Hoot rebuild testers!

Discussion in '4-Stroke Engines' started by FireBellyCycles, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. I am aware that most don't think the hoot is worth er.. well.. a hoot. But I think that there are a lot of people sort of stuck w/ them unless they want to junk their kit and start over.

    I don't anticipate buying any more hoot kits unless they prove to be reliable w/ my rebuild. I honestly have no idea how many people have these gb's.

    I rebuilt mine and it is now very quiet and I'm going to ride it and check it to see how it is doing regularly.

    So if anyone is interested, I will rebuild for free (you pay shipping) 4 hoots for the 1st 4 people who respond. This way I can get a better idea if reworking the clearances will make enough difference.

    Also if anyone has working hoots that they don't want I will pay shipping to get them. I would like to try heat treating the gears and testing that as well.

    PM me or reply to this thread, Thanks! The bike pic'd has a hoot just in case you don't know if yours is one.

    Attached Files:

  2. Are you in the USA or Australia?

    Any exact details/photos of what you did in that gear box would be much appreciated.
  3. I'm in the U.S.A. I didn't take pics but it's not difficult. Most everyone can shim up what they got. I'm thinking I can turn a new reduction gearshaft on my lathe that doesn't need as much shimming.
    But if you want to do it yourself:
    take the gb and clutch off of the motor
    pull the reduction gear off and shaft out of the 1:1 gear behind
    put a shim (a washer shim .010"-.020" thick) behind the 1:1
    There is a step on the shaft inbetween the 1:1 and the larger red. gear
    put enough shims on the outside of the step so that when the reduction gear is on it doesn't rub on the housing of the output gear
    you will probably now need to make your key slot longer now that you've moved your gear out further (this is where a mill comes in handy). If your careful you can do this w/ a dremel.
    put the reuction gear on and add shims till the cover won't seat tightly and then remove one and it should seat tightly w/o pressure.
    Mount the gb back on the motor and leave off the cover
    make new key for your clutch if yours is like mine and they just smashed it in there.
    Then shim your clutch out till the gear on your bell is even w/ the reduction gear, be sure to put a shim in between clutch friction wheel and bell
    also your keeper washer should take up the slop of the bell w/o locking it down to the crank output shaft
    Grease the gears, mount the cover and viola!

    My reduction gearshaft literally had a 1/4" of sideplay and the reduction gear was rubbing on the output gear housing my gears are spiral toothed so sideplay is detrimental. I think the gears could use a better heat treat as well so when/if I get some extras I'm gonna experiment w/ that too. Goodluck!
  4. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Firebelly, this is all admirable advice but it seems a tad pointless when for about Aus $110 you can buy a Grubee gearbox & clutch and save yourself the pain of completely re-engineering a gearbox that should never have been allowed into the market place. The measures you take still don't address the brittle, poorly hardened gears themselves or the fact that the bell housing has a propensity to break away from the first gearwheel and fly around the gearbox although the shimming probably stops the friction heat on the bell housing.
    If I'd bought a container load of these junk kits I'd spend my money on a lawyer to get the supplier to reimburse me for the full cost of them with compensation for damage to my reputation. The manufacturers must be laughing when they read the above remedies but I doubt very much if the Hoot engineers can read.
    There is also a problem with some of the HS engines in both the Grubee and Hoot kits. Suppliers who ordered small amounts seemed to have had dud motors dumped on them. One of the HS Grubee engines had the pin missing from the gudgeon pin\con rod with the result of immediate engine seizure. Other engines wouldn't fire up at all. It was about 10% of the order that was defective with the result that we can only buy the Honda kit and no HS engines. The only thing the Chinese understand is damage to their pocketbook and the only effective remedy for all the quality problems will only come through legal action to recover the cost of their deliberate dishonesty.
  5. Thanks IJ,
    I'm well aware of how you feel reguarding all of this, much more aware than how much $110 Aus is. I've read all that you have posted concerning these kits. Personally, I think they all suck! (Grubee, JL, and the myriad of generic knockoffs)
    I'm playing around w/ these as an experiment to see what I can accomplish for "my purposes and those who are interested".
    I can tell you are very passionate about your views and that can be very admirable but I'm not oblivious to the practices of the Chinese or what I'm doing as a result of they're poor workmanship.
    Sometimes I just do things for the fun and learning of it all. Sometimes one learns more from their mistakes.
    I am working on my own drive system as well and I think that I can decide whether what I'm doing is pointless or not.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  6. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Fair enough FireBelly. I take your point and you're spot on about my strong prejudice against chinese quality control (not to mention my pathological hatred of coaster brakes and 3 piece cranks). I suppose I just feel that trying to fix the Hoot's problems is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic Your own drive system project is indeed employing your skills elsewhere and I'm sure it will be a great improvement on what we currently have. Motoredbike Mike is also working on his own drive project and that too will probably be a big improvement on what's available.
    I am wodering what this new belt driven Grubee GB will be like. The bike is chain driven it seems but the GB itself is belt driven and I fear that it might be forced on the market by withdrawing the existing GB which is at leat reliable.
    I like the belt drive mechanism on some of the little scooters where the drive pulley expands as you accellerate thus giving a higher gearing ratio and I wonder if this Grubee employs that principle.

    Attached Files:

  7. Silvaire

    Silvaire Member

    I'm no expert here, but I have high hopes for the yet to be marketed Grubee belt drive. It's hard to get a good perspective on the sizing of the components but they look to be pretty substantial.

    This is a simple timing belt setup, and it is not a variable ratio drive of the type used on some scooters and on snowmobiles.

    How well it will actually work out is yet to be seen of course.
    The devil is in the details they say, and the Chinese are infamous for rushing products to market without paying sufficient attention to the details...
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  8. chuck216

    chuck216 Member

    The Hoot and it's copies aren't worth trying to rebuild, I have one that kept shearing off the gear keys inside. and taking it apart every other day to put in a new key was getting tiring so I have it sitting in my shed not being used. I should have not been such a cheapskate and gone for the grubee kit.
    Problem is the engine that fits the hoot won't fit the grubee gearbox.. different shaft sizes so I'd be stuck having to buy a whole new kit.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  9. Chuck you sort of shot down your own point. A key is like a fuse for mechanical parts; if you shear a key you don't just replace it, you find out why it sheared, fix that, then replace the key.
    It seems that some reply to threads w/o reading all the posts 'cause I've addressed the "worth" of what I'm doing since I originally posted.
    Would it be "worth" a few hours of your time to save that kit if you could.
    I personally have had no problems w/ my gearbox except noise and I fixed that. But I can see that the gear teeth will wear out prematurely if they are not hardened better. So if I successfully harden them in my back yard have I wasted my time?
  10. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I agree- the Hoot is not great as delivered, but if FBC can get them that way- more power to him. They are compact, and that is a good thing. Some of the newer drive systems may be more reliable out of the box...but if they look like the drive of a cement mixer- count me out. I understand that looks don't matter to all, but if it were not for style, I wouldn't be in this hobby at all.
  11. Ghost0

    Ghost0 Guest

    I agree 100%, functionality is key but for something to be truly functional in my mind its form must also be considered. I still think that there has yet to be built a good gear reduction box for these engines. The ones out all have their pluses and minuses. The Grubee is better built but huge and kinda noisy. The Hoot is poorly built, a little smaller and noisy. When someone gets a decent GB on the market that is compact, quite and can be made to fit not only the 49cc Honda/Haushengs but can fit the Robins/Tanaka and utility engines then you got a winner.
  12. nsideus

    nsideus Guest

    Looks mighty wide but I hear rickets is making a come back
  13. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I agree. Although primarily I want a cheap & responsible method of transport I also want it to look as good as it can. The cement mixer drive description is a good one because I knew it looked a tad ugly and reminded me of something and that was what it reminded me of even though I couldn't put a name to it.
    I cannot see the point of a belt drive unless you avail yourself of the variable ratio advantage as well as the quieter operation. Why only incorporate one advantage when you can exploit more. The real trouble is that the bikes are designed and made by people who really don't have to use them and it really shows. What also shows is a tremendous level of cheapskate scrimping and a lack of love for the machinery itself at the design & construction level.
  14. Silvaire

    Silvaire Member

    A big issue with belt type variable ratio drives is that they use a V belt, and V belt drives rob power. With small engines this becomes a more significant issue than it is with full size scooters and snow mobiles that typically use them. Timing belt type drives are one of the most efficient types of drives, with efficiency comparable to straight cut gears and chain drives. They have other significant benefits as well.

    Width when using a "utility type" engine is indeed an issue with frame mounted setups.

    A possible way to mount one of these engines would be as follows:
    Remove the pull starter and the clutch. Mount a pulley (or a sprocket or a thin gear) as close to the end of the crankshaft as possible. This pulley (or sprocket or gear) would drive a counter shaft mounted behind the engine. The clutch and a pull starter (or perhaps a kick starter) would mount on this counter shaft. To be sure this would add some complexity, but it would reduce the width of the engine by at least a couple inches.

    (This isn't some new idea. It is the typical engine/clutch/starter configuration used in most motorcycles.)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  15. So I heat treated the 1st set of gears tonight! Seems to have worked. I held them red hot for 2 hrs, packed in charcoal and bone meal, and quenched them in h2o. They have a nice ring to 'em. I'll temper them tomorrow and get it back together later this week or so. So we will see! :euro:
  16. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I'd like to know just how much charcoal & bone meal you used and what you burnt it in. Was it in an old BBQ or something? Any pics of the fireworks Firebelly? I hope it works OK now and it will be interesting to see. It will be an improvement for sure but will the gears have the strength now to stay in one piece as you disappear over the horizon on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
    Good luck and good work.
  17. So I got the instructions on this site. 1st to pack gears in a coffee can w/ ground charcoal & 50 tabs of bone meal; I didn't have tabs, I had powder, so I guessed. Seems it is to promote even heat.

    I used an aluminum bucket, w/ holes drilled in it for air, to contain the inferno. Just lined the bottom good w/ redhot coals, put the can in and completely incased it in redhot coals for 2hrs

    Quenched them in water on the way out and tempered them in a toaster oven for 1/2 of an hour at 450.

    Are they harder than when I started? Yes! Much, I ran a file over them and it skates across. They have an incredible ring to them.

    Are they tempered? mm, well, ahh, yes, at least a little! There are as many different specific ways to temper as there are metals, just about. So it is sort of a guessing game. We'll See!
    P.S. Used reg size bag of charcoal and bonemeal @ soopsupp was like $9 a lb
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  18. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Just a few queries:
    What did you get your coals red hot in before you put them in the bucket?
    If there are a lot of coals it will be hard to get them all to the red hot stage at same time?
    What is a tab of bonemeal? i.e. how much in a tab?
    My gas oven only goes to 220 celsius.
    What measurement is your toaster oven?
    I am very interested in what now happens when you ride the GB hard. Will it disintegrate inside as per usual? That is the answer we are waiting for but even if it works OK I doubt people would want to do all this home blacksmithery just because those rice farmers are too tight to use tempered steel.
  19. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    I have boxes full of the latest Hoot gear drive systems! If anyone thinks they are worth rebuilding, I will make you a deal on them. They are all brand new. I have $60.00 invested in each one, but will accept any resonable offer [like 2 for the price of one].

    Have fun,
  20. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    Very good offer Quenton.....i'll ask a friend if he wants to go halves with me cos we've always liked the look of the Hoot but can't stand it's shortcomings.
    Do u ship to Oz?

    PS...maybe also post in the Vendor section(giving full details & pics) to let everyone know.