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Another cheap fix.

Started by noelH, Jun 15, 2023, 06:27 PM

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noelH

Running a Torpedo 1003 electric outboard.  So far(6th season), has been reliable and functional.  The only thing I really dislike about it is the under built lever that holds the motor in the kicked up position. The pounding on L. Superior sheared off the original.  +$20 for the part plus another Andrew Jackson for shipping and handling was a bit expensive.  I purchased two due to no additional shipping for the 2nd lever. 

Upon inspection after a couple days of sailing last season I noticed the new lever starting to catch due to slight deforming.  Not really visible, but for the scratch marks. The tolerance is relatively tight.  So I built a "prototype" block to take the load off the lever.  Never got around to fabricating the finished block.  Prototype worked fine until couple days ago.  Duffus here cut the locking groove along the grain of the wood vs. 90 degrees.  It finally split.  Brought the motor home and set it up on the stand. Put it in the kicked up position and used a scrap length of PVC to prevent it from dropping on my fingers just in case the lever fails as I measure for next "prototype block".  Light bulb on.  A larger diameter length of PVC would work.  Local hardware had a remnant length of 1.25" heavy duty sewer pipe sitting around. My $1 fix. Maybe not elegant, but functional.

When I emailed Torqeedo about this issue their response was. Either remove the motor or at least the battery and tiller unit off while sailing.  The lever was not designed for how I was using it.   Really?  High risk for cross threading the fine threads of both the battery and tiller connection.  Hanging over the transom on a heaving and rocking boat attaching #30 of motor would not be fun. I think the lever would be adequate if sailing on a small body of water where the surface is relatively smooth.  Lake Superior.  No way.  Too long a fetch. Seems to be always choppy or worse.

Curtis

Thank you for posting about this issue; I use a Torqeedo on my 15' Potter and didn't realize the lever is so fragile. I love the motor but think some parts of it could be improved. Mine is probably a newer version since I purchased it in December, but I suspect the lever is the same. The threads for the electrical connections are especially frustrating to connect in rough conditions. I usually keep the motor in the cabin and use a lanyard to secure the motor before hanging it on the transom and then use a lanyard to secure the battery before installing it on the motor so I don't have to attempt to manage the entire weight at once. Not a fun process if it is rough. It would be fantastic if another company made an aftermarket battery so it was more affordable to have extra batteries.

noelH

It's the pivot point that sheared off.  Checked the Torqeedo website for parts.  The 1103, the newer direct drive model has a different lever assembly.  They might have addressed the design issue found in the 1003. Looks more robust. The design prevents or reduces any torsional strain causing the lever to twist and eventually shear at the pivot point. 

Would be nice just to have a long connecting cable between the battery and motor pylon.  Add the remote throttle and both can be placed in the cockpit. I carry a spare battery, but hopefully it will be a calm day if needing to use it.  Also rely on a safety line for both battery and motor pylon. $1000 for a replacement 915 Wh battery is steep, but they seem to be durable. Supposedly a 4%/yr loss of capacity.  6y/o battery and I don't notice any loss in capacity.  I only motor in and out of the marina and maybe 2-3 times a year for  less than 5nm when the wind totally drops. 

Curtis

Thanks for the information on the lever change. I have an extension cable for my tiller arm so I can keep it in the front of the cockpit and control the motor plus see the display. I really like being able to control the motor from the front of the cockpit. There is also an extension cable for the battery, but I have not purchased it. I am thinking about buying the battery extension cable.

https://www.torqeedo.com/us/en-us/products/accessories/cables-and-steering

noelH

Curtis, thanks for the link.  Something to consider.   Checked torqueedo web site.  They do sell a tiller cable extension of various lengths for ~$50.  Probably just go with the battery extension and pull the tiller off the pylon.  No need then for the tiller extension.  Once under sail disconnect the tiller and battery for safe storage in the cabin and wrap up the cable.

With the 1103 do you still need sequence attaching the cables.  That is, power always 1st on last off and tiller connector last on first off to avoid error code?

Curtis

I haven't experimented with the cable sequence but have been attaching it as you described. I find the motor a little quirky. I was going long periods without using it because I usually row out if conditions are favorable to sail out and then discovered that the cable contacts must get oxidized when not using it for a while. Right now I use the motor to get out of the harbor on every trip because I'm recovering from a broken wrist. Weird stuff going on today with the estimated range and then I discovered a bunch of kelp caught under the boat & wrapped around the prop and tiller. Propeller is a little chipped up, but that might be from running over a glass bottle last week.

rfrance0718

Did you use duct tape as well?

Curtis

I don't know what you mean regarding the duct tape?

rfrance0718

I'm just saying that pvc and duct tape are two of my go to resources for quick repairs. I also use coat hangers quite often.

noelH

1003 is "sensitive" to wrong sequence and dirty connection/contact pins.  Only time I've had error codes show up has been due to poor contact and when I managed to wrap the stern docking line around the propeller. There is some sort of load sensor that shut the motor off.  Good thing.

Service video shows the Torqeedo tech using WD-40 to clean the contacts.  DeOxit D5 is my choice.  Purchased a can years ago to clean some switches on my ancient stereo integrated amp and CD player.  Works nice.  Smallest container is a lifetime supply for home/boat use. 

Correction of original post. For those needing to replicate.  Heavy duty 1.5" NOT 1.25" PVC.  Doesn't float.  Lanyard needed.  Plan is to run a velcro or other strap through the pipe and around the motor pylon when in place along with a lanyard.  I've managed to  unexpectedly "bounce" Vela more than once.  Worried that the pipe may fly out. Motor dropping hard down would be a very bad thing.  I've since learned that I need to significantly mellow my upwind angle and be just content tacking more often when the seas build.  But occasionally I miss a breaking swell or wave or go over the peak and get rocked.

Darn eastern L. Superior blocking H pressure system for the last few days.  Nearshore 0-5kt winds. Like right now. Glassy smooth outside of the Bay.   Any rain front splits at the western end and go N and S of western L. Superior.  Ideal conditions for strong winds (>F5) are usually a blocking H located on the S end of Hudson Bay and ugly L in Iowa-Southern MN/WI.  No chance to real world test my cheapo fix.

noelH

Real world test of the "fix".  So simple, inexpensive, and functional.  "Bounced" Vela across some very large power boat wake.  Enough mass from the motor prevented it from bouncing. Pipe stayed put. Still will use the velcro strap.