Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh my gawd!

I just found this via the excellent Corpses from Hell blog.

Imagine going a buck-10 on this thing at full tilt around a board track. It brings a tear to my eye just knowing that happened at one point. Really makes the ol' grapes sag a little bit hearing that amazing engine let loose- can you even handle thinking about what it would be like to see/hear that in person? And 10 or more of them no less! No wonder America was once the most bad-ass country in the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peugeot Coil Success!


After about the 4th time re-wrapping this son of a gun I finally got it to fire and damn, is this thing kickin! I'm going to re-wrap all my coils from now on. I got too carried away with the excitement of everything finally working so i completely forgot to take enough pictures but I can at least explain what happened and what i did and all that jazz.
From Puegeot coil re-wrap

So the first time, i did this pretty sloppy, twisted together wires a bunch of the connections, wound the core sloppily and fast just to see how things would work. I used the 'black' wire that was connected to the 'ground' of the coil as my new live wire coming out of the magneto, to keep the grommet. I attached the hot off the coil to the purple wire in the puegeot stator which goes to the points/condensor. I also unhooked the brown wire that goes to the little brown resistor thing... no idea what that does. The other side of the coil was grounded soldering the magnet wire to the tab. I also had to replace one of the phenolic circles that border the coil with a couple rounds cut from the top of a tupperware.

I attached an old italian 1 wire coil to the mounting tab on the swingarm- perfect fit! I ran a ground strap from the mounting bolts on the coil to the frame. I used a nut on the intake manifold but it would have been much easier to tie into the grounding strap that connects the engine to the frame (dark blue w/ spade connector). Might do this later if there are connection problems.

The first winding gave me about 4 ohms of resistance through the coil. I was shooting for a replica of the Puch coil by matching the diameter of the wire after winding- which is 24ga and gives 2 ohms. Like i said, this was a pretty sloppy winding job, so i pulled all the wire off and started again. It was a lot nicer job this time, and had me at 2.6 ohms but still not perfect and even-like.

At this point, i took a second and shored up all the connections, soldered everything together, and did a much more careful job of setting the points and flywheel position to get the right dwell, because i was worried that might be a problem. I checked and re-checked my resistances. Still no spark. I was getting frustrated because i cant afford gas to be driving a car all over for another week, so i tried putting a Puch coil in... that didn't go so good either, long story but its really not a very good solution to this problem at all, you have to drill the holes out pretty big to get the right air gap, and space it with washers, and its a pain to drill because its a laminate... plus the curvature of the core is wrong for the larger diameter flywheel on the puegeot.

So i bailed on that idea and went back to winding again. I took the wire off that gave me 2.6 ohm. This time i was very careful and went a lot more slowly and wrapped it nice and even. I also used a lot more tension to keep the wrappings tight and the wire straight. I started with the side with the tab (right hand looking at the stator) and soldered on the base of the wire. The center of the core had previously been wrapped with electrical tape, but in hindsight cloth tape like you put on hockey sticks might have been better, the electric tape is too mushy. You need to start with a very sturdy base to make sure the wire lays evenly or it will be all messed up. The ends are the hardest to keep even so be extra careful. Then i wrapped it clockwise holding the 'ground' end in my little drill holder magiggy.
From Puegeot coil re-wrap

I dont know how many wraps or how long of wire i used, sorry, i should have been paying more attention, but it ended up about 3/4" diameter. I was measuring it by the resistance.

At the end of the wrapping i slipped some shrink wrap over the hot lead and wrapped the whole shebang with a tight cover of electrical tape. The coil probably should be potted with epoxy, but seeing as this is an experiment i wanted to get it working before setting things in stone, er, epoxy.
From Puegeot coil re-wrap

Once everything was wired up perfect-o i replaced the flywheel, set the points, and spun it with a drill to see if it was sparking. Holy crap! The spark is like nothing i've ever seen on a points system. Super hot, making a sharp crack, and almost like a flame thing where it comes out of the wire. It can jump over 1/2" as opposed to the old ignition that could barely jump .016" spark plug gap.

Once i got the bike all back together ( I also had to fix my busted exhaust pipe flange) it fired up just by pushing the pedal by hand. Barely one turn over, cold.

I brought it home and rode it to work today, took a little bit of persuasion to get it to fire, what with it being 8 degrees out and all, but it lit up pretty easily and is running much, much better in the low end. The acceleration from a dead stop, especially under load, is amazing. The hill in front of my house that i couldn't get up before, i can now ride up from a dead stop.

This is an awesome mod, and if you have the patience to do it right it would be pretty easy, it took me 4x as long because i was being impatient and sloppy. I still have to hook up a tail light, brake light, and (probably) some sort of voltage regulator to get the whole system up to 12v spec after gutting the electronics, so i'll keep updating this post as things come along.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peugeot coil fail

BAH! Spent the whole morning yesterday untangling a huge rats nest of magnet wire, then wrapping it onto the peugeot coil core, then installing the coil and trying to get life out of it... nothing. bummer. It has continuity and measures about 5 ohms of resistance. This seems kinda high to me, i'm shooting for basically a slightly hopped up replica of a stock puch coil which measures 2 ohms.

I talked to some EE's today at work about coil theory, i guess the EMF or whatever it is that moves electrons in the wire of the coil, will be forming a rotational force (kindof like a torque) around the axis of the core. I knew this already and it makes sense, but i hadn't thought much about it. That means that the smaller diameter of the core, the more current and less voltage, which is not what i want, i think, because i'm looking for high voltage and low current... although they are related by resistance in the HT coil primary winding. This is all very confusing.

Bottom line, i need to re wrap the coil, but this time maybe go slower and do a more orderly job of wrapping the wire. I dont think the direction matters, but who knows. I grounded one side of the wire to the core itself and ran one side to the High tension primary phase (along with points/condenser). then grounded the high tension to the motor and tried to measure VAc with the points held open. Nothing. Shoot, i would have hoped to at least see a little juice.

I really need an o-scope or maybe just a 'not 3.99 harbor freight' DMM... I'm starting to think I'm a bit out of my league with this project, but seriously, how hard can it be, its just a coil of wire around a steel core, right?

Hopefully i can do more 'spearmintin this weekend.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Everything all at once

So the last couple weeks have been a real mess. Not much time for moped fun, mostly moped work. I've done quite a few custom heads, and finally shipped out some one-off parts that I've been designing to see how well they work and if it is something worth putting into production, but other than that things have been super boring.

Its been probably more than a month since i was able to update this last, finals for fall quarter killed me pretty bad, then it was two weeks of working and driving all over the midwest to hang with bandits for tanks'd'giving

This guy is great... there are very few things that i would drive 16 hours to attend for 12 hours, but campfires and garage bullshitting with the bandits is always worth it. The narrow window between finals week and thanksgiving break allowed me to attend this one with a clear conscious knowing i hadn't violated my 'no rallies during school' policy that has so far kept me from getting any moped-related F's. woo-hoo!

The next weekend saw me back up in the frozen northland, visiting the family in Eau Claire. Its always good to be 'home' especially when you come from such a warm familiar hallmark-esque town such as the Eau C.
Plus 2.50 mixed drinks and $9 pitchers dont hurt. The Joynt and GI are two of my favorite bars in the world, miss them lots.

I finally got serious about ironing out the bugs in the puegeot, the cold weather has aggrivated the wierdnesses and keeping it outside really hasn't been very good for it. I finally pulled the coil out last weekend and cut off the windings, so now i'm committed to re-winding it. I got the drill-mount jig ready to go and found some 24ga magnet wire. Trying to learn something about fluxes and potentials and all that crazy physics (why is it i've had years of these classes and cant do anything practical with them!) right now to have a better idea of how much to wrap. The 'more is more' school of thought has occurred to me, but i really need this thing to get me to and from work so i want to get it right the first time. Walking/biking/bumming rides from the GF is getting old quick.
I've also been thinking a lot lately about needles and atomizers and bing carbs designed for piston port engines. I've modded the needles a little bit to make up for porting stock cylinders, but i've never ran a bing on a reed motor. It could be some of the wierdness i'm experiencing is related to all that atomizer/needle business being all wrong. I gotta get the coil fixed to be able to tell though.

Also, the stupid pipe which has been cracked and poorly spot welded onto the nut itself for 3 months now... gotta seal that up. machined a little adapter thing that will weld to the old pipe and give it a nice new machined (100x stronger) lip to securely bolt into. That might take care of some problems.

Thats about it for me. oh yea cranks are official. thanks a million to everyone who voted for us, hopefully we wont embarass y'all by acting like a bunch of nerds. oh wait we ride mopeds, why is that cool again? also, does anybody besides a handful of members on the coasts who are in MA for strictly social reasons, really care whether or not mopeds are cool? I'm happy with the members forum joking about us being the 'kids at the magic table' of moped army. I think moped army should be about the kids at the magic table. I wasn't really one of them because i have no patience for card games but i've been to my share of drug fueled LAN parties and we were having hella more fun in high school than the 'drunk-in-a-backseat-trying-to-feel-up-a-passed-out-cheerleader' set.

And while i'm ranting:
Also, Four... anyone who is bitching should blame the lawyers and politicians who give them power to sue over stupid things like underage people drinking way too much and shooting themselves in the head. Thats what killed four, not the governments or alcohol control boards, the company was afraid to sell the product because of a lawsuit and fear of more lawsuits. The same thing that happened to Sparks (RIP).
Any time you cheer lawyers 'sticking it' to big awful corporations, remember those corporations are in place because they are making a product people want. Lawn darts, hot coffee, blackouts in cans (or bottles as they have been traditionally served). Irresponsible, opportunist and unethical Lawyers screw the pooch for all of us.

Ach... i'm too hostile to be typing tonight, back to the grind.

Batavus go-fast parts are in testing, look for some cool stuff soon.