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Old 10-31-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default Brushed motor break in?

Do you have to break them in and if so whats the best way to do it?
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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You dont have to, but they generally last a bit longer if you do.

There is many many ideas about what works best here, so be prepared for a ton of suggestions. Here is my suggestion.
I prefer to simply remove the springs and brushes to inspect everything and make sure it is in proper order. Then re-install with new parts if necessary(you might be surprised how many "new" motors come with crap brushes and springs) or the original parts if good. I then connect to a 4 cell nimh pack and let it run in front of a cooling fan for at least 15-20 min. Inspect the brushes and once they are fully seated onto the commutator I clean everything very well with motor spray, and lube up the bushings/bearings. Then its ready to rip.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by burnineyes View Post
You dont have to, but they generally last a bit longer if you do.

There is many many ideas about what works best here, so be prepared for a ton of suggestions. Here is my suggestion.
I prefer to simply remove the springs and brushes to inspect everything and make sure it is in proper order. Then re-install with new parts if necessary(you might be surprised how many "new" motors come with crap brushes and springs) or the original parts if good. I then connect to a 4 cell nimh pack and let it run in front of a cooling fan for at least 15-20 min. Inspect the brushes and once they are fully seated onto the commutator I clean everything very well with motor spray, and lube up the bushings/bearings. Then its ready to rip.
15-20mins?! Wow! you might as well throw them out after that! lol.. seriously though, 1 or 2 mins is all you'll need.. after they are seated you will hear the motor settle down.. and you know its enough.. after a few runs on the track, you should inspect them... biggest problem with brushes is they tend to chip.. then you get arcing and they crap out.. so get a comm stick and a fin file to reshape them as needed.

Also.. you oil bushings.. but NEVER bearings... the oil eats the grease.. and there are no sheilds between the bearing and the armature.. so oil will get on it.. and that's no good.. that is why stock brushed motors have a fiber washer under the bushing on the endbell. So.. ok to spray out bushinged motors... dust off or blow out bearinged motors. You can use motor spray on the armatures though. No problems there.

Brushed motors are by no means slower than brushless.. The guys who say that were the slowpokes when using brushed motors... Brushless though are consistently fast once you get the gearing correct... much less work.. and nearly zero maintenance.

You will need to cut the comm on a mod 12t or lower about every 4-6 runs... anything higher including stock after 7 or 8 runs at the most.. usually I'll cut the motor once before the races start or just before the mains..

Good luck!

Jerome
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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Like I said, many different opinions here!
Funny though I must not be using soft enough brushes, they never fully seat in less than 10 minutes, usually more like 15. Some guys run them sooner, but I like to have them FULLY seated and smooth out the chipped edges and whatnot BEFORE I ever run them with full voltage.
Looking at about 6 different motors here in pieces and they all have the fiber washers to protect from oil/grease getting down onto the commutator. In fact I cant think of any 540 brushed motor I have opened that didnt have it.
I prefer to wash out the grease in a motors bearings anyways. My oil works much better. Mod motors need to be cleaned/inspected/rebuilt often, and I simply think its better practice to clean them thoroughly with spray and use you own bearing oil each and every time. Sure, if you never oil them or spray them out they should last just fine, but I say no way you can clean out a motor as good as I do without spray.
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:45 AM   #5
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i never broke my motors is untill my buddy broke one in for a race, dang it was night and day. he did it in a cup of warm water with c batterys for two hours. but i would only do this for racing
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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Yup, breaking in a motor is just like NiCd/NiMH battery maintenance and the correct way to shut off a nitro engine. There's about 800 different ways to do it and they're all wrong

My Old Man was a slot car guy when he was my age, and I've been doing my own motor tuning on Reedy MVPs and Stockstars for years now. The quick-and-dirty way to break in a motor is just to drive it around real easy for a pack or two. Driving in something like an empty street or parking lot, slowly rolling in the throttle, no sharp turns, don't touch the brakes or move in reverse, and keep it under 3/4 throttle.

To break in my race motors, I run them in a tub of cool tapwater on a 3.3v lead from an old hotwired computer power supply. I put a drop of lube in both bushings and a drop of my homemade "Liquid Talent" comm drops on the commutator before running the underwater break in for about 5 minutes. Once that's done, I blow the thing out with compressed air, flush it with brake cleaner (motor spray), blow it out again, and re-lube the bushings.

On Reedy motors especially, getting the commutator cut on a lathe from the get-go makes a HUGE difference. It seems like a lot of Reedy comms have unevenly placed segments, so you get this woodchipper effect on your brushes and the motor runs like junk. But a session on the comm lathe right out of the box to smooth everything out solves 80% of what ails the Reedy motors, from my experience.
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Old 11-08-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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I just run my car for 15 minutes at half speed then I squeeze the trigger for a minute.
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