How To Dissemble Your Electric Bike for Painting
If you have thought about painting your Super 73 S-1 but feel intimidated by the idea of taking it apart, here is a walk through to dissembling the bike, with pictures from when I took apart an S-1 we call “Samurai Jack” for painting with Spray.Bike paints. After you read through this, I hope you will see that anyone can do it!
You will learn a lot about your bike, too! It is just parts. You'll need a basic set of tools, and the only "special" tool I recommend is a pair of "end cutting nippers" shown below.
If you find the task too daunting, a bike shop may be happy to help you dissemble your bike so you can paint it at home. You can pay them to reassemble your newly painted bike and tune it up at the same time.
1. Stay Organized. To keep your disassembled parts organized, use wide masking tape and a sharpie marker to mark the parts and to give you a reminder of which wires connect back together. Keep all your parts together as much as possible! Organize them on a shelf or a table or a large box. Take lots of pictures with your phone as you go along so you remember what order washers and nuts go and how wires are routed. Draw diagrams to help you remember how cables and wires are routed. Label everything with masking tape – go ahead and go for overkill in this part, and your re-assembly will go smoothly.
2. Battery. Remove the battery.
3. Zip ties. On Super 73s and many other bikes, zip ties hold the electric wires and brake cables to small plastic connectors on the frame. You will need to take these off to properly paint the frame. A pair of end-cutting nippers/pliers is highly recommended for neatly cutting off zip ties. You can get them as cheap as $3.00 at Harbor Freight.
Be careful when removing these zip ties so you do not accidentally cut a cable or wire. Be sure to have adequate light and a good view when cutting away the old zip ties. You will use new zip ties to reattach the cable and trim the long end off.
4. Remove the headlamp. Keep the 5mm bolts together with the headlamp (use masking tape).
5. Remove the Controls and Brake levers. Electric wiring for runs from the battery to the voltage controller, head lamp, and brake lights on the handlebars. You can unplug all of these. The wiring harness is a Higo harness and the plug connectors are supposed to be color coded: yellow, black, and red.
To be certain, you can use masking tape to mark both sides of the plugs and indicate which cable attaches to which plug. Make note of how the wiring is routed through the triple crown (draw a diagram).
Slide the controller and brake levers off the handle bar. Keep the parts organized. The brake levers will remain attached to cables to the brakes until you remove the brakes.
6. Remove the handle bar. Keep the four 5mm bolts together with the clamp and label them with masking tape and a sharpie. (Note: Super73 has a video showing how to attach the headlamp and the handlebar out of the box. https://youtu.be/Nz2wcOKvKVw)
7. Seat. Remove the seat.
8. Brake Light. Remove the brake light. Keep the two screws together with the light. Note how the wire is routed.
9. Rear Rack. Remove the rear rack.
10. Fenders. Remove the rear fender. If you have not already done so, remove the front fender. Store all the screws and washers together with the fenders.
11. Remove the chain guard. Keep the plastic spacer and screws together.
12. Unplug the pedal sensor cable and the main power cable. Finish removing the zip ties along the bottom of the frame. Make note of the wiring paths. The pedal sensor runs along the bottom right side of the frame and then crosses beneath the crank where the sensor is attached to the left side of the crank case. The power line to the motor also runs here, and then loops over the plate to which the bottom kick stands are mounted before connecting to the motor. There are special grooved zipped tie points for these wires, and the wires nest on top of them, not beside them.
13. Remove the battery mount/controller. Keep the three small screws with the battery mounting plate.
14. Remove the rear wheel. There is a lock that is easily pushed out. Make note of the direction and order of everything on the axle.
15. Remove the chain. Locate the split link (a type of master link used on fixed gear bikes and the Super 73 S-1). Use a flat screwdriver to push it to unfasten it. Here is a wiki: https://www.wikihow.com/Remove-a-Bike-Chain
16. Remove the front tire.
17. Remove the brakes. Keep all screws together with the brake assemblies. Masking tape can be used to secure everything together. Make note that the brakes mount to the inside of the drop out - not the outside (see pic below).
18. Remove the pedals.
19. Remove the cranks. Be gentle with the shift sensor.
20. Remove the front fork assembly. Unscrew the top cap. Be careful not to throw all the rings off the stem – you want these in order. A liquid wrench solution may aid in loosening the bolts from the triple crown. In one of the bikes we dissembled, these bolts broke off, so if you feel a lot of resistance, stop and add something like liquid wrench penetrating oil and then use a back and forth technique with your hex wrench until the bolt turns.
You could keep all the round spacers and things on the stem, and tape over them when you mask that part off. I took them off and laid them on the floor in the order they are supposed to go and put a large piece of masking tape over them. Next time, I will just tape them in place on the stem.
- Remove the kick stand.
Congratulations! You now have a stripped down frame, ready to be prepped for painting!
You also have a fork, a rear bracket, a battery and other small parts that you may want to paint.
Take some time to make sure all the parts are organized and stored to your liking. Keep your notes with the parts.
(Links current as of March 2020)