3D Printed Parts

Charge Cover Release Lever for My Nissan Leaf

My car - a Nissan Leaf (2011) - is known for the plastic of the charge cover release lever being particularly brittle; apparently Nissan have fixed this in the newer cars, but in mine, it eventually broke off in my hand (ouch...) and needed replacing.

Nissan offers the entire cable assembly as a replacement for a sizeable sum, so rather than do that, I did a little digging online and found this on Thingiverse: Nissan LEAF 2011-2012 charge port release by JNissi.

In my ignorance, I initially assumed that the part would be the same everywhere, but JNissi's part was for a left-hand-drive car in the US, and naturally, Nissan have mirrored the parts for the right-hand-drive version sold in the UK, so my initial print didn't fit.

I mirrored the part using OpenSCAD, then printed again, and the result was this!

A few coats of paint later, and we have this! Good as new!

I've been using this one ever since, and it is much more robust than the old one. I don't even think about it being a custom part.

If anyone has access to a transparent sticker printer, I'd pay for a good one-off replacement icon for the lever :)

Replacement CHAdeMO Socket Cover

Also on my car, the high-current DC charge connector (The CHAdeMO socket) has a cover that has to be flipped out to connect the plug, and the previous owner of the car seems to have fallen foul of the common issue of snapping this cover off by closing the outer flap before closing the cover.

Its very easily done - one of my friends, thinking they would help, did try and do the same for the J1772 connector on the other side without noticing the cover either.

Almost all of the places that I charge the car are outside, so having the connections in the socket open to the elements (UK weather, yaaay...) isn't a great idea, so initially I thought I would just have the socket replaced in its entirity.

Unfortunately, the cost of a replacement socket is (at the time of writing) £70! So rather than shell out for that, I figured I could print a 'plug' to cover the connectors and call it a day.

The files for this object are up on Thingiverse, if you would like to print one yourself. I printed this in ABS at 0.2mm resolution, low quality, and it just slides into the socket like a glove, and the cover closes without fouling on anything.

Perched in the charge flap, for scale, mostly. The damange to the CHAdeMO cover can be seen (by its total abscence...). With some careful measuring, I could probably print a new flap entirely, as the spring and mountings are still there, but I'm not sure how difficult it would be to get the socket out to the state that I could attach the replacement.

But this works for now! It sits nicely in there as a light friction fit, and the cover doesn't foul on the plug as you close the flap either. I figured I had a bit of room here, too, so started thinking about making it look a bit fancier...

Some time later, and some Thingiverse searching, I found this Nissan keychain, and with a little modification to remove the key-loop, I had this. Printing it flat with the bed results in two completely flat, smooth surfaces to glue together, which is a nice bonus.

At this point, I'm so deep into this semi-pointless project, I might as well just carry on and paint it too. Here I've done the base coats on both parts, and have just been inking the letters prior to masking the face off for the top coats to go on for the smooth finish, once I've given these time to dry (my damp workshop tends to make paint take forever to dry).

... and while writing this article, I just noticed that the logo should have been on 45 degrees over. Oh well, it'll just have to be at a jaunty angle then.