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Good luck, watching with interest.
I hope you get it all sorted without too many more problems.

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Discussion Starter · #205 ·
I've been driving around mountains, hills, and city roads, and early estimate for my 22kWh, 44-module pack is about 60-80mi. I feel like I can squeeze 100 if I fill the tires and drive super conservatively and smoothly...and it also seems possible to drain the batteries in 40mi if I act a fool. I doubt my sticky tires and dubious alignment are helping with range...There's also no real telling the condition of my Leaf batteries...It might only be a usable 15kWh for all I know, but the cells seem healthy and balanced (besides a few outliers that are 20mV down from average).

With the extra modules, the car is noticeably faster. It would spin the tires before, but now it'll do it at 30mph. It maintains its oomph all the way to 60mph. Torque-steer has reared its head, but I'm hoping an alignment will mitigate it.

Current corner weights (in pounds) are:
445 480
345 380

Front 925 (56%)
Rear 725 (44%)
Total 1,650

I'm not sure how to square that math up with my 30-module version that was 1,600lb, but I measured twice and made sure the thing was centered and rolled onto the pads. Overall, quite a bit lighter than I had expected, considering stock was 1,575lb 64/36. Maybe the rear seat, tray, and carpets weighted 100lb...I hope it's okay that the car is 70lb heavier on the right side than the left (220lb with driver). It handles well, though the suspension is still soft steel coil springs and the alignment is way out of whack.

I'm still waiting on California to tell me how to smog this thing, and I dunno if I'll spend too much more time and money until it's fully legal.


 

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This is awesome. Congrats.

Do you have a list of components in an easily sharable format? I'm still kicking around the idea of a Leaf donor project and debating using all the leaf components to try to keep the charger etc or going your route of some aftermarket parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
The more OEM stuff you can use the better. It's just waaay cheaper than aftermarket stuff. The big downside with OEM stuff is that it's gotta be hacked to some degree. The leaf charger and DC/DC are big and heavy, too. I think this list about covers the big drive and charge components:

Leaf motor, gearbox, and axle stubs
Leaf inverter
Leaf battery pack
Leaf bus bars and BMS connectors
Leaf contactors and precharge relay
Leaf service disconnect and fuse
Thunderstruck VCU
Thunderstruck TSM2500 charger
Thunderstruck EVCC
Thunderstruck BMSC and three satellites
Thunderstruck current sensor
Thunderstruck Dilithium Display
Delphi 2.2kW DC/DC converter
Prius throttle pedal
Prius coolant pump
Prius inverter radiator

I think it was like $6k for the Leaf and almost as much again for everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Oh, building from scratch sounds excessive. My thought was to just cut out and reinforce the stock subframe. The motor will fit without tooo much trimming. My subframe was $2k, took months to get to me, and I still had to cut and weld. Next time I'll at least give the stock subframe a whirl first, I just didn't have faith in my fab skills at the time.
 

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Oh, building from scratch sounds excessive....
If you're responding to post #208 from the "bhaibinod480" account, that's just spam by a bot which copied some of the text from my post #5 to this thread (Mar 31, 2019).

But yes, the stock subframe is certainly worth considering. Aftermarket subframes typically have the advantage of tubular construction which might be easier to work with, but it's hard to see that being worth $2,000 in this case.
 

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If you're responding to post #208 from the "bhaibinod480" account, that's just spam by a bot which copied some of the text from my post #5 to this thread (Mar 31, 2019).

But yes, the stock subframe is certainly worth considering. Aftermarket subframes typically have the advantage of tubular construction which might be easier to work with, but it's hard to see that being worth $2,000 in this case.
What would it be worth Brian? Basically to have hybrid shafts already sorted to work with 7.5 or 8.4 disc, trans mount, motor mount, rear mount, all stock suspension geometry retained? I'm developing one now...
 

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What would it be worth Brian? Basically to have hybrid shafts already sorted to work with 7.5 or 8.4 disc, trans mount, motor mount, rear mount, all stock suspension geometry retained? I'm developing one now...
All that - not just the frame - would certainly be worth several thousand dollars to someone wanting a Mini conversion who can afford it! :) Of course, most DIY builders are saving every possible dime.

For context, many people have paid US$50K to have a $10K Chevy engine, plus matching transmission and diff, installed in their Miatas. Most of the value is in a specific subframe and a pile of worked-out details.

I can't afford any of these packages...
 

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Discussion Starter · #212 ·
I feel like I should update this thread, but there's not much to report! I've put maybe a thousand miles on this thing, and there haven't been many surprises. I'm still waiting on legalization from California before I try Vermont et al, so I'm not putting time/money into the suspension and interior (which definitely need attention). I still need to finish my subframe and adapters, as they still need some clearancing and are starting to rust.

I'm seeing about ~5mi/kWh in the real world, with the pack seeming to have a usable 15kWh from the "22kWh" pack. This translates to a solid 60-80mi of range, depending on how the car is driven.

The battery, motor, and inverter stayed cool enough through the summer. I think the highest temp I saw was 120簞F on the motor. The batteries feel cold to the touch unless I'm driving below 3.7V. Two of my battery modules are weak, but seem fine if I go easy on the throttle below maybe 20%. I'm treating 0-100% as 3.6-4.1V. I usually have the car charged to 60%, or 80% if I know I'm going somewhere, or 100% if I know I'm about to immediately go somewhere that tests my range.

Top speed is maybe 65mph due to gearing. 10" Mini tires are maybe 19.5" in diameter, while 12" Mini tires are a hair over 20". Not a huge gain there, and the 10" tires have noticeably better ride quality, and every little bit helps on this tiny-travel suspension. There isn't much I can do about that.

Cheap heated seat covers are doing the job for the brutal LA winters so far, so hopefully that's all I'll need on the heating front. Air conditioning is still on my mind, but less so at the moment...

It's super fun scooting around the city, and it's a very sticky car in the hills. The only hiccups have been a blown fuse and one or two times when the computer couldn't detect the throttle voltage when I first turned the key.
 

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1971 Mini Marcos, Outlander Meiden Motor, Meiden Inverter
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great update, especially with the real world range that you have stated. Have you seen much difference in the range with the colder weather?
 

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Great news!

To me (in Germany) it is really strange to understand that you do a thousand miles prior to have the car legalized. Where I live, this is an impossible thing.
(y)(y)(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #219 ·
Car is good! It's more or less my daily driver for city stuff around Los Angeles. I finally got the stupid thing registered, but it's through my LCC in Montana. Unbelievable, but hey...the law's written the way it is, and nobody's gonna change it.

A few things off the top of my head:

- Winter range is about the same, 'cause it doesn't often go below 40簞F in Southern California. Heated seats have no appreciable impact.

- On a very hot day, I took it up a mountain. The inverter temperature got near 150簞F (which is the max that my clear coolant tubing can handle). It was pretty constant power around ~50mph. That's the only time it's ever gotten that hot, and if this was something I did regularly I'd want more than the Prius inverter cooler up front. Temps have been fine otherwise, rarely exceeding 120簞F.

- It doesn't sound or feel particularly happy at 10k RPM on the highway, but it might just be that it's a very loud car with no interior at the moment.

- I ditched my cheapo 12V battery and am using an Odyssey PC680. The cheapo one just...died one day, and I couldn't "jump start" the DC/DC converter with it. It no longer holds a charge. The PC680 is way overkill, but at least it's designed to be in a car.

That...That might be it. So far the car has been great. 0-60 is heavily limited by traction, but the car is quite swift regardless. Torque-stear is still present even after alignment, but it's fairly mild for the power the car is putting down from a stop. The ride is decently smooth with steel coil springs and a set of Pro Tech shocks, but it bottoms out hard on certain bumps. I have a set of MiniSpares EVO rubber cones to put on all four corners. My bare steel subframe is rusting, so I want to take everything out and finish that bit before I mess with the springs.

I have other projects going that keep taking precedence...and I also kinda don't want to take it off the road for a long time because then I'd have to drive in LA traffic with a clutch pedal and it's less fun...
 

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Thank You!
It is important (to me) to read about the experiences after conversion is done, to learn what can be improved.
And good to see another daily running EV.
Markus
 
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