Strange smell of TCP...

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Questor
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Joined: 04/20/2010
Points: 13

Hello all,

I hope someone can advise as this has left me quite baffled.

Have been riding a VX1 for a couple of years to work and back with no problems.

The other day, whilst particulary warm, I encountered an overwhelming smell of TCP from the bike.

At first I looked around for the obvious candidates.. old ladies pushing their shopping trolleys... nope..

So I shrugged it off as a possible spillage in that area and drove on.

Got home, opened the seat to store my helmet and WHAM... full facial TCP whiff...

I have hovered.. washed.. scrubbed and bleached the inner fabric and I know for a fact that I carry only my helmet under the seat.

Short of malicious behaviour, i.e. someone pouring chemicals on the bike which would leave visual evidence, I cannot fathom where the smell comes from.

Bike still rides okay though I notice the smell returns if I ride over 35mph.

Hence I am turning to this fountain of collective knowledge.

Perhaps someone has encountered the same?

Many thanks...

Q.

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Mik
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Points: 3727
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

I don't know what TCP smells like, but I bet your motor controller circuit board is smoldering where the three phase cables to the motor are attached to it.

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antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1599
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Yep,

I would check that before riding too much more,
If the IGBT fails, you may aswell buy a new MC ($1500)

If you catch it while its still a dodgy connection, it usually costs nearly nothing to fix.

Matt

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Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

Questor
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Joined: 04/20/2010
Points: 13
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Anyone know a Vectrix service centre in London?
I think the fuses just blew..

Drew
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Joined: 08/21/2008
Points: 136
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Oh dear, I doubt that is your fuses... (or rather fuse, singular.) It will indeed be your motor controller output phase connections. (connections to the motor; there are three of them). In time, they can loosen, especially on the older design of motor controllers, before being updated. I had the same fault a looooong time ago. The TCP smell you describe is actually hot/smoldering PCB (printed circuit board) and is hot phenolic resin vapour. It's quite acrid and unpleasant. The smoke collects in the under seat compartment and hence you don't really notice it until you stop.

Don't try and ride the bike again until you've had it seen to. The guys to get in touch with now are http://www.emissionsfree.co.uk/ - ask for David and say that you've been advised by me, Drew, to get in touch. They're the sole UK distributors and should be able to help/advise as appropriate. He's a helpful chap but I fear your solution may not be inexpensive.

Good luck!

Best wishes and keep us posted,

Drew

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Questor
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Points: 13
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Oh dear indeed....

Thank you for the insightful heads up and possible remediation contacts.

I will definitely get in touch and see how things pan out.

My deepest appreciation to you sir for your kind assistance.

Questor
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Joined: 04/20/2010
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Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Mik wrote:

I don't know what TCP smells like, but I bet your motor controller circuit board is smoldering where the three phase cables to the motor are attached to it.

Mik, you were absolutely spot on with your assessment...

One of the phase cable connectors had burnt right through..

New MCB installed today (finally saved up enough to pay for it!) and happy as Larry now :)IMG071.jpg

Mik
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Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3727
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Questor wrote:
Mik wrote:

I don't know what TCP smells like, but I bet your motor controller circuit board is smoldering where the three phase cables to the motor are attached to it.

Mik, you were absolutely spot on with your assessment...

One of the phase cable connectors had burnt right through..

New MCB installed today (finally saved up enough to pay for it!) and happy as Larry now :)IMG071.jpg

Why not repair the old one?
Do you still have it?

Cheers, Mik

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kingcharles
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Joined: 08/17/2009
Points: 400
Re: Strange smell of TCP...

Questor wrote:
Mik wrote:

I don't know what TCP smells like, but I bet your motor controller circuit board is smoldering where the three phase cables to the motor are attached to it.

Mik, you were absolutely spot on with your assessment...

One of the phase cable connectors had burnt right through..

Next time he should put some money on it!

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