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New motor break-in


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#1 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:38 PM

The way I see it,the most timely thing lately is breaking-in of a new motor. Whether it be in water or a dry break-in it all takes up a lot of valuable time.
 
I feel that since the motors in Retro racing take so much time to break-in that they should either have softer brushes or that the brushes should be radiused by the manufacturer. This would solve and save me and others a lot of time and also create a better and faster running motor...
 
That would be at the top of my slot car wish list...
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#2 Cap Henry

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:40 PM

The water from the sink at Tom Thumb was faster then using distilled water LOL.

 

After winning GTC and telling guys that's what I used, I saw a few go try it LOL.


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#3 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:42 PM

Just don't drink the water from the sink...



#4 MSwiss

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

You don't want to drink that water, even straight out of the faucet.

 

I found out how spoiled we are in Chicago, with Lake Michigan water, that's as good as bottled water.


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#5 Jay Guard

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

Brian:

 

The brushes are already radiused. The thing is that they are turned 90 degrees from what you would expect; why, nobody seems to know.

 

I believe that Tim Homola is already looking into this.


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#6 Jason Holmes

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Man, are we spoiled for 13 bucks we get a motor that runs pretty good and lasts a long time and we still want more...  my my LOL.
 
Jason
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#7 MSwiss

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:54 PM

Yeah, Jason,

 

I guess long gone are the days when we were happy if the relays went on, and the lap counter worked on all eight lanes. LOL.


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Mike Swiss
 
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#8 Jay Guard

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:15 PM

Mike:

I remember those days well. I love the sound of the old American Raceways electro-mechanical lap counter ticking over (or not, :angry: ) the laps.
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#9 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:18 AM

I have no problems with the motor and the speeds they run. As a matter of fact I have some of the fastest stuff in my area. I spend whatever it costs to go fast.

 

I've been racing since 1965. I have many other things in life I do and enjoy. I use my time for things I enjoy correctly. I buy and break in 8 to 20 motors a week for me and others.

 

And all of my cars are scratchbuilt by me with no kits and that takes hours to cut and trim all the parts...


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#10 JK Products

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:07 AM

Guys,

 

I am working on this. Can't make any promises yet.

 

One of the big topics on my upcoming trip to China. 


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#11 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:27 PM

I recall breaking in earlier Falcon 2 - 5 series motors with much softer brushes. 30 seconds under water and sometimes all the brush was gone and the motor may have been good for only one good race. Brush formulation can be very tricky... I have no problem with a reasonably long life brush. Maybe the 90 degree arcing can be eliminated and the flat surface will work better.

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#12 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:52 PM

The brushes are angled that way to ensure 100% inital startup on every motor. 


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#13 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

Interesting!
 
First time I have seen that theory.
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#14 gc4895

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:30 PM

Really cool that the brushes are at 90 degrees from correct. I guess that explains a lot of complicated break-in technology. It's a tribute to to serious racers that these issues are resolved.

Honestly, I always avoided taped motors or other "sealed" motor crap not because I was a cheater. I just had no interest in the sealed motor nonsense.

 

In retrospect, it must be obvious to all that the good racers win and the cheaters are known.


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#15 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:10 AM

Me and my best friend Chubby are always looking for the best solutions to get our and customers slot cars to be the fastest they can be in the least amount of time. We take a supplier's product and try and get the max out of it. If the parts we use make the fastest cars, that's what we want to achieve. We only want to reduce the time it takes to do that.

 

A happy customer is a customer for life... And without customers and racers, there will be no more slot cars...


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#16 Samiam

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:21 AM

Brian,

 

I thought I was your best friend. :friends:


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#17 Jason Holmes

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:32 PM

Brian,

 

I understand what you are saying but as a racer and a builder I want a motor that will last and this one does with a little work.

 

Now as a shop if you want it fast and easy to break-in use the Falcon 7. They are fast, just don't last as long and you will sell more LOL.

 

Jason

 

PS: Tim, please don't change the brushes they are fine just as they are.


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#18 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:55 PM

Use the same brush, rotate it 90 degrees, and it will break in faster and potentially last longer than the present motor, given no other performance changes.

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#19 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:24 PM

If you rotate the brushes 90 degrees, does it distress the brush arms any?


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#20 tonyp

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

The brushes have rectangular tabes that fit into holes in the arm. They can only fit one way. To change the orientation of the brush, you would have to tool either a new brush or new arms. $$$
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#21 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:32 PM

Well, lets see what Tim comes up with. At least we have a warm fuzzy that he's on our side :)
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#22 JK Products

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 06:55 AM

Tony's right but I'm going to try. 


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#23 havlicek

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:16 AM

The way the brushes are, they have two contact patches initially that get wider over time until they eventually connect and form one wide one. It does seem counterintuitive, and very well may be that they have simply been used because they had the tooling set up and the motors worked fine when tested.  

The way I see it, why does it even matter? The motors work fine and are inexpensive!


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#24 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:19 AM

If the brushes are rotated and are misaligned a bit we are gonna regret asking for this change.

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#25 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:05 AM

If you look at a new motor they are misaligned now. With the movement of the spring arms the alignment will change over the life of the brush. I think rotating the brush currently used would give much more comm segment overlap, with whatever that brings.

I think I will just let Tim and the manufacturers sort it out.
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#26 Guy Spaulding

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:20 AM

David's right. If they are misaligned, the impact is minimized if the motor is left as is. They will run more consistently "out of the box" and accurately seat themselves more quickly. If the brushes are turned 90 deg, they may be great out of the box, or terrible if misaligned.  

Thank you and best wishes for your efforts, Tim.
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#27 SlowBeas

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:03 PM

For giggles and grins, I might try pulling brushes out of a S16D, turn them 90 degrees and put the car on the track. I wonder what will happen.


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#28 old & gray

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

First, brushes aren't square so they don't turn 90 unless you push real hard, then everyone laughs at you.
 
Second, twenty years ago Koford's first Group 12 motors had "vertical" brushes. You could seat a standard brushes by running them in, but you didn't want to.
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#29 SlowBeas

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:23 PM

Okay, okay... some more giggles at my effort than successes.
 
However, you can always trim the sides a little to make them fit...
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#30 Richard G With

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:29 PM

Eddie, the mention of increased comm segment overlap makes me queasy!
 
That's the (arguably) root cause of the PS4002FK push start problem.

It might not be a good thing to bring that into a motor class that doesn't allow access to the brushes at all.

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#31 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:35 PM

OK, I won't mention it.
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#32 old & gray

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:59 PM

Okay, okay... some more giggles at my effort than successes.
 
However, you can always trim the sides a little to make them fit...

 
Sorry, Jim, I have a bad habit of finding the straight line and running with it, my apologies.
 
If you were to run the brushes with the edges in contact with the commutator you would find the brushes would wear in very quickly because the area supporting the brush is an edge tangent to a circle (a point). A possible result of the small contact area is distortion of the commutator from a combination of high surface pressure and localized heating.

I know of one person who starts the breaking of his Retro Hawks by mechanically spinning the motor to start the contouring of the brushes.
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#33 MSwiss

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:49 PM

I'm not sure if it would make a difference with a Retro Hawk, but when I tried it about 20 years ago, with a G7 motor, after about an hour of a drill press running constantly, I stopped, since it wasn't doing anything, and I couldn't stand the noise anymore,
 
It's the opposite of a water break-in.
 
Where the water accentuates the commutation action, a mechanical break in eliminates it.
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#34 chaparrAL

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:59 PM

Why are the brushes turned 90 degrees? How can anyone running a facility, with even a modicum knowledge of electric motors, allow this? And how many years have they been doing it, making these motors wrong? And still not fixed?

Is this some sort of weird Chinese thing? Do they have a mental block?

Note that the Tomy endbell used in popular HO cars such as A/FX, BSRT, and Viper come from China with the same BS mistake. :dash2:  However the hole they are stuck in in the arm is square so you can fix it.


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#35 old & gray

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:10 PM

I'm not sure if it would make a difference with a Retro Hawk, but when I tried it about 20 years ago, with a G7 motor, after about an hour of a drill press running constantly,I stopped, since it wasn't doing anything, and I couldn't stand the noise anymore,

 

I’m not sure mechanical abrasion is a valid plan for break-in but I am reasonably sure the pre-radiused brushes of a hand-assembled race motor would have different needs than a commercial mass-produced motor.

 

Given a preference I would prefer to finish the brush face with an abrasive, clean the residual abrasive off the brush face, then do the final run in on the soft copper commutator; rather than use the soft copper to machine the brush face to shape and to heat cycle the brush material.


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#36 MSwiss

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:23 PM

Why are the brushes turned 90 degrees ? How can anyone running a facility , with even a modicum knowledge of electric motors , allow this? And how many years have they been doing it, making these motors wrong? And still not fixed?

Is this some sort of weird Chinese thing? Do they have a mental block?

 

Longer wear.

 

These motors are only raced with us.

 

For adjusting an automobile side view mirror, who cares if it does it a split second slower, at first?

 

PS: I thought PdL had some Falcon 7 motors made, with the the brushes the correct orientation, and they were mediocre at best.

 

Maybe Bryan can chime in.


Mike Swiss
 
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#37 chaparrAL

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:26 PM

Tim Homola,

 

You may be better off asking that they skip the radius step altogether. Just leave it square so no matter how they make it, it ain't wrong. Crude yes, but these are assembled by robot so there must be some sort of reason it is made this way. 

 

Hey, I buy a few motors for HO cars and when I found good ones with neo magnets, I bought ten, then I reorder 50 and I get ones with BS magnets. I can Imagine with the numbers you must do how stressful it must be!

 

I raced at the Checkpoint Cup and broke in my three motors all at once wired in series for seven minutes in water at 15 volts. Square off the brush face and I reckon double that time.

 

Keep up the good work, Tim!


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#38 Samiam

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:00 PM

The ratio of motors built for common industrial use to slot use is probably in the millions to one. If there is a square-faced brush already being used elsewhere, then that may be the only option.

 

Tim has already done a great job on this motor as well as the new "flexi" chassis. We should send him to Washington.


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#39 Half Fast

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:58 PM

If it ain't broke, be very careful about fixing it.

 

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

 

Cliches both, but there is truth in them.

 

Cheers.


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#40 tonyp

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:00 AM

Mabuchi has been putting in the brushes this way since at least the '70s.


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#41 SlowBeas

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

I know I've seen Falcon-type motors with this brush orientation for years, too. I can recall seeing an online post about it years ago and thinking, "Hmmm, that must be a mistake." Apparently, it wasn't.  :D


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#42 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:25 PM

I have owned an auto body shop for over 35 years and I have taken apart many power side view mirrors and yes, they have a motor that is similar in size to a Hawk but I have never come across a mirror with a Hawk motor in it. If anyone has actually seen a Hawk motor in  a power side view mirror, please let me know what kind of car it is so I can check it out for myself.

 

PS: Thank you to all of you that are repyling to my topic. My main interest was in shortening the break-in time to break for these motors. I am not trying to just seat the brushes but I also need the motor at its peak speed so it can be at it's fastest so it can turn fast times in a race. As all of you know, not every motor is fast and sometimes you have to break-in five or more just to find a really fast one. That is when it becomes a real pain in the ***. Not all racers have the ability to work on and set-up their car, so they have other people do it for them. If you break-in a motor for them, they expect it to be fast. We all know that how a motor is broken -n is the key to a fast motor. If the customer/racer can't go as fast as the competition he gets frustrated and stops coming to race... Every raceday we go through the names of the racers that don't show. If they have a fast car they usually won't miss any races...


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#43 Egil Aksnes

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:10 PM

Maybe the existing method is the best? If the brushes are radiused the correct way, and the radius is the same as the commutator, the manufacturing of the motors has to be very exact. Imagine if the edge of the brush sits on the comm in the way that the slot in the comm hits the edge of the brush first when rotating because the radius of the brush doesn't exactly sit on the comm. This certaily would not be good for the comm!

 

The solution would be to have larger radius on the brush curve then on the comm, or have flats on the edges, like on the Big Foot brushes, or have the surface flat all over.

 

But then you probably would have only one contact point with the comm initially. The way the motors are now you have two contact points immediately, and they have more contact area quite soon after starting break-in.

 

My thought is that todays method maybe is the easiest way in a mass prodction?


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#44 MSwiss

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:31 PM

My main interest was in shortening the break-in time to break in these motors .I am not trying to just seat the brushes but I also need the motor at its peak speed so it can be at it's fastest so it can turn fast times in a race.

 

Brian,

 

So if Tim accomplishes, will you you mind if these top motors, that keep guys coming to the races, only last 1 or 2 races, vs. 5 or 6?


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#45 Samiam

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:09 PM

Please no. Then we're back to Falcon 7s. :bad:


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#46 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:15 PM

Hi Mike,

 

I'm not sure of what the outcome will be. Back when we raced, lets say Parma 16D motors, they seemed to last pretty long. Some Retro Hawks last five-six or more races and still are competetive and some that are fast last one or two races and they still have plenty of brush left but they are not fast any more.

 

The brushes are very hard in the Retro Hawks right now. Maybe it is possible to have them a slight bit softer and that might do the trick. That would have to be figured out by the manufacturer and Tim.

 

The earlier Retro Hawks from a year or more ago didn't take this long to break-in and they lasted fine. I had Hawks that were fast and lasted five to seven races.

 

We have racers right now that buy lots of motors per week because they are looking for the bullets. They leave them with us to break-in for them. I am just looking for a way to speed up the break in process.

 

We have guys sending batches of motors to guys out of state to prep and break them in for 10 bucks a pop.



#47 Samiam

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:25 PM

We have guys sending batches of motors to guys out of state to prep and break them in for 10 bucks a pop.

 

Please tell me they are not going to Texas.
 
Ken-NO.  :sarcastic_hand:


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#48 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:55 PM

For crying out loud people. we are racing cheep throwaway motors. This idea of motor programs and buying all these motors to find that one is just crazy to me. Not to mention that Tim is trying to make that exceptional one that much rarer by making them all more even at a high level.

 

Put one in a car and race it. If you get that total dog put another one in and have fun.


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#49 usadar

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:40 AM

IMG_2600.JPG

Some of us in Tokyo use this motor breaking-in chemical (pink capped) with its special cleaner (green capped) for Retro Hawks.
It takes us 60-100 seconds to have brushes seated on comms.

One year ago, this chemical suddenly burned the motors even if we cleaned them completely, maybe because of some change in brush material.

Now It seems OK again to use this for breaking-in the present Retro Hawks.

Some of us break-in them in water, some in normal way, some using the chemical.


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#50 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 07:24 AM

Haruki, are these chemicals something that is especially marketed for slot racing, or are they something that just happens to promote quick motor brush break-ins? Does one apply the green bottle cleaner before the pink bottle chemicals are applied, or is the cleaner for cleaning out the pink bottle chemicals once the motor brushes are broken in?


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