Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

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Morrison
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Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I cannot take this noise any longer. I am seriously considering returning my Vectrix and forcing them to make it quieter. I am considering just shipping it back to them and filing a lawsuit. This is driving me nuts.

I have watched all of the Mik videos and I think mine is just as loud. I have ridden two others sold in the Seattle area and both are MUCH more quiet than mine.

I think I got a lemon.

Nobody at Vectrix will return my phone calls.

I think a lawsuit is near for failure to honor their warantee. Would failure to ever have anyone return your phone calls qualify? Literally I have been ignored for two weeks. I keep getting told I need to speak with one certain person. I leave voicemail messages. Nothing ever happens.

I am getting furious.

siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I am not real happy with the noise of the gearbox, but a planetary gearbox with spur gears is going to make some noise. That being said, I opened the gearbox on my Vectrix to check the gears for wear and change the oil. I would say mine is one of the quieter ones with a very round ring gear---no whoop, whoop, whoop sound when running. I noticed from Mr. Mik's pictures that between his Vectrix and mine there has been a design change in the ring gear. Mr. Mik's gear has "tabs" on it's outer diameter and looks very much like it should be a steel clutch plate in a large automatic transmission, not a ring gear. My scooter has no such tabs and therefore the gear is much wider in section between the tooth side and outer part of the gear. I think this leads to a more uniform gear because it is a lot stronger and able to hold its tolerance better. I have listened to Mr. Mik's recordings of his gear noise, and although mine has some noise, it is at least uniform and tolerable. If the vendor for this gearbox is Gertrag (which has been mentioned in Vextrix P.R) I am very suprised at the wide range in quality seen for this product. They are some of the best transmission engineers and builders in the world.

Vectrixuser
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Could you email me a picture of your gearbox?
I had my 07 vectix 3 weeks ago and it did get a bit louder as well when I hit the 200 miles mark.
Also, when i push the bike (with the motor off) I started hearing ticking noises as the back wheel turns, do you hear the same thing?
Thanks

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Could you email me a picture of your gearbox?
I had my 07 vectix 3 weeks ago and it did get a bit louder as well when I hit the 200 miles mark.
Also, when i push the bike (with the motor off) I started hearing ticking noises as the back wheel turns, do you hear the same thing?
Thanks

Here is a moving picture with sound, that might help!

Mr. Mik

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Vectrixuser
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Hi Mik,
This is the exact noise I was hearing when you move the back wheel forward and backward.... is that noise normal?
Anything can be done about it?
Thanks

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Hi Mik,
This is the exact noise I was hearing when you move the back wheel forward and backward.... is that noise normal?
Anything can be done about it?
Thanks

Not sure.
Have a look at this:
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3272-vectrix-real-world-testing-2-noise-levels

Mr. Mik

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Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Hi
Mik and morrison seam to have to out of round gear .
Siai47 said his was round , and also that it was differant the miks gear .
Mine seams to be round . what are your Bike #s can we tell when they changed the gear. or if it is the country it shipped to used differant gears . I would think they are only using the good ones now.

I have bike # 133 deliverd in the USA from Newport RI.

I will Keep trak of the info and see if we narrow it down . It would be nice if you could just check the # and know if it was going to have that problem .

Happy Riding , Herb

siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The clicking noise you hear when you roll the bike slowly forward or backward is coming from the planet gears in the gearbox. If you look at Mr. Mik's gearbox pictures for reference, you will see three gears that mesh with the large outer ring gear. These are the planet gears which also mesh with the sun gear located on the motor shaft. These gears have a small needle bearing in the center that rides on a trunion. For some reason, the trunion (or pin) that the gears ride on is undersized (at least on my Vectrix) This allows the gears to move radially and changes how they mesh with the ring and sun gear. Without much load on the drive, the gears are bottoming out on each other and then once jammed, they pop free---hence the clicking. My needle bearings have been impacted by this (it is known as burnelling) to the point that they no longer roll and the needles are wearing flats on them and sliding on the trunion. It would most likely operate a long time like this before something fails, however I an going to fix it next week. I am going to remove the planet gears and either bore out the center (or make new gears) and install a large diameter ball bearing in place of the needle bearing. I am also going to make a larger diameter trunion to fit the ball bearing. The ball bearings will hold the planet gears in absolute alignment that would be impossible to achieve with the poorly fitting needle bearings. This will keep the proper amount of backlash for each gear the same at all times, eliminate the noise at low speed and prehaps, quiet down the entire gearbox. The ball bearing will also be more open and better exposed to the oil splash in the gearbox. I am firmly convinced that there is insuficient oil fill in the gearbox to provide proper lubrication. I will take pictures of this unauthorized modification and post them as I get the gearbox back together. If I hob new gears, it may take a couple of weeks to finish, if not, it might be done sooner. (labor day holiday in U.S. next week)

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The clicking noise you hear when you roll the bike slowly forward or backward is coming from the planet gears in the gearbox. If you look at Mr. Mik's gearbox pictures for reference, you will see three gears that mesh with the large outer ring gear. These are the planet gears which also mesh with the sun gear located on the motor shaft. These gears have a small needle bearing in the center that rides on a trunion. For some reason, the trunion (or pin) that the gears ride on is undersized (at least on my Vectrix) This allows the gears to move radially and changes how they mesh with the ring and sun gear. Without much load on the drive, the gears are bottoming out on each other and then once jammed, they pop free---hence the clicking. My needle bearings have been impacted by this (it is known as burnelling) to the point that they no longer roll and the needles are wearing flats on them and sliding on the trunion. It would most likely operate a long time like this before something fails, however I an going to fix it next week. I am going to remove the planet gears and either bore out the center (or make new gears) and install a large diameter ball bearing in place of the needle bearing. I am also going to make a larger diameter trunion to fit the ball bearing. The ball bearings will hold the planet gears in absolute alignment that would be impossible to achieve with the poorly fitting needle bearings. This will keep the proper amount of backlash for each gear the same at all times, eliminate the noise at low speed and prehaps, quiet down the entire gearbox. The ball bearing will also be more open and better exposed to the oil splash in the gearbox. I am firmly convinced that there is insuficient oil fill in the gearbox to provide proper lubrication. I will take pictures of this unauthorized modification and post them as I get the gearbox back together. If I hob new gears, it may take a couple of weeks to finish, if not, it might be done sooner. (labor day holiday in U.S. next week)

Great, sounds like someone who knows gear boxes is having a crack at it!

Vectrix just ignored the gear problems with my two scooters (the above video is actually from the first Vectrix) and said it is normal. The video was originally a private Youtube video for Vectrix techs, I made it public after they ignored the gear box issues.

Then they voided my warranty when I achieved a partial fix for the problem, but claimed they had been in the process of removing a gear box from another scooter for me. Shame they never bothered telling me about this before I had to start fixing it myself.

Could I please buy a set of gears of you once you have sorted it out, siai47?

I can take measurements of my gear box to determine if it would fit!

How do you check for burnelling? The needle bearings seemed to run smoothly (out of the box) when I spun the planetary gears in my hands on the trunions.

Mr. Mik

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siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The key thing to look for in the needle bearing that is pressed into the Vectrix planet gear is if the needles (rollers) and the cage that holds them is actually free to turn. You need to use a little pick to actually push on the needle to assure this is happening. The needle and trunion are hardened and will slide freely and when you spin the gear by hand, it may feel O.K. but might not be. If the needles are not turning (just sliding) they will eventually wear flats on each roller which will increase the clearance between the needle and the trunion. Burnelling of the needle occurs from repeated hammering of the non-rotating needles which tends to flatten them even more. If the trunion isn't exactly the correct size, the needles will slide on the oil film instead of rolling. You should not be able to rock the gear on the trunion or feel any radial looseness. I'll bet there isn't a Vectrix out there that would pass that test. The planet gears (and the entire gear system) need very tight bearing tolerances to maintain proper backlash. The backlash on a gear system of this size should be held to somewhat less then .005" for proper operation. I can't vouch for others but this is not being achieved in my Vectrix. Whatever I come up with will be a direct fit by exchanging the planet gears and trunions for the new parts. I am not going to re-invent the wheel on this one. That will be saved for when I look at the whole helical gear setup. The question of hobbing new gears or not for this fix depends on what the installed clearances in the factory gears are. The gearbox can be fine tuned by cutting the planet gears to the exact size required as dictated by the measured ring gear and sun gear dimensions in my Vectrix. Also, if I decide to go with new gears, I think I can get a better tooth profile and finish then the factory gears. If I cut gears, I will make several sets as the cost is in machine setup and not the acutal making of the gear.

siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Got the gearbox out of the Vectrix and over to the machine shop today. Even though I am not real happy with the noise of the gearbox, I am still impressed with the design and general quality of the component parts of the scooter. I know some comments have been made about people who are complaining about the gearbox noise because it doesn't affect the function of the scooter. However, I feel that an electric should be as quiet as possible and if something can be done the about noise without re-inventing the entire gearbox, I'll do it. I am going to approach this part by part and see what gives the most cost benefit starting with the most obvious problems. Today, the gear diameters, runout, and tooth profiles were all measured. It all checked out within expected tolerance. One area that is an issue is the clearance between the needle bearing and the trunion on the Planet gears. The Vectrix (which should be metric) appears to use a english (inch) pin for the trunion (the part the needle bearings run on). The trunions measure exactly .625 or 5/8 inch in diameter. The closest standard metric equilivent diameter would be .629 inch in diameter. With a new bearing installed, the .625 pin is a loose fit in the bearing allowing the gear to wobble. If you add all the clearances in the three pins, the planet gears fall outside of the backlash tolerances needed for the geartrain to run quietly. We ground a couple of new pins and either .628 or .629 will be installed into the planetary. In addition, the planet gears have chatter marks on the teeth caused by moving the cutters too quickly across the tooth during manufacturing. We are going to polish the teeth, deburr the ring gear, equalize the backlash and see how these changes affect the running noise. I'll post again when it is back together.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Thank you very much for taking the time to post these findings!

Much appreciated!

Mr. Mik

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Vectrixuser
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Thanks for posting this, please let us know as soon as possible about the result of these changes.
I am having the same problem with my bike and actually Vectrix decided to pick up the bike and work on it.

I would like to send them your results (if they work of course) to help them focus on the problem which could be simple to fix.

Thanks again and let us know asap.

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

One area that is an issue is the clearance between the needle bearing and the trunion on the Planet gears. The Vectrix (which should be metric) appears to use a english (inch) pin for the trunion (the part the needle bearings run on). The trunions measure exactly .625 or 5/8 inch in diameter. The closest standard metric equilivent diameter would be .629 inch in diameter. With a new bearing installed, the .625 pin is a loose fit in the bearing allowing the gear to wobble. If you add all the clearances in the three pins, the planet gears fall outside of the backlash tolerances needed for the geartrain to run quietly. We ground a couple of new pins and either .628 or .629 will be installed into the planetary.

Hi , this could be part of the problem as Vectrix is a USA company. who got a ero company to buy in and take it to prodution. so they would not think of it as you did . the bearings may be metric ,the trunion USA . This has happen before with joint projects . we miss mars with a space ship.
some may have correct pin and bearing. if you find out witch is correct it will be easy ti change the incorrect part on the noise bikes.

Herb

jmap
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Mine has 900km and is fine. No noise of any kind...

siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I don't want to pick on Vectrix too much yet. For the bearing installed in the planet gear, a .625 pin is specified by the bearing manufacturer. How much press fit is applied to the needle bearing is determined by the bore in the planet gear and also determines the final fit to the trunion. To get the "wobble" out of the gear, we hand fitted one gear with a .627" trunion and two gears with .6265" trunions. All three trunions were ground a little shorter then the originals to reduce the side clearance between the planet gears and the planet carrier. This small oversize in the trunion got rid of all of the unwanted movement in the gear. The trunions went out to be heat treated today and could be back as early as Friday. The rest of the gearcase machining is very accurate and a little cleanup here and there will make it as good as you could want. It remains to be seen if there will be any problem with running the bearings with such a tight clearance. The shop doing the work says it will be O.K. and time will tell. If this rids me of the clunking when rolling the Vectrix and/or reduces the noise when running I will know I am on the right track. If there is no bearing problem, I'll put some miles on it and recheck the gearbox internals. If I run into problems down the road (as I said earlier) I will make new planet gears with ball bearings instead of needle bearings to improve the gear stability. Again, let me stress that I don't think there is anything wrong (from an operational standpoint) with the gearbox as delievered from Vectrix. However, I just would like to get the noise level down if I can.

jmap
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The mechanic responsable for the workshop that sold me the Vectrix, told me today that have replaced the oil of the planetary system for a thicker one and that the noise improved on his demo bike.

Hope this helps to reduce the noise...

JP

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The mechanic responsable for the workshop that sold me the Vectrix, told me today that have replaced the oil of the planetary system for a thicker one and that the noise improved on his demo bike.

Hope this helps to reduce the noise...

JP

I found super-thick oil additive ineffective to dampen the noise, but the gear box got hotter than usually.

I also over filled it drastically at the same time.

Mr. Mik

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siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I would agree with Mr. Mik on this one. The thicker oil may mask the noise when rolling the Vectrix slowly but will not stop the running noise. Thicker oil may inhibit the proper lubrication of the planetary gear needle bearings and will reduce range due to viscous drag.

jmap
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Yes, it makes sense...

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I would agree with Mr. Mik on this one. The thicker oil may mask the noise when rolling the Vectrix slowly but will not stop the running noise. Thicker oil may inhibit the proper lubrication of the planetary gear needle bearings and will reduce range due to viscous drag.

Exactly my experienće. The clunking sounded muffled at pushing speed but riding noise was unćhanged.

Mr. Mik

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Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

Hi
Mik use super-thick oil additive . that is not good used alone, they have cleaners and solid lube agents that need to be mixed with oil. I would think A good sinthetic gear lube will work the best . But a do not think it will help the noise much.

Happy riding , Herb

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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The rest of the gearcase machining is very accurate and a little cleanup here and there will make it as good as you could want. It remains to be seen if there will be any problem with running the bearings with such a tight clearance. The shop doing the work says it will be O.K. and time will tell. If this rids me of the clunking when rolling the Vectrix and/or reduces the noise when running I will know I am on the right track. If there is no bearing problem, I'll put some miles on it and recheck the gearbox internals. If I run into problems down the road (as I said earlier) I will make new planet gears with ball bearings instead of needle bearings to improve the gear stability. Again, let me stress that I don't think there is anything wrong (from an operational standpoint) with the gearbox as delievered from Vectrix. However, I just would like to get the noise level down if I can.

Do you think it would be at all adviseable to try increasing the trunion diameter in the context of an out-of-round ringgear?
I am wondering if that might make it worse in the Vectux (and other Vectrixes with an out out round sound).
Could it be that if the planetary gears cannot move a little bit to compensate for the oval shape then the forces working on them will be greatly increased?

Please let me know if you have found any recommended aproach to quiet down the gear box.
Now would be a good opportunity for me to get it done with no additional down time, because I am running a detailed battery analysis (as good as I can without a lab at least) on a cell level. That takes a lot of time (weeks) and I could get the gear box sorted during this down time. Details at http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6277

Mr. Mik

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siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I just got the oversized trunions installed and found where the real problem is. When we added .0015" to the diameter of the trunion, The planetary gears are now unable to move back and forth between the sun (pinion) gear and the ring gear. This cleared up the klunking sound coming from the gearbox but you can now hear every tooth making contact when you roll the scooter. A quick check of the backlash showed proper backlash between the planet gears and the ring gear. The problem lies with the pinon gear. With the new trunions, there is no backlash between the pinion and planet gears. The teeth are bottoming out on the gear. The initial indication is that the gear may be almost .010" oversized. The only option at this point is to make a new pinion gear. We have the cutters for the gear teeth and need to see if we have the cutters for the involute spline in the center of the gear in house. If we do, I will cut one next week and report what happens. I also designed new planet gears that run on a double row angular ball bearing to replace the factory gears that run on needle bearings. I drove the scooter with the new trunions installed for a short drive and the running noise changed (very uniform) but did not get much quieter at low speeds. Above 50 kph, the gear noise was not audible above the wind noise. Getting some backlash in the pinion might quiet the whole thing down. As to the oval shaped ring gear, unless there is no backlash (binding) at some point during rotation, I think getting some pinion backlash will also increase ring gear backlash with the standard .625" trunions. Vectrix should really step up to the plate and replace any of the older style ring gears with the newer style. I am making cad drawings of each of these parts and will post them after I try them and make sure they work.

siai47
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The involute spline on the pinion is a metric size that we don't have a cutter for. It will take about a week for a rental cutter to arrive before the new pinion can be cut. In the meantime we will be cutting a blank gear (no spline) to fit on the motor shaft and measure clearances needed for sizing the final gear cutting and obtaining the proper backlash in the entire planetary system.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

I have added this page to the Vectrix Collaborative Handbook, please try to stay on topic!

Morrison, did you ever get the problem fixed?

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DJP
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The gears on my bike have never been particularly noisey, with barely a hint of the cyclic whining experienced by others. I recently had to repalce the rear tyre and found when removing the rear wheel that the nuts seemed less tight than I would have expected. On replacing the wheel I checked the mating surfaces were clean and did up the nuts to what felt about right (no torque information in the Handbook) Next ride I imediately noticed a cycling whine at speeds right up to 40mph, not much louder than before but very anoying. I then borrowed a good quality torque wrench, loosened the nuts and torqued them up in daigonal sequence to 18lb/ft. which is not very tight. Gear noise back to normal, what a relief. I may put some Loctite on the threads though.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix gear noise driving me crazy

The gears on my bike have never been particularly noisey, with barely a hint of the cyclic whining experienced by others. I recently had to repalce the rear tyre and found when removing the rear wheel that the nuts seemed less tight than I would have expected. On replacing the wheel I checked the mating surfaces were clean and did up the nuts to what felt about right (no torque information in the Handbook) Next ride I imediately noticed a cycling whine at speeds right up to 40mph, not much louder than before but very anoying. I then borrowed a good quality torque wrench, loosened the nuts and torqued them up in daigonal sequence to 18lb/ft. which is not very tight. Gear noise back to normal, what a relief. I may put some Loctite on the threads though.

I used 23Nm (17 lb*ft), but that does not fix the whine in my gear box.

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

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