Well the part that is broke on the Stealth and also what allowed me to get the car cheaper is the transmission. It likes to slip in reverse and 3rd gear when it warms up. It is a front wheel drive (FWD) automatic 4sp transmission given the name F4A33-1. Although, a FWD was not what I was looking for, I think it may work out good for me.
While looking for a vehicle, I mainly was looking at rear wheel drives(RWD) with independent rear suspension(IRS). With an IRS the differential is mounted to the body and does not travel with the wheels. An IRS would allow me to mount the motor and transmission to the body, close to the differential without needing to worry about drive shaft travel and a strong U-joint angle when the motor/transmission is mounted close to the differential. On a strait axle RWD car, I would need to mount the motor and transmission far enough away from the differential so the suspension travel wouldn’t give the U-joint too much of a rake and maybe pull the slip yoke out of the transmission.
I purchase the Stealth knowing that is was just a FWD car, but that there are other models that are all wheel drive (AWD). So if a FWD isn’t going to work for me, I could theoretically find an AWD Stealth and switch the rear ends, put bolts in the front wheel bearings, and use mine as just a RWD. Even with this as an option, I think the FWD will also work fine, just that I will need to rebuild it, and my original plan of putting all of the batteries in the motor compartment may need to be revised.
From doing research on the web, I have found that since the reverse and 3rd gear slips once it is warm, the drive clutch is probably what is slipping. I can find a complete performance rebuild kit on-line for about $430. This particular transmission is also an electronically controlled transmission. There is a transmission control unit (TCU) in the vehicle that looks at various different inputs and decides when the transmission should be shifted. Obviously since the electric motor has a different power and efficiency band than a gas motor, it will not shift at the right times. The shifts of the transmission are controlled by the opening and closing of certain servos, and if I plan to use this transmission, I will need to either manually shift with the auto stick in the car, or make a computer to run it myself. How hard could it be, run a few servos according to the speed of the vehicle, current the motor is drawing, and position of the pedal? This sounds like a good project that could be added to my plans of having a digital speedometer, battery monitor and putting some program onto a microcontroller. I have plans in store, but I will write about it later, it is late.