How NOT to Work on Stuff

Screen shot 2015-04-25 at 6.41.46 AMHere’s a video that this guy posted on YouTube, then to the Zero Owners Facebook group and to EMF too.  Lest anybody who reads this thinks that this is the way to do stuff, I felt the need to give some feedback.  Yeah, I probably made another friend, right?

Here’s my response:

You’re gonna think I’m a total jerk, but that was one of the most painful things I’ve watched on Youtube.   The title should be, “Using all the wrong tools to do it wrong”.  I had to stop watching half-way through. 

So, a little advice.  Is there a reason you didn’t loosen the pulley end bolt when the motor was in the bike and the drive belt was still on the pulley?  That works really well, using the rear wheel instead of manking up your pulley.  Yes, “manking” is a word, and it was coined for guys like you.  LOL

The cir-clip and retaining clip for the bearing isn’t some magical special thing.  It’s pretty much standard for any shaft and bearing assembly, so yeah, you’ve seen it on your motorcycle anywhere you’ve had a shaft, a bearing and a seal.  Go spend $20 and get some cir-clip pliers.  Prying the retaining clip out with a screwdriver is just going to mank up the slot and make it so you’ll have nothing to hold the bearing and seal in place with.

While you’re at it, go buy a frikkin gear puller.  Prying stuff off with any variety of random tool you have around not only breaks said random tools, but it manks up whatever you’re pulling.  Guaranteed.  Gear pullers apply even pull in the same direction as the shaft.  So if you didn’t warp your pulley in your effort to make your pulley stop wobbling, you’re just lucky. You know how you realized that your faceplate on your motor tipped down on the opposite side you were prying up on?  That’s what I’m talkin’ bout.  You’d use the puller for the pulley, but also for the faceplates of the motors. 

ANY time you’re prying metal, USE SOFTER MATERIAL to pry.  Yes, i’m shouting.  NEVER use steel to pry aluminum.  I flinched every time you went near that thing with a damned screwdriver, and when you described twisting the screwdriver instead of prying?  I had to turn it off. 

I have several brass rods I use as drifts, and pry bars, and I use plastic bicycle tire irons as well, for small parts.  I use wood, too. At the MOST, use aluminum.  As a general rule, whenever you’re prying some assembly?  You’re already Doing it Wrong.

See this, if you must: Non-Mar Pry Bar Set. You can get these small pry tools for getting clips and small stuff out without manking stuff up.

I’m not going to pretend I didn’t do stuff the way you’re doing it at some point in my life, but that’s how I learned how just plain dumb it is.  You think you can cheat stuff, you just break stuff, and if you get away with it once, don’t think you’re anything but lucky.  I totally applaud any DIY work like this and any attempts to learn, but for the love of FUCK, try to approach it with some degree of professionalism – at least if you decide to film it and post it on Youtube and various forums. 

…going back to try to watch the rest, now. 

edit: I made it all the way to where you started prying against the heat sink.  Then I started crying. 

One more thing.  The guy gets to the bearings and turns them and wiggles them?  That’s not how you decide if a bearing is any good.  Just sayin’.  And if you don’t have some kind of bearing race and seal kit?  You shouldn’t have started the project to begin with. …more bearing tools here.

Update: Burton, (AKA “the guy”) posted a damned good response here.  Read it.

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5 responses to “How NOT to Work on Stuff

  1. His methods were crude, and probably scratched the motor up quite a bit, but whatever. They are super tough, and it makes it no less functional.

    Ill also disagree with you on testing bearings. Someone who knows what they are doing can check if a bearing is in passable condition with their fingers, and anyone can tell if a bearing is bad.

    Take it easy Ted, its all good.

    • Here’s the thing. You have amazing skills and knowledge, and I’d bet if you took a screwdriver to an aluminum case it’d end up looking like the day it was made. I know enough to know that when I do it, I fuck stuff up. Here’s a guy using bad techniques, incorrect tools, who seems to never have seen a bearing, seal, cir-clip or retaining clip before… and he posted it on YouTube and two web locations. So I felt it was at the very least a chance to talk about how to approach stuff right.

      I will pretty much stand behind everything I said, as to how you should work, especially if you’re a noob. If you’re not a noob, you know full well what you’re risking and how to finesse stuff.

      And I totally agree with your comment on bearings. Especially the “someone who knows what they’re doing…” part. As it turns out, he knows more than I gave him credit for, but also, than he alluded to in the video. …do see his response, which I linked. He has tools, and skills too, and just didn’t tell the whole story.

      In any case, it’s a good chance for a discussion of “how to do it right”. Hell, I got you to post a comment, didn’t I? 😀

  2. You did ruse me into a comment;). Try not to bash the noobs so hard man, they will learn from there own mistakes. :P. After working thru a handful of zero motors tho, I will say there is not a whole lot you can hurt as long as you don’t stab the windings with a screwdriver or something.

    • This isn’t about Zero motors, it’s about how to learn to work like a mechanic, properly, just to be totally clear.

      Yeah, there are plenty of places where they can read “GOOD JOB! You can do it!” and go and fuck stuff up on their own, and maybe learn or maybe not. This ain’t one of them. I always appreciated the crusty old bastard who used to smack me on the head when I was doing something stupid, myself (though it was kind of pleasant when he used the ruler instead of a wrench). Those are the lessons I still remember when I’m considering cheating something by being lazy.

      I have no problem thinking that every time some guy reaches into his toolbox and grabs his brass drift (that he picked up because of me), he thinks of what an asshole I am… 😀

  3. Pingback: How TO Work on Stuff | The Electric Chronicles: Power in Flux·

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