Motor change-out

#1
I have a 1000 watt Ectotix Seagull E-bike that I may want to change the motor out to a Bafang. Can I just replace the motor? Or do I have to change out all the electronics?
 

indianajo

Active Member
#2
If the two are the same voltage, depends if the hall effect pickups are similar and have the same connector. No telling if that is true. The controller box, display throttle and brakes are all sort of married to each other. Hub motors are more generic. Motor to controller box power connectors may need changing, how handy are you? I'm pretty good with crimp on bullet connectors using a klein tool, no trouble with screw down connections that mate with crimp on fork terminals, and managed to get the second XT90 to solder on the wire without melting it. Andersen takes a special tool. Your results may vary.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#4
$749 shipped on amazon right now, erider-61. But this one is 36V and 500W.
https://www.amazon.com/ECOTRIC-Alum...ecotric+ebike&qid=1552616524&s=gateway&sr=8-3


Most hub motors have standardized the wire colors. There will be usually be 8 wires. Three heavier wires, yellow, blue, green, and five thinner ones, red, black, yellow, blue, green. Just a matter of matching the colors.

I'm looking at an Ecotric right now. It has a tiny 5 pin plug for the small wires, and the three heavy wires look either crimped or soldered. It's all packed tightly in a compartment by the pedals. Yeah, it's doable.

Haha. The description for the 50W model says it's a "brushless toothless motor". I bet they meant to say "gearless". In this case, a gearless (direct drive) motor in the 500W size is likely to feel toothless.

Is you bike 48V, mister mjorg, or is it 36V? What model of Bafang did you have in mind?. I think all their motors are toothed.
 
#5
If the two are the same voltage, depends if the hall effect pickups are similar and have the same connector. No telling if that is true. The controller box, display throttle and brakes are all sort of married to each other. Hub motors are more generic. Motor to controller box power connectors may need changing, how handy are you? I'm pretty good with crimp on bullet connectors using a klein tool, no trouble with screw down connections that mate with crimp on fork terminals, and managed to get the second XT90 to solder on the wire without melting it. Andersen takes a special tool. Your results may vary.
This has a rear hub motor. If I made bike motors, I'd make them so they could replace the largest manufacturer's product. It's hard to believe that a small manufacturer would make motors proprietary to their own electronics. It would be nice to replace this motor with a Bafang. Especially considering that it would cost the same as a battery. I think I would try to connect to the existing plug for water seal reasons. Might want a seasoned professional to do this for me if there are meltdown issues.
 
#6
Interesting frame design on the Seagull. And at $1,369 a decent price point for an entry level eBike. Has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, suspension fork, throttle and 26mph pedal assist. I also like the rear brake light built into the battery.
Does it have a Torque or Cadence sensor?

https://bestebikestore.com/products/affordable-seagull-electric-mountain-bike
I got it at a 20% discount from that price. This is my first e-bike. After looking around I found this to be by far the least expensive 1000 watt bike (almost half the price). It functions well. Lots of low end torque. But the high end seems to be a little low. So I'm wondering if it is really 1000 watts. With me on it and the electronics opened all the way it only achieves 23.5 mph, which is fine given the 20 mph speed law. The rear light is only a tail light, no connection to the breaks. Cadence. I bought this to jump in to e-biking. I knew it could not be perfect. But now I can ride while learning which bike I REALLY want. I like this frame. So I'm wondering if I could easily replace the motor and get more power and longevity.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#7
I don't think you will get much more than 24 mph with the existing controller/battery and a different motor. A bafang geared motor will not run much faster than that.

One of these cheapo 1000-1500W direct drive hub motors might take you closer to 30 mph. It will have a controller., but your frame battery might be a little small. You will want something that can supply 30A.
 
#8
$749 shipped on amazon right now, erider-61. But this one is 36V and 500W.
https://www.amazon.com/ECOTRIC-Alum...ecotric+ebike&qid=1552616524&s=gateway&sr=8-3


Most hub motors have standardized the wire colors. There will be usually be 8 wires. Three heavier wires, yellow, blue, green, and five thinner ones, red, black, yellow, blue, green. Just a matter of matching the colors.

I'm looking at an Ecotric right now. It has a tiny 5 pin plug for the small wires, and the three heavy wires look either crimped or soldered. It's all packed tightly in a compartment by the pedals. Yeah, it's doable.

Haha. The description for the 50W model says it's a "brushless toothless motor". I bet they meant to say "gearless". In this case, a gearless (direct drive) motor in the 500W size is likely to feel toothless.

Is you bike 48V, mister mjorg, or is it 36V? What model of Bafang did you have in mind?. I think all their motors are toothed.
Harry, standardized wiring is a great sign of the interchangeability that needs to be there to be able to just switch the motors out. But the compatibility of the electronics would be the next issue, and then...would a geared motor function in place of a gearless one? I didn't know about geared and gearless motors, that's a new one to me. This bike is 48 volt. 1000 watts is what I've got and so what I think I should replace it with. The Bafang should be better in all ways. I just ran across a 5,000 watt motor on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5NLD1...olid=1Q0XJVC1GQBBO&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

That has the sugar plums dancing in my head. But, I don't think the quality would be there. That company does have a website and that motor is on it. Wonder what the largest Bafang is? Wonder if 5,000 watts would suck down too much energy? Or, would it improve the power to weight ratio causing the battery to last longer? So, I'm glad to hear it's doable. If it's easy doable I'm going to do it. if it's multiple layers of piecing things together, I'll just get a better bike in a couple years. I'm thinking about this because I do love the Seagull's saber frame. It's like riding something out of Star Wars.
 
#9
I don't think you will get much more than 24 mph with the existing controller/battery and a different motor. A bafang geared motor will not run much faster than that.

One of these cheapo 1000-1500W direct drive hub motors might take you closer to 30 mph. It will have a controller., but your frame battery might be a little small. You will want something that can supply 30A.
I don't need to go faster. It would be nice under some circumstances. But, at some point law enforcement will be implemented. They'll be checking these things. Power to weight ratio might be a consideration. A larger motor may be more energy efficient. But, maybe not. I'm wondering if you are referring to a mid-drive motor when you say geared?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
#10
Wowee! So confused. What are we doing here? Does Bafang even make a hub motor? I thought they were all mid mount?

The link to the motor on Amazon has 150mm drop out. Most conventional/non fat tire hubs are 135mm. It's a direct drive (not geared), and it's built for speed - which means it's going to be gutless in stop and go, and more than likely in the hills, unless you feed gobs of power to it (2000+ watts). It's very unlikely the standard electronics (controller and battery) on a bike like this one are going to be up for that.

There are geared rear hubs, and there are direct drive. The advantage of the geared is they have an advantage at low speeds and when it comes to hills (at low speeds) because of the gear reduction. The advantages of DD (direct drive) are no gears, so quieter operation and less potential maintenance, as well as they are more efficient at speeds over 20mph or so. Those are the highlights, there's more to it.

Larger DD motors do have some advantages. Their larger diameter contributes some extra torque, and they are wider out where the spokes mount, giving some extra torque there as well. It's still about speed though. If your plan is to stay under 20-25mph, it's going to be tough to beat a gear drive. Check out the 1500w Mac 12t geared hub. If over 25 mph, the big DD hubs will be more efficient, and will out run the geared hubs pretty easily.
 
#11
Ah, now I understand the what geared means. Yes Bafang does make rear hub motors. I live in a mountainous area in Phoenix so I believe I need geared. By my experience with my existing motor makes me believe it must be geared. It climbs really well, and it was sold as a mountain bike. I just want to bolt in a new motor with no alterations. So, I think the ultimate question is will my controller work with a Bafang or Mac motor. The existing controller is built into the frame. I would not want to stick a box on the frame. That would destroy it's looks. That Mac motor looks good. Great price too, less than a new battery....

Thanks to you (and everyone else) for taking the time to educate me. I'm new to this. I just got this bike (and I'm already looking at a new motor). I'm thinking a Bafang would give me more speed and torque. Now I understand it might not.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
#13
I have a 1000 watt Ectotix Seagull E-bike that I may want to change the motor out to a Bafang. Can I just replace the motor? Or do I have to change out all the electronics?
That is a good question! Wish I had a definitive answer. I recently replaced a damaged Bafang with a '1000w' Calibike wheel & motor, surprisingly
affordable. Though it came with a 25 amp controller, I was able to plug & play with the stock 20 amp. 18 mph & over I believe it does make 1000w,
but at speeds 12 mph & under performance is a tad disappointing. (I like dawdling along & enjoying the scenery.) Perhaps the programming of
the 25 amp controller would improve performance, But it did not fit into the bike. Can someone tell why my battery pact is so heavy while
Lithium is the lightest metal on earth?
 

indianajo

Active Member
#15
More watts doesn't necesarily mean more torque. They are measuring what goes into the motor, not what power comes out. My 1000 W DD motor got me up a steep long grade in February at 240 lb gross, but won't drive me over 20 mph. My 1000 W geared hub motor has started in the middle of a 15% grade at 330 lb gross. I haven't been on good enough pavement on that bike to find out how fast it will go.
Geared & gearless motors use the same wiring. The deal is, some use a little round 6 pin sealed connector, some use a rectangular .4"x.8" connector with flat pins that push out if you flatten the tang. You don't get to see what the hall effect connector looks like when you buy a motor, and splicing the wires strikes me as a road failure hazard. You can't buy the connectors except on alibaba in packs of 100 or 1000, and the listings have no dimensions, just a picture, so what are you buying? The vendors are not pro like AMP or Molex, no drawings available in English. Pro vendors like digikey, mouser, farnell won't touch these connectors. Low voltage low current signals are harder to get to stay moving in the salt and the rain.
Mouser promised me XT90's for the motor wires on my Luna battery, but after 110 days couldn't come up with a projected ship date, so I cancelled that order & tried e-bay. Gold plate on 30 amp connectors is stupid, but that is what you get from an XT90.
The motor drive wires, battery to controller wires, once you learn to make a crimp terminals are all the same. Trick to crimping is use a klein or ideal crimp tool, squeeze hard, and make sure the wire won't pull out after you crimp it. Oh, use dorman, ideal, 3m, T&B, panduit terminals. ****ese bullet or .250 flag terminals melt out at 30 amps.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
#16
The Ecotric model I saw on Amazon appears to be a direct drive (toothless LOL) motor. How can you tell if you have the bike? It will have the same resistance if you spin it by hand in either direction, and there will be some drag. Larger DD motors have significant drag.

A geared motor has resistance you can feel when spun backwards, but very little is felt when spun forward. That's because it has a clutch and you only feel the motor when it's spun backwards.

https://www.bafang-e.com/en/components/motor.html

Bafang does have one small front drive motor that is direct drive. All the rest of the hub motors on their web site are geared.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#17
My still_in_the_box Ecotric 20" fatbike has a motor cable connector. It looks like this. I've also attached a photo of one that is opened.

They fit together quite snugly to keep moisture out. One "gotcha" is that many users don't fully seat them and get connectivity failures.

Indianjo is quite right. If you have to splice the 8 or 9 wire cable, you've created a failure point. The three thicker wires that carry power are not easy to solder and dress in a manner that won't eventually break from vibration. The five small wires are much easier, so easy that the first time I spliced one of these cables one of the little wires broke because I had nicked it too hard with my wire strippers.

Anyway, if you've got the connector, it's a standard. Find a motor that uses it.
 

Attachments

rich c

Well-Known Member
#18
So I'm wondering if I could easily replace the motor and get more power and longevity.
In any electric vehicle, the power and longevity are more than just changing a motor. It only uses what energy is sent to it through the controller and the programmed rate. A controller will burn up far easier than a motor. A programmable controller is what you need before a new motor.
 
#19
More watts doesn't necesarily mean more torque. They are measuring what goes into the motor, not what power comes out. My 1000 W DD motor got me up a steep long grade in February at 240 lb gross, but won't drive me over 20 mph. My 1000 W geared hub motor has started in the middle of a 15% grade at 330 lb gross. I haven't been on good enough pavement on that bike to find out how fast it will go.
Geared & gearless motors use the same wiring. The deal is, some use a little round 6 pin sealed connector, some use a rectangular .4"x.8" connector with flat pins that push out if you flatten the tang. You don't get to see what the hall effect connector looks like when you buy a motor, and splicing the wires strikes me as a road failure hazard. You can't buy the connectors except on alibaba in packs of 100 or 1000, and the listings have no dimensions, just a picture, so what are you buying? The vendors are not pro like AMP or Molex, no drawings available in English. Pro vendors like digikey, mouser, farnell won't touch these connectors. Low voltage low current signals are harder to get to stay moving in the salt and the rain.
Mouser promised me XT90's for the motor wires on my Luna battery, but after 110 days couldn't come up with a projected ship date, so I cancelled that order & tried e-bay. Gold plate on 30 amp connectors is stupid, but that is what you get from an XT90.
The motor drive wires, battery to controller wires, once you learn to make a crimp terminals are all the same. Trick to crimping is use a klein or ideal crimp tool, squeeze hard, and make sure the wire won't pull out after you crimp it. Oh, use dorman, ideal, 3m, T&B, panduit terminals. ****ese bullet or .250 flag terminals melt out at 30 amps.
The seal on the plug is extremely important. If the right plug is not available, I'll just buy a new bike in a couple years. Seems silly that they are not. But I guess it's a new thing.
 
#20
My still_in_the_box Ecotric 20" fatbike has a motor cable connector. It looks like this. I've also attached a photo of one that is opened.

They fit together quite snugly to keep moisture out. One "gotcha" is that many users don't fully seat them and get connectivity failures.

Indianjo is quite right. If you have to splice the 8 or 9 wire cable, you've created a failure point. The three thicker wires that carry power are not easy to solder and dress in a manner that won't eventually break from vibration. The five small wires are much easier, so easy that the first time I spliced one of these cables one of the little wires broke because I had nicked it too hard with my wire strippers.

Anyway, if you've got the connector, it's a standard. Find a motor that uses it.
Bafang seems to becoming the leader in Chinese bike motors. I was thinking that I could improve my bike in the future with one of their motors. The plug and controller seem to be the issues. I like my bike the way it sets. Might be best to just get a new bike.