Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

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Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby rick42 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:44 am

Ok , Ive heard of some crazy things before , but I have never heard of dunking an electrical device in alchohol or water while it is running. I read a post that slotters clean there motors and even break in there motors by dipping them in 97% alchohol and even water to clean the motor or even break in the motor , while they are on and running. Am I not understanding what they are saying. If this is done , what is the process . Ive always been told to keep electrical devices away from all liquids.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby chappyman66 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:57 am

The slots in the commutator can get dirty and filled with residue from the brush wear. Running them in alcohol helps to clean that gunk out (among other things) which helps it run faster.
You may hear apocryphal stories about fires etc but it's really not a problem...the short version is the stoichiometry is wrong for ignition.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby rick42 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:14 pm

So how is this process actually done.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby WB2 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:19 pm

Watch on youtube.com


Go to the 2:05 mark.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby waaytoomuchintothis » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:32 pm

It seems everybody has a favorite method for this. It is valuable as a commutator cleaner and as a minimum wear break-in tool. The following is an edited version of instruction I got a long time ago and kept in my computer.

In a glass of cold water, submerge that dude and run it for about 60 seconds at 3-5 volts. I don't get fancy here, my controller is hooked up on this test rig and I just run it at low speed. If you run it longer, you begin to "use" the brushes without benefit and possibly damage the commutator. This run grinds the brushes in to seat perfectly with the comm and shines it up as well. When the water settles after 10 minutes or so, you'll see tiny gold flakes on the bottom of the glass. Now if I had run this motor up to top end without doing this first, the extreme heat would groove/scar the comm and top performance is lost for good. At this point, no...do not run that motor up. Not yet.

The water needs removed and so do the remaining flakes and brush dust particles. Alcohol dunking does the trick. Get the whole motor submerged, especially the comm; and then run it for 30 seconds or less at the very low end. Out of the glass and then pat it dry. Spin by hand and help the inside to dry out. 15 minutes or so and the rest of the alcohol will evaporate. If you are in a hurry, compresed air will dry it in a few seconds. The answer is still no! Resist running it up.

The next thing to do is to oil the bushing. You can be sloppy back near on the output end. Be very careful on the comm end bushing - just a dot. This needs done as a regular race prep too.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby rick42 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:45 pm

I just have a home track , but I have started spending money on a little higher quality cars , that I would like to see last a long time. Is this something that needs to be done to all new cars before putting them on the track ?
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby chappyman66 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 pm

Well....I break in all of my motors before racing them. But literally speaking, if you just oil and go it's going to be fine. What you may notice is that the car speeds up as it is driven more...that's because the brushes and comm are seating and making better contact.
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Re: Motor cleaning and breakin in liquids ?

Postby RichD » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:08 pm

With most 1/32nd motors you can just run them in on the track, but that will take a little time. I don't have a 1/32nd track and I want my motors broken in when I go to a race, so I run motors in on the bench at 6 volts for 30 minutes, then flush the commutator with contact cleaner before I oil the bearings. If you apply full voltage to a commercial raceway type 1/24th motor or an HO motor before the brushes are broken in the commutator will probably be damaged, 1/32nd motors are not so fussy. Breaking in the brushes with the motor submerged in a liquid will speed up the break-in and avoid the possibility of dust getting caught in the commutator slots. As has been noted in a previous post do not run the motor for very long, you could easily wear out the brushes.
Pure water does not conduct electricity, ordinary tap water is hardly conductive. If you use a flammable solvent, like alcohol, you will not have to dry the motor out for very long when the break-in is finished. It is possible to set the flammable vapors that might collect above the surface of the liquid on fire if you remove the motor while it is still running. If you turn off the power and wait a few seconds to remove the motor after the break-in is finished you will be OK.
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