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Old 07-07-2008, 08:58 AM   #31
redpepe
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

this is a repost from another thread but it is somewhat relevent.

coincidently, i just heard a report that a recent world bank report shows how ethanol production has driven up gas prices.

of course a metro can run on ethanol or combo with ethanol. good grief ... engines have run on powdered coal too if i remember correctly.

i'm in the elec conversion camp. ..... and bill was right to indirectly mention that gross heat / chemical accumulation will be the limit of engine use in the biosphere.

.... a modest proposal .....

hi woodmen,

very interested in this thread and thanks .... couldn't link to the 75mpg ref????

i've been messing about with elec conversions lately ....anticipating a jump into major debt to install a large solar array in the yard. still trying to make up my mind whether to do that or pay off my mortgage more rapidly.

anyway, i've converted a 1939 sears roebuck walk behind garden tractor to battery power and continue to use it as an experimental platform. i use harbor freight parts .... pushing the beast with a 1/2" angle drill that has wonderful torque, powered by a 10 year old marine battery going through a 2000 watt inverter. it does very well! i use a simple hf 'router controller' for speed control.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...1_P1010666.jpg

i also power a 32" rototiller of about the same vintage with the same system. it ran for more than an hour and still wasn't slowing down in quite difficult conditions.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...iller-5-08.jpg

i've fastened a 9" angle grinder .... high rpm and decent torque .... to an old mower deck and built a very simple string trimmer disc for the cutter underneath. it's doing 22" fairly easily and i plan on potentially ganging 3 cutters for a relatively inexpensive 60" cutting swath.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...-080626-P1.jpg

aside from being fun and useful in my situation, these are also tests building toward the possible metro conversion. what i'd like all you very capable folks to consider is my latest plan to make a power pack to plug into the reciever hitch, or a modified version, of any car. it would have batteries, controller and motor on the 'trailer' ... which could be one or two wheeled ..... and would allow folks to have a 'hybrid' without so much fuss. it obviously would need a control system going to the driver's position. this is a sweet transitional conversion until elec cars become ubiquitous and 'cheap'. it bypasses the complexities of the extant hybrids and still allows the 'backup' properties of the unaltered existing gas engine for emergencies and longer trips. it also puts all the additional weight on the new drive wheel/s and doesn't require boosting the suspension of the driven vehicle. on the downside, it does add substantial driven weight, though the power pack could easily be removed as needed, but this is specifically for short hauls ... 20-30 miles? ... which are the great majority of our trips ... and in my case would just about eliminate less efficient direct fossil foolish burning.

another benefit is that the existing heating and ac systems are intact for winter and summer.

'scuffing' of the trailer tire/s is a bit of an issue and i've considered a dynamically cambering suspension which would be similar to the action of a motorcycle drive wheel on turns .... or a swiveling dolly wheel.

down the line, simply removing the existing engine / trans / fuel tank makes a lighter, fully electric conversion if desired. i've considered a 'puller' v 'pusher' for a 'front wheel drive' version. lots of good design problems!

my 91 metro has 320k on it and still gets 40mpg. it's worn out and i need to rebuild or replace and still consider using it for an elec only conversion.
Last edited by redpepe : 07-02-2008 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:02 PM   #32
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

Wow, pepe, you've really got some interesting stuff going on.

I was actually thinking about "hybridizing" a Metro too. I wondered, and maybe someone could figure it out where I can't - let's say you attach 4 magnets to each half-shaft, or to the rear axle, so they are physically balanced with each other. Grab a couple of ignition coils from a junker, place one coil (or other coiled or bundled copper wire) someplace (the brackets attaching the control arms, for example?) in proximity to each set of magnets and run a couple
wires from the coils to an extra battery. Then hook an electric motor into the system via a switch or a relay connected through to the TPS. Use the TPS to control activation of the electric motor - when the throttle's open enough, the electrics kick in and the motor could either boost the drive wheels, or make the car a 4-wheel drive by boosting the rear wheels instead.

I don't know how much energy you could generate from the magnets/coil, but since it works for an alternator, I would think you could get a pretty decent amount going.

Alternatively, what if you took the alternator itself off, then plugged all this funky hookup into the regular battery with an old voltage regulator somewhere in the circuit? That might save a little extra fuel by not putting the engine to work as a generator.

Lastly - I always thought the Civilization games' idea was great, having satellites collect the solar energy and fire it down to generating stations as microwave lasers. I read somewhere that DARPA or some other gov't agency has funded some work creating a prototype of one of these energy generators as a way to provide the military with a steady power supply in areas where it's hard to get supplies in.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #33
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

I think that we really need to put a bunch of different technologies and changes into effect. Lighter cars and trikes such as the tri-magnum http://www.rqriley.com/tri-mag.html would be great for local family commutes and trips. BUT.... driving a car like that on the same roads as 18 wheelers would be dangerous. high winds and whatnot. The XR-3 will be a future project of mine. solar power won't work in many places.
I'm off to work now. Love to keep this going though.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:01 PM   #34
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

In Geo country we get sidetracked but we always get to the end of the road with fuel to spare. You have the best adaptation to the rough fuel markets if you can minimize the amount you use. Unfortunately my life style is spread out somewhat so I have to cross 2150 miles of interstate so Iím at the mercy of the sheet guys with their greedy hands on the oil pump valve.

I like the Hovercraft idea Iím looking at one for Baja as a commuter around border traffic and north of Chicago I can get a nice home on an island but to make it a year round house I would have to cross the lake in late fall and early spring with broken ice so hovercraft is the only way to go. I would think the power to weight ratio and reliability would make the 1.0L a natural for hovercraft use. Since the 1.0L isnít popular as a marine engine it may be hard to find flash suppressors if you need them for USCG approval. Iím in the process of looking at hovercraft closer but the small ones have trouble in waves over 3 feet which could limit it for me off shore. If you want to go diesel the in the early 80s Chebby Chevette had a very nice Isuzu diesel dream engine 45 mpg but was heavy as I recall.

By my limited knowledge I think the main problem in ethanol fuel conversion as I recall is the fuel lines and maybe tank. I think the Flexi fuel cars have stainless steel lines. In considering a conversion you may be able to vary your gas /ethanol mixture depending on whatís available.

However it has been my experience that unless you consume allot it can cause more problems to do an all out conversion. For example you could create problems that are hard and expensive to fix harm sensors your computer uses to run the car. Though straight ethanol has the advantage if you go down along the road you could always put a siphon in the tank pull out some glasses and throw an instant party.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:09 PM   #35
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

Man there are allot of good ideas here. I think the electric conversion has allot of merit due to the Geos light weight. The hydrogen has me wondering hydrogen would increase the amount of fuel available it has to be produced and stored so it will require compression and hardware. It doent look all that hard to produce. I wonder what the effect of increasing oxygen alone would allow the fuel to burned more efficent it may extract more energy form the same amount of fuel. The only trouble is with it may wipe out the O2 sensor or chamber temperature may run to hot for the design. I think the higher octane fuels burn slower as I recall.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:18 AM   #36
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

thanks for the replies and ideas. i can not do exotic experiments on my budget. i can do 'off the shelf' modifications with a few twists.

targeted pricing strategies with defacto subsidies generated by ever greater competition for limited resources will either bring out the best in us .... or continue to bring out the guns. we may make conversions / adaptations for our own benefit but the greater challenge is to organize pollitically for cooperative elimination of carbon fuels and major reconstrucion of infrastructure and economic structures. that there are still 'free market' snake oilers shearing sheep attests to the old stock traders' phrase .... 'nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american public'. while that is too specific and narrow and rather overstated, the social and conceptual inertia is glacial, numbing and i think terminal.

that said ..... i'm still trying to walk through my mistakes rather than wasting thousands of dollars.

a decent electric conversion currently costs $5-15k plus labor. if it works, a hitch added power pack could reduce the labor significantly and there could be lower modification costs but these will probably be eaten up by the trailer drive hardware. the xr3 uses a similar configuration. a retro fit version could help.

weight is important but for short haul situations it is not the limiting factor. we metrophiles have safely lived among the 18 wheelers for a long time. electric vehicles are potentially rockets.

an efficient fuel engine is still important for long trips and backup. adding oxygen alone makes a lean mix and destroys longevity. a heat / carnot cycle engine is 30plus % efficient max.

keep those imaginations alive!
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #37
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

The answer is obvious....enslave hundreds of Guinea Pigs under the hood and
make them run a treadmill....

Feed them garbage and if any die, cook and serve them for dinner.

There will be no easy solution.

The world population count is now 6,706,992,932 human beings all wanting everything
they can get - and NOW ! .....damn it all!
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html

China and India now want the goodies that we've had. Huge populations!

If Africa gets off it's butt and they stop killing each other, they will start using resources
also - then there is Latin America.

Then we have morons, running the government, who's foremost thoughts are for
their own profit and bennies - not for those whom they represent.

Then we have the complete idealistic types just out of college who think they
can make the world run "as it should run" and who screw up everything that they touch.

Nice forecast for the future. WAR.

DoctorBill the realist.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:36 AM   #38
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

SixSeas.. Here is a hovercraft link for you
http://members.aol.com/sevtec/sev/skmr.html
I'm pretty much broke all the time so I am always looking for cheaper ways to do/own things. Flash suppressor?(no..I promised my wife no built in weapons on the hovercraft) Adding cold air increases HP (Ram Air) Usually it seems HP and efficiency don't go together. Alot of cars are de-tuned to make them more efficient.

Redpepe..Dr.B mentioned the use of drano and water to release hydrogen. That will be a cheap experiment. I know I'll play around with it. Of course I was going to do a distillation of water experiment anyway. Infact I tried,but I have an electronic battery charger and it won't run if it isn't hooked to a battery.
Dr.B...Population doubles about every 80 years. At some point there will be nothing left. Changes really need to be made on an indvidual basis. What works for you may not work for me. My wifes mini-van can take e-85 so..I started looking at brewing again.

Night all
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #39
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

hi freefall and bill,

ff .... the point of that detuning was significantly the life of the engine and parts. drano is not the answer ... as if there was a single 'the answer' ... bill is correct with that emphasis. the social production of energy v individual is the political and conceptual issue in this case but it requires comprehensive and historical analysis. i admire your experimental efforts and i do many myself since i've chosen a simple, low monied lifestyle. hydrogen will be in the mix of our systems some way. one of my first public installations in the early 70's was a piece called 'hydrogen economy'.

you're both right about population but the consequences and causes of attendant problems are not well served by 'sound bite' analysis. as you may guess, i'm in the camp that says birth rates change / reduce generally as social [not simply 'individual'] realizations of material security increase life expectancies. the implication of this is that the most likely way to generally enjoy the rich earth is to be sure that everyone, no matter what their ideological bent, is well fed, housed, informed and cared for. this is how you all would treat your families and i always ask that we take that ethic and apply it universally.

fear mongering for economic benefit and social control is the most effective political tool in the propagandists' armamentarium. our willing promotions of 'wedge issues' and black and white generalizations amounts to carrying the water for exactly the folks who many on this list seem to object to.

bill's clever variations on jonathan swift's 1729 essay, 'a modest proposal' ..... kill 'em and eat 'em .... contains the hobbesian projection of leviathan and the 'red of tooth and claw' concept of nature. 'threats' projected instrumentally about population and the 'unwashed masses' have been used for a very long time. the barbarians are at the gate? i'm more of a pogo fan .... for those too young to remember .... 'we have met the enemy, and he is us'.

returning to metros .... if you all had a simple little plug in, trailer mounted, electric 'pusher' that would horse ['cart before the horse' in this case] your car down the road respectably and safely, would you use it? would it work?

guns or butter ..... or do we continue to imperially demand the whole pie?
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:37 AM   #40
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

...as you may guess, i'm in the camp that says birth rates change / reduce generally as social
[not simply 'individual'] realizations of material security increase life expectancies.
the implication of this is that the most likely way to generally enjoy the rich earth is to be sure
that everyone, no matter what their ideological bent, is well fed, housed, informed and cared for.
this is how you all would treat your families and i always ask that we take that ethic and apply it universally.

- redpepe

Sounds good....except when we are in such "good times," we all go out and reproduce like mice.

That's why, right now, we have 6.7 Billions of us on this 3rd Rock from the Sun.

BILLIONS..... this is exactly what bacteria do in a bottle containing growth media.

What will it be like when there are 13,000,000,000 of us all living on the same space?

That is just 2x from now. One doubling time.

Instead of "Carbon Credits", we should have "Offspring Credits".....each couple can have one kid only.
If you don't want kids, sell the OC on the market for as much as the market will bear (pun intended)...

The Chinese have all our money - they'd pay a premium price for your OC...
You could live like a King - just no kids for you. Snip, snip...permanently.

Draconian? It will get worse - quickly. Something needs to be done and soon.
WAR tends to cull the herd - can't we do something less Draconian than war?

DoctorBill
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:09 PM   #41
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

The geometric increases in worldwide population and its following unavoidable wave of consumption will escalate rapidly. More people demanding an ever increasing piece of a fixed supply of non renewable resources, doesnít draw a pretty picture.

No matter what any weasel breath politician says the lives of many people today will change dramatically. For those of us in this country, with a government that allows a situation where we are virtually enslaved by a foreign nation states resources really stacks the odds against us. Right decisions by our rulers are important. In 1958 the Republic of Mexico outlawed cannibalism practiced along the east shore of the Sea of Cortez. They may have wiped out a lifestyle free of energy shocks; a cannibal riding a donkey cares nothing about rising food and energy prices. Today there is critical 40% shortage of diesel and gas in Northern Mexico.

I think life will get hard for all but a small group. The small group will not be the doers but mere students of one simple lesson, how to trick, rig and manipulate our economy, to squeeze more goods and services out of people without insulting the working population.

The current energy shock looks like it will create a demand for fuel efficient cars and after a time lag while manufactures retool from gas guzzlers to sippers. But now the Saudis are free to command another round of increases to $10 maybe $20 or more per gallon in the near future. Same old game different day.

We are enjoying the 1.0L technological advantage today only because we made the decision to conserve resources while our government and peers took off like mad men, credit cards in hand, hoping to buy their place in Disney world. We lowered our level of energy consumption relative to our peers and it lessened the impact of the oil shock on our lives. Well hunting season opened and Donald duck is running, so the guzzlers are in trouble again, at least in the short run. Electric and alternative fuel investigation today may be the key to maintaining a decent lifestyle tomorrow, because free men donít have to beg the master for oil.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:58 PM   #42
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

No...free men will have to beg the Master for electricity - which is made from
burning Coal (mostly). ----- Pollution! The price per gallon will translate into
higher fuel costs for electricity ($$) than it is/was for gasoline!

The Environmentalists, who mentally live several ceturies ago, won't allow the
Congress to allow more Nuclear Plants be built or to drill our own Oil (so we have to pay
Foreign Masters for Oil).

Point is - we MUST have energy for 7 Billion people DEMANDING IT !

Screw global warming - China and India will demand power.
They won't listen to our neat little arguements about the environment! Ha!

Our own people, freezing to death in winter, will demand the fuel or power.

Dying humans won't listen to the reasoning of Environmentalists....they'll kill them.

Neither will starving people.

WAR.

......then it gets worse....

As the old saying goes

"First you die. Then you go to Hell."

I added this last part....

"Then you burn.....forever."

Given the nature of humans under stress, we ain't seen nothin' yet!

DoctorBill

Don't anyone give me that "you are a negative person!" garbage.
We are in for some really bad times - and soon!
Seven Billion folks all "pissed off and bitter" isn't something to scoff at.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:57 AM   #43
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

yes i agree we're in for bad times ...... and the whys and hows need to be on everyone's minds.
while i always approve of skepticism .... less so of cynicism ..... i'm not sure there's enough time left before we vindictively burn to address all the half truths and generalizations mentioned above.

sticking to population .... the simplified assertions reflect a lack of detailed concern not typical of bill's metro endeavors for instance. you'll find that there are actually declines in birth rates, contrary to claims, but the important thing is to recognize the specific conditions that affect trends and constituant groups. here's a brief, not definitive, paper on population demographics:

http://www.worldbank.org/depweb/engl.../chapter3.html

digressing ..... then you also might initially consider 'depletion allowences' for those poor besieged oil companies. what? they have them already? and so forth through the littany of accounting scams that produce the claimed 4% roi? profit? nonsense. i wonder who else thinks the oil companies are working in their [meaning the folks on this list] best interest and simply need to be freed from evil guvmint so that they can serve us better?
here's a good history of oil with a few laughs included:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...40865741878159
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:29 AM   #44
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

Here is the truth about oil, and it all makes sense once you break through the matrix of lies, and deception.


http://www.reformation.org/energy-non-crisis.html
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #45
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Re: Could a 3 Cylinder Metro be made to run on Ethanol?

thanks woodmen,

rushing out the door but a quick survey suggests to me some illogical claims again.

for instance, even if we did have 'unlimited oil', burning it at the current growing rate would soon instead run us out of air.

this is too quick ... maybe later.
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