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Dala's Leaf buildthread (2015 Nissan Leaf)

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  • So now for something completely different. Both customers were generous, and left me with the original EVSE that came with the car. This is due to them not being useful in Finland, due to 230V mains.

    So lets look a bit closer at the OEM Nissan "granny"-chargers.

    First up is the OG Japanese 2010 unit. This one is specified to run at 200VAC, and charge with 15A. This totals up to a total watt draw of (P=UI, P=200*15) 3000W. Note also the exotic plug.


    Next is the USDM 2011 unit. This one is specced to run at 120VAC and charge with 12A. This totals up to (120*12)= 1440W. This one is really slow! Note also the exotic plug.


    So lets take the USDM unit apart and inspect it. To take these apart you need to drill out the backside to expose the screws. Good way to spot any voided warranties.


    And here is the inside. It is extremely well put together. Note the glued PCB, GFCI circuit and general sturdy construction. This thing is built to last. The transformer could in theory be swapped from an 120VAC IN, 20.9 VAC OUT to a more EU friendly 230VAC IN, but I think that is more suited to the JDM unit that already is made for 200V and 15A. So from this unit I will be salvaging the Type1 cable.


    And what to do with the Type1 cable you might ask? I ofcourse put it into good use for the OpenEVSE unit that I ordered last year. I mounted it at my parents garage, foreshadowing something

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    • Well done Dala, that's recycling at its best!!

      (Comment related to your post 105 about resurrecting the dead Leaf)

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      • So I went on a mission last Sunday. A customer wanted help with a ZE0 24->30kWh swap, so I compiled software and hit the road. Here are some of my thoughts on using a Leaf for longer journeys.

        I started the day by collecting all tools that I would need. The customer already did all the heavy lifting and only needed the CAN-bridge and a new main fuse. And yes, you always need duct tape and zipties


        I checked the route with 'A Better Routeplanner', this will be extremely easy with the 40kWh Leaf. This is a really good tool for planning longer trips, and gives you a good estimate on how long you'll need to charge. In the end, I spent less time charging, since I could also charge while working on the customer car. The trip was about 500km in total.


        So the route from Vaasa->Rauma is E8, though a bit desolate, which has some really nice Fortum fastchargers. These run entirely off renewables!


        So the job went extremely well, had the customer car up and running in about an hour and a half. I then drove back to Vaasa. After the last fastcharge, the temperature of the battery pack was approaching the thermal limit. The 40kWh pack suffers from something called rapidgate (which is overheating after many quickcharges in a row). Thankfully it's now winter, so the battery did not hit the thermal limit, but if this would have been +25*C ambient conditions, it would have throttled the charging for sure.


        Mux' blog has a great post with technical explanations on this topic if someone is interested in learning more how to manage a battery. https://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/

        So to summarize, awesome trip, extremely cheap way to travel, satisfied customer and hot battery

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        • Hey Dala, been following your Instagram and Mightymods thread for a while. Began my own since i wasn't allowed to post here till i'd posted a few times. So my gen1 leaf was the first UK leaf that Emile battery extended and I'm working on lots of other mods for it to increase range, comfort and utility. Thanks for sharing all this work, it is inspiring. I also enjoyed reading that last blog from Emile which I didnt know existed. Thanks to the mods here for letting me post. If they are the same aussies that are turboing Yaris Hilton then, Qudos.

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          • Originally posted by whereswally606 View Post
            Hey Dala, been following your Instagram and Mightymods thread for a while. Began my own since i wasn't allowed to post here till i'd posted a few times. So my gen1 leaf was the first UK leaf that Emile battery extended and I'm working on lots of other mods for it to increase range, comfort and utility. Thanks for sharing all this work, it is inspiring. I also enjoyed reading that last blog from Emile which I didnt know existed. Thanks to the mods here for letting me post. If they are the same aussies that are turboing Yaris Hilton then, Qudos.
            Hi! How are you liking the Muxsan Range extender? Did you get the 8.8 kWh or 17.6 kWh?

            One would really help with the 40kWh rapidgate, pushing more power into a parallel pack would do wonders for thermals.

            Do make a separate thread for your Leaf, would love to see some pics

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            • The MUXSAN CAN-Bridges are now available to the public to buy. I just received a pack of 10 that I will put into use over the next few months.

              The final version has 3-ports, the pre-production version that I've been using had 2-ports. So the new version will allow for even crazier modifications

              v1.0 [2-port]


              v2.5 [3-port]


              Here's a link to where you can buy them, in case you have a car that needs modifying
              https://www.tindie.com/products/muxs...3-port-rev-25/


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              • Hey Dala, yep i got a 24 kWh 2011 (70 % soh) with 17.6 kWh extender. I can definitely charge quicker. Think i can do about 150 Miles hard to tell, not pushed the envelope on it yet.

                https://forums.mightycarmods.com/for...ed-a-few-times

                This link above is where i started my mighty mods posting so i could comment here but as you can see its a terrible thread title (tried to edit it but couldn't) so i may start another more pictorial one to properly present my mods to the leaf. When i do i will link back to this post. Got another eberspacher hydronics heater d3wz in the post so i have two gen 1's to fit them to now. (mine and my wife's).

                Great that Emile has opensourced the hardware for the extender and made it for sale. Do you know if he has released any howto documentation and/or starter source code to get going? I will probably ask him myself.

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                • Originally posted by whereswally606 View Post
                  Hey Dala, yep i got a 24 kWh 2011 (70 % soh) with 17.6 kWh extender. I can definitely charge quicker. Think i can do about 150 Miles hard to tell, not pushed the envelope on it yet.

                  https://forums.mightycarmods.com/for...ed-a-few-times

                  This link above is where i started my mighty mods posting so i could comment here but as you can see its a terrible thread title (tried to edit it but couldn't) so i may start another more pictorial one to properly present my mods to the leaf. When i do i will link back to this post. Got another eberspacher hydronics heater d3wz in the post so i have two gen 1's to fit them to now. (mine and my wife's).

                  Great that Emile has opensourced the hardware for the extender and made it for sale. Do you know if he has released any howto documentation and/or starter source code to get going? I will probably ask him myself.
                  Cool! Yes do start another thread, and take loads of pictures

                  The hardware is opensource and there is starter code at the bottom of the Tindie page. But we are not sharing the full source code for battery swaps (yet!), since a lot of work hours have gone into perfecting it.

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                  • So this weekend I finished up a quick customer job, and then had some spare time to mount the Brink towbar that I bought a few months ago. Here is a brief overview of the installation.

                    Started with removing the rear diffuser. Lots of 10mm bolts and plastic clips.


                    Next on the list was the rear bumper. I also removed the rear taillights. Check out the amount of mud that had been collecting there! Had to pressure wash it before re-installation.


                    The towbar uses the stock location for the RH hook used to strap down/pull the car. This is a very sturdy place to bolt it in. Here is the old one removed.


                    Next up the bar can be fitted up, and holes drilled on the LH side chassi rail. The kit mounts it with beefy inserts and 10.9grade bolts. It was a bit tricky to drill the 18mm holes needed, but I finally got it done after about an hour of drilling!


                    The diffuser needed a tiny section cut out to make way for the protruding towbar. The instructions were really good here, a pair of metal scissors did the job.


                    And here is the final result


                    The ball is quick removable with a key. The whole construction is really, really sturdy. Keep in mind that this towbar is officially only rated for 52kg when fitted on the Leaf (bikes only), but the exact same towbar when fitted on other Nissan models are rated for 750kg, hmm. Do what you want with this information I still need to hook up the electrical outlet, but that was enough tinkering for this weekend.

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                    • ha, you beat me to it Dala, I have a curt tow hitch that i intend to fit in about a weeks time when my mechanically minded friend comes back from his job in France. Funny that i would have been easier for me to get a brink hitch as PFJones fit them locally to leafs but i shy'd away from it because the tongue weight was insufficient for a type approved bike carrier and two heavy ebikes. Annoyingly i have to move my centre fog light over to the right to avoid the hitch obscuring it. I don't think i will be taking as much apart on my leaf as yours.

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                      • Bit of an update to what I've been up to the last week. I helped remotely to upgrade a customer car in Estonia. The upgrade was physically performed by a local garage that I sent detailed instructions to and a CAN-bridge that was pre-programmed for the specific car. Feels very cool to do these remote support missions And due to the coronavirus it's definitely best to avoid human contact!

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                        • Hope everyone is staying at home during these times!

                          To stay creative this week, I pushed firmware updates to all battery upgrade customers. I've done some general bugfixes, but more importantly increased the maximum voltage the car charges to.


                          The 2011-2013 Nissan Leaf originally charges to max 394V with a cell maximum of 4.1V. I've overridden this, and the on-board charger will now happily go to 404V with a cell max of 4.2V. This will unlock a bit more capacity out of the battery, with the downside being that if you leave it fully charged for a long period of time the pack will degrade faster. But this can be managed with smart charging, timers etc. Anyways, me and the customers are seeing quite substantial range improvements, so I'm quite happy

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                          • I got an excellent question regarding how is this safe and does it affect degradation? So here is my copied answer

                            "So if you are worried about overcharging, let me do some more technical explanation on this.

                            Here are some snippets from the datasheet that Nissan did not provide. First, here is the state of charge for open circuit voltages.


                            As you see, true 100% state of charge for LiMNO2 cells are at 4222mV. Note that we taper off the charge AND do emergency stop if one cell hit 4200mV whilst charging (incase a heavy imbalance would occur). When you stop charging, the cells don't stay at high voltage, they usually sag down by a few ten mV's.

                            The LBC will throw overvoltage DTCs if you would reach the 4260-4400mV range, and there is no chance for this since we also limit regenerative braking when we get into high SOC.

                            But what about situations other than 25*C you might ask? Here is the max charge current and temperature come into play.


                            Note that for slowcharging (0.01->0.20 [if you charge with 6.6kW]) the max voltage is almost always also 4.2V or above. This table is being backported into the conversion software.

                            The 2011-2013 ZE0 LBC is filled with bugs in the lookup tables, the charging behavior doesnt follow characteristics at all. We are actually going to manage the battery better than Nissan did! And remember that we also provide the BatterySaver functionality to limit the charge-%. So you will have more usable battery and the ability to preserve your battery for longer.""

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                            • I recently found this excellent video taking a deep-dive into the Nissan Leaf reduction gear housing


                              There seems to exist two versions of the Leaf reduction gearcase.
                              7.94:1 for 2011-2013 ZE0 (White interior)
                              8.30:1 for 2013-2017 AZE0 (Black interior)

                              This information was missing from Wikipedia,only the 7.94:1 ratio was mentioned, so I added it.

                              What can we do with this newfound information? I initially got my hopes up that I could swap in the older gearbox for quicker acceleration, but after consulting with the Leaf forum we came to the conclusion that it's the other way around. The AZE0 ratio is better for quick accceleration, but has a lower topspeed. Topspeed is irrelevant for the Nissan Leaf, since it is software limited to max 150km/h, so if you have a ZE0 Leaf and want a 4.5% increase in torque, you can swap in the newer reduction gear

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                              • So something that I bought a while back and forgot to even do was the exciting service point that is -> replacing the windshield wipers. This is long overdue, the car had the original wipers from 2015! The rubber section was really stiff, horrible noises, and they left streak marks on the windshield.



                                I went with the pricier but more aerodynamical "Bosch Aerotwin'AR16U' and 'AR26U'". These cost 16€ per piece. I wish I had done this last year already, what a difference!

                                I'm not really driving the car while on lockdown, so I'll have time for some boring maintenance tasks now. But there is barely anything to regularly service/inspect on the Leaf, so I'll probably work more on the programming side for now

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