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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have just started my project that would make my Mercedes-Benz G-class in to electric one.
Already have donor Tesla model S 2013 with RWD.

So I will put LDU in place of Mercedes transfer box. Propeller shafts will come out from tesla diff.
I will need to change gear ratio of the Tesla output, it should be easy with Quaife/ Zero-EV parts.
Quaife limited slip differential will be also installed.
Mechanically I don't see big of a problem.

What I will try to do, is move "all" the electronic from Tesla to my project.
I mean that I would try to figure out what is mandatory for the Tesla electronics to still work and take out everything that is not. I decided to go this way because I do have fully working donor car.

I started the project with interior disassembly and then worked my way finding the mandatory electronics.

I have already been able to take out:
-Airbag system
-All door electronics
-All seat electronics. (only need one switch for driver recognition.)
-All suspension electronics
-Audio systems (maybe will use these eventually)
-Sunroof controls
-Trunk electronics
-ABS ( when removed, regenerative braking is disabled.)

So after removing these, car still has full power and does work.

What I will use from Tesla.
- LDU
-Full 90kwh batterypack, (if I get all the modules to fit.)
-AC and PTC for cabin and heater for battery.
-DC/DC convertor
-Light systems. (just the wiring for my mercedes lights)
-Parking aid
-Display at dash and big touch screen from center console.
-ABS (maybe)
-Audio system (maybe)
-HV cabling

My idea for going this way with my project was that I have everything I need. I have BMS, chargers etc. Ofcource I could buy different systems and I would have alot easier wiring. But I will try this way.
Also I want AC and heater, because this car will be run all year.

Biggest relief was that the car works with out abs control unit. Of course ABS is then disabled, but car does run. Vacuum pump does not run without ABS, but that is easy to arrange. Regenerative braking is disabled when ABS is out. I will still consider if I would try to make the ABS system to work in my G-class. It actually has ABS on it, so it could be possible. Would need to change ABS signal from inductive to hall signal with some system. Let see how it works out later.

One problem that I encountered was with electric parking brake. When I unplug the parking brake control unit the car does still run. It actually works great, when I try to put it to Park, it just goes to Neutral. But when I would like to turn power off from the car it will not allow it. It will not power of if the car is not in Park. I will need to look into this more. I would like to leave the electric parking brake out. If not possible I will make it to the project.

Also when all door electronics out, I found out that I will need to turn the caf OFF from the center display. Normally everything shuts down when driver leaves the car and moves away from the car. Probably with out any feedback form door electronics this does not happen.

Battery would be separated in at least 2 places. Fuel tank in the back has pretty big space, also engine bay will be empty. I haven't still made any plans how to mount battery modules. But if I will use the Tesla electronics, I will probably need to use all of the modules. Probably will get problems if some is missing.

What do you think? Is this possible to get to work? I sure think it is.
Have you found any other project with "full" Tesla electronics transfer?






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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Have done quite alot cleaning on the body electronics. Cut out pretty much everything I will not use. Desided to take parking aid out, it had massive amout of wiring, not worth it. Abs I am trying to keep. In picture there is still wiring I already cleaned later, but you can see that there is not so many wiring going to the rear. Next week I will clean wiring that is in the front of the firewall. Then it is time to take out the battery, motor etc.
Car still fully running.
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Very ambitious but awesome! G-Wagen is dream vehicle with Tesla dream EV swap. Doesn't get any better than this! Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you really but it may be easier to use aftermarket controllers for the motor/inverter and BMSand charger instead of transplanting every single thing from Tesla into the Mercedes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I am also really excited of this project.

Yes, I am sure it would be ALOT easier to use aftermarket parts with this. But on the other hand, I do have the best BMS there is, I do have the best chargers there is. So if I get it done, I should have really good system.

Also if I would use aftermarket systems, I would not really learn anything about Tesla. I do run decent size car service here in Finland, we dont get much info about Teslas anywhere. So I see this as an great opportunity to learn from Tesla systems. Already found really nice service manuals for it, have spent quite alot time reading those.

I have not found this kind of swap done anywhere. Meaning when using Tesla electronics to also run the motor. Have someone else encountered similar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Got the project abit forward this week. Took battery and motor out from donor model S. Removing battery was really really easy task. Took 20min when doing first time. Motor was abit more work. Rear subframe out and then back with out motor about 2 hours. HV cabels were really stuck on motor, that took abit work to get out. had to be carefull not to damage cables of motor case.

Now I put some plywood on battery and started to assembling electronics on top of the battery. I will make it a "running car" on top of the battery. Then I will do some cleaning on wiring. Alot connectors that could be changed to smaller ones. Multiple 40pin connectors that only have 5-10 cables going through.

After this is ready and running I can say that I got the Tesla electronics out from the car. Pretty sure it is the case.
Then it would be time to start the design the battery layout. Motor mounting should be straight forward job. Probably will lift the body out from the G wagen chassis. Then it would be easier to mount the motor and batteries. Wheel Vehicle Tire Automotive tire Hood
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Keen project! You will likely end up unable to use all the Tesla gear/functionality because just a few changes will cause issues, as you have highlighted. I'm doing a similar project with a 57 Chevy and it is very difficult to utilise any of the Tesla gear as-is, a problem the aftermarket are slowly getting on to solving. The LDU can now be run separately via aftermarket hardware and I'm going this route to eliminate any chance of the main functionality getting compromised. Drivability is a second issue, you'll end up stuck with the OEM torque profile which may not suit the new application.

Separately I'm looking to use the ABS/ESP and iBooster (2017 P100D) modules which require wheel speeds so that means using OEM hubs and sensors. The steering rack is on the 'private can network' along with ABS and iBooster plus yaw sensor and I don't know how they will work with the rack missing as I can't use the rack. The ESP system is hopefully separate enough from the ABS that one can operate fully with the other in fault state.

If you have a can sniffer, I'd be very interested in a log of the OEM private can network with all parts connected. The private network is the yellow twisted pair that runs from the IVD (yaw rate sensor) in the middle of the cabin to the ABS module at the front.

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So, I just joined this forum simply to follow this build. What year is your G? Please reach out if you need any help. I retrofit MB with aftermarket and OEM options. 👏👏👏
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you have a can sniffer, I'd be very interested in a log of the OEM private can network with all parts connected. The private network is the yellow twisted pair that runs from the IVD (yaw rate sensor) in the middle of the cabin to the ABS module at the front.
Hi! I do have a can sniffer, I just need to get familiar with it. Havent even tried it yet. I do have the sensor you pointed out in place and also abs unit. What would you need from that? Message when it has zero acceleration?
 

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One look at the logs the car continuously sends, or at the cameras, and Tesla can brick your car - the joy of OTA updates.

Bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So, I just joined this forum simply to follow this build. What year is your G? Please reach out if you need any help. I retrofit MB with aftermarket and OEM options. 👏👏👏
Oh, nice to hear this project does get someones attention. :)
My G is 1997 350td. I have made full restoration to it on 2019. Including full outer update to 2017 look and full interior job from gray to black/brown. Also quite alot of sheet metal work was done to fix all the rust. Frame luckily did not have much rust on it. It eventually had problem with cylinder head cracking last year, so that gave the boost to get this project going.

I havent had much done on this last 2 weeks. I did assembly all the electronics on top of the battery, still need to do some connections to test the motor there. I had to work few evenings with the donor Tesla frame. I promised to return it to the seller as complete car. Meaning that I needed to make it look like there is nothing wrong with it. I even made plexy glass instrument cluster and MCU. Why I needed to do this, is because seller will explode the tesla with high amout of explosives. Like really. He was so pissed to Tesla he wants to make a video of it when he explodes it. I will post the link when it comes out. The detonition is supposed to happen next week. It is a shame, I would loved to keep the frame and put an ethanol turbo motor on it. But I could not get a deal done, he really wants to explode it.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One look at the logs the car continuously sends, or at the cameras, and Tesla can brick your car - the joy of OTA updates.

Bad idea.
Yes. That is a risk. I have disconnected all the antennas and took out the sim card from MCU. Is there some other thing needed so I could make sure remote connection/updates would not be possible?
 

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My Model S donor-designee stopped charging after I disconnected the antennas...it decided, after a year without software updates, that the car needed "servicing"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, I did return the donor Tesla to its owner. I took out everything I need in my project. He did wrap 30kg of TNT explosives to it and blew it up. Here is the video.

I would have made something else with it, but seller was more that determined to blow it.
 

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Hi! I do have a can sniffer, I just need to get familiar with it. Havent even tried it yet. I do have the sensor you pointed out in place and also abs unit. What would you need from that? Message when it has zero acceleration?
Sorry I missed your message. If you are can sniffing, just a log file of what is on the yellow can network is fine. I'm missing bits and being able to compare your data to mine might give an indication of how it responds to missing pieces.

Also nice video. I sold mine to a guy who is putting a turbo rotary engine in it
 

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A very interesting project @Haapala
I'd like to cover the project for a finnish newspaper (puhumme myös suomea).

Can you send me a dm or email to: joonas.o.p.turunen (ät) gmail.com
or phone: zero four zero 568 5874
 

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Wow awsome project, i just searched the internet,only to see that if some had done a swap with Tesla engine
i did find a guy in England who had done it at more landrovers😀
i do have Gwagon and Will do the swap also
my wife has a model 3 performance, love this car also. But Will never sell my Gwagon
now i Will hav the Best of two worlds😀😀
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got it live again!

It does "spin the wheels" now that it is outside the car. Had one ground point missing (not connected) and looked for the problem for a while. Should have marked those better when taking electronics out of the car.

I got quite alot attention for the project when local newspaper wrote 4 pages on this project only! Also biggest news paper in Finland wrote another story about the Tesla explotion case and I got my story to that article also. Thanks to @autokirjoittaja for that!

I did post more photos with descriptions to my instagram. If you want to follow this project in "real time" please follow IG @jessehaapala.

I am also editing a video to be published in youtube. Same account name there, please subscribe now so you will know when it comes out. I will make a series of videos of this project. First one will go through the project from beginning to this point.

I will try to keep this thread alive also as the project goes forward. But I will post to instagram more offen for sure.
 
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