The SB Cruiser : Amberwolf's 2WD Heavy Cargo Trike & Dog Carrier

Today on the way home from work, while squinting to see in the gusty dusty storm wind, I could still tell that sometimes the turn signals were ceasing after a few blinks. Didn't matter if it was left or right, or when I was stopped vs moving (bumpy road vibration).

After I got home I hobbled around the trike to watch all the lights while running the blinkers (having to turn them off and back on repeatedly to restart them), and found that the left rear main hand-sized signal and the strip on the top cargo frame weren't working at all, but the vertical strip glued to the back of the cargo area was. Poking at the wiring inside the cargo area I found a spot that would make them all work when touched right, so that was the first thing to fix...but it didn't have anything to do with the other problem, unfortunatley.

That turned out after an hour of testing to be the blinker unit itself, which is inside the "front triangle" above the pedals. It might be a bad relay in it, or it might be the electronics (it's one of those LED-compatible electronic ones, a Novita EP35 like this:
I thought I had bought one to use on the Cloudwalker Cargo Bike (that hasn't been started yet) but it's not in the parts box for that project, so I guess not. So since my brother has never used the trike I built for him (rode it once), I took the one off of that (which originally came from CrazyBike2) until I can order a new one for SBC, and that fixed the problem.

So another couple of hours of time and energy (that I didn't have to spare right now) used up. :(

The wheels and motors and controllers are still working the same, so that's good...but this coming weekend will have to be spent rebuilding the dropouts on the left side to properly secure the axle, instead of the growing amount of yard work and other stuff I still have to get done. (and the rest I won't get either, that I desperately need)
Aaannd, today:

On the way home from work, the motor temperature stopped reading, and then I started having problems with both motors starting up on their own after a stop, just a little, but if I released the ebrake I coudl feel both of them pulling...not enough to really get me moving, but enough to feel the slight forward push. Shortly after that the ebrake stopped working (it uses the same throttle input on the controllers, just in the 0.8v-0.0v range).

By the time I got home it was much harder pushing and I was having trouble controlling them at all. They felt like they were just always full throttle, not responding to the CA (which always had the, and I kept having to use the mechanical brake to manage speed.

Fairly classic broken-ground-wire symptoms, so easy to fix, right?

I found that (probably when I had to deal with the first repair this past weekend) the ground wire to the throttle splitter that goes to both controllers was about half an inch from the connector. Fixed that easy enough (though to get to it I had to roll the trike on it's side). While doing that, the entire JST connector just came off the base of the I wired it straight in. Then the JST going to each PR came off as I plugged them back in there...I didn't want to cut the JST's off the PRs (yet, anyway), so I thick-tinned the signal and ground wires, and pushed them into the PR JST contacts, then wrapped in electrical tape.

The temperature sensor's ground wire (which is just inserted into the center pin of the WP8 connector on the PRv6 as a temporary measure I'd forgotten to do anything with from back when I first setup the v6), had vibrated out, and without that ground to the CA, the other grounds to the CA apparently were insufficient (everything shares battery ground, which I would expect to be enough...but it isn't!). I thought I had the matching male WP8 connector but I guess I didn't actually order that (or I've misplaced it), and none of the other connectors I have fit it, so I just thick-tinned the sensor wires and reinserted them into the WP8 connector, then folded the wries back along it again, and wrapped the whole bundle in electrical tape, after first putting one layer across the face of the connector to help hold the wires in (which I didn't do the first time).

Verified all the voltages, then powered it up and tested, and it's working as expected now.

Another issue I've had since the new wheel install is that plastic tube is just not stiff enough, and more than once the one-link-too-short chain**** was pulled so tight from slight axle movement in the outboard dropout that I couldn't even pedal, and had to use the throttle to finish the ride to work or home, then roll the trike on it's side and reposition things to loosen the chain.

I poked thru my pile of steel tubing, and found some conduit that was just a hair larger OD and ID than the plastic spacer tube that came with the motor, so I duplicated the tube with that, and swapped it out; so far the wheel held it's position properly during the test rides around the lumpy bumpy backyard. Was too wiped out to safely do a road test ride. Hopefuly it holds up for my commute tomorrow. :/

Real fix for this is to rebuild the dropouts to make them both clamping like the right wheel's, but tahts just not happening right now.

****Looked for half links and the cheapest I can get a single for (because of shipping) is a KMC from Amazon for six bucks. :(

For 7 bucks I can get 8 of them from UXcell
but I don't know if they'll be any good. (I know KMC will, and this might be the first time I've really required a half link, so dunno that I need more than one...but I do always like to have spares of parts like this).

I'ts only thirty bucks for a whole 100-link KMC HL wide chain
that also comes with an apparently crappy chain breaker (but I already have a great sunlite CB).

Or the same price for a whole 100link KMC HL Narrow chain

So...I'll probably get a whole chain and just use links from it.

Getting pretty tired of spending hours after work every day fixing things on it, though. :(
Psst, if you want a chassis, I am pretty sure I can hook you up in the near future...

Don't have a spare tire, have a spare car, a spare car will not make you sit in the mud when it is raining...
I appreciate the thought, but there's no "chassis" around that I can just use as-is--I'd have to cut it up and build a new trike that suits my specific needs out of it. (the only thing that I've seen that comes close to what I need was the TruckTrike, but even that would have to be modified).

I already have much of the stuff to do more or less a clone of the existing trike with, but don't have the time and energy to actually do it. (everytime I plan out time, something happens to use that up, or I get sick and can't do it, etc). A little time here and there...I try, but there's always something that eats it up...and I'm always exhausted, which doesn't help any. (If I hadn't been so emotionally destroyed the half-year I was on forced leave from work, I could've done it then...but it wasn't really on the radar; I had enough trouble with life itself).

The Raine Trike thread shows the one I built for my brother that's vaguely similar to mine, but built to his specific wants...since he is never going to use it I could cut it up and have a partial head start on a new version, but it has a whole bunch of stuff that would need to be cut off and rebuilt--all I'd really be able to keep is the cargo/seatbox and "keel"/downtube/headtube.

It isn't even usable as a spare trike for emergencies right now. (needs a complete rework of the pedal drivetrain, since he didn't need one (or even want it, but it had to be there and "functional" to keep it bicycle-class); it wouldn't work for me; my legs are longer, need diffferent gearing, etc).

Ideally I'd like to build a whole new trike with some major differences in design, but I don't have all the parts for that one. (see the SB mark 2 version thread). Dunno how long it will be before I can get to that, if ever.

Maybe if I win the lottery, so I don't have to work for a living.
I f I were local, I would totally build skirtzen for your poor abused rims.

I just had noticed while checking out the layout of the frames we are looking at... it is a *lot* like yours, to the tune of probably 4-5hrs in my fab guys hands (I am no longer allowed to do welding, tremula in the left hand comes and goes with no real schedule, I was one of those weird people that never really got the whole handedness thing, I just kind of do whatever with both, and I also transfer tools hand to hand without thinking it through. Hence... no more big torches for me) But my fab guy works for Bbq on side projects so we are set!
I haven't seen anything that looks like mine, so if you have a pic or a link or a name I can look up, I'd be interested to see them.

What I really want is to build my new trike so it's like my trailer, with the cargo area hanging from the axles of tall wheels (rather than sitting on the axles of short wheels). Much better overall performance and is much easier on the wheels and the whole trike. Tha'ts the plan for the Mk2 version.
The general frame shape looks pretty similar, granted I am working off the images as ya see em. The benefit is that the whole rear end is set and blocked already, from my time in fab I just know that the welding, is enjoyable, and oddly zen for me. The set up to do all the fiddly bits in a project that is not only specific for minor angle variations, but is also gonna be in motion so any glitch that you miss...

I have just had the wild urge to ride, but the tremula is really bad this week, not sure it is a great idea to go out when my left hand keeps going into and out of circuit...
Well, almost any delta trike is "similar" to mine, but without seeing what you're referring to, I couldn't tell you if it's actually functionally close enough to be usable. :)

I enjoy doing almost any work with my hands, from playing music to sculpting, carving, cutting, building, gluing, welding, painting, etc....I just don't have enough time or energy to do much of any of that anymore. And I also have problems with both hands where they randomly go numb, often (but not always) with that electric shock feeling you get when you smack your elbow just right. :(
Sounds like you have some shoulder damage or a slipped disk, either can cause that sensation (I dropped out of med school none of my buddies did, I am like the awesome parrot of medical knowledge.. No idea what I am saying half the time, but since I am quoting a pro :😆:
So while the system is now all working, I do still have two "problems", in that it behaves differently than i would like. Details over here
if anyone has ideas to fix the behavior.

Oh, also, I did have one more problem Friday as I was about to leave work--I backed the trike (walking it by hand, no power) up to turn it around in the breakroom it's parked in while I'm at work, so I could walk it out, and a few inches after starting the rollback it just STOPPED, and I could feel the tension against my pushing as if it were a jammed chain.

I found no chain under tension, however, so I had to roll the trike on it's side in the breakroom, where there's not really enough room to do this so it ended up at an angle against a wall instead (and catacornered since I couldn't complete the backup that lets me turn it around from going into the room to going out of it).

What I found was that the allen wrench I had used "temporarily" to replace the sheared cotter pin on the transfer axle back in October '23:
had dislodged just enough to catch on the housing around that sprocket/axle area. Pic of the original cotter pin and the area below; I don't seem to have a pic of the wrench in place:

This is what the wrench looked like after I pulled it out with pliers so I could stick another one in there (it's the size that comes with practically anything that has to be assembled by the end-user, so I have a bajillion of them), which I wrapped in electrical tape until I could get home so it shouldn't move enough to catch on anything. The bending is from just this incident, since it has not had any such problems previously. (these wrenches are usually such soft steel that they barely survive the intended usage, and sometimes don't).

Plan was to do something to better secure it in place after i got home, but I was way too exhausted to be trusted with tools (probably couldn't have rolled the trike over anyway), and today I had to get started on the yard work, as it won't wait any longer; stuff is growing too fast in the suddenly warm weather after the rain we got. Probably won't be able to finish that either (got the back mowed before I was too worn out to continue, still have to do the front and streetside).

Also not going to get to the clamping dropouts this weekend.
Hi Amber Wolf

I have read your entire thread, very interesting. I am working on a Pedal car last seen whole before the back frame broke due to my flawed understanding of suspension. I am thinking now of doing two wheels in the back with independent suspension, may I ask how you did the rear axle?. If you have feedback, please email at

I am not sure I would see a response from you here.

I found you origianlly on the Grin site as i am thinking of doing a hub drive motor maybe two of them,.

thanks Dan


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Not to step on Ambers toes, but I would do the suspension using the AmberWolf Chop weld and Roll (tm) technique, and get a sacrificial frame that has suspension on it, make sure it is a size and format that matches off the shelf bits. Cut that sucker off the first frame, weld it to yours, tune the suspension for your load level.. and roll em out..

We at snarky motors currently fully endorse this torture of innocent parts. We do *not* however endorse the WiresDon'tNeedBadges (tm) process of cable management.
If you have feedback, please email at
I recommend you remove your email address from the posting. As it's freely open to the general public, bots will readily find it and you may soon see your inbox filled with spam, phishing attacks, malware, etc.
Ya would think that is a problem. But that account was started in the initial wave of gmail accounts, when to get one someone at gmail had to invite you.

It is old enough to both vote, and drink.

I see about 3 spam messages a week.

that email is all over the internet, last count I had handed out over 10k business cards with it on the front.

I worry less about that than I do about the ever expanding email storage that eventually gmail is gonna want me to pay for.
I have read your entire thread, very interesting. I am working on a Pedal car last seen whole before the back frame broke due to my flawed understanding of suspension. I am thinking now of doing two wheels in the back with independent suspension, may I ask how you did the rear axle?.
If you read the entire thread, you'd see that there is no rear axle as such, and exactly how I built each part of it and how each part changed over the years. ;)

Since it doesn't have a rear axle, I presume you mean some other part, but you'll need to be specific as to which one for me to be able to respond usefully.

I don't have any suggestions on how to fix the problem you have because I'd need to see the actual problem itself, and know the situation in which it happened, to figure out why it happened, and possible preventive measures / fixes. If you post that detailed information with pics of the breakage in the context of the pedal car, in your existing thread for it, I or another may be able to help.
Some EIG battery maintenance, disassembly, etc over here:


Ya would think that is a problem. But that account was started in the initial wave of gmail accounts, when to get one someone at gmail had to invite you.

It is old enough to both vote, and drink.

I see about 3 spam messages a week.

that email is all over the internet, last count I had handed out over 10k business cards with it on the front.

I worry less about that than I do about the ever expanding email storage that eventually gmail is gonna want me to pay for.


You're only allowed one account, so if you are the same as the person posting about the pedal car, that posted their email (I don't see one under your account that has done so?), you'll have to pick which account to keep, and all your posts will be merged into that one and the other removed.

If you are not the same person as the one posting about the pedal car, that posted your email, then your reply makes no sense since you can't know when their email was started, etc etc., and you don't have it on your business cards because it isn't yours.
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The email account referenced was mine. I honestly do not recall ever posting it, but I am fairly lassez faire about it.. due to the fact it has not been a problem in a long while.

Past that. I just have the one account. So no merger necessary.

and after looking at it, nope, I was just evidently in babble mode I thought he was complaining at me. Nope, wrong guy... My mistake.
FWIW, I don't see how it could have been your account, since someone else was posting their own email address (unless they are using yours for some reason?). If you look at his address and find it is actually yours, you should discuss it with him via PM to have him remove it and stop using it.
Anyway, back on topic:

I've been looking for either a halflink or 18T freewheel that didn't make me cringe looking at the price...but there just aren't any single halflinks (even the junk ones) that are less than about $5 *each*, either actual item cost or item plus shipping, even on Aliexpress (my absolute last resort for anything I need to trust).

I did find freewheels on aliexpress for less than four bucks, but they don't have any removal slots (you'd have to disassemble it to take it off!) and most of them don't specify if they are "chinese metric" threading or ISO; some of them say they're 34-35mm, some even specify measurement may vary, which makes any specifications provided completely useless as you can't know what it will actually be.

I found "name brand" freewheels on aliexpress that do have useful specs and at least have pictures of the real thing in the ad (who knows what they actually ship out), but the prices are no different than the same thing on ebay or amazon, etc., and I'd have to wait weeks to get them.

So, I went with the cheapest freewheel with usefully good reviews on Amazon, that also has removal slots that fit one of the tools I already have; it's only ten bucks and will be here tomorrow (not sure i'll be capable of swapping it in after work though):

This same FW is found all over aliexpress, too, but any seller with actual feedback indicating they're probably safe to buy from charges nearly the same prices as amazon, and takes weeks to get it to me, and any potential return could be a nightmare (amazon returns are usually easy and quick, for almost any reason).
Freewheel arrived, appears to be just as described and pictured, and is packed in a thin grease (which has softened and penetrated/permeated the baggie it comes in, which itself is inside another baggie, and that inside the amazon-labelled bag, inside the bubblepack envelope it was shipped in...and all of them except the shipping bag feel greasy on the outside).

Is pretty quiet, doesn't have any play that I can feel, either laterally or radially, or between locked pawl positions back and forth, so it's already better than a fair number of non-major-brand freewheels I've used.

It's still raining outside, and I'm wiped out, so not going to get this on there today; more likely this weekend on a day off.

In the meantime I tested the fit on another UM cover, and it's perfect, not loose or tight. Did discover that my Park FR-6 tool is just a hair too small a borehole to fit all the way down over the UM axle, and a few minutes with a round file was enough to remove just the blacked surface inside the borehole and that's enough to easily fit on the axle now, so should be able to remove the other FW with it and put this one one, and put my original chainloop back, and fit the motor up into the dropouts normally without undue chain tension.
Thought I'd get a chance to do the freewheel tonight, since it was nice all day, but on my way home from work it started to look like rain again, and sure enough....

It's still raining, lighting and thunder...worse than yesterday's/last-night's by a fair bit.

So, no work on the trike. That's ok, I need the rest....
Nice and clear when I got home today, so I rolled the trike on it's side and removed the ouboard axle nut and the inboard dropout pinch bolt/nut, and was completely unable to budge the axle out of the dropouts by any amount at all (have not yet applied tools to the axle, just my ~200lbs to the rim/tire at various angles). I even rolled it back upright and let it land not so gently on that wheel, and it still didn't budge.

That's really nice in that it's holding position so well, without any hardware to keep it there, but kinda problematic for any event i would need to fix something (like a flat on roadside, or this freewheel replacement, etc).

I was way too tired (still am) to deal with it so I left it as is for now and will try again tomorrow since it's a day off.
Either I dreamed that I fixed the above problem, or I completely forgot to post about it (though I remember writing it up). Now I will have to check which freewheel is on there.....

If I didn't dream it, then the week after the above (I think), I eventually worked it out of the dropouts (forgot how, exactly), swapped the freewheel easily, put the old longer chain back, then slid the axle in but couldn't get it to seat all the way in--it was sticking at thes ame point it had been mounted with the short chain, and I couldn't see why.

So I filed the dropouts a tiny bit, made sure the axle flats could slide just barely into the slot on either side, tightly, not easily, using the broken end of the axle off the black UM (same as those on the silver ones). But fitting the whole motor on there still didn't work, so the dropouts must not be perfectly aligned.

So I started to use the angle grinder to just barely shave the clamping dropout's shape a bit, both between the flats and on the axle-shoulder-facing surface to flatten them out, but the grinder kept shutting off and eventually just stopped working. The ac cord to the grinder appeared to be faulty, working sometiems when I moved it at the base where it enters the grinder. After some time disassembling it I found no problems there, but ended up seeing damaged jacket on the cord further toward the plug, and opened that up to fix a broken wire in the actual cord itself. Wasted a fair bit of time doing all that.

Eventually I ended up still going to get the bigger 4" grinder (which ahs apower button taht won't latch so I don' tuse it much), to reach the spots I needed to since the 3" one can't quite get in there. Fixed up the dropout shape and was able to get the wheel in there finally, secured it, set the cahin tension, etc.

At some point in there I chose to repalce the plastic spacer tube with a metal one made from some conduit, to protect the axle wiring/etc., but dont' recall the details or when in the sequence I did that work.

Eventually, after having messed with the fitting/etc for several hours, I got it all setup and working and secured. It's now been working for at least a week or more.

What I came here to post today:

Yesterday I had just enough time to glue on and wire in a couple of the "white to yellow" 60cm versions of these LED strips
on the front edge of the canopy to replace the messy, view-obstructing****, and sometimes-breaking ones I'd installed on the handlebars from the mirrors down to the "brush guards".

**** Whenever they're lit, and it's dark enough, these shine on the trike, bars, etc., and unless all non-forward-facing areas and edges are obscured (tape, black silicone, etc) there's glare back to my eyes while riding.

Installed on teh top edge of the canopy, with just a bit of black silicone on the lower edge of the strips, none of those are a problem, and they are simpler, more visible to other traffic, etc.

As long as they don't get ripped off by a low-hanging treebranch like the last solid-white strip I had on there a long while back, they should do fine. :)

I'll post some pics as soon as I am able to get up and walk that far (probably not tonight), as I forgot to take any pics during install and testing. :(
Completely overcast, midday; these are still easily visible so make reasonable DRLs. With just power on, the white lights They're so bright at night I might setup a switch to cut in a set of diodes or a power resistor to drop the current to the white lights down for nighttime in close-encounter situations like parking lots.

The left turn signal on. The image makes them seem dim because I can't quite capture the full-on moment with the camera, it always catches it just before or after the "scan" has lit up all the LEDs fully. The turn signal starts with the rearmost LEDs lit first, then more and more LEDs sequentially lit forward and then to the center of the front, then cycles that repeatedly. (the rear ones are the same, but start forward and move rearward, and have red LEDs when no signal is operating instead of white).

You can see the clear tape still on there that I used to hold them in position while the silicone caulk cures. The LEDs are actually under the adhesive strip intended to secure them to the cars they're meant for, and are meant to just indirectly light up the edge of the silicone strip the lighting is built into, and just that edge is meant to show on the car, such as between the hood and headlight housing or trunk and taillight, etc.

They can't be bent to fit that way on my trike where I am putting them, so I have to install them with LEDs facing outward. I left the double-sided tape on the adhesive / LED side, but removed it's blue covering, to diffuse the LEDs a bit more, but it will age and flake off in the sun fairly rapidly. The stuff on the rear strips has come off long since, leaving each LED a "pinpoint" of light as seen from other vehicles when close to me, rather than a slightly more continuous strip of light.

There are other ways I could diffuse the light, but diffusion also dims the light, and I don't really want that, so it is what it is.

I have another set of these that I will probably replace the fork's turn signal strips with eventually, as those are just the turn signal yellow ones with no marker lights, and as long as they're not bright enough to cause problems, and are all consistent coloring, function, etc., more lights can only help make me more visible, which in principle makes me safer vs those road users that are actually paying attention to the rest of the road. (nothing will help against those that aren't, other than my own "see and avoid" operations, and trying to never be in places where those types of road users operate, which isn't always possible).
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