Pedal Coupe

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
Welcome to my quadracycle thread. A few years ago I came into possession of this four wheeled bike which I believe was manufactured here in Minnesota. I know very little about it. The few hits on the internet have turned up little, but owners seemed to like the bike quite a lot. I’m sure that starting a business selling a high dollar product is a risky thing and this is another nice idea come and gone. We’ll, not this one. It is still here and with your help we can figure some things out about it and get it going again. As I understand it the bike was primarily a rider and electric assist was an option. Of course this was in the days of lead acid batteries. This one had two 12V batteries in series producing 24 volts.
 

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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
Some more pictures might be helpful. The “trunk” located behind the seat has a closed compartment housing the two 12V batteries and what I’m guessing is the controller. It had a keyed on/off switch and a charging port on the outside of the trunk. No key of course. While this bike was originally a rider with a little electric assist, my vision for it is for it to be a capable electric bike with optional pedal assist. I think 52 volts coming from lithium cells should do the trick. I’m not looking for super fast, but it needs to have power for climbing moderate hills without pedal assist and good enough range that it could go for up to say 30 miles. My hope is that the motor on it can handle the additional power. A new controller and BMS would be needed. I’ve never even ridden a recumbent bike and all those gear choices are intimidating to me. At 76 I grew up riding fat tire bikes and the “new” 3 speed English bikes. And then in my second childhood gas bikes. So the bike is foreign to me and I don’t really understand it. But I want to and with a little help from some friends am ready to learn. I need guidance and am open to suggestions.
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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
I set up a work bench of sorts for the pedal coupe from a couple sawhorses and a sheet of chipboard. Makes it a much better height for an old fellow to work on. Sometimes the hardest part of a task is getting back up off the floor. For the winter my boathouse is going to be my bike workshop. So nice to have an indoor space to work in... with a wood stove no less. Years back I did my gas bike builds on a picnic table with a vice attached to it, so this will be the lap of luxury.
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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
Got my new back tires yesterday and went ahead and mounted them last evening. I started airing up one tire and remembered that it said 110 pounds of air. Seemed like a lot to me, so I went to just 80 which still seemed like overmuch. A few seconds went by and then BANG. Scared old Walter it did! Ordered two new BMX tubes (probably the same ones they sell for kiddie bikes) and in a few days will try again, this time with more like 40 pounds. May this be the only time there is an explosion on the quad. No sparks or smoke either.
 
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Greg58

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2011
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You know how it is, I’ve been getting up early for so long I rarely need a alarm clock. I’ll see if I can adjust in a few years, I’m planning exit from the work force at the end of 2024.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
Yesterday I traced the wires in the 24V motor and there are just two, so that means it is brushed and it also means that the controller I bought to convert the system over to 52volts with lithium cells is not going to work with it as it states clearly that the controller is for a brushless motor. So, it looks like I need a different motor. I was hoping to be able to use what is already there and not have to refit something else, but the plot thickens in this upgrade. I had wanted to increase the power and range, but if I understand correctly that will mean changing the motor. I could leave it at 24Volts and depend on the gears to manage hills and stretch out the range some along with more serious pedaling, but I'll be 77 soon and am trying to prepare this ride for the future when serious pedaling is not likely. If I were to leave the motor could I switch over to lithium cells without changing the original controller? And could I wire in two 24V "bricks" in parallel to increase range? I understand that the controller must match voltage with the motor and batteries, but there is so much I do not know.
 

Greg58

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2011
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Newnan,Georgia U.S.A.
When I worked in industrial maintenance we used Nordskog and Taylor Dunn carts in the 2million sf building, I converted a 36v cart to 48v changing only the batteries. I used the controller and it never gave a problem, your results may be different but it worked for several years for me.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,212
175
63
northeastern Minnesota
I did some figuring on what a brushed motor controller would cost along with a charger and decided that with battery components on hand for a 52 V lithium brick along with a 52 V charger and BMS …and considering the possibility of making smoke by overcharging a 24V motor it made more sense to just buy a new 52 volt (48 actually) brushless motor. What I bought is for a scooter, trike or such. It came with a 48 v controller and was only $111.00 shipped with a two year guarantee. It arrived today and I have it out in the shop under the quad to stare at, do some measuring and figuring on how best to mount it. Both motors use a 14 tooth drive gear, but beyond that are quite a bit different. As expected the 48 volt is heavier and larger. It is about the same height, but longer and is going to take some ingenuity in it’s mounting. I‘d best temporarily remove the pod (trunk?) which housed the battery and controller to give good access to where the motor has to fit. Actual work on the quad will have to wait til later in the season as winter in northern Minnesota usually arrives in October with the first heavy snow mid month. There are things which need attending to at the lakeside cabin with draining the water system, securing the dock and pulling the boat and motor. And lots of little stuff which is taking up my days. I’ve done a little quad work in the evenings, mostly in ordering upgrade parts and most of which are now on hand. I also replaced the back tires and tubes. Checking on the sidewalls led to replacements for the Maxis Hookworms. Nice tires. This coming week the bike will go to a bike shop in Duluth, a hundred miles away to have the gears, cables, controls and such gone over, lubricated and adjusted to be made right. I’m not that familiar with so many gear choices (13) and want to be sure everything is right as a pedal bike. The electrics can come after. It is also a good time for me to study the book I bought on building lithium batteries from individual cells. Scary stuff if you are careless and make sparks. So I want to know what I’m doing before I start putting the battery together.
No wiring diagram with the motor or controller, but it is clear what the major wires go to to power up the motor and the connector for the hall wires is obvious. Battery to controller is clear enough. A few others are color coded between the controller and motor and then there are the unknowns… throttle may be among them, horn maybe and perhaps things I don’t care about and aren’t an option with this setup anyway. Don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out.
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