Engine Mounts, tension arms, cover


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
Adding a second spring to the tension arm arose because of the tricycle.

We all know the deep gorge 1/4 mile south of my driveway.....


I have the Mountain 11 tooth gear on it, so it climbs just fine, but I have to coast down hill, and the damn tension arm jumped off on every descent.

UNTIL I added a MF 18 2 1/2 inch spring. Problem solved.


Even if you do the SPOKERING snap on perfectly, have very little tension arm jump, if you are screaming through a yellow light at 30 plus miles per hour, have a change of heart when you see the fuzz and let off the throttle quick, it sometimes jumps off the belt.

The bottom two pix are Rocinante. I added a spring and whoola, not even a hop or pop off that belt ever since.

Note three or five other things on that Denver bike engine mount. On the cover holding post, I have a spare wingnut, underneath, and on top I added a 3/8 inch rubber flat faucet washer, to shock absorb for the plastic cover.

I also put a square of black duct tape on the inside of the covers, another "crack" preventative.

On Phillips bike:


You can barely see how I took a sharp knife, and whittled a little teardrop shape where the arm sticks out of the slot. On the Florida run the cover cracked, then slid and interfered with the tension arm movement.

Problem solved.

So, here is what you need:


#18 springs 2 and a half inches long and a two pairs of needlenoses to stretch the ends.

flat washers

black duct tape.

Some other topic mentioned "clutch slipping". Bet it was wear on the driveshaft grooves, too much rapid starting and/or lazy uphilling.

I had one "rust" and freeze up on me, I could NOT pull it out of the engine.

Occasionally grease those grooves and slip the engine back on. Put a dab on EVERYTIME you take off the engine.

Also, for youngsters and newbies. See all that road grime up on Rocinante's Mount?


If you are not careful, it will build up and guck up the motions.

Dismantling it to clean it out is a 20 minute job.

OR "mu beta" add a little oil occasionally.

WD 40 is no good, use sewing machine oil or 3-1 oil like in the picture, a few drops will get the arm moving freely.


Originally Posted by larymor View Post
Well...Julia from GEBE sent me a replacement cover for my engine/clutch ( the plastic one ) and it is no way gonna fit without some major modifications..it looks a bit thicker in the area where it mounts to the bolt which is where they break.I'm gonna measure it and see if it is thicker. But a lotta good it will do me if I cant get it on! Dont they try them on a kit there b4 they ship to see if it fits or not....and she wants me to pay $7 shipping for it! Like it was my fault it broke so I need to pay for something that is under their warranty? This is my first problem with them...they are always nice when you call and try to be helpful.....but I think they need to step out of the warehouse with some of their kits...go to walmart and buy a bike..take it home and put it on the bike...if they can...and ride it 50 miles....so they can get the FULL EXPERIENCE some of us have...gas tank wont fill without putting the rear wheel in a tree.....spokes breaking...belts slipping...gotta cut the rear support to mount it on the frame cause a bolts in the way or the axle is too short.....There...my first big rant is over. If it wasn't for all you guys out there helping, encouraging...and listening....We are definately a Band of Brothers.


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
The only way to make sense of this interaction is to cut paste the 3 responses from me and Jim H. In case one thread or the other rolls off the screen.


How about copying the rant and putting it under this thread as a "heads up"?


My advise on new installs is leave the durn thing off for a couple of hundred miles "breaking in the engine". Put it on the shelf until everything is running right, after you've shown all your family and friends exactly how it works.

CUZ, the most aggrevating discovery is the little black ball on the tension arm costs $4 plus shipping, and taking off that cover umpteen times not only takes too long, but one time you are gonna not get it tight enough, reach behind you and find it missing.

No warranties on plastic items seems right, I broke a lot of covers before I started reinforcing them, but the concept is easier to explain to strangers with the cover off....and your rant would emphasize the reinforcing steps.

Jim H
Hey Lars, I think Dennis does ride these bikes so am sure he's aware of some of the ticks these kits have and I agree with Bama about plastic covers not being warrantied; mine has broken twice so far, think I'll make my own out of thick aluminum sheet.

I tried to call him yesterday (heard Lansing had a tornado), to give him a heads up on the bottom plastic cover on the new Tanaka, mine cracked at the spot where the machine bolt holds it on.

That was the source of a new noise.

Bit of superglue, can't even see it now, held up on the first bumpy 10 mile test.....

Plastic is not compatible with our outrageous speeds on these lousy bumpy roads.