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Old Sep 22, 2005, 09:40 PM
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Cincy E-Flyer's Avatar
Cincinnati, OH
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Can brushless motors be repaired?

I nosed my Mini Funtana into the ground hard enough to bend the drive shaft of my Park 400 inrunner gearbox. When I took the gearbox apart, I noticed the motor was binding up pretty badly. The motor shaft doesn't look bend so I assume I must have damaged the magnets.

Can these motors be repaired, and is it worth it? If so, how do you get the can appart? And where do you get parts?

Thanks
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Sorry to learn of your crash and damage to the in-runner brushless motor...usually the windings get cought up on the edge of spinning magnet and causes damage windings such that one side of the rotation gets caught at that point.

I don't know what to tell you for this in-runner and how to repair it but, had you selected the Park 370 or 400 outrunner then, you could easily repair it by visiting my thread at:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=396367

I would call E-Flight and see what they can advise.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 03:58 AM
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East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
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General observation.

Cheap brushless motors have weak magnets and soft shafts compared with quality motors.

You get what you pay for.

Labour costs in stripping and rebuilding probably exceed labour costs of a new one.


Only you can decide based on your crash frequency whether its better to

- give up and buy a cheap can brushed motor that only costs you $5 and you can bend the shaft straight on.
- buy a quality motor with hard steel shaft at double the price and performance
- replace low cost brushless at expense every time you crash.

I have to say I suspect that a cheap brushless motor is the worst of all possible worlds
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 07:30 AM
Straight up is all I ask
Fairfield Ct USA
Joined Apr 2002
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Vintage I dont think they break in every crash , lets be realistic I'm pretty sure horizon will answer the phone, they did when I called. They sent me a new motor upon recieving my broken one ( magnets broke loose in a crash)
These park400 motors arent the best or anywhere near but the guys backing them are pretty good
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 12:04 PM
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RC4ZEKE's Avatar
WA,USA
Joined Jun 2004
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Hey Beaver Lover,

First step, try Jmolwitz's advice, if that doesn't work, the motor's are easy to take apart. The endbell is a press fit, with some heat applied and a small screwdriver you can pop off the endbell. After that replace the damaged rotor with a new one.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Lansing, KS, USA
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If the damage is only to the rotor magnets, then yes it's a fairly easy replacement. I believe you can get replacement rotors. But, if the rotor was spinning when it broke, it's likely the internal windings are also damaged and this isn't repairable.

Having fooled around with many brushless motors: Mega, HiMax, EFlight, EVO, AC World DIY, Komodo DIY, and various CD-ROM types, you may find that your best bet is to just replace the motor. Their are several new imported brushless inrunner motors in the $25-30 price range that are probably as good as the Park 400. At that price these motors become "disposable items".

Charlie
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 12:55 PM
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The old saying applies--buy cheap and buy again and again....

Steve
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 02:02 PM
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RC4ZEKE's Avatar
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If he hadn't crashed, the motor would likely still be working.
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Cincy E-Flyer's Avatar
Cincinnati, OH
Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1
General observation.

Cheap brushless motors have weak magnets and soft shafts compared with quality motors.

You get what you pay for.

Labour costs in stripping and rebuilding probably exceed labour costs of a new one.


Only you can decide based on your crash frequency whether its better to

- give up and buy a cheap can brushed motor that only costs you $5 and you can bend the shaft straight on.
- buy a quality motor with hard steel shaft at double the price and performance
- replace low cost brushless at expense every time you crash.

I have to say I suspect that a cheap brushless motor is the worst of all possible worlds
Vintage, In the past, I have respected your comments and knowledge of the hobby. But in this case, you did not answer my question - instead you seemed to be preaching to me for being penny-wise and pound foolish. Not all of us can afford the high end equipment all of the time. I was not aware that there are crash test ratings for motors out there. I think the E-Flite line is a respectable middle of the road line of equipment. You can have your soap box back now!

To the rest of you, thanks for responding to my questions. I had not even given the thought to calling horizon since it was a crash. If that doesn't work, I'll try opening it per your suggestions. At $45 a piece, these motors are kind of disposable - it's just that it was only a few weeks old before I crashed it!

Thanks again for you comments
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaver Lover
At $45 a piece, these motors are kind of disposable - it's just that it was only a few weeks old before I crashed it!

Thanks again for you comments
Maybe---but you could have bought a repairable US made motor for under $100. It only takes one motor being junked and replaced because of a broken shaft to exceed the cost of a repairable motor.

Steve
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 09:53 AM
sitka's dad
Dallas, TX
Joined Nov 2002
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I have repaired many brushless motors for customers.
There is no mystery to these motors. The problem is
that most consumers don't want to pay what it's
worth to repair.
Rewinding a motor is not that tricky. I rewind a few
of the manufacturers motors for my own needs - but
the procedure is not cost effective to the consumer.
Magnets, shafts, bearings, and windings can be replaced.
What do you think the manufacturers do with all the
returned motors.

Just have fun no matter watt ...

Dick
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 10:10 AM
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East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickj
I have repaired many brushless motors for customers.
There is no mystery to these motors. The problem is
that most consumers don't want to pay what it's
worth to repair.
Rewinding a motor is not that tricky. I rewind a few
of the manufacturers motors for my own needs - but
the procedure is not cost effective to the consumer.
Magnets, shafts, bearings, and windings can be replaced.
What do you think the manufacturers do with all the
returned motors.

Just have fun no matter watt ...

Dick
And that is exactly the point.

If you don't burn and crash, the cheaper motors are more than good enough.

If you do, then maybe stick to $5 throwaways.

Or get something which is so good its WORTH repairing.

I am sure someone with a lathe, and some copper wire, can fix any brushless inside of two hours...but what is two hours labour worth? and if it has to be posted there and back...well the cost gets silly.

My take is the best thing to do with a cheaper brushless is fix it yourself, or maybe send it back and hope they give you a new one half price. Maybe the broken motors can be stripped where they are built, and the good bits salvaged - I don't know.
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Dayton, OH
Joined Sep 2004
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BL,

these motors are easy to repair, 20 min max. I have the E-Flite Park 370 and Park 400, as well as the Himax 2025. The himax 2015 is the same as the Park 370 and the Himax 2025 is the same as the Park 400. I use the replacement rotors (shaft & magnet) from Himax, they work in the Park motors as well. All you have to do is remove the front plate of the damaged motor, heat it with your heat gun and use something with a knife edge to get between the motor can and front plate slowly rotate the motor and pry off the plate, pull out the old rotor, clean out any loose fragments and put in the new rotor, replace the front plate with a couple drops of CA or super glue to hold it in and your done!

you can by the replacement rotor's from MaxProducts for $13 - $15 depending on the motor, 370 or 400.

370 uses part no. HA2015-1

400 uses part no. HA2025-1

http://www.maxxprod.com/mpi/mpi-99.html

AD
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 11:06 AM
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sneu's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Dec 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickj
I have repaired many brushless motors for customers.
There is no mystery to these motors. The problem is
that most consumers don't want to pay what it's
worth to repair.
Rewinding a motor is not that tricky. I rewind a few
of the manufacturers motors for my own needs - but
the procedure is not cost effective to the consumer.
Magnets, shafts, bearings, and windings can be replaced.
What do you think the manufacturers do with all the
returned motors.

Just have fun no matter watt ...

Dick
Some of that is true for the cheap outrunners but the better motors are not usually rebuildable with out the original parts or tools. Wire forming and special shaped magnets make it hard for the independent shop do a repair.

The answer to your second question is "it depends" If the motor is a cheap Chinese motor it goes in a scrap box--but that is pretty much the end. Importers don't usually do repairs. In the case of the cheap ones often the actual manufacture is unknown.

Steve
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Lansing, KS, USA
Joined Jan 2002
1,372 Posts
Before you get too much further along you should disassemble the damaged motor and verify if the windings are damaged. I had an EFlight brushless inrunner that couldn't be repaired because the windings were broken. Outrunner motors can be rewound easily (relatively speaking), but I don't know of anyway to fix windings on an inrunner. I called Horizon Hobby's service department and they advised me that they couldn't repair inrunner windings and I would need to get another motor.

There are comparable inrunner motors made in China (just like the EFlight) that can be had for less than $30.

Charlie
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