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I recently bought an electric Civic. It has batteries from a Leaf and a Kostov motor. It was on the road for years but lost some parts to other builds. It came with a Zilla controller with the hairball interface. Installation of that looks reasonably straightforward. But it has no charger. Afaik the batteries are set up as 330v right now. First thing I'm going to do is take all the batteries out and inspect them, clean the boxes etc. But then I will have to figure out how to charge them. I have experience with lead acid batteries but not much with lithium ion. I have read into BMS and the importance of cell balancing in this application. There are tangles of small wires from the terminals, I'm guessing they went to a computer that could tell the charger to adjust its behavior depending on the health of each module? It appears the business end of charger was connected to the pack mains at 330v and not to each module. I was able to find such high VDC chargers on ebay but I have some learning to do before I know how to proceed.

Thankful to have found this forum as information on this topic is scarce. Really excited to learn how to get this thing driving again.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I love this build when you can please post update as you are able.
Thanks! I found a good price on a Manzanita PFC20 so I have that on order. Then I need BMS. I am thinking of the Manzanita regulator boards or maybe cobbling something together. I also need to install the motor controller (manzanita Zilla) and find a gas pedal. I believe the hairball device is the potentiometer type. I think that's all I need to get it to go. But I won't be surprised if it takes a year, I am new to a lot of this.
 

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Casey, did you buy that car in Albuquerque?? I had talked to the owner about it, I looks like a really good setup! Congrats! Im currently starting my build in El Paso on a 91 civic wagon. The owner told me the motor your car has was DC, so no brake regen. He was really nice and informative. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
 

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... I have read into BMS and the importance of cell balancing in this application. There are tangles of small wires from the terminals, I'm guessing they went to a computer that could tell the charger to adjust its behavior depending on the health of each module?
Yes, that's part of what a Battery Management System does, but it manages each group of parallel cells, not just at the module level; there are two groups of two parallel cells each in a Leaf module. It also usually balances the cells by slightly discharging the highest-voltage cells through bypass resistors.

It appears the business end of charger was connected to the pack mains at 330v and not to each module.
Yes, the charger charges the whole pack as one unit.
 
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