Electric Mountainboard Detailed Build Instructions

I finally bought a second motor so I documented my build this time.

Most of the parts you'll need.

 

Here’s a parts list for a 1 motor build (double the counts for a 2 motor build which is WAY better)

Parts

Other Parts

  • Batteries
  • Remote Control
  • Charges and power supplies

See this post for details on batteries and chargers

Tools

  • Chain Breaker
  • 6mm Hex Key
  • 5mm Hex Key
  • 3mm Hex Key
  • 3/32″ Hex Key
  • Cordless Drill
  • #10 Drill Bit
  • #12 Drill Bit
  • Letter ‘O’ Drill Bit
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • 14mm Wrench
  • 3/8″ Wrench
  • 7/16″ Wrench
  • Thread Locker

I’ve now setup an online shop so I can 3D print the parts for you if you don’t have a printer. You can get a quote here by uploading the linked files from above.

 

Step By Step Build Instructions

Step 1

Insert the 10-24 nuts into the slots in the ‘Wheel Insert Inside’. They should be a pretty tight fit. You might have the file out the slots a little to get them in.

IMG_7993

 

Step 2

Insert the 10-24 bolts to make sure everything lines up.

IMG_7992

 

Step 3

Also insert the 1/4-20 Nuts into the part. They should press right in.

IMG_7998

 

Step 4

Remove the wheel from your board which you will be mounting the motor to. Now slip in the ‘Wheel Insert Inside’ into the back of the wheel. Making sure that the valve stem is coming out the front, and the notch in the part lines up with the valve stem. See the picture.

IMG_7999

 

Step 5

Now slip the ‘Wheel Insert Outside’ into the wheel. Put the 10-24 bolts into the holes and tighten them down snug with your 3mm allen wrench. Don’t tighten them like a daemon. It’s just plastic remember. Oh and don’t drop this part and chip it like I did 🙂

IMG_7997

 

Step 6

Next you’ll be bolting the 47 tooth sprocket onto the ‘Wheel Insert Inside’. Line up the sprocket on the part, and bolt her on. You should probably use a little thread locker on these bolts. (Pro tip: tighten the bolts so that the flat sides of the bolt head are tangent to the center of the circle. Otherwise they will hit your axle later)

IMG_8002

 

Step 7

Find the little screws and the aluminum plate that came with the motor. Test the fit first, then definitely add some thread lock to the screws and bolt the plate securely to the motor with your screwdriver.

IMG_8004

 

Step 8

This next step is probably a bit controversial. But all I have is 10-24 bolts so next I drill out the holes on the mounting plate. They are probably M4 or something but I don’t mind drilling them out a hair. So take your #12 drill bit to the holes on the plate so that the 10-24 bolts fit nicely.

IMG_8005

 

Step 9

Drill out the slots on the ‘Motor Mount’. ABS shrinks a little so drill these out with a #10 drill to give a good fit for the 10-24 bolts.

IMG_8006

 

Step 10

Place the motor assembly on the mount. Making sure that the motor wires are parallel to the M8 bolt. Pointing towards to top right of the picture below. Insert the 10-24 bolts through the aluminum motor plate and 10-24 nuts to the other side. Slide everything up and down a couple times to make sure it will move. It should be pretty tight to move. Also, press in your M8 bolt into the slot.

IMG_8007

 

Step 11

Check to see if your 11 tooth sprocket fits onto your motor shaft. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to drill out the sprocket just a hair. Clamp the sprocket in a vise, and drill it out with your letter ‘O’ bit. (Pro tip: remove the set screws in the sprocket to avoid them vibrating loose when drilling)

IMG_8008

 

Step 12

Slip the sprocket onto the motor shaft and gently tighten the set screws with the 3/32″ Allen key. You’ll be adjusting the position of the sprocket on the shaft shortly.

IMG_8009

 

Step 13

Attach the motor assembly to your axle by threading the M8 bolt into the axle hole. It should be pretty stiff the last 1/4″ or so. As such you’ll probably need the help of a box end wrench or cheater pipe to give your leverage to tighten the bolt. There is a little rotation in the motor mount so hold it square to the axle while tightening.

IMG_8010

 

Step 14

Put the wheel on the axle and tighten down the axle nut. Now you’ll align your 11 tooth sprocket to the 47 tooth sprocket. Loosen the set screws on the 11 tooth sprocket, line it up and tighten back down.  (Pro tip: spin your wheel a little here. If the bolts holding the 47 tooth sprocket hit your axle, rotate them like you should have done above. If they still hit, space the motor out with a washer.)

You absolutely, positively need thread lock on these set screws! I’ve had major problems with parts flying off when I didn’t use thread lock. Remove the motor if your allen key is too short while everything is mounted. Add plenty of thread lock and secure everything very well.

IMG_8012

 

IMG_8013

 

Step 15

Onto the chain. Count out 54 of the little chain axles and punch out the 54th one with your chain breaker. Count my picture below if you are paranoid like me. Double and triple check this number. You get one shot. No pressure 🙂

IMG_8016

IMG_8017

 

Step 16

Take off the clip and the one side of the master chain link. Slip it into your chain. Put the other side back on. Put the clip over one post, then use pliers or some black magic tool that I don’t know about to push the clip over the second post.

IMG_8018

IMG_8019

IMG_8020

IMG_8021

 

Step 17

Put the chain on the 47 tooth sprocket and be sure that the clip part of the master chain link is away from the wheel so it doesn’t rub. This is crucial, Don’t skip it!

IMG_8024

 

Step 18

Bolt your motor assembly back onto the axle, slide the wheel onto the axle, and use whatever trickery you can to get the chain around both sprockets.

IMG_8022

 

Step 19

You probably don’t have 4 hands, so solicit some help to tension the chain.  The best option seems to be tightening the chain as much as you can. This will induce extra coasting drag but it seems to help with startup cogging. Do a test by sliding the motor along the slots to get a feel for the force required. Also rotate the wheel to make sure everything is working and not out of round. Once you are satisfied, add thread lock to the bolts holding the motor on and tighten down fairly hard. You don’t want this sliding out of tension while riding.

IMG_8025

 

Congrats! You’re half way there! Rinse and repeat for a 2 motor build which is WAY funner to ride!

 

Step 20

Decide where you are going to mount your ESCs. Right at the end of the board is probably as good as any.

IMG_8032

 

 

Step 21

Determine your wire lengths from your ESC to your motors. I decided to trim down the motor wires a bit, since I didn’t want them flexing much.  Cut the wires and solder bullet connects back on. To solder this wire you’ll need to crank up your iron. Mine maxed out at 480℃ and this worked alright.

IMG_8026

Strip the ends of the wires. Jut your 4mm bullet connector housings in half and place the ‘fat’ ones over the wires.

IMG_8027

Tin the wires very well! Your motor won’t even spin if you don’t get a good solder joint here.

IMG_8029

 

Fill up the bullet connector with a fair amount of solder.IMG_8028

 

Heat up the solder and put on the wire. Reheat everything to make sure it flows good. IMG_8030

 

 

Step 22

Carefully slide the red housing up over the gold connector. I can never seem to get them over all the way, as they should ‘click’ in really nicely, but oh well.  Now solder the other bullet (female) with the skinny red housing onto the ESC wires in the same way. Connect the bullets and add some expanded mesh to make it look nice.

IMG_8031

 

Step 23

Secure the ESCs and their switches on your board. VHB foam tape, hot glue, or the 3D Printed mount than I plan I designing soon. Also secure the radio receiver.

IMG_8032

 

Step 24

Bolt your battery box to your board with some 1/4 – 20 bolts and nuts. Center the box over the board, and drill through the holes the are already in the board.

IMG_8034

Step 25

Attach your Watt Meter to your board. I decided on some zip ties between the connectors and through some holes I drilled in the lid of the box. This makes it easy to move to other projects.

IMG_8035

 

Step 26

Make your battery wiring harness. Cut your 12 AWG wire and solder into XT60 connects and then heat shrink the connection. My harness connects 2 sets of batteries in series, and then those two sets in parallel. This is for LiFePo4 Batteries – 2 4s 8400 mAh and 2 2s 8400 mAh wired as a 6s 16,800 mAh.  So I have a 4s and 2s as series. And then those in parallel with the other set. This all depends on what batteries you choose obviously so build accordingly. Just know that the ESC is rated for 6S LiPo max so don’t wire too many in series 🙂

IMG_8039

You’ll also need another parallel harness to connect your ESCs into your battery pack is you have a 2 motor build.  I have my wires running over the top of the rear binding through some expanded mesh.

IMG_8041

 

 

Step 27

You might need to bind your radio to your receiver. I’m can’t remember for sure if it came bound from the factory or not but the process isn’t hard. This video should help you out.

Calibrating your ESCs. This can be kind of tricky. I do one ESC at a time. I have no idea if you can do multiple at a time. Reading the instructions that came with the ESC gives you the idea but I found that reversing the throttle like it said gave, surprise, reversed throttle response. So don’t do that haha. The basic idea though is to connect your ESC to your receiver. Connect your battery pack to your ESC. Hold the little red button next to the ESC switch. Turn on the switch. Release the red button after the light goes dim. Then pull the throttle on your radio. Wait for a beep. Push reverse on your radio. Wait for a beep. Throttle idle and wait for a couple beeps. I had to try a couple times until I heard all the beeps correctly.

 

Step 28

Connect your ESCs through your Y servo lead and cut one of the red wires on the Y lead so your aren’t feeding 2 BEC’s together (I would probably work without cutting but I’m not risking my $70 speed controllers haha)

IMG_8042

 

Done!

IMG_8032

Ride and share your experiences in the comments below or post a video on YouTube!

  • davi

    Can you tell me where you got the motor and mount for the truck?

  • mrrocketman

    I printed the motor mounts on my 3D Printer. There are links above to buy all the components. Thanks!

  • tehpajka

    Hi, could you go a bit more into detail about how effective the ESC braking is? I like your build from the numerous horde of builds I’ve seen the best, so I plan to build similar board (Atom or Colt), same ESC, same gears, but at first with just one SK3 6364/190kV or 6374/197kV motor. You had this board with one motor earlier, how are the stopping distances (flat street braking, 5% downhill braking, some other observations, ESC settings,…). I need to go through city (sidewalks, parks) and some traffic on my way to work and I have to be able to brake 🙂 Thanks for info

    • mrrocketman

      If I remember right, I have my braking set to 70% at the moment. The braking with two motors/ESCs is incredible. If I slam on the brakes without paying attention I could probably get thrown forward off the board. The ESC braking is more than adequate for a 5% downhill.

      It’s been a while since I had 1 motor but here’s what I remember. The braking still seemed quite adequate. I don’t remeber ever wishing I had more braking power. But after transitioning to two motors, I can tell you it’s absolutely worth every penny to upgrade to two motors. With 1 motor you board ends up torquing to one side. i.e. The front and back wheels are offset from each other. Literally shifted over to the one side by 3-4″ I’d say. This makes you much more vulnerable to speed wobbles. But even worse is the results of braking or letting off the throttle. When you let off the throttle you board snaps back straight very terrifyingly. And when you brake, it torques to the other side as I remeber. This is not a fun combination if you have to slam on the brakes. I may be exaggerating the severity of the issue since its been so long but what I do know is that the moment I switched to two motors, everything felt right. And all of the sudden I felt WAY safer riding it. So if at all possible, go with a two motor built from the start 🙂

      One other note. They are really only three problems left with my build.
      1- Batteries. Having to pull them out to recharge them gets old fast and causes lots and wear and tear on the wiring. I really need to have a built in charging solution. Probably something like Zach Hoeken did with his scooter.
      2- Motor Mount twisting. My motor mounts still have a tendency to twist a little after riding for a while. I’ve resorted to a string to hold them out. I really need to put in the time to fix this. But I’m waiting until I get my CNC built to resign them and machine them out of Aluminum. Nylon is nice. Aluminum is better 🙂
      3- Chain tension. I still get startup cogging. And I still get cogging if I punch it to hard, or try to ride over rough terrain like a trail with lots of rocks. Riding on the streets is great though. I’ve read that the solution to this is getting “perfect chain/belt tension”. Which in my mind means no slop whatsoever. Fixing this issue would make it a dream to ride.

      Hope this helps,
      I’m happy to answer any other questions!
      James

  • Chris

    Hey I’m a little unsure of your how your motor mount is mounting to trucks ? I’m about to start buying parts just curious as to how it’s secured to trucks

    • mrrocketman

      It uses the bolt hole that the brakes would usually use for mounting. An M8 bolt. It’s not perfect so it can twist a little under tension. Once I finish my CNC machine, I plan on redisgning everything to be machined out of Aluminum.

      • Chris

        Thank you that’s good and simple! Just purchased my board and ordered two 6463 245kv motors. Other than than the slight variation in the motors I am following your build to a tee. Thanks for the awesome detailed instructions was a little hesitant about starting this project.

        • Chris

          Also do I need two esc programmers for two motors?

          • mrrocketman

            No, just one. You just plug in the wires from the esc to the programmer, update your settings, then unplug. Then plug your esc back into your receiver.

        • mrrocketman

          No problem, Let me know how it goes! I would love to see some pics of your build!

  • Adam Colvin

    I have a 95 comp and am about to do the same build. I have a few concerns…
    1. I want to buy your sprocket mount but I have twistar hubs any ideas?
    2. Exactly what batteries are powering your 2 motors because the esc can only handle 6s. I want as much power as possible too.
    3. You said the cogging happens off road, is the best solution just try to get the chain to fit perfect.
    4. What is your top speed now and any idea to increase it? Plus with the motors not being sensored is there enough torque to get moving?
    Obviously I am getting in way over my head with this project, but I just don’t want to end up buying the wrong thing.

    • mrrocketman

      Hey!
      1. Unfortunately you’ll have to redesign the mounts for different hubs
      2. My batteries add up to just under 6s voltage due to the ESC limitations. I would love to try out some ESCs that are 10s capable but any that I’ve seen are quite expensive.
      3. Yes, the solution seems to be really tight, perfect alignment, and no slop/backlash. After riding it, I feel like a belt would be better as far as this problem is concerned because you’d get much less backlash.
      4. My top speed is right around 20mph. Maybe 18.5. Different sprocket combos or preferably higher voltage would get you a higher speed. I still need just the slightest of pre motion before the motors will move me. Sensored motors would almost certainly help in this regards as would better alignment, tension, and possibly switching to a belt.

      It’s a big project with lots of decisions. Spend your time planning everything in detail and it should turn out great!

      I hope the be be able to machine metal comments and sell a kit one day.

      • Adam Colvin

        Iv thought about the belt alot for sure. It would deffinetly have more powere and be alot quieter. My only thing would be finding a belt that fits perfectly with out ordering the wrong size 5 times

  • Chris

    Hey so I’m on the final stages of my build but can’t seem to be able to get my receiver to control my esc’s properly. I was wondering if you would be willing to skype and help me troubleshoot the issue when you have time it would be much appreciated.

    • mrrocketman

      Hey, I’m super busy for the next week and a half selling fireworks. Couple ideas real quick though:
      Make sure you followed the calibration guide for the ESC’s to get them calibrated to your radio/receiver. Also, if you added connectors to your ESC or motor, make sure the solder joints are really good. Crimped connectors don’t stand a chance.

      Another good tool can be a servo tester. Rather than radio/receiver. Removes one set of potential problems.

      Let me know how it goes. If you still don’t have it by the 27th ish, I should be available then.

  • James Fell

    Hi I was just wondering to what degree is it resistant to water, I live in England and we get a lot of rain and when it is dry the ground stays damp, is the motor able to take mud, splashes of water and sand? Also how is the motor mount attached to the truck? Is a hole drilled into the Truck first?
    Thanks

    • mrrocketman

      Hey,
      The motor seems to handle splashes and things okay. But I’m always more concerned about the speed controller. I’ve ridden through a couple inches of snow before and everything got snow/water on it. It held up fine, but I’m not terribly comfortable doing it again. I’m sure there are people out there that have tested brushless motors and speed controllers that could give you a better idea of what to expect. There is already an M8 threaded hole in the truck that is normally used for brakes. The motor replaces the brakes so the mount has a bolt going into that hole. You can sort of tell in my “Step 13” above.
      Hope this helps!

      • James Fell

        Ok thanks I see that now, are they standard holes drilled and would there be a risk that another model may not have the space to screw in the pieces? Ok I imagined it wasn’t a good ride to ride through water. Some of the parts listed are out of stock so can they be replaced with similar models? I noticed the link to the battery box no longer shoes the itme so can these parts be interchanged too? Is it possible to get a price for all the 3D printed parts to England? Lastly I ride right foot foward so would that be an issue?
        Sorry for all the questions and thanks.

        • tehpajka

          Hi, I hope that mrrocketman will not mind, but I bought a bike and because of that I am now selling my complete (lightly used) mrrocketmans eboard setup (all except the board). I am from Czech republic, so sending it to England would not be a problem. Take a look. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f40ae96ddfdafd731c4a31beb2799a82dbd637c1d4a56098182f0637ea3581b.jpg

        • mrrocketman

          I know MBS makes some different trucks. If you are using a different board, it would be best to contact MBS to see if the truck has the same bolt layout as the my Atom 90 trucks. Yes, you can use similar model parts on things like ESC’s. Yes, any box that you can find and fit everything in should be fine. Price for all the parts for a 2 motor build would be $90 + shipping. I make them out of Nylon now. Although as you may have heard, I am starting work on machined Aluminum parts now. Still a couple months away from being ready though. Right foot forward does changes things a little. It probably wouldn’t hurt to just have the motors in front. But if you wanted rear wheel drive it is fairly straightforward to swap the trucks or bindings around.
          Best!

          • James Fell

            Hi Ok well I actually just picked up an atom 90 from ebay so good to go, do you ship to England? If so how much would that be and how do I order? Instead of changing the binding could I not just change around the motors? I would prefer rear wheel drive as I will be riding through forests. What do you think about the idea of using a drive belt or would that not fit?

            • mrrocketman

              Hey, why don’t you send me an email at mrrocketman at me dot com and we can work out the details. I’ve tried a belt before. There is very little space to make it work. It’s possible, but hard.

  • Jynxbone

    First of all thanks for the tutorial. Best one ive seen. Ive got a couple questions tho.

    1 Do u know if your motor mounts work w other mbs boards? Ive got a mbs core 95 and it looks like the same setup w the brake mounting holes on the trucks.

    2 Any progress on the new aluminum mounts or a release date?

    3 is the wattmeter mandatory? Just for setup and then can be removed?

    Thanks for the help

    • mrrocketman

      Thanks!

      1. I don’t know for sure. You’re best best would be to email MBS and ask them if your Core 95 has the same trucks as my Atom 90. They are very helpful!

      2. No news yet. Been busy with some other projects but there are definitely in the pipeline!

      3. Not mandatory at all. These days I leave it on so I can keep track of how much battery I have in my packs. This way I don’t over-discharge them. But if you just go for short rides that don’t push the battery to the limits, it wouldn’t be necessary.

      Hope this helps!

      • jynxbone

        thanks for the quick reply. I didnt realize you have to watch the battery charge like that. How low can it go safely? and I know they arent the same trucks but if anybody with the atom 90 could measure from the outside of the mounting hole to the end of the truck for me it would be greatly appreciated

        • mrrocketman

          Sorry, I should have emphasized that I use the watt meter to make sure I don’t over DIS-charge them. As in, I don’t want to drain them completely dead. When charging them, the chargers will automatically shut off when they are full. No worries there. It’s hard for me to measure with all of my motors and everything on at the moment, but from the outside of the hole, to the end of the axle is right around 3-1/8″ inches.

          Best!

  • ELEKTROSKATE

    Hi, you can get all E-MTB electric mountain board parts from http://www.scramboards.com if that helps

  • Adam Colvin

    My build has been sitting in the garage and has yet to see much of progress. Since school is starting up again and it will sit even longer would someone be willing to complete it for me? Obviously I would pay just seeing if anyone is interested.

  • Ben Seward

    Hey I love this thank you so much! How much should I expect to be paying for the 3D printed pieces? Trying to add up all my costings right now.

  • אור שקד

    hello i wanted to know which motor is the best use for me if i want in the future up to 12s, and the motor u sayed to buy is backorder and i want to strat the build wich one do u say will fit for me and for ur mounts?
    im going to use 6s 6000m*4 at the start with 120a esc ty alot, and if u can give me ur mail it will be great

  • B Jensen

    What is the max speed?
    What is the range?

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