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Saturday, December 1, 2007

JB Weld it is, then.

More good news: It still works, more or less.

I couldn't get the mounting ring off the scooter wheel, so I just went ahead with the JBWeld plan, and added some long bolts thru the spokes to help clamp it in place as well--they won't stop any real torque breakages but they'll minimize any flexing from spoke bending as the wheel turns (which might be what broke it off the first time).

I didn't realize it was 3am when I finished up, though, so I ended up sleeping till midday. Still raining all night and morning, so no big deal, there--didnt' want to test in the rain if possible not to. :)

The big moment: Pedaled up to speed, engaged motor, stopped pedaling--no crunchy sounds. It's about as fast as my comfortable pedalling speed, so it's certainly good enough--I don't need fast, just easier. Went around the block a few times, probably a mile's worth. Checked motor, it's getting pretty warm, but that was expected--it's moving about 10 pounds more than the original scooter it came off of, and it's turning a much bigger wheel (which probably masses twice what the original wheel did, perhaps nearly thrice).

Kept going, then about halfway thru the very next loop around the block (1/8th mile, perhaps), there was a zap sound, and suddenly I was slowing to only half speed or less. I stopped the motor immediately, it was *very* hot, several times as hot as it had been just before, when I had checked. Definitely something wrong.

Pedaled back home, opened up the motor casing, and immediately wished I'd done that outside--it stank of burned insulation and melted metal. At least one winding (of 16) is burned thru completely in one spot, and it is very apparent that more enamel has darkened, some of it has actually charred off the surface of the windings. Other than rewinding the motor myself, there's nothing I can do to fix it. If I can get the wiring off of one or more of my old cieling fan motors intact, I might try it, but not yet.

The motor still works, just not as fast as it would if all windings worked, and eventually more will probably go if I let it get hot again. There are identical replacements for only $40 off, but as I said before, I don't want to buy one. I'm checking Craigslist and Freecycle to see if anyone has another old scooter like the one I salvaged already, so I can take the motor off of it (thus not having to change my mounting already built--though that's just a couple blocks of wood screwed into a section of aluminum patio door frame held to the bike by two radiator hose clamps :-) ).

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