E-Wheel repair and inspection
E-Wheel after one year. original condition on top left
The E-Tek motor story as I understand it.
The motor was designed by a DR Lynch, a british engineer. and The Lemco motor company was started to manufacture it.
Lemco licensed the motor core design to Briggs and Stratton.(yep the gas engine company.)Briggs redesigned the motor for mass production, and set up the etek motor manufacturing in China.They sold the motor to electric golf cart companies, and electric floor maintenance companies. Their license with Lemco specifically excluded automotive use. When Robot wars became popular, the light weight super torquey motors became the motor of choice for high power to weight fighting robots, and the EV people started looking at the motors as well. EV's based on the motor started to show up. Lemco wanted to be in that market, but was 2 to 3 times the price of the etek. Lemco pulled the license from Briggs, since they could not control where the motors were going.
There was a lot of etec motors in stock throughout the world, and the $350 etek prices started raising as the supply dropped and the demand remained high. I have seen the motors go for $850-$1000. I got mine for $500, and just bought 2 more for that price. There is talk about the Chinese company starting up production again, and also a 3 phase brushless version, but I haven't researched any of that.
Anyways I hit a delamination from a truck tire and it grabbed the E-Wheel Anderson power connector, and forced it against the road. By the time I could pull over, the wires had worn through nearly to the breaking point.
TheE-Wheel has been under my car for 10 months, including all winter .I used the oppertunity to both fix the connector, and to see how things have held up to the abuse of salt spray and snow. The photo top left shows the enclosure in it's clean freshly installed condition, and then on the right the present dirty case condition. The motor internal enclosure had a lot of carbon from the brushes.
The brushes have worn about 1/4", and still have a lot of material. I would estimate that I have about 250-500 actual E-Wheel powered miles.
The Anderson connector was fine, so I popped out the pins, unsoldered the wires, cut back the wires and re-soldered them to the pins. The temperature wires had also been cut, so I repaired them as well.
The Gates drive belt looked fine.
The tire is now a full slick, the threads having worn completely off.
I made an aluminum bracket to hold the connector so it would not flex, which should prevent the problem from reoccurring.
I will install the wheel tomorrow after the silicone sealant has a chance to cure a bit.
In all, it has held up pretty well.
Been thinking about changing the E-Wheel's 4:1 gear ratio to 2:1 and blasting off with the gas engine, then FAS and drive as an EV at up to 60MPH.
Should be an easy change and would open up a lot of interesting possibilities.