How would I raise my engine?

5-7HEAVEN

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Aug 2, 2008
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Hi. The guys in this DIY are the most creative and imaginative, so please help me solve my problem. I have Staton dual friction drive assemblies, one on each wheel. I alternately run the engines and sometimes I run them together. When they run together, they're fine. When they run separately, the running engine has to work harder and over come the other engine's roller drag, which I can feel. I can cure the rear engine by changing to a Staton chain drive gearbox that I have. I need to fab or buy a contraption that will raise and lower the front friction drive assembly. I know it can be done with clutch cable, clutch lever and miscellaneous hardware, or even telescopic or center overide brackets. I just can't picture it in my head.

Can anyone help? TIA.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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Picture a hinge and a cable to lift the engine from a brake lever. You do not have to lift it far to get it clear of the wheel.
 

5-7HEAVEN

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Thanks for responding, deacon. The Staton assembly is actually hinged at the front mounting bracket, then locked onto its support struts in the rear. So I loosen the rear support and the whole shebang will pivot at the front hinge and slide up and down in the rear support rods.

Am I correct?

In my head, I can now see the engine assembly lifting off the tire when I squeeze the lever. The Happy Time engine has a locking clutch lever and cable that would do the job. I can also use a simple bar bracket bolted onto the rear support to secure the cable and provide an anchoring point for leverage to pull up the engine assembly. But when I lower everything, how do I get the roller to press hard enough onto the tire so it won't slip?
 

5-7HEAVEN

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Okay, I see the large spring, the cable, the L-shaped bracket, the rear support strut. I reviewed the video many times, but I can't see the top bracket which is mounted to the engine/drive assembly. Can someone explain how the L-shaped bracket connects to the top bracket?

The L-shaped bracket would work beter than I imagined, because it has leverage and changes the pull from 180 degrees to 90 degrees.
 

5-7HEAVEN

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deacon, if you can picture a block of wood 4" wide, 6" tall and 12" long, that's about the size and shape of the friction assembly. The hinge is on one end and the roller is directly in the middle.
 

deacon

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Jan 15, 2008
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If it has a top cover you can weld or bolt and L bracket to that. If not the do from the side with a straight mending strip from the hardware store,

If the friction system hinges to the back just drill a hole as far down on the case as possible and run the brake cable driectly to the case and lift it with just the cable. You have to just try things till you get one that works, I use a piece of string to test the lift angles on mine. I tie it places and just lift to see how it works.
 

Spikedfox

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Sep 14, 2008
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why find something to pull it up, make it pull it down

What Im suggesting is spring loading. so that its resting position is off the tire and when you pull it down say with a thumb shifter (mounted to the front mount of the unit) to aply the tension to the tire.
 

5-7HEAVEN

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Spikedfox, the engine only needs to be raised less than 1% of the time, so pulling upward for less than 60 seconds is the correct solution for me.
 

comfortableshoes

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Jul 22, 2008
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why find something to pull it up, make it pull it down

What Im suggesting is spring loading. so that its resting position is off the tire and when you pull it down say with a thumb shifter (mounted to the front mount of the unit) to aply the tension to the tire.
The old friction drives that you could buy like the bike bug the free spirit and the like used a system like that, the default position for the engine was up, and when you wanted to start or engage it you would drop it down on the tire. The Free Spirit that I've seen wasn't adjustable. It clicked into place and stayed where it was. The design leaves something to be desired. The tension is set when you first put the engine on- and there it stays unless you want to get off your bike, loosen 8+ bolts and move the assembly.

With the design that Deacon and I are using the engine's default position is on the tire. He uses a lever or rope to pull his up and off the tire or to adjust the tension. I use a brake lever and a pulley system. It works in the same way as a clutch. Coming to a stop? Need to idle? Pull in the handle and it acts like a clutch, hence the moniker gravity clutch. It's a lot like using a clutch on a car. You don't use it all the time but it works great when you do.

As for using a shifter to hold the pressure down, I think it could be hard on the shifter. I was considering using a grip shifter for my gravity clutch so I could dial in the pressure perfectly for the conditions, but the grip shift are made to hold something with a small amount of pressure- those shifter springs don't have a lot of power. Where as the door spring I'm using is under a lot of tension and I'm not sure that the grip shift can stand up to that kind of force. I may try it on my next build anyway though.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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(I may try it on my next build anyway though.) Try everything and share the results it's how we all learn. I know, you knew that. Just passing it on to the others who join us here. I always post my failures as well as my successes. Some may be able to make an idea work that I couldn't or I might save some time not trying something someone else has proved futile.

This it the one spot on this forum where failure can be a good thing. That should be my motto
 

5-7HEAVEN

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Aug 2, 2008
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I spent some time and materials raising my engine(gravity clutch). I just need to drill three holes and bolt down the L-brackets and cable. I'm using the Happy Time clutch lever and cable, which needed to be shortened 15".
 

5-7HEAVEN

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It doesn't work.

Well, I fabbed the gravity clutch's brackets from 4" corner braces and used a spring, turnbuckle and Happy Time clutch cable and lever. The only mechanical advantage(leverage) came from the clutch lever. I need more leverage and a shorter throw to overcome the spring's resistance and raise the friction roller higher and quicker.

My gravity clutch failed to raise the housing enough to clear the spindle from the tire.:( Maybe I need pulleys that offer greater leverage and not just change direction of the pull by 90 degrees.

Or should I change to cam action under the housing? This would be using a lever shaped like an engine cam to ramp up/raise the housing like on the Youtube/MySpace video. It's too bad that the video didn't show a closeup of the cam action used to raise the housing.
 

deacon

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Jan 15, 2008
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To be honest I can't picture it but a pull straight up is usually best. I often have to add a bit of metal somewhere to make the pull at the motor go straight up.

On the 33 bike I had to add a lever from the motor forward to get the angle right. I can run a cable and lift the lever that way when I get it finished. At the moment since there is not idle on the carb it is just as easy to lift it by hand. I just need to lift it every time I stop so that I can drag start it again. Pain in the butt.
 

5-7HEAVEN

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deacon, the cable goes thru the housing at its farthest location. The corner braces are bolted together to form a hoist which is 1.5" above the housing. Even with no springs attached the cable cannot consistently pull the roller off the tire. Maybe another option would be to have the cable pull the housing up with no springs, then have an overcentered cam lever press the roller and housing onto the tire and hold it there.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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My old brain is too foggy to grasp it sorry, but I never had much luck with that brake lever thing.

What I did was to build a lever into the body of the bike. that lever has a much much longer throw and it works really well. You only raise the engine when you want to stop, so it is an all or nothing thing. Taking my hand off the handle bars for that amount of time is irrelevant to the safe operation of the bike.

The way i did it so as not to weaken the bike was to make he lever on a channel the attach the channel to the bike. It you weld you can do that if not, go with pipe clamps. It will work just fine. I built a lock up by adding a bump to the channel so that when the cable was pulled all the way, the handle was held down by the bump's pressure on the handle. It doesn't take muich pressure because the handle when straight with the channel has very little downward pressure on it.


Forget the throttle part it didn't work as well but the clutch lift works fine,
 
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5-7HEAVEN

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Aug 2, 2008
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deacon, my brain's foggy too. It will take me a few days to figure out your lever system.