Introduction from the Lone Star State

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Old Skool, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Well, I'm told that I am supposed to introduce myself, so here goes -

    I have ridden motorcycles most of my life and decided to try building a motorized bicycle as a new hobby. I am partial to American-made products, but I couldn't seem to find any USA made products that filled the bill, so I decided to try my hand at a Grubee 66cc Skyhawk. I have been reading some of the posts online and can readily see that there are numerous problems with some of these kits.

    After starting my own build, I can easily understand some of the frustrations that you other folks have. Most of the instructional material leaves a lot to be desired and I suspect that they were originally written in Chinese and then translated to English. Did I mention that I'm partial to American-made products?

    I will probably be reading more than writing here, so I doubt that I will win any awards for being a high poster on this site. Bear with me as I become more familiar with this message board.

    Old Skool
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

  2. BAM

    BAM Member

    good luck with yours I think the hardest part was the sproket getting that thing on there and straight was a task! If you need parts or advice this is the place there are so many aftermarket parts for these the sky is the limit!
  3. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Thanks Buddy: I was told that the back sprocket was the hardest part, but it went fairly well for me. After that, it was chain rubbing the tire (and fender) issues, then bottom motor mount problems which prevented me from installing the muffler, then after I got that figured out and moved everything around - I didn't have enough room to get the carb back on.
    Long story short ... I took everything off and started over again.
    I am also installing on a Huffy Cranbrook, so I guess we are kindred spirits.
  4. Stan4d

    Stan4d Banned

    On the cranbrook, check the rim should be stamped in it. If it reads 1.75 you will need to drop the tire size. Remount the engine as you originally had it, you might need to bend the exhaust to fit.
  5. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    Many of us have "started over again" on the MB builds to.
    I guess it checks our tolerance and skills, and passing on some simple ideas to.

    When bending the exhaust pipe, it is stronlgy reccomended that you take off the pipe, put on a vice, heat and bend on a trial and error basis.
    Otherwise it can snap the alloy at the jug/port when trying to if it's fastened. It's rather deceptive, the alloy can snap.

    All the Best
  6. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Thanks Bolts,

    As it turned out, I decided to alter my lower motor mount, so the exhaust now fits okay. I really did not want to get into a pipe bending situation, if I could avoid it.

    I "canted" my back tire a little and after trimming a portion of the fender with a small cutting tool on my Dremel, I now have adequate clearance - I think.

    As (my) luck would have it, the gas tank was damaged (along with another part), so I had to contact the dealer to get him to re-send me some more items before I can get that little monster purring.

    Because this was my first build on the Skyhawk, I didn't know all of the little tricks that you guys have already learned, so much of my work was simply trial & error and "do it again".

    My box had been dropped, prior to delivery, and everything inside was a scrambled mess. My CNS carb was full of tiny pieces of styrofoam, so I had to carefully clean that. The drive sprocket was rough as a corn cob and I had to file it a little to dress up the rough edges. I don't guess those folks believe in "quality control".

    It has been a comedy of errors, since the day the kit was delivered, but I have learned by my mistakes. I have another bike (an Excalibur) which is kind of "pricey", and I originally considered putting the kit on that bike - and now I'm glad that I didn't.

    I appreciate all of the feedback. Hopefully, I will have it running this weekend, if the new parts ever arrive. Actually, I am about ready to jump on that Harley and "get out of Dodge" for a while.

    Old Skool
  7. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. If you want to build American, you are limited to engines like the older Briggs and Tecumseh.
  8. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

  9. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    Ok, ya on a roll,
    next thing to consider is changing the china spark plug.
    I have read, not yet experienced it, but the so called ceramic tip on those plugs have been known to literally fall off, sometimes before,during or after the engine had been running.
    The plugs to get most have tried varies, I use NGK B6HS, others may reccomend NGK 0.25, and again, many have tried variations of gap clearances and plug range... Others have said they never had any problems.
    Is it worth that sort of risk?

    While ya at it getting a NGK plug, may as well get a NGK Plug cap, and a proper copper plug lead. If you look at the china copper plug lead and compare with what us ol skoolies know, you'll see....

    So, ya got exhaust pipe bending sorted, spark plug warning sorted.

    Inside the fuel tank, when you screw off the pet cock, there is a filter, or supposed to be, remove that filter cos it's been known to restrict fuel flow. Add a external in-line filter.

    The rest is learn as ya go type of thing.

    All the Best
  10. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Bolts, the spark plug exchange certainly sounds like good advice. I had wondered about what the "proper" replacement plug might be - and now I know. I have not been able to find a good replacement for the spark wire cap, because most of the auto shops sells the spark plug wire & cap as a one piece item, which would mean that I'd have to tear into the module to replace the wire & cap. I certainly don't want to do that!

    I'll keep looking for a single replacement cap. Some store around here has to carry that item.

    When I received my kit - both of the spark plug caps in the box were broken. One was shattered into bits and the other was chipped. They do look poorly made.

    I already have a good quality inline fuel filter in the gas line, so the petcock filter would simply serve as a "first stage" filter. I had originally considered leaving the petcock filter in place, but after you mentioned the "fault" - I may not do that.

    Also, I bought some quality #41 roller chain to replace the factory original #410 - when the time comes. I have good chain alignment, and the chain is well lubed, so I am curious as to how long the #410 will last. Maybe it will helpt to "wear-in" and set the teeth on the drive sprocket.

    As you stated - it is "learn as you go". I appreciate the experienced advice from you and value it as another learning tool.

    Old Skool
  11. Stan4d

    Stan4d Banned

    the cable can be screwed out of the cdi
  12. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Hey Wheelbender:

    Thanks for the information - I had not seen that before. Houston is only a few hours away, so I could probably drive down there and purchase the motor easier than having one shipped to me.

    I am not really excited about the friction type wheel roller design, but might consider it in my next build. It does look like it would be an easier install.

    For the time being, I will "play with" the chain driven stuff because it is more akin my current activities. Due to being an "old school" guy - I don't quickly warm up to some of the newer products.

    Heck ... I still use some hand tools that are older than I am.

    Old Skool
  13. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member


    I just assumed that it was soldered within the CDI module!

    That is good to know. Thanks.

    Old Skool
  14. Stan4d

    Stan4d Banned

    Read the "stickies" in the 2 stroke forum......they will help.
  15. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    If the bikebug motor is, in fact American made, I may be willing to remove the roller and rig a frame mount with a chain or belt drive. You have to do that with a Briggs.
  16. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Yeah, that is a thought. It might require a wider pedal shaft and could actually be a "fun" project. Chances are, the quality of the motor (and assessories) are much better than what I have previously received.

    I have already decided that my next build will NOT be a replay of the existing one. Looking back at some of the very early gasoline motors and platforms from back in the day, it becomes easier to appreciate how they evolved into better designs.

    I suspect that the next generation will look back at some of this stuff, laugh and say - "Did they actually ride those things?"

    Old Skool
  17. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    You may have to be carfull when twisting out the old china plug lead, it can snap like a piece of licorice stick.
    If it does, I used a old small screwdriver, ground the end to a sharp point, and thin enoung to fit, so as to chip away at the bit still stuck in the CDI. You will see a screw, centred inside the CDI part where the lead screws in. That screw is actual a PK gutter screw. Try to not put any side force on that screw, but conentrate mostly at the old lead's insulation with the sharp pointy end of the modified screwdriver.

    They think they ( manufacturers ) are doing us a favor by sticking a low quality plug lead in the CDI when new.

    No, it's providing a CDI with low quality copper plug lead, inhibiting the engine's maximum potential eactly where it counts. SpArK!
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  18. Old Skool

    Old Skool New Member

    Thanks ... good information!

    I had intended to change the spark plug wire, when I replaced the shoddy spark plug cap at the end of the wire, but after twisting on the CDI end of the wire for a while, I changed my mind. I had reached the point of "breaking something", so I just left the old wire in the module.

    None of the auto parts stores around here have any replacement spark plug wire end caps, so I had a brainstorm and stopped at a local lawn and garden store and found one rather quickly. Heck, it is designed more like a lawn mower part than a car part, anyway. It was a quality part and any easy installation.

    I keep plenty of "sharp instruments" in my shop and might have used an ice pick or one of my awls, before I ground down the screwdriver. Copper wire is a good conducter, so maybe I won't have any other problems with that.

    The next comment probably deserves a new string, but getting the CNS carburetor to operate properly was a very challenging chore. It was obvious that the thing was much too lean, the motor would not idlle, and would only run when the choke was applied. I tweaked both adjustment screws until I was blue in the face - with little success.

    When I took the carb apart to reset the needle, I discovered that the carb had no gasket on the top throttle plate. I thought to myself - that can't be right? The thing is sucking air around that plate, which opens into the throat of the carb.

    Long story short - I made me a little gasket, applied it, and the little CNS carb worked much better. Maybe it wasn't intended to have a gasket, but it sure works better with one!

    I have read all of the posts on the CNS carb issues and had never seen that remedy addressed ... so I will throw it in for free.

    Old Skool