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Electric Trike on the cheap

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hello everyone. first of all thanks for all the question/comments on my electric bike build.  Now we go to the next level. An Electric Trike made on the cheap with an old electric wheelchair and a standard trike.
 
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Step 1: Find a trike. and motor(s)

i picked up my trike from Craigslist for 50 bucks.  As for the motors and control box i got a broken power chair from a friend in exchange for some auto repair work.

also going to need a front sprocket from a donor bike pile.  the bigger the sprocket the faster the bike will go (horsepower permitting)

the wheelchair has all needed parts. motor, controller, batteries, and controls.

other bits are from ACE hardware.

Step 2: Mounting the motors

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this is the tricky bit.  i disconnected the chain from the pedals to hook the electric motors up to the drive.

connected into the 3 speed hub i have 3 gear choices  1st gear is 50% underdriven (more power for hills)  2nd gear is 1 to 1 and 3rd gear is 50% overdriven (for more speed)

if you dont have a 3 speed you can connect the motors straight to the chain gear on the rear axle.

since it is an electric powerchair with 2 motors and the gearboxes had a 5 bolt hub i went to ACE and got some couplers and dug up an old front sprocket from a donor bike.  placed the sprocket between the hubs and bolted the hubs together.

MAKE SURE BEFORE YOU INSTALL THE MOTORS THAT THE MOTORS ARE TURNING THE PROPER DIRECTION TO POWER THE BIKE.

motors are mounted on a board that is attached to the bike by the brackets that held the basket on originally.

you want to mount the motor solidly because it is going to put out 3 or 4 times the force of an average person pedaling.

also make sure the sprockets are perfectly aligned. If they are not the chain will slip off.  

also make sure all bolts are on the bike frame or it can cause problems later on.  i built this with absolutely no welding.




nezzbit9 months ago
hi would it be possible to mount some mini wind turbines on to to put power back into the batterys
DTOM_Bear nezzbit9 months ago
No. Thermodynamics.
moein DTOM_Bear1 month ago

exactly .

tovey nezzbit9 months ago
Better to use solar panels.
tovey nezzbit9 months ago
Better to use solar panels.
Yes. For use when it is parked on a windy day ;-)
evilmunkey (author) 6 months ago

EDIT! i have removed the 3 speed hub. it could not hold the power i was putting through it and failed. the chain now goes from the drive sprocket to the rear axle sprocket. since i dont have the freewheel from the 3 speed hub on it the throttle has to be on to move. if you let all the way off the throttle it will cause the drive wheel to stop and skid the trike to a stop. it takes some practice with the control but once i got it down i am now able to control the trike a lot better. and since it is direct drive it has reverse.

new instructable will be coming soon.

bennelson9 months ago
If a person was building a trike simply from bicycle parts, and did NOT have a trike differential, one could simply use two motors and chain each to one of the two rear wheels. No differential needed!
There have been several electric cars built that drive both rear wheels instead of a single motor and differential.
evilmunkey (author)  bennelson9 months ago
the wheelchair motors have gearboxes attached to them. they go 5mph with stock wheels. you may get 12 or so mph out of a bike wheel mounted to it.
koklimabc9 months ago
how can i built this motor from scratch?
evilmunkey (author)  koklimabc9 months ago
i used a quantam wheelchair for parts. it had a 5 bolt hub (part that bolts to the wheelchair wheels)

i turned the motors inward and added a bike sprocket and coupled the hubs together.
cowcrusher9 months ago
If you plan to use this vehicle on public roads, check with your local jurisdiction for they may require you to have it registered and possibly insured.
evilmunkey (author)  cowcrusher9 months ago
in CA if it is under 750 watts its legal. they treat it as a bicycle.
Rodro2269 months ago
put some videos!
Beergnome9 months ago
I actually have that exact same trike! they were mostly used in factories I got mine when the Alcoa plant behind the brewery shut down. A bunch of these trikes were going to be thrown out after not fetching anything at the auction, and one of my co workers and myself were able to just take a few home

Ive been thinking about moterizing mine for a while and this instructable verifies my back of the head day dream engineering.
bennelson9 months ago
Another advantage of most electric bikes and trikes is that they are HYBRIDS!
Typically, they are designed so that you can use the electric motor OR the pedals. If you ever have trouble with the electric system (blown fuse, out of charge, etc.) you can still pedal home!
Japy9 months ago
I'm impressed. Wanted an electric trike forever.
Great job!
_Rommel_9 months ago
Really nice. Gz.
Mobiusdiablo9 months ago
What kind of trike model is that? All the ones I've seen so far are the ones with the seat way in the back (and those are expensive new -or- used.
evilmunkey (author)  Mobiusdiablo9 months ago
i really dont know. i think it may be a 1980's Schwinn. the seat was close to the basket. when i built the motor box i made it a little longer than it needed to be so i can have more room.
Reiff9 months ago
Hey that is really nice. Do you know about how much you payed in all for the whole thing. I love this thing, You have plenty of room for cargo, that is really well done.
evilmunkey (author)  Reiff9 months ago
the hard to find parts on the build are all on an electric wheelchair. you can get them for around $100 at flea markets or craigslist. just make sure the batteries are good on it. you get the controller, motor(s), control stick, charger, and wiring all in one buy.
about 20 bucks in bits at the hardware store and you are set.
Reiff evilmunkey9 months ago
Okay, wow, I'm surprised, looking at all those electric motors, I though it would be somewhat costly. I see you have made another electric bike one a different Instrucatables. Yeah, good job.
That's really cool. Check on motorbicycling.com or endless-sphere.com (e-bike forum) if you get stumped or need parts. I like gas bikes, but I like your bike. Good way to recycle stuff. Powered bicycles are the way to go to save a bunch of money now.
evilmunkey (author)  Yard Sale Dale9 months ago
thanks. i have been lucky on parts. mostly from junked bikes and the local hardware store. the ACE out here has a lot of bits, connectors, and specialty parts that u cannot find in the big box stores.
astral_mage9 months ago
if u put on wheel fenders. on then put on flexible solar panels on uill be able to charge yr batteries as well. good place to start is power film.com .
evilmunkey (author)  astral_mage9 months ago
i am planning a canopy top for it with solar charging.
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