How would you fix my bike?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by sparky, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I've got a few problems with the folding bike I received from

    I will post pictures soon, but for now... the [many] problems are:

    (1) the plastic gas cap leaks from the threads & also thru a pinhole in the middle of the cap; a guy from the auto parts store said that silicone won't work with gas, but cork would... I bought the cork and some kind of adhesive that said it would work on gas cans, but I'm unsure how much I'd like to seal it due to Large's problems with an air tight tank & esp. considering my tank is plastic while most people have problems with the metal ones.

    (2) the killswitch doesn't work (even a replacement killswitch didn't work); either the switches are for looks or perhaps the wires to the engine aren't connected properly... what are they supposed to go to?

    (3) also, when I cut the choke off, the engine keeps running now (didn't do that for the first coupla days)... is this from idling too high? and since the only way for me to cut the engine off is to take off the spark plug wire... will this harm my engine?

    (4) the air filter inside this engine is a joke; i'll prolly need to post pics so you guys can see what I really need... but is there some kind of quality flat cloth to use for custom air filters?

    (5) the front pedal sprocket is wayyy too small. I will need at least 44t instead of 36t. I could even stand some more teeth (up to a 50t) if they made 'em; my real problem with this is that a guy at my bike shop said I couldn't put a regular 3-piece sprocket on my current crank because the current sprocket is riveted onto the crank. I'll prolly end up buying a whole new 44t 3-piece crank, but I found a rare 45t sprocket I really wanted to use for numerous reasons & the bike guy said it wouldn't work even if I bought another crank. I don't see why not.

    (6) plastic twist grip throttle blows; i at least know how to fix this, by buying a left-hand BMX brake lever & cutting a bit off the end, then putting it on the right front side of the handlebars to be used as a thumb throttle lever.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008

  2. Jim H

    Jim H Guest

    Large hammer? Just kidding, what about contacting five flags with your problems and seeing if they won't help iron out what should be there problem. My $0.02
  3. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Hah... I complained to them about 10 min after I opened their box. The FedEx guy asked me if I still wanted this package because it had a huge hole (almost 1ft x 1ft). I accepted because all I could see at the time was a scratched, plastic tank.

    Upon calling the owner, I said I thought the bike was used because of a couple things that I'm not worried about now (either way, he called me a "son of a b****" because I accused him of shipping a used bike), most of them prolly were due to FedEx... but these problems above have nothing to do with FedEx. After talking to the owner about my troubles, he sent me another tank & the plastic throttle mount with the killswitch... the back half of throttle mount didn't fit the front that was on the bike, so I had to make due with a razorblade, and he sent me a metal tank that comes with most happy time kits when mine is plastic. The guy is no help, but I will complain like I do to every owner who's doing a shoddy job.

    I could beat it with a hammer, but I'd much rather fix it and tell everybody else I built it, 'cause really.... I am. If it weren't for the double freewheeled hub, I would have sent this piece back already.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  4. quay1962

    quay1962 Guest

    sorry this is happening

    personally if i were you i would send it back and start long have you had it? Plastic tank? OMG! i once had to return an e-bay deal i reacted hastily, i was able to return it tho and buy something else...if he showed his colors by calling you names then he is no good...i paid too much for my return, be careful and keep us posted...good luck on your endeavors...
  5. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Your gas cap: You'd probably be best off finding another cap. You might try a Lawn and Garden store. The pin hole in the center is to let air in. There should be some kind of baffle so gas doesn't leak out.

    The Kill switch. 1 wire? Or 2? If it's 1 wire the frame is ground. Try baring a spot on the wire and touching it to the frame. That should kill the engine. If it's 2 wires, try barring spots on each, and touch them together. That should kill the engine. If either of those things work, your problem is in the switch.

    The choke. Either you have an air leak at the choke itself, or between the carb and the cylinder. Can you put your hand over the front of the carb? If that kills the engine, your leak is around the choke. If it keeps running, your leak is between the carb and cylinder.

    Hope this helps.
  6. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    You bet it does!! Thanks a bunch, Van!

    So, I guess the only thing I really need to know now is if pulling the spark plug wire off the plug is going to harm anything??

    I'm imagining it's better than running outta fuel, but this leads me to another question. Does it matter if I let the engine run out of fuel... or should I cut it off when I'm close to empty?? And running outta gas should be the only time I need to prime the engine, right?
  7. turbo/chaos

    turbo/chaos Guest

    um just send it back
    five flags good god a poor chose man
  8. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Pulling the plug wire won't hurt the engine (it could be tough on the wire/boot). If the motor is 4-cycle, there's no problem with letting it run out of gas. Not so with a 2-cycle (the gas is also the lubricant). I've heard that it's not good to let a 2-cycle run out (though I do it annually with the motor on my skiff).
    The 2-cycle TLE 43 on my Trek has to be primed every morning (evaporation I presume). I usually prime it every time I start it though I'm not sure it's necessary.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2008
  9. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Once again... I feel as tho I'm getting a good deal even tho I'm going to have to pay an extra $75 or so on upgrades.

    The double freewheel design lets me coast a good distance & I can pedal with only the minimal amount of resistance possible with chains. The quiet 33cc engine gets me close to 25mph even with just 20" wheels, and I get excellent gas milage. The engine is mounted on a metal plate with a handle that makes it easy to carry the bike upstairs & would be easy to tote the engine across a garage even if you just hopped off it. I like the tires & the way it folds.

    It's hard for me to justify the $40 cost of shipping it back when most of the problems I'm having aren't unique to fiveflags, but to Chinese engines/components in general. No matter what you build or buy, most of us will always want to change something on our motored bike(s), whether it be related to form or function.
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    This is what I assumed, and yes... it's a 2-cycle.

    Interesting, it takes me a good number of cranks to start it in the morning. I'd assumed it was from being flooded out, but mine might need to be primed, too. Dunno... I hear priming the carb won't flood it out, so there's prolly no good reason to avoid priming in the mornings.

    Thanks for the insight again, Van!
  11. I am surprised to hear that Frank called you an S.O.B. WTF did you say to him? Im sure he will work with you if you take it from the top all calm and whatnot...
  12. I'm assuming you bought the yellow bike?

    1) How much are replacement gas caps?
    2) Push button or toggle? I dunno your arrangement but I gather you could always adjust your throttle to shut down when you throttle down. Toggle,find out where the wires go. You're probably not disconnecting when you cut the switch off. Or if you have a pushbutton you'r not connected. I would give you the Happy Time fix but all engines are different.
    3) You got a leak in your intake. Well seeing how your removing your spark plug wire anyway,find a wire in your magneto that goes to your coil,tap in a toggle switch in there. Now you solved problem 2.
    4) Get a beer can,some tin snips and some sponge type foam and make a new improved version!
    5) Most BMX bikes run 44 up front,16 in the rear. Find a junk one with a three piece. You find the right one it could even be stronger that the one you have. It should fit on your original crank holder assembly (whatever you call it...axle...bearing cage..) They are pretty universal I would think.
    Stay away fron 10 speed sprockets. Chain too skinny.
    6) You can even use newer mountain bike twist type gear shifters and remove the ratchet in there. Makes a cool stubby throttle.
  13. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

  14. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I was pretty calm for the shape of the bike I received. He kept talking and talking about how some things will be broken or scratched because of the way FedEx handles the package. I just wanted to get one point across that there was a huge hole in the box, where the gas can was... and once I interjected, "May I say something?", he thought that was reason enough to call me an SOB. It wasn't even that he called me an SOB (tho my mother has nothing to do with any of this), but more that he was so offended that I wanted him to listen to something I had to say. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought he was drinking a bit early in the day, or he just hit a line of anthrax or something... dunno.

    Regardless, we did settle things. It really just made his head boil when I was describing all the things that made the bike look used but prolly were from a crappy FedEx employee or three. Tho, I will most definitely recommend he use a bit more bubble wrap to keep these complaints down.
  15. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Actually, I got the silver because it's all they had in stock even tho they say they have blue too. It's prolly the best for staying low key like I need it to be.

    Dunno, but I don't think the same gas cap is gonna be worth my money. And I really don't want to give fiveflags any more $$ than I have to for obvious reasons.
    It's push button, but I will be doing the "blue wire toggle switch" idea. I guess I was trying to find out where the toggle switch actually needs to be... in between the magneto & coil.
    Nice idea for the beer can... I'll definitely be trying that. I was only thinking about the sponge.
    I would have thought the same thing. The guy at my local bike shop begs to differ. He says that the crank is more of a mountain bike style (since this isn't a traditional BMX) which wouldn't work for the sprocket I just bought. I'd still imagine I could find a 3-piece crank that would work with this sprocket, but the rare 45t could prolly be one tooth too much for me, really.
    You're not talking about the twist grip gear shifters are you? I saw someone else talking about what seemed to be a "ratcheting" shifter, but didn't understand how they would make that into a throttle lever. Take the ratcheting components!!! I like!

    Whew... graucho's default welcoming message should say: "Welcome to MBc, the home of Alaskavan & Large Filipino, keepers of all the answers you need."
  16. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Can you add another freewheel on the opposite side?? It looks like you can, but I don't want to assume anything. I don't understand why they wouldn't put the other freewheel on there already.

    Either way, that'd cost me $42 for that set right there, another $15 or whatever for the second freewheel, then I'd need to buy the rim & spokes, then I'd have to pay someone to true the spokes for me. Not that cheap.
  17. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    id contact the guy. but i dunno, i know nothing about axles. but you should be able to. (he's nice lol, i bought 2 engines from him)