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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm contemplating an electric conversion of a vintage 4x4. This would be an around town vehicle. Mostly <45mph. Minimum requirements: 40+ miles range in a fairly hilly environment. I'd like to be able to get up to 60-65mph so I can say out of peoples way. Maintain 4WD.

Stock weight probably around 3500lbs.

I saw this FJ build which I believe uses a dual AC50 motor (https://electricgt.com/shop/gte-353-e-crate-system/) Thoughts on acceleration and top speed with a single AC50?

Could I remove the transmission and mount the motor directly to a two speed transfercase? With a 2:1 low, 4.88 gears in the axles, 30" tires, and a 5000 rpm motor I'd have a ~45mph top speed and a 90mph top speed in 1:1 high. This seems about right. Not sure if the low gear in the transfer case will survive that RPM.

Thoughts welcome. Thanks.
 

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Could I remove the transmission and mount the motor directly to a two speed transfercase? With a 2:1 low, 4.88 gears in the axles, 30" tires, and a 5000 rpm motor I'd have a ~45mph top speed and a 90mph top speed in 1:1 high..
With some transfer cases, at least in their stock form, the low range cannot be engaged without engaging the front output shaft (4WD)... and without a centre differential, that doesn't work on pavement. If you need the low range for low speed (not just offroad) - and you would - that's an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With some transfer cases, at least in their stock form, the low range cannot be engaged without engaging the front output shaft (4WD)... and without a centre differential, that doesn't work on pavement. If you need the low range for low speed (not just offroad) - and you would - that's an issue.
Thanks for the reply. The two I have looked at so far (Dana 20, Dana 300) have the option for "twin sticks", one for the front output and one for the rear output. I think mostly I would be shifting from RWD Low to RWD High. Shifting from 4WD Low to 4WD high would mean shifting both sticks at the same time or both into neutral and then one at a time into high.

I think I may move forward keeping the manual transmission. I can test what it would be like to have no trans by just leaving it in 1:1.
 

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Don't snooze on the Leaf motor. They're more powerful and cheaper than an AC50, if the packaging can work in your chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't snooze on the Leaf motor. They're more powerful and cheaper than an AC50, if the packaging can work in your chassis.
Any good guides on the leaf motor especially voltage required? I think I'll have plenty of space. Most of the vehicles I'm looking at have space for a V8. Not much in the engine compartment besides the engine!
 

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Leaf's have 360 volt packs. But that's enough to engage the top range of their speeds. If you don't need the top speed, you can use a proportionally lower voltage.


Grab the motor and the controller, and then you have 2 DIY options:

1 - Johannes' Open Inverter Leaf Board:
https://openinverter.org/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=57

2 - Damien's Leaf ECU Control Board:
Partially Built: https://evbmw.com/index.php/evbmw-webshop/nissan-built-and-tested-boards/nissan-leaf-vcm-kit-copy
Fully Built: https://evbmw.com/index.php/evbmw-w...af-inverter-controller-fully-built-and-tested


Johannes' will replace the existing control board and let you demand whatever you want out of the inverter. Way above OEM spec.

Damien's is just an ecu replacement that mimicks the original function of the ECU that tells the control board in the inverter what to do, so it's limited to stock demands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On first glance the Leaf motor looks pretty compelling. Where can I read about different years, options, etc or are they all the same?
 

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I went with a Thunderstruck controller for my leaf project. There's no great page for them, but here's a dump of my notes:

Motor - 12h x 20L x 19w - 180lb - 210tq/110hp with, 2700-9700 rpm max efficiency, 360V
Motor deep-dive - https://www.coilwindingexpo.com/berlin/__media/pages/Tutorial-1-D--Staton-&-J--Goss-MDL.PDF
Gearbox - 7.91:1 reduction, brake limited slip diff
Coolant and gearbox oil drain plugs are snug, not torqued.
Inverter - 35lb
Charger - 60lb
“Apply parking brake” might be low 12v shit, or bad precharge relay.
Won’t start issue - https://www.speakev.com/threads/leaf-wont-start.22447/page-5
Precharge relay failing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibg0w1f0sS8
Factory service manuals - https://nicoclub.com/archives/nissan-leaf-factory-service-manuals.html
Component weights - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12rXYxqdnux7NaZTLxCUlh_WIbJlKeKVEoCvvYmTAmaw/edit#gid=0
Generations are ZAA-ZE0 (gen1, 2010-2012), ZAA-AZE0 (gen2, 2012-2017), ZAA-ZE1 (gen2, 2017+)
Generation specs - https://www.marklines.com/en/report/rep1899_201907
List of shit - https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/re-using-complete-leaf-drive-system-151458.html
Motor teardown - http://isopack.blogspot.com/2017/10/2013-second-generation-nissan-leaf.html
Motor disassembly - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GG3QRPGlPc
Drive unit teardown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo2shfLokCI&feature=youtu.be
Description of the four major approaches: https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1033815&postcount=6
Thunderstruck - $1000 - https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/dilithium-vcu.html - Controls motor inverter with CAN messages.
Brain Board - Johannes Huebner - http://johanneshuebner.com/quickcms/index.html?en_shop,38.html
Minimal run - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCOi19S71W4
Paul Holmes board - https://pandspowerelectronics.ecwid...t-control-board/p/125965637/category=16287307
Paul Holmes board field weakening - http://jeffeblack.com/field-weakening-with-the-ps-nissan-leaf-control-board/
Arlin Sansome in Canada
Homebrew inverter - https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45909&highlight=johannes+huebner
Open source controller - https://github.com/damienmaguire/Nissan-Leaf-Inverter-Controller
Leaf & Tesla motor info - https://www.coilwindingexpo.com/berlin/__media/pages/Tutorial-1-D--Staton-&-J--Goss-MDL.PDF
Leaf mini stuff - https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184785&highlight=leaf
Leaf Sled - 24kWh - 400lb (plus 150lb casing), 360v, 60Wh/lb, 0.90-0.95v/lb. “Hardware” to hold batteries together is just under 30lb.
Model year batteries - “Wolf pack” built after March 2013, lizard pack is different - https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26662
Leaf Configuration - 48 modules, 192 cells, 96s2p. Each module is 2s2p, 7.5v. “Half-pack” weighs 200lb.
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/serial_and_parallel_battery_configurations
Canary - 2011 through March 2013
Wolf - April 2013 through 2014 (maybe April 2014??)
Lizard - 2015+ (May 2014??) (24kW)
30kW pack had some firmware upgrwde for jankiness.
40kW and 60kW packs exist in newer models...40kW seem to degrade as fast as Canary batteries.
Battery info - https://qnovo.com/inside-the-battery-of-a-nissan-leaf/
Specific LeaF battery info - https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=26662
Random post on different battery modules - https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=626105&postcount=40
Custom busbars - https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?p=805713#post805713
Nomenclature - https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=26621
Details - https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=89680
Wire protection - https://www.techflex.com/electrical...flex-glass-grade-a?product_selected=SFA0.63WH
Cheap interconnects - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyuDjnEuAYA
Leaf - Module 0.5 kWh, 7.5v, 8lb, 65 Wh/lb, 0.9v/lb
 

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To the battery information in the excellent collection by Tremelune, I'll just add that the 60 kWh uses entirely differently configured modules from all of the earlier generations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went back to look at my initial calculations with the higher RPM of the Leaf motor vs the AC50 (10,000 vs 5,000). Leaf is also around 200 ft lbs of torque while AC50 is around 120.

Leaf has 7.9377 gear reduction and 24.9" diameter tires. Top speed at 10,000rpm is 93mph.

On my project gear reduction is a bit complicated. Leaving aside a manual transmission, I'll have a transfercase (1:1 high, 2 or 2.62:1 low) and differentials (probably 4:27:1 possibly 3.73 or 4.88:1). One possible option is no transmission (or leave it in 1:1), 2.62:1 transfer case low, 4.27 rear end. This gives a top speed to 74mph with at 28" diameter tire. This requires the transfer case to accept a 10,000rpm input but I would leave it in this gear all the time eliminating the need to shift on the fly.

I expect my project to be ~25% heavier than a Leaf. Much, much worse aero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Neat. I did mine all in a spreadsheet. If you get back to it you could consider adding a transfer case (or two). Managing the permutations of different transmission rations, tcase ratios, and rear end ratios is a hassle.
 
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