19Svleaf
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:55 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Sep 2022

Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

Hello everyone.

I’ve been looking around trying to find some upgrade suspension components and I’m coming up pretty short.

Does anyone know if there are any sway bar upgrades that fit the 18+ leaf?

I’ve found some coil overs from BC that say they fit. Wondering how the comfort level on those would be.. they also have some H&R springs available..

My concern with the coilovers is they’ll be too firm, and my concern with the springs is that they don’t make a good enough shock to support it… are there any other shocks from say like the juke that bolt up on the 18+ leaf?

Also have some LED headlights from theretrofitsource.com for headlights and fog lights, have the weather tech window guards installed. Have the weather tech floor mats on order. Also want to get some mild window tint and see if there are any other available upgrades.

Thanks everyone.
bojoho
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 6:05 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2020
Leaf Number: 305577
Location: Tacoma, WA

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

Hi There,

In terms of anti-roll bars, there is bar that fits the rear that has been posted about a couple of times here. It is the Ultra Racing AR19-474. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQKKEc3f4eQ It is marketed for FWD jukes. This helps with understeer although I cannot personally vouch for this product.

I made my own rear anti-roll bar but I have not noticed a huge difference and I'll get into why that is.

For the front anti-roll bar, I am not aware of anything specific for our model. I was close to purchasing a used Nissan juke anti-roll bar off of ebay and see if it was able to fit my 2018 (My understanding is that the diameter is 24mm and the Leaf is 21mm).

Three months ago I installed the BC racing coilovers offered for my 2018 nissan leaf 40kwh. https://bc.springrates.com/products/bc- ... issan-leaf I have the swift springs in front 6kg/mm (i'm thinking the swift spring upgrade was not worth it for my usage).

My initial thought was that the ride was too stiff for me and I should have ordered softer springs. But after many tweaks to the damping setting and probably some break in time, 500 miles, I am now happy with the upgrade. I have lowered the ride 2" in the front and 1.5" in the rear. The understeer is improved. The body roll is less. However, the vague steering feel was overall the same. Lowering the front created more Toe-in and this had to be re-aligned.

To get more caster and improve the steering sensation, I then relocated the front strut tower mounting bolts towards the back by about 7/8". This gave about 2.5 degrees of more caster (from 5 to 7.5, final # has not been formally measured). The steering feel is improved and no longer like a wet noodle.

It was after theses upgrades that I installed a DIY rear anti-roll bar or Torsion beam stiffener. I did not notice a huge difference in dry weather and i attribute the lack of noticeable change to the improvements that were are already completed (stiffer springs etc). I have not pushed the car to the limit on wet roads for comparison. I have since removed my DIY rear bar.

My next upgrade will be changing the ~26lb lead acid batter to a ~10 lb lithium iron and mounting it lower in the housing.
2018 SV 40
LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 19414
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

The body roll is less. However, the vague steering feel was overall the same.
Have you looked at the tires? The downrated Ecopias that older Leafs came with have terrible steering feel and stability. I was able to greatly improve the steering just by replacing them with Goodyear Eagle A/S tires. Newer Leafs also come with mediocre tires, although they aren't as squishy and wiggly as the Ecrapias. I don't know what you are running on your '18, but I'd look at the tires first.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 3464
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

I am OK with spring rates and ride height on my 2019 SL Plus, but would like to find shocks and struts with more damping (preferably adjustable). I am still considering the rear anti-sway bar upgrade.

Tires make a big difference. The OEM Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires were terrible in terms of wet/dry braking traction and handling regardless of inflation pressure (44 psi cold was best for handling, but still mediocre). I tried Bridgestone DriveGuard run flat tires as first replacement set. They were stiffer and much heavier tires so they helped with handling and their tread compound yielded better braking traction. They reduced range significantly and did not last as long as anticipated (still longer than the OEM tires). I replaced them with Michelin Cross Climate 2 tires which improved handing and significantly improved both wet and dry braking traction. The Cross Climate 2 tires also give a heavier steering feel which I prefer.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL Plus purchased 8/10/2019
bojoho
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 6:05 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2020
Leaf Number: 305577
Location: Tacoma, WA

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

LeftieBiker wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 4:11 pm
The body roll is less. However, the vague steering feel was overall the same.
Goodyear Eagle A/S tires
Thank you Leftie,

I have not tried Goodyear Eagle A/S tires. I tried to look them up on tirerack and saw several options with that label.

I have tried other tires on my Leaf including the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80 and Vredestein Quatrac (not the quatrac 5). They both had advantages over the stock Michelin Energy Savers. Blizzaks did much better in the cold wet weather, similar efficiency, but louder at all speeeds. Quatrac, i have not used enough to really comment other than they are louder and the efficiency is 1-3% worse than the Mich Energy Savers. Mich Energy Savers felt unsafe in the rain, although in the warm dry weather they seemed just fine for a Leaf. But with all of these tires the steering feedback is muted with OEM suspension.

I'd be interested in test driving the CrossClimate2 on the Leaf. Gerry, what kind of efficiency changes have you noticed with the CC2 tires? (I'm not trying to change suspension topic here, has this been answered elsewhere?)

The lack of steering feedback I am referring to probably has to do with the Electronic power-steering being so over powered for lack of better words. That's been discussed elsewhere on the forum. I actually unplugged the EPS and drove around for a few dozen miles. It was a nice feel for everything above 20mph. At low speeds it was obviously very tough to steer.

What other suspension changes are out there?
2018 SV 40
LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 19414
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

Keep in mind that I wasn't actually recommending the Goodyear A/S tires. I was just noting that despite being average overall, and inexpensive, they worked much better on the Gen I Leaf than did the Nissan spec Ecopias.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 3464
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

The Cross Climate 2 tires yield a heavier steering feel which I prefer. I ran the previous tires at 44 psi (or higher if sidewall maximum allowed). I generally keep the Cross Climate 2 tires between 40 and 44 psi cold since the handling, efficiency, wear rate, and noise seem to be about the same within that range (other tires I have used work best at 44 psi or higher). Having driven LEAFs for over 180,000 miles, I have opinions about several different tire sets:

The 16-inch OEM Bridgestone Ecopias on the 2011 were marginal at 36 psi, but much better when inflated to sidewall maximum of 44 psi. Their wet braking traction was much better and handling/directional stability was also much better at 44 psi. The last set of tires I put on the 2015 were Ecopias because I thought they were the best compromise between handling, wet traction, and efficiency.

The 17-inch OEM Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires that came on both 2015 and 2019 were the worst passenger car radial tires I have driven on. Dry braking traction and handling were marginal, at best and they were relatively noisy. Wet traction was bad, especially when braking. They also exhibited the lightest steering feel of any tires I used. Efficiency was actually less than the Ecopias in spite of the lousy traction and handling.

I had a set of Michelin Primacy MXM4 sport performance tires on the 2011 which I liked. They did reduce efficiency a little compared to the Ecopias and their sidewalls were cracking from sun/heat exposure by the time of the crash. I had a set of Continental sport performance tires on the 2015 which were fine when new, but wet traction dropped as the tread rubber hardened due to temperature/sun exposure over time. They were still far superior to the OEM Energy Saver A/S tires even toward the end of their service life.

I tried a set of Bridgestone DriveGuard run flat tires as the first replacement set on the 2019. Their wet/dry traction was similar to the Ecopias. They weigh more than other tires because the sidewalls are thicker and stiffer. The weight and stiffness reduce acceleration and significantly reduce efficiency (although that was not a problem for me with the range of SL Plus). Every bump in the road is noticeable due to the stiffness of the sidewalls. I liked the security of the run flat tires and recommend them for that reason if you don't mind the other compromises. I replaced them with the Cross Climate 2 tires which I am very happy with.

The Cross Climate 2 tires are wearing much better than any previous tires I have used on the LEAFs even though they offer handling and dry traction at least as good as the sport performance tires. Wet traction is better than most other tires I have used on passenger vehicles (certainly better than any of the tires I have used on the LEAFs). Efficiency is a little less than the Ecopias, but better than the other tires.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL Plus purchased 8/10/2019
19Svleaf
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:55 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Sep 2022

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

Wow, thank you all for the replies!

I ended up buying the ultra racing bar and I absolutely love how it improved the performance.. the handling is much more flat are sharp turns it doesn’t wash out anymore it just grips and goes.

Would recommend this sway bar to anyone!

As for the coilovers, it didn’t make the ride too bouncy at all? I drive about 35 miles each way to work and I do enjoy my spirited driving. So a set of coilovers might be in my future :)
GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 3464
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

19Svleaf wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:50 pm Wow, thank you all for the replies!

I ended up buying the ultra racing bar and I absolutely love how it improved the performance.. the handling is much more flat are sharp turns it doesn’t wash out anymore it just grips and goes.

Would recommend this sway bar to anyone!

As for the coilovers, it didn’t make the ride too bouncy at all? I drive about 35 miles each way to work and I do enjoy my spirited driving. So a set of coilovers might be in my future :)
Is the part number for the Ultra Racing anti-sway bar still AR19-474 for 2018 and later LEAFs? I am strongly considering it after viewing Dala's video and reading your recommendation.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL Plus purchased 8/10/2019
alozzy
Posts: 2615
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Suspension mods for 18+ leafs????

On Juke forums, this rear sway bar for the Juke gets lots of recommendations:

https://stillen.com/collections/sway-ba ... bar-307065
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
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