Finally got a Felt Heritage to motorise

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Irish John, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    I have started at least a couple of threads since 2008 asking if anyone had used a Felt Heritage Cruiser for a 4-stroke in-frame mount but nobody had ever tried it. I finally bought a Felt Heritage from the USA and air freighted it to Australia for Aus$900 all up. That is less than the Schwinn D7 used to retail at and it is a better bike. This Felt model isn't imported into Australia and if it was it would retail at about $1600 - $1700 so I got a bargain.
    It is a really lovely bike and it can fit the Honda into the frame but it is a very close fit. My CAD drawings of 3 years ago told me that the fit would be very tight and maybe impossible by a couple of mm and I am pleased my drawings were pretty spot on. I can even use the new Hoot non-adjustable engine tray I have had lying around for years from a kit that was too bad to utilize.
    I am really pleased to say that it is possible to get a 4-stroke motor into the frame but I want to use the EZ gearbox and that entails using a 56T rear wheel sprocket which has a larger diameter than the standard 48T I have always used with the older Grubee gearboxes. Although I can make the old set-up work I think that the 56T sprocket will give me a drive train problem because the rear V-brakes are mounted on the underside of the seat stays and the seat stays are more low profile than most Cantilevered beach cruiser frames. I attach a picture to show the bike in its splendid detail.
    I will be trying to get the EZ GB and a 56T rear sprocket to work but I may have to use one of my old Schwinns for the EZ rig.
    What a shame because this bike is almost the perfect cruiser for motorising. There is an extra 37mm between the seat tube and the handlebar stem compared to the classic cantilevered Schwinns and this extra room makes all the difference in the world to riding comfort believe me. Also the wheelbase is longer and the handlebars are higher which make for the best riding position I have ever encountered on a motored bicycle and I've built dozens of motored bikes using many different models. It is even roomier than the Electra.
    The biggest drawback to the Grubee GT1 cruiser (apart from its unnecessarily heavy steel frame construction) was the pokiness of the frame dimensions - the distance between the centre of the seat tube and the centre of the head tube was just too tight and those few millimeters made it pokey to ride.
    The strong points of the Felt Heritage are as follows:
    Front and rear V-brakes;
    Springer fork with V-brake;
    Superbly comfortable bottom molded saddle;
    7 speed rear derailleur (Shimano Acera) gears with hub that allows standard sprocket and clamp;
    Will take a clamshell sprocket mount;
    Comes with fenders and torpedo light;
    36 spoke wheels with 50mm wide strong rims;
    Exquisite paint finish and two vials of touch-up paint supplied;
    Top tube will allow standard tank mount;
    One piece Ashtabula crank that makes fitting the wide one piece easier and you can reuse the same bottom bracket bearings;
    Skip tooth chainring!;
    Good quick brick tyres 26 X 2.125;
    12g stainless steel spokes (although my one had 14g spokes for some reason);
    Alloy frame which is light yet very strong;
    Supremely comfy riding position;
    Beautiful alloy hubs.

    The drawbacks are:
    No rear rack included;
    V-brake bosses are on underside of seat stays and these will almost certainly impede the drive train with a 56T sprocket but OK for a 48tooth sprocket;
    Alloy downtube is a bit ellipsed which makes standard fixing of front of engine tray a bit harder although it is possible to get the clamping bracket on.
    I will add to this thread with pictures as I progress with the build. I am aiming to use an EZ gearbox with 56T but may have to use a Grubee mark2 with a 48T. I'm not interested in the Grubee 4G because it is too wide and I'm not sure it is geared properly yet. I tried it 2 years ago and it proved a disaster. I'm using a HuaSheng motor instead of my usual Honda preference.
    I find it hard to believe I'm the only person who has tried to motorise this model of Felt.
     

    Attached Files:


  2. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    Felt Heritage with EZM Gearbox

    Well today I got the engine in OK using the tray off a Hoot kit that I thought I'd never use. I could have used a Grubee tray but I thought I'd use the Hoot and keep the Grubee for a Schwinn build. The motor has a backwards tilt to try and drop the drive sprocket lower. I installed a 56tooth sprocket on the rear wheel and I sort of knew it would cause trouble with the chain line. The attached pictures show just why this is so. Pity that the V-brakes are mounted on the underside of the seat stays because that is my only problem.
    Anyway this bike can't take the EZM gearbox for that reason so I took the 56 tooth sprocket off. If I use my normal Grubee gearbox with 11T freewheel I'd need a 48T on the rear but I'm thinking that would give chain line problems cos the V.brakes might still be in the way.
    My only hope is to use a Mark 3 Grubee gearbox that I have which has a 10T drive sprocket going to a 44T on the rear hub. I've posted a thread ages ago asking anyone who has one of these gearboxes what size rear sprocket is best suited for the 10T sprocket but I never got any answers in all that time. I know a 48T will be too large for it so I'm trying a 44T. I know a 36T will be way too small.
    I'm sad that I have to compromise like this just because of those rear brakes being in the way but I'm hoping a 44T will be small enough to carry the chain below the brakes without slapping into them. If I can't do that I can only use a 2-stroke with a 36T and I regard the bike as being too high quality to put a 2-stroke engine into.
    Anyway I'll know tomorrow if the 44T and Grubee Mark 3 will work.
    I have a spare Schwinn cruiser from 2008 still in its box which I know I can use for the EZM build so I'll use that.
    The rear brakes are only mounted on the underside of the seat stays for cosmetics and novelty value because the top side would make better structural sense from an engineering viewpoint.
    Several hours spent working today to find out what I expected - I can't use the EZM - I doubt if I could get a belt to work on a jockey rim either because that would hit the high side of the brakes.
    Ditching the V-brakes and installing a 3 speed hub with coaster brakes isn't viable either because of cabling problems and besides it would wreck the integrity of the Felt Heritage.
    Another thing is that the shaft on the HuaSheng seems to be too wide for the standard Grubee clutch and bell housing. Don't know why this is because it had a Grubee Mark 2 GB on it in 2008 when I changed the motor for a Honda and they fitted on the shaft back then. Weird!!!
    Bit of a disappointing day but I'll get there.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Hi Irish John

    To make the Q Matic work rotate the backing plate clockwise and re-drill
    the 4 motor mounting holes.
    That would lower the output gear on the MaxTorque clutch.

    You could make the top of the gearbox level which would still look good.

    The Q Matic mounting holes are re-drilled to fit motors like the Harbor
    Freight 79cc Greyhound so the backing plate clears the side exiting exhaust.

    Also making your own shorter motor mount would drop the engine as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  4. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    Brilliant idea MBR and thanks for it. I can't see the wood for the trees! I'll give it a try and report back. The tray might get in the way - that is the only problemo as far as I can see. I've put a different rig on it to try that but will try your suggestion after that.
     
  5. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    Felt Heritage with Grubee Mark3 - Problems

    Well I have put a 44 tooth sprocket on the rear and a Grubee Mark3 GB with 10T rigid sprocket which I reckon is the correct combination for this gearbox but the chain line only just clears the rear V-brake arm. I reckon it might slap against it when it is running. I really need to try it out and see but I think its a no goer.
    I can't lower the engine tray any more without removing the chain guard and I won't compromise on the lovely chain guard.
    I have tried swivelling the EZM gearbox clockwise as per MBR's suggestion above but I reckon it would have to go at such a low angle to clear the brake arm that it would look ridiculous and might even get in way of wide pedal cranks. The 58T sprocket is just too big but I will draw it up in AutoCAD and swivel the gearbox on that to check it out in rtheory first. I'll post the results on this thread but it might be a few days. I know the EZM will work on my last Schwinn Cruiser of the old quality stock. I had hoped to use the Felt and if I can't get a 4-stroke to work on the Felt I don't know what I'll do with it. Such a lovely bike as well!:icon_cry:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  6. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    nahhh, looks like you have plenty of clearance between the chain and the brake.
    if the chain is adjusted right, you should have very little bounce in it.
    and if it does hit the brake...so what?
    it's not like the chain is going to get wrapped around the brakes...it'll just put a few nicks in the bottom of the brake caliper.
    or, you could put your chain tensioner on the top to push down on the chain.
     
  7. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    Motorpsycho, I think the standard tensioner wheel would not be adequate strength to push down on the top side of a chain because the force on the top of the chain is many times greater than on the return. It would have to be a steel sprocket in a bearing on which you could exert force but that would work.
    Without a sprocket to push it down the chain would wear through the alloy brake bosses in no time at all like a steel knife cuts through cheese. The drive side of the chain will move up and down whether you want it to or not even on a perfectly round sprocket which these aren't.
    I remember years ago nearly cutting through an alloy chainstay because the 56T sprocket caused clearance problems. That happened on a short 5 mile run as well. Alloy is very strong as long as you don't damage it.
    I am thinking of getting the bosses cut off and rewelded on the top of the seat stays by a a special alloy welder. If that is feasible it will solve everything.
    Felt only designed them on the underside of the seat stays for novelty and gimickry.
     
  8. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    The only way to make the Felt Heritage good for motorising is to remove the rear V-brake bosses from under the seat stays and get them welded on the top by a specialist alloy welder. The holes from where they were they were cut will have to be made good with alloy and then that part of the frame will need to be resprayed black to match original because the heat from alloy welding will make a mess. It's an expensive solution but its too good a bike to put up with second best ideas like mounting a small steel sprocket on a rigid steel tensioner arm to push down on the top of the chain so it clears the brakes. What a pity Felt had to put the brakes upside down because there is absolutely no need for it except novelty effect.
     
  9. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Hi John
    Are you the first in Australia to get an EZ Motorbike Q Matic?

    I know you have been wanting to get one for a long time so
    I was wondering what you had to say about it as you have
    tried the other 4 stroke transmissions.
     
  10. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    I'm the second person MBR, but it will be a while before I assess it. It has to be better than the Grubee because it won't be discontinued or subject to the profit-driven whims of the Australian importer when it comes to replacement parts and that is a huge bonus. Also it is designed by people who ride motorised bicycles so I have no doubt I'll get it to work really well. This thread is about the Felt Heritage so I'll post another thread on the Q-matic in due course. I am the first person in Australia to get a Felt Heritage. It's a great bike except for the rear brake arms and having to change those is a BIG drawback but there are almost no host bikes now for 4-strokes. The other owner of the Q-matic rides 250 kms a week and absolutely loves his bike even though it is a GT1 cruiser which isn't the comfiest of frames. I'll mount the Q on a Schwinn which will suit it really well except the Sturmey Archer 3 spd hub is fatter than a Shimano 8 speed and that means redrilling the sprocket holes and making my own special clamps.
     
  11. Irish John

    Irish John New Member

    Felt Heritage Finally Running

    Well I finally got the Felt Heritage Cruiser up and running but it can only be motorised using a certain model of Grubee kit. The is one BIG problem and that is the rear V-brake bosses which interfere with most drive trains because the brakes are mounted below the seat stays. I know there have been suggestions above that I could use a chain tensioner wheel/cog to deflect the topside of the chain below the brakes but a tensioner on the driven side of a chain is fraught with problems. The only real solution is to get the brake bosses cut off the underside and alloy welded on the top side where a sane designer would have put them to begin with. This is expensive and specialised work and the alloy welding would destroy a lot of paintwork and I'd need to respray the rear of the frame. Then the bike will have many possible uses and could take a Q-Matic drive which is what I want. The Heritage is the comfiest cruiser I've ever ridden but the rear brakes rule it out as a suitable host for motorising. The other problem is the clearance between the top tube and the curved cantilever tubes is not enough to allow a standard fuel cock so I used a brass one and cut it shorter to fit (see pics).
    Then there is the frame itself which only just fits the motor and the choke lever is hard to get at. I did however finally find that the engine tray I had from the terrible JL Hoot kit I had never used (and never would use) fitted this bike so I used it but it has to be tilted upwards which is OK except it looks bad and looks are everything if you are a Virgo.
    I also had to use a Grubee Mark 2 gearbox with 10T rigid drive sprocket so the bike has no freewheel which, in the event of a GB seizure would be very dangerous. I really don't like the gearbox not just for the above safety reason but because it is the most incredibly noisy Grubee I have ever encountered. Even when idling it whines like a stuck pig. The motor is a HuaSheng and the rear sprocket is a 44T which is slower than the usual Grubee 11T freewheel with a 48T sprocket and also less powerful on hills. I have been asking on this Forum for years about people's experience with this GB and never had any answers so I don't know the ideal rear sprocket size but it should be less than 44T (probably 42T or 40T) and I suspect it would be terrible on hills that it isn't good at now.
    Those who remember when MTBs had the brakes mounted below the chain stays where they were hard to get at and collected huge amounts of dirt might be wondering if that designer moved to the Felt stable.
    I attach pics of the working bike but soon I'll strip it down and take the frame to the alloy welders and rebuild it the way I want. Then I'll be able to add to this thread or start a new one.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
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