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Old 12-31-2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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Diesel in my Honda??

Hello all. Great site. I can't find it now, but I read something in the last few weeks on this site about putting a diesel engine in a Honda. If that is possible I would like to consider one in my 95 civic HB, depending on amount of fabrication required. Sorry if this is an old and overly discussed topic. Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:07 PM   #2
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I've thought about putting in a tractor engine in a honda before, and that was probably the thread you read. In the past people have put 3 cyl diesel engines into their lightweight cars and have had amazing results (100 mpg for around-the-town driving, etc.).

Anything custom like this would require a lot of fabrication.

I'd still love to see it done though
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:32 PM   #3
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Off the top of my head, you could probably keep the steering, and would need to fabricate the shift linkage and all four motor/transmission mounts, which would be a PITA. On the plus side, since you're going the custom route, you can pick a cheaper engine that's not as popular in swaps, but packs more power than an engine that's popular in swaps.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:17 PM   #4
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I like the idea of taking a CRX and converting it to electric with say a 240V pack of Exide Orbitals, Netgain WarP 9" motor, and a Zilla 2k controller, aeromodding the hell out of it, and then putting a tractor engine in it to act as a generator. You'd have a plug-in hybrid capable of 0-60 mph in the high 4 seconds, 150+ mph top speed, 1/4 mile time in the mid 13s, 40 miles all-electric range, and at a steady 70 mph on flat ground, it would achieve over 90 mpg on biodiesel using the tractor engine to extend its range. It would cost about $15,000 to build.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:52 PM   #5
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Toecutter-

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Originally Posted by The Toecutter
I like the idea of taking a CRX and converting it to electric with say a 240V pack of Exide Orbitals, Netgain WarP 9" motor, and a Zilla 2k controller, aeromodding the hell out of it, and then putting a tractor engine in it to act as a generator. You'd have a plug-in hybrid capable of 0-60 mph in the high 4 seconds, 150+ mph top speed, 1/4 mile time in the mid 13s, 40 miles all-electric range, and at a steady 70 mph on flat ground, it would achieve over 90 mpg on biodiesel using the tractor engine to extend its range. It would cost about $15,000 to build.
What's your assessment of this electric-only CRX? :

http://www.electroauto.com/gallery/crx.shtml

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Old 01-11-2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Question

Quote:
What's your assessment of this electric-only CRX? :

http://www.electroauto.com/gallery/crx.shtml
A good basic conversion, but I can see a few glaring flaws.

The choice of battery. The 12V Trojan floodeds don't last as many cycles as the 6V floodeds. While the site incorrectly lists these batteries as 6V, they are actually 12V. The 12V floodies cannot draw the current that the 6V floodies can, so the car will suffer from reduced power. Perhaps the builder didn't want to saddle the car down with 20 batteries, and needed a high enough pack voltage to extend the peak power produced by the motor a few thousand RPM more to achieve a desired top speed. If I'd have been in that position, I'd just have said "**** it" not bought a kit, and got a Zilla controller, PFC charger, and some AGMs along with the other needed components for roughly the same price as the kit, and fabricated my own adaptor and battery boxes. This would have resulted in a much faster conversion with perhaps even more range.

The Curtis controllers aren't very good. While they did the job very well in the 1990s, today for a few hundred dollars more, you can grab a Zilla capable of handling almost three times the peak power of a Curtis. You can set a battery current limit with the Zilla and a motor current limit, alowing you to draw say 400 amps from the pack but put 1,000 amps to the motor for some horrendous torque. How does this work? Power = Volts * Amps. Power in is roughly equal to power out(the controller is about 98% efficient). Therefore, you can have tremendous low-end torque with a Zilla, even if you have a weak 72V pack of Trojan floodies. Can't do that with a Curtis, and Zilla's don't come with the Electro Automotive kit. This conversion may have been built before Zillas were ever available. If so, it's perfectly understandable why it doesn't have one. The Curtis controllers can also be found on the used market for relatively cheap, which may also explain its use, but if this were truly a conversion where money was a constraint, then there would be little logic in using a $10,000 Electro Automotive kit.

I'm not bashing Electro Automotive, mind you. They provide an invaluable service to EV hobbyists around the U.S. by offering kits that are easy to install and require very little or no custom work. I know a guy in Jerseyville, Illinois who used one of their kits to quickly and easily convert his Saturn to electric for less than 100 hours of work involved, whereas I've so far put about 500 hours into my conversion, about 300 of that being research looking for exactly the right components to optimize it and almost all the rest being basic restoration of the chassis. Wheras he has an EV on the road, I don't! However, I have more time than money, and I want to build a performance AND range oriented EV for a low price. Therefore, the EA kits are not what I want and for the same price and more effort, it would be possible to build a far superior conversion than what the kits would allow me to build.

Electro Automotive DOES need to update their components. While their aircooled 58 horsepower AC drives are decent and relatively affordable at $6,000, Victor Tikhonov is selling watercooled AC drives of about 110 horsepower for about $7,000 or so. They should replace the Curtis in their kits with a Zilla and the Russco chargers with Rudman's PFC chargers, or at least offer these products in their lineup. They should also build battery boxes properly sized for groups of AGM batteries with a space for regs. It wouldn't add substantially to the cost and would greatly improve the quality of the conversions built.
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:39 PM   #7
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I looked into putting a 3 cylinder tractor engine in a CRX HF. The idea sounded really good because the transmission in the HF is geared so tall, and the engine would be in peak torque rpm range at highway speeds. BUT. . . then I realized that honda engines spin the "wrong" direction, and so the tranny would as well. End of story.
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
I looked into putting a 3 cylinder tractor engine in a CRX HF. The idea sounded really good because the transmission in the HF is geared so tall, and the engine would be in peak torque rpm range at highway speeds. BUT. . . then I realized that honda engines spin the "wrong" direction, and so the tranny would as well. End of story.
eh, get a transmission from a Metro XFI.

and then get custom axles made.

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Old 01-31-2007, 07:54 AM   #9
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I looked into putting a 3 cylinder tractor engine in a CRX HF. BUT. . . then I realized that honda engines spin the "wrong" direction, and so the tranny would as well. End of story.
At least one end of the crank spins clockwise.
My Bolens (750 cc mitsubishi triple diesel) engine is 'backward' with the flywheel at the nose and the hydrostat transaxle driven by a shaft from the 'belt' end of the engine. Nothing says a balancer/damper can't be replaced by a flywheel.
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