Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vectrix Encoder cover removal for re-inforcement

As many Vectrix owners know, the only maintenance required, once a year or so, aside tires change, is to clean the Encoder's area with some pressurized air to avoid the Encoder Warning signal on the dashboard, indicating the Encoder has had problems reading clearly the status of the Motor shaft position while riding

I got this error many times, started cleaning too, like explained on V is for Voltage website forums:

Once, I rode the Vectrix for a long time with the 'Encodr' warning coming on several times during my commute, but since there was no problem for riding the bike, I kept ignoring it and postponing the cleaning... After few weeks I got a real problem, not bad, but a little scary: at the red light, as I accelerated the torque was suddenly very reduced like I never experienced it before. I stopped to the side, turn the ignition key OFF, then back ON, accelerated, and there was no problem anymore ...
I experienced this several times during the week and decided to take it to the Vectrix dealer in Paris: he inspected it, and kept it for few days ... After a 3 days with no Vectrix period - difficult - and a 250 EUR invoice, I got it back from him and he said he changed the Encoder !
Bottom line: I should have cleaned it myself in the first place, my problem was coming from this dirty Encoder, which he replaced instead of simply cleaning it !

After a year and a half with no problem, the Encoder message came back on once, twice, and I decided to look at it again and clean it ASAP; This is when I discovered that, when my dealer replaced it, he forced on the plastic cover which had now cracks in it ... nice, and a washer was missing ...
I did the cleaning and thought I would have to do something about this before it gets worse ...

Which I did just two days ago while on vacation, not using the Vectrix, and with plenty of time to perform this task

Below are the steps I went through:

Removing the main cover

Now you can see the cracks in the Encoder plastic cover I was mentioning above ... not very nice

Once the cover is removed carefully, we have access to the Encoder, this tiny drilled disk attached to the AC Motor shaft, and the black dust coming from the black seal, damaging over time

Encoder closeup

Back at home, I cleaned the cover

Then got epoxy from RC model stuff I still have - from boat models for waterproofing -

I poured half resin and half hardener directly onto the cover, mixed really good and fast

Then tried to spread it on the critical parts, over the cracks and even decided to epoxy the washers to reinforce this fragile holes

Faster drying using the ESS fan, blowing warm air onto the epoxy

After two days it is pretty rigid

Cracks are all covered and filled with epoxy

The washers epoxied to the holes will help preventing more cracks or break

Ready to go to the parking with all the tools and stuff

Here it is, screwed back in place after the black dust has been removed with an air spray can - keyboard cleaner -

I then went for a ride and everything is fine now :-)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks :-)
      Still no problem after another 35km ride today... hope it lasts...


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