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Hello! I have a 4 month old Sondors fatbike upgraded with a 750w Bafang rear hub, 60V battery, 35A controller, 7 speed gearing with only 300 miles on it, and suddenly it's making a fairly loud scraping noise coming from the motor. It only occurs when I throttle or use PA. There is no error showing on the LCD. It does not happen when the bike is in a bike stand- only when I'm riding. It happens from about 0-25 mph, then it stops. Except for a delay in the initial torque, the bike accelerates and performs the same as always. From a start, along with the scraping sound it sounds ands feels as though something is slipping, or  spinning without grabbing in the motor. My daily commute is only 6-7 miles on hilly asphault roads-no off road as of yet, so the bike has had it easy. I've checked for other possibilities, such as the brakes, the chain and derailer, and can find nothing wrong, so I'm convinced the sound is a motor issue. I haven't opened the motor hub case yet. I'm in the Woods Hole/Falmouth, Mass. area of the Cape in New England. I bought the bike and did the upgrades at a bike shop that no longer exists. I believe the upgrade kit came from Wendy, whom I find almost impossible to communicate with- I contact her, and I get no response. Any thoughts? Thank you.

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Hardly Junk, with about 40,000 Sondors Sold World Wide, we’ve heard few issues of loose magnets and planetary gears do wear out (especially when owners try and ride over obstacles at low speed and strip teeth, even stalling the motor at low speed/high torque trying to climb curbs). I can only imagine that there are over a half million or more, Bafang motors in service, especially in Asia.  

You have to understand that most of our Owners come New to eBikes and don’t know that much about them, including doing research on the vehicles and components. It’s understandable that when a problem arises it’s disappointing and blame needs to be appropriately dispensed somewhere. It’s usually best to leave that until after discovery. As an Aircraft A&P and Secretary of a Airport Safety Board, we always wait until cause was determined to find fault, when investigating incidents. 

My own 750Watt motor, in the Electric Black Lightning might suffer the loose magnet fate. I’m just today starting to investigate and disassemble the motor. 

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Two weeks ago on my way to my local airport to attend an Aviation Safety Seminar, and crossing a rather rough, uneven Rail Road Crossing, My bike quit.  I recycled the power buttons and everything was fine. Finished the last few miles to the terminal and after the seminar the  20 miles home, until the next day and I had grinding in the motor case. This bike has over 13,000 miles and it seemed bulletproof but every mechanical device requires maintenance and repair, from time to time. DooDoo Occurs.  No Big Surprise Really. And that’s why I have the Electric White Lightning in reserve. 

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Motor replacements are not all that expensive and I have a spare.  

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                       REDDY 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply. I do appreciate your perspective and advice. I know that if I bought a lawnmower, or almost any product, and it went south within a very short time, I would take it back to where I purchased it, and hope for a replacement or, at least, free repair. If this were a case of having 13,000 miles, or 1300 miles on the motor, I would resign myself to understanding that repairs and replacement parts are all part of the eBike experience. My first bike was a Luna middrive, which I loved, but I had unusually bad luck with components  constantly failing. That is why I bought the Sondors. I was told that all the issues with the Luna were "highly unusual." Having had that bad experience, understand that I am disappointed and frustrated by the failure of a new bike which, I am being told is "exceptional, " and typically problem free until very high miles.  That is exactly what I had hoped for: a good bike that, if well cared for, would offer more riding time and less downtime. Having a 2nd bike is very wise. You have great looking bikes. Thanks.

 

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Well, having two eBikes is mandatory, if you’ve sold your car.))  Actually I think I have 12 bicycles now, one non powered Fat is  totally disassembled for conversion and upgrading (I’m maniacal about adding dual front discs).  Yes, I considered on installing a mid-drive on my Fat Dolomite but mid-drives  are so hard on drivetrains I’ll probably add another hub motor to it, I’m thinking Crown.

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This Forum is not part or associated with Sondors.com, so as just another owner, all I can do for you is suggestions and relate what we see on this forum. You have every right to expect a working and reliable Sondors. Here is what I think might help,  Sondors.com  help you. I know they have responded beyond their warranty for customers before. 

You need to go to the Sondors Storm Owners Group on Facebook.  Once there ask to join.  Once inside, there is a link to a support form that you can use to get to Sondors tech support. While in the Group,  I  suggest opening up a thread and asking the community for help on this as well.  That will trigger folks' to tag the Sondors support reps who frequent that group and who are tasked with fast-tracking help in situations like yours - assuming they do not see your post themselves and contact you directly. I can’t help with FaceStool and am not a member nor intend to join on principal. 

Bruce Choate,  is one of the Sondors Support Reps there  and he’s responsible for the video, here on dislodged motor magnets. You should try and get with him for some help and hopefully some resolve, what ever that might entail. I have seen him take personal control of problems with one of our favorite members problems @Sunnie to get her back up and running. It helps to be in California though. Someday I might recount the story of driving a Bobtail Truck from the DFW MetroStool, full of Hard Rock Cafe Memorabilia and Art Glass I created for one of Issacs Tigret’s Restaurants, FINN’S,  in Boston. 

Yippie Tie Yay , I gotta go ride. 

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                 REDDY

 

 

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Thank you again for your time and sharing your thoughts and experience Reddy.  A lot of what you said changed my perspective for the better. Much appreciated.  Happy riding. B.

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Anyone know what kind of Allen wrench these nuts take? There’s a tiny pin in the center, which, if it is an Allen, the wrench would have to be hollow in the middle? 

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So, it’s a security Allen screw. A guy a local bike shop advised me to not open the motor case if it has those screws, because they weren’t meant to be opened unless you are an electric bike tech. I’m sure not, but the screws  gotta come out, so...

Edited by Bruce Kelley
Auto correct misspelled.

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The latest Bafang Hub Motors are delivered with Torx security screw. You can buy the bits at Lowe’s. You might consider switching LBS. I here-by anoint you an eBike Technician. 

Opening my EBL 750Watt Motor reveals that it looks almost like new inside, with over 10,000 miles on it. Even the nylon reduction cluster show little if any appreciable wear. Lithium grease is a little dirty. 

 25FCF0B6-6CF2-4A22-A3F1-CEC5690A13A7.thumb.jpeg.0f4971c86ee863b39d68ba3f4f8e024b.jpeg

Who Ya Gonna Call?

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     REDDY

 

 

 

 

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Dunno, you’re the technician.  I’ve never encountered loose magnets ....YET!

LBS =  Local Bike Shop. 

There is probably some school for eBike mechanics (that’s kinda the function of this forum in an elementary kind of way but most of us got our experience in work’n on other things (I’m a military trained A&P aircraft mechanic and aircraft owner and wrenched on bicycles since the mid 80’s) and applying that, with the knowledge base from https://electricbike.com/forum/forum/knowledge-base 

https://www.electricbike.com/category/technical/

There are several other sites but Eric Hicks aka Luna, has compiled his forum and his technical articles for about a decade.   You become a Certified Technician by getting your hand inside these things. 

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           REDDY

 

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Hey Reddy. So, I have the motor out of the case. The magnets all look aligned and as they should be. The nylon gears look brand new. It spins freely. Nothing obvious to me. Looks clean. Lithium grease. Similar to the picture you last posted. Not sure where else to look...?

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Because you’ve only taken the motor outta the case doesn’t mean you don’t have a  loose magnet(s). I’m working on conjecture because I’ve not discovered loose magnets nor have I completely dismantled a 750Watt motor. But like I have advised a few posts earlier : “Bruce Choate,  is one of the Sondors Support Reps there  (on the Facebook page) and he’s responsible for the thread and video, here on dislodged motor magnets (that diagnoses your exact complaint, “scraping noise” ) You should try and get with him for some help and hopefully some resolve, what ever that might entail”.  I’ve already replaced my motor in the EBL and won’t be disassembling my original until the other projects I have ongoing off my todo list. I’ve spent 14 hours this week tending this forum. 

But here is what I suspect about loose magnet behavior.  Especially from your description. When current is applied to the motor, the loose magnets and all the magnets in the motor are attracted to the energized stators and the loose magnet(s) contact some moving part inside the case. I’ve no idea if that’s the stator or some parts of the case.  When your motor gets up to higher speed, centrifugal force overcomes the magnetic force causing the grinding and pins the magnets back to their correct, or close to, that position in the case. I believe that because the Motor & Wheel spin up to speed, while the bike is in the repair stand this is also the case.   I’m assuming, because of Bruces description in the video,  lends one to believe that the motor has got to be disassemble, to that degree he did, to discover the loose magnet(s) by pushing them down from their normal position. With the stator in place, next to the magnets on the interior of that inner space, the metal mass of the Stator holds the magnets attracted to the stator. You can see the power of the magnets in the video when reassembeling the stator back into the inners case full of magnets.

I can’t really advise you any further until you find the loose magnet(s) .. or ... the cause of anything else that’s causing the scraping noise from inside the motor.  

6D623358-D921-4FA0-AC5C-1500A5214DA7.jpeg.7f14a03ab86fcccc0192b0afa492830d.jpeg

           REDDY

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Thank you Reddy. You’ve been over-the-top generous with your time helping me. I really appreciate it. If you ever find yourself in Western Mass, you have a friend here. Cheers!

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Hi Reddy. I'm back at it. Because the motor in Bruce's video isn't exactly the same as mine, I'm hesitant to push down hard to separate the housing that will expose the magnets. There are 4 small screws on the underside of the case., (see pic), and I'm wondering if they need to come out first?  

Later: Just realized the the nylon gears and the steel gear have to come off first, of course! Okay. :)

 

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Edited by Bruce Kelley

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Since Bruce doesn’t mention taking  those out (?), I’d try to do as he suggests first, because the magnets are strong, and put the axel nut on the end of the axel to protect the threads and hit that end firmly on a solid object and see if the innards come loose. I have not tried that on my own 750W motor and don’t want to disassemble, either of my 350’s. 

You can go to Facebook and try and get in touch with Bruce Choate over there. That’s what he monitors.  You’re the Test Pilot on this one, buddy.  I’ve not gone, there it’s uncharted territory. 

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        REDDY

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No reply from Bruce choate on the storm group. can't get the casing to slide off. it pushes down fine to a certain point, but stops and won't come all the way off- as though there's still something holding it on. I stripped one of the 3 phillips screws on the case below the steel gear. Major problem. Extracting failed. Drilled it out, but the only choice, at this point, is to use a self-tapping screw in its place. Pretty well thinking taking this repair on was a big mistake to. Now looking at having to replace the whole motor. 

Edited by Bruce Kelley

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