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Jul 27, 2021, 10:34 AM
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Replacing motor shaft in Moonbeam McSwine

I love my Moonbeam McSwine - it flies really well and has talken a real pounding - it was my main transition plane from helicopters to planes and has the scars to prove it. One of the areas that has suffered most from poor (belly) landings is the motor shaft - I bent it very early on and was concerned that my plane was dead. Fortunately I found a forum post explaining that some people had used M3 hex bolts as motor shafts, so I thought I'd try that - here is a quick explanation how...

Start by removing the motor from the plane, this is the grub screw that holds the motor into it's mount

Pull the motor out forwards - it may take some wiggling and make sure that the grub screw is fully loose to give enough clearance for the motor to slide out

Then remove this grub screw and the one opposite it - they may be tough to get started as they were held in (on my motor) with some very resolute thread lock, a little heat (I a soldering iron held on the grub screw) is really helpful for melting the threadlock - about 20-30 seconds usually works. I good quality "fresh" hex driver really helps.

Once you have removed the grub screws holding the motor shaft (best to remove them completely) you can remove the shaft, in this picture you can see the "shoulder" that I put in the socket (i.e. from a socket set that you might use to mend your car) - that's what we call them here anyway. You can also see one of the two grub screws on the motor "bell" that may need to heat to loosen them the first time

Here is another picture showing how it works with a 10mm socket

Now just tap the shaft out by hitting the shaft with a hammer!!! It may take a couple of sharp taps to get it moving (my guess is that some of the thread lock has got onto the shaft and is holding it) - also hit it as "square on" as possible so that you don't bend it any more!!. Once you've got it moving a couple more taps and you can pull it out of the back. There is a small washer that I refit between the hex bolt and the end bearing and I always leave a tiny amount of end-float between the washer and bearing.

I use an M3 x 50mm hex bolt with the props that I use, if using the standard spinner you might want slightly long (M3 x 55mm) but I haven't used the stock prop / spinner since early flights.

The first time that I did this it took me about half an hour - now I can do it in less than 2 minutes start to finish, the first time it's a bit scary removing the two grub screws and hitting the old shaft - but with a bent shaft you can't use the motor anyway, so nothing to lose!!

One other thing that makes it easier is colour coding the motor / esc wires - I use small pieces of heat shrink (red / yellow / blue) on the esc and motor cables so that the motor still spins in the correct direction.

Good luck
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