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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT; it appears that Photobucket decided to allow photos to be used without me paying a fee. Thank you Photobucket for the EV community!

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.

The first pic is 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).

Pic 2 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).

Pic 3-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).

Pic 4-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
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
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) First pic


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

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. Third pic is manual valve body


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. 5th pic

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

Remove The front band. 6th pic

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. 7th pic


Remove the planetary. 8th pic

Remove the giant circlip and remove the reverse clutches and plates. These are in the bottom of the case. 9th pic

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. 10th pic


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). 4th pic


Remove the forward clutch pack piston.


Notice more springs. These are smaller. 12th pic


More next week end.

Miz
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Cool. I'm glad you asked. I have forgotten so much that it takes a slight "nudge" sometimes to get an idea.

1. The powerglide bellhousings are replaced for one major reason...They are light weight and crack easily. What ever I replace one with will weigh more than the original. (The original is strong enough for our purposes).

2. You only gain some diameter room from the switch. (That area is usually the largest spot in the car tunnel area already).

3. You can remove the stator support tube (the long tube in the pic) Pic 1

Then shorten the input shaft to gain a 2" length savings. (If you weld it to your adapter) Pic 2

4. The bellhousing is easy to remove. It gets cut off ala sawzall, then sanded down with a disk grinder to just lower than the pump surface. The new adapter or bellhousing bolts on using the factory pump bolts. (using longer bolts)

5. You can do the same thing in the rear. Change to a "shorty" output shaft, (losing 8"-9", but costing $500 as it requires a short bearing/yoke flange and short output shaft to be installed to the planetary shell.)

As stated elsewhere, you can build a motor/Powerglide unit that is so short that the motor/transmission unit is as long as the old powerglide alone and the outside diameter is only as large as the main case it'self.

My Powerglide weighs in at about 75# as it is. For $1,000 in parts I might lose 10Lbs & lose 11" or so in length. Neither of which are critical in my application.

If you need the space, then money is well spent.

Miz
 

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Thank you for starting this thread!
I plan to use a powerglide for my 1985 RX-7 conversion.
I have read in a few thread you have already contributed, but the technical/fabrication aspect was somehow missing!

I am also very interested into this already built transmission:
http://www.kansasev.com/evglide-powertrain.html
(major concern are price, output shaft dimension and speedometer connection)
Feel free to comment if you have some advice about this one! ;)

I am presently looking for a used powerglide in my area, To take measurements and see what I can do myself!

Here is the e-mail exchange I had with Dwain from KansasEv.

Hi,

I am very interested about you 2 speed "EVGlide Power Train" transmission.
I would like to know if you have some data sheets with detailed specifications.
Do you sell the transmission assembly without the ADC FB1-4001 motor (I plan to use an 11'' motor).

I would like to have a price quote for the transmission only (if possible) including shipping cost to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Regards,

Matthieu


What specifications were you looking for? Gear ratio's, low = 1.82-1, high = 1-1. Shifts to all gears is manual. The motor is coupled directly to the transmission input shaft. The gears are a planetary gear set and therefore there is no engaging or disengaging of gears. The clutches are hydraulic and internal. They are controlled by the hydraulic valve system. You also have reverse and neutral. There is a park position with a parking pawl to lock up the transmission just like any automatic transmission. This is a big advantage over a regular manual transmission on any electric vehicle. We sell the transmission without the motor. The transmission comes with the transmission adapter plate, The motor adapter plate and the coupler on the front. The back has a shortened tail shaft splined for a chevy yoke and a short tailshaft housing. There is no provision for a speedometer as we would not know what vehicle it was going to be used in. We can get some adapter kits for some vehicles for a speedometer. The cost including the items listed above is $2875.00 U.S. The cost of shipping would be approximately $200.00. You would need to secure your own custom broker. The adapter plate and coupler will fit the standard Warp 11 motor.

Dwain Swick
Thank you for your answer!

I was looking for some dimensions, weight, power rating, electrical and mechanical connectivity details and warranty.

Could you provide me a 2D or 3D CAD of the transmission and adapter assembly?

I am converting a 1985 Mazda RX-7, which have a mechanical speedometer, what would you recommend?

How does the shifter is connected to the transmission? With a simple cable or an electrical connection?

Regards,

Matthieu
I'm including some dimensions from the adapter plates on the front of the EVGlide to the outboard end of the tailshaft. This is from the face of the motor where it mounts to the adapter plate to the end of the tailshaft. This length is 16 1/2". The height is 12" and the width is 14 1/2". The width doesn't include the auxiliary pump. When we normally mount the pump on a bracket on the side of the tranny, it adds 4 1/2" to the width. The pump could be mounted anywhere near the tranny and just plumb the two lines accordingly. The big part of the width is the bottom flange and the pan. The main body of the tranny is about 10" wide and the adapter plates are 10" wide. The EVGlide weighs 90 lbs. There are no electronics in the tranny, it is all mechanical and hydraulic. Any aftermarket shifter with cable for a powerglide will work on this unit. I don't know a power rating. These powerglides are the darling of the dragsters. I got the idea from a guy in the next town. He ran a dragster which held the record for a naturally aspirated dragster for some time. He was running a modified powerglide. They were using a modified powerglide that was manual shift. They attached a solenoid to the shift lever on the tranny that was wired to the tachometer. When the RPM reached a set speed it triggered the solenoid and shifted from low to high. The driver never let up on the throttle. I thought these were very rugged little beasts. We modified these for use with an electric motor. We removed the bell housing and made up adapter plates to connect the motor direct. We modified the valve body to make it manual shift and beefed up the clutches and some other parts like the dragsters used. Since these are so popular with the racers, there is a lot of parts on the aftermarket. We warrant this unit for one year.
We could use a standard tailshaft and housing. It is made for a mechanical
drive. I don't know if the cable ends would work or not and I don't know if the gear ratio would be correct or not. You would need to do some research. Many are doing conversions and use GPS speedometers. Some of these have and odometer also.

Dwain Swick
Thank you!
I will check with my 3D CAD, see how the transmission would fit in my car and do some research for the speedo. If everything work, I will mail you back, probably this fall. Did you usually carry you transmission in stock? What would be the production and shipping delay?

Regards,

Matthieu
You can take a standard aluminum powerglide without the bell housing and that will give you the configuration. We were carrying some in stock but have just been cleaned out. We have some in process but are trying to find some hard to find parts. It might take a few weeks to get inventory back. You understand some parts of our units come from used powerglides.

Dwain Swick
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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I noticed you are using a shurflow electric, rv style pump. How well will it work with hot oil?Are you at all worried about the amount of heat the rotating assembly will create in the oil :D
Sorry, I am a smartass.
What are the specs on youre pumps? I use some of those at work, they are set to 65 -75 psi and can be run off ac, or dc. At least, the ones we use can. They have a 120v dc motor that runs on a rectifier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is a 150PSI model. It is rated at 275 deg. F. max operating temp.
The transmission was running at 140F-160F.
It is permanent magnet,12VDC powered and has Viton valves, but some other thing for the diaphragm. It has served fine for 78 miles, even with huge internal transmission leaks. I forget the price but If I guessed maybe $100 USD.

Miz
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nothing is adjustable.

The transmission throttling valve sets the transmission internal pressure like it normally does.

The pump switch is off at 150 and on at about 130, but due to the bad bushings, the transmission internal leaks were making it run 100% of the time unless the car was driving (when the transmission front pump ran).

When the transmission is rebuilt, all that should change. The pump will run when the key is turned on and shuts off when the pressure stays 150PSI. It should "pulse", on-off-on-off, like an electric fuel pump, then shut off completely when the transmission is turning (car driving).

With no-pump, You press the throttle very easy and the motor would start turning, about 1-2 seconds-at about 50-100 RPM, the tires would chirp and the car would start moving (forward or reverse). If you mash the throttle hard, the car will hammer into gear and the tires will scream bloody murder and the car will jolt forward and haul ass.

The forward holding band becomes a clutch. It was never designed to see this kind of abuse and will fail sooner or later. The Kevlar band might survive a year or so like this in a light weight car. The Red Racing or stock Raybestos bands will fail in a week or month at best.

I have this cockeyed notion to put a pressure accumulator in the pressure circuit and run no pump, But am too chicken to try it. The accumulator should let the hydraulic pressure ramp up slower and cushion the engagement. Maybe allowing a more normal car driving experience, without the external pump....(Just a theory) If anyone wants to test this for me, please PM me and let me know how it came out.:)

Miz
 

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If you put in an accumulator could you fit a pressure gauge and just spin the drive motor, in neutral, for a few seconds to build up pressure before you select drive and pull away as normal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes you can do that. My intention was to make it drive as normal as possible without anything special. If you put an electric valve on the accumulator it will keep the accumulator charge while driving. It would shut off and store the oil then charge the transmission when you turn the key back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes you can do that. My intention was to make it drive as normal as possible without anything special. If you put an electric valve on the accumulator it will keep the accumulator charge while driving. It would shut off and store the oil then charge the transmission when you turn the key back on.
The cost of the accumulator is almost twice what the pump costs.
 
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