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Old 04-29-2008, 10:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Homebrew Hybrid concept. Would it work?

Hello!

Has anyone heard of any DIY hybrid conversion starting with either a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle and converting one of the sets of wheels to electric, while keeping the other with the original gas engine?

I got the idea from electric front wheel bicycles. What's so nice about that is the front wheel hub electric motor pulls you along, and the back of the bike is unmodified. The chain still works, you can pedal as much or as little as you like.

Would a similar system work for a home-brew hybrid? For example, have a 4 wheel drive pickup truck, disconnect the drive-shaft to the back, and replace that with an electric motor. Truck pulls itself along with gas on the front and pushes from the back with the electric.

I am no car expert, please tell me if this is a completely unreasonable idea.

I recently saw an electric trike which was a motorcycle front end mated to a Chevy S10 rear axel spun backwards with a 9" motor chained to it.

Why couldn't a vehicle have seperate drives for the front and back like this?

Alternatively, could a front-wheel drive car have the rear wheels replaced with a pickup rear axel with an electric motor attached?

Do differentials cause the driveshaft to spin while the tires spin? IE - would pulling a vehicle along on gas power from the front cause an electric motor attached to the rear differential to spin the entire time?

The main problem I can think of with this type of a setup is that you might need two gas pedals - or keep the original gas pedal and add a hand-throttle for the electric. Also, you now have two systems to maintain instead of one like you would in a pure gas or pure electric system.

The only homebuilt hybrids I know of are serial hybrids, such as an electric pickup with a generator sitting in the bed.

Web searching for home-built hybrids, I only found a few serial hybrids, but no parallel hybrids with the main exceptions being the 5th Wheel Insight and Mr. Sharkey's pusher trailer when it's hooked to his electric Rabbit.

Is this whole concept reasonable? Seems like it should be just like an electric car conversion, except that you don't remove the internal combustion engine!

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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anything is possible with enough money
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Compaq888 View Post
anything is possible with enough money
No, no, I asked if it were reasonable.

I was able to find a "homebuilt" hybrid or two that cost upwards of $20,000 to convert.

I am looking for the "beer-budget" version.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Definatley possable, beer budget.

I vote for Subaru, Tercel 4wd, toyota pickup 4wd etc.

I'd like to do just that with an R32 rear end in my golf.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Damnit ...I thought of this very thing just last night. I guess all of us Ecomodders think alike !

I was going to post the question last night, but blew it off as silly, because the weight would be so great with and engine AND batteries that it would be sensless.
But ..... I like your thinking. A 4WD conversion .... I actually didn't think of that one . That would certainly make things easier when you go to install the electric motor.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was thinking that the electric engine would be used to drive the vehicle as far as the charge would take it, then you would start up the regular engine and drive the rest of the way.
( So in that particular case you actually would just need one gas pedal / acceleration pedal.)
You would have the non driving engine & transmission in neutral while the other motor was used.
Another option would be to have the engine act as the generator to charge the batteries . It would be less cumbersome than a tow along generator.

You could drive along for 10 miles or so, turn on your 'generator' for a few miles and then turn it back off again once the batteries were charged enough to get you ten more miles ( what a pain in the a$$ that would be )

Even if you left the 'generator' engine running, you would get really great gas mileage, since it would just be at idle the whole time.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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[/QUOTE]

Do differentials cause the driveshaft to spin while the tires spin? IE - would pulling a vehicle along on gas power from the front cause an electric motor attached to the rear differential to spin the entire time?
[/QUOTE]


And if so, could this be used as a means of turning an alternator that charges the batteries for the electric motor.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i had also thught of this last week.
I was thinking about a Subaru Justy ( little 4wd)

Weight and controls seemed to be the main concerns
Also the suspoension in the rear - a Live axes would be tricky as it moves - independant rear would be best - but probably limited as to the available cars ( or trucks) to use.

I even went as far to think of taking a tiny Pickup truck - converting the Front Wheels to drive Electric and mount a Motorcycle between the frame rails to make a home-made hybrid three wheeler.... i think weight would kill that one though...


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Old 04-30-2008, 09:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What about disconnecting the driveshaft going to the front axle of a 4wd truck and installing a electric motor on the shaft to the transfer case? That would be parallel power. The transfer case would need to be in 4 high and the front axle would free wheel.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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you already have the technology

The rear brakes in the average car only do 10% of the stopping.
Your car is front wheel drive.
convert the rear wheels brake drums to electric motors.
connect them to a battery bank.
add controls as necessary, because,
When you want to drive on electric you switch on the rear drive and go while allowing the front to stay in neutral.
when you are in gas mode you use the rear wheel as regnerative brakes slowing the car and filling the batteries.
have the rear motors hooked to the brake pedal so they always come on as you stop.
Some of the first cars on the road (circa 1900's) were electric.
I read an article once that said around 1910 half the cars were Electric and half were ICE.
Many of the electrics at that time used one motor at each wheel and had better pickup than their ICE counterparts.
Oh if only the world had gone a different route we wouldn't be having these discussions today.
Thats my rant for the day.
Schultz

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