Common Operational Issues

Mechanical Issues with Electric Motor

The electric motor on your Fat Woody e-cruiser is a geared hub (vs. a direct drive hub). This means it uses composite reduction gears and a clutch to increase torque. If your motor has some sort of mechanical failure, these components are the most likely place for breakage or failure.

Builder's Note: Your Fat Woody e-cruiser feeds over 2000 watts to the electric motor. Because the fat tires provide incredible traction, the weak link between motor and road is the clutch and gears. Heavy throttle from a standing stop/start places great stress on these components and will eventually break them.

Before you can be certain it's a mechanical issue, it's important to understand the motor has electrical hall effect sensors that control the timing of the brushless electric motor.

⚠️  If there is a problem with electrical hall effect timing, it can feel mechanical in nature.

You'll want to be sure if its electrical or mechanical, so check out the section on Testing the Controller & Motor to rule out an electrical issue. If it's an electrical issue (controller or motor), it's best to just replace the bad component. If it's not an electrical issue, most likely it's mechanical (the gears or the clutch). If that's the case, you have the option of just replacing those mechanical parts and not the entire motor hub (less $).

You have a few options when faced with a motor issue. 

1. Replace the entire Motor Hub

You can just replace the entire motor hub, but that involves completely disassembling the wheel, de-lacing spokes (old motor), re-lacing spokes (new motor) and truing the wheel. You can always remove the wheel assembly yourself, but the wheel rebuild should be done in the shop by a pro. The wheel rebuild is typically about $100 labor (in addition to the new motor cost). Visit the section on Removing the Motor Hub (or have your shop visit it).

Replacement motor hubs are available in our parts shop.


Aluminum Hub

2. Install a new Motor Assembly into your existing Hub

Personally, I don't like de-lacing and re-lacing a wheel for a few reasons. One, it costs $100-110. Two, the wheel may not be as true as it currently is. Three, the process can scratch the rim.

⚠️  I'll say that again, "The shop will most likely scratch your rim removing/replacing spokes."

If you leave the original aluminum hub laced into the wheel, you can just replace the internal motor assembly from the new replacement motor. No need to remove/replace spokes.

Simply order a new motor hub, remove the motor assembly and install that new motor assembly into your wheel/hub.


3. Replace only the Gears & Clutch

This is a more cost effective solution if you or your shop has the capabilities. The hub can remain laced in the wheel while the motor assembly is removed for service.

The clutch will most likely require a gear puller tool, but from there it's pretty straight forward.

Replacement Clutch and Gear Kits are available in our parts shop.