DIY Electric Skateboard

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Posted in OutsideSkateboarding

Introduction: DIY Electric Skateboard

About: I'm a mechanical engineering student attending Texas Tech. I love building anything mechanical or electrical. When I'm not going to school, I work at my ranch and tinker at home.
This is a VERY basic approach to making a cheep skateboard without having to know ALL of the mechanics involved.  I.e. mounting the motor, the chain linkage, frame, brakes, etc; all of that is pre-made into the scooter you will use.  The only additional parts I bought were: 2-9" MBS front wheels, MBS front truck, aluminum for the deck, new batteries, some cheep acrylic for the battery box, scratch tape, and misc nuts and bolts from Home Depot.


Here's a video of my buddy riding the finished skateboard down the street.  

Top speed is approx: 15-21mph

Step 1: Find an Old Scooter

This is not a picture of the actual scooter I used, but it's close.  I found mine on craigslist for about $50 and amazingly the only problem was the batteries were shot.

Step 2: Strip It Bare

The materials you will salvage from the previous scooter are: the steel frame and shocks, the back wheel and chain linkage, the motor(mine was 1000W), the motor controller, the disc brake system, & throttle control from the handlebar. You can test the batteries, but usually they're bad and should be replaced. This picture shows the remaining frame after I stripped everything off. Nothing was more difficult than unscrewing several screws, except the vertical steel piece welded to the frame.(it supported the handle bars and LED display) I took a sawzall to it and it came off very easy.

Step 3: Find a Suitable Deck Material

I found four or five aluminum sheets at the local recycling scrap metal yard; they were almost the perfect size for the deck. The metal yard charged me around $20 for the material. Next, I took them to a local company that builds cotton gins and they were nice enough to offer me the service of their awesome laser cutter. I fastened it to the scooter frame with 3 bolts on each side and two in the front.

Step 4: Order New Batteries

The initial batteries were shot (3 total), so I went to Ebay and found a lot of different providers. The best price I could find at the time was around $22. 

Step 5: Custom Battery Box

The initial battery box was too shallow with my new deck. So I removed the old battery box and replaced it with a custom acrylic box that I shaped into a trapezoid-ish shape. The acrylic is not the most durable material you can use. I only use it because it was easy to shape with a blow torch and extremely cheep. A metal box would probably be better.

Step 6:

Almost finished.........

To mount the acrylic box, I found some simple hinges from home depot and some nuts and bolts. This allows me to access the batteries for whatever reason in the future. You can't see it, but I bound the 3 batteries together with duct-tape to hopefully minimize them moving. I used the model number underneath the motor controller to find its data sheet online(didn't take long). I also found 4 screws to fasten the truck to the frame. I used about an inch thick rectangle shape block of extra aluminum underneath the front of the frame to increase the height. The trucks are the cheapest I could find for 9" wheels, there are much better and more expensive ones available. The deck design is simple, so there may be a better design to help with the wheels not bite while turning. Not pictured is the black scape tape on top of the deck. I went to a local skateboard shop and they applied it for a small cost.

Step 7: Pictures of Separate Components

Here's the link for my motor controller:

http://tncscooters.com/index.php?route=product/pro...

You can also change out the bushing that comes with the truck for a more/less stiff one, whichever you prefer(I went one size more stiff).

Step 8:

Here's the link for my motor controller:

http://tncscooters.com/index.php?route=product/pro...

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We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

4 Tips

A 350W motor is a minimum for a 150 lb adult... or a 150 lb child I guess. I'd also recommend gearing with an 11 tooth sprocket on your motor for some nice torque.

In case you dont have access to metal working equipment, I used 3/4" baltic birch plywood (don't use ANY other kind) and it came out nice.

20180123_181220.jpg

The SLA batteries are heavy and inefficient. Lipo batteries are best but lithium ion is best for the price.

Label your wiring while disassembling. The connectors can get confusing if they are in Chinese and not colored well.

Questions

26 Comments

How much did this cost u

How much did this cost u

Does this have regenerative breaking?

I could go around 15-18mph for about 45min holding it full throttle the time. The most travel distance I ever measured was 5 miles around campus

How far were you able to get on one charge?

I am doing this. no doubt. except i have looked around and the closest advertised electric scooter that isn't store bought is 75 miles away... so i was walking home one day and i found a chainsaw that someone had obviously dumped with other trash (for shame.). needless to say that will be my motor when i get it working!!! i shall post pics.

1 reply

Dumpster diving is the key to success !

Nice job

Awesome, Thank You for getting back to me with that info! Here you can see we are really into EV's, and this skateboard project will be one of the coolest! www.flickr.com/mbarkley/sets

Where is your source for the Front Wheels/Axle ?

1 reply

Front Wheels - MBS T2 Tires - 9" - Black - $35
http://shop.mbs.com/mountainboard-parts/mountainboard-wheels/mountainboard-tires/mbs-t2-tires.html

Front Truck - MBS ATS Truck - $29.95
http://shop.mbs.com/mountainboard-parts/mountainboard-trucks-suspension/mbs-ats-truck.html

Did you leave the drive with just a single wheel?

1 reply

I did, which was one of the primary reasons for doing this project. I didn't have to build a support frame for the motor, setup the drive chain, and it came with all the accessories to operate it. haha

Hello. Thank you very much for your instructable. Have data of autonomy?

wow nice concept, I want to build this for my son :)

I was fail at Step 1. ....>"<

You need to put some gyroscopes on it so we don't fall off