VitaminJ
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:00 am

This should go without saying but: DO THE FOLLOWING AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Over the weekend I entered an autocross with my 2013 Nissan Leaf. I had seen posts over the years of other people autocrossing their Leafs and read all of their experiences. The #1 thing that kept popping out at me was the very intrusive stability control system which will intervene during "spirited" driving and cut power to the front wheels, or apply brakes to one or more wheels to straighten out a sliding car.

The Leaf has a button which turns off TCS (Traction Control System) but this only applies for straight-line driving. As soon as steering angle is put into the car, the TCS comes on and pulls power when it senses a spinning tire. VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) is on 100% of the time and cannot be disengaged by the driver. VDC uses the ABS hardware to pulse each wheel in order to maintain "stability," this means when the Leaf starts getting into a drift the VDC will stop it.

Anyone who knows about performance driving knows that these systems severely limit the driver's ability to drive fast around corners. For years driver's have found ways of disabling factory electronic driving aids and I sought to do the same to my Leaf.

I went through every fuse box in whole car and found all fuses for ABS or VDC, there turned out only to be 3 of them. Please see the photos below for their locations.

After disabling the systems the car drove normally in every way except for having a bunch of warning lights on the dash. Of course it also disabled all 3 electronic systems and the Leaf could be thrown around like any other FWD hatchback. During autocrossing my wife and I experienced spinning tires with full motor power on corner exits, locking up all 4 wheels in smokey slides, lift-off oversteer on corner entry, and all of the other fun stuff cars can do when you let them!

Naturally, the process is completely reversible, just reinsert the fuses where they came from.


I have created another thread for my autocross experience here and I will be posting some video from the event there.

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2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

User avatar
DuncanCunningham
Forum Supporter
Posts: 445
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:02 am
Delivery Date: 15 Apr 2015
Location: Bountiful, UT

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:12 am

i had no idea my leaf had stability control. cool. I'm driving miss daisy most commutes so I wouldn't notice. only time I have fun is when I think that I'd rather just get enough ahead of someone so that I don't have to be rude when I want that nice hole in front of them.
Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the show.
Waldorf: Who's a fool? You watched it.

2015 Leaf S (leased until May 2018, Bought out in Jan 2017)
2012 Leaf SL (purchased May 2015)

estomax
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:23 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Jan 2017
Location: Seattle

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:07 pm

nice, good to know. from my playing around the TCS kicks in even when you disable it, allows about a 2 second burnout before it cuts power. good to know when i want to hoon i can pull those.
2013 Leaf SL Premium
27k, 93% SoH, 2/17
32k, 96% SoH, 6/17
37k, 92% SoH, 9/17

ElectricEddy
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:42 pm
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2016
Leaf Number: 313506
Location: Nanaimo, B.C.

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:18 pm

How were the battery stats after this workout?
Pearl White Sl
mfd date 09/16

VitaminJ
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 am

So far stats are about the same, they have been steadily getting better as the weather has cooled off anyway. IIRC I'm at about 57Ah. It was a chilly morning only had 4 temp bars and at the end of the day I had 5 but the ambient temperature climbed a bit too.

Over the 10 runs we had the car averaged 1.5 mi/kwh and we covered 10 miles total including rolling back to the paddock and ended with 50% charge :mrgreen:
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

pyromancy5
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 337249

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am

It would be interesting to see if there is a way to unlock some of the motors untapped power without hardware mods. The guy who swapped a leaf motor into a CRX was able to get 302hp out of the motor with a custom controller.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLCc7bSLNjs
2014 Leaf SL

VitaminJ
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Disabling TCS, VDC, and ABS for performance driving

Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:16 pm

piro who made and sells the Leaf Box said he was able to increase the output power of the car slightly but feared it would damage the battery pulling that much more current. I would love to be able to get more power maybe in the future we will have aftermarket batteries that can deliver the power.

ElectricEddy is that your CRX? Otherwise he's your neighbor in Nanaimo, small world!
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

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