 60. 18 for a 7000 lb truck is actually pretty good. But not at $5 a gallon coming up. we're on and electric coop... so rate isn't too bad... yet anyway. I'd like to make net yield equiv to 30 mpg.

The truck: 01 Dodge 3500 extended cab 4x4 dually, full 8 ft bed.
- HO Cummins 5.9 6 speed manual...
- Need to check... but I believe the 4x4 transfer case has a full neutral gate... where all the drive line is totally disconnected from the transmission and engine. Axle Ratios remain unchanged... they are fairly high anyway. Cant really stay in 6th under 50 mph. 1200 rpm... not good to lug any 4 cycle and especially 2 cycle deisels below 1300 or so.
- Truck still needs to pull as designed when wanted...so cummins stays intact... may isolate the PS and PB systems.. so it doesn't need to be running, but the base unit stays... Other systems tie in.
- Several ideas on tie in... front axle drive shaft... let the front axle pull...
- will have bed cover... roll up, still need to access the gooseneck ball when needed for it's true design.
- may go single tire rear and switch beds... My '94 bed is fine... only needs paint to use and was always toppered, non cancered, should fit the 01 frame... if not we'll make it fit if we go this way.
-hydraulic boost...??? Interesting concept.
-electric...??? multiple motors... multiple battery banks for range... no reason the rear axle cant haul 2000 lbs easy... wouldn't even be on the overloads yet.... I'd design them on a slide in and removable....
-clean up the air flow although its not real bad on the front end shape... not sure a front deflection dam will help due to height... but why not clean up the air flowing under it? If keep the dully... could build in some deflectors in-front of them... truck actually rolls quite easily

So start thinking non-small and out of the box.... looking for deign parameters on DC electric and charging... adoption of multiples from existing used tech...like forklifts etc... mine equipment?

hydraulic regen.... how is that incorporated?

freon option? (see F150 thread)...

details on dual bank switchable bat banks?

As you can see... she's a damn nice truck.... but I didn't buy it to look at...I bought it to drive it!

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Last edited by dem45133; 03-09-2012 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd start with a simple bed cover or cap & see what that does.

You can feed those some propane I believe, propane's $1.85 a gallon as of last week. 92,000 btu per gallon so energy density is down compared to diesel, but still cheaper per btu.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To start out with, a hybrid is not going to do much for you, if you want to keep the current engine, and have the large hauling/towing ability available on demand. That's down to the fundamental logic of hybrids. You can find it discussed at length elsewhere here (or on the web), but briefly a vehicle uses much less power to cruise down the (level) road at steady speed than it does to accelerate. IC engines are typically much less efficient at low load (see threads on BSFC maps). So a hybrid works by using a small engine that's more optimally sized for cruising, and adds power from electric (or hydraulic) for acceleration.

Second point here is that the size of the batteries needed depends on the mass that you're going to accelerate. The battery that works acceptably in my 1850 lb Insight isn't going to do squat in a truck that size, even unloaded. And conversely, a battery that is big enough is going to cost big bucks.

(Side note: if you read articles on hybrid trucks, you'll see that they're aimed at applications with a lot of stop & go, like UPS delivery, garbage trucks, and so on, where they get the benefit of constant regen, and which is why hydraulic works better. But you're doing highway commuting, so not much chance for regen.)

As others have said, improving aerodynamics is your best bet. I'd suggest looking at the tapered bed caps others have done, and maybe even a boat tail.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Glad you're considering dropping the dually and swapping out the bed.

How soon do you expect the changes to pay for themselves in fuel cost saved? Please state in miles traveled.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
I'd start with a simple bed cover or cap & see what that does.

You can feed those some propane I believe, propane's $1.85 a gallon as of last week. 92,000 btu per gallon so energy density is down compared to diesel, but still cheaper per btu.
I wish it was $1.85 here... have a 500 gal tank outside for hot water, kitchen range and backup heat with the furnace. It was damn near $4 last summer... not sure what it will be this year... fill once a year. I think there is a road pump near work for commercial... I'll look at the price... might be an option... thanks I hadn't thought of that...
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm glad you are offering up lots of suggestions in the original post. Shows you are really thinking about this.

For me anyway, much of ecomodding is about reducing the total cost of ownership of the vehicle. Saving fuel has it's own thrill and make no mistake, I love to prototype and experiment when I can. Simplicity is a cornerstone to good design, it is easy to conceive of theoretically simple ideas but implementation becomes complex and expensive. I guess I'm just saying to select the simplest ideas first and progress from there.

Have you started to decide which of the ideas you or others suggested you would like to try first? See also your previous thread.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
To start out with, a hybrid is not going to do much for you, if you want to keep the current engine, and have the large hauling/towing ability available on demand. That's down to the fundamental logic of hybrids. You can find it discussed at length elsewhere here (or on the web), but briefly a vehicle uses much less power to cruise down the (level) road at steady speed than it does to accelerate. IC engines are typically much less efficient at low load (see threads on BSFC maps). So a hybrid works by using a small engine that's more optimally sized for cruising, and adds power from electric (or hydraulic) for acceleration.

Second point here is that the size of the batteries needed depends on the mass that you're going to accelerate. The battery that works acceptably in my 1850 lb Insight isn't going to do squat in a truck that size, even unloaded. And conversely, a battery that is big enough is going to cost big bucks.

(Side note: if you read articles on hybrid trucks, you'll see that they're aimed at applications with a lot of stop & go, like UPS delivery, garbage trucks, and so on, where they get the benefit of constant regen, and which is why hydraulic works better. But you're doing highway commuting, so not much chance for regen.)

As others have said, improving aerodynamics is your best bet. I'd suggest looking at the tapered bed caps others have done, and maybe even a boat tail.
Thanks, Well, actually it only "sort of" a hybrid the way I'm thinking... with the 4x4 transfer in neutral... the cummins is off. So its more 100% E at that point. Run the PS, PB nad 12 volt alt run of a belted aux motor. That could be a little B&S for that matter... or a small motor off the main batts...

Oh... this whole eco thing is empty non-loaded (except for the bats) non-towing miles. For that its back to the Cummins and its original design... that's why I wondered about the concept of a slide out battery bank(s).

Actually for a true hybrid... I do have a 65 hp 4 cyclinder Industrial Duetz diesel... let it charge the batteries.. and be part of the slide in????. On batteries... not sure yet... likely just a bank of marine deep cells if we can work out the numbers. See... outside the box... I can design a "dock" here for the slide in. Back in.. disconnect. drive away.

Actually work is thinking of offering plugin's for e vehicles... so that will be 1/2 the commute E on their dime... but it hasn't happened yet... so I need to carry enough for the 120 mile RT, or just fire up the cummins and run normally 1/2 way home when the e runs out.

On the level, with 6000lbs trailer behind it... still got 16 mpg at 55 mph... so the battery slide in will haul reasonably when necessary (ie their dead). i.e. Put it in 2wd... front axle drive disconnects on the Dodge in 2wd remember... e-motor then stationary... fire up the cummins... with the clutch if you still rolling, and keep going. Its an idea anyway.

Last edited by dem45133; 03-09-2012 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatr911 View Post
I'm glad you are offering up lots of suggestions in the original post. Shows you are really thinking about this.

For me anyway, much of ecomodding is about reducing the total cost of ownership of the vehicle. Saving fuel has it's own thrill and make no mistake, I love to prototype and experiment when I can. Simplicity is a cornerstone to good design, it is easy to conceive of theoretically simple ideas but implementation becomes complex and expensive. I guess I'm just saying to select the simplest ideas first and progress from there.

Have you started to decide which of the ideas you or others suggested you would like to try first? See also your previous thread.
Yes, me and "KISS" go way back...
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatr911 View Post
Glad you're considering dropping the dually and swapping out the bed.

How soon do you expect the changes to pay for themselves in fuel cost saved? Please state in miles traveled.
I'll likely have this truck and its capacity for the rest of my life. I own it outright. I'll need its capacities now and then...which is part of why I bought it. I'm just trying to figure out a way to drive it more than three times a year with the way they are jerking us all around on fuel costs. In 2009, it was to replace my gas powered 3/4 ton... and fuel was under three dollars if I remember. Now they are talking 5 or 6. But it seems the 3/4 won't quit running... so I've been only running the one ton in the non salt months. I do like driving them, always have.

Last edited by dem45133; 03-09-2012 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wow

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