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View Full Version : Cleaning brushless motors......


Cbman
06-17-2008, 03:11 PM
Is there anything out on the market for cleaning out motors? One place I fly at is really dusty.....I'm afraid that it will eventually destroy my motor bearings.

MisterNoob
06-17-2008, 04:59 PM
Run the motor in a cup of water.

Dorsal
06-17-2008, 06:53 PM
Run the motor in a cup of kerosene. No brushes = no sparks, kerosene is a light lubricant.

Or just leave the motor alone and fly the d!@#$@ thing. The greatest threat to your motor is the loose nut holding the transmitter. (you)

Cbman
06-17-2008, 10:20 PM
Wow........these all sound like " I don't know, but this is what I'd do" answers.

rea59
06-17-2008, 10:57 PM
Trichlorotrifluoroethane or as some call it "contact cleaner" Check with Radio shack for "electrical contact cleaner" they have some less hazardous ones available.

birdDog
06-17-2008, 11:16 PM
May want to lightly oil the bearings after the contact cleaner.

rea59
06-17-2008, 11:22 PM
May want to lightly oil the bearings after the contact cleaner.

True! but that bearing will run a whole lot faster without the lube:tc:......for a short time.:sad:....whoops:red:.....yes better re-oil the bearings.;-)

Moxus
06-18-2008, 04:39 AM
First off, is it an outrunner or an inrunner?
If its an outrunenr its really easy. Its usually just to unlonck a "CG" ring on the axle (sorry, i dont know the english word for it. In norway we call it CG at least).
This ring locks the stators (centre) and the bell (spinning) parts together. Once they are disassembled, its just pretty straight forward with cleaning. use a cotton piece at the end of a screwdriver or a toothbrush, to get into the tricky corners.
Inrunners usually needs you to unscrew some screws that holds the back/front of both covers in place. Once these are loose, you can simply drag the engine apart, and clean it the same way with toothbrush and cotton/screwdriver.
There is probably many remedies for cleaning agents, each one better suited than another for what kind of dirt your engine is full of.
Plain soap and water will do for most dirt i think.

If you know you are going to fly alot in the future, with dirty conditions you could consider a closed engine. Mine, a hacker b40 (inrunner) is totally enclosed and no crap would get into it. Cleaning it only on the outside makes things so much easier :)

GreenAce92
06-18-2008, 05:54 AM
Run the motor in a cup of kerosene. No brushes = no sparks, kerosene is a light lubricant

wow isnt that like a fuel used in rockets? liquid oxygen mixed with kerosene? or is it something else? lol

Moxus
06-20-2008, 02:29 AM
wow isnt that like a fuel used in rockets? liquid oxygen mixed with kerosene? or is it something else? lol

Amongst other things, yes it was used for the booster stage in Saturn rockets, Fueling 5x Rocketdyne F-1 engines. Otherwise known as the most powerful liquid fuel rocket engine ever made.
But thats besides the point, kerosene is a hydrocarbon like petrol and diesel, and kerosene is between diesel and petrol both in energy content, volatility and hydrocarbon chain length.

In other words, its a pretty common fuel that is less dangerous than straight gasoline. But i wouldn't recommend running a motor in it. Sparks from faulty windongs, couplings, wires, etc. might set it alight in your hands and that will be an unpleasant experience.
I know certain car manufacturers actually put their OPEN gas pump engines inside petrol tanks, lubricating the entire motor in gas, successfully. But thats a different story. The fact that hydrocarbons is toxic, and also smells quite mad is also reason enough for not using it as cleaning agent for delicate parts. Plain soap isn't that bad for cleaning anyway. Our electrical motors isn't THAT dirty.

GreenAce92
06-20-2008, 03:25 AM
Wd-40!!!!

wingspann
06-20-2008, 01:52 PM
I lawn-darted one of my motors 3" deep in fine sand. Packed it full of sand and grass, and some of the sand got into the bearings. Simple solution? Replace the sandy bearings. $3 a set at BP for my motor, or about the same price at http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=bearings&Category_Code=MBB if you're running some other brand of motor. Compressed air will remove most of the loose dust inside the motor housing.

John

Moxus
06-20-2008, 04:22 PM
Wd-40!!!!

Wd-40 is a lubricant, wich means it will leave greasy residues that will collect even more dust and dirt.
Whats wrong with plain soap or proper cleaning agents?
Why do you americans come up with everything from lube to fuel, for cleaning?
What do you use to clean your dishes with over there?
No, i will stop there. I think that could set off a disturbing chain of thoughts.
Just use a freakin plain cleaning agent.... how hard could it be :P

Dorsal
06-21-2008, 12:29 AM
Why do foreigners think a brushless electric motor is no different than your pots and pans in the dishsoap?
Or that kerosene is more dangerous as a cleaning agent than it is when it's in a kerosene lantern?
It's just a little common sense .... how difficult can that be?

I really think the biggest difference between Americans and the rest of the world is that we are not ashamed that others know in which country we live.

Moxus
06-21-2008, 02:02 AM
Oh come on, thats a strike below the belt.
The point here is that kerosene or lubricant just isn't made for cleaning, no matter how flammable, toxic or hazardous in any other way.
The point is that it just isn't made for cleaning! And exept from washing oil pans in cars, diesel and kerosene just suck at cleaners. It is really that plain and simple!
Just buy a damn circuitbord cleaner, its made for the purpose its way more effective than either Wd-40 or kerosene, and it's way less stinky and toxic than kerosene! It doesn't leave nasty residues either!
Why is cleaners invented, we do have kerosene? don't we?
There is a reason for it.

And the fact that kerosene is highly flammable should be seen as a reason to try to limit the usage of it, rather than trying to find as many usages as absolutely possible "because it works in the lamp, its safe there....". And i don't relly think it is that safe in a kerosene lamp either.
It wouldnt be the first time it happened, if you stumbled over one, falling down, spilling all it's fuel and setting it alight.

GreenAce92
06-21-2008, 02:22 AM
where do you get kerosene from anyways?
gas station? lol

Moxus
06-21-2008, 03:28 AM
Some gas stations has it at the pump, it's also sold as lamp oil. as lamp oil, most gas stations has it. It's also sold as aircraft fuel (jet a1 being the most common). Smaller airports will usually give you a can or two happily at a nice price. Just tell them you are a modeller and want some proper fuels to your R/C turbine plane. Usually they smile, and ask curiously about your hobby, as you go along to fill your cans :) I havent tried larger airports, but i suspect bureaucracy and busy personell will be more of a challenge there.
Some places it's sold as an additive to, or already mixed in, diesel fuel, to avoid it from misbehaving when its really cold.

Dorsal
06-21-2008, 03:32 AM
After you get done washing that motor in the kitchen sink, the bearings and the rest of the STEEL parts in it are going to start rusting. If you effectively use that can of contact cleaner, there will be no oils remaining, so again everything is going to start rusting. What to do? What to do?
I know, spray it with some light machine oil to lubricate the bearings and stop the rust! Man-o-man, if you had just used a light machine oil to clean the motor, you could have saved all those extra steps!
What to use? What to use?


As an aside, a very old friend of my family had a 1947 Ford pickup truck with over 300,000 miles on it, and he had never needed to rebuild the engine. That's because he would drain the oil, install a fresh oil filter, pour in a gallon of kerosene, start and run the engine at an idle for 5 minutes, drain the kerosene and install another fresh oil filter, then install the recommended quantity of good quality oil. I know this because I worked for him and changed the oil on that truck, twice.
Now, my expert opinion friends, if kerosene were as dangerous as you thought, why did this process work so well, without ever causing any catastrophe or damaging the bearings? Are you incapable of learning something new?

You buy kerosene at the hardware store.

Moxus
06-21-2008, 09:08 AM
The bearings is stainless and the eninge is light metal alloy, more often than not. Usually the bearings is sealed too, so you don't even need to worry about lubricating them after a wash.
And if the bearing was to be open, you would have to relubricate them anyway, even if you used kerosene or not.
If there is any cleaning job at all that kerosene is good at, it's removing oils.
Thats precicely why they use it to wash engines internal parts.
So as for the point of relubrication after wash, its just rubbish.
If the bearings is open, you have to relubricate them anyway, also with kerosene. Or should i say ESPECIALLY with kerosene. oil repels water, but not kerosene, so you would have to be extra careful ro relubricate if you wash with kerosene, rather than water and soap for example.

"And hey, lets all find new stupid uses for kerosene, it's flammable, stinky, toxic and cheap, so lets use it just for the sake of using it! It doesn't matter if there is products out there much better suited for the task, i want to use kerosene just because it's kerosene!"
And as for that engine story, it sounds more like an old fishermans tale.
And even if it was true, I think that the kerosene had no effect whatsoever on the engines life. 300 000 miles is no age at all for a for a car engine. Cars that get scrapped before 300 000 is usually scrapped for other reasons than engine problems.

If you want to use kerosene just because you like the odor of it, just do it. I couldn't care less. Im just answering to a question, where someone asked what to use for cleaning a modellers engine. And I'm not really interested in arguing about what kind of a magical fluid kerosene really is. Everybody has to reinvent the wheel, nobody can just take established knowledge for what it's worth. I think that was what you are doing here. You are reinventing kersoene as a cleaner, even though it's really crap at any cleaning job but oil pans and really oily engine bays.

wingspann
06-21-2008, 02:21 PM
OK, children, let's stop this horseplay before someone gets an elbow in the eye. We need to be about helping folks, not fighting with each other.

The "sealed" bearings in our motors will keep the big lumps out, but fine sand and liquids will find their way past the seals. Some bearings are stainless, some are not. That's why I recommended compressed air to remove the dirt without diluting/removing the grease in the bearings. When (not if) the bearings get grit inside, just replace the bearings. They're cheap, available, and it takes all of 10 minutes to do with simple hand tools.

John

Lancifer
06-21-2008, 03:30 PM
After you get done washing that motor in the kitchen sink, the bearings and the rest of the STEEL parts in it are going to start rusting. If you effectively use that can of contact cleaner, there will be no oils remaining, so again everything is going to start rusting. What to do? What to do?
I know, spray it with some light machine oil to lubricate the bearings and stop the rust! Man-o-man, if you had just used a light machine oil to clean the motor, you could have saved all those extra steps!
What to use? What to use?


As an aside, a very old friend of my family had a 1947 Ford pickup truck with over 300,000 miles on it, and he had never needed to rebuild the engine. That's because he would drain the oil, install a fresh oil filter, pour in a gallon of kerosene, start and run the engine at an idle for 5 minutes, drain the kerosene and install another fresh oil filter, then install the recommended quantity of good quality oil. I know this because I worked for him and changed the oil on that truck, twice.
Now, my expert opinion friends, if kerosene were as dangerous as you thought, why did this process work so well, without ever causing any
catastrophe or damaging the bearings? Are you incapable of learning something new?

You buy kerosene at the hardware store.

You guys are funny when you guys are disagreeing against each other. As being a newbie i would agree with lubing the motor like this fellow is telling you. Everybody has their own opinion so what works for you , works for you and what works for others, works for others so really this will be a bicker war back and forth but any how its quite amusing so really keep it going...LOL. Have a great day guys!!!:D:D:D

Jarsalla
06-23-2008, 07:42 PM
I've been doing ozone treatment (for electric components) to my motors.

cjg
06-25-2008, 11:33 PM
Brushed R/C motors are used using a spray available at hobby stores (motor cleaner). I would think it would work fine for brushless. After drying relube the bearings with a very light oil.

WD40 is a solvent and will ruin plastic and rubber parts over time. It also leaves a residue. Many oils will also soften plastics, so use a plastic safe oil, available at hobby stores. (I've been told that Mobil synthetic motor oil works, but have never tried it and can't vouch for if it is plastic safe.)

jobu
06-29-2008, 07:17 AM
That's a funny thread right thar...ah yep!

stevecooper
06-29-2008, 08:24 AM
Over-do'in Bub's::I've never "cleaned" a outie and never felt the need to, Got 100-300 flights on each of the dozen + outies I got and Outside of wipe'in um off when the cowls are off there fine, so whats the hoop-la about?? ,bub steve