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Discussion Starter #141
Go pedal's in! I was planning to use the stock pedal with a cable-operated box, but my research showed that potentiometers were short-lived and unreliable and lever-operated Hall Effect boxes were...expensive. Cable operation seemed more complicated than it was worth.

So, I grabbed the Leaf pedal and fabbed up a janky "pedestal" for it using 1/8" angle-iron and the stock mounting bolts. I just eyeballed it in place, using a photo of the stock setup as a guide. I got it in a good spot the second time around.

Those stock mounting bolts were way too weak for the new leverage on the pedal, so I also added a triangulation "spar" to the floor...I might bolt it down, but I'm gonna give it a try first.

 

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Good work fella!
I've just finished reading your entire thread and while I have no advice for you I'll play cheerleader for a minute. Reading your posts from day one, when you started out with minimal knowledge through to today is both inspirational and a massive wealth of information. You are showing the rest of us that sh1t just gets done when you keep trying and your'e open to friendly outside input.
My first job after graduation was at Rover and I was based at the Longbridge assembly plant in Birmingham (UK) and I used to be on and off the track as part of my training (used to love watching those cuties get built up), that was in '95, maybe your car is not of the same vintage and I procured the springs and shock absorbers for it (my job at the time).
I CAN'T WAIT to see that first video of the car moving and without the transmission whine of the original! Keep up the posts (I'm motivated by your conscientious sharing to do the same), and good luck with the rest of the build. You are doing great things and your work is making things happen five thousand miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter #143
Hey thanks! I'm just winging it, and information wants to be free...I've learned a lot from researching and doing, and hopefully my trials and tribulations helps others doing the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #144
I got the inverter mounted...It fits wonderfully, with some caveats...

It's a simple square bracket of square tubing, but it was a real pain to fab up 'cause it kept moving around. I couldn't figure out how to make a template with any precision, so I just went with trial and error...In the end I had to get everything positioned in the engine bay and tack it up. It was awkward and it shows.

The height is necessary for the inverter to clear the motor, as the "dip" in the inverter no longer matches up with the trough in the motor...I used 2" square tubing, and it worked fine, but it does contact the "loop" that's on the motor. I think 2.125" would have been perfect.

The big caveat is that I forgot about the wiring harness...it's now blocked by the crossmember on the subframe, so I'm gonna have to notch it out. I don't love it, but I'm not too concerned, considering the stock subframe doesn't have much of a crossmember. Worst case, I can reinforce it...I doubt it'll matter considering the way the towers bolted in.







 

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Discussion Starter #145
A lovely surprise...The harness connector for the inverter is super low-profile. It normally has its own plastic cover. The connector is well-sealed, so I'm inclined to spray it with Fluid Film and leave it as-is.

I pulled the inverter-to-motor wiring from the harness, and they're long enough to fit as they are!



 

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Discussion Starter #146
Next up is wiring in the inverter 12v power, ground, and CAN wiring, as well as the throttle. I'm not certain, but it seems the Leaf throttle is a standard Dual Hall sucker...The Thunderstruck controller wants 0-5v, and it seems to want the voltages from the two throttle wipers to be similar...Hopefully this will work (even if I only use one wiper). Fingers crossed...

I pulled these specs from page 217 of the "EVC" section of the factory Leaf manual:

 

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Discussion Starter #147
I got the throttle wired up. I had to dig way deep in the Leaf manual to find connectors E101 and E61 to figure out the wire colors! Turns out white is power, black is ground, and each red is a wiper. The Thunderstruck VCU allows for any voltage "wipe range" for each wiper. I still had trouble with them being in sync, so I'm only using one (for now?). It's likely that the Leaf doesn't just send 5v/gnd for the power wires, but it's workin'!

Random plug: All of the Thunderstruck stuff I'm using has excellent documentation, and a useful terminal for configuration and monitoring. The proof will come on the road, but I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. Fingers crossed that they're working on controlling other Leaf components...

It's time to wire up the motor and see if I can get it to spin properly. I have two dozen feet of 2/0 AWG high-voltage cable coming from EV West. I thought about welding cable for half price, but I just felt better about the extra insulation and durability of the orange stuff. Maybe it's a myth.

I "fabbed" up some copper pins by repurposing the Leaf busbars. I just flattened 'em in a vice, cut them into strips that seemed like they had an advantageous shape, and drilled holes in 'em. It's a bit hidden and awkward under the inverter, but there's room to get my hands and a wrench under there, so it should work. My plan is to just...put a big shrink wrap tube over the connection, bolt and all. I can't think of anything better.

I also can't think of a better way to seal the connection that used to join the motor to the inverter. I just stuffed it with butyl tape...It should keep out anything unless it gets submerged...







 

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Discussion Starter #149
I went with the Thunderstruck BMS and some satellites. I've heard new chatter about stuff coming out that might be able to repurpose the way cheaper Leaf BMS, but I'm not aware of a purchasable product or open-source software yet.

The Thunderstruck stuff was cheaper than Orion, and integrated well with my charge controller (which is also Thunderstruck).
 

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I went with the Thunderstruck BMS and some satellites. I've heard new chatter about stuff coming out that might be able to repurpose the way cheaper Leaf BMS, but I'm not aware of a purchasable product or open-source software yet.

The Thunderstruck stuff was cheaper than Orion, and integrated well with my charge controller (which is also Thunderstruck).
Thanks. So that's $450 for the BMS and (3) x $275 for the satellites for the full Leaf battery. It is frustrating not to use the existing Leaf components. Are you using the Thunderstruck EV Display? I'm debating between buying a full Leaf and stripping it or just buying the individual components.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
You are an inspiration! You have done great work here. Thank you, and thx for sharing..
Well thanks! I wouldn't have even attempted if it weren't for all the info others shared about their builds.

Hopefully I'll wind up with a good vehicle at the end of all this...
 

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Discussion Starter #153 (Edited)
Thanks. So that's $450 for the BMS and (3) x $275 for the satellites for the full Leaf battery. It is frustrating not to use the existing Leaf components. Are you using the Thunderstruck EV Display? I'm debating between buying a full Leaf and stripping it or just buying the individual components.
It is painful for sure. OEM components are very high quality and comparatively super cheap...This just need to be cracked, and that work hasn't been done yet (or shared publicly, I guess). I (still) have a fear of not completing, so I wanted to minimize how long this project went on...

I am using the Thunderstruck display, though I didn't do much research into displays in general. I just went with something that seemed easy to integrate. I plan to hide it in the glovebox, and use the analog out for the stock fuel gauge.

I highly recommend buying the whole Leaf, even though it's a pain in the ass to strip, and recouping costs by selling the other components is...tedious. You get a bunch of stuff that you didn't even think about, like connectors, contactors, fuses, relays, miles of wire in every color, water pump, service disconnect, etc...and maybe by the time you get the motor installed, someone will have figured out the BMS or charger or HVAC or something...

The tricky bit is that most of the smart/expensive components operate on a proprietary CAN protocol, so to transplant the whole car means you really have to get everything right, or none of it will work without buying more stuff or building a box that speaks the right CAN messages.
 

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Discussion Starter #154
I've got the inverter/motor wiring completish. I used 2/0 gauge wire from EV West. It appears to be Trystar welding cable in the color orange. A bit disappointing (for the cost, compared to standard welding cable). Maybe the insulation is more substantial, but I have no welding cable to compare it to. I think the factory Leaf wiring is 1/0 (based on its thickness and the 225A main fuse), but I went with 2/0 to be safe.

It's very awkward to work (and photograph) between the motor and the inverter, but not impossible. I was hoping to bolt the lugs directly to the motor internals, but they didn't fit, so I needed to keep the copper pins. There is maybe a quarter inch of clearance between them, so I doubt they'll contact one another even while driving. They really don't move much.

It's not fully insulated yet, and I'm not sure of the best way to do it. Current plan is to put a slit in some shrink wrap tubing, bolt the wires together when it's in place, then heat it (the assumption being I'd need to do this every time I disconnected them). I might be able to go with very large shrink-wrap tubing, and bend it 90簞. Dunno if that's any better.





 

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Discussion Starter #156 (Edited)
Cooling components are in place, pulled from Prius inverter cooling loops, and I'm quite pleased with the fit.

The radiator is an aftermarket part (from TYC) that fits a 2010-2015. The OEM parts I found were usually damaged for the same money, and the TYC seems well built.

I attached the left side by bending the inner fender wing (that I cut out a bunch to fit the subframe) so that it was flush, then drilled two holes to match the the holes on the radiator. Didn't take much. For the right side, I fabbed a little bracket up with some angle iron and drilled two holes for bolts. There is plenty of clearance from the front grill.

Tight fit, but there's about a quarter inch all around.







The pump is from a 2004-2009 Prius, and is a simple 12V, 2A pump. It came with rubber grommets that I figured I'd keep (presumably to isolate its noise/vibration). I fabbed up another little bracket for it and bolted it to the motor via two opportune bolt holes no longer in use...I'm told the pump likes to be low in the system to prevent air bubbles from getting trapped.





The tank is from a 2010-2015 Prius again. I made a little arm to support its weight on one side, and I have it crammed against the body to support the rest. I glued a piece of closed-cell foam I had lying around in an effort to prevent damage and noise. I made sure it was the highest point in the system in the hopes that any air bubbles would circulate and escape here. Ah, also makes it possible to fill the system, sooo...



 

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Discussion Starter #157
HV wiring is complete. I kinda half-assed the interior, as I'm not sure what the final battery setup will be. I kept the + and - wires separated from one another, but I'm not sure there's value in it. I see plenty of OEM EVs with the high voltage wire just bundled together.

I used some thick high-voltage tape for the interverter connections, but it was too hard to get it on underneath where the motor is connected. Not sure What to do about that. Maybe back to my cut-shrink-wrap idea? It's well out of the way, so I'm punting, but corrosion protection matters.

The motor spins! The brakes brake! Finishing up the cooling system, tying up some loose ends, and waiting for those axles...







 

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NICE! Almost there!

Any thoughts on the final Battery location/setup?

Only one main pack? Or will you distribute the total capacity along different locations.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #160
I'm gonna see what the real-world range is like. If it's good enough for me, I'll leave the current configuration, but maybe put them all on the floor eventually.

Depending on what I used for DC-DC, I may need to add 6 more modules to get the voltage high enough to work with the Volt DC-DC (which is the cheapest that would put out enough juice for me, and is easily integrated with Thunderstruck stuff).

There is a bit of room in the engine bay for more batteries, but I don't want to mess with that until I have AC and DC-DC working. I could also put a bunch in the trunk, but I want to see what the final-final weight distribution looks like before putting weight back there.

Building battery boxes and running HV wiring everywhere is non-trivial...There's also the fact that the longer I wait, the cheaper batteries get, and the more they improve...
 
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