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Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:15 pm
by MPaulHolmes
What roadblocks does a Leaf put up if you took out the Leaf inverter and stuck in your own? If I took over the contactors somehow, could I push the electronics out of the way and just drive? Or would the steering wheel, brakes, etc... not work? It would be nice to have infinite configurability of the motor, full control over max battery amps and motor amps, separate regen "throttle" so braking is almost never necessary, 200kw for short accelerations, etc... But I don't want to deal with a bunch of error codes that brick the car and can only be cleared by the dealer just because I unplugged something.

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:36 am
by powersurge
I think you are looking to have a beautiful fire under your hood...

What (significant) difference could you get by messing with the electronics that is worth the risk of trashing your car??

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:54 am
by AntronX
This is something I was dreaming about eventually doing as well. There are so many software locks that have to be cleared by an expensive dealer computer kit, that working on your own car becomes impossible. I would like to get an out of warranty Leaf with dead battery for around $3k and strip it bare of all Nissan software, add 6 - 8 Tesla battery modules either modified into 12S or with 80kW DC-DC converter. I would also remove galvanic isolation requirement and would stick a simple PFC boost stage in front of DC-DC traction converter to make simple 80A 240V charger. I would also replace crappy J1772 charge port with superior port and EVSE from a Tesla.

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:09 am
by GetOffYourGas
powersurge wrote:I think you are looking to have a beautiful fire under your hood...

What (significant) difference could you get by messing with the electronics that is worth the risk of trashing your car??


Way to discourage people from tinkering with their cars. I am not ready to give up on the hope of improving on my cars, although most EVs seem to be locked down.

Of course, the risk is real. So you mitigate it by starting with a heavily-depreciated car. If the car isn't worth much to begin with, then it's not as much of a loss if all goes wrong.

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:11 am
by VitaminJ
powersurge wrote:I think you are looking to have a beautiful fire under your hood...

What (significant) difference could you get by messing with the electronics that is worth the risk of trashing your car??

All you do on this forum is tell people not to mess with their car. Over and over in every thread you can. I know that a lot of EV buyers aren't gearheads, and this is probably their first car related forum so maybe you just aren't exposed to the massive amount of tinkering that people get up to in their garages? For instance my ICE car is torn apart (trashed according to you :mrgreen: )and the engine is at a machine shop because when put back together it will make a (significant) difference in the way the car accelerates, stops, turns, sounds, and makes me feel. I suspect that's exactly the same reasoning MPaulHolmes is using.

Now, what possible (significant) difference do you think your naysaying will make in MPaulHolmes' life? Do you think if he's got the ability and skills to modify a Leaf in the way he's talking about, that you will deter him with a couple sentences?

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:34 am
by EVDRIVER
MPaulHolmes wrote:What roadblocks does a Leaf put up if you took out the Leaf inverter and stuck in your own? If I took over the contactors somehow, could I push the electronics out of the way and just drive? Or would the steering wheel, brakes, etc... not work? It would be nice to have infinite configurability of the motor, full control over max battery amps and motor amps, separate regen "throttle" so braking is almost never necessary, 200kw for short accelerations, etc... But I don't want to deal with a bunch of error codes that brick the car and can only be cleared by the dealer just because I unplugged something.



Based on your comments I assume your are not an EE or experienced in EV systems. That being said this is a very complex project and one that is very dangerous without proper knowledge of HV systems. If you don't have this experience or help by someone that does I would suggest you do not attempt this. Yes you will get manny error codes and there are related system connections and you would need Consult II to even begin to attempt this. No one should ever touch an EV HV system unless they are experienced in this area from a pure safety perspective.

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:43 am
by AntronX
This guy is an EE. Check out his projects: https://www.youtube.com/user/MPaulHolmes/videos

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:04 pm
by MPaulHolmes
My new Leaf was a wreck from an auction, but turns out it is in really good shape, so I don't mind experimenting. I'll start with sniffing and see what all the CAN messages are that come along, and perhaps get progressively more and more destructive from there. For me, driving a car around with mechanical brakes and mechanical steering and DIY inverter is the easy part. Unfortunately, the car's firmware controls everything. I guess I could take out the other inverter, then try to turn the wheels back and forth to see if the car steers. I would guess it should. I mean, what if you were driving, and a phase cable came loose magically What would Nissan tell the court if their firmware at that point says "no need to steer anymore! The inverter's gone!" haha.

OK, I've stripped the car down quite a bit now and got it to work lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxp8kX_golA&t=74s

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:30 pm
by powersurge
VitaminJ wrote:
powersurge wrote:I think you are looking to have a beautiful fire under your hood...

What (significant) difference could you get by messing with the electronics that is worth the risk of trashing your car??

All you do on this forum is tell people not to mess with their car. Over and over in every thread you can. I know that a lot of EV buyers aren't gearheads, and this is probably their first car related forum so maybe you just aren't exposed to the massive amount of tinkering that people get up to in their garages? For instance my ICE car is torn apart (trashed according to you :mrgreen: )and the engine is at a machine shop because when put back together it will make a (significant) difference in the way the car accelerates, stops, turns, sounds, and makes me feel. I suspect that's exactly the same reasoning MPaulHolmes is using.

Now, what possible (significant) difference do you think your naysaying will make in MPaulHolmes' life? Do you think if he's got the ability and skills to modify a Leaf in the way he's talking about, that you will deter him with a couple sentences?



You know, you are absolutely right. I think the 400 volts of electricity the leaf packs makes taking the motor apart to tinker with is a dangerous thing. I am a naysayer in numerous other areas also...

I am against taking a new leaf's whole dashboard apart to install a cool stereo. I am against guys spending $300 for a new marine battery that only runs the headlights and accessories. I also am against people being given the idea to spend hundreds per tire to make the leaf drive like a corvette (which will not happen). I don't need to go on.....

So... Just like any guy has the right to talk about taking the Leaf apart to count how many pieces he has, I have the right to say when I have an opinion. It's called acceptance, and freedom of speech. If you can't handle that, I know where you can plug your j1772 plug... Peace...

Re: Removing stock controller and using my own.

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:58 pm
by derkraut
Hey Powersurge:

I agree with your last post 100%. It never fails to amaze me what people will do/try to do to their car. Then, when they have it all screwed up, they complain that it is not functioning properly. Oh well....since it's their car, they can do whatever rings their bell, eh?