DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently I drive a 1986 Suzuki Samurai that I bought last year, already converted to electric. Here's a quick look at what the car currently has:

Motor: AzureDynamics AC24LS paired with DMOC445 (wired delta).
Motor is attached to the stock transmission(clutch maintained) which connects to the 4x4 transfer case.

Charger:Zivan NG3

Battery pack: 12x 12volt Marine Deep Cycle batteries (144volts/100AH)

Overall I have been happy with my set up, using the vehicle as a commuter to and from work (only about 10 miles round trip). Lately however I have been getting the itch to get this thing out on the trail.
Dissatisfied with the weight and corrosion factor that the marine batteries have brought to the conversion, I purchased a wrecked 2013 Nissan Leaf. The car is scheduled to arrive in about 3 days.

After lots of brainstorming and arguing with friends in the garage, I have been able to come up with a few options ( if you happen to think of another good option, I'm all ears):


Option 1:

Attempt to completely transfer the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain to the Samurai as is.

Pros:
-All the needed components are present, in working order.
-Nissan leaf motor offers significant torque and efficiency gains.
-Potential to recoup a few bucks selling the old set up.

Cons:
- Design and fabrication aspect will take much more time and potentially money.
-Unsure if the samurai is even large enough to fit all of the required components while maintaining the 4x4 transfer case and ground clearance.

Option 2:

Maintain the current motor and controller set up (AC24LS/DMOC445) and use 44 of the 48 leaf modules for a 158v/120AH pack.

Pros:
-My current battery boxes can fit all 44 modules with minimal modification.
-Everything is already coupled,mounted and wired up -just add batteries and a new BMS/ charger!
-Potential to recoup a significant amount of money selling the extra leaf parts...or play with for a future project!

Cons:
-The AC24LS is arguably "gutless"
-The BMS could end up being rather expensive.
-I'm not happy with the Zivan NG3, and would likely dish out some cash for a new charger as well.

Option 3: (not sure if this is even doable)

Rewire the AC24LS to WYE, and try to use the entire Leaf battery set up as-is...(ish). After thumbing through the DMOC manual today I thought it may be possible to use the leaf pack as is, due to the maximum voltage of the DMOC445 is roughly 450 volts. (Although the RECOMMENDED maximum voltage is stated as 336 volts.

Pros:
-Minimal modification to my current set up.
-Slight gain in torque and efficiency.
-If this works I could save cash on buying a charger and BMS.
-Nissan leaf motor can be sold/used later.

Cons:
-AC24LS torque and efficiency < Leaf Motor
-Fitting all 48 modules may be a bit of a squeeze (44 is cutting it close).


With the donor car arriving this Thursday, I'd like to get some type of progress ASAP. Question is, which direction should I go???
Every one of my shop buddies scream "go big or go home" in favor of the leaf drivetrain... But I also don't want to dump too much money into an "already completed" project.

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!

-Danny






Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Good to see this post. Any pics?
I think your motor is capable, but your current battery is not giving enough oomph.
Option 1 is probably the best option, but required careful planning, even during the leaf dismantling.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to see this post. Any pics?
I think your motor is capable, but your current battery is not giving enough oomph.
Option 1 is probably the best option, but required careful planning, even during the leaf dismantling.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk


Sure, I just pulled most of the batteries in preparation, so here's a few pictures of the current state of the vehicle. Thanks for the reply!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,123 Posts
Option 1:

Attempt to completely transfer the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain to the Samurai as is.

Pros:
-All the needed components are present, in working order.
-Nissan leaf motor offers significant torque and efficiency gains.
...
The Leaf motor feeds a two-stage single-speed reduction gearbox with integral differential. If you use "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" in the front of the Samurai, installed as it was in the Leaf, you get a front-wheel-drive vehicle; if you turn it 90 degrees and feed the output intended for one front wheel of the Leaf into the transmission you have way too much gear reduction (and you need to lock the Leaf differential).

You could transfer just the Leaf motor to the Samurai, replacing the current motor, but this wouldn't be "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" and would likely have enough gear reduction only when in the lowest gears.

What the plan, a little more specifically?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Leaf motor feeds a two-stage single-speed reduction gearbox with integral differential. If you use "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" in the front of the Samurai, installed as it was in the Leaf, you get a front-wheel-drive vehicle; if you turn it 90 degrees and feed the output intended for one front wheel of the Leaf into the transmission you have way too much gear reduction (and you need to lock the Leaf differential).



You could transfer just the Leaf motor to the Samurai, replacing the current motor, but this wouldn't be "the entire Nissan Leaf drivetrain" and would likely have enough gear reduction only when in the lowest gears.



What the plan, a little more specifically?


Brian,
You are correct. Thanks for pointing that out. The intention if I were to go this route, i guess there would be two options...couple the existing transmission to the leaf motor with some type of adapter plate and coupler. Or using the gearbox turned 90 degrees, coupled to the transfer case, eliminating the transmission all together?
Either way this route sounds pretty costly!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
-Potential to recoup a significant amount of money selling the extra leaf parts...
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill
Agree on this.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I don't think this will happen. I've been trying to recoup something from my 2015 carcass, and I've made a whole $75 from hubcaps, a taillight and something else (can't remember what, at the moment). I think the reason is that people are buying Leaf's and selling/using the batteries and scrapping the rest of the car, not rebuilding them.

Just so you know.

Bill


Thanks for the heads up Bill. Now I won't be super disappointed and anxious when trying to get rid of the extra parts. I guess It would be in my bet interest to use as much of the car as I can, and then scrap the rest.

What components did you use for your project? I'm specifically interested in the BMS. Wolftronix has done some amazing things with his BMS project for his 150v system. I'm interested in attempting to use the leaf battery+BMS as close to as-is as possible in hopes that it will work separate from the donor.

edit: just read your thread for the first time. Great work!
I work next door to a machine shop, I'll haul my motor over to them when I get it pulled and get a few ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,123 Posts
The intention if I were to go this route, i guess there would be two options...couple the existing transmission to the leaf motor with some type of adapter plate and coupler...
That seems likely to be practical to me.

Or using the gearbox turned 90 degrees, coupled to the transfer case, eliminating the transmission all together?
You would need to lock the differential (built into the Leaf gearbox) and you would still have too much gear reduction because you would have both the Leaf gearbox (instead of the Samurai's original transmission) and the Samurai's final drives ring-and-pinion gears (at the differentials).

If the vehicle is to be used only at low speed - so you're willing to tolerate all that gear reduction - the Leaf drivetrain could be turned 90 degrees and the outputs which are supposed to go to the left and right front wheels could instead go to the front and rear propeller shafts (drive shafts) - no transfer case. This would be a permanent AWD system with open centre differential.

I think using just the Leaf motor is the workable choice, if you want to retain the Samurai's 4WD system.


For a more extreme solution... you could use two complete Leaf drivetrains (motor+transmission) - one in the front, another in the rear. As I recall, this vehicle has beam axles front and rear, so the Leaf units would be completely incompatible and by the time an independent suspension was added at each end there would be nothing left of the Samurai other than the body and some of the frame! I guess that's a solution for a different vehicle. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Danny, I am using as much of it as I can. All the normal stuff plus radio, HVAC, steering wheel(?..maybe), even the back up camera.

Brian, that is an interesting idea to use the Leaf drivetrain to drive the front and rear axles. It would suffer from reduced top speed, but it could make an interesting around town car.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Hey bud I'm Jeremy. My first conversion was a twin motor dc sami. 72volt lead. It was a lot of fun. But with the large tires and lift it was not very street able. I would suggest with your short commute to throw half of a leaf pack into the sami as is. Buy a sami tub and build it with the leaf driverrain and then later eother pull the half leaf pack out or buy another module.

I miss my Sami every day

I traded mine for a full tube frame buggy

I miss my Sami every day

am currently installing an ac90 running dmoc645. I am still using a transfercase. Dual toyota transfercase a actually. I can go from 1:1. All the way to 8:1 Along with 5.29:1 in the axles it should crawl really well. But also be able to scoot down the road at 80+

Did I mention I miss my Sami every day

Moral. Keep the one you have. Throw lithium in it and use it as you intended. Build what you want and don't worry about range road manners. Beyond to and from the trail
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Leaf "safely" made the trip down to my garage. Next step is to use my pack sniffer that I was able to get from Wolftronix. Hopefully I will get good indications from the battery pack. The fact that the car drives and most everything works makes me optimistic.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,123 Posts
Brian, that is an interesting idea to use the Leaf drivetrain to drive the front and rear axles. It would suffer from reduced top speed, but it could make an interesting around town car.
It's a scheme that's been tried a few times, but usually with independent suspension and not with the stock axles of a traditional 4X4.
  • Peugeot 205 T16 Group B rally car (using transaxle which normally places the engine longitudinal - from the Citroen SM - turned transverse)
  • "Marabunta", a custom vehicle of the "Desert Pumas" team from Chile in Full Metal Challenge (using drivetrain in which the engine is normally transverse, turned longitudinal)
Equal torque is provided to each axle, and no limited-slip or locking centre differential function is provided, unless the centre differential is replaced with a different design.

The extra reduction of "final drive" stages from both the powertrain donor and the actual final drives is an advantage in low-speed use. To improve high speed operation, the tallest (least reduction) ratios available for both stages can be chosen, but I doubt there's much choice for the Leaf transmission. The Peugeot used a custom centre differential driven by a nearly 1:1 gearset. There are apparently several ratios for the Samurai, but of course most owners are interested in the ones with more reduction (over 5:1 is available), not less.

The outputs are normally offset from the centre of the engine or motor (in the Leaf, the motor is ahead of the axle shafts) so the powertrain is rotated to offset the outputs toward the side that better accommodates shafts and final drive units; the way the powertrain is rotated also determines if the output shafts rotate the desired direction. The Leaf motor is small compared to an engine, so there should be significant freedom in location, but it would need to be turned counterclockwise (as viewed from above) to place the motor ahead of the transmission, and to turn the outputs in the conventional direction (counterclockwise when viewed from behind the vehicle). That orientation would place the motor left of the output shafts; since the Samurai front shaft appears to be on the right side that aspect works.

The big problem is likely that the Leaf transmission output could not be pushed far enough back to allow sufficient shaft length between it and the front axle input - keep in mind that the transfer case is under the floor way back from the firewall, not in the engine compartment ahead of the firewall. An i-MiEV or Smart ED motor and gearbox might work, since they are low and might fit under the floor in the transmission and transfer case space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have had a busy week with Finals and my daughters birthday so I have not been very productive on the project. But here are a few pictures to show where I started and where I am at with the 2013 Leaf so far:



As you can see, everything in the front of the vehicle was smashed up against the inverter/charger. My concern was the extent of damage to that area, as I hope to eventually utilize it all in my conversion.



It was immediately apparent that the J1772 Socket took quite a blow.



After finally separating the charge door from the rest of the mess and cutting away some interference, the socket face appears reusable! I may get away with being able to re-pin the socket, and call it good.



I was relieved to see that that the drive assembly appears to be undamaged. I then plugged a few things back in and went for a test drive. The vehicle gets around just fine, no apparent grinding or strange noises. I did floor it and was only able to get up to about 20MPH. I assume the turtle indication on the dash would explain this.

Next, I think I will clear up some room in the garage and drop the battery pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dropped the battery pack from the Leaf today. It didn't take too long and I still have my arms and legs! Aside from pulling through the HV cables from inside the vehicle, there is not much I can do with the Leaf until I get my hands on a cherry picker for the motor assembly. I may look for a pinout for the J1772 Socket and re-pin that. In the mean time, I will focus my attention toward fitting the batteries in the Samurai.
https://youtu.be/GrxmF56TGls
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got a bit overzealous today, and while lifting the cover off of the battery pack, I lifted from the non-connector side. Unfortunately the cover slide off the backside, and somehow was able to catch on the communication port... breaking the plastic housing! :eek:



Luckily no pins were broken. For now I will leave it covered up with electrical tape. Fail. On the bright side! the cover is off, and I can now start test fitting the batteries in the Samurai.



I was able to re-pin the J1772 Socket as well today, so overall it was a relatively productive day. Throughout the week I plan to break down the battery pack and hopefully use as much of the existing wiring a possible to fit the pack into the Samurai. After chasing some cableway throughout the Leaf, I think I am better off looking biting the bullet and forking over the money for a Brusa Charger.

Until then the Leaf pack has found a safer, and rather convenient storage location:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Work has been getting busy so time has been limited on the project lately. My current focus has been trying to integrate the electric power steering from the Leaf into the Samurai. The challenge has been Realestate. I still need to maintain use of my clutch, brake and current throttle. ( at least until I figure out how to integrate the Leaf's brake assembly.)

Heres my progress so far:



I just need to weld a couple more support brackets, and bolt everything in.



From the picture you can't tell, but I still have enough room to fit the brackets for the clutch pedal, and brake pedal.

Until next time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Although I have been inactive on the forum lately, I have still been tinkering with the car. The brake Master Cylinder is in! It turns out that if you remove the adapter plate attached to the Master Cylinder, it slides right into a Suzuki Samurai! The adapter plate was cut down on a band saw to create a spacer. I then cut off the brackets on the Regen Pot, and welded them onto the brackets for my clutch/brake.

You can also see in the picture that the intermediate shaft from the power steering to the gearbox turned out quite well. I added a bearing collar in the firewall to help prevent any play/vibrations.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Samurai originally had Drum Brakes in the rear. Today I installed an adapter kit for Disk Brakes. Now I need to decide if I should install the ABS System and try to tackle the speed sensors... The benefit to that is that the brake lines from the ABS Assembly to the brakes are the perfect size for the Samurai. This means that I can use my existing lines! I also hope this will eliminate the need for a proportioning valve.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·


Progress on the Samurai has been slow but it is still
progress. I will be separating from the military in a few months which has taken priority. With my spare time I have managed to get much of the wiring harness in, and working. Currently battling with battery box design and adapter plate/coupler ideas.
I discovered that the Nissan
Leaf motor spline and
Suzuki Samurai transmission splines appear to be the same. The samurai clutch slides right over the leaf spline, with minimal play. This leaves
Me tempted to just couple the two splines together directly and go clutchless. I'm may try this out, but part of me says that's lazy.

Below is a link for a YouTube video with some progress and me rambling about ideas.


https://youtu.be/Qg2QJfl1Spo

Let me know what you think so far or
If you have any ideas!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top