Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

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SLPdocSTU
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Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Last week I bought a used 2004 36v ebike from Craig's list. The goal is to use this for errands around home and for commuting to work, approximately 16 miles round trip (with one relatively steep hill). I can charge it at home and at work. When I bought the bike I was told it had new batteries. As it turns out, they died after less than five miles with moderate pedaling (I have no idea what these batteries are - just something taped together and put inside the battery holder). Any chance I did something wrong here (should I be running this on E or P??)? Or do I just need to assume the guy didn't actually give me a bike with new batteries and it's time for me to buy new ones? If so, suggestions on what to buy? I really can't afford to spend $400 on batteries after just purchasing the bike, helmet, lights, and so on. I'm totally clueless on where to start as I haven't owned a bike since I was a kid, much less an electric bike!! All the terms being thrown around here on the chemistry of different batteries is a bit much for me - I'm lost!

dogman
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

All sla batteries are not the same. The seller may have put in the right size but the wrong type of lead acid battery since the ones that work best for an electric bike cost more. Read all the treads on duct tape and lifepo4 batteries, that is what you will want to get, now or at least later when you understand it all more. If it is cold where you live now, that is at least half of the problem. Sla will lose a lot of it's usual capacity when it gets cold. Switching to a good lifepo4 battery pack will be a lot lighter and give more capacity from a battery of the same physical size, so you can pack more amp hours into the same size battery box. The pack lasts longer, and performs well through the whole ride, where sla slowly drops voltage along the way. BTW the motor on that bike is very well built, so you did the right thing to snap it up. If you decide you don't like the bike itself, the motor can be moved to a mountain bike.

Meanwhile, make sure you are getting a full charge on the batteries. It should take at least 6 hours or more to get a full charge on a 12 ah 36v battery. If it finishes sooner, you may just have new, but too small, batteries.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

gmouchawar
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Welcome to evg ebike ownership. A challanging and yet a rewarding experience. I say challanging because the bike has been discountinued and parts are getting pretty rare.
The 36V is the Cadilac or the product line. However it used a custom 36V SLA battery. Those batteries are very difficult if not impossible to find. Hence there is a less optimal solution of puting up to 6 6V 7AH battery in series. Perhaps that is what you have. Please include pictures.
If the batteries we brand new, I would say give them a few cycles. They tend to improve on the 1st 5 charge discharge cycles.
Batteries have a date code printed on them. Typically the 1st no. is the year. So please check how new they are?
Also, if the previous owner let a new SLA get completely dicharge by leaving it in the ebike then they also get ruined.
So there are many possibilities here!!!!
Ultimately, I would agree with DOGMAN. SLA will have to be replaced by another chemistry. That is the way of the future.
There is a consensus out there that Ping makes the best LiFePO4 battery . My guess it will cost you as much as you paid for your bike if not more. So it is up to you if you want to be an adopter at this time. Prices are comming down.
Another challange is the form factor of the batteries. They tend to be wider than what can fit in the frame.
NiMH and NiCD are another possibility. They are not as energy dense as LiFePO4 but are more dense than SLA. Batteryspace.com sells ebike packs.
You may elect to replace the SLA with another SLA set. That will set you back about a $100. You must take care of them by not completely discharging them and by charging them immediately after every use.
Good luck. Please PM me if you need anything for your ebike. I have built a large spare collection to keep mine going.

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Can someone let me know how to post pictures? I did take a picture of the batteries, although I'm not sure it shows much. There are three batteries.

I had someone do a little work on my bike and they found that the connections were loose, so after that they tightened those the batteries lasted a little longer, but still drained too quickly. I haven't ridden it since to see whether the batteries are so new that they just need to go through a few cycles. Once the weather improves I'll give that a shot. I live in Southern Cal, so while I think it's been cold here - in the 50s and 60s - I expect that's not the problem in terms of the battery.

I talked to someone in Northern Cal who says:

"There are a couple of things you could do:

I can give you the contact of a guy in FLorida that still sells the
original battery for the ebike. They are around $180 plus shipping,
and you'd need to install it in the case yourself.

Alternatively I could make a new kit for you using the new type of
cell (Li-ion) that I converted my own bike to. Its more powerful than
the original, much lighter, and can be re-charged 4600 times more (a
huge consideration). To match the original battery, 2 of these new
cells need to be connected in series. I connected 3 in series,
because sometimes I need to be able to go extra distance. These cells
need to be re-charged seperately, but they are charged to 80% within
30 minutes using the fast charger for them (I'd supply one of these as
well)."

Can anyone tell me whether going with the Li-ion route makes sense? And for that price? This sounds like it's different from the Lifepo4 that everyone is recommending. I don't know much about this guy either. (Name is Simon.)

Thanks for your help!
Sophie

gmouchawar
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Nice to meet another ebike owner in S.Ca.
I posted a solution on ES for the 36V battery.
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7309&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
I definitely wouldn't spend $180 on a new SLA.

Are the 3 batteries smaller than the full size of the case?

BTW E is for economy and P is for power. You get more boost with P but at a reduced range.

proton
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

If you cant afford to spend $400, your doomed to lead acid.
Even ping can't save you with his cheap batteries that would not fit in the battery box anyway.

The LiFepo4 BattMan www.falconev.com

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I've talked to two different people since my last post.
1) I went to a battery place and he says the problem is my charger. I don't know exactly how he knows this. The charger does charge the batteries some, but maybe they aren't being charged fully? I don't know! How do I find this out - or better yet (since I know NOTHING about this kind of thing), how do I find the right person to check it out? This was a car battery guy who knew nothing about e-bikes even existing. So, I don't feel like I can be sure this is the problem.
2) I talked to Gerry in Florida who sells the original batteries. I called him about a new charger, but he said that isn't my problem (how can he know this without seeing it?). He says, from talking to me while I'm looking at the batteries, that I have 3 12v house alarm batteries and that the problem is that they are 5 amps each, and I need 8 amps each. I have no idea if that makes sense.
In response to your question: Yes, there is room in the case for another battery.
I'm not capable of wiring this myself in any way.
So, my options apparently are:
1) Buying the original battery for $190
2) Having someone put in two Li-ion batteries and a charger for $260.
3) Hiring someone to do what gmouchawar suggested: Solution for EV Global ebike 36V battery replacement
(If there is even anyone I can hire to do this!)

I just can't afford to spend more than the $260 (I have no idea what the third option would cost).
This bike is already draining my bank account in a way I didn't expect. I specifically bought a bike with "new batteries" to avoid this. And they are new (6/08), but that hasn't helped.

Can anyone give me any more feedback?
Do any of the options make sense?
The most important thing is being able to commute 8 miles each way to work on this (I can charge it at work).
I'd also love to be able to ride 16 miles (with moderate pedaling) without charging for when I want to take a trip downtown and back, but not to stop at work to charge it, but that isn't critical.
Thanks for everyone who has been helping me!

gmouchawar
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I think I know what the previous owner did. When the original battery died they
replaced it with 3 12V 5AH alarm batteries.
Does you current batteries look something like this one from amazon?

12V 5AH Recharegable Sealed Lead Acid Battery

That is why you still have room in the box.
Those batteries are both small in capacity and also in current delivering capability.
They are not suited for this application.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the charger. Easy to check though but you have
to have a voltage meter. If you do, measure the voltage on the battery when the charger LED is
green. It should measure about 44V.

The lack of support and parts is a problem with these ebikes. I know what you mean about
draining the bank account, specially if you buy parts from the dealer in FL.
Since you are in LA I think, PM me and I can see if you are close enough to help you.

8 miles should be very doable with the correct battery. 16 Miles would be streching it
and deep discharging the batteries. I wouldn't do it very often unless you pedal a lot.
On my 24V ebike which has 2 12AH batteries, I regularly do 14Mile trips with 2 steep hills. One hill is 4 Miles long.
I usually reserve the throttle for the hill tackling. At the end of my ride the battery
indicator is in the orange most of the time and once or twice in the red but still powering the ebike.

dposten
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I put 2- 12 vol 12 AH in the case and one -12 volt 12 AH on the rack and rewire the case so the capacitor is across the terminals and run a charge line out of the case to B +.
dposten

dogman
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Another quick and dirty way to solve the problem would be to get a bigger sla battery pack, such as 3, 12 amp hour batteries in a carrier bag that could be strapped to the rear rack, then wired to the original battery connector wires. Most vendors, after shipping, this is a couple hundred though. The "new" batteries may be new, but they are not the right kind for an ebike. You still have a good bike though!

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Thanks for all the help. I ended up shelling out the money for lithium ion batteries. I found someone who would install two 36v lithium ion batteries by modifying my battery case. The batteries were $200, the chargers were $80 each (one for work, one for home), and then for shipping I paid $20, I think. So, as much as I thought I wouldn't shell out this kind of money, I shelled out $380 (almost the cost of the bike!). The batteries will now get me around 7 mile on power or more than twice that on economy where I'm doing a lot of pedaling. I tend to ride it on economy and switch to power just when needing to get through stoplights quickly. It's not perfect, but it suits my needs!
Again - thanks for the help!

gmouchawar
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

$200 For Li batteries seems like a good deal. Please share the details and pictures if you don't mind.

dogman
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I just snagged one myself, a 24v global bike. I'm looking at the same thing,and finding that lifepo4 from my favorite vendor Ping is a poor fit in the box. I'm thinking maybe nicads from ebikes ca. At 24v, 12 ah of nicad will fit. Currently I'm getting about 5-8 miles on the 12 ah sla batteries in the original case. 8-12 miles would be nice, but for now, I'll carry two more sla's on a rear rack.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I'm not sure how to attach photos. E-mail me at sgrav [at] ku.edu and I can send photos.

This is what the guy who did the batteries for me wrote about them initially: "Alternatively I could make a new kit for you using the new type of cell (Li-ion) that I converted my own bike to. Its more powerful than the original, much lighter, and can be re-charged 4600 times more (a huge consideration). To match the original battery, 2 of these new cells need to be connected in series. I connected 3 in series, because sometimes I need to be able to go extra distance. These cells need to be re-charged seperately, but they are charged to 80% within 30 minutes using the fast charger for them (I'd supply one of these as well)."

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

IMG_6288.jpgnjVEaACG_jpg_part.jpgOg8tqhSl_jpg_part.jpg

SLPdocSTU
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

The update: My bike was stolen two weeks ago! My apartment has a secure garage and is only an 8-unit building. But, the garage door broke and got stuck open. So, in the middle of the night, someone came in and, when they were unable to cut the lock, they took the bike apart. I didn't even know that was possible! The batteries were inside charging, so I still have the batteries and case - but they have the bike.

If anyone is interested in buying the batteries, I no longer have a purpose for them!

Katharina
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Hi,

My name is Katharina and I just bought a 36v ebike.
Sorry to hear that someone stole your bike. What a bummer after all that effort you put into it.
You said that you still have the battery and charger. I might be interested in buying it from you. I also live in CA (close to San Luis Obispo).
The previous owner told me that the replacement battery (bought about 1 yr ago) from Florida worked well for a few months, but now the bike only goes for about 5 miles and then needs to be recharged. I would like to use the bike to commute to work (about 10 miles) and need to figure something out.
Hope to hear from you.
Katharina

gmouchawar
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

PM me if they are still available. I am interested also.

robertshah
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I own a 36Volt EV Global Bike, and saw these pictures, and your solution for changing this heavy battery into a Lithium Ion, and was wondering if you do this for others? and if yes, what is your charge for it?Thanks, and please e.mail me all this info to robertshah [at] msn.com.Thanks.

proton
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

see www.falconev.com/batteries for an EVGlobal lithium pack $700 ( 36V )
$650 to voltage members
I am only using the new green A123 cells now, ( that should explain the price )
48 cells @ $12 each in the pack = $576 + BMS and LiFe charger = $650
( labor included ) !

The LiFepo4 BattMan www.falconev.com

calfotogal
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Good news, a reasonably priced 36v battery is available.

Now available, an improved replacement battery for Lee Iacocca's Ebike. This is a 8 Amp Hour 36 volt cell that replaces the original 7 Ah battery. Email or call to order. + CA residents 8.75% tax View on our product page
www.shockingrides.com
$20 Shipping to Domestic locations
Folsom, CA 95630
Ph# 916-397-7795

· Location: Folsom

edpavlu
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I have the 36 Volt ebike LE. the original battery (8Amp/Hour) lasted quite a while before it could no longer hold its full charge. So I bought a replacement from Electric Wheels (Jerry in Florida 7amp/hour). This battery lasted less than a year and was no way as good as the original. So I'm a little afraid of buying another battery and getting stuck. Can you tell me how your replacement battery compares with the original battery that came with the bike when new.
Also, will this battery fit in the bike's battery holder and what is the cost. I leave in Dublin, California.
thanks
Ed Pavlu

bspierre
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Here's what worked for me. My priority was cheap and good enough.
I used 6, 6volt batteries. They all fit into original battery case. I wired them together and I'm happy with how they work. The specs say 9ah so in theory this is more than the original battery.

The batteries were purchased from Zbattery.com. With shipping the total cost was $112.

http://www.zbattery.com/B-B-Battery-6V-9Ah-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Battery

Shocking Ride
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

I think you would be happier with our slide in replacement 36V 8AH. Total cost $150 , The SLA battery that will fit in the charging container & outperform this does not exist.

Higbee
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

does anyone remember how many watts the motor was on the 36volt LE, I think it was 600watts but not sure about it. Had the specs at one time, about the motor but cannot find them now,If I remember the Elec Motor was made by a Germen name wiseman? anyone know the name?
thanks Steve,

Higbee
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Does anyone know if this battery pack will work in the case of a 36volt LE bike?

http://www.batteryspace.com/limnni26650battery37v12ah444wh40aratewithpcmfore-bike.aspx

I know I should move up to a new bike but I have had this E-bike for a long time,and only road it just a few times over the years, and it's like new,but needing a battery,still has a little life in it, road it today,but the battery is going, 10 years old now,
Steve,

Shocking Ride
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

ShockingRides.comOurs will, 8AH and 36Volts... nycewheels_2100_13263009.png

Ebikeparts
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

you can buy it from us

We have both OEM and ODM customers in EU.

Today more than 10 European E-bike brands choose us as their partner.

We are the Ebike parts wholesaler in china ,such as battery,sensor,brushless

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If you want to buy the ebike parts in china pls vist our online store in

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Kevin

China ebike parts wholesale business cooperative.

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Online shop: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/904105

Phone: 86-0-15869111868
Skepe: kevin.fang168
Email: hz1stcare [at] 163.com
M s n

ski.dive
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HELP: I just bought a used Lee Iacocca ebike from Craig's list

I just bought a used Lee Iacocca ebike from Craig's list FOR $50.00

1] It is in excellent condition, but came with NO battery or charger.

2] How do I know if it's the 24v or 36v model?

3] How can I tell what year it is and model?

4] Where can I download an owners manual?

``thanks for any info

Ian
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Re: HELP: I just bought a used Lee Iacocca ebike from ...

I just bought a used Lee Iacocca ebike from Craig's list FOR $50.00

1] It is in excellent condition, but came with NO battery or charger.

2] How do I know if it's the 24v or 36v model?

3] How can I tell what year it is and model?

4] Where can I download an owners manual?

``thanks for any info

Cool. you should be able to tell by looking at the labels on the heinzmann motor itself. Year and model on the inside of the frame by the rear wheel.
I have pdf manuals for the 24v just let me know if you still need em. Also I have a used nimh battery pack I took off my evg bike - on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290518162400&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:US:1123#vi-desc

kennyhendrick
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Re: Choosing new battery for 36v ebike (Lee Iacocca bike)

Hello,
I realize this forum is rather old but you stated there was a battery case for sale for the 24v ebike. You also posted a link to an ebay page that is no longer available. My question is whether or not you still have this case available and how much?
I have the 24v Lee iasomething ebike by evg and throughout the years I've replaced the batteries but about a year ago the charger failed, so I removed the defective charger portion of the case. Since our homestead is off-grid and we basically live off of batteries around here, I simply have been charging using one of our 24v battery banks to charge the ebike battery directly. This worked fine but today I inadvertently saw sparks because I'm getting old and stupid. The batteries are fine but I'd like to get a price on a replacement for the case so charging is back to simple.
My number is 937-718-3586
Thanks

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