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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
I should have taken pictures...lol.
My rear brake caliper was sticking. I drained all the old brake fluid, pulled the 2 pistons out of it, cleaned out any gunk inside the caliper, cleaned off the piston seals, applied brake fluid to them and slid in the pistons again. There were no leaks, just lack of lubrication between the piston and the O-rings causing one of them to not retract when I'd let off the brake. Once there was brake fluid between the parts, the pistons slid in and out with reasonable ease and no longer stuck.

Since the rear brake has been taken apart, there is now an air bubble trapped in there somewhere. I have tried to get it to push out the bleed valve by pumping the brake lever, but it won't come out. I've had this happen before and often times if you give it some time the air bubble will slowly rise to the master piston at the handle bars and float out into the reservoir. It has been 3 days now and it's still in there. If you can get rid of any high spots so a bubble can't stay there, then the bubble should float upwards to the reservoir. It takes several days for it to slowly float up, but usuallly/eventually it will float out of the line. It's had 3 days of sitting with the whole rear brake pointing upwards and the bubble is still not moving. I can't be pumping the rear brakes to get them to grab! That's not a good idea. First squeeze and the rear brake is flat against the grips. 2 more squeezes and it's finally braking, but spongy.

I lacked a brake bleed kit so last night I bought one. I will get that bubble of air out of the brake line!

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Things left to do...
1. Set up the rear fender. Right now the back tire sprays water into the battery compartment. I'll close up that gap better, but the rear tire spray is the real issue.
2. Upgrade the BMS for the front battery pack once it arrives so I can install the under floor pack.
3. Mount the DC-DC since it sits on top of the front battery pack.
4. Build a CANBUS protection board.
5. Reinstall the front fender. I took it off for the front shock work.
6. Bleed the rear brake.
7. Reassemble all the cowlings.
8. Ride it, tweak controller settings and have fun!

This thing is close to being done! I started on it a year ago in between other projects and moving to a new house. It has seen steady progress except for a 2 month hiatus earlier this year while I was waiting for new controllers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Future projects once this EV is done:
1. I have a 60mm version of the 6 phase Japanese hub motors. I think it would be amusing to rework it into a shaft driven outrunner and rewind it for a higher Kv. It would then make for a rather powerful mid drive solution. I'm pretty sure no one else has converted a hub motor into an outrunner. I could be a first!
2. I have an A2B that I started on in 2019. It is partly upgraded for riding at about 10kw from an outrunner. It needs a motor bracket, motor work, battery pack, DC-DC, 12v system/lights and a few other details before it is running. With a bike this light at 10kw, it ought to be FAST!
3. I have a 50cc sized scooter that I built in 2017-2018. I pulled the inrunner, 18 fet controller and LIPO pack out of it. The EV was too slow and range was limited. It really needs a bigger motor and more battery capacity. I rewound an outrunner for it and messed up the winding. I need to take that all back off and redo it. I'll build a new 82v battery pack for it from 18650's and use a Nucular 24 fet controller on the motor. This was a fun scooter and topped out at 60mph. With these upgrades, it ought to accelerate a lot better and top out a bit faster too. It has tons of upgrades on it. I'd really hate to abandon this EV and never get it going again.
4. I'll soon have 2 150v FOC VESC based controllers. They are rated for about 20kw. I'll be implementing them in another scooter build at 32S or 131v. Initially they will get tried out on the Zap at 82v. I'd like to use them with the reworked 60mm hub motor in number 1 for some kind of crazy build. I have a 75cc sized scooter in my shed that would be a good fit for this set up.
5. I own a Motenergy 3031-001 axial flux motor. I intend to seperate the 2 stators which are currently in parallel. I'll add halls to each stator and then I can run it as a dual stator BLDC motor. It needs forced air cooling so it doesn't over heat. Motenergy did a really poor job transferring heat from the stators to the shell so they cool very poorly. I can then over watt it considerably. I bought it used with a 40kw PMAC controller, but have since sold the controller. The plans for this motor are running it at around 80kw total and on some kind of light motor cycle or a GROM. With active cooling this should be doable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The rear directional lights on Zap scooters are VERY problematic. They stick out and mount in the plastic side cowlings. Catch one on something and the plastic is likely to break and the light is dangling by its wires! I've had 3 Zap scooters and all 3 had the plastic cowling at the rear lights broken and glued back together again. This is repaired with super glue and looks pretty good, but it's likely to get snapped off again. You can see the license plate bracket with reflectors on it a little down and to the right.



My rear cowlings were both broken and super glued together several times each. After repairing them, within a couple of days, I accidentally hit a side light on a door frame and broke the plastic again. GRRR! I added JBweld to both sides, but that just meant the plastic broke elsewhere. In the second image you can see a long crack where instead of breaking out the plastic around the light, the whole section cracked instead. The third image, this section has been broken 5 or 6 times. It's got so much super glue on it to the point of being ridiculous!





My solution was to glue it all together again and fill in the places on the cowlings with bondo. A good bit of sanding and application of new paint made it look like they were mostly never there. My body work and paint skills are not exactly great!




The rear directional lights are now on either side of the license plate bracket that used to have 2 reflectors in those spots. Mounted to a steel bracket is unlikely to ever break anything. The bracket bolts to the steel frame too.


 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
My first Zap scooter was really rough. The DC-DC was burned out. The plastic cowlings were mostly wrecked from the thing being laid down on both sides and of course the rear cowlings were destroyed. I basically scrapped it out for parts and tossed the rest. It had sat outside in the weather for a number of years. I paid $50 for it.






I kept the seat, but most of the plastic parts were badly broken so they got tossed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
The rear brake is bled. I got a brake bleed kit that forces brake fluid from the caliper up to the master cylinder reservoir. The important detail was to not let the reservoir over flow and make a mess.

The front fender is in place again. Probably the stiffened front shocks will keep the tire from rubbing on it now. The forks had 3 M6 threaded holes in them that mounted that ugly plastic thing in place. I reused them for mounting the chrome fender.






The factory front wheel looked pretty awful!




I bought some 3/4"x1/8" aluminum flat bar to use as fender supports for the rear wheel. I was able to use existing bolts or bolt holes for both supports. This should reduce tire spray into the battery spaces by 90%. The rear fender is mounted to the swing arm in 4 places and does not move.





The factory look was not exactly pretty. That ugly plastic fender would not fit the larger back wheel and had to go. All the shitty welded on brackets for the plastic fender got ground off when I was reworking the swing arms for the new motor torque arms.


 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Last big hurdle to overcome is the motor ratcheting issue. I know of 2 other people with this problem. One has an outrunner and another nd inrunner and I have a 6 phase hub motor. 3 very different motors all doing this same thing on Nucular controllers. I tried sinusoidal and trapezoidal control with no difference. This controller set up issue is keeping me from using the motor and controllers at their full capabilities!

 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The last BMS is in the USA! I might have it Monday and then this thing can get closed up.
Tracking shows it just left Nevada.
There's still details to work out, but I don't think any of them require taking all the cowlings off like it is right now.
Even the ratcheting issue can be lived with until Nucular figures out why people are having this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
The last BMS is in the USA! I might have it Monday and then this thing can get closed up.
Tracking shows it just left Nevada.
There's still details to work out, but I don't think any of them require taking all the cowlings off like it is right now.
Even the ratcheting issue can be lived with until Nucular figures out why people are having this problem.
The BMS's get delivered today. I got a touch LCD too. I'll know soon enough if this is worth the $32 it costs or not. The phone app has recently gotten much better with the latest release. I already liked the XiaoXiang BMS's. The latest version of the app fixed all the issues with it that I had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
FEH! Wrong BMS's and I'm missing a BT module. LOL! ICGOGOGO is usually on the ball...new guy or maybe their shipping people were hung over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I bought new shocks for the back. They are adjustable and 1" longer than the original ones. The new back wheel is a little larger so adding an inch to the shock height will help with clearance. Also the factory shocks were not that great...so these ones are a significant improvement. Taking it out for a ride tonight the back end was definitely a better ride.




Between the 12" tires and the higher suspension in the back, the kickstand was woefully short after all of that. I cut it off and used a section of hardened shaft to extend the kickstand 4 inches. THe steel rod is a perfect fit inside the steel tube. A couple of pins through the kickstand and section of rod will keep them from moving. There is lots of extra length inside the long section of the kick stand. I can make it longer or shorter pretty easily.

 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
New problem to resolve...
I was surprised to see this happen. When I made the V3 torque arms, I was certain they were going to be there forever. They are made from 1/2" thick HRO steel plate. It's too soft. The steel slot where it meets the corners of the motor shaft flats is deforming. The shaft slot used to be parallel and the 1/2"x1/2" outer wall is bending under motor torque. The 2 M5 screws for clamping worked perfectly. At the hinge slot, the steel is 1/4" thick and about 3/4" wide. This is where it started to bend. Things didn't get overly bad yet. I noticed slight bumping or knocking sounds coming from the rear end over the weekend and upon inspection I found my clamping slot was now slightly V shaped and allowed about 1/16" of shaft movement. The green arrow is on the line were the steel was bending outwards. The red lines are about right. They are 2-3 degrees out of parallel now. The outer wall is bowed outwards like the blue curve.



I have a few changes in mind for the V4 torque arms:
(Dear EV lords, please let this be the last torque arms I need to make!)

1. I'll drop the entire clamping section 1/2" lower. This will allow me to have 1/2" thick steel above the top of the shaft flat and at the hinge slot. This ought to reduce or stop the deformation I am seeing here.
2. I'll put an M5 or M6 screw through this new thicker area to counteract any deformation. It was at bottom of the hinge slot that the steel was spreading. I don't know how much added clamping this will add if any. A screw here is more about hindering any spreading forces.
3. The 2 lower clamping screws will be duplicated in the new arms. I might change to M6 screws for a bit more screw strength.
4. I will make the section behind the axel thicker. I can fit 3/4" width without interfering with the rear brake caliper. More steel = less chance of bending. The back portion at 3/4" wide steel will extend above the shaft flats by 1/2" and get a screw in it at the top to aid in clamping and to suppress any spreading here.
5. The V3 torque arms were made from HRO or hot rolled steel which is slightly tougher than mild steel, but not by a lot. I have bought some 1/2" thick 4140 which is a much tougher alloy. My V2 torque arms were made from 1/4" 4140 and deformed only slightly despite having 2-3mm of contact with the shaft flats and no clamping. HRO was not good enough!

I really hope the V4 torque arms do the trick! However, there is another idea that I might borrow from EUC's. They can carry significant motor torque on the motor shaft flats and they need a compact way to marry that to the EUC frame. This is from an MTEN3 EUC I have. I have looked at a lot of tear down videos and it seems that all EUC's use this clamping method. The L shaped section or "hanger" is extruded aluminum. The 2 small wedges inside it are made of hardened steel. I tried to file one and my file skated right over it. The axel nut compresses the wedges into the axel flats. The tighter the axel nut is, the tighter the wedges clamp into the axel flats. It works surprisingly well and requires no extra hardware or hinge points. It does have the one flaw of depending on the axel nuts staying tight and this might not happen. The wedges are pretty large so they can distribute the forces on them into the aluminum with deforming the softer metal. This might be a problem in the space I have available. I needed HSS square stock anyway so I have bought some and might use it to duplicate this design if the V4 torque arms don't work out...




 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
It takes a while to get things put back together! I spent 3 hours putting panels in place. The temporary ANT BMS issues didn't help! All those body panels interlock and have to be installed in a specific order. I still have some small lower panels to put back on, but it's mostly back together. You can't tell that there is about 120Ah of capacity in there now. :)



This ANT BMS is not what I want to use for the under floor pack. It's simply too thick. Until the correct JBD BMS's arrive, this at least gets it mostly back together and running on 3 packs again. This is the only place I can put it and that means I can't close up this access panel. It also sits in front of the DC-DC so it can't cool as well as I'd like. Im not worried about water incursion as the BMS is 100% coated in conformal...which I do to all BMS's. The ANT BMS sticks out of the opening considerably. I have it zip tied to the DC-DC so it's easy to remove later.




There is plenty of room here for a JBD BMS and all the balance wires. The BMS's I ordered are really thin and not overly large. Once I mod them for more amperage, they can handle far more current than they were originally rated for. I get the 40 amp version (least expensive model), strip off the mosfets, shunts and copper busses and upgrade all of them. This allows me to get more like 200 amps continuous. 3 JBD BMS's allows for a single app for all 3 packs. The balance wires are stuffed into the space for the moment, but all of that will get buried under PET and made water tight once I have the right BMS for here.

 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The list of things left are diminishing...
1. I can make and install better torque arms with the EV 100% assembled.
2. Putting the correct BMS in place will require taking lots of panels and the floor back off. That won't be so fun.
3. I'm toying with the idea of vinyl coating all the body panels. This hides the less than pretty teal paint, scratches and other flaws.
4. Controller setup weirdness (motor ratcheting) can be dealt with once Vasilly from Nucular figures that out. I'm not the only person I know of with this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Now that I have the back end all put together, I can see that the plastic spray fender is superfluous and hides the chrome fender. I think I'll cut it off right below the license plate bracket. I've always thought they look dorky on any bike.



The rear fender is 2 shorter fenders over lapped for the length I needed. I'd like to find a single one of the right radius that is long enough and doesn't cost $300+. These fenders cost me $23 each. It was the best I could do without spending a fortune. I have a single one over the front tire. Huge improvement over the looks of the plastic fenders!




Front wheel. A little scrubbing on those shock boots will get rid of the brown grunge in them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
I took a 38 mile ride last night.
1. I'm not sure why, but the plastic that held in the head light disintegrated. I had to ride home in the dark as there was no way to have the headlight stay in place. Now I need to put the bits of plastic I recovered back together and figure out how to mount the headlight again. This stopped me from riding a lot longer. I wanted to get the pack down to about 66v before I stopped riding so I had a good feel for range.
2. The front shocks are still a bit too soft. I can get at the top caps easy enough and add more fluid to each shock. This will make less compressible air space inside. I guessed at what fill level would make them sufficiently firm and now I know I'm close. They used to be super spongy due to having so little fluid in them.
3. I still need to make new torque arms, but I had no problem riding around on the existing ones as long as I didn't use regen. No clunking or thumping if the axel never shifts in the torque arms!
4. I still have that ratcheting issue with the motor...grrr! I can't crank the throttle ever. Taking off from a stop is an exercize in applying the throttle carefully and sloooowly until I get to about 15 mph and then I can apply it more. If the controller was doing it's job, taking off from a stop would be really strong! Vasilly form Nucular hasn't been very responsive in resolving this issue. I'm rather annoyed as this had been ongoing for 6 months!
5. I wasn't really looking to test top speed, but the controllers and my GPS speedo recorded a top speed of 72.1 mph. I've gone faster in the past. I was more interested in a decent range test with some periodic places where I went faster.
6. I trust the GPS speedo once it settles out after a few seconds. It usually read 2-3 mph faster than the controller speed. I added 5mm to the tire diameter in the controllers to account for this.
7. Battery capacity seems to be doing great! 38 miles and 76 volts left out of 82v seems about right. That top 2v drops off in a few miles as expected. Getting down to 76 volts took about 35 miles of riding. I'm looking for about 70 miles of range.
8. Dual watt meters is working out well. They confirm that the controller display is showing both controllers current draw added together. It is nice to see that the controllers are both drawing the same amount of current.
9. There is an oddity happening. Sitting still, the watt meters show that each controller is drawing 2.4 amps. I'll have to try my clamp on meter to see if it sees this too. Maybe this is a low current sensing issue with the watt meters or some setup thing I have set wrong in them?
10. General ride quality and comfort is great. I don't feel cramped despite being 6'4" tall. I don't get restless sitting on the seat. 38 miles of continuous riding is a decent amount to discover if comfort is a problem. The new rear shocks made the ride less bouncy since they do better damping.
11. I have to watch out for hitting my phone with my knee. I knocked it off the magnetic base twice last night. The first time it fell between my feet and was unharmed. The second time it bounced all over the road. I cracked the back glass and the corners are all scuffed up now. It still works and is an old phone...time to replace it I guess. Maybe I should add a suction cup to the back as a secondary safety device. I think I'll move the mount a little further away too so bumping it is less likely. Riding over heavy bumps, the phone stays put nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I've been fiddling with PIDs in the Nucular controllers. The stuttering issue still exists, but it's lots better than it used to be. I can take off from a dead stop fairly well now and I can use throttle at about 50%. I don't know what top speed is, but I was doing 75mph for a while. Motor temps never went above 100C even after riding for 5 miles at 60+.

I wanted to see what kind of range I could get without using regen. 71 miles...not too bad.

 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I'm thinking this is pretty close to done other than niggling details:
Still needs...
1. Torque arms V4
2. Figuring out the rest of the stuttering issue
3. Correct BMS for front pack


 
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