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Old 07-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tacoma conversion?

Got an '03 4x4 Tacoma truck. I was thinking about a hybrid conversion. Something like a 40 or 50 peak HP motor with a small diesel/genny and a few batteries.

Anyone done one of these? Sure would appreciate any advice, sources, etc......

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Old 07-13-2010, 07:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be just a matter of replacing the transfer case with a direct coupling, connect the other driveshaft to a motor, and put the batteries in the back?
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
Wouldn't it be just a matter of replacing the transfer case with a direct coupling, connect the other driveshaft to a motor, and put the batteries in the back?

Not a bad idea.

I've got a moderate science/mechanical/DIY background but I don't have any knowledge of the engineering on a hybrid like this. My experience with this tech -- My parents own a Prius and I remember reading about a nifty little hybrid in Mother Earth News many years ago.

I will probably need to hire an engineer to design the system and specify components. I wonder what it would cost for a first rate engineer to spec the system? Maybe $1000? More? Less? Is there someone known for this type of consulting & design work?

My base idea is to remove the 2.7 four cylinder completely from the engine bay and make or buy an adapter plate and accessories necessary to attach an electric motor to the bell housing, clutch, pressure plate and front motor mounts. Placement of the diesel/genny combo and maybe a half-dozen batteries would need to be as low as possible and weight distribution balanced.

I really wanted to keep the 6 foot cargo bed free if possible -- for cargo. I'm a maintenance man and maintain real estate rentals. I carry material and tools appropriate to carpentry, electrical, plumbing and roofing.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Find a wrecked Prius, and do a complete transplant. Probably easier & cheaper than designing your own.

Also, why experiment with a nearly new (at least in terms of Toyota longevity) truck? My '88 4x4 is still going strong after about 220K miles.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Find a wrecked Prius, and do a complete transplant. Probably easier & cheaper than designing your own.

Also, why experiment with a nearly new (at least in terms of Toyota longevity) truck? My '88 4x4 is still going strong after about 220K miles.

I've spent a lot of time with my parents Prius. It seems to run decent but popping the hood just makes me sick. Crowded. Makes my eyes cross. And it only gets 60 MPG -- even with the advanced aerodynamics.

I was thinking about the designs from a simpler time. Something more in the line of 283 chevy push-rod tech. Solid, hard-core qualities like having serious room around the running gear. I could actually get in the engine bay of my '54 chevy (235 in3 I6) and close the hood. I want to be able to yank an engine in hour like I used to do with my VW beatles and buses.

Don't get me wrong -- I know that the today's motors, controllers and other components are way ahead of the parts of that era. But I want something robust, fixable, maintainable, tweakable. I'd also like to get at least 60 MPG with the terrible aerodynamics on the tall, 4x4 toy truck.

I think custom is probably the only way I'll get something decent.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
Wouldn't it be just a matter of replacing the transfer case with a direct coupling, connect the other driveshaft to a motor, and put the batteries in the back?
I would recommend this route as well. Convert it to RWD, and connect a motor to the front differential. Ideally you could gear it so the electric motor tops out at 55 mph (to keep EV-only acceleration decent) and then disengage the hubs at higher speeds so you don't overspeed your motor. That way, you could run 100% electric around town and in slow-and-go traffic, and still have your engine for highway cruising and "gas-assist."

If you're just doing the "EV with a genny in the bed", don't bother with an engineer. The folks on the EVDL can put that together in their sleep.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
I really wanted to keep the 6 foot cargo bed free if possible -- for cargo. I'm a maintenance man and maintain real estate rentals. I carry material and tools appropriate to carpentry, electrical, plumbing and roofing.
I think it's possible to put some or all of the batteries under the cargo bed (in a tray mounted to the frame rails), but I'm not sure.

A purely series hybrid probably isn't a good idea unless you're using a gas turbine engine or something.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
I think it's possible to put some or all of the batteries under the cargo bed (in a tray mounted to the frame rails), but I'm not sure.
Should be able to get at least some batteries under there. Folks usually hinge the bed at the back so they can get easy access to the batteries. Since this is a hybrid, it won't need as many batteries as a full-time EV.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Get what you want?

If that is what you want, think of it as an electric conversion. Once you get to building/buying chargers for your batteries, that is when to include the generator into the plans.

Look at the electric conversions documented by Ben Nelson in the Fossil Free board.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clev View Post
If you're just doing the "EV with a genny in the bed", don't bother with an engineer. The folks on the EVDL can put that together in their sleep.

What is "EVDL"?

Is this EVDL the same place to inquire about favored sub-25 horse, water-cooled diesels? Is there a collection of fuel consumption curves here? What are the best gennys and motor/controllers?

Thx.

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