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Old Nov 02, 2003, 08:06 AM
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Joined Oct 2003
919 Posts
breaking in an electric motor

Hi all,

I've heard somewhere that it's wise to break in an electric motor before use. How do you about this? I remember something about using a D battery on it until it's dead, and even submerging it in a glass of water.

Any pointers?

Thanks
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Old Nov 04, 2003, 11:04 AM
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Tachikaze's Avatar
United States, OR, Eugene
Joined Jan 2003
1,086 Posts
I run R/C cars on occassion and I know that from the information that I have received there that there are as many opinions as to how to break in a motor as there are opinions as to what is the best motor.
What I do is make sure that the motor is not under load ( not attached to anything). I oil up the bearings well with a silicon or find machine oil and then connect the motor to a four cell pack and let it run for about twenty minutes.
Is this right? Don't know. Have I had any unusual wear on the motors? No.
I think that breaking in the motor is more important if you have a high RPM or high torque motor than the motors that we use in combat R/C warships.
I have a few of the 7.2 volt Maxon red cap motors that I obtained on EBay. These motors are a 8000 RPM motor at that voltage ( nice thing about Maxon is they run off a wide voltage range with little damage to the motors) that were bought to be used in a Dutch torpedo boat, the HRMS Dragen. This boat in 1/72nd scale is 33 1/3" long. These two little motors would push this boat on 6V very well. To break in these motors I ran them on 6v for twenty minutes after oiling them down really well. I then shot them with a motor cleaner and then re oiled.
Now if I can just get the boat built I will be able to use the motors for something.
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Old Nov 07, 2003, 02:46 PM
and this wire goes where?
Southampton Eastleigh, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Jun 2003
660 Posts
The idea of running in a motor is to bed the brushes in so that they fit the Comm without drawing enough current to create arcing between the brushes/com, which will result in pitting and an uneaven bedding. This is something that is essential on Electric RC heli's as it also reduces glitches and interference from the motor sparking.

The length of time to complete the Job depends on the quality and size of the brushes! For my RC heli's, I submerge the whole motor, caps wires and all in a glass of water and run on 1 D cell for about half hour to an hour. I dont see the point in going much longer than that as you just start to eat into the lifespan of the motor, but you can leave it as long as you want really. The most important thing is low voltage and no loading. You can replace the water bath with an oil bath if you want - some use WD40 or proper motor cleaner oil, but whatever you use you've got to let the motor dry out afterwards and then oil the bearings!! Dont use too high a cell count when bedding as then it will still arc.
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