Your great great grandfathers prius (or whats old is new again)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by IABoy987, May 7, 2020.

  1. IABoy987

    IABoy987 Member

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    I am a railroad buff/railfan and have lots of books about railroading. I just got a new book titled Diesel-Electric Locomotives by Walter Simpson.

    One of his topics covers the diesel engine power conversion to electric motor wheel transmission and regenerative braking. As an aside he mentions the hybrid drive-train of the 1917 Woods Motor Vehicle Company car. It was basically an ICE whose shaft went through a magnetic clutch to an electric motor that drove a propeller shaft to rear wheels. The driver could select all gas operation, all electric, or combination depending on circumstances. Like Prius, the Woods car could charge batteries on regenerative braking, or the ICE runs motor as a generator to charge batteries. The picture showed 12 battery blocks, so could have been a 24V, 72V, or 144V vehicle, depending on each battery block's voltage.

    Woods Motor Vehicle - Wikipedia

    So whats we think is new is old, is bought forward and gussied up with fancy microprocessors. :)
     
    #1 IABoy987, May 7, 2020
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The patent by John Godfrey Parry Thomas filed in 1908 is pretty much a Prius powertrain, wanting only the high-speed computation and switching to make it work well.

    Like fuel injection (another turn-of-the-20th-century idea), it was basically an idea in waiting just until there were small-enough, fast-enough computers and electronics to handle the control demands. (Re: fuel injection, I actually picked up a turn-of-the-20th-century automotive engineering book and read a section about fuel injection, which basically said "this will inevitably supplant the carburetor as soon as there is some kind of technology able to control it with the necessary speed.")
     
  3. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Active Member

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    Lots of technology that has been around for a long time seems to fluorish again.

    I was a hot rod enthusiast for much of my life. Before going into the service in 1968 I bought a 66 Dodge Coronet 500 with the big engine and I added a lot of hot rod accessories. I was an avid reader of anything that I could get my hands on related to performance cars.

    Your post reminded me that turbochargers were not mainstream in the 60's and 70's. I had read a couple great books on installing turbochargers.

    When I got out of the service in 1971, I bought a 67 Rambler American from my dad. It had a 199 cubic inch inline six with 3 speed on the column which had a sturdy 7 main bearing crank.

    I happened to wander through a local swap shop one day and discovered a Rajay turbocharger.I bought the turbocharger for $35. I checked and it was the correct size for the Rambler engine. Rajay was the brand that GM used on the Corvairs and I was able to purchase a rebuild kit from a GM dealer for it. American motors also used Delco distributors so I purchased the advance weights, springs and what on a conventional car would be called the vacuum advance diaphram but on the turbocharged Corvair, it worked the opposite and was a pressure retard.

    I blueprinted the engine and fabricated a 2 barrel manifold for the turbocharger. The manifold was for a 300 cfm carb that I alreaady had. It was to replace the single barrel carb that came with the turbo. I also had to fab an exhaust manifold from the engine to the turbocharger and an exhaust system from the turbocharger to the rear of the car through a turbo muffler.

    There was a terrific increase in power. The 9" clutch and the 3 speed transmission only lasted a few weeks. At that time everyone who had a performance car in my circle of friends also had a beater car for the winter. A guy down the street had a rusted out hulk of a 57 Chevy, 4 door, 283 engine that he was asking $75 for. I purchased it because at some point, someone had installed a Muncie M21 close ratio 4 speed and Hurst shifter in it. I pulled the transmission and compared the input shaft length with my 3 speed. It was a match. I pulled the bell housing and took it to a weld shop and had 4 lugs welded onto it where the 4 speed mounting bolts would be located. I took it to a friends machine shop and he faced off the mounting surface, bored the center hole larger to match the collar on the 4 speed and drilled and tapped the 4 new lugs for 1/2" bolts.

    While the bell housing was off, I removed the flywheel and took it to an auto parts store where another friend worked. I wanted to see if I could match it up to a better clutch. As it turned out, the flywheel was already drilled and tapped for a 10 1/2" clutch. I bought a matching Chevy 10 1/2" pressure plate and a 10 1/2" disk with the correct spline to match the 4 speed.

    A few weeks later, I launched the car hard and broke the rear end. The neighbor across the street had a 65 Dodge with a blown engine that he was going to junk. I conned him into swapping his 3.91 sure grip rear end for mine before he junked it and to sweeten the deal, he helped me do the swap and install traction bars.

    The driveline was solid now and I took the car to Turbo Systems. Turbochargers were not that well known then and this local shop did turbo conversion on exotic sports cars. I asked the owner, Bill Laughlin, if he would take a look at my car. He checked it out and went for a test ride where his primary interest was in the boost gauge. The car produced 9 or 10 pounds of boost. He said it ran very well. I asked what I might do to get more power out of it. He said get rid of that little 2 barrel for something more but remember that higher boost will cause detonation that may destroy the engine.

    I immediately went to Otie's, a speed shop in Kenmore Ohio and purchased a 500 cfm Holley 2 barrel carb which matched the bolt pattern of the existing 2 barrel.

    I went back to the turbocharging manual and it described water or alcohol/water injection to cool off the compressed charge to reduce detonation. Today that would be an intercooler but those things were not mainstream then. I used a Bernz-O-Matic bottle for my reservoir. I plugged a hose into the intake manifold. I installed a 5 psi oxy/acetyline check valve in the line. When the boost went above 5 psi, the reservoir would be pressurized. I ran a second line from the reservoir to spray water/alcohol into the throats of the 2 barrel carburetor. That hose went through an adapter that would accept carburetor jets. I determined that a .100 jet at 15 psi would provide an adequate water/alcohol spray at full power. I kept a gallon jug of water/alcohol mix in the trunk.

    I took this Rambler to the drag strip bone stock and it ran a elapsed time of 18.60 at a speed of 72 mph for the 1/4 mile. The trap speed / vehicle weight calculator says that for a 2600 lb vehicle, 72 mph is 75 rear wheel horsepower. The 199 cubic inch engine was rated at 125 hp so that was believable.

    After the turbo, the car ran 13.90's at 104 mph which equates to about 225 hp which is a nearly triple the horsepower.

    This drag strip has E.T. bracket racing and I entered in the 13.90 bracket. One race was between my lowly Rambler with wide oval tires and a full exhaust against a 70 Oldsmobile 442 with a 455 engine, headers and slicks. I barely nudged him out at the finish line. He came over and said "Nobody beats me on the big end, what the heck is in that thing"? When I told him it was a 199 inch six he said "No Way". I opened the hood and he gawked for a moment and then he said "That's not a six cylinder, that's a plumbers nightmare". The only distinguishable feature from any other Rambler American was the wide oval tires and if you looked closely, the traction bars. It was really a pretty fast sleeper.

    Most of the improvements were by necessity as I broke something and looked for a cheap fix to repair them but also a stronger replacement.

    I sold that car for the down payment on my first house. I wrote this article because Columbus Craigslist just listed a clean 64 Rambler American with 199" six and three on the column.

    1964 Ramber American 440 - cars & trucks - by owner - vehicle...

    It brought back a lot of old memories. Funny that I converted an economy car to a performance car but later went from being impressed by performance cars to being impressed by economy cars. I have had 2 Pintos and a Pinto wagon, a VW beetle, Dodge Colt, Plymouth Horizon, Ford Escort, 2 Accord's and now the Prius. Different page in my life I guess. High performance for me today low maintenance / high mileage ie.cheapest to operate.

    The friend that helped me with the rear end has passed and the one that I bought the 57 Chevy from is in memory care. It was a simpler time and I miss those friends. I am thankful for my health today especially in light of the virus.

    Sorry for the length of the post. I started to make a comment and it turned into literature.
     
    #3 Ronald Doles, May 7, 2020
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  4. 2012 Prius v wagon 3

    2012 Prius v wagon 3 Active Member

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    Great story. I guess one thing leads to another ...

    I think the following is related to your quote here ^.

    I just finished doing the EGR system cleaning on my 2012, as a preventive maintenance thing. With that issue, there seems to be a widely noticed correlation between EGR cooler clogging and head gasket failure (or other engine issues). But as far as I know there is no solid explanation for the correlation, and even doubts that there is actually a causal relationship between the two.

    So when I was doing the job, it occurred to me that maybe the thick layer of carbon build up inside the cooler may cause a problem not so much as a blockage but as an insulator. So the coolant is not able to sufficiently extract heat from the exhaust gas as it goes through the cooler.

    The carbon provides insulation, and with the passage narrowed, the gas spends less time inside the cooler. Both leading to a much hotter gas exiting the cooler, potentially causing detonation problems when it reaches the engine.
     
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  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You're not the first on PriusChat to float that idea.

    Nothing wrong with it as a conjecture. The next steps would be pinning down "how much hotter is 'much hotter'?", and "how much hotter is needed for the conjectured effect?" and so on. There have to be resources for that kind of information, but nobody follows through.

    We're all geniuses at coming up with ideas, until the step of showing which idea's got legs.

    There is at least better support for detonation as a damage mechanism than just simple heat; Toyota mentions detonation as a possible effect of restricted EGR.

    On the other hand, it has a characteristic sound; it isn't likely to sneak up and eat your head gasket without you knowing something's up.

    And in engines with unaddressed detonation issues, head gaskets are among the least dramatic results to be seen. :eek:
     
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  6. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your story!
     
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