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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Been up to a lot all over the car.

First thing is mounted a Brake Booster from a Nissan Leaf. It was a solid choice as the bolt patterned matched. I used the original brake pedal and attachment joint. I did need some coupling nuts to extend fully through the firewall and a small bit of dremeling was required. No work has been done on making it actually work, but I got the whole unit for $50





Next action plan was the motor. I was very close to switching to a Chevy Spark or Bolt motor and even an earlier Gen Leaf motor. In the end I decided to make the 2013 motor work. So the angle grinder was busted out. The gearbox side controller tower was fully removed. Then I fully assembled the motor and pulled the rotor before cutting anything else. Wasn’t terrible difficult with the help of my engine hoist. Once apart I cut the resolver side controller tower. This took a little more care as the HV terminals are on this side. Last I decided to remove the parking brake motor on the gearbox. Plan is to add a manual linkage in its place. This would have interfered with the back seat frame area. The finished product is very similar to the 1st Gen motor except the cooling ports are on the side instead of the top which I think is better overall. More later.












And yes pink duct tape does stick better


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Tesla use splash lubrication so you'll have to use pumped lubrication.
Darn I thought it was pumped/pressurized.
This project has moved on from Tesla to Leaf hardware, but in case anyone else is referring to it later...
As later discussions have shown, both small and large Tesla drive units include an oil pump in the gearcase which is driven by the ring gear, so lubrication is pumped. In the small drive units, the gear oil is also the coolant; in the large drive units it is apparently only for the gears and bearings.
 

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both small and large Tesla drive units include an oil pump in the gearcase which is driven by the ring gear, so lubrication is pumped.
Presumably for the same reason that air brake vehicles drive the air compressor mechanically and not by belt or electric motor... reliability. If a belt breaks, you would lose your air brakes. Tesla wants to ensure, as much as possible, that that drive unit will have lubrication.

I'm using as many "factory" Toyota parts in my MR2 conversion as I can simply because they work without a lot of modifications. I admire the tenacity of you who practically rebuild a car to convert it, but I don't simply don't have enough time to take on a project like that... not if I want to finish it before I die. The one project that may put me in the grave is my Corvolt™. Half Corvette, half Volt (likely some other EV though).

Build on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
What is the status of your project? Still working on it? I have a 300ZX and would like to do a conversion so I had been watching yours closely. ....


Yes this very much alive. Been a combination of lazy and busy so have not posted at all.

The car is 95% stripped down (ie interior gut) I’ve spent the last month removing wire/plus that are obsolete. A royal pain for the most part but I’ll be satisfied when it’s done. Should save something like 15-20lbs.

Waiting on my motor side case to be welded up by a buddy of mine. My heavy modification (cutting mainly) means I need to modify the side case where the wires comes out. Have to seal both against the liquid cooling and to the inside of the rotor/stator. From there the rear end will go in and things will spiral from there.

Lots more, I’ll try to get some pictures and updates soon. Pretty much working on every aspect slowly at the same time.




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Hey man, any update on this build? I have a 88 z31 and have been thinking about doing an ev conversion for a while and just started looking into the Leaf as an option. Have you seen this 1958 Audi Leaf conversion?

youtube.com/watch?v=hSHTNqiQlWc
 

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My guess is that redesigning the rear suspension proved insurmountable. If I were converting a Z, I'd keep the transmission and mate a motor to it. More weight and complexity, but also a $1000 solution, leaving the rest of the conversion project to be pretty standard. You'd also get variable gearing for lighting up the tires or highway speeds, which would mean you don't need a Tesla motor or giant batteries for good acceleration.

With regard to the Leaf motor running backwards: Thunderstruck told me RPM is limited by the Nissan inverter (to what, I do not know), so you wouldn't be able to use that bit to drive the motor.
 

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My guess is that redesigning the rear suspension proved insurmountable.
The work of fitting the Leaf drive unit into the 300ZX suspension started around post #44, and at that point the plan was to reverse the Leaf unit so it would sit behind the axle line, with normal orientation as an alternative.

It is not clear to me what the final configuration decision was. In either case the subframe would need substantial modification, but I have not seen any final conclusion of whether suspension components would require modification or not.

If I were converting a Z, I'd keep the transmission and mate a motor to it. More weight and complexity, but also a $1000 solution, leaving the rest of the conversion project to be pretty standard. You'd also get variable gearing for lighting up the tires or highway speeds, which would mean you don't need a Tesla motor or giant batteries for good acceleration.
The intermediate solution between this and the drive-unit-in-the-rear approach would be to put the motor and simple reduction gearbox in the transmission tunnel. This wouldn't have the ability to change between gear ratios, but would leave the engine compartment for needed battery space. Nuts & Volts seemed pretty clear that he would not consider using any of the original driveline, especially the transmission.
 
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