Creaking sound from gearbox area

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undead
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Creaking sound from gearbox area

I am fairly sure this is a new thing, and I have not just noticed it.

When going at low speeds (<10mph) and especially when going leaning round corners, the bike has developed a slight kind of creaking noise, seems to be coming from where the motor/gearbox is. I have jumped up and down on the seat (not literally! ;) ) and it does not appear to be the suspension.

I have also not noticed any major decrease in power or speed, however range does not appear to be as good as it used to be, however that could just be because the bike is nearing 5,500 miles.

Anything to be concerned about or do all vectrix bikes do this?

marylandbob
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

I would be concerned about the possibility of LOOSE HARDWARE, as you may have one or more bolts working loose. Get someone, with proper wrenches, to check the swing arm, motor, wheel to gearbox, and rear suspension mounting hardware.-(Beware of not over-torquing any bolts that thread into aluminum!)-Bob

Robert M. Curry

undead
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

I have a torque wrench, anyone got the recommended torque settings for the various assemblies?

The only thing that has been done (and the noise was still there before it), is a tyre change about 2 months ago. Guy that did it is a professional mobile tyre mechanic with many years experience so I dont think he would have done it wrong (if the noise had happened after he worked on it anyway!)

R
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

If you take pictures of the assemblies, or describe them, I'll ask my local dealer for the recommended torque settings.

Stanzeman
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

Hello. I purchased my Vectrix used with 2000 miles on the clock. It was running fine but the transmission was making weird noises, especially when I was cornering. One day, I heard a snap sound and I lost power. The transmission was spinning inside the gearbox but no power to the wheel. I opened up the gearbox, removed the gears and realised the bolts holding the gearbox to the motor were loose. I tried to tighten them and to my horror, I realised they had all snapped! I replaced them with some stronger grade ones (12.9) and the vectrix then ran like a dream. No more weird noises, felt more powerful and the range got sensibly better. After a while, I could hear a bit of rattling noise coming and going. I opened the gear box again and guess what. The bolts did not snap but they got loose. I believe that if it is left that way, they will snap again. It looks like the mechanical stress combined with the vibrations from the motor and gearbox has some bad influence on these bolts. This time, I took them out, cleaned the threads and inserts with carb cleaner to remove all the grease, applied some threadlock and added some spring washers. I hope it will hold! I have seen a bunch of threads about gearbox issues and I am now pretty sure that a lot of these problems come from these bolts getting loose. It induces some free play and stress between the central gear and the planetary ones. Anybody with noisy gearboxes should check these bolts. I'll keep you posted on future discoveries!IMAG0222.jpg

volts76
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

tightening specs.JPG

turok
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

err..

I know what sound you mean I think, I've always heard it, so I though it was normal. I'm very curious for the outcome!

I also experience another oddity with the gearbox: 1 in say 30-50 times I pull up from zero at full throttle, after say a second, I hear a quite loud 'pop' like when jumping a gear?
It acts perfectly though, I never feel a thing. Anyone knows what I mean or experienced this?

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

procrastination inc
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

hmmm... I've noticed an odd noise on mine in that area too (850km on odo)

is it noiser on a right hand turn than a left.?

I think the move to grade 12 bolts might be a backwards step. The aluminium female thread is the limiting factor for tension on the bolt, so a high tensile fastner there won't give you better clamping force. On top of that, the higher tensile bolt is harder, more brittle and more prone to fatigue failure. If fatigue was the failure mode of the original bolt, and these ones manage to work loose, you could be in for a quicker failure than last time.

have a look at the broken faces of the bolt, they might look like this:

http://images.google.com.au/images?gbv=2&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&sa=1&q=fatigue+bolt+failure+b...

classic fatigue failure.

marylandbob
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

My Vectrix is low milage, (900 miles) so I have not experienced that problem yet. I have noticed that Vectrix seems to have been assembled without much usage of LOCKWASHERS! I Plan on installing them in many places, as I believe that using them, and in cases such as the gearbox bolts, also using thread locking compound, will greatly reduce unplanned loosening of such bolts. Perhaps Vectrix engineers figured that with a smooth electric motor, vibration would be low, so lockwashers were not needed? ---They need to ride in the "Real World", over rough roads, potholes, uneven pavement, etc! There IS vibration, and extra stesses from cornering, especially with two USA sized adults aboard!(With SOME riders, perhaps they need TWICE as many bolts, with lockwashers, thread locking compound, and safetywire!)-Bob

Robert M. Curry

siai47
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

I have had the gearbox apart a couple of times. The bolts in my Vectrix were installed from the factory with "blue" loctite. They also appear to be large enough to do their job which is to clamp the planetary carrier to the motor housing. The marks on the shoulder of the broken bolt in the picture indicates that the bolt had come loose (and it had been that way for a while) before it broke. If you want to add lockwashers, make sure there is enough room for them. Also if you are in the gearbox, the easiest bolts to overtorque and strip are the three that hold the right side axle shaft cover to the planet carrier. It is a diecast part that really isn't up to the task.

winged_racer
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

This is the first I have seen or heard of with the bolts shearng as shown. Usually any bolts over torqued shear at the end of the threads where the shoulder of the bolt begins, but it is possible they could fail at another point; however I would think steel bolts into aluminium should strip the threads of the aluminium before causing the bolt to fail. This indicates to me a lateral shearing caused by the bolts not being at the correct torque or having loosened during use allowing a shearing moment to occur. But from what I can see in the picture, there are no marks on the threads indicating stress. Which leads me to think the bolts themselves are inferior and have failed due to a manufacuring flaw from an independent supplier/manufacturer. Not the fault of Vectrix per se, and I do not say that because I am employed by them. There are a number of variables which come into play here which can only beanswered by investigatingthe service history of the bike.

I do not recommend everyone disassembling their V gearboxes to check for problems, but I do say if you have strange noise coming from the gearbox (and I don't mean the usual whine from the straight cut gears) to take it to your dealer or authorized trained technician and have it checked out. In many cases I have found worn brake pads to cause some interesting sounds which come from the gearbox area. Whistling, chattering, knocking come to mind!

I hope this helps everyone out.

Doug Townley
info.DTES [at] gmail.com

(Formerly Vectrix Europe Technical Supervisor)

One door closes, another door opens

DJP
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

At 8000 miles I have not experienced this problem but if it is possible to drill and ream to set in a couple of, say 6mm dowels this would take the shear force off the bolts??

AndY1
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

As the temperature fell here to about 0'C, my gearbox became louder, especially at 30km/h. Slower and faster than that, the gearbox gives out the usual loudness.
Is that normal?

Mik
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

The Vectux gearbox sends a "hum", a palpable vibration through the entire scooter during right turns, worse at lower speeds and worse without load/acceleration.

It has not changed much during the last 8000km or so, and I have not found any obvious wear due to it. But it is probably causing some wear, maybe on those pitted surfaces of the planetary gears.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

SVX
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

My Vectrix is low milage, (900 miles) so I have not experienced that problem yet. I have noticed that Vectrix seems to have been assembled without much usage of LOCKWASHERS!

I Plan on installing them in many places, as I believe that using them, and in cases such as the gearbox bolts, also using thread locking compound, will greatly reduce unplanned loosening of such bolts. Perhaps Vectrix engineers figured that with a smooth electric motor, vibration would be low, so lockwashers were not needed? ---They need to ride in the "Real World", over rough roads, potholes, uneven pavement, etc! There IS vibration, and extra stesses from cornering, especially with two USA sized adults aboard!(With SOME riders, perhaps they need TWICE as many bolts, with lockwashers, thread locking compound, and safetywire!)-Bob

Lockwashers do not do what you think they do. A typical split lockwasher under a tightened bolt head is essentially a flat washer with a split in it, it will not prevent the bolt from loosening. If the fastener begins to get loose, a lockwasher will keep some amount of tension for a very brief amount of time before the joint totally comes apart. Lockwashers won't save you! Adding lockwashers to these bolts will reduce thread engagement and could conceivably cause interference as the bolt heads protrude more.

What *will* prevent these fasteners from coming loose is: Proper preparation (clean male and female threads), proper loctite application, and proper installation torque.

marylandbob
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

While I agree that before utilizing lockwashers, thread engagement and interference issues must be evaluated and considered, a GOOD split lockwasher installation is much better than a flatwasher! (a GOOD installation involves usage of a high-quality, hardened spring steel split lockwasher, properly torqued, under the head of a suitable bolt) If proper components are used, the edges of the lockwasher ends will actually CUT into the underside of the bolt head, and into whatever is being secured, thusly adding an additional element to be overcome to reverse the bolt rotation and allow loosening-after removal, you would see where this "cutting" takes place. Poor quality or worn/used lockwashers, or non-compatible bolts/hardware, will not allow this cutting/locking to take proper effect. And YES, clean the threads and use the locktite! -Bob
PS:I have seen some cases where the sharp lockwasher edges (Of good, hardened steel lockwashers) bite into the metal deeply enough, that removing the bolt causes it to bite in so deeply/strongly that the washer is destroyed/severly damaged upon removal of the bolt.)-Good lockwashers strongly "Dig in" when reverse rotation of the tightened bolt is attempted, something that "flat" washers do not do.

Robert M. Curry

Mik
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

This thread has been added to the Vectrix Collaborative Handbook, please stay on topic!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

martinwinlow
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Re: Creaking sound from gearbox area

In a steel to steel scenario, I agree that spring or split lock-washers will reduce the likelihood of a bolt coming undone. In a steel (bolt) to aluminium situation, I am not a fan as the very fact that the spring washer cuts into the aluminium tends to make a mess of the aluminium mating surface after a few cycles of assembly/disassembly. Better altogether would be the Nord-Lock type of lock washer... http://www.nord-lock.com or, as others have suggested, the correct strength of thread locking product.

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay, Scotland
evalbum.com/2092

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