View Full Version : My Zapino is acting wonky, any ideas?

23 September 2010, 1313
So, while i'm working on my real elmoto, i have an electric scooter (a 2007 Zapino). It's got 60V of SLA, a 13" hub motor. i'm not sure what the specs on the hub motor nor of the controller are.

I was riding it a couple of weeks ago when it was really hot out (93+ F). The zapino lost traction power suddenly. The lights were running, but nothing when the throttle was twisted.

Turns out it has a single ciruit breaker under the seat. This had tripped. I'm not sure if it was heat related or not. But in any case, i flipped the breaker and made it home without any further issue.

I've ridden it a handful of times since then without any problems.

Today however, i was on my way to work and had stopped about 1/2 mile away from my house. When i started up again, there was very little power being delivered to the wheel. Almost to the point where it wouldn't get going without me helping it along. Once it got rolling, it still had very little power and the speed topped out at 18 or so mph (normal top speed is 40mph). I hobbled home and took my smog making car to work.

I was running late at that point, so didn't do much diagnosis today. I did notice that the wire insulation on the wire coming out of (or into?) the circuit breaker is a little discolored (insulation is normally red, but it looks like there may have been a heat issue at some point just at the circuit breaker.) I'm not sure if that has always been there or if it's something new since the circuit breaker tripped a copule of weeks ago.

What else should i look for? It seems weird to me because the power didn't disappear altogether. It just has really reduced power.

Any hints?


23 September 2010, 1319
Sounds like you have a short my friend. Start diagnosing by getting continuity to ground from that breaker. Put the Multimeter on "Audible" or "beep" or whatever the noisey function is called for connections <100ohms and start pokin'! I would suggest pokin' the leads on ground and the circuit breaker, then begin tracing the wire and wiggling wherever it goes. Whenever you begin to hear the Multimeter beeping, you have isolated your problem.

Happy Hunting. Intermittent issues are always fun. :::sarcasm:::

23 September 2010, 1332
Hi Tango, may well be a short, but my gut feeling is a 'dirty' contactor.
Any high res part of the circuit such as a loose terminal or grubby contacts will create a 'hot spot' (discoloured insulation) and will definitely manifest itself as a drop in power.
Resistance check along the path and across the contactor (power off! :) )

As sean says, happy hunting!


23 September 2010, 1430
I'm with Rob on this one. Check for bad connections and other possible high resistance paths that should be low resistance! I would argue that for this type of troubleshooting the audible function is not useful. Turn it off and look at the actual meter reading. Missed some obvious problems in the past because in hindsight I trusted the audible meter to be a short. As an example, 10 ohms may very well make your meter beep, but a motor connection wire with that much resistance is faulty.....

23 September 2010, 1506
Thanks a bunch! I doubt i'll get to this soon as i'd rather spend the time working on my VF500 conversion. But this gives me good info to start from.

Maybe while it's guts are out on the garage floor, i'll figure out if i can go from 60V to 72V to make it go a little faster. :)