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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am beginning to plan out my EV conversion. I have a 1968 FIAT 850. Rear engine car. Weighs maybe 1300lbs. I have found some pieces I want to use, or am thinking of using and electrical has never been my strong suit. I am definitely a hands on, mechanical kind of guy.

First, I have a full pack of Nissan Leaf batteries. 48 modules, each module is about 7-7.4 volts. I was planning to run 5 modules in parallel and make 10 packs. I was going to get 2 additional modules to make it an even 50. Then, I would run those packs in series to keep the voltage at about 70-74 volts (If my math is wrong I am sorry) I would love to max out my set up with all 350 volts, but I cannot seem to find this P&S board I have been reading about and cannot get a response to get one. So, I found an off the shelf 72v Curtis DC controller.

I have the links below to what I would like to use and not blow up everything. Again, electrical is not my strong suit, but I really want to do a conversion.

Also, please let me know if my set up would even get me up to 65 mph (about 110kmh). If there is a calculator out there to do all this, I am sorry to ask!

Controller:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Programmable-DC-Motor-Controller-Model-Curtis-Replacement-1205M-6B402-72V-400A/383010689149?hash=item592d37507d:g:mgkAAOSwVeZdB4UT

Motor:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Crown-Forklift-Motor-020260-001-36-48V-w-Brake/283895670107?hash=item421980255b:g:EqYAAOSw-5pe0TMd

Thank you again!
 

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The module combination works to produce a nominal 74 volts... but, leaving the question of whether 74 volts is suitable for the moment, where are you planning to put 50 Leaf modules in a Fiat 850?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Surprisingly, most fit in the engine compartment and a few in the hood "trunk" area to balance out the original suspension layout. I am just looking for the most ideal combination. I just want good solid range (100-120 miles) and be able to keep up with these highways in Houston, TX. (65 mph or so)
 

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Funny thing is, I have a complete leaf motor, inverter, dc/dc box and trans (First gen). Also got some cables and such for the water pump off the leaf.... all for $650 including tax at a local yard that had NO IDEA what they had.:eek: I still have all that and would love to use it, but the problem I am having is I can't hack the board. I have tried the method Damien McGuire used to hack it and I just can't seem to get the code right to get it to move. So, I gave up and wanted to go with the simpler DC set up. I have an arduino due and a can bus shield but I just have no clue. I am no coding person by any means.I had a friend that was familiar try to help me too, but for the past two months we haven't had any luck. I would love a simple guide to a plug and play. Like I said earlier, I am a total mechanical guy.

Is the thunderstruck set up just a bypass of the board? Do I just leave the old board inside the inverter and it does the work? There are so many options out there. I just get overwhelmed where to start. I just feel like I cannot find solid information with a true step by step. Seems like it should be straight forward but I very well could be looking in all the wrong places.

I would LOVE to have someone familiar to talk to over the phone or some kind of facebook messenger type thing. I know the leaf set up is a great thing to have so I do not want to waste it if I can get somewhere with a little assistance from a familiar party.
 

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Forget hacking the board, unless you want to try and get more power or RPM out of the motor. The Thunderstruck controller just uses CAN bus messages, pretending it's the Leaf computer. You don't even have to open the power stack up, you just splice four wires into the factory inverter connector and run them to the Thunderstruck controller (oh, and a few wires to the Leaf throttle pedal). Configuration is done over serial/USB with a laptop and a terminal program. No programming whatsoever. Documentation is great; I've been very happy so far.

This should clear it up some:

https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1033815&postcount=6

My car isn't on the road yet, but I can spin the motor:

https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1058025&postcount=145
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh man.... THANK YOU! I will be doing my reading tonight and definitely be doing this method. I felt like cutting back the potential of all these battery modules was such a waste, and now I know the factory inverter can easily handle it. I have a mechanical accelerator cable, so I will need to run a pot to recognize my throttle. The only issue I have is my resolver cable on the motor (I think that's what its called) was cut by the junk yard so I only have the female connection on the motor with loose wire ends. I think this is the cabling that senses motor positioning. It has 8 solid color wires coming from it. I do not know what wires they are paired to on the harness attached to the board. I tried to watch Damien's video to know where they matched but he just gave pin out numbers so I was unsure if I was correct on my matching.

How many volts did you need to run your first test? Can I just use 12v for bench testing or do I need more? If so how much did you use?

Thank you so so much again for your generosity in helping me!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Other thing, mine is a first gen but TSM says it is for second gen... has anyone used this on a first gen?
 

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I never tried to spin it without full voltage, mainly due to the order in which I got systems together. I thought I read that 140v was the minimum for the Leaf inverter. I did use skinny wires, though (which seems fine for a motor with no load).

Hm, I'm not too sure about the 1st gen motors. You can always download the manual for the controller or shoot them an email. Actually, shit. It's probably different for 1st gen. I guess your first task is to figure out exactly how to control it. Everything else seems straightforward.

The inverter has a big connector, and the motor has a little connector. The two connectors are directly connected—you would just need to splice in some wires matching the colors. The inverter connector also has four additional wires that go to the controller: 12v, ground, CAN hi, CAN lo.

It's worth noting that the Nissan Leaf factory repair manual is free to download and comprehensive. It's a bit hard to find stuff, but I'm shocked at how much info is in there. YouTube teardown videos and the like have proven handy.

This is a brainless dump of my notes (which may soon disappear):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E0och_HU1yV6I-8e5539t6atiZt4ecJHG2AYeIw0CXc/edit?usp=sharing
 

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A note on throttle pots: When I researched them, I found they were panned as unreliable and increasingly finicky over time. When I realized a throttle pedal could be had for like $50, I just went with the dedicate drive-by-wire pedal...Prius, Leaf, even some ICE cars...Most are one or two 5v wipers. Power, ground, and 1-2 "output" wires. Easy peasy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I will definitely send them an email then. The entire set up I have is first gen. (Motor, inverter, dc/dc box) I don't want to end up in another hole! But I do believe that the 140v is correct. I feel like I have read that in multiple sources.That could also be why I never got it moving! HA!

Do you have the second gen? I am assuming so since you had success.
 

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When I realized a throttle pedal could be had for like $50, I just went with the dedicate drive-by-wire pedal...Prius, Leaf, even some ICE cars...
Not just "some" - almost every ICE car (and light truck, and probably even heavy truck by now) uses an electronic "drive-by-wire" accelerator now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Called up Thunderstruck. The VCU will not be compatible on the first gen. They are working on a first gen compatible unit, but due to the current issues with COVID-19 they are slow going on that. One day!
 
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