Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

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israndy
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Schweet! Where did you find cheap Leaf cells? Where are you located, incase you don't want some of your old cells?

Despite all my write-ups about cheap Chinese battery monitors I appear to be going w/o after having dropped my wireless display overboard. If I had known that the Dugas software was so complete I would never have tapped the 12v power connector in the first place which would have saved me a lot of work.

I do recommend getting the Battery Balance boards from China, 'cause they took forever to get here. Otherwise just put the cells together with steel rods and with the bike on it's side slide them sideways into the cavity left by the NiMH and hook it up and install the new firmware. Really quite simple. Don't even need to put the old fans or temp sensors back. I did wedge it in place with blocks of wood front and back. And I filled the holes with hot glue again to prevent water intrusion, but I didn't have a big enough glue gun to actually immobilize the batteries with the glue like the bike came from the factory.

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UncleMike1
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

I found a guy in Florida who does a lot of EV conversion work and recovers Leaf cells from vehicles. He is proposing the charger / BMS combo but I have an internal debate on how much I would give up with the current integration with the onboard charger. I have yet to see the exact details so I will keep you posted as that materializes.

I live near Chicago. I don't want the old cells at all.

I am not yet at the point where I can even get the system running so monitoring is much further down the road for me.

The temp sensors seemed like a good idea based on the Antiscab youtube video. I assumed they would shut the bike off if they got too hot during discharge, is that not true, or is that not an issue for concern?

My next step, for now, would be just the removal of the old and prep for the cells when they eventually arrive. Two full packs are coming in the next month that I will get mine from. I am happy to wait. The estimated cost of the cells is $1700. I didn't shop around so I don't know if it's reasonable or not but the guy is in the US and very knowledgeable.

Have you considered maybe using angle iron or aluminum bracket to back them?

Mike

2007 Vectrix VX-1 Work In Progress

UncleMike1
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

I will try this again.

I found a guy in one of the FB groups who has some experience with Leaf Batteries. He's pretty knowledgeable. I don't know how cheap the cells are, he is asking $100 each for Gen 2. I am in Chicago and you are welcome to my old cells if you want them.

I am not too concerned about the monitoring part just yet. I am still trying to get it booted up. I am considering a BMS, but the article shared previously talked about bottom balancing, which I am still trying to get my head around.

It does seem somewhat straight forward and I appreciate the suggestions. I may reach out if I get stuck if that's ok?

Mike

2007 Vectrix VX-1 Work In Progress

Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Welcome, Mike! I bought my 19 Gen 2 Leaf modules for $1,330 from Tech Direct Club two years ago. The price included 18 bus bars + hardware (needed unless you modify and reuse bus bars from your NiMH pack), compression plates (I used them and actually have some extras, but not everyone compresses their packs), and threaded rods + nuts (too short for a 19-module pack, so I bought longer rods from Home Depot). Had I been thinking at the time, I would have also purchased the factory Nissan orange/white plastic covers with BMS wiring for a cleaner install (which probably requires compressing the pack). I have since picked the covers up but have yet to install them. I will likely use that wiring plus the balance boards that israndy bought, unless I magically find a good/cheap BMS option in the meantime.

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2007 Vectrix VX-1 (19 gen2 Leaf modules, ESD charger)
2013 Nissan Leaf SV

UncleMike1
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Thanks for the insight Kevin. Tech Direct Club doesn't seem to have any in stock. My contact told me a lot of the salvage Leafs are being sold and exported to other countries. So, the cost is going up. If anyone has a good source, let me know.

Thanks!

2007 Vectrix VX-1 Work In Progress

israndy
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Well, it's been a year and a half since I did the upgrade and since the last time I rode the upgraded bike and the batts went flat. Apparently you can't let Lithium batts just sit. Gotta remember to plug it in every couple of months.

I installed a wire to allow me to charge it from a 150v 6w charger in the boot. Will be interesting to see if I killed the battery pack, it was down to 8 volts from the normal 150v. Yikes!

At least if it ever happens again I can goose it with this charger now, get it up to the point where the internal charger will charge it the rest of the way up.

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israndy
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

So I hooked up my 150v LED power supply to the bike for a couple of days, it never got above 112 volts. I noticed that the passive balancers we ALL lit up so I turned off the power and gave them a couple of days to balance but they never did. I tried unplugging them to reset their idea of what was going on but a few hours later they were back to all the LEDs being full brightness.

I went to hook the battery tester that I had originally hooked up to the individual cells, even found the cable I made to get the reading from both cells. Hooked up the front one and started it to charge but I wanted to test the cells that were showing zero volts. Unfortunately I feared I would get confused and hook the cells up backwards. I started to remove all the buss bars and the balance leads to allow me to see the colors on each battery when I noticed a bend in the metal of the front unit.

Looking more carefully it appeared that the batteries had expanded as I was not sent a full plate for the batteries that the Leaf normally uses to keep the cells together, just something big enough to go over the bolt heads. I tried to take the bike apart by removing the wires and the foam I had put in front of the batteries, but they had expanded into a wood block I put behind the batteries and no amount of force could pull the batteries from the compartment, they are fully wedged in place.

Any suggestions on pulling the pack out? I may have killed the whole bike. If I do get them out, I'll try a Chevy battery pack next time.

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MOSFETmeltdown
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Hmm,
What's your access to the wooden block? - can you drill it away?
Lever the pack up?
Difficult.

israndy
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Not sure if this helps:

IMG_8940.jpeg
IMG_8941.jpeg

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MOSFETmeltdown
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

OK, hammer and chisel time then. With that board out of there, you should be goot to go.
Just splinter it and remove bit-by-bit.

PJD
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Apparently you can't let Lithium batts just sit.

Normally, you can let lithium batteries sit indefinitely. On both my Current scooter and Smart ED, I let them sit at about 60% SOC indefinitely with no sign of self-discharge. The bike must have discharged them due to a problem somewhere. It is a good idea to disconnect the battery pack for long storage. The Current scooter has a "winter switch" for doing this.

As far as removing the cells, can you try a slide-hammer like is used for pulling hubs or bearings in cars? Put a few large wood-screw eyes in the board to attach the hammer to. Also, spray generous amounts of silicone both sides of the board and adjacent modules.

Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

I was going to recommend the same as PJD to remove the piece of wood. It seems like drilling and chiseling near the bloated module is just asking for trouble...

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2007 Vectrix VX-1 (19 gen2 Leaf modules, ESD charger)
2013 Nissan Leaf SV

R
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

beware. Robot spams will capture that email and send him massive spam....

R
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

Pair of coments. Vectrix system is always turned on. It drains energy. If you plan to store vectrix, unplug battery, or perform monthly charge. On the other hand, that lithium is damaged, I doubt it will be functional.
I suggest you install vectrix BMS, and use latest 2020 firmwares for lithium, the way you have the battery controlled is kind of dangerous prototype.

israndy
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Re: Another NiMH -> Leaf Battery upgrade

What's dangerous? I don't understand your comment. The only thing I seem to have done wrong is not putting metal end caps that Nissan used on their packs originally.

Also, I tried the trick with the bolt into the wood, sadly I am 60 so I was unable to put enough force into pulling the wood out. I also tried to pulling the batts out at the same time. Seems like when I pull the pack the steel rods are getting wedged into the wood and won't clear the back of the battery cage. Also, I found after removing the foam in FRONT of the batteries that I had put a small piece of wood in front too so I am rather unable to move the battery, which was the idea at the time. I started to pick at the wood in the back, perhaps if I get a 10" drill bit I can drill it to pieces and vacuum out the sawdust. I drilled out the top half of the wood and nothing happened so probably not any real pressure on that part of the wood. Off to the hardware store...

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I also own a 2018 Tesla Model 3 and a 2012 Mitsubishi iMiev

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