Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

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LrBen
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:09 pm
Great Britain

Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by LrBen »

Hi all,

New to the forum and to Leylands, this forum was very useful in researching if this model might be suitable for my intended project so I thought I would give a little content back. I have had the idea for this for a few years now, and have been slowly working up on smaller conversions since then. The form factor was very important for choosing what tractor to base this conversion on, it makes it much easier if the engine is not structural. Being a Leyland was a bonus as it feeds into my car taste of MGs, Rovers and Land Rovers.

I picked this up as a none runner last weekend after looking at it online all Christmas holidays, trying to convince myself that I needed another project lined up for when I finish the current MG F electric conversion.
Image

The plan is to strip it down and restore what is needed(so everything) and then build it back up with an electric motor and batteries.

Initial idea will be to use a Nissan Leaf motor which has about 60nm more torque than the engine, I will limit the top motor speed to the original engine as I don't think 10k rpm would be sensible. I'm looking at about 40kWh of battery capacity, not a huge amount for today's EVs but I think it will be ample for pottering around the yard. I am playing around with the idea of a new separate hydraulic system on a seperate motor to run a loader. The reason being I am planning to run this clutchless so allot of the time the motor rpm will be 0 if I am not moving. So I don't want to get into the situation where you have to stop the motor, put it out of gear, rev up the motor to operate the hydraulics, then stop the motor again before putting it back into gear to move off. But it's all up the air right now, I'm sure thing will change once I strip it down and get a better idea of where everything is and how it works.

I think it will be very suitable for small farm work with a loader, I am hoping to get it to work on my in laws farm once it is finished to prove the theory.

First step is to get try and get the engine running and then sell it on.
Initial overview of the engine reveal a missing core plug and very leak radiator. The starter solenoid was also knackered. We got it on tow and manage to fire the engine up eventually. Evidently had been stood still for a fair while as it spat allot of sediment and muck over the windscreen once it did come to life.
Now I know the engine will run I have a new core plug and starter solenoid on order. So this weekend I will try and get it running from the starter and up to temperature.

There might not be too many updates on this until the summer as I am going to focus on the current conversion project first. But I expect I will keep it ticking along once I find a good space in the shed to start stripping bits.


Jazo
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:51 pm
New Zealand

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by Jazo »

Hi, very interesting project, look forward too updates, thanks
3/45 with faster reductions and turbo
LrBen
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:09 pm
Great Britain

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by LrBen »

I did get around to sorting out the starter motor, core plugs and coolant hoses. Unfortunately the engine seems to be in worse condition that initially thought. When I bought it there was fresh oil in the sump, after the short tow start and some cranking on the starter the sump is now filling up with water from the looks of it. So I am assuming head gasket is blown.
The missing core plug might also suggest a lack of anti-freeze and sub zero temperatures, so it could be worse than just a head gasket.

Not to worry. I didn't buy it for the engine. It's still in storage for the moment, so when I get around to it in the summer I'll look at the engine more then. I suspect I will just sell the whole engine or strip it down and part it out.

I did have an idea for using the clutch pedal to inversely control motor rpm. so that I could keep the motor running to operate hydraulics, then dip the clutch to drop rpm to 0 in order to change gear. It should then operate as it did before. Would also avoid the entire secondary hydraulics system and the complications that would bring in terms of an additional motor and pump.
Rolf_K
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2022 10:31 pm
Sweden

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by Rolf_K »

I'm not a hydraulics guy but I wonder what happens to steering servo (if equipped) and any loads on the hydraulics if control valves are open when you (briefly) stop the motor with the "clutch".
And the PTO as well (if you intend to connect it).
LrBen
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:09 pm
Great Britain

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by LrBen »

Rolf_K wrote: Tue Mar 08, 2022 3:38 pm I'm not a hydraulics guy but I wonder what happens to steering servo (if equipped) and any loads on the hydraulics if control valves are open when you (briefly) stop the motor with the "clutch".
And the PTO as well (if you intend to connect it).
I think in terms of the hydraulics it would be the same as pushing in the clutch on a normal tractor when the hydraulic pump is internal to the gearbox. The clutch would shut off drive to the hydraulic pump as well. At least I think that is what happens. Might do a few tests on the farm loader tractor when the clutch is back in next week.

A quick google that ended up back here reveals that the 255 has a double clutch with the PTO and hydraulics driven from the same shaft. So potentially it might be that I need to keep the flywheel and traditional clutch setup anyway. I'll know more when I strip it down and get a real look at how it all works, might think of a way around that. Or it might be far easier to keep it.

The power steering pump can be replaced by a small 12v motor so that isn't such a hassle anyway.
Nowtnew
Senior Member
Posts: 638
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:49 am
Great Britain

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by Nowtnew »

Why not employ a secondary motor to drive the pto/hydraulics, or if that requires too much hp for the pto, leave the drive tube connected to the 'new engine' and employ a secondary motor/hydraulic pump arrangement, which wouldn't require that much power. Just tossing in ideas.
The only thing which I have introduced is the notion that while the pto requires 'full power' the hydraulics don't and as I think you have implied,the ability to have constant speed hydraulics might be useful.
Regards
farmerbraun
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:24 pm
New Zealand

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by farmerbraun »

Seems to me that the old style hyd/PTO set up where you can have the hydraulics disengaged , is perfect . The later ones where the hydraulics are always engaged would be a waste of battery power.
So I think that just putting the electric motor straight in to the clutch and flywheel with speed control /limiter will be the way to go . Do you even need a flywheel, given that the electric motor is the same thing?
farmerbraun
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:24 pm
New Zealand

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by farmerbraun »

And instead of power steering , just change the ratio of the steering box.
LrBen
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:09 pm
Great Britain

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by LrBen »

If I don't need a clutch then I can ignore the flywheel as well and just connect right into the gearbox shaft with a coupler.

I am pretty sure I have the older model where the hyd/PTO can be disengaged all the time which is useful.

That's an interesting idea on the power steering box ratio. Not read anything about that before. Might be an option if space ends up limited for a separate 12v pump for the power steering.
farmerbraun
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:24 pm
New Zealand

Re: Leyland 255 Electric Conversion

Post by farmerbraun »

I'd be inclined to keep the clutch ; you might be running a P.T.O implement and then want to move off, without stopping the PTO.
I imagine two or three preset speeds on the electric motor would be useful ; for 540, 540E and 1000 rpm at the pto. But a continuously variable PTO will still work with a rev. counter.
Given the high probability of a diesel drought in the near future , this could be a vital component of keeping a farm running , with animal welfare being the issue.
This is a lot of amateur fiddling going on.

https://www.resolve-ev.com/
Second hand Leaf motors seem to be freely available ; also old battery packs.
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