vintage Worksman Mover tricycle electric build

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by christw, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. christw

    christw New Member

    I found an old Worksman Mover from the local Delphi plant at a barn sale a few weeks ago and the ideas started flowing. I wanted to build a daily vehicle to take me 4 miles to college and back at around a 15 mph average. Initially I had a 49cc moped concept using parts on hand. That quickly morphed into an e-trike build after fitment issues with the drive system on the initial mock-up.

    I'll be using one of those 1kw 48V eBay e-bike motor/controller kits for the front wheel powered by four 12350 (12V / 35AH) batteries in series. I found three 12V / 1 A solar panels and a controller for a song on craigslist. I'll step that up to 48V and let it top off my batteries while I sit in classes. Add a big ol' inverter and this thing would be a proper off the grid power source.

    Thinking this is the ticket with regard to registration barring the fact that my intended motor is 250 watts past moped status. It's really just an over marketed 500w anyway. ;)

    "4501-23-19
    Assembly by person other than manufacturer.

    Nothing in these rules and regulations shall prohibit a person other than a manufacturer from constructing, assembling, or equipping a vehicle so as to conform to the specifications of a motorized bicycle. Such person shall, however, comply with all of the rules contained in Chapter 4501-23 of the Administrative Code to the same extent as is necessary of a manufacturer."


    Parts are in the mail and the build starts this week. More to come, including what I'll do with those solid rubber tires. I'll be sad to see that drum brake go but I didn't really need it when my top speed was 5.

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

  2. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Those are some pretty stout spokes on the rear wheels.
     
  3. christw

    christw New Member

    No joke! I've heard moped riders covet these for their above and beyond build quality. Good thing I know a lady who bought a lot of 48 of these. :)
     
  4. christw

    christw New Member

    Batteries came in and I repurposed an old bike headlight. The battery/bed cover is drying at the moment but not much has gone on. Still waiting on those e-bike parts.

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  5. Racie35

    Racie35 Member

    Is that a falcon ranchero? 64-65?
    I have a 67
     
  6. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Wow. I really had to concentrate to find the Falcon. I would probably get a 61 or 62 Falcon for the curvy body. The engine was smaller in the 1960 Falcon. I believe the 1964 Mustangs had the same gauge/speedo cluster.
     
  7. dougsr.874

    dougsr.874 Active Member

    Don't you have the batteries wired in parallel???
     
  8. Racie35

    Racie35 Member

    Looks it....maybe just for charging?
     
  9. christw

    christw New Member

    The Ranchero is a '65 that's been in the family for years. It's a little half stang rocket and that's going anywhere until I finish putting in a 6AL2.

    The batteries were charging after getting unboxed in that picture. Here's the initial slap-together to see how things fit. Not bad. It'll do a solid 15-20 except for the rather steep hills in the neighborhood. I didn't try to go any faster because I was worried about not having the front brake. It turns out that the coaster brake is actually more than adequate. These worksmans really were overbuilt.


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  10. shinjinian

    shinjinian Member

    Looks pretty good but all those batteries taking up all the storage kind of defeat the purpose of the trike. Personally I would've used a china engine or pitbike motor and made my own jackshaft but that's just my preference.
     
  11. christw

    christw New Member

    I had both an "80"cc china engine and a 49cc from a mini bike lying around. I found that in any sort of bolt-on configuration there was no way for me to fit everything I wanted like I wanted. Ultimately it came down to the fact that I see at least 4 different police forces on my 4 mile ride to college and would much prefer not attempting to explain the legality of my vehicle on the daily. As is, this just looks like an old bicycle.

    As is the batteries eat a up a solid third of my cargo space at the moment. I was in a hurry to make it work. :) My real plan is to mount one under each corner of the bed.

    Updates to the build: It's 90 degrees out and I was running full electric. After about 4 miles the controller would get far too hot to touch. After adding a 5 inch 48V fan it stays close to ambient temperature, even when hauling three more garage saled SLA's uphill. Score!

    Next up, cleaning up the wiring a bit.

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  12. christw

    christw New Member

    Well, I ran into some heat issues after taking a few hills at full tilt. The wire casings started to melt at the disconnects. No biggie, now I know. I'd definitely recommend tying the wires tightly to the frame for additional heat dissipation. The free floating sections were at least 20 degrees warmer to the touch during this last ride.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  13. Racie35

    Racie35 Member

    Heavier multi strand wire will help
     
  14. christw

    christw New Member

    I learned my lesson, I was way too heavy on the throttle to start off with. I've got it all worked out now though and I'm quite happy with the result. I've got about a 10-15 mile range in the city which isn't at all bad. My Ranger would gulp at least a gallon of gas and enough oil to make Al Gore cry on my 8 mile trip to school and back with almost no time savings.

    I have enough storage in the back for a full size tool kit, a bottle jack, spare tubes, 50 foot extension cord, a charger, bunjis, and bike locks with a little room to spare. Plus it has a nice forced air flow over the controller that doesn't mind 90 degree days at all.

    Biggest pet peeve so far? 3 flats in the front and counting. It's got a beefy 24" tube I bought for my BMX in the front to survive the weekend... ;)

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    Edit: Dropped the seat a bit and replaced the wobbly springer that made cornering perpetually scary. The 2 stroke moped has been donating parts to this build.

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  15. christw

    christw New Member

    Added two Cree headlights, a low beam in the old school housing, and a double LED high beam for those times when I'm pushing 30-35 and need to see well ahead.

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