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I doubt that a forklift motor (or any of the expensive equivalents sold for EV conversions) would be adequate. A 57 HP car only uses a small fraction of that most of the time; a 57 HP construction tractor may use much of that almost continuously. Something bigger, or reasonably sized but liquid-cooled, seems more appropriate. Yes, a Leaf motor should be fine.

Whatever the motor, getting rid of the torque converter seems like a good idea.
 
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