Drivesolo
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Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:31 pm

So I had to revise my original post. In the past when I've sourced part numbers off of Courtesy Nissan's catalog and used them at my local dealership I was only using part of the actual part number. I took a look at the L32's front suspension page and saw that almost every part for the L32 matched the B16 which matched the ZE0. A red flag went up. I have a suspicion that this can't be possible. Upon clicking on the part and seeing more details of it, the 3 components for the ZE0's front suspension (dampener, spring and hat) is as follows:

Dampener: 54302K-ZE001(RH) / 54303K-ZE001(LH)
Spring: 54010M-ZE001
Hat: 54320-ZE001(RH) / 54320+A-ZE001(LH)

For an B16 (QR25DE, automatic ):
Dampener: 54302K-B16U005(RH) / 54303K-B16U005(LH)
Spring: 54010M-B16U005
Hat: 54320-B16U005(RH) / 54320+A-B16U005(LH)

It's that "suffix" of ZE001 that makes that part specific to the Leaf. In the past the dealership already knew the car model and year so when I would give the part number it the suffix was understood. I suspect that since they have different part numbers for different models of B16 Sentra models that the part difference between the likelihood that a B16's suspension and a ZE0 is unlikely.

Sorry if this caused any confusion. If anything this review of part numbers shows that the Versa's suspension components can not be used on the Leaf. The weight difference between the two is evidence of that. Until I can get a hold of the suspension components of a B16 and a ZE0 and compare the side by side, I won't completely rule it out as a possibility. Again, sorry for the confusion.


--- Original Post ---
At the time that I'm writing this post there currently are no performance suspension options that aftermarket manufacturers advertise for the Nissan Leaf. Not surprising since the car was never intended to be a performance vehicle and it is still very new. But a lot of people are looking to improve its ride and handling. The appearance by lowering it can be improved and also should result in a slight improvement in aerodynamics, possibly increasing the range for those that do a lot of highway driving.

Nissan is well known for being a manufacturer that has a vast amount of interchangeability of parts in between different models even of different years. If the Leafs suspension components could be mapped to other components in another existing model(s) it would be possible to acquire aftermarket parts for the associated model suspensions to use on the Leaf. When you think of a comparable Nissan chassis to a Leaf (Chassis Code: ZE0), the Versa (Chassis Code: SC11X) naturally comes to mind. I went to Courtesy Nissan's website; they have an online parts catalog of OEM parts w/ the Nissan part numbers. I did a direct comparison of the front suspensions of the Versa to the Leaf and found that there is a distinct difference in the suspension parts they used. Primarily I was looking for the 3 main components; dampener, spring and hat for the front suspension. All 3 were different parts between the two. Since the Leaf is considerably heavier vehicle than the Versa, I looked at the 2011 Sentra (Chassis Code: B16) next:

2011 Versa (SC11X):2610 lbs
2011 Sentra (B16): 2975 lbs
2011 Leaf (ZE0): 3354 lbs

So I did a comparison of the front suspensions of a Leaf and Sentra:
Leaf: http://www.courtesyparts.com/leaf-parts ... 10325.html
Sentra: http://www.courtesyparts.com/sentra-par ... _5988.html

The front suspensions match!:
Dampener: 54302K(RH) / 54303K(LH)
Spring: 54010M
Hat: 54320(RH) / 54320+A(LH)

The rears suspension is not as straight forward of a match as the fronts. The rear suspension on both the Leaf and the Sentra are similar in construction however the dampeners are different.
Leaf: http://www.courtesyparts.com/leaf-parts ... 10327.html
Sentra: http://www.courtesyparts.com/sentra-par ... _5990.html

For the rear suspension the parts of concern are the dampener, spring and spring seats (top and bottom)

Spring: 55020M
Top Spring mount: 55034
Lower Spring mount: 55032M

Luckily the dampener and all associated parts of the dampener are the same as the Altima (Chassis Code: L32):
http://www.courtesyparts.com/altima-par ... _6307.html

Dampener: 56210K

Conclusion:
Seems like lowering springs for a B16 will work for the ZE0 Leaf if all you are looking for is a drop. For more adjustability, a compete coilover kit for the B16 might work well assuming that it the rear does not swap in a coilover setup and utilizing the OEM dampener. However it would probably make more sense to get a matched dampener for an L32 Altima to use in conjunction w/ the spring.
Last edited by Drivesolo on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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mxp
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Thank you Drivesolo! Excellent post. Very informative!

Interesting that the Sentra chassis is comparable to the Leaf. Everyone usually compare it with the Versa.

I wonder what other cool OEM car parts from the top of the line model Sentra or the Sentra R that can be used on a Leaf.... Let's call it "OEM mods for the Leaf"!

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DaveEV
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:57 pm

mxp wrote:Thank you Drivesolo! Excellent post. Very informative!
+1 I tried doing something similar a while back but didn't have any luck.

Edit: I don't read carefully enough!
Last edited by DaveEV on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

nader
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:01 pm

Nice Find.

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DaveEV
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:05 pm

OK, upon closer inspection using the links from Drivesolo:

The main front/rear suspension bits (front/rear springs, front struts, front swaybar, rear torsion beam) are ALL shared betwen the Sentra B16A and LEAF - EXCEPT for the rear shock which is from the Altima L32.

Edited my earlier post accordingly (and this one) - I apparently didn't read Drivesolo's post closely enough!

So easy suspension upgrade will be getting aftermarket Sentra B16U springs, front swaybar front struts and Altima L32 rear shocks.

Edit 2: The Altima L32 also shares the same front struts and swaybar as the LEAF/Sentra.

Drivesolo
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:24 pm

drees wrote:OK, upon closer inspection using the links from Drivesolo:

The main front/rear suspension bits (front/rear springs, front struts, front swaybar, rear torsion beam) are ALL shared betwen the Sentra B16A and LEAF - EXCEPT for the rear shock which is from the Altima L32.
Correct. A set of aftermarket lowering springs for a B16 Sentra should work for a ZE0 Leaf.

Once you go beyond just lowering then you have to concern yourself about matching your spring rates to your dampeners. Let's say you decide w/ the following piece mealed setup:

Koni Yellows fronts for a B16
Koni Yellows rears for an LC32
Eibach Springs for a B16

It wouldn't necessarily optimize the rears (who knows?... maybe it would). I assume the the difference in weight between the B16 and the Leaf is primarily in the rear of the Leaf since the battery is mid-ship and biased towards the rear. This probably makes for a close to 50/50 balance. Generally that type of balance is preferred for RWD chassis but I'm certain that it would works well for FF as well.
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DaveEV
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:00 pm

Drivesolo wrote:Once you go beyond just lowering then you have to concern yourself about matching your spring rates to your dampeners.
Based on the way the car drives now (and many agree) that it's under-damped on the stock struts/springs. I really worry about installing shorter, stiffer springs without also upgrading the struts/shocks.
Drivesolo wrote:Let's say you decide w/ the following piece mealed setup:

Koni Yellows fronts for a B16
Koni Yellows rears for an LC32
Eibach Springs for a B16
The biggest probem is that I can't seem to find that Koni even makes struts/shocks for the B16 or L32. Have you had any luck?
Drivesolo wrote:It wouldn't necessarily optimize the rears (who knows?... maybe it would). I assume the the difference in weight between the B16 and the Leaf is primarily in the rear of the Leaf since the battery is mid-ship and biased towards the rear. This probably makes for a close to 50/50 balance. Generally that type of balance is preferred for RWD chassis but I'm certain that it would works well for FF as well.
It would probably be close enough for street driving. I'm sure that the extra weight of the LEAF especially towards the rear justifies the use of a shock from a heavier vehicle in the rear.

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Re: Leaf suspension options

Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:11 am

drees wrote: The biggest probem is that I can't seem to find that Koni even makes struts/shocks for the B16 or L32. Have you had any luck?
Nah, I did a quick check this morning and you're right, Koni doesn't seem to make a dampener for the B16 of L32. I just pulled that example off the top of my head since I've used that setup on another car before.

So I had to revise my original post. In the past when I've sourced part numbers off of Courtesy Nissan's catalog and used them at my local dealership I was only using part of the actual part number. I took a look at the L32's Front suspension page and saw that almost every part for the L32 matched the B16 which matched the ZE0. A red flag went up. I have a suspicion that this can't be possible. Upon clicking on the part and seeing more details of it, the 3 components for the ZE0's front suspension (dampener, spring and hat) is as follows:

Dampener: 54302K-ZE001(RH) / 54303K-ZE001(LH)
Spring: 54010M-ZE001
Hat: 54320-ZE001(RH) / 54320+A-ZE001(LH)

For an B16 (QR25DE, automatic ):
Dampener: 54302K-B16U005(RH) / 54303K-B16U005(LH)
Spring: 54010M-B16U005
Hat: 54320-B16U005(RH) / 54320+A-B16U005(LH)

It's that "suffix" of ZE001 that makes that part specific to the Leaf. In the past the dealership already knew the car model and year so when I would give the part number it the suffix was understood. I suspect that since they have different part numbers for different models of B16 Sentra models that the part difference between the likelihood that a B16's suspension and a ZE0 is unlikely.

Sorry if this caused any confusion. If anything this review of part numbers shows that the Versa's suspension components can not be used on the Leaf. The weight difference between the two is evidence of that. Until I can get a hold of the suspension components of a B16 and a ZE0 and compare the side by side, I won't completely rule it out as a possibility. Again, sorry for the confusion.
Last edited by Drivesolo on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Racing improves the breed." - Soichiro Honda

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aqn
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:24 pm

Drivesolo wrote:So I had to revise my original post. [...]
Bummer! Oh well, it was good while it lasted! :D It's still a good find, though, since now I know where to find part numbers for the LEAF.
Anna Nguyen

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awiegel
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Re: Leaf suspension options

Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:22 pm

Somebody modified a Leaf for a run up Pike's Peak. From the photos, the car looks lowered, and the article mentioned suspension modification. The car also has some nice wheels holding sticky tires. Does anyone have any idea who prep'd that car?

Image

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