Tom gets a Transmission

by admin on February 22, 2010

My Friend Tom has been working on an all-electric conversion of a Dodge Neon for a while now.

It’s a pretty cool car, using almost all salvaged materials, including an industrial AC motor to drive the whole thing. Unfortunately, the transmission that came with the car doesn’t shift so well between two of the gears.

Time for a new transmission. While I was at Tom’s yesterday, he and some of the other guys started work of taking out the old transmission, and then taking it apart to see where the problem is. Looks like a tranny from the junk-yard cost less than a new syncro kit!

See the videos for what the guys are up to.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rex March 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

Hey Guys
Great Videos
I have a question or maybe a solution to the problem of the cars range or battery life. I am an old Army Radar Mech. so please let me wonder about the fact you are not using the energy you spend on moving the car. More to the point of a on board generator to charge your batteries.
My Idea would be to have a separate cart or trailer behind the car with a generator or two ( how many you would need) that would be driven by the wheels of the trailer as you travel. Maybe an old axial with a drive shaft that would turn the generators. I can think of many ways to do this and the power you generate would recharge your batteries as you go.
Maybe this is too wild to actual make since in an email but the idea is to recover the energy the car uses to move by moving or turning a generator. I believe the extra drag would be small compare to the great return.
Well thanks for listening

2 admin March 25, 2010 at 10:07 am

Hey Rex,

Please keep in mind that energy always has to come from somewhere.

In the case of a trailer, with wheels connected to a generator, the extra energy is coming from the car having to pull that much more drag.

The only way to get around that would be generators that only turn on (and thus add drag) when you want to be braking. That is more or less how regenerative braking works on vehicles like the Prius.

Tom’s car is an AC conversion and already has regenerative braking built right in.

The other approach to a trailer that extends range is to have one with a petroleum powered generator on it. Use the trailer for long trips in your EV. This would be considered a “range-extending serial hybrid” and is the approach GM is taking with the Chevy Volt (although it’s all built-in the car, there’s no trailer.)

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