View Full Version : Breaking in a motor

2008.04.28, 10:05 PM
When i was into xmods i noticed that my stage 2 motors were useless after a while and figured that i had to break in my motors but now that i am into mini-z i was looking at the plasmatomic. I was wondering to break it in I read some where that putting the motor in water helps, is this true? the only problem I can see is that if you don't dry the motor all the way it could led to future problems.

Lastly since the shop closed down today for 2 weeks I was looking on another site and saw alloy pinion gears, what advantage do you get from these won't they ruin the diff gear more than a delrin pinion gear? Thanks

Action B
2008.04.28, 10:55 PM
From my understanding breaking in the motor improves the brush contact by wearing them down faster by running the motor in water as you said. However, this shortens its life becuase your essentially wearing it to a point that it would have gotten to if you just used it normally and where it is more efficient. Basically, I think your sacrificing longevity of the motor to have the motor immediately at its best/fastest wear point. Its kinda of hard to explain, can anyone else chime in and verify this or call me a liar;)

2008.04.28, 11:17 PM
There has been a lot written in these forums about motor break in. So feel free to search around for more info: but for a condensed version, here you go:

You want to do two things when you break in a motor:

1. Seat the bushings - if the motor is not in a Ball Bearing Can, then seating the bushings can help. You are basically wearing them in a little.
2. Create a better connection between the brushes and comm. - This is the main reason and if done correctly will give you more top end.

There are three main ways to break in a motor. All three try to achieve the same thing. Create as little arcing as possible while you wear in the brushes and comm. Arcing will pit the brushes and comm and that will create less contact area.

Method 1: Water dip. The idea here is to run the motor under water. This will stop arching. You just connect 2 AAA cells to the motor leads and run for 5 min or so under water. Any glass of water will do. Once you are done, you fill the motor with motor cleaner. The motor cleaner displaces the water and will then completely evaporate.

Method 2: Run motor directly with low voltage. Most guys just use 2 AAA's. this reduces arcing because you have less volts. Run for 10 to 20 min. There is no clean up afterwards.

Method 3: Use a slave motor to drive the break in motor. You'll need a motor stand. PN Racing sells a good one. It's easy, and further reduces arcing. I use this trick and I have a motor master that I hook up to the slave motor to vary the voltage. I run between 1.5 and 2 volts for around 5min with a 1 min rest. I do this 4 times (or 4 cycles). The motor master is configurable. I have different settings for each type of motor.

With all that said. Some of the fastest guys I know never break their motor in. In mod, I never do. But for 70wind stock... I definitely want any little extra edge I can get. Did it do me any good at the RCX WCC? No. Spending more time in practice probably would have been a better use of my time. :D

2008.04.28, 11:37 PM
ok thanks that answers my first question. anyone know my second question? thanks

Action B
2008.04.29, 02:04 PM
ok thanks that answers my first question. anyone know my second question? thanks

I have been using an aluminum pinion for months without issues. It only costs a couple dollars to replace the gears anyhow if it was a problem, so I don't really consider it much of a risk. The aluminum ones are locking with a small screw. It is a great upgrade as the plastic/delrin pinion gears fell off my car during races due to cooling and expansion of the metal.

Likewise, what I said applies to MA-010. The pinion gear does not come in contact with the differential on the MA-010.

What kind of Mini-z are you asking about?

2008.04.29, 07:35 PM
how about in wd 40 is that good instead of water

2008.04.29, 09:29 PM
What kind of Mini-z are you asking about?

I have a mr-02 sorry i forgot to mention that.

how about in wd 40 is that good instead of water

WD-40 is probably one of the worse things you could put it in. Its not like water it just builds up on top of its self plus i doubt the motor would work and that would be very expensive to do.

2008.04.29, 10:20 PM
I dont do a full break in on my motors. I just use comm drops, and drive the car. Clean the motor, and do it again... If the motor is slow, I use a different one. At a handout motor event, you obviously cannot use a different motor, so break in may be a little more usefull there... Although, if it is during practice time, I would skip break in, and get out on the track to get the car set up. Maybe run a different motor, while breaking in the handout...

I have broken in motors, and I have run motors straight out of the packaging. I really didnt notice much of a difference. Cleaning the motor a few times when it is new, and every race day is something that should be done.