A Better Mousetrap For Friction Drive Engagement

Discussion in 'Friction Drive' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Jun 15, 2009.

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  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Maybe it's just me. I'm not the greatest when it comes down to adjusting and maintaining the depth that the roller digs into the tire.

    I've gone thru a stack of tires to prove my inability to maintain tire/roller engagement.:whistling:

    To top it off, I just cannot comprehend how a quick-release shaft can exert the mechanical advantage of enough clamping force between the engine channel and the aluminum rear supports. This is one engagement: http://www.staton-inc.com/otherImages4.asp?ProductID=2877

    Why do the vendors use this concept of engagement?

    Well it doesn't work for me reliably. I lose engagement sometimes on a hill or on the highway acclerating to 38mph. By the time I pull over a a safe work area, the tire has sustained damage. Powdered rubber is on the chainstays and seatstays.

    Presently I'm also working on my twin 460 engine/friction drive project. These engines would probably chew up tires even more quickly. I needed solutions for both my commuter "The Dragon Lady" and my 460 project.

    "The Dragon Lady" uses twin Staton friction drive assemblies and 1.5" rollers. The 460 project will use BMP engine channel housings, Staton 1.375" front roller/1.25" rear roller. Staton uses aluminum engine channels; BMP uses steel engine channels.

    Starting with the BMP kit, I left the left rear engagement in place. Instead of the quick-release axle shaft, I used a 5mm X 20mm bolt, thick engagement washer, lock washer and wing nut. This clamps the left support to the engine housing, but it is not the main engagement. The wing nut is set loose until the right-side engagement is locked in place.

    On the right side is the solution which provides bulletproof engagement and precise adjustment. I used the lower mounting bracket from Staton's single-engagement support and discarded the rest: http://www.staton-inc.com/Details.asp?ProductID=2675

    Next I screwed on 14" of 3/8" allthread onto the lower mounting bracket. Then I bolted an L-bracket onto the engine channel. The bracket has a 1/2" hole that the allthread passes through. A flat washer lock washer and 5/16" nut screws on the allthread directly below the L-bracket hole. Another washer and nut screws above the bracket hole.

    Exact tire engagement happens by pushing down on the engine channel. Tightening the top nut on the allthread holds the channel in place, then the lower nut is tightened to lock everything into place. The left-side wing nut is then tightened to clamp the support in place.

    When the engine needs to be lifted off the tire, simply loosen left-side wingnut and right-side adjusting nut. Raise engine housing off the tire, then tighten both nuts in place.

    Friction roller engagement is permanent and will NEVER slip. As the tire wears, adjustment is easily made to both supports.

    TIP#1: For testing, I just used the bulletproof engagement on the right side. For symmetrical reasons, it could be installed on both sides.

    TIP#2: To make it look better, I slipped nine inches of 3/16" aluminum tubing over the allthread.

    TIP#3: The engagement rod could be made of polished stainless steel, but I'm cheap. :jester:

    I'll ask Hawaii Ed to take and post pictures here of my "mousetrap".

    FWIW, I had to devise this because the Dominator pipe on the 460 engine interfered with the dual-engagement assembly. However, this "mousetrap" will work on any friction drive except the Dimension Edge kit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2009

  2. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    Hey 5-7,

    With my TITAN BMP kit, I to am amazed how that thing stays down and holds the tire while pushing me and the bike along WITHOUT any slipping at all.....

    I have to say my setup has never slipped even a little bit yet, and the (cheapo) tire on the back of my $89 Cruiser is still near 100%.

    When I "engage" the roller, I let it "fall down" on the tire and then push it in about 5/16" of an inch into the tire! I keep the back tire at a solid 50psi.

    Post some pics, I want to see her...
  3. DetonatorTuning

    DetonatorTuning Active Member


    you've been a busy fella.

    nice work on the adjuster, i love all these things where stuff that's out there is made to perform even better.

    keep at it, there aren't many ongoing builds right now to hold my attention and i don't want to have to resort to the "honey-do" list. LOL

  4. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    I'll go back today to where i saw a MUCH more accurate type of engagement system & take pics(if they'll let me)......stay tuned.
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Thanks for props, Detonator, s_beaudry and fetor.

    s_beaudry, what I like about this new setup is that a 5/16" depth can be PRECISELY measured using a vernier caliper or ruler between the top adjusting nut and the L-bracket surface.:detective:

    okay fetor, waiting on you.

    Steve, my son's staying with us until he finishes college. I transferred my "honey-do" list to him. Wife didn't like that but it's fair. I'm the sole breadwinner and go to night school. I deserve to play in my free time.:devilish:

    Free room and board - household chores = bargain.:whistling:
  6. DetonatorTuning

    DetonatorTuning Active Member

    i too will be hoping to see what else has been done.

  7. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Yeah bring on the pix 5-7!
    In all honesty though I don't know if any amount of fiddling is going to produce long lasting tires with how you hot-rod that thing.
    I usually let my roller drop to the tire then I adjust the quick release to the point that I have to put a lot of force into it to get the thing closed. Then I push it down a bit and force that sucker closed. I do have to say that I've chewed some tire before I started tightening that sucker up a lot. If your channel can easily slide up and down when the QR is open your tension isn't high enough.
    Any other friction riders here really don't have a basis for comparison though as I don't think we've exceeded the intended speed and power that 5-7 puts his rig through.
    Good luck dooood!
  8. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    I've been back there twice & both times they were closed....i'll leave it for a few days & try again on the weekend.
    I'de like u guys to see this setup cos it's pretty nifty...Honda engine mounted centrally in the frame behind the seat tube,concave drive roller etc etc;price $1400 for the FULL Cruiser setup(cos i've asked before)
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Well, my new engagement support installed easily onto "The Dragon Lady". It should adjust with no trouble. The engines' expansion chambers were in the way of adjusting the original quick-release axle.(That's what this component really is.)

    Good thing, because I hit a road bump and the Staton support disengaged. A few minutes of adjustment got me back on the road.

    The better mousetrap should hold engagement very well, with no way of slipping out of adjustment.:detective:
  10. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Anxiously awaiting that Honda setup, fetor.:grin5:
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    The First Day

    As expected, the new engagement device performed extremely well at 5/16" deflection into the tire.

    However there was more vibration from the rear. I'll adjust the depth to 1/4" to see if there's any improvement. I'll also check tire pressure.

    I should install new tires soon.
  12. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    After adjusting to 1/4" depth, there was no improvement or decline in performance. There was also no slipping of the roller, so that's good.

    :idea:Tomorrow I'll adjust down to 1/8" depth before commuting to work.

    If the roller slips it's so easy to pull over and readjust to 3/16" or more. All it takes is two 9/16" wrenches.