Thread: My Story...
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:07 PM
caprirs302 caprirs302 is offline
Motorized Bicycle Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Home
Posts: 57
Default My Story...

Since this is my first post I would like to tell everybody how I got here. About 3 years ago I say a guy riding a manufactured moped and got the idea that one of those would be just perfect for a nerd like myself. After pricing them out (most over $1000) and doing a few searches, I came across these chinese bicycle engines. At that time there weren't too many people selling them online, and the price for a 49cc kit was $229 or so. I thought about it, searched ebay, and finally bought one from there for only $159 (I have no idea who from). After a week or so it arrived on my doorstep, and I was excited. I wanted to put this on a brand new bike but much to my dismay I could not find one AT ALL that still had one inch framing (sorry guys, I know how much people on this forum like those beach cruisers, but I just couldn't do that to myself, they look like something my grandmother used to ride...) so after a bit more shopping I finally found one with just enough clearance, and a 1 inch seat tube. It was a Schwinn Ranger 21 speed mountain bike, $149 at Target, now mine.
As most of you have, I took my time putting it all together, bending and scraping things as necessary, making numerous trips to the hardware store for nuts, bolts, and what nots, and after a few days it came together. It was finally time to start this baby up! I double checked everything, filled'er up with gas, and pedaled away! Nothing. Just the rumble of the motor trying to start. 5 minutes later, still nothing. After awhile I got it to run a bit, but it was groggy, wouldn't idle, and only carried me halfway up the hill in front of my house before it died, and refused to start again. I was ready to do some trouble shooting (checking for spark, gas mix, etc) when a friend of mine noticed that the stupid chain was rubbing against the frame. Not good. Try as I might, I could not configure the chain to work. There was no direct line from the top of the sprocket to the motor's sprocket. To make matters worse, as i was pondering how to possibly fix my dilemma, the bike was accidentally knocked over breaking a stud on my gas tank, and bending the end of the throttle cable.

I was pissed.....

I promptly stripped the kit off of the bike and stored it in a pickle bucket. (did I mention that I didn't have a garage or shed at the time, and for the few days that I was tinkering with the bike I stored it in my house? Not a good idea. The whole room had the pungent smell of mixed gasoline)

I got some good use out of the bike, since it was mine, but bike riding isn't that big of a deal for me, so there it sat.

3 years later (a few weeks ago) I finally got some vacation time, and had nothing to do. I remembered the old engine (which was well on its way to becomeing family lore) and decided to tinker with it once more. I bought an old bicycle with a standard frame (a real turd of a bike) and tried to mount the sprocket on the rear hub. Nope, sorry, the center hole was too small. One hour and 2 dremel grinding bits later, I have what looks to be a silhouette of "Grimace" in the center of my sprocket, but it fits over that damned hub. The engine bolted up fairly straight forward, but again, I wasn't sure if it would fire up, and I certainly wasn't sure how safe I'd be on that bike if it did (did I mention that there were no brakes?) Anyhow, it was the same story. A lot of pedaling, a lot of rumbling, no motoring. I checked my electrical connection, then tried to check for spark with a spark plug tester. There wasn't any. I thought my cdi might have been bad, or maybe the magneto. I hooked a light up to the blue and black wires and pedaled a little, it lit up just fine. Then I spent half an hour trying to figure out if there was a way to test the cdi. Couldn't find one. Finally, since I was going out anyway, I decided to pick up a new spark plug. I didn't think it would help (the old one looked fine) but when I popped it in, the darned thing fired right up!!!

I rode it for all it was worth for the next few days, albeit it with no brakes, and trying not to go overboard because it does have a break in period. After I was satisfied I decided to find a way to pick up where I left off 3 years ago, and get that thing on my mountain bike. After searching this forum I decided that the only way it was going to be possible was to purchase a jackshaft kit from sick bike parts, but when I saw the price I had to think a little. It cost more than the engine kit, and the bike for that matter, but there was no way around it, it had to be done. Kudos to the guys at sickbike parts, they mailed out my order the day after I ordered it, and it was here 2 days later. (They must have known how much I hate waiting) I was in, it was here, a few hours later and I should be on the road right? NO!!!! After further inspection of the instructions, i found that the bottom bracket had the "3rd" type of bearing, sealed cartridge style that require that special tool to remove. (A special tool that I do not have.) So, off with the front tire, into the car, and onward to the bike shop! After stopping at numerous bike shops trying to explain why Want to replace a cartridge system with standard bearings and not finding anyone who had any in stock anyway, I finally found a guy who could "order" the parts I needed. They will be here sometime next week. (he apparently didn't know that i hate waiting) Well there I was, a bike ready to be riddin', and nothing I could do about it. In the meantime I went in search of a donor bike that might have some bearings I could swipe, and a few hours later i had one. It was old, can wait until morning.

Yawn.... my first battle of the day is to remove the bearings! The first crank came off relatively easy, as well as the cup and ebarings on that side. The drive side however, refused to budge. Eventually I got tired of beating on it so I got out my trusty (you guessed it) dremel tool! 30 minutes later, I had completely grinded through the crank, a few taps with the hammer and off it went. The cup on that side was another matter. It wasn't coming off, and I wasn't sure if it was right or left hand threaded, so, off to the bike shop again. A different one this time, where once again I was asked "why would you do that" and told "that won't work." Finally i told them that I just wanted my cranks and bearings removed on my Schwinn, and the cup removed on the junk bike, and I'd take care of the rest. $20 bucks and a few hours later I got a call saying that my bike was ready, and that the parts were interchangeable. Hooray! Something went right. But there was one more kick in the nads yet to come. When I got to the store and saw the bag of parts, i quickly realized that my Schwinn did NOT have cartridge style bearings, they were standard cups and bearings all along, they just gave the cups those goofy threads!!! (perhaps the guys at sickbikes could change their description to let people knopw that just because their bottom bracket has that funny looking head, it might not be a cartridge system) If I would have had this taken apart a few days ago I could have been done by now, but at least i didn't have to wait for parts to be delivered. I hate waiting.

That night I stayed up late getting parts put on, and stopped at the part where I had to grind down the clutch cover. The rest of the Jackshaft install went fairly smooth, except for the wrestling with the bolts on the right bracket, and the drilling for that little corner bracket (after trying for half an hour with the trusty old bits, I finally had to give up and go purchase a cobalt drill bit.)

Anyhow, its been 3 years in the making but I just finished this morning, and I've been riding all day. I'd like to thank the guys at sickbike parts for their kit, and all of the people here who have helped (I've been trolling around awhile, just never posted)

Here are a few pictures of the bike. I'll keep ya posted on how she's running...
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