Just because you purchase a ready to run vehicle doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. Like anything mechanical, components can wear, get dirty and just need general maintenance to keep going. This holds true for any ready to run RC car and the area of focus for this blog is going to be a very critical components of your rig, the motor. More specifically brushed motors. The brushed motors that come in ready to run Axial rigs are among the most durable available, they provide the power you need to tackle trails, the torque needed to climb and the will continue to provide that power even while submerged in water or covered in mud. All that abuse can eventually take a toll on the motor, but with a little bit of routine general maintenance you can keep that motor in prime running condition for a long period of time. Let’s talk brushed motor maintenance tips.
BRUSH IT OFF
First things first, if you were covered in mud, would you slip right into your bed to go to sleep at night? Not at all right? Why should your rig be any different. If you put away your rig with a dirty motor, the dirt can start to cake on and its performance may suffer the very next time you use it. Built up crud on a motor will often cause it to overheat and reduce the life of the motor.
What to do? Grab yourself a stiff bristle paint brush or even an air compressor if available and brush or blow off the motor if it has dirt on it. A clean motor that can breath will deliver the power you need and just generally last longer.
JUST A LITTLE OIL
Pretty much every ready to run brushed motor uses a bushing on each end for the motor shaft to spin on. This bushing is specifically called an oilite bushing; the key word to pull out of that is “oil.” The bushing needs lubrication and that comes in the form of oil. Always keep small bottle of bushing oil handy to place a drop on each bushing. This will allow the shaft to spin smooth in the bushings and reduce long term wear. Yes, the oil will collect dirt, so after you’ve let the drop seep in between the bushing and shaft, use a paper towel to get rid of any excess oil so it doesn’t collect dirt.
Suggested Motor Bushing Oil- Dynamite Precision Oiler: Light (DYNE0102)
A GOOD OLD FASHION CLEANING
Every once in a while your motor will need a good old fashion thorough cleaning. This starts by removing the motor from your rig and cleaning it with motor spray. When you’ve pulled the motor, put on some protective gloves and in a well ventilated area, preferably outside, spray out your motor over a trash can. Spray the motor spray in both ends and keep spraying until the liquid dripping from the motor is clear (it’s a good idea to have a white paper towel in the trash to see the difference between the dirty spray and clean spray.) Once the motor has been cleaned out, you’ll need to oil those bushings again. Follow the steps above.
Suggested Motor Spray- Dynamite Magnum Force 2 Motor Spray (DYN5500)
When reinstalling the motor back in your truck, it’s a good time to check your electrical connections. Are the bullet plugs nice and tight? If they are loose, you can use a pair of needle-nose pliers to compress the female plug just a little bit for a tighter connection. You should also check for frayed wires near the solder connections. Frayed wire will result in a loss of power or even worse continue to break off during a trail run and possibly even break off completely. If a wire is frayed, cut off the old section, strip away the insulation on the wire and resolder the connection.
IS YOUR MOTOR SHOT
Your motor will reach a point in its life where it has just worn out completely or may have been stressed to the point it has burnt out. Here are a few signs to look for if you think your motor needs to be replaced. Loss of power- If your truck has lost power, can’t climb like it used to, the internal brushes or commutator may be worn. Bad odor- Does your motor have a heavy electronic burning smell to it? Overheated or worn out motors can burn out and emit a pungent odor but may still turn with little to no power. Shaft Wobble- Does the motor shaft move side to side? A little bit of in and out movement is ok, but side to side generally means the bushings have worn out. If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s probably time to grab yourself a new motor.
MAINTAIN YOUR INVESTMENT
Simple brushed motors like the kind found in your ready to run Axial truck are among the most affordable, but even still Axial would rather see you on the trails having fun then contemplating motor swaps or upgrades because of a poor maintenance routine. Take the time to maintain your investment and it will provide you with a long life of fun off-road runs. There’s no such thing as over maintaining your rig. Do it as often as you can.