So, I have another idea. This one doesn't require so much hack and slash to the car as my first one. (if it works I'm doing it to my daily-driver too)
I should probably patent the idea.. but nah, I'll just copyright the software controller
MX-6 - Hybrid AWD drive! A little extra weight in the back for a lot more power, superior launches, and better weight distribution
Win-win-win scenario. This will work on ALL FWD manual cars.
Here's the idea. Gank the lithium ion battery pack from an old possibly wrecked hybrid car or just buy a replacement pack, they're going way down in price. Mount it in the trunk.
Get a pair of decent electric motors, hook them up to the back wheels.
Get a beefier alternator.
Build yourself a car-puter and with some off-the-shelf components write yourself a program to power the motors and monitor the charge in the battery.
Benefits? A whole lot more torque and power in your acceleration, then when you're just cruising the electric motors need no power and you can charge your batteries. Should you totally run out of juice the motors just won't do anything until you have charge again.
How to control the motors:
In most hybrids the motor is part of the power-train. In this setup, the motors will form a separate propulsion system on the rear wheels, so it will take some thought to design the software controller.
The power going to the motors should be based mostly on the throttle, speed, and the clutch. If the clutch is in or the car is in neutral then all power to the motors needs to be cut. This is a safety issue and would allow the vehicle to coast along in a predictable manner when the transmission is disengaged.
In reverse the motors should also be disabled. This adds simplicity to the system by negating the need to switch the currents to power the car in reverse.
Unanswered hypothetical questions:
How should the power going to the rear wheels be handled? Assuming the voltage to the rear wheels is scaled to the throttle, would it be a problem if say the rear wheels are putting out 50% more torque than the front?
I'm not sure if the engine would just rev up faster with less load, or if the motors have too much torque and actually cause engine compression braking although that shouldn't happen with the throttle open. In theory with really powerful motors this seems possible, although I don't think it would ever actually happen.
How do electric motors handle running with less load? Do they suffer the same sort of parasitic losses that an engine does, or do they just wind right up with no trouble?
There is a lot of control with motors. You could program in oversteer. Load up your drift profile and the rear wheels will always more torque than the front wheels and maintain 5-30mph faster spin than the front wheels when they break free.
Or, opposite of that, you could program in a stabilitrak sort of system where power is cut to the right or left motor if a skid is sensed.
This is a totally cool concept that is a lot easier to do than my first 'call me crazy', it's also legal, and it's completely tunable without breaking any sort of emissions laws since you're leaving the motor alone.
What do you think?