Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 45 total)
  • Electric car conversions – with a WCA twist
  • Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I was idly looking at electric motors that I could drop into an old car after realising the Ford e-Mach was out of stock in the US and not directly available here. I spotted an ad for a 2011 Nissan Leaf motor for £1500 and another for the controller, another for the batteries which appreared quite degraded.

    After totting that lot up I reckon I could pull out the Nissan drive train and sell it for as much as I bought the entire car and possibly even make a few quid. The trouble is that would leave me with a Nissan Leaf with no drivetrain.

    What engine should I drop in there? I am only toying with the idea but I reckon the Mazda rotaries are small, light and reasonably powerful at 232bhp out of the factory. LS7?

    What do you reckon?

    Premier Icon trail_rat
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    There’s a number of ls swapped V8 Tesla kicking about in the US .

    Enough to send some into a tailspin I would think.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
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    I have seen some of them. I am not sure they would squeeze into my shitbox – I mean Leaf – which is why I was looking at the RX7/8 rotaries.

    Would make a nice sleeper to take to the Jap car shows, especially if I can rig up a little motor so it can drive across the tarmac in electric silence before lighting up the motor

    Premier Icon tall_martin
    Full Member

    After listening to a mate tell me just how much work he had put into an engine swap, then talking to him a year later when it was still almost done…and to my ears absolutely no where near done.

    He was putting a V8 Lexus engine in the small lexus saloon. “Not a difficult swap” and that was from some one who maintained drift cars for a hobby.

    I’d say buy a car that ready has the engine you want.

    Then spend the 100’s of hours you could have spent engine swapping driving the fully functional car you bought instead.

    Or

    Get an rx8 and spend the time rebuilding the engine, repeatedly!

    Premier Icon julians
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    Dodge viper v10, might need a small bonnet bulge

    There’s A 400 hp, 8 Litre Dodge Viper V10 Engine For Sale On eBay

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    The 13B is a fairly reliable engine if you don’t over turbo it.

    If I take the engine and ‘box straight from an RX7 it is just a case of lining up and connecting the drive shaft to the Leaf on. Plus of course adding fuel tank, lines and the electrics required.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I got this running and someone is driving it around now so how hard can it be?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Hayabusa motorbike engine? Used in a  fair few light car engine swaps – seen them in minis, smart cars, fiat 500s

    small and light for  1300, 200 normally aspirated bhp possible, lots of companies doing conversion kits,  turbo it to over 300 bhp

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    Hadn’t thought of a Hayabusa but saw one in the back of a Fiat 500 at the NEC a couple of weeks back. Might work but the Leaf os a bit lardy. Will we lighter without the batteries so possible.

    Dodge V10 makes me wonder if a mid-engined LEaf is beyond my skills or not.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    It’s not the mechanicals its all the wiring. Cambus etc.

    Plus sva test

    Premier Icon pk13
    Free Member

    R1 bike engine how heavy is a leaf 🌿

    Premier Icon RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    You and Molgrips need to team up for a STW/Project Binky style car tinkering show but with longer between updates and more injuries.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    The Dodge is in the US but there are quite a few VW V10’s kicking around for £1-2000

    It’s not the mechanicals its all the wiring. Cambus etc.

    Plus sva test

    You can buy an aftermarket ECU harness to run the engine. The rest of the car is just the same once the loom is spliced in.

    SVA can be avoided if you minimise the changes made. There is a points system for modifications and if you keep below 8 then you are fine.

    Part Points
    Chassis, monocoque bodyshell (body and chassis as one unit) or frame – original or new and unmodified (direct from manufacturer) 5
    Suspension (front and back) – original 2
    Axles (both) – original 2
    Transmission – original 2
    Steering assembly – original 2
    Engine – original 1

    Engine + Transmission = 1 + 2 so it is fine. Even if I mod the rear axles that is only another 2 points so still below the 8

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    heavy is a leaf

    I can’t get numbers for the car without batteries

    Premier Icon nicko74
    Free Member

    The 13B is a fairly reliable engine if you don’t over turbo it.

    I actually know very little about cars, but I’m pretty sure that’s the exact opposite of what everyone says! 😀
    Which version would you be looking at – the RX8’s Renesis? And would you be able to tinker it in such a way that hot starting and/ or flooding wouldn’t be a problem?

    Premier Icon Richie_B
    Full Member

    The man who started a fire with his home brew bike lights wants to start playing with really big batteries………

    Sounds like a great idea

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You and Molgrips

    Hell no. I just want to fix things, not bastardise them.

    Premier Icon db
    Full Member

    Can we have one of those workplace accidents signs on the build thread?

    This build has gone X days without an accident!

    I would go motor bike engine over Mazda. Strip the weight out of the Leaf and I think you would end up with a fun little thing.

    Guess it depends what you are building for? For the build, for 1/4 mile times, track days?

    Premier Icon willard
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    I’d look at a bike engine personally. Smaller package, more power, more funner. You could probably pick up a thrashed 1000cc bike for cheap and then only have to worry about the gearbox and stuff… Mind you, the leaf is a bit big for that, they normally turn up in Smart cars or old minis.

    Maybe “K” swap it with the Honda engine?

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    Hayabusa is an easy swap – only takes 18 minutes!

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Surely you should just go bigger electric motor and uprated batteries for the full q car experience.

    Premier Icon willard
    Full Member

    Just seen a Gen1 ‘Busa for sale for 40k Kr over here. To be honest, buying that and then ripping it apart for the engine would be a terrible end to a bike. That said, this example has been dropped and has scratched fairings.

    You can get an R1 for about half that.

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    Turboed big block has great potential for the OP.

    Premier Icon towpathman
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    It’s not the mechanicals its all the wiring. Cambus etc.

    Plus sva test

    You can buy an aftermarket ECU harness to run the engine. The rest of the car is just the same once the loom is spliced in.

    That might get the engine to run, but all the other systems on the car (ABS & ESP, dashboard, etc) will be looking for information from the battery and motor system, and are pretty certain to throw a wobbly when they don’t receive the relevant CAN frames

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Turboed big block has great potential for the OP.

    That’s about the most comprehensive engine failure I’ve ever seen [a video of]!

    Premier Icon richmars
    Full Member

    I’d go bike engine. I’ve got an old Fireblade engine in my kit car and it would be easy to fit anywhere as it’s so small, and comes with a gearbox. Lose as much weight as you can and it will be fun, just for the noise and 12000rpm red line. Plus you get a cool sequential gear change.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
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    I had an RX7 FD3S, lovely car, great engine, this would count as abuse.

    How would you get it to be front wheel drive, the box (which you need for the ratios on a rotary) wouldn’t go FWD. you’d have to cut a transmission tunnel in.

    It’s a phenomenal amount of work for a grim outcome. 😂

    Premier Icon Sandwich
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    You are Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor AICMFP!

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Full Member

    That might get the engine to run, but all the other systems on the car (ABS & ESP, dashboard, etc) will be looking for information from the battery and motor system, and are pretty certain to throw a wobbly when they don’t receive the relevant CAN frames

    Megasquirt with a pi Dash would solve the dashboard problem, no idea where you’d stand legally. Got a pi Dash setup for my 944 but never bothered to install it as it’s unnecessary.
    No idea what the rules are with abs and SVA tests either.

    I’m quite handy with megasquirt, it has can bus capabilities but I’ve not looked into it as I’ve only used it on old cars.

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    Quaife do parts for motorcycle engined cars – not cheap but pretty good.

    If you want to go LS, the LS4 was a front wheel drive variant. Fanatik Builds on YouTube used one in a GT6 – but changed it to RWD. They’re cheap in Canada apparently.

    K Swap sounds the most straightforward, so that’s definitely not what you want.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    I’d say buy a car that ready has the engine you want.

    Hmm, I think you may be missing the point.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    That might get the engine to run, but all the other systems on the car (ABS & ESP, dashboard, etc) will be looking for information from the battery and motor system, and are pretty certain to throw a wobbly when they don’t receive the relevant CAN frames

    There are relatively simple ways round all of that.

    Wiring needed to make a car work legally is pretty simple (have made part looms for my own car)

    The issue will be insuring it for what it is and getting them to understand that many of the safety systems are disabled /removed.

    Premier Icon towpathman
    Full Member

    The level of system integration in a modern car is huge. So many systems are interdependent, unless you have detailed knowledge of the electrical architecture then you have no idea if any of the systems will work when you take one part of the system away. It’s not just the dash and abs/esp, it’s also the power steering, body control module, alarm systems, the list goes on. Some ECUs also act as gateways for CAN systems, so take one of those away and other parts of the car will start to play up in a way that you might not expect. You also have network management functions which are very sensitive to the power up sequence and can prevent the car from shutting down correctly if not respected. Ok a mk1 leaf might not be at the cutting edge of modern day electrical systems, but cars going back 10 years – such as the leaf – will still be complex.

    Messing about with modern cars isn’t like restoring an old Porsche, Land Rover or camper van. It’s not a case of just a bunch of wires providing 12v and a ground, it’s way beyond that. The point I’m making is that the OP could spend a load of time and effort getting the mechanical systems (roughly) together, but then he might find he hits a brick wall because of a software integration issue that he has no chance of fixing. On the other hand he might be very lucky and not have any issues, but i would be surprised if this is the case. If he wants a fun project where he changes the driveline, then an old land rover / Porsche would be a much better bet, and be a nicer car than a leaf at the end of it all too.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Full Member

    How about a Meteor engine?

    engine swap, then talking to him a year later when it was still almost done

    Have a look for a thread on PistonHeads where a chaps put a Lexus(?) V8 into a Renault Espace. Makes a year seem like nothing.

    Premier Icon the00
    Free Member

    A fun thought experiment perhaps, but I don’t see the appeal of the finished vehicle. The only reason to do it would be novelty, which puts you in the same bracket as a driving garden shed or a car covered in fake grass. Probably I’m lazy, but if I put that much effort in to something I’d want it to be for more than just a weak joke.

    Premier Icon tall_martin
    Full Member

    engine swap, then talking to him a year later when it was still almost done

    Have a look for a thread on PistonHeads where a chaps put a Lexus(?) V8 into a Renault Espace. Makes a year seem like nothing.

    5 years on and I would be surprised if he has finished it!

    Why not just go the whole hog and get a spitfire engine?

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    A fun thought experiment perhaps, but I don’t see the appeal of the finished vehicle. The only reason to do it would be novelty, which puts you in the same bracket as a driving garden shed or a car covered in fake grass. Probably I’m lazy, but if I put that much effort in to something I’d want it to be for more than just a weak joke.

    Pretty much my thoughts now I have done a bit of research into it.

    I managed to complete the To Do list I prepared at the start of lock down so was looking for a new challenge. I might just ask MrsWCA to repeat all the things she has asked me to do for the last two years instead.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Full Member

    That spitfire engine should sound awesome. It seems to be running at really low revs and sounds like a tractor. Wonder if it’s a meteor engine without the supercharger.

    Lovely looking vehicle mind.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    whatever you put in it, you’d still be in a Nissan Leaf though

    Premier Icon fettlin
    Full Member

    If you wanted the novelty value for a lot less work and hassle, why not look at a complete body swap instead?

    There must be some vehicles out there that have roughly the same wheelbase/width etc. lift the body off the dead Leaf and drop it onto the new chassis. no (or very little) complicated wiring/mechanical/functional issues for the same amount of curb amusement.

    Or drop it onto something completely silly, like a Discovery chassis with a lift kit.

    could call it a Land Ranger (i can touch the) Leaf(s)!

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