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Hay all - for anyone looking for a cheap way to build a reasonable EV car - I have just successfully got my Leaf motor to spin with the original inverter.

So no need for expensive aftermarket add-ons.

I know there are a smattering of others out there that have achieved this but I hope to publish my Arduino code when I install this in my RX8 (upgrading my EV from its rather slow 15kw motor!)

Really hope to provide the EV community with the ability to put Leaf motors into whatever they want, and as they are pretty cheap to pick up gives a lot of opportunities. The BMS from the leaf is easy to use also. Just working on the charger atm...

Quick video of me being excited about this part of the project!

Dave
 

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You can't hear me, but I'm cheering. This would have saved me like two grand.

The charger would be huge, 'cause the 6.6kW Leaf charger is like two grand cheaper than anything comparable...Even the 3.3kW charger is great bang-for-buck.
 

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Shame I have arrived a bit late for you! I am working on the charger at the moment - fingers crossed!!!
 

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Good job, that is awesome! I just got a 2011 Leaf motor and I've been combing over the available options. I will be following this with great interest and trying to replicate what you have done. Your video on reading car canbus is great! Really dives into the meat of what people want to know and explains it well.

I thought on most EVs the accelerator pedal was communicating directly to the inverter, but I guess that is not the case with OEMs. Seems on the Leaf, the pedal is providing signal to a TCU (Throttle Control Unit) and the TCU is creating canbus torque commands that the inverter picks up.
 

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While you're in there, the DC-DC converter would be pretty rockin'...That's another two grand...EVERYTHING IS TWO GRAND AND I ALREADY HAVE ONE I CAN'T USE!

This is a pretty exciting time for EV conversions...Used OEM offerings are plummeting in cost, and the controllers only need to be hacked/open-sourced once...Once you can buy a Leaf and drop in the whole thing (or some Ford, or Chevy)...EV swaps will overtake LS swaps in a decade...$5-10k in parts for a conversion in all these tiny classics...Fun stuff.
 

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Watching with excitement, although LEAF's (Leaves?) are not as common down here, that's what I picked up at auction and is what I plan to work with, so your Arduino code will be indispensable when you are done. I'm normally watching your videos within minutes of them going up now, ,uch to the wife's chagrin at the time it is here when they have gone up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hay Scotty274, glad the videos are helpful, I really hope I can get all the Leaf gear working with just one Arduino and Canbus running. Thats the plan and so far ive not seen anything that looks like it wont be possible.
 

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Hay Scotty274, glad the videos are helpful, I really hope I can get all the Leaf gear working with just one Arduino and Canbus running. Thats the plan and so far ive not seen anything that looks like it wont be possible.
Yeah mate absolutely!

I've been scratching my head trying to figure out how to get it all going, and at the moment I was looking to be transplanting the entire LEAF loom into the VW to be able to get it working and needing to do some funky things with wheel hub speed sensors and stuff to keep ABS, TCS, and the other fun parts working (A legal requirement here in Australia)

I mean, I think I have A solution, but it might not be THE solution.

This is what my roundabout arse about solution was going to be.

However if your solution looks better, and will do what it needs to do, then I'll just copy you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh my is all I can say - thats a very comprehensive approach. I am all in favour of biting these things off in smaller chunks! You are going to have a lot of signal translations to handle between the two systems, and will need to code a lot of fault tolerances.

Be interesting to see how you get on.

Dave
 

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Oh my is all I can say - thats a very comprehensive approach. I am all in favour of biting these things off in smaller chunks! You are going to have a lot of signal translations to handle between the two systems, and will need to code a lot of fault tolerances.

Be interesting to see how you get on.

Dave
Me too mate, I mean, it seems simple in theory, and if I could crack it, it could be a solution that could be more "Plug and Play" for some people, however it is a lot to take on.

Even if maybe I scan all the BUS data off both cars and see about hiring a programmer on Fiverr or something to see if they could code something up.

As you said, there's going to have to be a lot of redundancy coded in. Not sure what it's like over there, but here they'll even go to the effort of plugging in a scan tool and checking faults, whether they cause a CEL or not, if so much as my "Ignition tining" is out, whether it is relevant or not, they fail you.

Problem I've found so far is the VW recipient has all the safety gear hard coded into the ECU and BCM, which I can't really bypass or replicate, nor would I feel comfortable writing code, or testing code, for airbags or seat belt tensioners or any of that stuff.
 

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Yes I have seen that, not sure how far it got along in the end, pretty much hoping just an Arduino and CanBus interface will all that will be required with my approach. In fact, that is all that is required as I have it working lol!!
 

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Yes I have seen that, not sure how far it got along in the end, pretty much hoping just an Arduino and CanBus interface will all that will be required with my approach. In fact, that is all that is required as I have it working lol!!
Exactly, it's very exciting that at the end of the day, the stuff that makes them tick is just a handful of simple commands once you break it down.

What some people term as black voodoo magic is really not that bad once you understand the fundamentals.
 

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The issues you guys are having is one of the main reasons I have completely changed course with my build.
I was going to convert a 2001 Ford Cougar but am no specialist in how to integrate the electronics.
So now I'm converting a classic mini which will make things a lot easier.
Really interested in following how you get on with the Leaf hacking.

Sent from my LG-M250 using Tapatalk
 

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The issues you guys are having is one of the main reasons I have completely changed course with my build.
I was going to convert a 2001 Ford Cougar but am no specialist in how to integrate the electronics.
So now I'm converting a classic mini which will make things a lot easier.
Really interested in following how you get on with the Leaf hacking.

Sent from my LG-M250 using Tapatalk
Eh mate, don't get disheartened with it though, you can always use an old car as your starter, and then progress up and up and up to new things as you learn more.

Dave did the same with his build, he got the bare minimum out of his RX8 to get the lights off, and then realised he wanted more than his little 15kW could provide.

I've played a little with electronics, but after a 10 year stint in the Army driving trucks, I want more out of life than changing gears and steering until I retire, so I thought I might jump into the coolest industry around these days. Nothing like going in headfirst in my opinion, but it may not be everyones cup of tea.
 

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Say what?? Is DC-DC really just...powering it up?? I wonder to what extent that board could be extracted from the giant PDC box...

It is fantastic to see the aggregation and distillation culminating in working parts! Any idea what would be the minimum wiring for getting the DC-DC converter to light up?
 
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