Nissan Leaf Motor Adapter Plate and Coupler

Coupling the Motor and Transmission

Connecting the Leaf motor to a transmission has been pretty frustrating, to say the least. Because the Leaf motor does not use a standard bolt pattern, a plate must be made to adapt it to something usable. A gentleman named Danny, in this thread on diyelectriccar.com, shared an adapter plate someone had designed for him. This file was not in a format that I could easily edit, so I used it as a template to create my own. I had been wanting to learn CAD for a while, so I saw this as an opportunity to take a crash course. I downloaded FreeCAD, which I used to make the files.

Adapter Plate

In all it’s messy glory…

This plate will bolt to the face of the Nissan Leaf motor, and then convert it to a standard NEMA B-face motor pattern as used with Warp motors and the like. The diameter is 8.4″, and the holes are 90* from each other. This allows the use of CanEV adapter plates, which can be found here: CanEV Adapter Plates. I got one used for $140, and the plate cost $380 to mill. So long as everything lines up, I’ll be far ahead of the game.

Shaft Coupler

The shafts of the motor and transmission need to be connected, and I’ve designed a simple coupler that uses two clutch centers to connect the splines. On the motor side, the clutch disc from a Suzuki Samurai will be used. It’s a loose fit, but when pressed into the coupler and welded it should shrink just enough. The other side is a clutch center for a 3.03 out of my ’66 Mustang. I swapped a T5 into it a while back, but kept the old transmission. I’ll be using it in the Mercedes. The coupler was about $200.

Does it fit?

I’m not sure, yet, but I’ll let you know. If you decide you want to mess around with these files, I have uploaded them here: Leaf Adapters. Feel free to do whatever you like with them.

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5 thoughts on “Nissan Leaf Motor Adapter Plate and Coupler”

  1. Have you tested the fit of the Suzuki clutch spline after welding it into the coupler? How loose is the fit now? I am debating using the input from the stock transmission, but I don’t want to waste a good transmission if the Suzuki clutch will work.

    1. It seems pretty good, actually. I think it will be work, but that remains to be seen once the car is actually moving and putting it under stress. It will slide on, but it doesn’t wiggle like it did before.

  2. do you have any pics of the coupler you made, i took the shaft of the leaf gearbox only to be told from the engineers that they cannot work with hardened steel.

    I have the fiat clutch centre, which is a loose fit, my only concern is will it strip the splines over time.

    1. I’m afraid that I don’t have any pictures of the completed coupler, but I have pictures of the components here: Coupler. I had to cut things a few times to get it right, but pressing the splined center into the coupler and welding it shrunk it enough to be a good fit.

How about that, eh? What do you think?