Creative Engineering's clutch actuator

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Bikeguy Joe, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Here's a mini review, or 98% of one.

    Got one of Creative Engineering's clutch actuator in the mail today....

    Maybe the company should be called Brickhouse Engineering. This thing will outlast a lifetime of bikes.

    The packaging was simple and effective, small zip lock bags secured anything that was smaller than the clutch housing itself.

    The directions were VERY clear and anyone who can hold the right end of a screw driver should be able to install the actuator- no problem. In fact, if you installed the clutch set up/cable/ect. the first time, this will be a snap.

    Be sure to read through the directions once to familiarize yourself with the proceedure.

    The actuator comes with all needed hardware and a couple of different length pins...as I said, read through the directions first.

    Super simple installation. I didn't time it, but I got it done before half of my "work CD"- "THE BAND- Greatest Hits" was done, well under 30 minutes.

    If the whole engine kit were designed this way, it would be called a Honda.
    I would say this is a very good investment for the low price.

    Now the bad news. Being the the installation went on a build currently "in progess" I did not test the unit in actual operation. HOWEVER, The feel of the clutch is improved beyond words and I see no reason why it would or could adversly effect the operation of the clutch. Right now it smoothly dis-engages the clutch with noticeably less initial effort being required.

    FIVE STARS JIM!

    What's next? A perfect flat slide carb?;)
     
  2. Creative Engineering

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    Joe,

    Thank You!

    I do tend to make things bullet proof, sometimes literally...LOLOL.

    I put a lot of time into these clutch actuators, and it's really good to hear words of appreciation.

    I'm glad you liked it.

    I don't know what will be next. I will never step on another enthusiasts, (vendors), toes. Several items that I had planned on making prior to joining this forum have been cancelled because I found out someone else is already doing it.

    Jim
     
  3. Pablo

    Pablo Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor

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    Digging mine as well. It's just nice to not have to worry about a weak point. Strange, it's so smooth, I don't think about it!

    BGJ - which pin did you use? Did you need to grind it?
     
  4. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I used the shorter of the two pins, then I kept tweaking the arm placement to get the disengage point just right.

    No grinding was needed....well, I did de-burr the edge just a tiny bit.

    Also, in the directions Jim, it states that the return spring will be needed, if I read that part right. I am not usuing it since I took a little extra time setting it up, but is it really needed? I know the cam has a little less force (return direction) than the old flat plate deal, but it seems to return sufficiently for me. As stated, I haven't actually run the bike, but the engage/disengage seem to be fine as-is.

    Smoooooth.
     
  5. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Also, while on the subject, I would like to offer a personal apology to Jim at Creative Engineering...we had a few words early on about the use of the dry clutch as a wet clutch, ect.

    Jim, I think your statements enlightened me a bit about the longevity/durability of the stock clutch. If you guys abused it as you have stated in your R&D, then in actual useage, over the life of the bike when used this way, one might have to replace the relatively cheap pucks a time or two, a small price to pay for those who will want to take off from a standing start with the stock clutch and the CE Actuator.

    Now, if the SBP Shift Kit were employed with this actuator.....DE-luxe!!!!
     
  6. Creative Engineering

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    Joe,

    You may not need it!

    So far we have had 6 engine examples to go by...A few in-house, and a few from local customers.

    I added the, ("you must have a return spring"), comment in the instructions to help avoid frustration. As you have discovered if it is set-up perfectly, you don't need it.

    The spring becomes an issue if there is too much freeplay initially. The cam will ride up to the crest of the eccentric and tend to want to remain there.

    The ideal design would be a cam lobe running on centerline. The housing would have had to be much larger. There was not enough room to clear the pedals.

    On a final note: even those installations where the cam may be a little sticky on the return have shown no problems during actual operation. Once the engine is running the cam always disengages.

    Jim
     
  7. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    All in all, a sweet set up.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I did not mention, I set this one up on a thatsdax 60cc roller bearing engine....not many of those around.
     
  9. Creative Engineering

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    Joe,

    Thanks...No apology needed we were both right/wrong depending on the circumstances.

    Yes we have used and abused our clutch far beyond what would be considered normal, without any noticeable wear.

    But...Isn't there always an exception.:D

    I did have one customer with a 27" bike who reported back that from a standing start he had to race the engine to get it to go. I advised him to pedal up to a point that the engne could handle the load without the high revs. I would imagine that the high revs will drastically reduce clutch life. I have no idea whether his engine is simply not producing the same amount of torque as ours, or if the increase in wheel diameter is causing the issue.

    If you can leave from a standing start in the same manner as a motorcyle, (give it a little throttle...and simultaneously ease out the clutch), go for it you will not hurt your clutch at all. If you have to race the engine, pedal first!


    Our instalation was on a 26" bike with the 44T sprocket that comes with the kit. We did not make any engine modifications and it worked fine.(^)

    Jim
     
    #9 Creative Engineering, Nov 29, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  10. ibcnya

    ibcnya New Member

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    Got pics? i wanna see how far the cover sticks out past the magneto cover.....Thanx.
     
  11. Pablo

    Pablo Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor

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  12. Creative Engineering

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    ibcnya,

    1/16"

    If you are going to have a problem I can mill down the face of the housing to be flush with the mag cover. I left the actuator housing 1/16" thicker for strength. The bike we have here has over 1/2" of clearance between the housing and the pedal crank. I didn't realize that some come real close. In order to take 1/16" off of the outside face, the cam hole will have to be moved inbound 1/16" which wil require a different length pin...,(It is supplied in the kit). We have housings that have not been drilled for the cam so it would not be a problem.

    Jim
     
  13. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    A couple of final comments-

    The included wrench is a nice touch...I know they aren't expensive, but I also know some folks don't have allen wrenches and having the wrench in there is a ++.

    Finally, if you are easily confused by instructions, like I am, you'll want to read through them once or twice before you start....a couple of places may snag some people at first, but if you READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, and do them step by step, even your trained monkey can install one of these and it will function as it should.

    At this price, it's a super buy. Do it now, I command you!:D;)
     
  14. Creative Engineering

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    Thanks again Joe,

    I figured there was a good chance that at least half of my customers would not have metric allen wrenches. The wrenches were twelve cents each in quantaties of 500. It was well worth the added pennies so that no one would be aggravated by having to stop/go out/and buy a whole set of metric allen wrenches just to install my part.

    Joe, I am "really" happy that you took the time to read through the instructions. When attempting to write instructions for a broad audience I have no way of knowing the effectiveness until I hear back from someone who really read through it. Again...Thanks!(^)

    I have written a lot of service/tech manuals over the years. They were industry specific and aimed at an audience that was already familiar with the terminology I used.

    I did agonize over this installation guide in an effort to ensure that it was useful to a non-mechanical newbie and at the same time not bore the seasoned guys with non-essential goop.

    Thank you for your endorsement of my kit!

    I went at this cautiously...I called a lot of dealers who said that the clutch has been a thorn in thier side for quite a while...before making a production run. Production runs are the only way to keep per unit costs down.

    I've sold about 50 kits thus far, and everyone has been happy with the performance...no more gorilla gripping the clutch lever!!!

    Jim
     
  15. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I took it apart tonight and buttered it all with high temp wheel bearing grease and now it is flawless.
     
  16. Pablo

    Pablo Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor

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    Jim - just a warning about some early 49cc engines from JL (Hoot the gearbox guys)....the bolt pattern is a whole different animal. Probably not a lot of them left out there, but just in case thought I would mention it. Ghost0 spent a good hunk of a day rigging a kit to one.
     
  17. Creative Engineering

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    Pablo,

    Thanks!

    I'll be sure to add this info to my website...If I ever get a chance to update it! LOL... December is going to be a good month in this camp for new bike stuff!

    Jim
     
  18. xPosTech

    xPosTech The Old Master Motorized Bicycle Builder

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    Jim I just sent you a PM. You have another customer. ;)

    Ted
     
  19. ibcnya

    ibcnya New Member

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    Have you considered making matching magneto and clutch covers? I like the look of this. Ill be ordering mine shortly.
     
  20. Pablo

    Pablo Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor

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    Cool - if you do, send the stock clutch parts back to me, so I can give them to someone else. (only cost $2 to send) :ride:
     

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