When the chain falls off the top of the chainring toward the motor, the part remaining engaged with the chainring will inevitably drag the rest into the gap between the motor and the chainring spider, whereupon it will jam firmly in place and be almost impossible to extract. Preventing this means filling the gap, which required several iterations:
The Bafang motor has a cover held in place by seven M3 flat-head screws, shown here below a test filler using pan head screws:
Contrary to what you might think, the five screws that obviously sit on five points of a hexagon do not in fact sit 60° apart. How you find this out is by making the obvious layout, including the two screws bracketing the pinion gear in the lower right, then applying windage:
That’s one of the paper templates seen above, with laser-cut holes 60° apart and ugly holes punched at the actual screw locations. Then you scan and overlay that image with the LightBurn layout and twiddle the hole locations to make the answer come out right:
With that in hand, I cut a 1 mm acrylic shape to measure the clearance between the motor + filler and the chainring spider, with pan-head screws replacing the original flat-head screws:
That’s a single piece of 2.5 mm acrylic I used after discovering a pair of the 1 mm acrylic shapes fit with space to spare: hooray for rapid prototyping.
A test chain drop suggested it might suffice:
If I were so inclined, 3 mm acrylic with countersunk holes and slightly longer flat-head screws would probably work, but I’ll use this until it fails to prevent a chain snag.
The careful observer will have noted the stress crack extending radially inward from the upper-right screw, which I am carefully avoiding doing anything about, pending the aforementioned failure.
The LightBurn layout as a GitHub Gist:
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