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Old 01-26-2009, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EV generator trailer

I got an e-mail from Swee a few days ago, and he followed up with a phone-call today.

He has a lead on buying a diesel engine out of a newer VW. The car was in a collision, and wrecked, except for the pristine engine. The the engine is in perfect condition with only 50,000 miles on it, which is hardly broken in, as far as diesels are concerned.

Swee's idea is to purchase the engine and hook it up to a generator to build a "range-extending EV trailer". The engine can be fueled by bio-diesel, and really should get great economy.

Of course the engine costs money, and everyone's belts are pretty tight right now, but it is the nicest, least expensive diesel I have seen listed on Craigslist since I have started looking for them.

Neon Tom may have a generator head that could work for the project, and Rich knows all there is in terms of trailers, axles, and the like, so it might make a great EV group project.

Whoever needs to take their EV out on a long trip can just borrow it, hitch it up, and drive wherever they need to.

Here's an example of a similar (but professional) version of this concept:
Steve Hawkins' Long Ranger

This is different than a "pusher-trailer" in that the EV still uses it's own motor for propulsion, rather than being propelled by the trailer.

This is all still pretty preliminary, but it looks like we will scrap together the cash for the engine, and figure out the trailer details later.

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Perhaps a smaller utility engine would be more affordable? It would definitely be more economical in terms of "the right tool for the job" as they're usually just enough power to drive whatever it is they're being used for... i.e. less/no waste.

I can't say for sure, since you haven't posted the price of the Jetta engine (I assume it's a Jetta, they're pretty commonly diesel)

I fear with the Jetta engine, you'll be making more power than you'll actually be using, and it will definitely weigh more than a utility motor.

Just my pair of wheatbacks!
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You could hook up a very large alternator (or would it be generator?) to charge the battery packs with that 1.9TDI. Run the motor at 1200rpm and I'm sure 5gal of bio would triple a small EV's distance. Very cool idea, not sure if that's the right motor.

I have a better idea...Can I have it? my Sonoma could use 30mpg, and I know someone who has put a TDI in a 2wd S-10 and got over 35mpg.
What's a "good" price you got for it, if you don't mind me asking (or telling)?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's $500 for the engine, pump, and all the other little diesel parts you need. Most diesel engines I have seen listed on Craigslist are around $900 to $1000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by almightybmw View Post
I know someone who has put a TDI in a 2wd S-10 and got over 35mpg.
You do? You've seen my "Getting Off Gas" thread right? Can you put me in contact with that guy?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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$500 for a pristine TDI engine!?! Something is fishy right there with the price. This would be sold in half a second over on TDIClub, if it were true. The turbo, the pump and the head alone are worth close to that used, each!

What year? 2004+ PD engines are prone to early cam failure if improper spec oil was used.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
EV test pilot
 
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The catch is that the guy lives in the middle of nowhere and he has already had a couple of people say they want it and then never show up.

It will be a 10 hour day to drive there and back to pick it up.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just for measure, I'd be asking for a copy of the title with the engine.. just tell them that WI requires that engine serial numbers be updated after swaps. (Most states actually do, few actually enforce it.)

Tas is right... $500 sounds a little low for that engine.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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VW parts place had a shipment of 1L 3 cylinder diesel engines a while back that were set up to run pumps, maybe a generator, can't really remember, but they seemed like an even better size you just couldn't get parts as easily for them is the only draw back, but then again what would you need to replace?
buy the engine, like was already said you could part it out and make your money back, just make sure to change the timing belt! the engine might be broken in perfectly but the timing belt is nearing the end of it's life.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I book marked this site a while back. It has some good information about engines and generators.
Generator Heads, Generator Ends, Homemade generator, DIY Generator, Small Diesel, Generator, Lister, Listeriod, one cylinder diesel, Asian Diesels, off grid power, custom pulleys, custom sheaves,
You would want a combination that supplied enough power but used the least amount of gph.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
The catch is that the guy lives in the middle of nowhere and he has already had a couple of people say they want it and then never show up.

It will be a 10 hour day to drive there and back to pick it up.
10 hour day to drive out...yeah, I'd be there for that kind of deal, no matter.

I'll have to do some searching on the TDI s-10, as it's been at least a year, maybe more since I last heard or read about him.

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