TDE2019 – Uh-Oh, Huston do we have a problem?

Returning to check on the charge after our drive-free day in Valencia (a town well worth a visit!) everything was OK regarding the charge… but there was another issue manifesting itself on the floor of the garage I was parking in: A puddle of oil!

Hmm. Even if a TWIKE only has around 150 ml oil for its gearbox (a rather simple fixed-ratio affair which, nevertheless, can require servicing), losing said oil is never a good thing!

Never a good sign

Never a good sign


 
Looking under the TWIKE just before the battery compartment there is a huge amount of gunk – yuk!

This doesn't look too good

This doesn’t look too good


 
As it’s quite difficult to remove the battery compartment and lift the TWIKE to check what’s going on (it might just be a loose oil sump screw … or worse, a faulty seal) I rather would like to check if the gearbox is already dry or if I can still continue to San Juan and have the time to decide what to do with some time on my hands and from the relative comfort of our apartment there.

Checking a TWIKEs oil level is very easy … if you have a stock, non-modified, ex. 2 NiCd battery setup TWIKE. There is a small cover between the seats that reveals a screw when removed allows topping up.

My TWIKE was a 3-block (long-range) NiCd version, which had an additional block just behind the co-pilot’s seat. I loved these 30 kilograms on the right, as it vastly improved handling.

Which is why I decided to emulate this block by placing my 2*8kg quick charging infrastructure at the exact same position, re-using the frame which already was there for the NiCd block.

Will have to remove one of the chargers

Will have to remove one of the chargers


 
Only one of the chargers needs to be removed – much easier than removing the 30 kg block that was there before!

Access is beneath the charger

Access is beneath the charger


 

Nearly there

Nearly there


 
The cable leading through this hole is a temperature probe for the motor.

Let’s undo the screw and see if there is a problem with the washer … and if there isn’t if there is still enough oil to continue our trip.

Washer is ok, let us see how much oil there is left

Washer is ok, let us see how much oil there is left


 
The easiest way to check is by using a white cable tie and push it down through the hole until it touches the metal at the bottom.

I have cable ties with me but mine are black. This isn’t a problem, though, as the following picture shows:

Still 5 mm left - we are good to go.

Still 5 mm left – we are good to go.


 
Whew! There is still some oil there and we’re still good to go for one more day!

Catching the rest

Catching the rest


 
San Juan, here we come!