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Backyard BBSHD install on 2013 Trek Marlin (complete build report)

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    Backyard BBSHD install on 2013 Trek Marlin (complete build report)

    After much dreaming, forum readings, a [relatively] small monetary transaction with Luna Cycle, and a little DIY intuition, I’ve completed my first ebike build. The donor bike is a 2013 Trek Marlin (Gary Fisher Edition) 29er and I selected a BBSHD mid drive kit from Luna. I’m going to post several photos and captions that hopefully capture the scope of my build, including a couple minor snags and solutions I encountered. Onward…

    Background: I commute 10 miles per day (50/week) on my vintage 1976 Suteki Road Bike. I became hooked on ebikes when a fellow bike commuter showed me his ebike build. The efficiency, cost savings (both gas and savings over pre-built ebikes), and downright pure fun of DIY ebikes were all attractive to me. I have a basic mechanical knowledge of bikes, mostly from failed parts that I’ve learned to replace myself. After shopping around for several weeks and reading forum posts on electricbike.com, I decided that a custom DIY build would not be far out of my reach.

    The design: My ebike build would be used 90 percent for commuting. Unfortunately, my beloved slightly-rusty-steel frame roady with skinny tires just wasn’t going to cut it, so I perused used bikes locally and ended up with a 2013 Trek Marlin. I selected this bike because: (1) the disc brakes were a huge upgrade over V-brakes for me, with the ability to upgrade to hydraulic Ebrake cutoffs. (2) The hardtail and front fork suspension was a personal plus. (3) The bike had a standard BSA 72mm bottom bracket (perfect for say, a BBSHD mid-drive unit). (4) Pre drilled ‘water bottle’ holders for mounting a shark pack and a large triangle frame. I also opted for this bike because of 29-inch tires on a mountain bike frame that would allow for off-road riding. So, off I went to Lunacycle.com to order a BBSHD kit.
    Donor Bike: 2013 Trek Marlin 29er with Mechanical disc brakes (160mm)
    Donor Bike: 2013 Trek Marlin 29er with Mechanical disc brakes (160mm)




    Here is an itemized list of parts:

    Donor Bike
    2013 Trek Marlin 29er with disc brakes
    https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/Sear...spx?id=3047554

    Bafang BBSHD Mid Drive Ebike Kit
    Choose Your Programming Level: Hot Rod Program Bottom Bracket Size: 68-73mm (Standard)
    Chain Ring: Stock 46T Steel Chain Ring Included
    Luna Aluminum Chain Ring Adapter With 42T Sprocket $40.00
    Display Options: Luna Full Color Display $45.00
    Throttle Choices: Bafang BBSxx Universal Thumb Throttle Included
    Pick your ebrake cut off sensors: Bafang Handles with Built-in Ebrake cut off Included
    Add a pair of Hydraulic Brakes with Cutoff: Shimano m355 Disc Brakes $84.95
    Optional Programming Cable: Bafang Programming Cable $19.95
    Add a Reccommended Gear Sensor: GearSensor for Derailers and Internal Geared Hubs $45.00
    Make it a kit by adding a top grade battery: Shark 52v GA 13.5ah $505.95
    52v Mini 3amp Advanced Charger with 3 Position Toggle $55.00

    Subtotal: $1,454.85 USD
    Shipping: $45.00 USD
    Tax: $123.66 USD

    Tools ordered from Luna for the install
    Luna Cycle Ebike tool kit $29.00
    Luna Wrench (BBSxx tool) $10.00

    Subtotal: $39.00 USD
    Shipping: $15.00 USD
    Tax: $3.32 USD
    Unexpected parts purchased for the install
    Voltmeter $30.00
    Soldering iron $20.00
    Heat Shrink Tubing $3.00

    See my post here (https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...50/29829-help-something-super-wonky-with-luna-charger-xt60-connectors) for why I purchased these.

    GRAND TOTAL: $1,733.83

    About the build

    The initial steps of the build were remarkably simple (…too simple). The Luna tool kit and Bafang installation tool made the drive install quite simple. The crank arms and bottom bracket of my bike were easily removed and the BBSHD drive fit well.



    I used one of the wrenches included in the Luna tool kit to remove this style of crank arm (no crank puller necessary here)
    I used one of the wrenches included in the Luna tool kit to remove this style of crank arm (no crank puller necessary here)






    The luna bafang installation tool has a crank spanner that works wonderfully for bottom bracket removal
    The luna bafang installation tool has a crank spanner that works wonderfully for bottom bracket removal



    Click image for larger version

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    Here the bottom bracket has been removed and the shell is remaining. This is a standard 62-73mm BSA style bottom bracket
    Here the bottom bracket has been removed and the shell is remaining. This is a standard 62-73mm BSA style bottom bracket

    The BBSHD slide right through the BB. The chain and front derailleur are still attached here, but I did end up removing them later. My chain had a quick-link already on it, which made removing it simple. I'll also note here that I sized my chain after the chain ring was mounted to the BBSHD and I did not need to removing any links.
    The BBSHD slide right through the BB. The chain and front derailleur are still attached here, but I did end up removing them later. My chain had a quick-link already on it, which made removing it simple. I'll also note here that I sized my chain after the chain ring was mounted to the BBSHD and I did not need to removing any links.


    I did need one spacer on the drive side of the BBSHD to clear the chain stay. I probably could have got away without any spacers, but I wanted to make sure that when I torqued the lock nut that I would not damage the drive housing. I also use blue threadlocker on the BBSHD lock nut threads for added security.
    One spacer was needed on the drive side to keep the motor housing slightly off the chain stay.
    One spacer was needed on the drive side to keep the motor housing slightly off the chain stay.




    Here you can see I used three (six total) washers (included in the kit) for spacing. I installed the lock nut and then the extra black 8fun nut over that. The 8fun is made of aluminum and it is important not to over toque.
    Here you can see I used three (six total) washers (included in the kit) for spacing. I installed the lock nut and then the extra black 8fun nut over that. The 8fun is made of aluminum and it is important not to over toque.


    Problem #1: I initially mounted the shark pack cradle to the ‘water bottle’ holes in the down tube, but I over torqued the lower screw into the plastic. The plastic is really soft and is not a good anchor point. Others have mentioned this, but I learned the hard way. My solution to this problem was to drill one hole in the aluminum part of the cradle (note the frame) so that one screw would be secured in the aluminum plate, and one in the plastic part. I could have drilled both holes in the aluminum plate, but the shark pack would then be mounted to high on the down tube. I prefer the weight to be centered near the drive unit. Of course, I could always drill more holes in the down tube part of the frame, but the approach I used seems to secure the battery pack well. I also added two Velcro straps around the battery as added security.
    I initially secured the battery pack cradle using the two plastic mounting locations, but this did not feel secure to me
    I initially secured the battery pack cradle using the two plastic mounting locations, but this did not feel secure to me



    The plastic on the battery cradle is very soft. I actually over torqued the lower bolt, so I had to find a different mounting option.
    The plastic on the battery cradle is very soft. I actually over torqued the lower bolt, so I had to find a different mounting option.

    I measured the distance between the holes in the down tube so that I could drill the battery cradle's aluminum plate at the correct location. My goal was to have one bolt mounted in the aluminum plate, and one in the soft plastic.
    I measured the distance between the holes in the down tube so that I could drill the battery cradle's aluminum plate at the correct location. My goal was to have one bolt mounted in the aluminum plate, and one in the soft plastic.




    I measured the distance between my two mounting points and drilled the aluminum frame of the shark pack cradle accordingly. I also added a washer so that the toque would be distributed better.
    Here is the aluminum plate of the battery cradle mounted to the down tube. This required removing the plastic cover and drilling a hole in the aluminum.
    Here is the aluminum plate of the battery cradle mounted to the down tube. This required removing the plastic cover and drilling a hole in the aluminum.



    I reassembled the plastic cover over the aluminum plate and secured the second bolt in the soft plastic. Note that I measured the distance such that the bolt would not be in the same location where I over torqued the plastic.
    I reassembled the plastic cover over the aluminum plate and secured the second bolt in the soft plastic. Note that I measured the distance such that the bolt would not be in the same location where I over torqued the plastic.




    I reassembled the pack cradle over the mounted aluminum place. The silver sharpie mark is the location of the screw under the plastic. You can see the in the visible the old location where I over torqued the screw in the plastic. The extra-long plastic well allowed me to slide the cradle down so that I had a new anchor point – this time I did not over toque it.


    The next steps were replacing the donor bike’s mechanical disc brakes with the Luna hydraulic ebrakes. These things are AWESOME and I highly recommend them. In my opinion, the braking power of hydraulic brakes over mechanical is superb and completely necessary for an ebike.

    Here I removed the handlebar grips, the older shifter housing, and the brakes
    Here I removed the handlebar grips, the older shifter housing, and the brakes




    I no longer need the front shifter so that was removed
    I no longer need the front shifter so that was removed







    Here is the new hydraulic calipers mounted
    Here is the new hydraulic calipers mounted

    Here are the new assembled bars. Note the orientation of the display, the throttle, and the PAS/display selector
    Here are the new assembled bars. Note the orientation of the display, the throttle, and the PAS/display selector



    I mounted the gear sensor near the top tube and ran the cable down the seat tube to the controller. It is important to cut the cable housing to the correct size of the gear sensor. I would personally recommend a gear sensor to save your drive. Although its optional, it is the ebike equivalent of an automatic clutch
    I mounted the gear sensor near the top tube and ran the cable down the seat tube to the controller. It is important to cut the cable housing to the correct size of the gear sensor. I would personally recommend a gear sensor to save your drive. Although its optional, it is the ebike equivalent of an automatic clutch


    The speed sensor was mounted to the chain stay opposite of the drive side. The included sticky part does not secure it well, so I used zip ties.
    The speed sensor was mounted to the chain stay opposite of the drive side. The included sticky part does not secure it well, so I used zip ties.




    Problem #2

    The 3amp mini charger I ordered with my kit was on back-order, so it arrived a week after the build (the pain of waiting to test-ride was excruciating!). When the charger arrived, it had the wrong connectors between the charger and the barrel adapter-dongle. Both of the connectors were male xt60 connectors. However, Luna did include a female connector that I could solder to the charger. At this point, the hurry-up-and-wait game really got to me, so off I went to the hardware store to purchase a soldering iron and voltmeter. A complete description of the problem and remediation can be found here:
    https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...50/29829-help-something-super-wonky-with-luna-charger-xt60-connectors


    Click image for larger version

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    Lessons learned and Future Directions

    I am stoked with the way my first ebike build turned out. Luna offers an extraordinary amount of power for a fraction of the cost of a pre-built ebike elsewhere. I thought I could get away without ordering a bunch of tools (e.g., voltmeter, luna tool kit, etc.), but I ended up needing them for the build and am happy I have them for future repairs. I plan to splice shock resistant XT90 connectors in place of the included Anderson connectors. I remove the battery for charging, so inhibiting the spark should add to longevity.

    Today was my first ride to work. I made it in half the time that it takes me to drive here. I definitely have the bug and can say confidently that this won’t be my last ebike build!
    Last edited by mbwaterdog; 03-22-2017, 04:04 PM.

    #2
    Thanks for this Waterdog. I have almost the same bike and am in the middle of my BBSHD install right now. I also go the 42T chainring.

    Wondering what you did for the chainring? Seems like, for me, the chainring is pretty far out of alignment with the rear gears. Did you have that problem? Did you install some kind of chain guide?

    Cheers,
    bat

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bat View Post
      Thanks for this Waterdog. I have almost the same bike and am in the middle of my BBSHD install right now. I also go the 42T chainring.

      Wondering what you did for the chainring? Seems like, for me, the chainring is pretty far out of alignment with the rear gears. Did you have that problem? Did you install some kind of chain guide?

      Cheers,
      bat
      Bat- I realize I'm five months late here, but hope you were able to find a solution. I did not have any issue with chain alignment. I later purchased the Luna Eclipse 42T Chainring and it works flawlessly. Its probably 2 mm away from the chain stay, but I am able to use all my gear without a hiccup.

      Comment

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