AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Front fork upgrade with trailing link suspension

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Oct 16 2019 3:55pm

I really hate the crummy front forks that came with the bike -- typical harsh cheap stuff from you-know-where. The rear suspension, however, is now well-behaved. But the front forks are more often than not quite jarring. So call me crazy, but one of my winter projects will be to install and customize a trailing arm front suspension borrowed from a 1987 Honda Elite CH250. Even though the CH250 only had drum brakes I'm pretty sure this puppy should align up with my existing 220mm disk rotor without too much trouble. But like most things, it's all in the details. Naturally I'll upgrade to nitrogen shocks and an upgraded AliExpress brake caliper at the same time. Crossing my fingers that it will be worth it and won't involve any serious hacking, particularly to the headset. A used front suspension assembly has been ordered via eBay and should arrive in a week. I'll start by de-rusting it, grinding off unnecessary attachment points, and cleaning up the welds. Then I'll proceed from there.

Current front suspension:
Trailing Arm slice1a.1280.jpg
Trailing Arm slice1a.1280.jpg (498.35 KiB) Viewed 1232 times
Proposed trailing arm front suspension (sketch):
Trailing Arm slice1b.1280.jpg
Trailing Arm slice1b.1280.jpg (473.42 KiB) Viewed 1232 times
Last edited by MJSfoto1956 on Oct 21 2019 11:34am, edited 2 times in total.
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Front fork upgrade with trailing link suspension

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Oct 16 2019 5:25pm

For those wondering why all the hassle, the following diagram from Honda explains the mechanics of the "anti-dive torque link" feature of this form of trailing link suspension:
Honda_CH250_1985 Service_Manual.p211.1280.jpg
Honda_CH250_1985 Service_Manual.p211.1280.jpg (490.56 KiB) Viewed 1220 times
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michaelw   1 mW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by michaelw » Oct 22 2019 8:57am

There are fork upgrades for the zuma, I admire your willingness to go big or go home!


One future idea for the battery pack problem, order multiple smaller packs. Wouldn't this mitigate the weaknesses you dealt with in the larger pack?

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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Oct 22 2019 11:20am

michaelw wrote:
Oct 22 2019 8:57am
One future idea for the battery pack problem, order multiple smaller packs. Wouldn't this mitigate the weaknesses you dealt with in the larger pack?
I've already started designing my "Next Gen" battery pack.
See: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=102806

M
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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CH250 front fork detail

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Oct 27 2019 8:03am

The used CH250 front fork arrived care of eBay. A bit rusty, but nothing a good cleaning won't fix. The quality of Honda's steel and welds is so much better than the Chinese equivalent. This should likely be a big improvement in safety and comfort.

However, one issue revealed itself -- the length of the CH250 stem is much longer than the Chinese one on my bike. Gonna need to figure this out. There are many options from shortening the CH250 stem, to welding the GY6 top half to the CH250 bottom, to getting creative with how the CH250 stem mounts at the top -- perhaps machining a custom spacer or something. Much to mull about. In the meantime, I've got my winter project lined up. Gonna be fun!
compare stems IMG_9562.jpg
compare stems IMG_9562.jpg (495.26 KiB) Viewed 1144 times
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Upgrading Elektra's front suspension

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Oct 29 2019 1:11pm

This is what the top of the steering stem currently looks like. Additionally, I "believe" I have identified the specific set of bearings on AliExpress that are used for this particular stem (but as with all things Chinese one needs to verify all dimensions prior to ordering as there are dozens of subtle variations between vendors).

As for the bottom of the stem, the hope is to keep it mostly "Honda" parts, but that remains to be seen. The key difference between the two is that the Honda shaft is 30mm in diameter while the Chinese clone shaft is 35mm.
slice1.1600.jpg
slice1.1600.jpg (491.8 KiB) Viewed 1039 times
Last edited by MJSfoto1956 on Nov 22 2019 12:51pm, edited 3 times in total.
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Installation of Elcon 1.8kW charger

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 03 2019 8:19am

So the Elcon 1.8kW Level 2 charger finally arrived from AliExpress and I spent a few hours yesterday installing it under the seat bucket. Two 5" L brackets from Lowes did the trick. As you can see, the 240V inlet fits nicely in the old gas filler opening. I used 8AWG wire to connect the charger to the 240V inlet and 10AWG wire to connect to the battery via an Anderson plug. I'm now getting 24A charging versus 5A from my old el-cheapo Level 1 charger!

Note that there are two versions of the Elcon: one for CANBUS and one without. I purchased the version without CANBUS. Also note that there is a little undocumented trick to getting this version of the charger to turn on: you need to short the last two pins together (see the the red patch cord in the photo). I'm likely going to add an on/off switch there "just in case" but for the most part, when I'm done charging I'm simply going to pull the 240V plug out and be done with it.
IMG_9578.1280.jpg
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IMG_9577.jpg
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Last edited by MJSfoto1956 on Nov 06 2019 4:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fechter   100 GW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by fechter » Nov 03 2019 8:43pm

Nice charger. Can you adjust the current?
Something like that might be overkill for my packs.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Installation of Elcon 1.8kW charger

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 04 2019 7:38am

fechter wrote:
Nov 03 2019 8:43pm
Nice charger. Can you adjust the current?
Something like that might be overkill for my packs.
There is no external adjustment. One orders the charger set by the factory to your specifications. That being said, there was some discussion some years back on ES about ways to electronically adjust the power on Elcon chargers -- whether that is still valid is anyone's guess. As is, I'm happy with the unit.
Last edited by MJSfoto1956 on Nov 07 2019 1:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Elcon 1.8kW charger 1 hour test

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 06 2019 4:24pm

Well the new Elcon 1.8kW Level 2 charger is the real deal. As my first test, the battery was at 48% charge. I gave it one hour on the new charger and the battery was at 91% when I pulled the plug. This is going to be a game changer for me. Going forward, I'll likely keep the battery between 60-75% and give it a quick 30 minute boost right before I venture out. So far, I'm a believer.
IMG_9601.combo.jpg
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 13 2019 7:32pm

If you've been following this thread, you know that I have had enough of the nasty front shocks on my Chinese Zuma clone. While I "could" take a chance that some $400-$600 performance forks from AliExpress might help, I decided to go old school -- specifically a set of forks from a 1986 Honda Elite 250. (see previous posts). These were purchased for $89 from a seller on eBay.

These are trailing arm design, so in theory I can install any brand of 300mm shock I want (within reason of course). My expectation is that even with the stock Honda shocks, it will be much smoother than the harsh ride I'm getting at present.

Anyway, here are two photos of the actual forks I purchased via eBay a few weeks ago:
s-l16003-J2T-giga-mask-transparent.flat.1280.jpg
s-l16003-J2T-giga-mask-transparent.flat.1280.jpg (457.2 KiB) Viewed 866 times
s-l16002-J2T-giga-mask-transparent.flat.1280.jpg
s-l16002-J2T-giga-mask-transparent.flat.1280.jpg (481.24 KiB) Viewed 866 times
I started by using a wire wheel to clean off the rust. Additionally, I wanted to grind off the extraneous bits that held the covers and speedometer cable. But I guess I got a bit carried away... There is not a lick of paint left on these puppies! Given how clean they are now, I'll probably opt for powder coating the forks themselves. I'd like to keep the connecting bits shiny metal, but given that they are steel not aluminum I'll have to paint them either way.
IMG_9755.1200.jpg
IMG_9755.1200.jpg (476.6 KiB) Viewed 869 times
Note: the tab on the right is to hold the speedometer housing in place -- given that this is for an electric eScooter, I'll probably grind that off but for now it is what it is.
Last edited by MJSfoto1956 on Nov 13 2019 10:13pm, edited 1 time in total.
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john61ct   100 MW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by john61ct » Nov 13 2019 8:52pm

Wow, sweet.

Think they'd be robust enough to handle the twisting of a front hub motor?

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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 13 2019 9:04pm

john61ct wrote:
Nov 13 2019 8:52pm
Think they'd be robust enough to handle the twisting of a front hub motor?
In my application I'm using a rear 8000W hub motor.

But to your point -- these are solid steel not aluminum. So I would imagine they would do the trick for a front hub motor with 12" or 13" rim. You'd have to extend them and add longer shocks for a 16" rim. That might be cool but the travel won't be to your liking as the geometry is for a 12" rim.
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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Re: AliExpress battery pack unboxing (for my eZuma project)

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Nov 21 2019 8:42pm

I finally drafted a complete Bill of Materials for this CH250 forks project. About $87 more than I was hoping, but it is what it is. That being said, I have no doubt that Murphy is likely lurking around somewhere...
Trailing Arm Project BOM.1200.jpg
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