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Author Topic: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.  (Read 565 times)

David_Walsh

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$30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« on: September 05, 2017, 02:45:34 AM »

Hi all,
I recently acquired a 2012 Zero DS ZF 9. I'm in the UK.
It seemed fine at first, but it began cutting out on me  :(
Then when I occasionally turned it on, it would just stutter a bit or even try to go in reverse.
Cutting out in traffic was very bad news.
I googled the problem and discovered that it was a known problem, requiring a free firmware upgrade.
I booked in at my local dealers - eventually after non returned emails, I called them up.
My problem had been passed to the most junior Mechanic, who could not connect to the bike to do the firmware upgrade.

After a call to the States, the Mechanic told me "bad news I'm afraid: It has a sensor problem - you need a new motor, £2000"
I was not too pleased to hear this, even less pleased to hear the some parts would have to be sent to Holland for reprogramming... But I would gain a 20% power increase. I asked did I have any other options and got told "you can trade your bike in for a new bike" I am still waiting to hear what the discount is.

I went home and decided that maybe Google was my friend after all, as I discovered that the Zeros had used Lynch motors, then Motenergy motors. My bike had a Motenergy motor. I contacted John Fiorenza at Motenergy and he told me that they had replaced the old error-prone sensor with a new sensor that would probably fix my problem. I would cost me $30 plus shipping. I liked the sound of that - it just made sense. I bought one and when it arrived fitted it myself - having lost faith in dealerships etc.

With some help and advice from John (a great guy) I had the confidence to switch out the old sensor for the new one John sent me - more importantly - it has worked - NO MORE PROBLEMS!  ;D

Read on for the step-by-step

Undo the rear brake and pedal
Slacken motor mounts so the belt is loose
Slacken rear wheel.
Jack the bike up so the rear wheel leaves the floor.
Remove the rear wheel.
Remove the rear suspension / shock absorber
Swingarm removal - this is unfortunately necessary...
Locking in place the 24mm nuts on the inside of the swingarm are two 2.5mm allen/hex bolts - remove these both sides.
Using a 24mm wrench/spanner on the inside of the swingarm and a 10mm allen key/wrench, drop the swing arm.
Now the motor has clearance to be moved rearward for access.
Leaving the motor connected, The sensor is mounted under a circular rear cover that is about 3 inches in diameter, held by three phillips head machine screws.  Remove this cover, and you may see some white potting compound on the sensor board (or not on older models)
(DO NOT disturb the motor timing by touching the 4 allen bolts!)
Dig out the sealant from around the old sensor, if present (newer motors)
remove the 4 screws holding the sensor board and unclip the connecting wire.
Prise out the old sensor. Cleanup the old sealant remains, if present.
Replace with the new sensor - same orientation of course.
Congratulations! the new sensor works by virtue of the quantum effect known as the Giant MagnetoResistance (GMR) effect which earned its discoverers the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2007 - yes, your zero is now a quantum vehicle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_magnetoresistance
I'll attempt to upload some pics...




« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 02:52:38 AM by David_Walsh »
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Digudi

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 02:57:55 AM »

I wish my zero 2011 was easy to fix like this. I am still no idea how to fix mine. :(

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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tume

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 06:38:30 AM »

Do you have the contact where to buy the sensor. I have the same problem with my 2012 and I was just waiting because I didn't have 2000$ yo spend on a new motor.
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armicb

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 12:23:26 PM »

Congrats David!

I was able to do the same by buying the same sensor the motor had, which is from the supplier RLS but I´m wondering if yours is the same sensor or Motenergy has replaced it by a different one. Do you have any pic from the sensor?

I informed Zero about this fix a couple of years ago but it seems that either they didn´t have any interest in keeping the <12 models in the streets or they just wanted to put the new motors in the old bikes...

By the way, as you say it´s crucial to keep the motor timing, otherwise expect to see some magnets flying out ot the motor...
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David_Walsh

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 02:35:54 PM »

Do you have the contact where to buy the sensor. I have the same problem with my 2012 and I was just waiting because I didn't have 2000$ yo spend on a new motor.
Sure, contact John Fiorenza: sales@motenergy.com

Sent from my SM-N910H using Tapatalk

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Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

David_Walsh

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 05:06:36 PM »

I'll attach a PDF I have below this message. It does have a picture of the sensor.

Congrats David!

I was able to do the same by buying the same sensor the motor had, which is from the supplier RLS but I´m wondering if yours is the same sensor or Motenergy has replaced it by a different one. Do you have any pic from the sensor?

I informed Zero about this fix a couple of years ago but it seems that either they didn´t have any interest in keeping the <12 models in the streets or they just wanted to put the new motors in the old bikes...

By the way, as you say it´s crucial to keep the motor timing, otherwise expect to see some magnets flying out ot the motor...
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Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

David_Walsh

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 06:41:53 PM »

Here is a picture of the sensor

I'll attach a PDF I have below this message. It does have a picture of the sensor.

Congrats David!

I was able to do the same by buying the same sensor the motor had, which is from the supplier RLS but I´m wondering if yours is the same sensor or Motenergy has replaced it by a different one. Do you have any pic from the sensor?

I informed Zero about this fix a couple of years ago but it seems that either they didn´t have any interest in keeping the <12 models in the streets or they just wanted to put the new motors in the old bikes...

By the way, as you say it´s crucial to keep the motor timing, otherwise expect to see some magnets flying out ot the motor...
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Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

drleviathan

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Re: $30 sensor or £2000 for a new motor... choices, choices.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 01:54:59 PM »

I have a 2012 Zero S that was suffering from the occasional stuttering and rough-running motor.  It gradually got more frequent and had reached a point where I could pretty reliably get it to happen when opening the throttle wide and drawing a lot of power.

I bought a new sensor from Motenergy and followed David_Walsh's instructions for how to pull the motor out and access the sensor's cable.

After putting it all back together I went for a 25 mile ride and tried to make the bike glitch but did not experience any problems.

It appears to have fixed the problem.

Some advice I would offer for anyone who wants to try it themselves:

(1) Supposedly if you provide your full name and shipping address by email Motenergy can make a paypal invoice that you can buy online to get the part shipped out to you.  I tried this option but John Fiorenza didn't follow through on providing the invoice so eventually I had to actually call and provide CC info over the phone to obtain the part.  Leaving two messages did not get me any responses: I had to reach John Fiorenza when he was at the phone.

(2) The potting material on my board was black.  It was pretty tough so scratching it off required patience.  I used a dremel tool to clean the potting out of the four mounting screws, and then was able to start popping brittle chunks off of the board itself.  The old board did not survive extraction intact: I broke several surface mount elements off the top surface trying to get the board out.

(3) The new sensor board needed some spacers to keep the bottom side electronics from touching the motor itself.  I used a dremel tool to cut the circle of electronics out of the old board and used the remaining outer edge as a spacer.
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