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.
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.
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.