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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so probably the crazyest person on here, im currently a junior and beginning my senior project. I'm working toward being a mechanical engineer and love snowmobiles, like the idea of electric vehicles and i think im gonna do an electric snowmobile(may become a dirt bike if a snowmobile requires to much power)

so the main idea, build an electric snowmobile, and what id love to do, to really make things a big hit is race it, in place of my 71 puma this winter. so if you don't think im to crazy keep reading

my current questions,
how big a motor would I need to power a sled (to make things doable i think ill stick to a vintage sled, pre 80 to save suspension weight and im also thinking pre 74 so i can try to race it) and as part of that can I do it on a budget?

anything you can suggest?

thanks a ton!

PS-moderators, im gonna post this in a couple different areas to try to get a response, im not expecting much response, let me know if that's an issue!
 

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Electric Snowmobile

Sounds like a fun project. Here is a motivation link..


I would limit an electric vehicle to drag races. The torque from a D.C or inverter controlled A.C motor is incredible. As a starting point, I remember in the early 70's the amount of power that actually made it to the track was less than 1/3 of the engine rated H.P. In designing this, the motor you select can be much smaller than the donor sled had in it. An electric vehicle wins the race in the very beginning. With proper traction, the acceleration from stop is so great the opponent cannot catch up in the length of track provided.
The input rpm to the chaincase is roughly the same rpm as the engine when the clutch is fully shifted. That would be around 7-8,000 RPM. An electric motor top RPM will be around 2-3000 RPM.
A change in gearing would be necessary. As a starting point, I would recommend eliminating the clutch, belt, driven pulley and the jackshaft if it has one. Mount the electric motor so its output shaft is where the top gear of the chaincase is. Then, you might swap the gears around. You likely will need a larger gear on the motor and a smaller one on the track drive. Torque from a stop will not be an issue so do the math, use the motor rpm for the input part of the equation and select gearing to get the desired track drive shaft RPM. Mount the batteries where the engine was. Remember current/amps is everything. Select some batteries with a high discharge amp rating. As far as donor year, somewhere around 72-74 snowmobiles switched from a system where power was transferred to the track through sprocket holes punched in the track to a system where there were drive cogs molded on the inner side of the track were driven by pegs mounted on the track drive shaft. (Internal Drive) They are much more efficient. Possibly look at a mid to late 70's Arctic Jag for a platform. Use something with a rubber track, I think the torque would rip the cleats of an aged cleated track. Your goal is to win the race in the beginning, traditional engine powered snowmobiles will eventually catch up.

昔のスノーモービル
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
haha, thats awesome, this is the one that got me interested a year ago or so, just gotta love a street legal 300 hp street legal electric 70s datsun beating a Maserati


I will definetly be doing away with the belt drive, and will be going all chain. does anyone have an idea of how wmuch power id be wanting to look for?
 

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I would like to see this happen. If you could get your hands on a high torque motor from a piece of electric equipment like a scissorlift and have it geared right, you could make it rip. Battery requirements for motors like that can be weighty though. If I hear of anything that could help you, I will drop a line. Pretty much any mid/high speed high torque motor would work, just finding one with moderate to low power demands will be the trick. A good motor will have NO Problem spinning a track on any sled with the right power to gearing ratio. Heavy duty automotive and equipment starters are also a good possibility. If you were to but a big Caterpillar starter in there and be able to regulate the speed.... ooo
 

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Talk to Sprocket on Vintagesleds .com he built a old Johnson Skee Horse with an electric drive train. I dont know much about it other than it worked, I think its in a museum now

Eman
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info so far guys, keep it coming if you find anything, I now have a vintage sleds.com account and will be searching out sprocket!!

and I am definitely expecting battery's to be my weak point. anyone have ideas there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well sprocket replied with a very nasty no. however I have acquired John Wayland the owner of the white zombie as a outside expert. He seems to be a great guy! attached is a pic of the sled im gonna use, 79 jag, split the $100 cost with a friend who wanted the motor, great deal for this project!!

And for a motor, John has told me hes got a motor he can send me for the cost of shipping, hopefully it works out!!
 

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I used to fly RC airplanes a lot. I still fly my little electrics once in a while. They make some pretty great brushless motors for planes. Even 150cc equivilant motors. Run a couple of these with a stack of LiPo's or A123 cells and that thing would rip.

Turnigy RotoMax 150cc Size Brushless Outrunner Motor

You would have to come up with a way to cool them. With no prop wash they would get hot fast.

Gearing would be easier with them too becaue they run a certain RPM per volt. Just drop the voltage to slow it down. This one is 150 RPM per volt with a max voltage of 52, that makes 7800 rpm at max power. 2 would be good for 26hp or so but a boat load of torque.

Cost may be a factor on these though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
haha, wow those are pretty cool, im doing an internship with a company building pre assemballed quadcopters, and i learned today we are soon going to be looking at building some bigger ones, those motors on one of them would be sweet! but for my sled, yea a little pricy for me, the one im looking at, and may buy is a used 36 volt for around 100, i decided to tone it down from my original 2k budget, and go with more of a prototype setup, get the feel for how everything goes together and go from there. so im gonna see how cheap i can get it running for now, current setup im looking at around 600, and should have enough power to move itself:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hey guys, just wanted to say thanks for the advice, but I have to admit I decided to not follow through. It just doesn't make sense for me to shell out the money at 17 for a school project. I'm gonna buy a jet ski or something instead(just cant beat a 2 stroke:p) its a better investment anyway. so instead I will be using the sled to do a mock up, probably will use the motor from a old washing machine or something. and then i will do auto desk renderings of the drive train.

again thanks for the advice!!
 
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