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Discussion Starter #1
Somethings that I think that every EV hobbyist should know about Powerglides. I'm not an expert but these are things I have learned by reading and experimenting or have seen done by others over a lot of years.

The powerglide could probably be the most versatile transmission there is for an EV. Here are some things to know.

The powerglide in all of its varied forms is Flintstones simple and rock solid technology.

Properly set up it should allow smaller lighter motors, leaving GVW for batteries.

The torque converterless manually shifted powerglide trans has been extensively developed by roundy round racers. The parts for a converterless conversion to a manually shifted power glide can be found in Jegs or Summit and many other catalogs. These transmissions do not slip or waste power the only loss is in running the pump, multi gear manuals probably consume more power dragging all those extra gears through the trans oil.

There are a number of versions available with and without clutch pedal.

You can buy one complete, overhauled Beefed up and ready to install for less then you pay for a good controller.

With an aluminum valve body they are as light or lighter then many manual transmissions plus you are only carrying around what you need, e.g. Low, High and Reverse.

The roundy rounders use them for just that reason

Those who wish regenerative braking and worry about clutch packs disengaging during decel there are systems in the roundy rounder version that allow push starting. Those guys don’t have starters, they weigh too much.

Solenoid shift controls are available.

The front pump and input shaft coupling adapters are available with common well known bolt patterns, so motor to trans adapters should be easy to fabricate.

A good selection of low gear ratios is available.

They can be made to fit virtually any longitudinal drive train. I wouldn't rule out FWD either, somebody out there probably makes some form of adapter.

They can be unbelievably strong. Drag Racers regularly run 800 -1000 hp through them with BIG torque.

The trans is not too long, you can saw off the bell housing and put a readily available shorty output shaft and end cover on it. and have a trans that is about 14 inches long from input to output.

There are a number of bolt on bell housings (they bolt to the front pump after you saw off the stock bell housings) out there for common Ford Chrysler AMC add many other engines.

The trans can be, with a little re-engineering to bearings, easily adapted to sidewinder configuration for those who want to build big 2 and three wheelers.

Finally you can still build a completely new powerglide from scratch. Every part including cases are still available in heavy duty reinforced form, brand new from somebody.

I've just really discovered EVs but I'm + 60s and getting sick so I can't work with this big stuff for myself anymore. I have my own little EV stuff.

I hope some of you younger people take another look at these transmissions. I know switching out a perfectly good transmission sounds like extra trouble, but if it is measurably better it might be worth a look. After all a lot of you are switching out perfectly good ICEs for the same reason.

I'm sure there are many of you with pros and cons and some with better information then me. That’s what discussion forums are for. We can all learn something

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sure Can

Summt Racing onlinecatalog
http://store.summitracing.com/

Jegs Racing Online catalog
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/KeywordSearchCmd?storeId=10001&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&N=0&Ntt=powerglide&Ntk=all&Nty=1&D=powerglide&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallany&Dx=mode%2Bmatchallany&searchTerm=powerglide

ATI Racing Transmissions
http://www.atiperformanceproducts.com/products/trans/pg/circleglide.htm

ATD racing Transmissions
http://www.autotransdesign.com/motorsports_ServiceCenter/default.asp

B&M Transmissions
http://www.bmracing.com/bmracing/default.html

Google Powerglide Transmissions
and enjoy. First get the history. Then branch out look under dirt and circle track, drag racing

Google Electric vehicles + powerglide transmission
You might be supprised.:)
Do a bit of digging and you will find all of the info in the post in here plus a lot more.

Jim
 

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You are correct about this powerglide thing. A guy at the racetrack had one on a Nissan. Rotating weight was about 8 lbs. He had a starter and so he ran the flexplate. Most of the Ford guys were using the Goldstar clutches that sell for about $800 and still weigh more. However I think the PG weighs more than the stock mustang trans. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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powerslides in fighting/race trim wiegh less depending on internal mods and options, so they are less then most of the iron mustang C-boxes.

See the diatribe about why auto boxes are problematic for EV conversions.

the only major problem that I can see is the place to keep your pressure accumulator tranny fluid for when you are at a stop light and the motor is off.
 

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Powerglides are very tough. I had a 1965 Chevelle with a 396 cu in and a STOCK Powerglide. It would take all the abuse I could dish out (and it was a lot of abuse as I was 17-18 years old). Man did that thing have a passing gear!
I was also thinking that they might make a good trans for conversions. I know that many of the people I've talked to about conversions don't like the idea of a standard trans. Many of the people I know (mostly women) don't know or want to learn how to drive a standard. If the PG could be used then he's right - a great addition to an EV build.
Hell I was just thinking last week that someone could build a generic EV 2 speed auto trans and have a great market. Looks like it may have already been done! I'm not a transmission guy though, what specs should an EV'er look for?

Grant
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the only major problem that I can see is the place to keep your pressure accumulator tranny fluid for when you are at a stop light and the motor is off.
There are a number of ways depending if you are running with a converter or not, although why you would run with a converter I dont know. The whole idea here is to get a light two speed transmission with very little slippage or internal friction. One that that can handle the huge torque that electric motors put out.

But I dont think it really matters, since nothing is turning, nothing needs lube. There would be a short (maybe un-noticable) lag as the pressure came up when the motor started turning again, pressure comes up, internal clutch engages and off you go.

Long coasting or regeneritive brakeing though, is why you want the circle track push start mods done or you would need a trans with a rear pump. You could also install an electric aux pump, somethind like an inline 100 psi fuel injection pump switched on when the trans is in gear and the motor is off, to keep up the pressure when the motor stopped, nothing that couldn't be handled. Normally the clutches would stay engaged for a short time as you coasted down until bleed off caused them to open and stop driving the pump. You could also keep a few volts on the motor to keep the pump turning until you were almost stopped.

By the way If I have given the impression I was talking about a fully automatic I didn't intend to . . . . although now with a little thought and a good trans man. Hmmmm an automatically shifted torque converterlees transmission . . . .

Ideally I would take a powerglide, remove the torque converter, (they make good mushroom boat anchors):D get the converter replacement shafts, go through the clutches, plates, bearings and seals, then do or have done the circle track modifications without the clutch pedal, or do some other mod as above and install a manual valve body. You will end up with a manually shifted two speed planetary transmission with reverse and internally applied hydraulic clutches. Move the lever and one gear disengages the other engages (reverse lock out needed of course), store bought shifters have all that, including neutral safety switches. You can even get solenoid shifters if you want paddle shift.

If I was using it in a situation where a bell housing would fit (also remember there are different replacement bell housings for many other engine types if you already have an adapter) I would make or get the necessary adapter plate and connector shaft. Since the circle track pump drive and input shaft mimics the normal flexplate and converter. Note depth of pump drive insertion is important so the coupler instalation to the moter would have to be done with care.

If you are installing it in a tight location, saw off the bell housing and make your motor/trans mounts so it will bolt up to the front pump (using longer bolts of course). If you need it shorter yet get the shorty output shaft and end cover, install them, throw away the tail shaft.

Now you have a trans that is about 14 inches long and uses standard automotive in and out connectors.

Need a side winder, support the in and out shaft for lateral loads and chain or belt it as needed.

A standard circle track powerglide can be made for under $500.00 (your labor if you are careful and shop) or sometimes bought for under a $1000.00. A full out race shorty built to your specs, maybe $3500 but that is BIG torque area.

Go price a custom built 2 speed manual with those kind of specs, bring oxygen you'll be gasping.:)

I'm not saying this is off the shelf stuff but once its done the first time and the information passed around. These trans modifiers are sharp and used to dealing in small scale. You guys create a need, the trans will be there.

As I said before, I would love to do this. Just 3-2. . . . (to old, too poor, too sick):mad:

You all be well,
Jim
 

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Great topic here. I heard of the powerglide before, but being a ford man, I don't know much about them. I was certainly not aware that it is possible to run them without a torque converter or use them in push start vehicles. Definately something worth considering for RWD application.

I have some limited knowlege of the later ford E4OD (related to the old C6 slushbox) and its a mess in there, but I remember that there is one clutch that will apply in 1st gear as well as reverse. In the case of an EV that doesn't have to idle, that clutch could be disabled and perminately applied with internal modding. This would eliminate the hesitation when starting off and also save one more part from wearing out. By the time you get to the end of 2nd gear, there should be enough fluid pressure to apply the second clutch hydraulically.

It depends on how the internal powerflow of the transmission is like so I don't know if this would work for the powerglide or if it would cause a mechanical bind when 2nd gear comes on.
 

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Jim,

Fantastic!

A 14 inch, 2 speed, 45 pound, cheap, readily available, manually (cable)
controlled, no clutch, put it where I want it, simple, bullet proof solution
to the problem of getting both off the line performance and highway speeds.

I'm gonna buy me a PowerGlide how-to book and get started. I can put this
transmission plus a motor in the same space as the original transmission of
a 318iS BMW!! Thus leaving the entire engine compartment naked for
batteries and components.

I'm 62 and haven't put away my tools yet. I've got at least one more
project in me.

Thanks for your suggestion, it's worth it's weight in gold.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Eric,

Wish I was you. Bad lungs are holding me back.:mad:

Start checking older junk yards:cool:. Powerglides are disappearing. I found mine in an old yard, hiding under stuff in an old school bus way out back.

Not a bad idea, build a package that mimics a transmission in size and shape.
*Saw off the bell housing.
*Make a custom coupler to get things as close together as possible.
*Use the available shorty output shaft and end cover.
*A set of rails to carry everything and act as mounts for trans and motor.
*You might have to do a bit of metal bashing on the cars transmission tunnel to get it as far back as you are talking though.
*You might need to use an electric auxillary pump to keep the pressure up during coast.

Get on the net and read before you buy, there are a couple of incompatible versions out there. If you go to the yards make sure the one you get has the oil cooler line fittings. There were air cooled glides, not good for this application.

Find/make a freind who KNOWS glides:D.

Good luck, you'll be breaking new ground, always fun. Post your progress.

Jim
 

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old power slide user from way back. like when they were a new design

really don't need to accumulate pressure for stops as that was a rhetorical question. there is a kit out there that can activate the low band by either a solenoid, pressure or a (get this) CLUTCH PEDAL. auto shift or manual shift

you can get them with interchangeable bell housings or no bell housing at all

go find a good transmission hot-rodder and tell them what you need, chances are it is finished and sitting on the shelf ready to go waiting for you
 

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piotrsko,

Yup, I have seen a couple on ebay with no bell housing and shorty output shaft......buy it now for $1K. Just add push-start kit (so I can get the benefit of regenerative braking) and cut down input shaft and I should be good to go, right?

I have seen a bunch of books on the Powerglide. Any suggestions for which ones to start with? I know what a wrench is, built a couple of VWs from the ground up, but never been on the inside of an auto trans. If I can do it myself, then that's the way I would like to go. But if I can get a fresh rebuild for $380 (current bid on the one above) then I see no reason to bust my knuckles.

Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

Eric
 

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I like the chilton series for basic knowledge and theory of operation, but they do not go technical enough to really change things. I use them to teach my 16 year old who knows everything.

The hot rod places online have HOW TO hotrod books, but I prefer to have someone that breaks stuff regular to do my modifying because the learning curve sucks many $$$$$$. That being said hmmmmmm 500 for a modded tranny on fleabay.

don't really need push start for regen as long as the bands are engaged. the pushstart option is for when the input pump isn't turning or pressure isn't available

I didn't think the input shaft was all that long, but then again I want to use the bellhousing to make a pattern for the motor mount
 

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I would think you can change gear ratios for your taylored for your ev too. Very good thread Love to see some updates. :D
 

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So far I have seen gear ratios up to 2.1:1 for low and 1.0:1 for high.

I have been researching my 'glider' choices and at this point I would like to use a BMW 318i Automatic. Curb weight is just under 3000 pounds, gross weight is over 4000 lbs. Coefficient of drag is .28. Differential ratio for the automatic is 4.44:1. Combine this with the powerglide and I get about a 9:1 low gear and 4.44 high gear.

Now I have to find the appropriate motor.....AC.....DC.....AC....DC to complete the picture.

Eric
 

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seen some fair prices that weigh in at 65 pounds. Thats pretty good I am thinking. This would open things up in car selections also. :)
 

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Guys....I talked to the local glide man today at length. He builds all of the tranny's for our local circle track guys. He was excited and said he could make it work. When I ask about a case and how to get started he informed me he had 5 or 6 with different arrangements sitting on the shelf and we could just try one till we found what it takes and then he would build it. Check with your locals and you will probably find the same situation. My problem is that I won't be a lot of help as I am going to be predisposed for 6 mo. or so before I start anything. Remember to tell them that when you stop the motor will not idle as this makes a difference in the configuration of the glide....Doc
 
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