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Old 08-04-2012, 04:05 PM
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mizlplix mizlplix is offline
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Default Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

This thread is to document the modifications and rebuilding of a Powerglide transmission when used in an Electric vehicle application.

The Powerglide whys and wherefores have already been discussed in great length in several other threads. This one is just for the technical side.

Basically any aluminum cased Powerglide will work. (no cast iron models are used) Reserve the air cooled ones for lighter vehicles as The fluid cooling path was deleted in them so they can not be converted for heavy vehicle use without some bother.

There is no special advantage to a rear pump model, as we will not be "Push starting". The front pump keeps pressure up and the transmission stays in gear clear down until about 50 RPM's. (You can regen down to 50RPM's with only a front pump. Your regen is into the dead zone by then and has shut off.)

Powerglides used in 4, 6, and 283 V-8 models were a lighter duty type and had a 1.82 low and reverse ratio. Most all 327 and up V-8 models were the standard duty 1.72 ratio. I prefer the 1.82 models that the racers don't like.

This one happens to be a 4 year old TCI built "Circleglide".

It has been converted to oval track racing by a full manual valve body, removed governor and direct drive coupler. The side case flanges have been sawed off to allow a flex-plate scattershield to fit. (not necessary in an EV application.)

Low gear is applied by a band that clamps around the forward planetary drum forcing the planets to rotate (low gear).

This one just removed from our victim transmission is a Kevlar lined model.

Kevlar is not really needed or wanted for EV use. Kevlar is for slip-starting cars in gear. Our motor is at zero shaft RPM's when we engage low gear.

We are using the Red Racing type. The stock Raybestos will work fine too.

The low band is tightened by hydraulic action against a servo (Piston).

Here is the standard single seal piston and our upgraded two ring model. ($25)

A high gear clutch pack locks up the planetary giving a straight through power path (high gear). It uses clutches. (4 to 10 of them depending on motor power).

We are using 6 clutch plates with the Red Racing lining. It is supposed to be good up to 500 HP.

The planetary comes with an aluminum center hub. An upgrade to a steel hub is a good thing. (and cheap at $40).

All of those holes are for the oil trapped between the clutch plates to drain through and speeds up the shift.

That leaves reverse. It uses clutches to stop the sun gear forcing the planets to rotate backwards. There are 5 clutch plates. We can eliminate 2 and get by on 3 easily due to our light weight car and the ability to back up slowly and gently.

We use stock Raybestos compound for reverse.

The reverse clutches and steel plates rotate when in low and high gear. They are not pressed together, but they have oil drag so more plates mean more drag in low and high. (We only need 1 to be honest).

The reverse clutches are splined directly in the aluminum transmission case. There is always some wear. (Trans brakes wear cases there) There is an upgrade called "case-savers".

They are stainless steel inserts that go into the factory slots and stop any future wear and provide for slick reverse clutch operation.

Well, Enough for one day. Tomorrow we go into the tear-down and inspection.

Miz

Last edited by mizlplix; 10-13-2012 at 03:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:59 PM
Batterypoweredtoad Batterypoweredtoad is offline
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

So you are using the hydraulic/piston setup to manually engage the low gear band from a start? Does that require pushing a pedal to engage the transmission from a stop?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

No, an aux. pump provides pressure. It will be covered later in the thread.

Miz
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:09 AM
Salty9 Salty9 is offline
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

Interesting.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

Day 2:

The first thing to realize is that you never get all of the oil out of anything...
Your work bench will get oily. Plan for it. AND...Take a lot of pictures as you go. (Unless you are a powerglide Pro).

Pan removal. Nothing magic. Remove the bolts-remove the pan. Notice what is in the pan. Metal? Paper? Water? Smell the oil....OK or burned?

Remove the oil inlet screen. (center top rectangle hole)


Remove the shifter detent assy. and spring. (lower left)

Remove the plate that holds the shift shaft in and out thrust. (lower right)
Remove the outer dark colored bolts. 9 of them.
Lift out the valve body.

This one is a full manual unit.


Unscrew the low band adjuster screw. (left side by where the shift shaft comes out)

Remove the low gear servo. It is under the small cover on the right/front side of the case.

The cover has 3 bolts. Pull and the servo/shaft unit will pop out.

Remove the large band apply spacer. (between the band and adjuster screw)

Remove the small band spacer. (on the servo side of the band)

Remove the input shaft by just pulling
.
Remove the front pump bolts.

Remove the front pump by tapping it out from inside of the case with a slim rod.

Remove The front band.

Remove the front planetary unit.

Remove the tail extension housing. (5 bolts)

Remove the speedo drive gear by pressing the clip and sliding it to the rear. (Don't lose the small clip)
.
Remove the governor assy.

Remove the rear bushing support plate. Sometimes it is also the rear pump cover too.


Remove the planetary.

Remove the giant circlip and remove the reverse clutches and plates.

Next, you will need to make one of these tools. It is used to compress the reverse apply piston so the retainer ring can be removed.


Compress the piston.


Note the piston retract springs. They are larger than the forward clutch apply piston springs and can not be switched. (Well, maybe if you try real hard)

Note the reverse apply piston, bottom. (the front piston is shown on top for reference).


Remove the forward clutch pack piston.


Notice more springs. These are smaller.


More next week end.

Miz

Last edited by mizlplix; 10-13-2012 at 03:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2012, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

Very Well done so far. I have experience with 700r4 and th350, but not with powerglide! Cant wait to see how it all works out for you.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:21 PM
Salty9 Salty9 is offline
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by few2many View Post
Very Well done so far. I have experience with 700r4 and th350, but not with powerglide! Cant wait to see how it all works out for you.
I've had experience with a 700R4 in a half-ton pickup. With only light use it seems to have needed rebuilding annually.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

May have been the lighter 200r4 or just the older, light duty one. I had one from an old 350 diesel that I put behind a built 350 with 37" tires, no probs!
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

The real downfall of ALL automatic transmissions is the need for the clutch apply pressure to be held by bushing/shaft fit. The clearance only gets bigger with use and lowers the pressure which in turn accelerates bushing wear.

Synthetic oil helps this immensely.

Miz
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Building the EV Powerglide Transmission

Miz,

With size and weight being a major concern for most EVs, I would have thought that you would have removed the bell housing and gone for connecting the motor with an adapter to the front pump bolts.

I would like to fit a powerglide in a 318i BMW and want to go this route because of space concerns.

Can you explain a little about the pros and cons concerning keeping/removing the bell housing?

Thanks again for all your great info and taking the time to explain the rebuild step-by-step.

Eric
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