Cut the what?
Change who? Face it, we have all worn the newbie shoes before.
I’m talking about the newbie electric motor maintenance shoes,
of course. We were not born knowing when to work on our motors; I
know that I sure wasn’t. And if it wasn’t for friends and
magazines, there’s a chance that I could have still been running
the same brushes on my original P2K motor right now. But have no
fear; R/C Car is here to save the day. This how-to will give you a
brief but extremely useful rundown on some “time for rebuilding”
indications to keep your motor and you ahead of the pack.
If your brush
replicates a burnt exhaust tip, as cool as it may look it’s
definitely not a good thing if winning is high on your list. As
soon as you see purple or bluish discoloration or shiny glazing on
the brush, it is time for a new set of brushes. A fried brush is
usually a sign that your gearing is off, so consult your
vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended gearing options.
2) Burnt Comm
A black or burnt
comm comes when the armature has not been cut in a long time. This
will not have as direct of an effect as micro brushes, but power
will not be anywhere near its full potential. Simply looking at
the comm from the outside of the endbell will give you a good
indication if a cut is needed. Black or burnt-looking means the
comm needs a cut.
experience a hung brush at least a couple times a year, which
causes the brush to “stick.” This could be due to a few
different things, such as some debris getting on the comm causing
a flat spot on it, something getting in the brush hood, or even
the brush just sticking on the comm. If this happens right before
a run, a simple push start or snap of the brush springs should get
you rolling. Once back in the pits, a good cut and replacement or
cleaning of the brushes is recommended.
If you pull out
your brushes and they are the size of an ant kibble, chances are
the speed of your vehicle is HURTING! “Micro” brushes, the
funny term that they have obtained from racers, totally affect and
hurt motor performance, and will make you think your pack is dead.
If this is the case, swap out those brushes with some fresh’ies
and check them on a more regular basis for wear.
experienced the dreaded motor impact crash, especially with
today’s touring cars. Even after an impact the motor may feel
the same, but it never hurts to remove everything, giving it a
good once-over, and re-aligning the brush hood if the tools are
available. Also check to make sure that the brushes still slide
easily in and out of the brush hood, and if they don’t, stop
running the motor until you realign the hoods.
6) 2 or 3
Rookies, listen up,
as this happens a lot more regularly to non-racers and bashers.
This one is simple: if you have about two to three weeks of
non-competitive running/bashing on your motor, then a nice cut,
change of brushes, and spray cleaning to the arm, endbell, and the
can is well advised. And when done, your motor will reward you
with better speed, runtime, and overall performance. If you
don’t have access to a lathe to cut the comm, most local hobby
shops can cut it for a small fee, and if they don’t, simply wipe
down the comm the best you can with some motor spray and a paper
towel. You can also use comm sticks (like the ones shown from
Racers Edge) to clean away light debris on the comm.
Something that is
often overlooked due to the fact that it is not really something
that screams “look at me” are the bearing and bushings in the
can. Simply rocking the arm in the can and endbell every time the
motor is apart will give you a pretty good idea on the current
condition. When the play starts to become very apparent, you may
want to look into picking up another can, endbell, or even a whole
new motor altogether.
Whether you are a
racer or basher, both will benefit greatly from a properly
maintained motor. Bashers will be able to bash longer, and racers
will be able to drop lap times that are that much faster. So now
that you know when to perform the maintenance, no more motor