Defective Fuel Tanks & 3 piece Cranks

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Irish John, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I'm posting this here because fuel tanks concern all kits. I don't know if anyone has noticed but the tear drop fuel tanks seem to have deteriorated in the last year. I've had 3 tanks plus one other I made for someone else spring leaks from the rear threaded posts. Two of these tanks had special paint jobs which makes their leaking more of a blow regarding replacement.
    I wonder if anyone knows a way to mend a leak where the rear post is soldered/ welded to the tank. Is there a way I could solder from the outside cos the rear post is inaccessible from inside?
    The old tanks I have seem indestructable.
    Another annoying trend, pertaining to 4-stroke frame mount kits is the amount of kits only offering a 3 piece crank with no option of a one piece. It used to be that the 1 piece came as standard and included cups and bearing races etc but the 3 piece has nothing except a long Euro bottom bracket with 2 ridiculously short crank arms and no bearings. The crank arms are too short to give enough pedal leverage to propel the bike and to get the axle with its longer Euro bb to fit on a Schwinn cruiser I have to buy a $60 converter. It galls me to spend $60 on something that is not the right piece of equipment to begin with and is worth almost nothing.
    Given that the 4-strokes are best suited to a cruiser frame and that nearly all cruiser frames have a 1 piece crankset I presume the sudden change to 3 piece was to appeal to the kids who only have a hardtail MTB to fit the 4-stroke motor into. It's going the same way as computers and mobile phones with the whole industry aiming at the schoolchildren market.
    Anyone know who sells 1 piece cranks on the web cos none of my local bike shops can't get them in Australia?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2008

  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    For one piece cranks, try these guys: bicycledesigner.com.

    Not an endorsement, as I know nothing at all about the quality of their products.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  3. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Wide cranks

    Simon, I looked at their cranks but they are all ordinary width cranks with different lengths of crank arm. These motors need wide one piece cranks like I've shown in the attached pic.
     

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  4. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

  5. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    3 piece vs 1 piece cranks.

    It's been my observation that the Grubee kits are the only ones that came with the wide 1 piece crankset as standard and then the 3-piece was an option. The folks at Birddog/bicycle-engines.com seem to be the sole importer of Grubee Kits here in the US and their kits all came with the one piece crankset. They didn't even offer the 3 piece crankset as an option over this past year. The kits that have the Hoot Gearbox seem to be offered with the 3 piece crankset and I can't say that I've ever seen the wide one piece crankset offered as an option with these kits? At least not here in the US. I know there are several members here who bought kits from Birddog/bicycle-engines.com who ended up needing the 3 piece set up perhaps they might have the wide 1 piece to sell? Birddog had the wide 1 piece cranksets available seperatly but they seem to be out of them at this time. Maybe they will have them again when they get their new shipment of 4-stroke kits. Whizzer has a wide 1 piece crankset but I don't believe it is wide enough for the Honda/Clone motor & gearbox set up?

    ocscully
     
  6. chuck1980

    chuck1980 Member

    Same problems here. The petcock I got was extremely tight when screwing it into the tank and it seemed the threads didn't match at all. I used Teflon tape but it still leaked. I also received the wrong crank. Got the 3 piece instead of the wide one to clear the engine. The 3 piece would have actually made my pedals closer in to the frame than the stock crank! But then, almost every part in my kit was wrong and all I ended up with was an engine. The Hoot gearbox stripped out on my first ride, so that was the end of my Chinese 4 stroke motorized bike experience. I took the gearbox off but haven't figured out how the clutch comes off yet. Everything else just fell off, but the clutch is real tight on the engine shaft. If I ever get it off, I'm just gonna run a chain down to the cranks' left side then I can use all my bike's gears and have a ton of torque for hills and high end speed on the straights. Like the one in the pic.

    http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/2598/motorbike1ws3.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2008
  7. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Grubee kits from Bicycle-Engines.Com are OK except for the HT parts that have got so bad they aren't worth opening. The one piece cranks were good but it wouldn't surprise me if the new batch arriving from China have what the sydney supplier of Grubee kits - MBB Imports - is offering - 3 piece cranks with Euro bb (that don't fit a cruiser bike without an expensive adapter) and no bearings or cups, a cable operated choke that works off a thumb switch on the handlebars or frame somewhere, a piece of metal that protrudes about 1" higher than the valve cover and thus makes the engine useless for anything except a cruiser and all the detritus of bits that have to go straight in the bin.
    Quality control has got as low as whale sh*t and it isn't funny anymore. The pet cocks are too bad to use and I've had to buy brass screws that go into the tank and take a hose on the end sticking out. Then you have to install an in-line on\off valve. To build the latest Grubee kit from Sydney has cost me more than the kit itself. It has cost me as much as the full HS motor & grubee kit. Those kits are priced just below the cost of air freighting from Birddog in Montana because he thinks that people will buy them at a fraction below the US price with air freight but let me tell you that even if it was $200 cheaper it is still worth getting the Bicycle-Engines kit cos you have less expense replacing cranks, pedals, silly choke etc but we don't know what the new kits coming this month to Bicycle-Engines.Com will look like.
    My recent Grubee clutch had a keyway too small for the key and I had to buy new 3/16" key and file it so it would give a good fit for both the shaft and the clutch and the bell housing flange - 3 different widths on one key!! Let's be serious here folks - Who do they think they are kidding selling that sort of quality. But the Hoot kit keys and keyways were much worse than even the terrible grubee ones. I had to drill the keys out of the clutch with a drill press and re cut the clutch keyway to the size it should have been in the first place. Now I'm making new keys for that too although the quality of the Hoot GB doesn't merit much precision work because it's such a lemon.
    For anyone trying to build these kits for sale to customers with even very limited eyesight there is just no chance of doing it for less than 6 weeks work - four weeks hunting parts and two weeks engineering them to fit.
    This puts the cost of a bike in about the same price range as a family car. It just isn't acceptable and I'm heartily sick and tired of reading, albeit very occasionally these days, about Chinese manufacturing becoming slowly better in small steps etc. That's utter drivel because these kits were better when they first came on the market than they are now. Oh yes the Hoot mark 2 has angle cut gears and the Grubee mark 2 GB is better I'll admit but the rest of the kit that you need to make the motor and gearbox viable has got very seriously worse in engineering precision and particularly material quality. It's time to call a spade a spade and the people supplying bad kits need to be exposed on a forum such as this that is geared for consumers by consumers.
    All this must be great news for Dax and Staton who seem to offer decent quality but meanwhile the so called cheap kits most of us rely on are no longer cheap. This latest Grubee has cost more than the best Staton NuVinci kit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2008
  8. atombikes

    atombikes Member

    3 pc crankset

    The bottom brackets for three pc cranks are available in varying lengths, especially the square taper bottom brackets which is probably match the cranks available in the kits. So you can modify the width of your cranks with a longer bottom bracket.
     
  9. tpelle

    tpelle New Member

    Don't know if this helps, but here's a company (Wald, in Maysville, KY, USA) that still manufactures a lot of "old fashioned" bicycle parts, including the "Ashtabula" cranks that were used on all of the old cruiser-type bikes. The currently make a lot of parts for industrial/utility bikes such as Worksman and Mover.

    They have a downloadable catalog, as well as a web store (Waldsports.com), but it looks like the web store doesn't sell everything that they make.

    They make a set of folding pannier baskets that I'm interested in.
     
  10. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    That is very useful to know cos Schwinn still use ashtabula (great word isn't it?) cranks. Thanks for this info I'll be using them.
     
  11. atombikes

    atombikes Member

    BMX cranks

    Don't alot of BMX bikes use three piece cranks in an ashtabula bottom bracket shell?
     
  12. tpelle

    tpelle New Member

  13. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I know but they look like a dog's breakfast with the big black spindle sticking out and chrome cranks stuck on the end. The one piece looks so much better. See the picture of 1 piece & 3 piece on my bike below.
     

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  14. atombikes

    atombikes Member


    Ohhhh, I had NO idea the cranks need to be that wide! Is that hard on your knees if you have to pedal?
     
  15. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    It's hard on my arms taking it off the bike and it's hard on my legs walking uphill to the dusbin to dispose of it. We have 3 bins here - a red one for kitchen waste, a yellow one for plastics, foil and paper and a big brown one for Chinese bicycle kits!
     
  16. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Stuff to seal a leaking tank

    I came across this stuff on my computor. It claims to seal any tank up to 5 gals. It looks like pretty good stuff and I probably heard about it on this forum, saved it and then forgot about it until I found it today.
    The three great things about short term memory loss are:
    1. You get to hide your own Easter eggs
    2. You meet new people every 20 minutes
    3. You get to hide your own Easter eggs
    I am going to get some and try it on my leaking tanks but the stuff is $35 a pop and the tank probably isn't worth that much to start with.
     

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