DIY Electric Longboard

DIY Electric Longboard: A Step-by-Step Guide

DIY Electric longboard kit is a doable way to maneuver. After finding out an electric skateboard is made, you will know that it is easy to do. Aside from that, an electric longboard also weighs light and it can be charged quite quickly if the right charger is used. Many people have been using an electric skateboard because they have seen the convenience of using it.

Your own DIY electric skateboard can work well up to 32km per hour through the motor before it finally becomes unstable and unsafe. It also has great acceleration. The controller is also programmable so that any wheelspins which may happen from a standing position can be eliminated. It can function amazingly especially when it is fully charged because an electric skateboard can still keep its stability until the 10km range. Nevertheless, it will not be ideal for the lithium power cells to be discharged beyond 80% as it may deteriorate their lifespan.

The advantage of this electric skateboard structure is that the trucks can be placed onto basically any kind of longboard deck. This implies that you can have a longboard in any size you want. This longboard also has braking which is also programmable with various acceleration rates.

If you want to construct your own electric longboard or your own electric skateboard but are not sure how to begin it, here are some guides that will tackle the basics of an electric longboard. Here are the step-by-step guides on DIY it.

How to Make Your Own Electric Longboard– Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Collect all the required materials for your own electric skateboard

Before you make up your mind about building an electric longboard/electric skateboard kit, you should know that there are various approaches to how you can deal with it. You have the option to use an electric longboard/electric skateboard kit with all the things you need, except a deck. You may consider the Mellow board route and acquire a pre-packaged unit. Or you may choose to canvas for prices and collect all the required materials from different sources. But before getting the basic facts, there are some things that you should remember:

  • Choose the right electric skateboard deck
  • Properly install the motor to the electric skateboard deck
  • Motor type
  • Choose the right battery
  • Set up the wheels and the drive pulley
  • Your instrument as a controller
  • Calibrating the said controller

You will be needing many materials for your own electric skateboard, hardware, and small bits. Here are the lists of materials.

Electric skateboard materials – It is more ideal to use a longboard deck because you are most likely to gain stability, even ride, and extra space for added hardware. It would be better to choose a flat deck. Lighter and smaller boards can also be nice. The materials will have to be firm although a bit flexible. You must also use top-mounted trucks.

Common materials for an electric skateboard are the following:

  • Longboard deck
  • 180mm Paris trucks
  • 90mm Pro Flywheels

Tip: Choose huge wheels, preferably 83mm plus, for the flywheel style wheels. There is a good explanation of why people choose flywheels for their electronic longboard. Flywheels have spokes which implies that it is much more doable to attach a big drive cog to them and still manage to rotate or change the wheels. Another reason why it will be ideal to use huge wheels is that they are ideal for going over twigs, concrete cracks, etc. This will give you so much comfort and efficiency.

Hardware materials – There are various designs of a motor in the market, but the common classification is either single or dual motors. Double motors generate more speed. You must understand that the right motor for a DIY electric longboard should have high torque.

Perhaps one of the stimulating parts to discuss is about the motor. How large they are, how much speed they can deliver, etc. Selecting a motor is a very crucial task for any kind of construction. A lot of times which type of motor and the number of motors you finalized will tell so much of the entire build when it comes to what type of parts you have chosen.

Common DIY materials for the electric skateboard hardware are the following:

  • Large pulley
  • Small pulley
  • Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 280kV Outrunner
  • Timing belt
  • Lithium battery and its charger
  • HK-GT2B Transmitter and Receiver
  • EZRUN 150A-PRO Brushless ESC

Small Bits:

  • 6x ¼” x 2.5” bolt
  • 4x M4 x 12mm bolt
  • 6x ¼ -20 nut
  • 2.5” washer
  • 4x M4 washer
  • 2.25” washer
  • 4mm banana jack connectors
  • 6mm strip of aluminum

DIY Tools Used:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • tape
  • Measuring tool (mm)
  • Socket wrench set
  • Drill bits
  • Drill press
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Angle grinder
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Ear/ear protector
  • Breathing mask
  • Bench grinder
  • Time

It will be very helpful if you also have some knowledge of the best electric skateboard materials. If you want to come up with an impressive do-it-yourself Electric Longboard, then you should use the best kind of materials. For instance, a lithium charger with a higher rating of mAh will characteristically charge faster. When considering the weight and the size, the output is the greatest. A common 5000mAh battery pack can sustain up to 6-8 miles for every charge. Keep in mind that when selecting a battery pack, more volume corresponds to more power. Nevertheless, this also implies more cost.

LiPo batteries are commonly used by people. They are extremely energy massive. However, the only thing to consider with LiPo batteries is that they may explode if improper treatment is done. These batteries can be maltreated if you overcharge them, pierce them, or unbalance charge them. You must know that cutting them will lead to flames.

Also, the strip of aluminum has minimal dimensions. Its minimum size should be 121mm x 51mm x 6mm hence the mount can be sliced from it.

A do-it-yourself electric longboard/electric skateboard is composed of 3 major components. These are the motor, the batteries, and the Electric Speed Controller or ESC. But what are these components?

The electric skateboard motor is responsible for supplying power to the wheels. The batteries supply the electric power necessary for the motor. And the ESC is the brain of the longboard and it manages the motor through the electricity supplied by the batteries.

Step 2: Cut and weld your own electric skateboard motor mount

Get a jigsaw and a router in order to cut the aluminum to a specified dimension. For no specific explanation, the back wheel has been designed to be motorized. At this point, you must know that the setting of the DIY electric skateboard mount is very essential. It has to be placed as isolated as possible toward the trucks. Also, it has to be angled down without having to get in contact with the board.

If you do not have a direct avenue to a welder, you may temporarily fasten together the electric skateboard truck and the mount through a scrap wood, then have an expert weld it.

Step 3: Connect the wheel to the pulley

Connect the large pulley to the back of the DIY electric skateboard wheel. There is a reason why these were particularly chosen. The wheels were designed with 6 holes revolving around the shaft.

The holes were penetrated 17.5mm away from the middle of the large pulley, the 2.25” washer, and the 2.5” washer. Dig a 24mm hole in the middle of the pulley so that the truck will suit well.

Fix the ¼” x 2.5” bolts straight to the pulley, to the 2.5” washer, to the wheel, then the 2.25” washer, and finally complete the last part with the right nuts. The wheel is expected to continue spinning freely once placed onto the trucks, but this time the wheel can be rotated with the motor.

Step 4: Assemble the DIY electric skateboard wheel and the motor

Fit the DIY electric skateboard motor with M4 x 12mm bolts, with washers. Fit the smaller pulley into the shaft of the motor by gripping the set screw. If you notice some skipping of the motor in the inner part of the pulley, you may try to file down the one face of the motor shaft, then grip the screw set with some thread-lock.

Pull over the belt to the small pulley, then to the large pulley. This large pulley is already attached to the electric skateboard wheel. Once the belt is already pulled over, grip the nut of the truck that held down the wheel. Do not forget to put the packaged washers around the wheel.

Step 5: Connect the DIY electric skateboard electronics

Connect the electric skateboard batteries in series by tossing one connector. There are two cables in an ESC. These cables are used to attach the ESC to the batteries. Then, the DIY electric skateboard ESC will also have to be attached to the receiver channel 2. The receiver has a button that makes the entire system easily turned on and off. However, for safety purposes, the batteries must be unplugged too.

Step 6: Hide it through a DIY electric skateboard casing

At this time, you have to secure everything in a case. Some DIY electric skateboard packages have a waterproof case. However, if you are not comfortable with that kind of case, you may always buy your own choice from a hobby store.

You can utilize anything to make sure that your electronics are protected from the elements. Some people choose to install the electronics above the board. By doing so, they get an added benefit of having better clearance beneath the board, nevertheless, it does clump up the deck.

Some Considerations When Building a DIY Electric Skateboard

  • Single motor or dual-motor DIY electric skateboard – Will the plan fit two motors on a similar truck? Do you have enough space? Will you need bigger trucks?
  • Power of your electric skateboard– Consider your weight. Do you think you are heavier than usual? Or are you planning to ride your electric skateboard up on elevated hills?
  • Speed of your electric skateboard – What will be your ideal speed? Do you like to go to places faster? It would be ideal if you don’t target some ultimate speed just because you find it impressive. Put in mind that your common speed in actuality would be 0-15kph. Further, reduced RPM motors imply that they are structured to pull at those reduced speeds.
  • Range of the DIY electric skateboard– Do you commonly go on long rides? Do you have more distant destinations?
  • Height – Are you going to use smaller or bigger wheels? Would you like to ride low? Are you going to jump off barriers?
  • Weight – Do you intend to carry your board?
  • Controls of the electric skateboard– What are you going to use for control? RC vehicle controller? Arduino? Phone? Bluetooth?
  • Terrain – Are you planning to cruise on a nice concrete road? Off road? Old road? Would you require some pneumatic tires?
  • Mobility – Additional options for adjustment on the ESC? Acceleration? How about the braking? Reverse? Battery voltage cut-off?
  • Aesthetics of your DIY electric skateboard – How would you want your board to look like? Do you like personalized grip tape? Would you prefer a case for electronics? Are you going to use an LED under-glow? Will you incorporate headlights to suit your night driving?
  • Accessories for your own DIY electric skateboard – Will you accessorize it with LED under-glow? Will you use a USB charger in charging speakers, controllers, or phones?

Using an Electric Skateboard Conversion Kit

As you venture into making your own DIY electric skateboard, it would be appropriate to focus your attention on the most important component of an e skateboard: the electric skateboard conversion kit. This kit is the part where you’ll find the motor assembly, the speed controller, the battery, and other electronic components. Without the electric skateboard conversion kit, your e skateboard will never run.

An electric skateboard conversion kit is what makes your board run. It comes with all you need, and all you may need to do is to connect this to the rear part of your skateboard deck. And with a complete, easy-to-use electric skateboard conversion kit, you’ll save money, time, and effort in looking for different components. You can install the conversion kit on your board and have your electric skateboard ready in a jiff.

But as there are different skateboards, electric skateboard conversion kits also vary in quality, type of electric skateboard motor, battery life, speed, ease of assembly, and overall use and support. Let’s look at how e skateboard conversion kits differ from each other and what makes a good electric skateboard conversion kit.

Are DIY electric skateboard kits the same?

Not all electric skateboard conversion kits are the same. Even the overall design, weight, and profile are different when you compare kits side by side. And of course, the price varies too. Expensive electric skateboard kits offer the best features and specs and maybe a good investment for anyone looking for a durable kit for their board. There are economical electric skateboard kits too which means these come with average specs and features and are more affordable than other kits.

Components and parts quality

Electric skateboard conversion kits differ in the quality of their components and parts. Check the outer casing, the battery cover, charging cables, trucks, wheels, bearings, etc. The outer casing is mostly made of hard plastic which is common in most average-quality kits. There’s nothing wrong with plastic but these can be easily damaged when you hit your board on pavement or edge. Also, a plastic board may not be as durable and can loosen after many uses.

DIY electric skateboards battery may be removable in some kits but most come with built-in batteries. If your kit has removable batteries, check that the battery cover is good quality, should be easy to remove and replace, and must not hang loose when you ride.

Electric skateboards battery charging cables vary too as some have thick cables made for heavy-duty use while some come with flimsy cables. If the kit you received comes with cheap cables, replace these with good ones but make sure that the replacement cables match your board’s power rating.

The electric skateboard deck rear trucks, double kingpin trucks, wheels, and bearings must be of the best quality as well. Remember that you’ll be using your electric skateboard more often on the road and therefore, you should look for durable, high-quality trucks, good wheels, and reliable bearings. For cruising and general use, prefer large, soft wheels to enhance safety and for a mellow drive. Smaller boards may need small and hard wheels especially if you plan to use your e skateboards for tricks.

Speed controller, battery, wheel pulley, and hub motors – electric skateboard parts

Electric skateboards conversion kits come with different electric skateboard parts like motors, batteries, and speed controllers. Most come with remote controls but with varying designs.

DIY electric skateboard kit motors vary in power outputs and range. The motor determines how much power your boards will produce. Look for a decent speed and range so you can spend long hours on your board. You may have seen electric skateboards with two motors (one on the front truck and the other at the back) these help make the board go faster and ride longer.

Some electric skateboard parts come with a brushless motor which improves overall motor speed and prevents overheating. Some have direct-drive motors which offer decent power. The motor shaft, motor pulley, motor mounts, e board, and all parts of the electric skateboard build should be of high quality.

When it comes to DIY electric skateboard kit batteries, lithium-ion batteries are still the most commonly used. Look for kits with high-quality batteries, ones that will give the best power and will charge to full quickly. As we said before, some kits come with removable batteries and these are great for people who want to take two or three extras when they travel.

Consider the following great specs selecting the right conversion kit for your own electric skateboard

  • Higher watt-hours for the motor
  • Less torque for improved speed
  • All the parts must be new
  • A mobile app to check the status of your board
  • Kv rating, battery life, top speed, and more

The electric skateboard remote controller is a necessity as you will use it to control the speed, apply the brake, and monitor battery power. Some electric skateboard remotes also come with light switches, turning switches, and Bluetooth controls. You need a remote control that will fit snuggly in your hand, something that you can easily push and press without taking your eyes off the road. You need a remote control that’s easy to grip, won’t be too tiring to hold, and one with a good range.

Ease of use, assembly, and customer service/customer support

Electric skateboard kits also vary when it comes to using and technical support from their manufacturers. Some kits are very easy to install and use and may only require basic tools to install on a skateboard. These electric skateboard kits come with skateboard trucks, mounts, wheels, and bearings, a complete set so you don’t need to take too much time to use your board.

Meanwhile, some electric skateboard kits may not be as easy to install and in fact, these require the help of a technician, an electrical engineer, or an expert for installation. This is the case for conversion kits with LED lights and other attachments you need to install from the old deck. Thus, you must take your skateboard to a technician or a local skate shop for installation.

When it comes to technical support, almost all manufacturers of electric skateboard conversion kits welcome users if they need help with the installation. Manufacturers also encourage users to contact customer service in case of any technical issue or any questions about their products. You may also need to call customer service in case of product returns, in case a part is broken, not working, or you want to send it back.

Product warranties

Warranties are important as you may need to return the DIY electric skateboard kit for any reason. If a part is broken upon arrival or the motor stopped for some reason or your battery is not charging, you need to use your warranty. These situations are commonly covered by the product’s warranty. Feel free to contact customer service if you don’t know the warranty.

Warranties vary from product to product, from brand to brand. Some offer a generous lifetime warranty while some may only give you a return period. It is common for high-end or expensive e skateboard conversion kits to have longer warranties.

How to install your own electric skateboard conversion kit?

Now that you know about the differences between electric skateboard kits, it’s time to learn how these are used when you’re making a DIY electric skateboard.

An electric skateboard kit system sits at the back of the skateboard. It is located at the back truck; it’s bulky and takes up a lot of space at the bottom. If you have a large electric skateboard kit, expect your board to be taller or higher. However, there are slimmer versions, thinner conversion kits that you won’t even know they’re there.

Here are the things you need to install a typical e skateboard conversion kit

  • The conversion kit package – the electric skateboard kit will have the kit with the motor, battery, electric components. You will also get a set of trucks, wheels, bearings, and riser pads. The kit also comes with a charging cable and all the hardware needed for the installation.
  • Hardware that comes with the electric skateboard kit – check the kit for complete hardware. Look for the number of screws you need to have in the kit, any brackets, washers, and installation tools. You will usually find these from a user’s manual or instruction manual that comes with the kit.
  • A screwdriver – you need a regular screwdriver to install the electric skateboard kit with your bare hands. If you have a battery-powered screwdriver then this would do.
  • Power drill and bit – Some electric skateboard kits come with extra points of attachments such as complex and heavy kits. You need a drill and the right drill bit to create holes for the additional screws.
  • Grip tape- replace the old griptape on your deck with a new one so you’re ready to roll safely after your installation.
  • Blow dryer, a sharp knife, alcohol – you need these materials to remove the old grip tape and old adhesive from the top of the deck.

Instructions:

1. Remove the electric skateboard kit from its package and inspect the components/accessories

Take the conversion kit package and carefully remove all the contents. Search for the instruction manual and check for the completeness of all the included accessories and components. Set the components carefully aside on a table and read the instruction manual before installation.

In cases where the battery is inside the kit, you need to check for a charge. Most come with a charge when they are placed inside the package. You can test this by using the remote control.

Check if the battery is charging before you seal it away upon installation. Use the charging cable that came with the kit and connect this to the charging port of the conversion kit. Connect the cable to a working power outlet. If the charging light lights up or you see it charging from the remote, you’re good to go. The meter must be accurate too; constantly check the remote control if the battery bar is rising while it’s charging.

Place the power cells inside the remote. Usually, the skateboard remote does not come with power cells so you need to provide your own. Power on the kit and check the remote for the power level. While you’re at it, check if the kit works by turning on the power and accelerating the wheels. The wheels will turn once you press the switch. Try to press the brakes. The wheels should stop abruptly as you put the brakes on.

Check the e boards and find out if the components are in place, with no moving parts. Some conversion kits come with other parts like the drive wheel, direct-drive motors, drive system, extra battery, drive train, and others.

The last things you need to check are the trucks, wheels, and bearings that come with the conversion kit. These must possess the features that were stated in the packaging and should be complete. If parts are missing, contact the company.

2. Remove the original trucks, wheels, and bearings of your skateboard.

Now that you have checked the conversion kit and have found that these are working fine, it’s time to take apart your regular skateboard. You need a regular screwdriver or a drill to remove the old components and of course, you need to remove the old griptape first.

Griptape is very sticky and you need a lot of help to remove it piece by piece, section per section. Use a blow dryer to melt the glue. The tape will eventually lift from the edges but won’t remove completely after applying heat. So, remove the tape slowly from the edges and corners and use a sharp knife to remove any remaining adhesive.

You may use alcohol on a rag and wipe the adhesive from the deck. The old adhesive will soften after applying alcohol and thus, you can easily remove these with a knife or blade.

Carefully set these aside and take time to clean the underside of the deck. Use sandpaper if there are rough spots. If there is dirt, this is the time to wipe them off before you attach the new trucks and the conversion kit. If you need to wipe your deck with soap and water or any cleaning product, let the deck dry first before installing the conversion kit.

In case there is a need to add more holes to your deck to accommodate the conversion kit, this is the time to do it. Drilling holes with a hand-held drill is necessary to attach complex motor mounts and the e board.

3. Place the motor mount conversion kit at the back truck

Place the deck upside down on a table. The kit must securely fit on the area and should be the right size with no parts showing from the sides or back.

4. Attach the motor mount conversion kit with screws

When your kit is in place, use a screwdriver to attach the motor mount with screws. Make sure to tighten the attachment of the motor mount before attaching the front truck.

5. Attach the front trucks and the new grip tape

After installing the conversion kit, attach the front truck. Use the bolts and screws that came with the package. Use a screwdriver to install the truck in place.

You’re now ready to install new tape. Sand the top of the deck to make sure all the adhesive is removed. Wipe the deck with a rag to remove all dust and dirt. Now, apply the tape. Use a flat tool like a scraper to remove all air bubbles that may form.

Place your skateboard right side up and use a sharp knife or blade to remove any excess tape adhesive. Finally, sand the edges to remove all uneven areas caused by the new tape.

6. Charge your conversion kit battery pack

You now have your newly-converted DIY electric skateboard ready. It’s now time to charge the battery. To do so, check the instruction manual for the recommended charging time.

Connect the charging cable from the charging port and connect to a working outlet. You will see the battery charging indicator lights light up while the battery pack is charging. Use the timer on your smartphone to monitor the battery charging time.

Depending on the conversion kit, the LED lights may power off or may change color to indicate that the battery is full. Disconnect the charging cable. Your own electric skateboard is finally ready to roll.

Are electric longboards street legal?

Although electric longboards are safe, these are not allowed on major roads in almost all cities and countries. You may use an electric longboard while cruising pavements, along rural roads, and along with parking spaces.

Check local laws in your area about using electric longboards and refer accordingly. And regardless if it’s legal or not, you must use your electric skateboard wisely and safely. Use safety gear such as a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards when you’re cruising. Never use this in high-traffic areas and indoors. Always use grippy shoes or skate shoes to ensure safety when you’re on the board.

Can you make a skateboard electric?

You can make an ordinary skateboard electric by using an electric skateboard conversion kit. This kit is a small component that you place at the back of your board to produce power when you move. The kit contains your motor, battery, and all the components needed to make your board run.

Another thing to consider is reducing the weight of a regular skateboard to make conversion kits more efficient and to take advantage of the kit’s power and range. To do this, you need to replace regular trucks, wheels, and bearings with those that match your conversion kit.

Most conversion kits come with trucks, bearings, and wheels. These are easy to install and will work best to make your skateboard electric-powered.

Can you push an electric longboard?

Electric skateboards and longboards vary when it comes to the motor. Some are belt-driven e skateboards and therefore would be harder to ride or push without a battery. The gear drive inside these boards comes with a lever that pushes while the motor is powered on. And when the motor is off or is not running, there is friction created by the belt and thus, it’s very hard to push.

There are some convertible electric longboards and skateboards too. These boards have motors with a power switch. You can ride the board with the motor on or ride it like an ordinary skateboard with the motor off. This type of skateboard is very convenient to use especially when you run out of battery power while commuting.

How can I make my electric longboard faster?

Speed is the most common worry in an electric longboard and oftentimes, a speedy skateboard may not be the best one as these are smaller than regular e skateboards. Yes, you can still enhance the sped of an electric longboard by doing the following:

Replace the heavy deck – the deck is one of the heaviest parts of an electric longboard because of its size and shape. If you wish to improve the speed, use a slimmer deck made from a lighter piece of material. But look for materials that will support your weight. It may be dangerous if you replace the deck with a material that won’t hold your weight for a longer time.

  • Replace the heavy truck and wheels – there are many lighter longboarding wheels and trucks. You can replace your trucks with these to make you ride faster. You may also opt to make your wheels harder and smaller which will make you move faster. But take note, the harder your wheels, the more it’s harder to move along rough roads and terrains. A soft wheel may be slower but it can help you move over small obstacles like cracks, pebbles, and other imperfections safely and easily.
  • Streamline the deck shape – aside from the deck shape, you can make your electric skateboard faster by using a deck with a streamlined shape. Take cruiser decks or longboarding decks used for long-distance riding or racing. These boards come with a sleek profile, a better shape that will help you move faster and safer on the road.
  • Don’t add too much weight on the board – Aside from the board’s components, the rider’s weight and any weight he’s carrying will affect the speed of the board. So when you’re riding your electric skateboard, carry only the things you need. Avoid heavy bags and full pockets. But don’t compensate for safety. Continue to wear your safety gear like your helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards when you ride your electric board.

How much is a good electric longboard?

Good complete electric skateboards will cost around $400 and higher. These are electric boards with good power, strong motor, longer ranges, a good-sized, streamlined deck, and reliable batteries. Some longboards are more affordable costing from $300 and below. These e longboards may not be as durable and not as efficient as high-end boards and have lower speed and distance ranges.

If you are planning to buy an electric longboard, don’t let the price dictate the board you will purchase. Consider all the electric longboard specs and features, the warranty, customer service, and reviews before you make up your mind. Also, a good quality longboard is a good investment if you want a great electric skateboard that will last a long time.

Summary

Nowadays, electric longboards are becoming known. They make a common choice for personal transportation, particularly in urban places where vehicles can take a while. With the right materials and procedures, you can build your own electric longboard. Doing it can extremely lower the expenses without having to compromise the general functionality.

You may select your own choice of battery pack and motor, personalize the general ride, and be outside soon as you take the pleasure of riding your motorized longboard. Although the building of an electric longboard can indeed be tricky and shall require a bit of mechanical knowledge, you should never forget the fact that there are lots of kits, tools, and websites which you can utilize not only to collect your materials but also refer for instructions and guides.

Many people choose a longboard not just because of its stability and accessibility for a ride but because the board itself can tell almost everything. You may pick a longboard deck from wherever you want and still it will not make any difference on the electric components of the board. People will normally comment about the flex and the riding approach.

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