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miscrms 04-12-2015 01:39 AM

Hi all! Been active on priuschat for quite a few years, but finally getting ready to build the electric conversion I've been planning in my head for the last decade! :D

Will post more details in a new thread soon, but my plans currently are to drop the complete drivetrain from a wrecked Leaf into a 1973 Saab Sonett that I recently acquired!

Phoenix, AZ

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 04-12-2015 01:55 AM

How much is a wrecked Leaf back there?

California98Civic 04-12-2015 01:58 AM

About 1940 lbs, with a cd of 0.31, while the Leaf has a cd of 0.29, but a weight of 3300 lbs and probably a larger CdA... your Saab looks like a pretty good candidate, but is there enough room for all the stuff you need to pack in?

miscrms 04-12-2015 02:33 AM

CaliCiv: Yeah, Cd was quite good for its day but less stellar than some modern alternatives. Perhaps some room for improvement with underbody treatment though. But the cross section Area is ~20% smaller than a Gen 1 Insight (if you can imagine), and the combined CdA ends up about 6% lower as I recall. Stock weight was closer to 1800 lbs without AC. I'm hoping to hit as close to that as possible, was told empty roller was <1300 lbs and there is probably still some room to shed a bit more weight. Removable fiberglass body over steel frame should make it quite a bit easier to work on, but of course quirkier and harder to find parts for. Its a tightish fit, but my prelim CAD drawings show the motor and batteries will go. I'll start a new thread with some pics and links once I get over my 5 post newbie limit ;)

Thx for posting!


miscrms 04-12-2015 02:40 AM

cr: I'm looking at 2011's or '12's mostly, in part to keep cost down as they are a bit less desireable. My range needs give me quite a bit of room to tolerate battery degradation, and the less integrated motor/inverter/charger design of the '11-12 should be easier to work with in this case. From what I've seen I should be able to get a decentish one that would be tough to repair (side impact / roll maybe?) for about $5-7k after all fees and shipping. Not many showing up in Phoenix, most likely will be coming from California. Not cheap, but if it all works out a pretty good price for an integrated 80kW AC drive system, inverter, charger, and 24kW Li battery! Not to mention potential creature comforts like electric AC, keyless entry/start, etc.


miscrms 04-12-2015 02:47 AM

Anybody know of anyone trying to reuse the Leaf system and retaining the VCM to talk to the Motor/Inverter and BMS? I've only come across folks trying to use individual components so far. Keeping the VCM has its own challenges and drawbacks, but seems like it should be possible. It remains to be seen just how much else has to be brought along to keep the VCM happy, but it looks like there could be some fairly straightforward ways to eliminate the need for the BCM and rest of the regular CAR-CAN network.

I guess as an EE who designs high speed data-com ICs sorting that all out seem less daunting than figuring out how to drive the motor / inverter ;)


miscrms 04-12-2015 02:49 AM

Also curious about the best forums to hunt for this sort of info. I've started posting on mynissanleaf, and diyelectriccar, but not a lot of feedback yet. Thought I'd give ecomodder a try :)


MobilOne 04-12-2015 02:35 PM

Sounds like a neat project, certainly unique with the Sonnet! good luck.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 04-13-2015 04:55 AM

Have you ever considered any different setup or are you set on the Leaf drivetrain? Eventually, adding hub-motors for 4WD would be nice...

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