kovalb
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:37 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Apr 2014
Location: Phoenix

Re: Leaf suspension options

Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:56 pm

JimSouCal wrote: ...my 2011 rides like a marshmallow (and in your scenario, borderline dangerous if evasive action is needed).
Nothing like that. Just not confidence inspiring like the 13 is.
Had six Nissan LEAFs in five years. Hope to get another.
Retired Nissan Employee (NTCNA-AZ). Opinions expressed here are my own.

SoCalFlyer
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:24 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Mar 2013
Location: SoCal
Contact: Website

Re: Leaf suspension options

Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:34 pm

Anybody know if the leaf strut assembly or top hat is the same as a 2012 Versa or Juke? About to pull the trigger on some experimentation. Yes we'll aware of spring rate difference, really just need to know free height of a stock leaf and lowered Versa spring with wire diameters....... If anybody has specs on Tein lowering spring that info would work as well...... Again free height and wire diameter. Any info exist out there yet?
2013 S

marcucci
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:25 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 022282
Location: Mansfield, TX

Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:45 am

To kovalb - buying another LEAF is out of the question. I'm not working with an unlimited budget. I also doubt the 2013 will provide what I prefer, which is something that is an order or magnitude stiffer.
Drivesolo wrote:Last summer I got my hands on the front struts from a B15 Sentra. No good, completely different and can't be modified. Bolt pattern of the top hat was different (not to mention that the Leaf's is female and the Sentra's is male), sway bar mount is different (Leaf has it mounted on the strut, Sentra is off of the LCA) and the Leaf has what appeared to be a spring w/ a greater spring rate. I think it's safe to eliminate B15 and older Sentras. Perhaps an Altima's components?
This is great feedback. I was going to have a friend with a Versa come over for me to crawl around his suspension. I am surprised the sway bar would attach to the struts; that definitely will eliminate a lot of options. It also gives me a lot to go look at.

The LEAF top hat is female? Meaning bolts go through the body and into it? Weird.

marcucci
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:25 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 022282
Location: Mansfield, TX

Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:05 am

From this page:

http://forums.nicoclub.com/how-to-insta ... 10650.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On a 2007 Versa it looks like:

Image

They have a strut-mounted sway bar.

Using this site as a visual:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/trac ... round.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It looks like a similar setup to the LEAF.

I'll try and get hands-on with my friend's Versa and see if I can take some measurements. It wouldn't save a lot other than the exchange rate and shipping, but it would open up some additional options. All you should have to do to a standard coilover kit is swap out springs to make sure the back end (or both ends) are not too softly sprung since we've got a higher curb weight and a much higher rear axle weight. I think a lot of our handling issues come from the soft rear suspension but that's just my wager at this point.

Drivesolo
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:46 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2011
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:45 am

marcucci wrote:
This is great feedback. I was going to have a friend with a Versa come over for me to crawl around his suspension. I am surprised the sway bar would attach to the struts; that definitely will eliminate a lot of options. It also gives me a lot to go look at.

The LEAF top hat is female? Meaning bolts go through the body and into it? Weird.
Yep. That's right. instead of the bolts being press fitted onto the top of the hat and going upwards through the holes in the strut tower, there are threaded holes in the top of the hats that loose bolts go downward through the holes in the strut tower. This is the first time I've seen that on a Nissan, but admittedly I haven't worked on any Nissans more recent than 2007 models.

The main problem using a Versa's suspension components on a Leaf is that there's ~1000lb of weight difference between them. Maybe if the dimensions of the struts and hats match then something aftermarket intended for a Versa but w/ 2x the spring rate over stock w/ a wide range of damping control could be attempted.

I'm gonna try to crawl around a L32A Altima that my wife's uncle has and see how the suspension on that looks.
2011 SL Superblack - Delivered 10/10/2011
"As an individual, not as the boss of a company, I am very interested in motor racing." - Carlos Ghosn
"Racing improves the breed." - Soichiro Honda

marcucci
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:25 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 022282
Location: Mansfield, TX

Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:04 pm

My interest in the Versa is b/c the LEAF was based on the Versa chassis. Indeed if you look at the pictures here:

http://www.nissanversaforums.com/how-to ... brace.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and then here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NISSAN-LEAF-201 ... vi-content" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You can see that both have the "female" top hat. I'm guessing that they are indeed the same.

That said, I contacted K Sport and they said they tried to install their Versa setup on the LEAF and it didn't work (suspension was "completely different"). The person that responded didn't sound like they knew that info first hand, and also didn't sound too confident when I pressed them. It's still worth looking at from everything I have found on the web (images), though.

With the weight difference, if they are form/fit compatible, the "function" (spring rate and damping) can be overcome. As it is, coilover systems such as TEIN or K Sport are usually 3x to 4x stiffer than stock. The springs can also be changed out, in many cases, free of charge from a manufacturer. If not they are usually less than $50 apiece and I am thinking you will only need to change 2 of them. There are also plenty of cheap alternatives for coilover springs which are typically standard sizes. The coilover shock/struts are also usually adjustable enough to compensate for all but a 2x change of the spring rates they were designed for.

All that said I am very optimistic here. I don't see a lot of cheap alternatives for coilovers for the Versa, but even if we can buy a K Sport setup stateside and change out springs, it will be much cheaper than importing a TEIN setup that reuses top hats, doesn't offer camber adjustment, and is painted steel and going to rust in a few years.

thehelix112
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:31 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jun 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Leaf suspension options

Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:06 pm

This is a great thread. I'm very relieved to find other folks who enjoy more than toodling around town (not that there is anything wrong with that).
I have some experience building my own coil overs for my last car (Datsun 280Z: http://forums.hybridz.org/index.php/top ... onversion/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), so I'll likely be doing the same thing with this car, and making a quick write up.

Does anyone know the spring rates that come with the tein or rsr kits by any chance?

Thanks,

Dave

Duncan
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:45 am
Delivery Date: 01 Feb 2013
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Leaf suspension options

Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:11 am

I've purchased (but not yet received or installed) the blitz shocks and springs (92462). They were about 20% more than the teins but I've had good results with blitz gear in the past, and the shocks are monotube and adjustable. spring rates are 5F and 4.5R (kg/mm). I'll post up once I have some feedback.

The thing I am much more keen to work out is a pair of swaybars, in my experience they make a brilliant change to that wallowy feeling without requiring overly hard springs. We have a swaybar factory locally and I will take it by to have it measured up when I get a chance.

marcucci
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:25 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 022282
Location: Mansfield, TX

Re: Leaf suspension options

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:18 pm

Great info, guys.

With all the research I have done, the suspension seems identical in form factor to the Versa. wrt coilovers, my only real concern is the proximity to the rear interior tub to the shock. I need to measure it on the Versa, but it would appear on the LEAF that a 2.25" spring, on a coilover mounted where the rear shock mounts, would fit with zero clearance to the tub. It may require some massaging of the body tub with a BFH. I am not sure I am ready for that. I have to check the Versa, and also available coilover kits, I am not sure if they use a standard 2.25" spring or something smaller.

All that said, there are several Versa coilover kits that us the same spring location in back as stock, and the springs appear to be the same (other than rates).

I have a friend who sells K Sport and he's checking on price and availability for me. I also plan to remove a front and rear spring and check rates, so I can have an idea of what the F/R spring tuning is, so I have an idea of what I'm getting into. I know I want the back stiffer but by how much I'll know better once I have the rates.

thehelix112
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:31 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jun 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Leaf suspension options

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:44 pm

Duncan,

Sounds great. Cannot wait to hear back with driving impressions.

Marcucci,

There is always a balance to be struck between sway bars and springs for handling, and it makes sense that everyone is different. But the stiffer the sway bar the less independent the suspension becomes. That being said, it'd be great to have an adjustable setup so one can tune to what they like.

I just got my leaf two days ago, but I might rip the wheels off this weekend and take a look at the front sway bar.

Obviously the rear is going to be much harder to increase roll stiffness without changing the springs, and it will definitely alter the characteristics of the car to change one end in isolation. Ie, if you make the front end stiffer and leave the back end alone the car will want to push, which might be great for some people that it's not my idea of a good time. ;)

Dave

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