Friction Roller Slipping Out Of Adjustment?

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by 5-7HEAVEN, May 9, 2009.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Is it just me? While on my 20-minute commute to work my friction roller will start slipping on the tire.

    I have a twin-engine cruiser with two Staton friction drives. It happens more on the rear wheel, which tire has a very soft compound. The front Kenda tire has a tougher tread surface. I need to fix this. I can't lose traction while claiming the lane and doing 35mph. Then I'm forced to leave the highway and ride on the bikepath.

    Has anyone modified their quick-release friction roller adjuster? Or replaced the quick-release with a more reliable fastener?

    I'm in the middle of a high-powered friction drive install. I really NEED to solve this issue for the sake of my project.:detective:

    :idea:I was thinking about eliminating the QR and using 1/4" X 1" bolts, wing nuts and lockwashers on both sides of the engine channel. The support struts' grooves and engine channel's holes would be to be enlarged. Either that or I'd use smaller-diameter bolts.

    Since the engine's Dominator pipe obstructs the rear support rod, both struts get moved to the inside of the engine channel for clearance.

    :idea:I'm also thinking about placing another pair of support struts towards the middle of the engine channel. This is more to strngthen and stabilize the engine housing and the 5hp powerplant.

    Has anyone done this before?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009

  2. DetonatorTuning

    DetonatorTuning Active Member


    "has anyone done this before ?" :jester:

    you are the ONLY guy i know of that has 2 ICE's on a bicycle, period. what ever comes up as a result i'm sure you are and will be the FIRST to experience and deal with it.

    it seems that the amount of tension you are having to use on the QR to lock the position MAY be deflecting the support legs slightly ?

    if this is the case, with the bouncing and viberations of travel that same deflection in the legs MAY be trying to return to the nuetral positon, thus causing the QR to slip or slide up out of adjustment ?

    there is surely benefit in trying nuts and bolts, though i seriously doubt you can get enough force on wing nuts to do the job.

    the first will be the elimination of induced tension in the legs. the second is that you could drill the legs with a series of holes spaced at 1/2 the diameter so that you have a range of adjustments up and down the resultant teeth.

    this would also help in accomodating the selection of smaller or larger rollers. i'd use steel legs for added strength in the adjustment teeth.

    if you can work in added support leg locations all the better but it seems the end that attaches to the engine channel will have to have slots so they can be loosened and retightened in relation to the rear adjustments.

    can some of the slipping be related to the present tire compound or pressure setting ? maybe that tire is just wearing much faster ?

    don't worry about finding every possible thing to consider, the GP460 will show you the ones you missed !!

    soldier on,
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  3. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Hey Steve,

    You've experimented with ALL gear and belt combinations with the 460 engine. I'm surprised you hadn't gotten to its friction drive option.

    I appreciate your expensive and labor-intensive efforts. I have learned a LOT from your experiments.

    Being pro-active with the 460 install. Much easier for my sanity and less breakdowns on the maiden runs.:jester:

    I don't care for the quick-release attachment. It confuses me about how it should work with reliability. It literally pinches the strut at the grrove against the engine channel. The long sleeve stabilizes the channel. However the sleeve prevents the QR from squeezing the housing tightly.

    :idea:My rendition would replace the QR with a 1/4" X 6" long bolt and nuts to maintain housing stability. Then the FOUR 1/4" X 1" bolts and wingnuts would secure roller adjustment.

    I don't believe the struts are deflecting. They're just not being pinched tight enough at their grooves. (Methinks it's a design defect.)

    Yes the extra support legs will be slotted just like the rear.

    :idea:The struts could be replaced or assisted by a "parking brake-type" rod and ratchet. THAT would make it impossible for the roller to slip out of adjustment.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    QR skewers were a great invention and have worked admirably securing axles for a long time and do the ultimately important job of keeping the wheels from coming off with little problem handling that task.

    Most dropouts are steel so they don't get chewed up much. I know the aluminum slotted strut ends tend to get chewed up.

    Also, all QR skewers are not the same. The ones that come with the kits are lower cost alternatives with exposed cam and steel nut inserts in molded plastic. There are higher quality, enclosed cam skewers with all metal acorn nuts.

    With the QR ease of use though, I'd have a hard time ever doing away with them particularly since you can only bind the channels so tight against the spacers without distorting them.
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I Got Me A Great Idea!

    I always have difficulty setting roller engagement. I have to hold the engine down while adjusting the quick-release axle. Of course the nut on the other end is turning. I need THREE hands to do this!:sweatdrop:

    :idea:What I will do is attach a ratchet strap from rear axle to the QR skewer or my new 1/4" X 6" bolt. The strap will hold the roller on the tire while I tighten everything down. Then when the wingnuts are tightened I remove the ratchet strap!

    Installing a ratchet strap can also eliminate the havy springs or bungee cords on the DIY weedwhacker installs.:detective:
  6. DetonatorTuning

    DetonatorTuning Active Member


    thanks for the props.

    my adventures stem more from my seeing or thinking something and saying to myself "why not" or "what if" :idea: followed by a stream of what seems to others to be a "flow of consiousness" and is actualy just me working my way to the top of the latest pile of ( insert expletive of choice) i've found myself in !!! :whistling:

    most of what i've done so far is simply reinforcing the soundness of the design and use stratigies behind some of the very good systems out there by showing how many problems you can have by exceeding the intended power capacity. :detective:

    i put up a thread about a yr. ago about HP friction and got what i considered good, experience based feedback. while i didn't jump right onto it, i HAVE designed a roller system that i'm confident would make GP460 friction drive a dependable reality.

    in the mean time i have proven to myself that i can totally meet MY needs with single speed engine AND pedal systems. i've reinforced my assumption that the least amount of gear driven reduction the better ( due to losses and weight, even in the best) and that properly developed jackshafts can be very efficient for both chain and belt, while establishing the optimum ratios for the GP460.

    i agree that a large bolt thru the engine channel and legs for a solid, stable connection combined with extra nuts and bolts to hold the adjustment is a good idea. have to admit, the DE style engagement lever while bulky and cumbersome for some is real effective.

    still not sold on the wing nuts though. i'd rather throw a pair of open/ box wrenches in my pocket.

    the strap to get your tension while you go about locking down your adjustment is excellent.

    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest


    :idea:The wingnuts can be replaced by nuts because the ratchet strap will hold the engine channel in place while tightening the nuts and bolts!!

    :idea:If I could replace the rear struts with ratchet levers, then roller engagement would be SOLID!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  8. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Curious about the need for a ratchet strap? You use that kind of down pressure getting the spindle set? Seems like even with a thru bolt with nuts on the end, the weight of the engine combined with a forearm laid across the channel is plenty, no?
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Happy, it's that darn quick-release nut. It keeps turning while I'm twisting the QR handle.:confused:

    I want the ratchet strap to hold the channel in place so I can bolt all FOUR support struts to the housing.

    Anyway, I'm replacing the QR with 1/4" X 1" bolts on both sides of the housing.

    :idea:Another reason for using these short bolts is to move the left rear strut to the inside of the engine channel. The engine's Dominator pipe interferes with the left strut's location.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  10. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    If I had an issue with the QR nut on the left hand side getting loose before I locked everything down I would simply coat the threads in locktite and leave it for a night without anything on it, then screw the nut back on. The extra gunk on the threads will keep a nut from spinning freely while not locking it totally. Personally I never have any problem with slippage on mine as I get it so I have to use a good amount of force to push the lever into the locked position. Perhaps just one of those star lock washers under the QR nut would keep it from spinning?
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    A forearm on the channel won't work for me because all my friction drives will have an expansion pipe across the engine channel.

    Ane like I mentioned before, one relocated support strut and four support rods.
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    yes -- have also noticed (slightly) this same problem
    thinking about buying some small serrated washers to add
    should give a little more grip
    and those small pointed spacers are digging into my channel

    unit gets stuck sometimes due to quick release spacers causing a rut in channel
    tricky to lift of tire

    ride that THING
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  13. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I have also noticed the wear and tear on the struts' grooves.

    There must be a simple way of locking down the housing. Staton had a single threaded rod for a strut in their earlier friction drive kits. It was not a quick and easy adjustment like the present QR, but it might've been a more positive connection.
  14. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Maybe you could order two of the old struts and give them a go. I've never had experience with them. Alaskavan?
  15. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I've been thinking about doing that on the right side.

    The pipe is on the left side, so no strut will clear.
  16. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Would there be room to somehow run the strut up into the inside of the channel on that side maybe? So long as you could make the adjustments and keep everything square on the bike it would work, but again, I haven't used the old style struts. There must be pictures around here somewhere.
  17. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I don't think so. The control knob seems bulky.

    However, it could be mounted on the right, outside of the engine channel. Then the new-style aluminum strut can be mounted inboard on the left-side.

    ORRR, the control knob could be replaced with a clevic nut and cotter pin.

    Of course, using threaded rod adjustment won't make it quick and easy to raise and lower the engine.

    In fact, Staton's rear support rods from the chain drive box could be used for sturdier mounting and adjustments.

    Here's a picture:

    Here's Staton's chain-drive supports:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Maybe I'll use this, along with threaded rod:

    This will replace the slotted aluminum struts that lock the engine channel in place.

    :idea:Clevises and turnbuckles will lock the friction rollers onto the tire without any chance of slipping out of adjustment. Loosening the clevis and pinning it in a lower hole will raise the engine off the tire.
  19. DetonatorTuning

    DetonatorTuning Active Member

    try MSC, often 50% or less than McMaster Carr.

  20. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    The staton chain drive supports hold the gearbox up not down... it would require some clever engineering to get them to work as a tension device. Unless of course you were just thinking about slotting them as well?