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  #1  
Old 05-08-2017, 01:40 PM
D a n n y^ D a n n y^ is offline
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Default My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Currently I drive a 1986 Suzuki Samurai that I bought last year, already converted to electric. Here's a quick look at what the car currently has:

Motor: AzureDynamics AC24LS paired with DMOC445 (wired delta).
Motor is attached to the stock transmission(clutch maintained) which connects to the 4x4 transfer case.

Charger:Zivan NG3

Battery pack: 12x 12volt Marine Deep Cycle batteries (144volts/100AH)

Overall I have been happy with my set up, using the vehicle as a commuter to and from work (only about 10 miles round trip). Lately however I have been getting the itch to get this thing out on the trail.
Dissatisfied with the weight and corrosion factor that the marine batteries have brought to the conversion, I purchased a wrecked 2013 Nissan Leaf. The car is scheduled to arrive in about 3 days.

After lots of brainstorming and arguing with friends in the garage, I have been able to come up with a few options ( if you happen to think of another good option, I'm all ears):


Option 1:

Attempt to completely transfer the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain to the Samurai as is.

Pros:
-All the needed components are present, in working order.
-Nissan leaf motor offers significant torque and efficiency gains.
-Potential to recoup a few bucks selling the old set up.

Cons:
- Design and fabrication aspect will take much more time and potentially money.
-Unsure if the samurai is even large enough to fit all of the required components while maintaining the 4x4 transfer case and ground clearance.

Option 2:

Maintain the current motor and controller set up (AC24LS/DMOC445) and use 44 of the 48 leaf modules for a 158v/120AH pack.

Pros:
-My current battery boxes can fit all 44 modules with minimal modification.
-Everything is already coupled,mounted and wired up -just add batteries and a new BMS/ charger!
-Potential to recoup a significant amount of money selling the extra leaf parts...or play with for a future project!

Cons:
-The AC24LS is arguably "gutless"
-The BMS could end up being rather expensive.
-I'm not happy with the Zivan NG3, and would likely dish out some cash for a new charger as well.

Option 3: (not sure if this is even doable)

Rewire the AC24LS to WYE, and try to use the entire Leaf battery set up as-is...(ish). After thumbing through the DMOC manual today I thought it may be possible to use the leaf pack as is, due to the maximum voltage of the DMOC445 is roughly 450 volts. (Although the RECOMMENDED maximum voltage is stated as 336 volts.

Pros:
-Minimal modification to my current set up.
-Slight gain in torque and efficiency.
-If this works I could save cash on buying a charger and BMS.
-Nissan leaf motor can be sold/used later.

Cons:
-AC24LS torque and efficiency < Leaf Motor
-Fitting all 48 modules may be a bit of a squeeze (44 is cutting it close).


With the donor car arriving this Thursday, I'd like to get some type of progress ASAP. Question is, which direction should I go???
Every one of my shop buddies scream "go big or go home" in favor of the leaf drivetrain... But I also don't want to dump too much money into an "already completed" project.

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!

-Danny






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  #2  
Old 05-08-2017, 01:56 PM
67BGTEV 67BGTEV is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Good to see this post. Any pics?
I think your motor is capable, but your current battery is not giving enough oomph.
Option 1 is probably the best option, but required careful planning, even during the leaf dismantling.

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  #3  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:17 PM
D a n n y^ D a n n y^ is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67BGTEV View Post
Good to see this post. Any pics?
I think your motor is capable, but your current battery is not giving enough oomph.
Option 1 is probably the best option, but required careful planning, even during the leaf dismantling.

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Sure, I just pulled most of the batteries in preparation, so here's a few pictures of the current state of the vehicle. Thanks for the reply!


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Old 05-08-2017, 03:01 PM
brian_ brian_ is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D a n n y^ View Post
Option 1:

Attempt to completely transfer the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain to the Samurai as is.

Pros:
-All the needed components are present, in working order.
-Nissan leaf motor offers significant torque and efficiency gains.
...
The Leaf motor feeds a two-stage single-speed reduction gearbox with integral differential. If you use "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" in the front of the Samurai, installed as it was in the Leaf, you get a front-wheel-drive vehicle; if you turn it 90 degrees and feed the output intended for one front wheel of the Leaf into the transmission you have way too much gear reduction (and you need to lock the Leaf differential).

You could transfer just the Leaf motor to the Samurai, replacing the current motor, but this wouldn't be "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" and would likely have enough gear reduction only when in the lowest gears.

What the plan, a little more specifically?
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:48 PM
D a n n y^ D a n n y^ is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_ View Post
The Leaf motor feeds a two-stage single-speed reduction gearbox with integral differential. If you use "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" in the front of the Samurai, installed as it was in the Leaf, you get a front-wheel-drive vehicle; if you turn it 90 degrees and feed the output intended for one front wheel of the Leaf into the transmission you have way too much gear reduction (and you need to lock the Leaf differential).



You could transfer just the Leaf motor to the Samurai, replacing the current motor, but this wouldn't be "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" and would likely have enough gear reduction only when in the lowest gears.



What the plan, a little more specifically?


Brian,
You are correct. Thanks for pointing that out. The intention if I were to go this route, i guess there would be two options...couple the existing transmission to the leaf motor with some type of adapter plate and coupler. Or using the gearbox turned 90 degrees, coupled to the transfer case, eliminating the transmission all together?
Either way this route sounds pretty costly!


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Old 05-08-2017, 08:18 PM
dedlast dedlast is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D a n n y^ View Post
-Potential to recoup a significant amount of money selling the extra leaf parts...
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:21 PM
67BGTEV 67BGTEV is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedlast View Post
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill
Agree on this.

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  #8  
Old 05-08-2017, 09:13 PM
D a n n y^ D a n n y^ is offline
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Default My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedlast View Post
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill


Thanks for the heads up Bill. Now I won't be super disappointed and anxious when trying to get rid of the extra parts. I guess It would be in my bet interest to use as much of the car as I can, and then scrap the rest.

What components did you use for your project? I'm specifically interested in the BMS. Wolftronix has done some amazing things with his BMS project for his 150v system. I'm interested in attempting to use the leaf battery+BMS as close to as-is as possible in hopes that it will work separate from the donor.

edit: just read your thread for the first time. Great work!
I work next door to a machine shop, I'll haul my motor over to them when I get it pulled and get a few ideas.

Last edited by D a n n y^; 05-08-2017 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:04 PM
brian_ brian_ is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D a n n y^ View Post
The intention if I were to go this route, i guess there would be two options...couple the existing transmission to the leaf motor with some type of adapter plate and coupler...
That seems likely to be practical to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D a n n y^ View Post
Or using the gearbox turned 90 degrees, coupled to the transfer case, eliminating the transmission all together?
You would need to lock the differential (built into the Leaf gearbox) and you would still have too much gear reduction because you would have both the Leaf gearbox (instead of the Samurai's original transmission) and the Samurai's final drives ring-and-pinion gears (at the differentials).

If the vehicle is to be used only at low speed - so you're willing to tolerate all that gear reduction - the Leaf drivetrain could be turned 90 degrees and the outputs which are supposed to go to the left and right front wheels could instead go to the front and rear propeller shafts (drive shafts) - no transfer case. This would be a permanent AWD system with open centre differential.

I think using just the Leaf motor is the workable choice, if you want to retain the Samurai's 4WD system.


For a more extreme solution... you could use two complete Leaf drivetrains (motor+transmission) - one in the front, another in the rear. As I recall, this vehicle has beam axles front and rear, so the Leaf units would be completely incompatible and by the time an independent suspension was added at each end there would be nothing left of the Samurai other than the body and some of the frame! I guess that's a solution for a different vehicle.

Last edited by brian_; 05-09-2017 at 01:16 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2017, 07:10 AM
dedlast dedlast is offline
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Default Re: My 1986 Suzuki Samurai Re-Conversion?

Danny, I am using as much of it as I can. All the normal stuff plus radio, HVAC, steering wheel(?..maybe), even the back up camera.

Brian, that is an interesting idea to use the Leaf drivetrain to drive the front and rear axles. It would suffer from reduced top speed, but it could make an interesting around town car.

Bill
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