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Tear-down of TW560

With the hood and original Luran top taken care of, we can start repairing TW560.

First of all, we have to tear-down both TWIKE 560 and 524. In this entry TW560’s gets taken apart: from vehicle to parts.

The image below visualizes in a very simple way what we’re going to be extracting from TW560 during this process.

Basic components of a TWIKE

Basic components of a TWIKE


 
My job allows me to be super-flexible with regards to where I can work: Anywhere.
(Which is important – I travel a lot in Europe…and beyond)

I just need my laptop to be connected to a decent Internet connection. I have a LTE-A WWAN card in my Laptop with a Pan-European SIM with which I can remain connected to the Internet wherever I am in Europe and don’t have to think about WLAN’s and passwords anymore. (Interestingly enough, with this foreign SIM, mobile data costs less than any offer available in Switzerland and includes data roll-over, 250 minutes of calls to anywhere in Europe…crazy world! Whilst we’re at it… My providers for the Middle East and for APAC)

This is why I set up my office at Andreas’ Ksenotek (where both Swiss and German LTE networks provide good bandwidth) from time to time and follow TW560’s repairs ‘Fly-on-the-wall’-style…and take pictures for my blog whenever anything interesting presents itself.

My office at Ksenotek

My office at Ksenotek


 
I freely admit that this workplace doesn’t not score too high on the ergonomic front. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even if the procedure of tearing down TW560 seems harsh and radical, keep in mind that TW560 is one of the furthest driven TWIKEs that has definitely taken much more punishment than any other TWIKE.

I’ve had various screws and brackets brake and fail during the last few years and replacing them isn’t always easy, as accessing some of the screws and bolts is blocked by other parts.

This is why I see what we’re doing here in a positive light: We’re replacing every single screw and bolt and checking on every part of future TW560! After this, TW560 will be ready for another 250,000km!

So, let’s bring TW560 in.

 
With this, we’re ready for TW560’s tear-down.

View from my temporary desk

View from my temporary desk


 
The next few pictures show how Andreas slowly extracted all the relevant bits from TW560… starting with the most valuable part: the battery.

Let's start taking everything out of the hull

Let’s start taking everything out of the hull


 
Even if it is relatively easy to remove the batteries, inverter, additional chargers and electronics, there are many, many other details that need tending to.

Lots of cables and connectors. I’m trying to have them all replaced with new parts. It makes no sense to replicate the spaghetti cabling that built-up with time in ‘old’ TW560.

Still much to do here

Still much to do here


 
Out come both additional chargers that allow TW560 to fast charge.

Empty battery bay

Empty battery bay


 
Next, the inverter is removed and most cables are extracted from TW560.

Already most of the electronics and battery are gone

Already most of the electronics and battery are gone


 
Next to be removed is the suspension assembly.

off they come

off they come


 
After detaching the steering rods, the motor/gear assembly can be extracted.

With the motor out, the shock absorbers and stabilizer assembly follow.

Stabilizer & shock absorber assembly

Stabilizer & shock absorber assembly


 
Not all bolts come out without a fight – I’m glad that later on every bolt will be new!

Not all screws are as co-operative as they should be

Not all screws are as co-operative as they should be


 
But Andi knows how to apply some force without destroying 20-year old threads. Always impressive to be part of such a process.

With some TLC - got it out without destruction of threads

With some TLC – got it out without destruction of threads


 

After removing the mid-TWIKE pedaling setup, comes a very important moment.

I think this is the defining moment of what makes a TWIKE a TWIKE: the main frame comes out.

Main frame has left TW560's shell

Main frame has left TW560’s shell


 
This frame contains TW560’s VIN and is responsible for its ‘soul’ – everything is attached to this frame.

Main frame ready for transplant

Main frame ready for transplant


 
One last look at the frame that was responsible for how TW560 looked like the last 18 years and 250,000km.

TW560 - all gone.

TW560 – all gone.


 

Time to get a new dress, so to say.

When looking at the main frame, Andi discovers something potentially dangerous: abrasion.

Looks worse than it is

Looks worse than it is


 
After checking with Ralph, the TWIKE inventor, he gives TW560’s frame a green light – it’s just 0.1 mm and looks serious since the black anodised color is gone and bright silver aluminium is visible.

All those bad roads! Abrasion on chassis frame

All those bad roads! Abrasion on chassis frame


 
Andi will make sure that with my new space frame this will no longer be possible.

With this, TW560 has been reduced to a box full of parts.

TW560 fits into a small box :(

TW560 fits into a small box ๐Ÿ™


 
Nothing will be thrown away – even the old space frame can be used for repairs. By combining two TWIKEs I will be left with a super-valuable set of parts I certainly will be glad to have around in future.