Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:52 pm

I missed out on the free battery bingo and now weighing my options on breathing a new life in my Leaf a couple years down the road that doesn't involve a transfer of my hard earned cash to Nissan Co. As we now know our friendly manufacturer made every effort to ensure everyone taking this route will suffer at least some amount of pain because you cannot just take a healthy used pack and drop it in your car. Based on what I understand you need to keep your original controller and transplant individual modules from a donor pack to the old housing, or move your battery controller to the donor pack. Easy enough if both packs are using the same type of modules, but who wants a 2011/12 battery with its history of problems in warm places. So here I am, contemplating finding a 2015 or later pack from a wrecked Leaf and putting modules from it into my 2011 pack. Mechanical incompatibilities aside, what can possibly go wrong? First and foremost is of course safety, is it possible that the old BMS will charge the new modules above safe levels increasing the risk of fire? Is the low SOC protection, i.e. opening battery contactor, will happen before it is too late? Anything else? Getting the new 30kWh pack modules working in 2011 would be super sweet, but let's not jump too far ahead :)
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

baustin
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:23 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2015
Leaf Number: 402162
Location: North Las Vegas, NV

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:41 pm

If you don't have access to a Nissan tech who can mate the new pack to the old car, then I would first look at swapping the modules from the new pack to the old one. If that is not going to work, I would look at moving the controller board from the old pack to the new one. There are a couple adapter kits needed to mount the 2013+ batteries into the 2011/12 models. The BMS is supposed to monitor voltage levels and charge states to protect the pack, so overcharging should not be an issue.

Contact your local Nissan Service Department. Maybe they will do the swap for a reasonable fee.

My interest lies in putting a 2016+ pack into my 2013 SV.
2013 Leaf SV - Cayenne Red - QC Port - LED Headlights

Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:10 pm

A Nissan tech won't be able to do anything as a special key card is required for the pairing process, so far all indicates that this card is only supplied with a new pack and have to be sent back once a battery swap is complete. I understand the theory. The 2015 modules are slightly different so the 2011 controller may not be fully compatible with them. Basically I'd like to hear some opinions if this is a valid concern, and say differences in operating voltages between 11/15 modules can lead to unsafe conditions.
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10541
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:11 pm

The Lizard pack can operate at a very slightly higher voltage so when it is installed in a 2011, for example, it is just fine but there is a very slight loss of possible capacity due to it not charging to that higher voltage due to the old BMS...

Valdemar wrote:Basically I'd like to hear some opinions if this is a valid concern, and say differences in operating voltages between 11/15 modules can lead to unsafe conditions.
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:24 pm

Is the battery controller another name for BMS? If not, what is its function?
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10541
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:25 pm

Yes, Battery Management System...

Valdemar wrote:Is the battery controller another name for BMS? If not, what is its function?
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:37 pm

TomT wrote:Yes, Battery Management System...

Valdemar wrote:Is the battery controller another name for BMS? If not, what is its function?


Thanks, sounds like module/controller swap should be doable, of course the only way to find out is to try to do it.
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:17 pm

A couple of very interesting videos. This looks like a pre-2013 pack. A controller swap seems like an easier way to go unless there was a harness change (likely).


'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

Valdemar
Posts: 2380
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:49 am

Turns out in other parts of the world reverse engineering of the Leaf battery progressed much further than in the US, unless the once who did it here are keeping it to themselves. People hacked into BMS firmware and can freely change stored AHR values and restore the display to 12 bars. They can also pair BMS with the Leaf. All this w/o using Consult III. Unfortunately they don't want to share the details, but I tend to believe they are telling the truth. Not clear if a pack disassembly is required to grab the BMS firmware image from the flash or you can do it over ODB2, but once it is done I suspect you just spend a lot of time with a hex editor looking for the offsets where the ID, AHr, and the checksum are stored, write the new values, and flash it back.
'11 SL, totaled
-1CB@33k/21mo, -2CB@53k/33mo, -3CB@68k/41mo, -4CB(41.5AHr)@79k/49mo, -5CB(38.85AHr)@87.5k/54mo
-0CB(66.14AHr)@87.5k/54mo (BBB)
60.5AHr, SOH 94%, 105k miles
9kW Solar

NocturnalWalt
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:50 am
Delivery Date: 02 Dec 2015

Re: DIY Lizard pack install into a 2011/12 Leaf, doable?

Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:52 am

Turns out in other parts of the world reverse engineering of the Leaf battery progressed much further than in the US, unless the once who did it here are keeping it to themselves. People hacked into BMS firmware and can freely change stored AHR values and restore the display to 12 bars. They can also pair BMS with the Leaf. All this w/o using Consult III. Unfortunately they don't want to share the details, but I tend to believe they are telling the truth. Not clear if a pack disassembly is required to grab the BMS firmware image from the flash or you can do it over ODB2, but once it is done I suspect you just spend a lot of time with a hex editor looking for the offsets where the ID, AHr, and the checksum are stored, write the new values, and flash it back.


Hi. Do you have any links to other information about the person/people doing this? Are they planning to sell a tool to allow others to do this? I can understand if they are looking to profit from all their time/effort but surely that would involve selling a tool or something wouldn't it?

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