New motor mounting plate for the Avant XXL version

So after spending 5 minutes on the CAD, just as long on the CAM and 20 minutes on the mill I had a new mounting plate for the XXL motor.

I really like the finish of the milled aluminium, with chamfers and all. (It looks better IRL, the camera catches all the scratches and dings)

The plate fits the motor perfectly and mounts with 3pcs M6 bolts and 2pcs M8 bolts, holding it all securely in place.

Since the motor is a lot smaller than the QS180 motor I’ll probably be able to fit another battery pack in here. I’ll just have make a tray for the battery that I can bolt to the chassis.

I’ve got the parameters for the BAC4000 controller to run the new motor as well, so in theory I should just need to optimize the parameter file a bit and start the machine up again.. I’ll do a proper oil and filter service first though and replace a lot of the axles in the joints that’s worn out.. And I’ll try to be better at lubricating the joints in the future..

That’s all for this post, just a small update. To be continued..

Project start, electric conversion of the GasGas ec250f

So, since the petrol engine is running lean and I’d rather make the bike electric than spend time calibrating carburetor, I’ll start the project now – a few months earlier than planned.

This is the victim. A 2012 GasGas ec250f with a 290cc kit installed. I bought it just to do the conversion but had planned on running it as a gas-bike this summer as there are a lot of other projects I have to do… but, well.. I can’t say I’m sad to have to push this project up the priority list. 🙂

I’m going to run a QS180 90h motor paired with an APT96800 controller running at 72v. The reason for chosing 72v instead of 96v is that I’ve got quite a few 72v packs already and got the chargers and BMS:es I need to make this work. There’s nothing preventing me from upgrading to 96v in the future if it turns out it’s too dull at 72v.
I’ve got a pair of 30Ah batteries that are good for around 300A a piece that I’m going to run in this bike for now. Connected in series they should give quite a lot of *umph*, and last – well, hopefully for a bit of fun at least.

The first hurdle in this project is that the QS motor is here at the moment:

Buried under a lot of stuff in the Avant tractor I converted a few years back. The thing is, I need the Avant to keep running for other projects, so I’ll need to kick off replacing the QS with a LightningRods XXL motor I bought a while back for this purpose.

I got a “special edition” XXL motor with fan cooling that’ll be perfect for the application as it’ll sit stationary under the seat on the Avant. First sub-project will be making the belt wheel fit the axle and keyway of the XXL.

To do this I need the manual mill to be running, and I fried the motor on that one a while back milling unsuitable materials.. In the last post I repaired it with an 800w motor, all that was left to do now was to set it up properly. After a bit of fiddling I got it square enough and set the wheel up in the mill chuck I got just for this purpose, but when doing the first conversion.

Since I don’t have a DRO on the mill (I’ll have to get one later) I’m using a live center to center the part on the mill. I locked down the table to prevent it from moving and bolted down the chuck while keeping it centered with the quill.

Then all I had to do was drill the hole to just under size and ream the hole to size. 12mm hole for 12mm shaft. Perfect!

All that was left to do now was the keyway and I’ve got the tools for that.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the sleeve for 12mm holes, and I wanted to make the keyway now… so, sub-subproject: Making the sleeve.

Just had to find a 12mm axle and a tube with 12mm ID. Welded them together and set it up on the mill to make the proper slot.

I don’t know if the reamers are ment for 12mm holes, but there’s not a lot of material left after milling the slot in the sleeve. It’s quite hard to hold on to while taking the last few passes, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.. Good enough is .. good enough.

Having made the keyway and made sure the wheel fit on the XXL motor it was time to disect the Avant.

I’ve got to service this machine, it’s been running for years without doing anything to it, and it’s leaking hydraulic fluid from the filter.. That’ll be a later post.

After disconnecting all the wires, removing the battery packs and the controller I could finally get to the motor. Seems I did quite a proper job converting this machine as it’s really servicable. I am however going to try to fit three battery packs instead of the current two when I put it all together to get it running a bit longer. I’ve got two spare packs sitting on a shelf doing nothing constructive at all, better to put one to use.

Having removed the QS motor from the Avant I just had to make a size comparison. 🙂

The smallest one here is the Lightning Rods XL motor. It’s a bit more powerful than the BigBlock I’m using on the runbikes, and those do over 110km/h and are insanely powerful.. super fun toys! The XL is supposed to push about 50% more power than the BigBlock..

The center motor is the XXL that’s going into the Avant. I don’t have the proper numbers for it but it’s a larger diameter motor and quite a lot larger overall. That should give quite a lot more torque and it can push quite a lot of power. The Avant averages about 5kW, so this should be plenty.

To the right is the QS180. It’s a proper beast! I’m super stoked to see what that motor can do on a bike!

After having measured the offset of the belt wheel on the axle I set it up on the mill again to bore the hole larger to fit the retaining clip on the motor axle at the right height.

Time for a quick test fit and then CAD to make a conversion plate between the welded QS-motor bolt pattern and the XXL.

The first mockup is on the 3D-printer right now. After test fitting to see how it fits I’ll mill it from aluminium..

To be continued..

Recent and upcoming projects

As usual in busy times there’s been some time since this blog got updated.. It’s not that nothing’s going on, more so that there’s nothing interesting happening worth writing about.

The house project is coming along nicely and we’ve put down the floors in the entry and wc-spaces. These are ceramic tiles which is super nice combined with the floor heating. So this is where most of the “hobby-time” goes nowadays.

I’ve finished yet another bafang-ebike build. This time with the neighbours kid and he’s got a custom RR-battery too. Works great and he’s super happy with the bike!

We’ve yet again restarted the #EOD simchair project, this time making the frame from a sturdier and more easily joinable material..

Making a welded steel frame makes it easier to get all the angles and mounts where we want them.. and it makes for a super sturdy frame that won’t bend like the bolted aluminium one did. More on this project in future posts.

I tried to mill some wood with my manual mill too, which the 500w motor mounted on there didn’t like.. so it tripped the ground fault breaker and didn’t want to start again.. Had to order a replacement motor for it, this time an 800w motor. We’ll see if the electronics can keep up but from what I can see the mill was built to accomodate the bigger motor.

Unfortunately the new motor was broken when I got it.. as soon as I unpacked it two metal pieces fell out and the motor didn’t turn around. Easy fix using parts from the old motor, but quite annoying still.

So, for the future projects?

We got the kid a Talaria Sting for his 15:th birthday and I’ve been trying to go offroading on my moped too.. It’s not quite the right tool for the job though, so something had to be done about that..

.. so I went and got myself a 2012 Gasgas 250f with the intention of making it electric. It’s not running right at the moment, and it’s super noisy and while the plan was to run it as a petrol bike this summer and do the conversion come fall, maybe those plans’ll have to change..

I’m going to use the QS180 motor that I’ve got in the avant for the bike, as it’s peaking at 5kW in the avant and that’s pretty wasteful as it can do more than 32kw continuously. Got the controller and batteries and all, display and DCDC converters are on the way from china.

So, the first project will be replacing the QS motor in the Avant with the LightningRods XXL that I’ve got on the shelf. That’ll probably be what the next post here will be all about, before starting the NoGas conversion of the 250f.

Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for more project updates.

Bike season closing in

Today we finally got some sunshine and took a ride on our RunBikes on the snowmobile tracks.
Since we’ve had super cold weather the last few weeks the snow hasn’t gotten hard, so the tracks are super soft and tricky to ride. For february the conditions are super though.
We did a few minor (and some a bit more than minor) crashes but no injuries and apart from a lost rear fender the bikes stay together and run great.
Unfortunately I got a crappy angle on my gopro camera so the video sucks, but I managed to get a few good clips from some of the crashes.. so when I get around to it I’ll post something here.

Super nice to start riding again, let’s hope for a great spring this year and loads of riding!

CNC plasma CAD files

On popular request I’ve exported the CAD to STEP format for sharing. I’ve done a quick cleanup of the file and all parts named _NOTUSE are not to be used. Most of the custom parts I’ve milled from aluminium but a good 3D print should work just as fine.

If you download and use the file please look at it as a template and feel free to improve wherever it needs improving. My plasma is running with a CUT60 chinese plasma cutter and working fine.

Also, if you build the thing I’d be happy to hear back from you. Please post a comment here or on my youtube channel, and post a link to your build.

All the files and the code for the project is on my github:

Currently occupied..

So, I’ve recently gotten questions about the lack of updates on here. The reason is this – we’re in the middle of building an extension on our house and that takes pretty much all of the free time I have at the moment.

Snow is starting to fall though, and ice is setting on the water. I’ve gotten studs for the fat-wheels and soon we’ll hopefully be riding again.

Currently editing the video of the second bike build too, but that takes A LOT of time.. we’ll see when that’s done.

The second bike, progress

So, the footpegs I put on the bike were cheap, but not awesome..

They were flimsy and didn’t give any confidence at all. They were also too close to the frame, and too far forward.. So, new solution:
I got some proper footpegs at a great price, so I bought two pairs. These are a lot sturdier and more like the ones I had on my rally bikes. I’ll be mounting them about at the same position as where the BB would sit if I hadn’t put a custom subframe and footpegs on the bike. Feels a lot better when trying them out at that position.
Today I welded some mounts for the new footpegs. Hopefully I’ll get time to finish them tomorrow so that we can try them out. Since the frame is all powder coated and nice these will be bolt on, after finishing, sanding and paint of course.
So, this is about how it sits at the moment. Not too much left to do. I’ll have to wait for the new 99T rear sprocket and will try out a custom milled 11T front sprocket. It’s milled from aluminium at the moment which probably won’t last. When it fails I’ll either put an 12T I bought on ebay on there or I’ll mill the 11T from steel. I tried to make an 10T but the 12mm shaft is just too big, there’s no material left around it with a 10T sprocket.

Also, I made stickers since I kind of like the black/grey color scheme.. What do you think?

When the bike is finished I’ll post a youtube video of the entire build. I’ve also got a lot of questions about what components I’m using and the total cost for the build. I guess I’ll put a BOM together and take on the dreaded task of figuring out how much $$$ these two bikes have cost me.. :/

To be continued..

Starting another build

As the bike I built for the kid was such a fun ride I expedited the build of the second one – for me. =)

Since I’ve documented the previous build here I’ll make a proper youtube video covering the build of this next one. It will have all the same components except for the controller which will be a BAC4000 where the last bike had a BAC2000. The reason for this is that I’m double the weight of the kid and I need more power to keep up. 😀

Finishing steps and final assembly

So, after finishing the sand blasting of the frames we took a break and celebrated easter in the cabin with some nice snowmobiling and relaxing.

I spent more or less every night in a full week trying to get the paint off the frame. Considering the poor quality of the original paint it was surprisingly hard to remove.
When we got back from the cabin my dear friend Nils had put new powder coating on all the parts with a stunning result!
I must say I agree with my son, this frame looks much better in black! However having the nice looking frame I couldn’t mount the raw aluminium parts so I had to do something about that.
After properly degreasing and cleaning the parts I let them soak in lye for half an hour or so.
After the lye bath, inhaling loads of healthy hydrogen atoms in the process, the parts were properly rinsed and then the anodization process began. This is simply a bath of sulfuric acid and an adjustable power supply. The parts are submerged in the acid, the negative lead is connected to an aluminium sheet with a surface area equal to or larger than the part, and the positive lead is connected to the part to be anodized. This makes an oxide layer on the part that is a bit porous. The porosity and thickness of the oxide layer depends on the current flowing through the part and the time it’s left bubbling in the acid bath.

Since I wanted a thick uniform layer of color I let the parts anodize for about an hour at quite low amperage. The required current depends on the surface area of the part to be anodized but I usually kind of just guess and mostly it turns out OK. If not I’ll just redo the process from the lye bath and try again with different settings. =)

When the anodization is done I’ll just put the parts in a vat where I’ve mixed water and textile color, in this case black. The thickness and porosity of the part, the properties of the dye and how much color you want the part to get decides the temperature of the dye and the time it’s left soaking. Since I don’t know the properties of the dye and want the parts to be fully colored black I left the parts in the dye for as long as it took to clean and anodize the next part. This again -usually- turns out OK, but sometimes it doesn’t and then it’s back to the lye again..

To seal the porous oxide layer the parts are boiled for about 15 minutes – again depending on the properties of the oxide layer and so on. I’ve precviously had the water wash some of the dye out of the part so now I boil the parts while still in the dye bath.

It’s quite a time consuming process but the result makes it totally worth it! When I had the anodization going in the garage I anodized all the parts for the second bike as well. I’ll post more about that frame later.
Now that all the parts and the frame had the right color it was time for the final assembly. First the shock was installed to link the motor mount and rear swing to the frame.
After that I installed the updated motor and temporarily put the seat on…

This was to be able to test the fit of the 3d printed rear fender, which was too small and required a couple more prototypes before I had a good fit.

Once it’s there it looks pretty good.. (but later, after adding the aft part it looks a bit wierd, so a redesign of the rear fender is on the todo-list)
Front fork, wheel and handlebars installed..

Rear wheel, chain and so on..

Now we’re getting an idea of what the finished bike will look like..
Time to install the electronics. This one will run the ASI BAC2000 with the High Voltage map for the BigBlock motor.
The battery and all the charging- and powerleads are installed. To hide all the cables and connectors the cover that’s supposed to house the controller in installed. The BAC2000 is way to big to fit in the controller housing so it’ll reside inside the battery compartment.

A while back I got lazy and decided not to make my own footpegs, so I ordered footpegs from Amazon for cheap. To mount these I made steel brackets on the manual mill and painted them black.
The side covers are mounted. I’ll remove these later and make a proper seal between the cover and the frame to make it waterproof. When doing that I’ll also install a drain tube at the bottom of the battery compartment to get rid of all the moisture and water that might make its way into the box. No matter the steps you take to make the battery compartment waterproof water _will_ get inside and it’s important to let it escape somewhere..
I’ve made a few attempts to make a front fender but for now I’ve decided that this part isn’t necessary. 🙂

Instead, for the time being, I wrapped the cable cover box in protective vinyl wrap. This’ll make it less sensitive to flying pebbles and sand.

One of many concept prototypes for the front fender. The CAD model of this bike has been improved all through the project and now it’s a real good reference to get measurements and model parts into.
The rear of the bike gets an inner fender to prevent all the water and dirt from sticking to the riders behind. I’ll make a fender that’ll sit closer to the wheel, protecting the motor from the muck getting tossed around by the rear wheel later. For right now the new seal on the motor will have to suffice to get some test riding done.
Finally with the rear fender added the bike is pretty complete. There are parts to add and I’ll have to get rid of the Amazon footpegs and make my own since these were ridiculously flimsy – but they’ll work for now. I’ll also have to add a chain tensioner and I might have to make a smaller front sprocket to make the bike slower.. 🙂