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Old 07-07-2008, 07:58 AM   #31
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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.

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.

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.

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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