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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been roaming around the forum for a while now and find it extremely useful.

I have decided to start my build. The donor Car will be a 1989 Nissan S-Cargo. These are pretty rare , according to Wikipedia only 8000 were ever built, but 12,000 is also a number that is out there. We have 2 one is mint the other has totally rusted rocker panels. The plan is to convert the rusted one as a test and if I can fix the body, great, if not transfer everything to the mint car.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_S-Cargo

The drivetrain
2016 Nissan Leaf.
Open inverter Brain Board Rev 3
Batteries
22 8 cell Nissan Leaf batteries for a total of 27.5 kWh.
Charger DC/DC
Stealth EV 6.6KW 400V Liquid Cooled Charger+1.5KW DC/DC Converter
BMS
Orion or Thunderstruck
Brakes
Tesla Ibooster
Heating
Eberspacher 6KW Electric PTC
AC
Tesla Model S A/C Electric Compressor
Steering
I am still deciding but maybe a VERSA 2009 EPS.

Anyway that is the plan. I have never worked on a car before but have a design background and work with artists who use science and technology.

Any comments feedback suggestions would be welcome.

Cheers
 

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2016 Nissan Leaf.
Open inverter Brain Board Rev 3
Batteries
22 8 cell Nissan Leaf batteries for a total of 27.5 kWh.
So that would be 44 of the 48 module pairs in a 2016 Leaf. The terminology can be confusing with these, because each of the 48 modules is a 2S 2P combination, but two electrically separate modules are mechanically bonded into a pair, 4S 2P overall.

It looks like they're going in a tidy block on top of the stock cargo area floor with a new floor surface on top, which seems like a practical approach... but the pack looks too low for that. Or is it set down into a well in the cargo floor, between the suspension arms... but does the pack goes too far forward for the torsion bars? Either way, this will be much further back in the vehicle than they would be in a Leaf, so the rear axle capacity and payload will need to be considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for your comments.
So that would be 44 of the 48 module pairs in a 2016 Leaf.
Yes 44 of the 48 module pairs in a 2016 Leaf. Although it could be anywhere between 42 and 48 depending on the final measurements. I am hoping to reuse all of the plastic bus bar and bus management parts.

It looks like they're going in a tidy block on top of the stock cargo area floor with a new floor surface on top, which seems like a practical approach... but the pack looks too low for that. Or is it set down into a well in the cargo floor, between the suspension arms... but does the pack goes too far forward for the torsion bars? Either way, this will be much further back in the vehicle than they would be in a Leaf, so the rear axle capacity and payload will need to be considered.
It is set down into a well in the cargo floor, between the suspension arms. Based on the initial measurements they will fit., but pretty tight.

S-Cargos have a payload of of 300kg with two people and 200 with four. They are cargo vans although small.

Below are two possible battery pack layouts, one with BMS inside the battery box the other with the BMS outside. I still haven't decided whether to use Orion or Thunderstruck BMS. I like the size of the the Thunderstruck. I am still clinging to the idea of the Stealth EV charger /DCDC, it is expensive but power and will sit beautifully on top of th leaf motor. I have not founding examples of anyone using one of these.
http://https://stealthev.com/product/6-6kw-liquid-cooled-charger1-5kw-dc-dc-converter/

The engine, transmission exhaust and gas tank are coming out this week and all the leaf parts should be arriving this week as well.
 

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What a unique choice.

I think that is one of the ugliest vehicles I've ever seen.



But each of us builds the cars *we* like, not the cars other people like. So, glad you're building what you like.
 

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Cool, welcome to the club. We're using the nissan leaf drivetrain too, almost finishing. Any doubt shoot here.
Good luck with the project.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Finally a progress report. I have the leaf drivetrain and battery. I have also pulled the s-cargo drivetrain. I thought I bought a second gen leaf pack but I discovered that it was a 30kwh pack. After pulling the gas tank and drivetrain I i have redesigned the pack. I can fit 20 modules in a tidy and compact way. So I will have a 24KWH pack. I have decided on the Thunderstruck BMS, charger , charge controller and VCU.
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Discussion Starter #8
I have decided to start the build with the engine mounts. My intention with the motor is to have it bolt into the existing chassis mounts. I am not a welder (yet) so I have decided to build the mounts in a way that I am more familiar with. I am going to have them cast. The first thing I did was to locate the motor in the engine bay. To do this I used a large sheet of low tac vinyl which I adhered to the floor. I then pushed the car over top if it. I used the bolts on the lower arms to locate the perpendicular baseline. Then using a point laser I mapped out the locations of all the chassis mounts on the vinyl. Then independently I placed and levelled the motor on a board and using levels and lasers mapped out the motor mount locations. Then I measured the heights of the mounting holes on the engine and the chassis and loaded the data into a cad program. I adjusted we have 2 S-cargos so I could adjust the height of the motor-less mounts by measuring the dry in the second car.
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The chassis mounts are blue, the motor mounts are green.Then I modelled the existing mount locations and bolts in space and connected the chassis mounts and the motor mounts.
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The model was checked to make sure it will clear the steering and axles.
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The next step was to print the models / patterns. So the models were converted to STL files and printed. I have evening and weekend access to printers.
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This is the first draft. Two of the printers ran out of filament in the middle of the night but they were sill usable for the first fitting
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The models were glued up and fitted to the motor.
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After the first fitting the back and righthand side needed some redesign. So back to the printing.
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The second fitting is almost perfect.
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The back mount still needs one more revision for strength. The mounts will be turned into casting patterns by reprinting at a slightly larger size which to allow for shrinkage when casting the aluminum. The foundry will the use the 3D prints as a sort of lost wax. As they pour in the molten aluminum the PLA evaporates and is replaced by aluminum. The mounts should the bolt in. IMG_7980.JPG IMG_4287.JPG
 

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All I can say is: I am deeply impressed. I was a pattern-maker (in my former life), but I never thought to use a 3D-print as "lost wax". Is the PLA suitable for this? I remember when we built those patterns (from a special foam) we always had to consider the gases that appear when the plastic is burned during foundry. We even avoided glueing the foam-components together, as the glue generates much more gases than the foam itself.
It seems that the LEAF-drive fits perfectly, very nice.
I like your approach from collecting geometry-data, processing them on 3D and finally get usable cast parts.
Which 3D software do you use?
This is a nice set of printers you have there (I only have an (one) Ultimaker2+).
Regards,
Markus
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The other thing I am working on at the moment is steering. We have 2 S-Cargos and they both leak power steering fluid. We also have friends who have one, the can't drive it because it leaks so much power steering fluid. I have been trying to get new seals fo a couple of years but the is one that no longer exists. This limits my options. I can't use the go to solution of the Toyota Spyder pump because it will still leak. The same problem if I use electric steering in the shaft, the rack will still leak. After doing a fair bit of research I found someone who had hacked a 2005 Honda Accord electric rack and pinion. The motor is located on the rack. The rack width on the S-Cargo is very narrow, 18". I tracked down a right hand drive on ebay but could not get dimensions. The Accord rack turned out to be 26" wide. I then street rodder forum that showed how to cut down a power (not electric) rack. So I am going to try cutting down the Accord rack. The rack is in two parts bolted together right at the motor. This typically involves cutting the rack and rewording all the parts back together. My plan is to cut 8" out of the middle of the rack and then 3D print a new pinion housing out of aluminum which will bolt to the motor. It will also incorporate mounts which will bolt to the standard S-Cargo steering mounts. Removing so much makes the new part quite small less than a 5 x5x5 inch cube, a reasonable size to try having printed from aluminum. I will use S-Cargo tie rods and keep all the steering math the same a original. The pinion shaft will need to be modifies as well.
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All I can say is: I am deeply impressed.
That makes two of us!

I'm aware of the techniques - both of "lost wax" casting and of the current use of 3D-printed polymers in this role - but I've never heard of a DIY builder using this entire process from base measurements to cast brackets. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All I can say is: I am deeply impressed. I was a pattern-maker (in my former life), but I never thought to use a 3D-print as "lost wax". Is the PLA suitable for this? I remember when we built those patterns (from a special foam) we always had to consider the gases that appear when the plastic is burned during foundry. We even avoided glueing the foam-components together, as the glue generates much more gases than the foam itself.
It seems that the LEAF-drive fits perfectly, very nice.
I like your approach from collecting geometry-data, processing them on 3D and finally get usable cast parts.
Which 3D software do you use?
This is a nice set of printers you have there (I only have an (one) Ultimaker2+).
Regards,
Markus
There is a fair bit online about lost PLA, so I assume it will work.
As far as the glue, I am concerned about that as well. For the second draft I bought a #D pen for $30 on Amazon which uses the same PLA as the printer. So I am experimenting with using the pen to weld the components together. You can see the unfinished welds in the engine installation shot.
I have access to 6 Tinkerine scanners and 6 M3D micro printers. I also have access to 3D scanners ad may have a go at modelling a Leaf motor.
I use a little know CAD software called Form-Z. I have been using it since 1995 so it is pretty much second nature making it hard to switch to Fusion which seems to be the standard now.
 
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