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    Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Now a double-build thread, the leaf and the charger (conservation and excess )

    So my leaf will be here in about 1-2 months, and I'm working on the audio system planning.

    So first off, to set the stage, the car is all electric. That, among other factors, means this build has to take into consideratiom completely different priorities that a "normal" system.

    (Kinda funny side-fact - the leaf will sit in the garage next to my 5-6mpg 1972 dodge charger with over 650hp and planned 2500w ... but you can imagine how much that thing gets driven )



    Anyway - The primary design consideration is power consumption/efficiency/impact to range.

    DESIGN GOAL 1: <10% reduction in range in most conditions, even if system cranked continuously

    The leaf generally gets 100 miles per change, using a 24kw/h battery pack. In freeway driving that goes down, situations change, whatever. Point is, if we drive 25mph average (city driving), that's 4 hours. Any other conditions will be less time, so very rarely will we pass 4 hours of usage.
    Ok, so we have 4 hours, and the total pack is 24kw/h. Therefore, it's using 6kw/h per hour, or 6kw continuous while driving.
    With that in mind, if the stereo consumes 660w, that's 6.66 kw consumed when driving with stereo blasting. 24kw/h consumed at 6.66kw gives us 3.6h - 10% down.

    Therefore, absolute limit of additional consumed pwer is 660w. Converted to amperage at 12v, that's 55A
    Of course, the system will rarely constitute that much of a continuous drain, so range impact should be much less than 10%.

    Quick note, the car operates at 480v or something like that, but has a 12v dc/dc converter and a standard 12v battery to operate accessories. The DC/DC is assumed to be over 100A capacity in order to allow for charging the battery in case of a run-dry, so 55A consumption should be OK.

    DESIGN GOAL 2: minimal increase in weight

    This one is pretty self explanatory, and also contributes to the idea above about not reducing range.

    DESIGN GOAL 3: Minimum long-term impact on interior

    Given the rapid changes to electric cars expected over the next 3-5 years, it's probably advisable to lease the car rather than purchase. Or be ready to sell at minimal notice. Either way, absolutely minimum impact to the interior is required.


    DESIGN GOAL 4: retain stock head unit

    The factory stereo is a large touch-screen unit that integrates with MANY car functions including climate control, navigation (with integrated charging station mapping), carwings, etc. I'm not sure it could be extracted, but even if it could, there would be enough degradation in functionality to justify keeping it. Plus, it plays into the above.

    So those all relate to the car's specific design goals, now my personal design goals (taste, preference, etc.)

    DESIGN GOAL 5: stealthy install
    DESIGN GOAL 6: ~$3000 budget
    DESIGN GOAL 7: Focus on front stage sound quality
    DESIGN GOAL 8: retain functional rear speakers (but have them faded off when no rear passengers)
    DESIGN GOAL 9: Still want nice sub system




    So with all that in mind, I sat down with a pen and paper and put this together as a starting point:

    -Stock head unit.

    -Rear speakers on stock rear output

    -Replace rear speakers with Infinity CS6030 (stock system operates on 2 ohm) for a bit of quality boost for rear passengers. No, I dont' expect much improvement

    -Audiovox EQL operating as LOC and EQ. Connected to front output from head unit.

    -JL Audio XD700/5. This is one of the critical selections. At 2 ohms it puts the setup at 300w (2 ohm) subwoofer channel, and either 2-channel or 4-channel output (more on channel selection later). This amp was chosen pretty much exclusively on efficiency. I can find nothing that puts out this level of power at this efficiency level. They're apparently using a full-range implementation of class D to achieve this. There are a couple other companies doing similar things - Cerwin Vega and Pioneer that I found - but in both cases the amps were a bit larger, and would have broken my power "budget". Also get sub level control knob since it won't be on seperate channels from the amp.

    -3-way setup up front. Considerations: Precision Power PC3.65c component set possibly? Here's a critical choice I'm trying to make as well. I'm sure I want to go with a 3-way setup for the front, but I'm not completely locked in on configuration. The amp gives me the opportunity to put the midbass on a dedicated set of channels (2x100w if I use 2-ohm, 2x75w if 4-ohm - somewhere in between with 3-ohm, such as the precision power setup) and the mid-tweet on another set - which is what I think I'm going to do. Other options would be to bridge the amp and run 3-way passive (200x2@4 ohm), but I might need to find another component set for that since these are 3 ohm... or maybe the amp would be OK with 3 ohm since it's >80hz.
    Anyway, regardless of active/passive choices, I really like the set as it's gotten good subjective reviews, the magnets are neodymium (so very light), it's relatively affordable, I've been a lontime fan of PPI and I'm glad to see them coming back, and I like the small midrange flexible mounting options (might fit in a-pillar?, but even if not, very small kickpods)

    -3x Eminence Lab 12 Gen II subs. Reasoning: There are a few general ways to increase subwoofer efficiency - Increase power (no can do here), high efficiency boxes (some need lots of space, others negatively impact quality), or increase cone area. The space ( see: http://www.nissanusa.com/ev/media/im...cessory-10.jpg ) is reasonably generous, but given the stealth design goal, I'd like it to all fit below the hatch. Space limitations won't allow anything as big as a 15, and width won't allow more than 3 subs. The eminence subs have great subjective reviews, are 6 ohm (allowing for optimal power with 3 subs), seem to work well with the power output (100w per sub), and they work well with the right size box. All the other 6ohm subs I found were structured for more power and would've suffered somewhat as a result. I did see 4/8 ohm subs that looked good as well, but none really looked "better", specs-wise for this power and space and need for efficiency - and with them I'd have either been leaving a little power on the table (3x8ohm)or stuck with 2 (2x4ohm). Also, I looked at doing a ported design, but the port lengths and sizes would need to be far too large for this application.


    So what are your thoughts? Especially on front stage speaker selection and channel configuration, that's the one thing I'm least definitive about.

    I was a little in doubt about how nice a config I could set up with these limitations, but now that I'm looking at the layout, I really thing it's going to end up being a great system!
    Last edited by defiance; 04-27-2011 at 03:34 PM.







  2. #2
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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Thoughts? Buy a different vehicle.




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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    pics of charger?



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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    I've helped install a couple systems in Tesla Roadsters, so I'll say you're on the right track. Have you considered adding a 2nd battery just for the system? In the Teslas, we tied in small motorcycle batteries to the 12v system for the lights/interior stuff. That way it was getting trickle-charged with the standard charging system that charged the main battery pack.

    As far as the front stage, I can't comment on the PPi stuff, but some of the lower line Hertz/Focal products are nice and a very good value. Let me look up those subs. PS, you should probably expect the flaming...



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    [Bought from] dcmcki, 90accordman, MikeyB, itzme218, redcalimp5, SVT_RELAMPAGO, Johnny_Drama, RollinGTO, Fast1One, tc3k101, ramk1018, Brian_Smith06, John_Pionke, BigOso, TeamPSI, pickup1, PatFitz9, pro-rabbit, oldschoolboomer
    [Sold to] darqnez, tipnitty, Mugatu0, MrChow, nineball, SocialStealth, macq32, .livin.loud., slappinX, GlassEyez, Jeremy M, Honez
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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Both first two posts seem to be the best responses that could be given...



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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    So the subs have received pretty good reviews, although most have been HT reviews in huge horn loaded enclosures. If you're set on them, I'm sure you can achieve the SQ you're looking for, but I feel like you might be able to find smaller/lighter/more efficient drivers to achieve the same results. You should also consider the Alpine PDX-5 amp. We used it both times in the Roadsters. I don't remember if the XD700/5 was out yet though. Have you thought of an Audison bitone or JBL MS-8? They will give you more system tuning options and flexibility...



    2005 Escape XLT Sport
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    [Bought from] dcmcki, 90accordman, MikeyB, itzme218, redcalimp5, SVT_RELAMPAGO, Johnny_Drama, RollinGTO, Fast1One, tc3k101, ramk1018, Brian_Smith06, John_Pionke, BigOso, TeamPSI, pickup1, PatFitz9, pro-rabbit, oldschoolboomer
    [Sold to] darqnez, tipnitty, Mugatu0, MrChow, nineball, SocialStealth, macq32, .livin.loud., slappinX, GlassEyez, Jeremy M, Honez
    [Traded with] James Bang, MovnZ28

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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    After looking at the cargo area, you really don't have any pockets on the side walls to glass into for a sub. I'd build a false floor up to the line where the seats fold down and do 2 10s or 12s with the amp and processor in the middle.



    2005 Escape XLT Sport
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    [Bought from] dcmcki, 90accordman, MikeyB, itzme218, redcalimp5, SVT_RELAMPAGO, Johnny_Drama, RollinGTO, Fast1One, tc3k101, ramk1018, Brian_Smith06, John_Pionke, BigOso, TeamPSI, pickup1, PatFitz9, pro-rabbit, oldschoolboomer
    [Sold to] darqnez, tipnitty, Mugatu0, MrChow, nineball, SocialStealth, macq32, .livin.loud., slappinX, GlassEyez, Jeremy M, Honez
    [Traded with] James Bang, MovnZ28

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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserRed38 View Post
    After looking at the cargo area, you really don't have any pockets on the side walls to glass into for a sub. I'd build a false floor up to the line where the seats fold down and do 2 10s or 12s with the amp and processor in the middle.
    Pretty much what I was thinking, but with 3 in a slightly concave box and the amps on a "floating" rack above the front of the box... Measuring the "square" area at a test drive event, someone got it at about 40x13x22 "below the line", so over 6 cubic ft... And of course, a little more than that can be gained by 'glassing it (in addition to the weight savings). I should be able to keep the subs above 1.5cuft each while getting enough of a drop in the center for the amp to still fit below the false floor. I've done some rough sketches, plan to put together a sketchup in a bit.

    I'm definitely open to different subs - any suggestions? I liked these because they have the optimal impedence to use 3, reasonably high efficiency, worked well in subjective tests I read with a little more than 1.5 cuft (which is what they will have here), and seem optimized for relatively low power. I haven't payed close attention to the market for about 5+ years, so I could easily have overlooked a better option!


    That PDX-5 looks really nice! Pretty similar to the JL, though, and I can get it locally for a great price. That JBL MS-8 looks amazing - And I think it's a good counter-point to the difficulty of setting up an active crossed over 3-way setup. I'll look at the bit one as well, but I've always been a fan of JBL, and I can get it locally, so that's probably the way I'll go there. Again, I missed out on these things by not paying much attention the past 5 years or so...




    The charger pics are a bit out of date, but : http://www.cardomain.com/ride/232449...-dodge-charger. Unfortunately the only good stereo-related pics are the dash module and the sub box. I'm pretty proud of that box though and the dash came out really nice too. I just pulled apart the trunk again to try to come up with something I like. I think I might try out the cerwin vega amps - I'd like to see what the s2000 amp will do. Hopefully that will be soon. We'll see. For now the focus goes on to a car I'll actually drive a lot though (the leaf).


    To the "different car" ppl - how 'bout you find a "different thread"... I'm not trying to convert anyone. This car will work amazingly well and exceptionally economically in my situation, will still support the power for a good system with minimal impact, and is near-dead-silent when driving. If you don't want one, don't buy one. Why someone would bother to waste their time complaining about someone else's car choices is beyond me.




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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Glad I could help bud. Have you considered making a carbon fiber enclosure? It's not much different from working with fiberglass, but the weight/strength properties will outweigh the higher cost for a roll. Especially in a car like this, where every ounce/pound will hurt your range. I see that you're looking to get as much bass as possible for your application, but depending on what sub you end up choosing, you will easily fill that little cabin with enough bass to pound. Remember it's a hatchback, so you will have a lot of cabin gain. 2 10s or even 2-3 8s would be plenty...

    I'll give you more suggestions later, but consider this for your front stage - I'm doing the same thing - run the midbass active off the rear channels of the amp and the midrange/tweet passive off the front channels. If you are doing the midrange/tweet on the pillar together, you won't need to worry about T/A issues, as they will be on the same plane. And most passive Xovers should have enough adjustment for Xover points. I'm working on a similar solution right now. Mids in the doors bandpassed, midrange and tweets passive on the pillars. I don't have them installed yet (might be changing cars) but we've done lots of systems that way and it works well, especially if you have an external processor to fine tune...



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    Refs
    [Bought from] dcmcki, 90accordman, MikeyB, itzme218, redcalimp5, SVT_RELAMPAGO, Johnny_Drama, RollinGTO, Fast1One, tc3k101, ramk1018, Brian_Smith06, John_Pionke, BigOso, TeamPSI, pickup1, PatFitz9, pro-rabbit, oldschoolboomer
    [Sold to] darqnez, tipnitty, Mugatu0, MrChow, nineball, SocialStealth, macq32, .livin.loud., slappinX, GlassEyez, Jeremy M, Honez
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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Who does a build log without pics?



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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    For the front stage look into Hybrid Audio Technologies, the Imagines usually go for right around $200



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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by buck View Post
    who does a build log without pics?
    lacrx




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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by budahbuddy803 View Post
    lacrx
    False, he puts pics of the cars up.



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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Carbon fiber huh? Never worked with it, I'll look into it... I worry about cost, especially since every time I start a fiberglass project I usually have 2-3 false starts... Couple that with having never worked with CF, and at $35+ per yard (best cost I could find on a quick search), that would get expensive *FAST* Still, you're right, the weight savings would be worth it if I could get it right the first time....

    Maybe I could make the shell out of fiberglass, then make a mold and carbon fiber to the mold? That way I could do it outside the car and avoid verticals and other things I always have trouble with.
    Something to think about anyway.

    I'm not overly familiar with CF - how much is minimum for good box integrity (I know it would vary, but given that I'm limited to <500w no matter what I do)- would a single layer 6oz be enough?

    For the subs, I'm trying to be sure i build to competition rules compliance too, so I can at least make appearances at local competitions. So I'm not willing do dump all the power into subs, but I would like to optimize output from what I do have, so long as it doesn't sacrifice sq when I've got them turned down, and I think 3 12's does that. Plus, it's part of proving the point that I can still get nice sub output without killing the power system.


    Pics will come as there's something to take a picture of. It's currently in the theoretical stage; as soon as I've locked down exact layout I'll start on equipment acquisition - but it's still going to be another month, possibly more, before the car gets here due to the way Nissan's Leaf ordering system works. But since the hope is to begin work as soon as it's here, I plan to finalize the components list (except for subs since I want to measure that hatch myself) and get parts on their way soon.

    Since people have shown interest, maybe I'll make this a dual build thread and do some work on the charger in the meantime... Yeah, OK, that's not a bad idea. I'll gather up what pics I have and post them up, edit the subject line, and post details here.




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    Re: Little bit different build - Nissan leaf

    Ok, as requested, this is now a dual- build thread. Which actually makes quite a bit of sense, since both of these cars are going to have significant delays (the leaf while waiting on the car to get here, the charger while waiting on leaf work, etc.).

    I won't got back to detail all the stages this has gone through, just the last stage. About 6 years ago I was on the cusp of literally GIVING this car away to a family member. I'd put a lot of work into it, and the issues kept getting worse. The events that really were the cusp: I found that a head gasket was blown, couldn't get the head out with the engine in the car, and then realized there was a crapload of scoring in the block. Then, I found some slight rust bubbles under the vinyl top, so removed it to clean it up and put a new one on, and found a nasty rust-cancerous mess with large sections of the roof eaten pretty much through.



    But I made the (probably bad ) decision that I wasn't going to give up. Instead, I'd consider everything I had done before to be a loss and completely start over with a *REAL* build. Before, I had attempted to take what was there and tweak and fix issues only. Now I was going to do it RIGHT, from the ground up.

    So first, the part that you're likely less interested in: I pulled out the engine & tranny, then sent the shell to a highly recommended shop locally. It took them a few years (yes, seriously), but they stripped it to bare metal, any signs of rust cut out and replaced, cleaned up, and repainted.
    before:

    after:



    In the meantime,
    I rebuilt the engine COMPLETELY. Stripped it to the bare block, machined it back into shape, then built it with a forged, balanced, lightweight stroker rotating assembly (bringing the ci to 505), CNC ported aluminum heads, main cap & girdle kit, victor EFI manifold, 105mm throttle body, etc.etc.etc. - then bolted it to a race-built version of the stock transmission. When the car finally got back to me years after putting it in the body shop, I acquired a RMS Racing AlterKtion K-frame (higher performance and about 200lbs lighter than stock K-frame.
    Engine/transmision/k-frame all bolted together (I put it all in from underneath the car):

    I also built a Dana 60 rear with disc brakes, relocated the springs a couple inches inboard, and got 10.5" wide rear wheels with 315mm wide tires. It's not easily visible there, but cal-trac style traction bars were fabricated for the rear end as well.

    I also just finished welding up the exhaust, but don't have any pics of that. 3" dual with x-pipe and magnaflow mufflers. Nothing fancy at all, but should be quite functional.




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