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Sondors Step Replacement Motor


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Heya! I have a Step with 2300 miles on it and a motor that won't engage (throttle or PAS). I thought maybe it was the planetary gears, but took it apart, and nope. Gears are fine, but there is a small black spot next to one of the solders near one of the magnets on the motor itself. So, I bought what I was POSITIVE was a replacement motor (just the internal motor, 350w Bafang 36v) from a China seller on Alibaba, checked the all the physical measurements they had online down to the millimeter... but NOPE. Got it a month later, and the motor is too small, not the right one and not the same specs they had on their website. That's $200 down the tube (still looking for a refund). So now I'm jumpy and need someone, anyone, to send me a link to the replacement motor, even the whole hub would be fine at this point. Sondors and Bolton and other sellers out of stock. Probably need to find it on eBay or Amazon. Anyone have any good contacts. Anyone throw me a line?

Edited by wkduffy
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The best way to get a direct replacement is to use the motors model number on your existing motor.  You should check for Current on the Controller side of the Connector, on the cable from the controller to motor cable with your multimeter, while powered on and thumb throttle depressed, to verify if it is or isn’t getting current from the controller. Controllers are the most common failure, when neither PAS & Throttle fail to deliver power. The 3 larger power terminals in the connector are power the 6 smaller are hall sensor. 
I have used 2 different Aliexpress providers for 750Watt upgrade motors in the past several years but this is the one most recently. I’ve noticed what did shipped for free on FedEx, now includes shipping fees and state sales tax, from various motor suppliers. But mine have been delivered, pre-pandemic, within about 10 days Fedex. 
As always, I advise always communicate with the vendor your specific need before pushing the buy button. 


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Hey Reddy! Thanks for your fast reply. I have 2 Steps and swapped out the wheels to test, and the problem is definitely the motor. Actually, I misspoke originally. The motor is not actually dead. You can hear it spinning inside the hub case. It is just failing to engage the wheel. It is not the planetary gears, which are intact and clean. There is also no error code on either bike (motor behaves the same on both bikes). There is a tiny black spot near the wires/solder leading to one of the magnets inside the motor, which I assume is the problem (the motor is not magnetically locking in, or whatever, if you know what I mean). I assume the only recourse is to replace it. I'll look into the link you provided and will use the model number to double check with buyer before purchasing. I'd swear on my mother's grave the one I bought, all the specs were correct down to the millimeter (but I didn't use the model number, so..). I really think they sent a wrong one. We'll see if I can get my $182 back. Fingers crossed.

Hey, while I have you. Say I wanted to take this opportunity to upgrade to a 500w or 750w motor. Can you link me in exactly what I'd need? It's the same motor, but just a new controller? I know this is asked over and over and you're likely tired of explaining. It's OK if you don't have the time.

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Scratch That Last Entry … Brain Flatulence.  My thinking was distracted and excited by the fact that you could hear movement inside the motor, while I was listening to, ‘Pretzel Logic’ by Steely Dan! 
If your Smart Step had at least a 48V battery, a higher watt, rated 500watt motor, would add a higher top speed and better acceleration but on 36V, I don’t think you’d experience much of a noticeable difference.  It is possible and if you are considering further upgrades, like controller and battery,  advisable. 
A 750watt motor requires a higher 35amp rated controller with the larger HiGo connector on the controller (I’m pretty sure it can’t be fitted inside the Smart Step’s frame) to match the larger mating end on the motor cable and again at least a 48, 52 or 60Volt  battery. 
Internally the 3 versions of the Bafang 8Fun geared hub motors are identical except for the fixed magnet mass. If you mounted a 52V battery and 25 or 35Amp controller on the rear rack, the Smart Step with its tall wheels, would be a 30MPH +, eBike. 
You’d have to change the crankset, to something much larger for your legs to keep up.
My Electric White Lightning, started out as a 3rd generation Sondors Custom Narrow, a one release version of the Original Fat with the options of; narrower wheels & tires, 26x4.0", an Aluminum Frame and Suspension Fork. 
As with all my Sondors, I modified it. Added a 52V battery from Electrobikeworld, then added a 25Amp Controller & a 58T crankset, but left the 350W single speed motor.  It’s a 32.7mph bike on a fresh charge, flat pavement, no wind.  It runs quite happily at over 1100watts. I don’t use pass 5 or full throttle for long, a mile or two, at most on a 40mph speed limit 2 lane road on my route to and from home, to keep the motorists from running me over. I’m blessed by having a Trailway to ride on, to the towns in either direction from my home. It’s just a few miles of rural roads to get to the Trailway.
I rode it today on a 20mi round trip on errands. It’s a BEAR from a dead stop and I have to use throttle and PAS settings to get up to speed, to my natural cadence sweet spot of 20mph but I can reduce to PAS 1 or 2, depending on headwind and terrain thereafter and stay @ 20mph. I can’t decide to upgrade it further, although I have a spare 750Watt Bafang and a 68V BMW automobile battery module I had planned to upgrade it with. It’s fun to ride like it is when I want a better workout than my other two Sondors, with it’s steep gearing. It requires much more human input from stops but even slightly more at cruse.  My legs have to work harder on it than the other 2 eBikes, the Electric Black & Stealth Lightnings.  




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