Currie Ezip Trails, Left Hand Freehub issue
Hello, got a fun one for the wrench end of things. I finally busted a spoke on the rear wheel, on the motor drive side..... no biggy, just pull the freehub and replace... wait!! What tool to take that oddball freehub off??? I've seen the hub for sale on other sites, so there must be a tool to take that thing off? right? I'd ask Currie but, THEY WANT MONEY TO TALK SUPPORT AFTER THE WARRANTY IS GONE!!!! (they just gauranteed I wont buy my next ebike from them) I've seen about 3 different tools that might work, but not in person, and being legally blind, that trip to the local bike shop is an all day journey. Thanks in advance...
DrkAngel thread in Endless-Sphere http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25726&p=462571&hilit=currie+upgrade#p424698 explains how he changed the original 20T freewheel (that’s driven by the motor chain) to a 16T replacement. He used a Park tool spanner wrench http://www.ebikeforum.com/113327-post16.html to remove old freewheel. The Shimano Park FR-8 4-Prong BMX Freewhee Tool for Flip Flop TypeHubs and ground off 2 pins. However, IceToolz Dicta Metric BMX Freewheel Remover 9D1 no.96519906 or Cyclepro BMX Freewheel Remover would work. You also may be able to simply use a suitably sized punch or nail set and hammer to pound your way around. The threads are the opposite of normal. Removing is clockwise.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect your bike shop to carry any of these tools. I would use Google Shopping http://www.google.com/search?q=BMX+Freewheel+Tool&hl=en&tbm=shop&aq=f
If you are going to replace the freewheel, destructively removing the freewheel http://www.electricscooterparts.com/freewheelclutchremoval.html
The original Pheasant brand 20T freewheel does have excessive friction in the freewheeling condition. And the replacements are reported to have less. Maybe it is a good idea to replace the original. Changing the gear ratio is debatable.
And are you sure you need to remove the original freewheel to change the spokes? Can’t you sneak the new spoke through a valley between adjacent teeth of the freewheel sprocket to get to the spoke hole?
Notice that EZip-IZip wheels use 260mm on the motor side & 258mm spokes on the sprocket side. You can make 258 mm ones from the 260 mm ones by threading a nipple 2 mm down, then grinding off the exposed 2 mm, then removing the nipple over the created burs.
The original spokes are 14 gauge.
Thanks for the info.... yeah, the freewheel has to come off as there is no room to play. You'd tear up more spokes than replacing just trying to force through without removing the freewheel. With all the failings of the entire system, I'm contemplating a complete redesign, including losing those battery terminals at the bottom, and a real hubmotor, instead of the outboard whine machine.
A hub motor is in a nice position. But the real shortcoming of the Currie motor (which Currie doesn't make, BTW) is the brushes. Nowadays, brushless is the way to go. (The Currie motor does have the advantage of being geared http://tncscooters.com/product.php?sku=106118 ).
The battery terminal system isn't a problem as far as I know. Why don't you like it? But if you're using a lead-acid battery, then moving up to some type of lithium-ion would be an improvement. I wouldn't want to spend the money Currie wants, though.
The bike frame doesn't have a rear suspension. It's steel rather than aluminum. The bottom bracket and crankset are cheap. The brakes are rim sliders and should be disc.
Yes, changing everything would be fine as long as you can afford it. But I don't know if you mean by "complete redesign" starting anew or building on to the existing Currie. If you are going to abandon the side brushed motor, you might as well, begin with a new bike.
As frames go, it is a "lead sled", very heavy. The battery terminals are a bit of a pain, as they are spring loaded, and the wires have a narrow entrance, with a bit of travel room inside the terminal housing, eventually the ring terminals weaken and eventually break. When this happens, you get a less conductive path from the battery to the wire. This heats up the terminals, causing .. a: the battery "buttons" on the bottom of the case to get pushed in b: The spring loaded terminals melt the plastic holder that keeps them straight in the mount. Yes, the Trailz is SLA powered, but they do have a Lithium upgrade available, for more than i paid for the bike. :-)
When everything is working, its a fair cheap ride, but after time, the parts keep adding up. I'm on my second motor, second set of batteries, second set of wiring harnesses for the batteries, and needing a 3rd terminal after less than 2 months of replacing the last terminal. Its especially annoying to find some parts are only sold as assemblies, rather than replace the weak parts. Also annoying when some parts are so non-standard there is no simple way to work with them.
When you wear through a motor, What is the failure mode? Do the brushes wear out or does the motor actually die? (melted wires, stripped gear teeth etc) Brushes can be replaced, and when brushed motors were the only option changing them was a routine part of maintenance, as was cleaning/refinishing the commutator contacts. Cleaning the commutators should help reduce the whining as well.
I've got as broken rear spoke on my Trailz as well, but I'm lucky: I have a NOS EZIP Trailz, just sitting in a work frame, waiting for the new Motor I got on Ebay (the original motor got cannibalized for the old bike). So I'm going to put the new bike into service, and have a new rear wheel on order. The thing is, I hate removing and replacing the rear wheel assembly on the new bike to install the motor assembly without doing something about that failure-prone freewheel. Is there an easy way to remove, re-lube (with synthetic grease or oil) and then reinstall a brand new freewheel unit? I'd also like to do the washer fix on the spokes, but re-spoking a bike is beyond my skilz, er, skills. ;-)
BTW, I plan to do this job this evening, so any quick, helpful replies would be appreciated.