Topic: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Alright, so with the autobahn race over and the radial engine having been reasonably successful ("butt terrible" according to Jay) it's time for a project evolution. Yes i agree that the radial engine could have been done better and i hope someone else picks up the idea and runs with it, for now I've got to say that the 45miles or so I've driven that thing is enough to have rattled loose the brain cells that thought it was a good idea in the first place.

I'm going to take the radial engine out and I've found someone to trade it for a gas turbine turbo shaft engine. Actually, he found me about 6 months ago wanting to buy my radial smile

Project Goals: (from highest to lowest importance)
1)Stay married and raise my child properly (this means this project will take more time than last time)
2)Safety: ensure that nobody on the team or any spectator gets injured
3)Reliability: I want it to be possible to drive this thing on the street without worrying about when it will break down
4)Cost: the previous project was relatively cheap, this one should be also (keep in mind, machining time is free for me)
5)Entertainment: I would like this thing to draw crowds just like the radial did. (ok, maybe a few women would be great too)
6)Performance: I have a street car MR2 putting 290hp to the ground and a 13sec 1/4 mile, it feels fantastic and i'd like something similar with this project.


My schedule is going to stay open ended, but this is likely a Lemons 2014 car.

here are a few requirements to this project that simply aren't negotiable:
1)the motor must be mounted in the rear of the car with a short exhaust before it exits the car. no significant bends allowed
2)noise limits. I need to figure out a way to get into the 92dB limit. even if there's any room there, the two nearby tracks (Autobahn and Gingerman) have strict 105dB limits that i definitely cannot exceed.
3)the motor must be mounted longitudinally for exhaust and blade containment reasons. same for any other high speed spiny thingies (flywheels and such)
4)must be able to drive at 10mph pit speed
5)my hearing DEMANDS a vibration isolated drivetrain

now, onto the current discussion point:
The reliability point above does mean that i'll have to concede on the "must be a manual transmission" point of the previous build. this project should get an automatic transmission or a CVT. electronics do not scare me so a CVT seems even more useful than an old school automatic.

i did find the following list of CVTs: http://www.cvt.co.nz/which_cvt_for_what_car.htm the "Audi MultiTronic" seems rather tempting. i found the full information on it here: http://frankensteinmotorworks.com/turbi … tronic.pdf  seems that it wants a 4100RPM max input speed, the package includes everything from the input clutch to the differential. overall ratio ranges from 2.12 to 12.72 this means the clutches would have to slip till about 12mph and the turbine would be at full speed at 21mph. from there full power could be applied all the way to 126mph. the trans seems available in for about $1500-2000.

this still leaves the dreaded exactly inverse problem as before: shaft RPMs need to be reduced 3:1 unsure about rotation reversal requirement since i haven't seen the turbine yet.

does anyone have thoughts on transmissions for this beast?

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

here's the link to the documentation on the turbine in it's original application: https://play.google.com/books/reader?id … pg=GBS.PR1

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

I like where this is going.....

Mike
Hong Norrth
#39 TRON Gray/Orange MX-3, aka "Sumbich"

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

But it's gonna, like, spit flames and stuff, right? wink

A&D: 2011 Autobahn, 2012 Gingerman, 2012 Road America, 2012 Autobahn II, 2013 Gator-O-Rama (True 24!)
Sir Jackie Stewart's Coin Purse Racing
2013 Chubba Cheddar Enduro - Organizer's Choice, 2014 Doing Time in Joliet
http://www.facebook.com/#!/SirJackieSte … urseRacing

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

I'm thinking it may be easiest to just put the APU on a trailer hitch and use it to power an electric motor in the MR2.  smile

But the reality is, whatever you do, it needs an afterburner.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

afterburners would be a ridiculous amount of fun but for safety's sake they probably won't go on. there's just no reason to have unnecessary fuel lines in the hot part of the car.

going electric or hydraulic is way too heavy and expensive. but feel free to prove me wrong if you can find a cheap & light generator & motors

7 (edited by Spinnetti 2012-06-13 03:28 AM)

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

+1 on electric.. Use it as it was designed as an APU, and run electric motors to the back wheels. Skip all the transmission hassles... My uncle did a handful of these from about 1960 on, and even designed and build his own rotary (admittedly non-turbine) engine. All of them were in small light cars, so it can be done.. (NSU Prinz, Sunbeam Alpine etc).

"Don't mess with Lexas!" LS400. We survived another one! See website link for build details.
Maker of the "unofficial Lemons fish!" - If you ask nice, I'll likely give you one at the track.

8 (edited by 3800GK 2012-06-13 04:01 AM)

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Spinnetti wrote:

+1 on electric.. Use it as it was designed as an APU, and run electric motors to the back wheels. Skip all the transmission hassles... My uncle did a handful of these from about 1960 on, and even designed and build his own rotary (admittedly non-turbine) engine. All of them were in small light cars, so it can be done.. (NSU Prinz, Sunbeam Alpine etc).


Half the fun from the last build seemed to be the transmission hassles.

The audi transmission that you mentioned above seems like it may be a likely candidate except for the on-board control module.  It would be interesting to see what can be done with software with the standard controller. 

On a side note how would you go running the output shaft of the engine through a 4:1 transfer case before going into a standard manual gearbox?

Keep up the good work

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Are you getting the complete genset unit, the turbine+gearbox, or just a bare turbine?

Driver, Pit Monkey, Rod Buster and Engine Fire Starter
Team FinalGear

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

guys, please before you guys continually suggest electric solutions i want you guys to find me a solution that won't weigh 1000lbs cost $20,000 and actually be able to transfer all the power.

i'm not against the idea, but even using junkyard parts, i can't find an affordable electric solution for a race car.

heck, even just starting from the generator side, we are looking for about 200kW and this is the size and weight of a normal 200kW generator: http://www.wayfair.com/Baldor-200-kW-In … 49-BDR1027

"Weight without Fuel and without Trailer (lbs): 7,350"

granted that still includes the engine but the engine weight is listed here: http://partsmanual.nordco.com/PartsManu … ne%204.pdf

the engine weighs 1495lbs.

that means the 200kW generator weighs 5855lbs

I'm sure there are water cooled solutions that weigh less but we'd need something that weighs 1/20th of the weight not just 1/2 the weight.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

EyeMWing wrote:

Are you getting the complete genset unit, the turbine+gearbox, or just a bare turbine?

everything except the trailer and the generator head. even the stock controller.

the stock controller won't be useful in the car, but it will be great to initially test the motor and to figure out sane operating parameters (like fuel solenoid pulse widths vs rpm maps) for my controller.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Our team played with the idea of a turbine Lemons monster.  We even drew up rough plans and submitted them to Jay and company.  We were going to run a hydrostatic drive rather than direct coupling the turbine to a transmission.  It solves a lot of fabrication and power transmission issues, but also creates some problems.
Since we were going to use a Civic roller (it's what we had sitting around), the turbine was going in the back and the hydrostatic output was getting mounted to a standard Honda automatic transmission.  High hydraulic pressure lines running from back to front and the need for a fairly large hydraulic reservoir were definite drawbacks.  Lots of loss in the hydrostatic system as well.  The benefits were no high mass spinning parts running past the driver and no concern about large drive-line shocks making it back to the compressor blades.  The hyrdostatic system reacts to loads elastically and keeps the input and output moving smoothly.  An added bonus, we would have been able to keep the turbine at a fixed RPM for the whole race, neglecting the need for any kind of direct throttle control of the turbine.  All the throttle inputs were going to the hydrostatic output unit.

We were going to use a bit smaller turbine than you, and our drive system was going to have about 50% loss, so 80HP to the transmission was the best we could hope for.  It wasn't going to be fast, but it was going to have a great torque curve (straight line actually).

Although you've stated no hydraulics, I can shoot you our parts list and put you in touch with our turbine wizard - he is eccentric and sporadic in his communication, but knows his shit.  That said, I'm dying to see what a non-hydraulic alternative looks like!

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
I'm a WINNER!

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

I'm sure many people won't go into the nitty gritty of that audi CVT document, but it's very intensive.

the transmission includes these neat features:
1)wet clutch designed to give normal "creep" feeling. this minds i can slip the hell out of it, it's got a proper cooling circuit.
2)torque sensors to determine what the transmission is using from the input
3)input and output speed sensors
4)variator that has a 6:1 gear span (this is quite wide and important when your motor's power band is very narrow)

the down side is I'll have to make a controller for it since the stock one does not target the right engine RPM range even if i can get it to run standalone. but the up-side is i don't have to fiddle with weights, springs and whatnot only to have a belt break and worry about overspeeding the turbine. i can integrate the engine and transmission controller together.

there are all kinds of neat things that can be done with an integrated controller. pit speed limiter and launch control comes to mind as well as a bunch of others.

also, i realize the turbine selected isn't the ideal one. there are others in the proper price range but this one comes with instruction from a guy that does this for a living in the care and feeding of my gas turbine. including a class on "how to not lose limbs while doing this stupid stuff". a free turbine where the power stage is uncoupled from the power generation would be a bunch better. also, avoiding needing the 3:1 gear reduction would be great also.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

solman244 wrote:

Our team played with the idea of a turbine Lemons monster.  We even drew up rough plans and submitted them to Jay and company.  We were going to run a hydrostatic drive rather than direct coupling the turbine to a transmission.  It solves a lot of fabrication and power transmission issues, but also creates some problems.
Since we were going to use a Civic roller (it's what we had sitting around), the turbine was going in the back and the hydrostatic output was getting mounted to a standard Honda automatic transmission.  High hydraulic pressure lines running from back to front and the need for a fairly large hydraulic reservoir were definite drawbacks.  Lots of loss in the hydrostatic system as well.  The benefits were no high mass spinning parts running past the driver and no concern about large drive-line shocks making it back to the compressor blades.  The hyrdostatic system reacts to loads elastically and keeps the input and output moving smoothly.  An added bonus, we would have been able to keep the turbine at a fixed RPM for the whole race, neglecting the need for any kind of direct throttle control of the turbine.  All the throttle inputs were going to the hydrostatic output unit.

We were going to use a bit smaller turbine than you, and our drive system was going to have about 50% loss, so 80HP to the transmission was the best we could hope for.  It wasn't going to be fast, but it was going to have a great torque curve (straight line actually).

Although you've stated no hydraulics, I can shoot you our parts list and put you in touch with our turbine wizard - he is eccentric and sporadic in his communication, but knows his shit.  That said, I'm dying to see what a non-hydraulic alternative looks like!

i am absolutely interested in hearing more from people that know more than me about this stuff (which isn't hard at this point)

i did find a closed loop hydraulic system that would work quite well with only 15% losses and require only about 25gal to transfer about 300HP worth of power but it looked like the system would run about $10k at surplus prices and also the motors aren't powerful enough for the pump until you have one at each wheel.

the system would consist of a Sauer Sunstrand M46 tandem pump and four variable piston motors.
you can see the hydraulic pump here: http://www.sauer-danfoss.com/stellent/g … 029852.pdf
and a motor that would work: https://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp? … p;catname= (a reduction would be needed before going into the wheel, there may be a better motor out there)

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Marc wrote:

I'm sure many people won't go into the nitty gritty of that audi CVT document, but it's very intensive.

the transmission includes these neat features:
1)wet clutch designed to give normal "creep" feeling. this minds i can slip the hell out of it, it's got a proper cooling circuit.
2)torque sensors to determine what the transmission is using from the input
3)input and output speed sensors
4)variator that has a 6:1 gear span (this is quite wide and important when your motor's power band is very narrow)

the down side is I'll have to make a controller for it since the stock one does not target the right engine RPM range even if i can get it to run standalone. but the up-side is i don't have to fiddle with weights, springs and whatnot only to have a belt break and worry about overspeeding the turbine. i can integrate the engine and transmission controller together.

there are all kinds of neat things that can be done with an integrated controller. pit speed limiter and launch control comes to mind as well as a bunch of others.

also, i realize the turbine selected isn't the ideal one. there are others in the proper price range but this one comes with instruction from a guy that does this for a living in the care and feeding of my gas turbine. including a class on "how to not lose limbs while doing this stupid stuff". a free turbine where the power stage is uncoupled from the power generation would be a bunch better. also, avoiding needing the 3:1 gear reduction would be great also.

I can imagine the limitations on the on-board controller for the CVT but are there any after market controller options available?

Would a typical GM T700 work in an application such as this, As in, Does the turbine need to stay at a constant speed to stay reliable/intact?

   The option i see for the gear reduction is a transfer case out of any number of 4X4 vehicles. Most low range gearsets run into the 3:1 to 4:1 range and give you two output direction options typically with a CV joint one side and a flanged fitting on the other

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Marc wrote:

i am absolutely interested in hearing more from people that know more than me about this stuff (which isn't hard at this point)

i did find a closed loop hydraulic system that would work quite well with only 15% losses and require only about 25gal to transfer about 300HP worth of power but it looked like the system would run about $10k at surplus prices and also the motors aren't powerful enough for the pump until you have one at each wheel.

the system would consist of a Sauer Sunstrand M46 tandem pump and four variable piston motors.
you can see the hydraulic pump here: http://www.sauer-danfoss.com/stellent/g … 029852.pdf
and a motor that would work: https://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp? … p;catname= (a reduction would be needed before going into the wheel, there may be a better motor out there)

I recall our solution being a lot cheaper than 10K - but our power delivery goals were smaller and we were only using one motor.  I'll poke Vern with a stick and get some email started between you - or even get him to finally register here and start posting (not likely).

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
I'm a WINNER!

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

3800GK wrote:

I can imagine the limitations on the on-board controller for the CVT but are there any after market controller options available?

Would a typical GM T700 work in an application such as this, As in, Does the turbine need to stay at a constant speed to stay reliable/intact?

   The option i see for the gear reduction is a transfer case out of any number of 4X4 vehicles. Most low range gearsets run into the 3:1 to 4:1 range and give you two output direction options typically with a CV joint one side and a flanged fitting on the other

the turbine is very happy in a very narrow power band. it won't make any power below 55% and it makes good power at 80-100% max speed (max speed in this case is 50,400RPM)

i could use a regular automatic transmission and get reasonable performance from it. certainly not a RWD one like you mentioned, an Audi or Porsche transaxle would work within the packaging limitations i have. this is still going to be mid/rear mounted with the axle shafts needing to come out in the middle of the engine bay.

and yes, a regular truck transfer case may be just the ticket to get the 3:1 reduction without needing anything ridiculously custom. i'd just have to redo the oil paths probably.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

oh, also i need to determine the rotation direction before i can make any decisions on the power transfer assembly. the documentation says "counterclockwise facing exhaust port" but the gearbox may reverse that. i'll see when i have it in my hands.

i do hope it's counterclockwise. part of my previous issues were due to the direction reversal.

also, technically, the CVT above can operate at full speed in reverse just as well as forward. the reverse ratio is 1:1 but it's probably not designed for extended full power/full speed use in reverse

19 (edited by Mulry 2012-06-13 08:15 AM)

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Marc, since this is at the brainstorming stage, I'm going to throw out a couple ideas. They're not perfect by any means, but might spur further thought:

1. Multiple motors. One of your concerns/goals (rightly) is being able to get through the pits at a reasonable speed. And of course minimizing cost and unnecessary weight. Consider the automotive equivalent of a trolling motor for pit/low speed movement. It would reduce the sound output since you wouldn't need to start the jet until you were on the pit lane ready to get on the track, so fewer noise issues (and thus complaints) in the paddock. A dedicated battery powered electric motor in the frunk driving a 5th wheel that extends/retracts from the frunk could provide the low speed propulsion in both forward and reverse. Something like one of these only with some modification:

http://www.powermoverinc.net/htmls/pmdcmovers.html

Out of the box solution to a decidedly out of the box problem.

2. No transmission. Consider using the jet alone to propel the car via thrust. No accelerator pedal, but one hell of a braking system. Save the money spent on transmissions and PTO boxes and et cetera and put that into a set of bigger wheels and a set of uber big brakes: multi-piston calipers and Brembo steel rotors or even a Porsche carbon/carbon system. Or hell, what do they run on jet aircraft? Since it would be basically a constant-thrust system, speed modulation would be primarily by braking, and then you change the pads as needed. Also eliminates the driveline shock issues. One downside is that you're not getting your replacement parts at the local Pep Boys, but easy parts replaceability kind of goes out the window first on a project like this, right?  Might want to swap or machine the stock MR2 bearings to something more easily field-replaceable since this solution would also likely soak a lot of heat into the wheel bearings.

3. If you put the jet on a driver-adjustable tilt mechanism then you could vector-control the thrust in the z-axis to reduce the amount of straight-line thrust if needed, with the ability to lock it in place while on track.

4. This one is more of a lark than anything else, but if the jet has a bleed air function, you could redirect that via tubes to the front of the car, giving you F1-style blown aero at the front splitter and/or canards, thus reducing the weight bias of the rear-mounted jet.

Ok, those are just some first thoughts. I'll keep wandering out here in la-la land and see if I can think up anything else that exceeds even your tolerance for teh crazy. smile

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Mulry wrote:

...I'll keep wandering out here in la-la land and see if I can think up anything else that exceeds even your tolerance for teh crazy. smile

crazy ideas sometimes cause good ideas to come out smile what drives me crazy is hearing the same idea a million times without any understanding of why it cannot work smile

anyways, the thrust idea is just out due to the safety aspect above and the noise restrictions. part of my noise handling will be to redirect the exhaust vertically and you can't do that when you need the thrust.

one thing that could work is to use hot air capable jet air starters (not all of them use bleed air) and just put the starters as wheel motors. they seem to be 90-150hp motors and could be driven from the exhaust gasses.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Yeah, I understand where you're coming from on the thrust idea. But I wonder if doing a vectored thrust wouldn't accomplish both the safety/noise and the thrust aspects?

But then again, I'd guess that your thrust vector vanes would have to be made from something ungodly expensive to be able to tolerate that heat and stress without failure.

Might be worth a trip up to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, I think they have one of the remaining '63 Chrysler turbine engine cars. I know that car handled these issues somewhat differently than you're thinking about, but if you could get a curator at the museum to help out by getting a behind-the-scenes look at the car (especially if they'd put it on a lift), it might help inspire some ideas. Or at least avoid some problem areas/re-inventing the wheel. It's at least worth a phone call.

Either that, or get Jay Leno's guys to let you check out their copy of the same car. But Dearborn's a relatively short drive for you versus a trip to L.A. smile

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Mulry wrote:

Yeah, I understand where you're coming from on the thrust idea. But I wonder if doing a vectored thrust wouldn't accomplish both the safety/noise and the thrust aspects?

But then again, I'd guess that your thrust vector vanes would have to be made from something ungodly expensive to be able to tolerate that heat and stress without failure.

Might be worth a trip up to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, I think they have one of the remaining '63 Chrysler turbine engine cars. I know that car handled these issues somewhat differently than you're thinking about, but if you could get a curator at the museum to help out by getting a behind-the-scenes look at the car (especially if they'd put it on a lift), it might help inspire some ideas. Or at least avoid some problem areas/re-inventing the wheel. It's at least worth a phone call.

Either that, or get Jay Leno's guys to let you check out their copy of the same car. But Dearborn's a relatively short drive for you versus a trip to L.A. smile

i don't see how thrust vectoring solves the "not burning/deafening people behind you" problem. it might be a smaller cone of death but that's it.

i have been to the Henry Ford Museam a few times, it's fantastic.

the documentation on that turbine is pretty good, they get around the issue by using the regenerator to extract the energy from the exhaust. less heat/less energy = less noise. unfortunately the regenerator really has to be an integral part of the initial design.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

This might be some inspiration: http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/ … mc_pickup/

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

Marc wrote:

i don't see how thrust vectoring solves the "not burning/deafening people behind you" problem. it might be a smaller cone of death but that's it.

Well, if you could angle the thrust slightly into a more vertical plane, you might place the angle of the "cone of death" so that it's basically shooting over the heads of the otherwise victims. 30 degrees? 45 degrees? But then the problem is that you're putting a lot of thrust in a wheelie-inducing vector, which will cause a significant understeer problem, which is already a consideration on a project like this. Plus the problem with the materials for the vector vanes and the controls. So yeah, it would be really really hard for thrust to work here. Not impossible, but difficult enough that running a driveline is probably a better idea. Just have to get over the small problems with that... smile

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: version 3.0: The MR2 gets a gas turbine engine (Project Outline)

killerken53 wrote:

This might be some inspiration: http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/ … mc_pickup/

I love it!

especially the bit about using a clutch on an automatic transmission. very rube goldberg but it seems like it obviously works.

it also leads me to http://www.avonaero.com which has some interesting info on there, but nothing about the turbine i'm about to use.

thanks for the link