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Author Topic: Resurrection of another C5  (Read 1752 times)

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Offline Zelandeth

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Resurrection of another C5
« on: 05, June, 2014 - 22:06:44 »
(Hopefully a pair of them in due course actually, serial numbers 10051001389 and 100051001381).

Also a hello to everyone here from sunny Milton Keynes. 

I'd procrastinated about getting hold of a C5 for many a year, but having just moved into Milton Keynes with the off-street cyclepaths all over the place making it ideal C5 territory, I decided that now was the time. 

So after rummaging around a bit, I found a pair of scruffy but generally original and unmolested looking C5's that weren't too far away.  Idea being that if the worst came to the worst I could make one good one out of the two.

It turns out that you can indeed fit two C5's in the back of a Saab 900 - though you can't quite get the boot closed.

This was what my garage looked like that evening.



The one has quite a rough body, especially the nose which looks as though it's gone through atmospheric re-entry!



The other one in contrast is pretty clean - though it's kind of hard to see here buried in the back of the garage.  It only has one wheel that's actually attached though so dragging it out for photos is a bit of a chore!



I decided to start out with the scruffy looking one on account of the fact that it had the most bits present on it, and that the electrics looked to be in better order. 

First order of the day was to ditch the original chain as it looked like something recovered off the Titanic and I've played that game with bike chains before...This, two new inner tubes (and obviously greasing of the wheel bearings etc) and some fiddling with the brakes got us a rolling and pedalling chassis.  I do seem to be having a bit of a time getting the chain tension spot on, though there seems to be one tight link in the chain at the moment which seems to like kicking the chain off the tensioner - so I'll investigate that first.  May be the spring in the tensioner has got a bit weak with age too.

Next attention turned to the electrics.  Cheap battery was sourced for testing purposes and was bodged into a power pack (I'll tidy it up later!), and connected up.  Much to my surprise given the reputation they seem to have, I was immediately awarded with the pod waking up and showing meaningful data.



Now this is where the hilarity started.  Next test was of course to press the go button and see if anything happened.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting much...Nevertheless I had propped the rear wheel up in case the motor did spring to life.

...Shame I'd propped up the wrong wheel.  Cue the C5 launching itself into the garage at an alarming rate of knots with me bodily hanging onto the back of it.  This also revealed that it seemed to be somewhat sluggish to cut the motor when the button was released.  It appeared to be pretty predictable though, so I just marked it as "for further investigation."  The inevitable actual test run took place a few hours later, when that gremlin appeared again - of course when going downhill towards our driveway.  My other half managed to snap a photo as I turned into the drive virtually on two wheels at quite some considerable speed while fumbling madly for the kill switch.  The email I got with this attached was labelled "C5 at Mach 5" which pretty much summed up what it felt like.



My first words when I managed to shut it off, having beached it in the flower bed to stop it were "Well, that was interesting." Followed by a note that I needed to check the state of the relay in the controller.  I could see that the motor load indicator in the pod was behaving consistent with the power switch on the handlebars, even though the motor itself was now running all the time.

Opening up the control box revealed an alarming amount of rusty coloured goop, and this being what was left of the relay.  It all ohms out fine on the meter once cleaned - but the return spring has dissolved as you can see!  Hence the fact that it wasn't switching off.  The initial reading of a few hundred ohms when open due to all the crud in there I suspect may also have something to do with the strange squeaking noises the controller was making. 



The relay in the controller of the other C5 was in rather better a state, so they were switched over and everything given a good dry out.  Reassembling with the working relay restored sanity to the motor, even if D1 did then explode in a seemingly impossibly large cloud of smoke after a few seconds.  I'm guessing that the dying relay probably killed it and that simple replacement will be all that's needed there.  I plan on replacing the relay with a new one long-term anyway, we're very much in the test phase here!

Hopefully will get D1 changed tomorrow and give the chain another poke and see about actually going for a test run of more than 100 yards...hopefully without things ending in "interesting" ways this time!

Thought the last photo for now might be of interest.  This isn't the only trike in the family, the one to the right is owned by one of my housemates.



The really interesting thing will be seeing which of the two actually gets the most attention the first time the C5 goes out!

At an indeterminate point in the future, the C5 will also be getting joined by another three wheeler on the drive way in the form of the 3-Wheeler currently being produced by Morgan.  Should make for an interesting lineup!
« Last Edit: 05, June, 2014 - 22:08:15 by Zelandeth »

Offline TheMoonOnTheSun

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Re: Resurrection of another C5
« Reply #1 on: 29, August, 2014 - 09:46:15 »

Great, really need a covered space for the equipment other