View Full Version : motor breaking in???

Kiwi Racer
04-20-2003, 03:36 AM
Hey monty,

How long and at what volts should i be breaking in, 16ds, super 16ds, grp 12, grp 15, open motors? Or is it the same break in time for each class of motor?

Also what amps should each of these motors be drawing out of water?


05-16-2003, 03:00 PM
no body likes u keiran:D

05-16-2003, 10:34 PM
chill a bit. Kieran seemed to be a good enough fellow when he was here for a short stay in California.

Kieran, I go about 45 seconds at 3-4 volts for all motors. Typical current draws immediately after drying the motor are summarized below. Most of the variance can be traced to timing differences.

16d - 2 - 5 amps
S16d- 3 - 6 "
Gr12- 4 - 7 "
Gr15- 3 - 6 "
Opens- 4 - 9 " well, opens do vary a lot by windings...

05-16-2003, 11:15 PM
i'm chillin:D and yes, keiran is a good fellow:p

05-18-2003, 08:01 PM
45 seconds or minutes??

05-19-2003, 01:58 AM
He's breaking them in under water Joe. :rolleyes:


Mike Wyatt
05-19-2003, 10:05 AM
Should a Contender, Super Wasp etc. draw similar to the S16D?

Also- this draw is back in the air, and oiled, am I right?

I also run them (after the water), in isopropyl alcohol to dry out the water- is there anything wrong with that (as long as I don't burn off what little hair I have left)?

05-19-2003, 10:14 AM
;) There was a big thread and I think it was in Monty's area ....about a year ago and it will answer all you questions and some you don't want answered too!
Good luck,

05-19-2003, 11:53 AM
:( I couldn't find it so here goes...
Radius the brushes so the break in time is shorter. I don't even oil the bushings. With GOLD DUST brushes, I run the motor at 3V. for 45 seconds in water. Check the brushes for full contact. If needed, run another 20 seconds. If using PARMA brushes, run 10-15 seconds ONLY in water. If you run them longer you will use them up. If all looks good, spray with PURE to clean everything, reassemble, oil bushings, put 2-3 drops naptha on the com and run again at 3V for 30 seconds and go racing.
Not using a tool to radius the brushes will extend the time in the water and wear the com more before full contact. Don't worry about oiling cause oil in the water makes a mess and the short time in the water won't hurt anything.
I did same day back to back testing, truing the com both times, using the same brushes, same car, dry VS water breakin and it was worth a tenth on a 144 ft. hillclimb. It also lasted longer before needing a rebuild.(slowing)
I thank Monty at B O W for talking me into trying water.He DA MAN on motors...As for amp draw, the higher the timing, the more the draw. Thats the main differance in draw!Try a rotor in both extremes and you will see!
Did I leave anything out?
:cool: :cool:

05-19-2003, 12:14 PM
Guys, Phil is right on in every respect. The only difference I see is that I use compressed air to remove the water, but the bit of Naptha afterwards probably displaces any that might remain.

I've become faily convinced over the last two years that most of my customers who complain that the motors run faster when I rebuild them as opposed to when they do it, are simply not following the procedure, or are messing it up by breaking the motors in THEIR way, after I've already done it!

This applies to B.O.W. motors new in the package too, racers. Just run them. We do a water breakin of every motor we build or rebuild here, every time, no fail.

The next time y'all go to a big race and hear motors whining away on power supplies for many minutes on end, you can do as I do: laugh quietly to yourself, and know that the extra tenth Phil just mentioned is reserved for the other guys who did it right.

05-19-2003, 10:21 PM
Monty,some of the motors you here whinning are run at 3 volts to clean the coms,works great.

Bill from NH
05-22-2003, 05:33 PM
Monty, would you also use the water break-in with Falcons, Cheetahs and other non-rebuildable motors?

05-22-2003, 07:48 PM
Yes. Any motor, any application.

05-24-2003, 05:42 PM

I radius my brushes. Second, I clean them in order to let no dust. I would like to know what will the water do of additional???

Thanks, K.

05-27-2003, 12:33 PM
There isn't much you can do to get a "dog" armature to run fast, but there are "Many Ways To Prevent A Decent or Fast Armature From Running At It's Potential".

Assuming that you haven't made any errors in setting up the clearances, bearings, hood alignments and etc. There is probably NO MORE IMPORTANT FACTOR than getting good contact through the comm.

You'll use a set of jumper cables and a 30 amp micro switch at the panel. You need to get just as aggresive on your commutator.

A water break-in allows the motor to:

1 Remain cool during the break-in.
2. PREVENT 90% of the arcing which occurs during the time the brush is wearing to the circumfrence of the comm.
3. Carries away the particules of brush dust to prevent larger particles from scratching your newly cut comm.
4. Does NOT provide lubrication, like naptha does, which significantly slows down the brush breakin process.

Don't get me wrong, I always follow the water breakin with a naptha run for about 5-8 minutes. You could skip the water step and go directly to naptha but the break-in time would be 'significantly' longer. In order to keep your naptha from becoming water poluted, get as much of the water out of the setup before the naptha. 2 Volts is more than enough for this step. And of course NEVER APPLY OR REMOVE POWER FROM THE MOTOR UNLESS IT IS TOTALLY SUBMERGED. ADDING A SPARK TO LIGHTER FLUID PRODUCES A LIGHTER, AND SPLASHING THE FLUID AROUND YOUR WORK BENCH PRODUCES LARGE PRETTY FLAMES AND EMERGENCY ROOM COSTS.

One of the fastest G12 motor builders(no, sorry, I'm not talking about Monty in this particular case) goes to great lengths to analyze the brush tracks on his motors. Do you think that little .10 inch contact patch is very important, your damn straight it is!

Proper brush break-in can insure that a good armature gets the best chance to show it's potential (SPEED).

05-28-2003, 05:22 AM
Monty, will this also work with sealed 16d's? What can I do to get them to run at their peak?

06-02-2003, 07:53 AM
How exactly does water break-in prevent 90% of the arcing?
I assumed the water break-in creates a mini-EDM effect with the comm and the brushes. Otherwise how does the brush get fully broken-in in 45 seconds?

06-02-2003, 11:11 AM
Are you truly asking me what the physics involved are? I thought you were the engineer. I was simply relating what has been a very sucessful step in my GP12 motor program.

If you have something knowledgeable and insightful to say here, PLEASE DO. There are very few more respected (current) motor builders than yourself.

When trying to whip Open-motor performance levels out of an over the counter box stock motor to set that next 2.xx qualifying time and regular 2.xx race laps, JUST WHAT PRO ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR US. WHAT SPECIFIC TRICKS DO YOU WANT TO SHARE ON TRYING TO SHAVE A FEW TENTHS OFF.

I'm not busting yor nuts here, but this ask Monty forum is for people trying to gain a few insightful tips on building the next "Jim Swofford Level" killer GP12

What are YOUR THOUGHTS on the importance of proper breakin for group level motors????? Is it important to establish a track on the comm without scratches and carbon deposits?

06-02-2003, 11:28 AM

If it weren't for cavitation (more in a minute), there would be no arcing at all in a liquid medium. Zammy's estimate of a 90 % reduction is probably conservative. All you really need to do is take a magnifier to the comm after a water breakin, but before the finishing touch of naptha. You will only see more clean copper than you ever thought possible in a comm track.

Actually looking at the motor, in a clear tumbler while revving underwater, you will see a few small sparks (far less than normal running on a power supply in open air) which can only be occurring in air or a vacuum space. The visible arc, remember, consists of air or brush/comm materials heated past the vapor state of matter to the plasma state. In a plasma state, molecules are coming apart (electrons being stripped from the nuclei) to form an ionized, and therefore conductive (albeit rarefied) mass. Mura's motor pioneer, Bob Green, many times assured me that the plasma state existing between the brush and the comm was in fact the greatest explanation of a brushes lubricity, and furthur stated that it was therefore close to impossible to have too much spring tension.

The act of forming vacuum spaces in a liquid medium is called cavitation, which should be familiar as the active force in ultrasonic cleaning processes. The brush wears extremely fast in this environment, thus the short time required to fully adjust to the comm diameter. At the same time, deposits, whether from the brushes or made from vaporized comm material, simply don't stick and are flushed away. The brushes, while now perfectly shaped, still need that revving in naptha to form the protective and lubricious glazed surface we all recognize as a fully broken in surface.

Mike, have you actually TRIED doing a motor this way? I sense this unspoken aversion to the idea (although I hope I'm wrong) but really, there is no risk at all except for the time taken to freshen up ONE motor. Do it, and tell us YOUR observations, which I'm sure will be honest but valuable to most of the readers here who most certainly do regard you as an authority on the subject of slotcar motors. Me too!

06-02-2003, 11:47 AM
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with water break-in.
I think Marty M. has started doing it that way and his cars are fast(but then again,he always has been)
I did a G27 that way once when in a hurry and the motor ran fine
(No better or no worse than normal)
I was just curious about the 90% less arcing theory.I assumed everything that was happening in normal break-in was happening in the water one,just happening in a condensed time frame.
Is that theory yours or Monty's? If it is Monty's ,maybe he can explain and convert me.

06-02-2003, 12:02 PM

Our posts (yours, mine, and Zam's) went up there in rapid succession. I think I answered the question as I understand things work. Any furthur comments?

06-02-2003, 12:38 PM
The next time I build 2 similar RTR motors, I'll break them in the two different ways and look at them other a microscope.

P.S. The time I did it ,I didn't "shoot the comm in naptha" and the motor ran fine.
P.S.S. You really can't get an A/B comparison with the same arm/set-up if a comm true is involved in between. A smaller comm makes the motor a slightly different animal.Throw in something like an SRT timer in the practice mode and you're just guessing which is better.

06-02-2003, 01:36 PM
Does this mean you are squirting naptha on the comm of the motor as it runs? If so, how many volts?

Trying to take all this in,

06-02-2003, 10:40 PM

We said NOTHING about squirting lighter fluid on the comm of a running motor. I have seen at least 2 people "catch fire" doing this to motors between heats during my 34 or so years slots racing, and I'm sure there have been a lot more that I haven't seen.

No, what I was talking about was a second cycle of breakin done SUBMERGED in a jar of naptha for a much longer period than the water cycle. 5-12 minutes. Naptha has a considerable amount of lubrication. The brushes, which were quickly shaped to the diameter of the comm in the water step, will now slowly begin to create a track around comm. The quality and smoothness of this 'track' can make a big difference in the amount of current that is able to pass through to the winds. (Also if you happen to be doing this in a region or class C12 that allows ball bearings, the naptha will effectively remove the water fron the bearings and additionally wash out the brush dust from under the hoods during this final breakin)

Now let me say that all this "voodoo" science will not make a dog into a stump pulling screamer. You could slap together any combination of pieces over the counter and without any breakin at all set fast time, new track record and win the race, It happens all the time. With some setups and arms you can seemingly do no harm.

Try to do this week after week and year after year through a myriad of arms and setups and magnets and you begin to notice that there are ways to MINIMIZE/EQUALIZE the differences between rebuilds (or batches in the motor builder world ). Other than putting all the best available parts together CORRECTLY there isn't much else you can do other than buying hundreds of arms and trowing away the ones that aren't screaming yellow zonkers. Somehow, a very low percentage, if any of the really good arms manages to see the store shelves.

Unfortunately, most of us racers cann't afford to throw away 9 of every 10 arms and motor builders have to use most all the parts they get or they couldn't afford to continue building for such reasonable prices.

What we CAN share with you are some 'tricks' to see that EVERY rebuild you do produces the MAXIMUM performance you can get without buying something else. And to tell you about some things that we have fould that can help produce more consistant results.

06-03-2003, 06:37 AM
Ok. I've only started using water for break-in. I guess I'll buy a can of naptha and give that a try as well. The only thing I've tried squirting in a motor has been PURE, but I seldom do that. I need to spend more time on motor maintenance. Since some think contact cleaner isn't good for electric motors what would you suggest for cleaning motors after a race? I run mostly sealed 16D's at this time.


06-03-2003, 10:06 AM
Pure, Trinity and most other RC car motor cleaner sprays work fine for "rinsing out" motors after use. I use Performance Plus 3 by TA Emerald Industries. I rebuild each motor after every run and just use this to spray rinse the can and endbell. All of the above mentioned cleaners are preferable to contact cleaners and other solvents that can damage or attack plastics.

If your using sprays on a motor that will be run again (before rebuild) then spend the first 10% of your spray time rinsing out the can, then 80% cleaning in and around the brush hoods, with the final 10% rinsining out the overall motor.

One of the most common problems with using motor sprays is that the brush dust becomes like MUD. It can pack in around the brushes in the hoods. When the motor is used, the heat bakes this mud pack around the brushes causing them to freeze in position. When the brushes don't move or are dragging along the mud baked hoods performance goes to crap.

Dan P
06-03-2003, 10:22 AM
I use the water break in method exactly as Monty describes, but, I think the effect is pretty temporary. After a couple of heats, there's very little difference from a motor that was broken in dry.

The most imortant thing, in my humble opinion, is getting the brush hoods centered perfectly. I never trust my alignment tool the first time. I always check the brushes for a perfect arc, re-align, and check again. When the hoods are PERFECT, the motor seems to run faster, and much cooler.

The other thing is honing - (from another thread, sorry!:) )
I know it's illegal in most classes, but it's the best way to get a PERFECT air gap on both sides of the arm. (Once again, can alignment tools can be deceiving). Yes, it probably weakens the mags a little and throws off the match, but I think getting a perfect bore for that bullet arm to spin in is the second most important thing.

Third most important thing, absolutelt NO sideways slop in the bushings. Worn bushings throw everything off.

Just a couple of personal observations, your mileage may vary!:)

06-03-2003, 10:46 AM
When I rebuild motors, I spray the endbells also.After all cleaning is done, I grab an old eye lash brush-----NOT MINE----shoot cleaner on the brush as I'm doing the brush hoods! Even tho the hoods look clean.....most times the brush comes back dirty.
Mike S.
When I did the back to back tests, I turned the comms with a diamond tip. On both I used a marker as a lube. Being I was not in a hurry money wise, I always take as small a cut as I can. The difference in diameter was less than .002 on a digital calaper between the two cuts. How much timing change.... I think would be neglegnable(sp) After the water job and drying, I did use naptha as a final on the comm. I put a squirt on the comm before using very low power to prevent any problems. With a magnifier, you can see a differance between no naptha and a squirt.

06-03-2003, 11:31 AM
A brush will wrap more around the .002 smaller comm. The motor will draw
a tad more amps and should be a tad faster.The smaller comm also is lighter
and has a little less friction. Did you do your tests on a track with a SRT?
If so, the times are pointless in the practice mode.
Since our track's accurate Cesium/Zeppelin died and he went to a SRT, I bought a seperate BSRT timer. That's the only way to know for sure if one combo/method is better than the other.

06-03-2003, 04:48 PM
After a few heats of course there should be no difference. The point is, how can I do a complete build, breakin, and test and REBUILD if necessary in the shortest period of time and produce the most consistant result. The water/naptha bath methods allow me to build and test a motor in 20 minutes or so and almost always know whether or not to start over again. Why would you need to start over over again if you did it correctly the first time???? The quality and consistantancy of those $3.00 motor brushes really sucks. There are builders out there that will run a "good set" of motor brushes till there gone.

The whole point of this thread is about getting smooth current flow through to the winds. Good breakin procedures just help you get there. Re-turtle a couple of times if necessary to get to a part of the brush that does not scratch or cause arcing. Insufficient current draw on the supply is usually always caused by bad brush contact. Don't be afraid to throw away brushes that just can't seem to breakin properly.

I do admit to doing an occasional squirt, but I always do it with a thought to exact what would I use to put this fire out right now.

I'm not sure where you got off on the tangent about SRT timers. I think we were discussing how to get the fastest and most consistant and productive building sessions. I never said it showed the potential for making the motors any faster. Simply achieving a basic, repeatable methodology can sometimes make a world of difference when you show up at the trackto race, or hand out your handywork to buyers and users.

06-03-2003, 07:42 PM
.... on one point in particular. When I mention finishing with Naptha, I DO mean a few short squirts on the comm while the motor is running, usually at least at 4 volts and briefly, up to 6 volts, where I then take note of the current draw. This procedure takes me no more than 30 seconds or so. I do use a fine tip spray nozzle backed by 100 PSI of air to remove most all water before putting the motor back on the supply and adding the Naptha.

The motor DOES NOT ignite, provided it is already revving along, and the amount of naptha is indeed a small squirt applied directly to the comm. I have also oiled the bushings by then. I definitely HAVE seen flaming cars, and that happens when a racer soaks the motor in lighter fuel or motor spray between heats, and does not let the fumes dissipate before setting the car back on the track. Ignition occurs as the car starts up!!

I used to use the Naptha as a bath, as Zammy relates, and did not have a problem. HOWEVER, I was warned, by a racer (a small manufacturer, in fact!) who was wearing a bandage on his wounded hand, that dangers did exist. Turns out he had removed his motor from the naptha while it was still hooked to the power supply and running. The concentrated fumes above the jar of naptha had ignited. Shoot, I don't even leave the motor running as I take it from the water! So, for now, my reccommended procedure is as stated, with no concentrated source of naptha present. I want all my readers to have a safe time pursuing their hobby!!

06-04-2003, 07:21 AM
I was addressing phlirv. He was the one who mentioned doing back to back tests and touting water break-in for extra speed.(See his post right before my last one and one much earlier in the thread citing the .1 improvement)

06-04-2003, 02:41 PM
apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, is Naptha and Ronson lighter fuel one and the same thing? Cannot find a source anywhere to buy Naptha in the UK any suggestions?

06-04-2003, 04:00 PM

Ronson lighter fluid is a kind of naphtha.

There is a long thread about naphtha, benzene and lighter fluid here: http://www.slotcartalk.com/slotcartalk/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4451

06-12-2003, 03:56 PM
As promised, I built some RTR motors and compared breaking them in "conventionally" in air for a 1/2 hour vs. water for 45 seconds.
In water when finished the brush track was indeed clean of graphite dust.
(Until the naptha wash and a few seconds of running with no liquid bath)
I did 3 each way alternating the break-in process. Obseving them under
a microscope, of the three with the water break-in, two had a little MORE
arcing at the comm slot and one had quite a bit MORE arcing than the other three non/water motors.This was observed before and after the naptha bath.
The bath and subsequent visible brush track made it easier to see the additional arcing akin to highlighting the molded in window lines on a slot car body with a Sharpee.
F.Y.I. I just finished breaking in a seventh motor mechanically, chucking
the shaft in one of our high speed drill presses and spinning the arm while the endbell was held stationary.There was no arcing at the slots, just the
spirals of the comm cut being graphite shaded.
P.S. You never addressed why you stress the importance of matched magnets when the steel back brace increases the gauss of the back of the motor?

Ricardo PAROLU
06-12-2003, 07:41 PM
After it... How is the better choice for breakin? :rolleyes: :confused: :D

06-12-2003, 10:04 PM
Ricardo, I'm with you. I'm not quite sure what the results of Mike's test was. It sounded like he said that there was more arcing with the water method although I think he was talking about how the comm looked after the motor had been run after the water bath. It doesn't actually look like he tested the 8-12 minute naptha bath after the water bath. The "breakin" of the seventh motor without any power being applied I don't think has any validity since an initial brush "burn-in" has not occured on the comm.

Actually, no matter what method you use, what we are doing is meant to get the motor to it's maximum performance level in the shortest period of time. By doing a proper breakin, you can usually judge before you get to the track, just how good a motor MIGHT be. There are no guarantees, just fewer disaapointments.

11-13-2003, 12:15 PM
top top

12-16-2003, 10:35 AM
re-top. I do this because the #1 topic at our track seems to be motor break-in. If that's the hot topic at our track, it must be at a lot of other tracks as well, so why open a new thread on the same topic ?

12-17-2003, 08:45 PM
A little off the topic, (ok, maybe a lot), but Mike I never quite understood about the SRT system not being accurate. I know the computer is not the most accurate time piece, but how far off is the SRT? I assume the numbers to the left of the decimal are accurate, so how many digits on the right of the decimal point (if any) are accurate?
You lost me when you got the drill press involved in checking the arcing at the com (sort of like the racer who told me he painted a body while it was taped to a spinning fan blade). Did you apply voltage to the arm? Also, instead of metering arms, why can't we put an arm in a setup without magnets, and apply voltage to the arm and use a probe fixed into the can to measure the magnetic field produced by the stacks? Wouldn't that be a better measurement of potential performance than metering?

12-17-2003, 09:32 PM

I've had this discussion with Mike before. At the time we were comparing SRT with the older system Ogilvie was bundling with his tracks ( I forget what it was called, but you saw it in action for years at Vic's Eagle raceway.) Anyway, that system had a penchant for grouping qualifying times at approx. .05 intervals. Mike thought he spotted that trend in SRT as well.

He's partially right. SRT DOES group times on the practice clock, but in my observations, it doesn't do it near as much with the race qualifying clock. The qualifying clock IS almost universally faster than the practice clock, however. All other things being equal (like the voltage) the qualifying clock is about .1 seconds faster than the practice clock or the inter-heat clock.

Now, back on topic, it would be interesting to come up with a test rig as you propose, but it would be lacking in one very important respect: without the armature spinning, and therefore constantly changing polarity, you would not see any effects from inductance, which I believe to be more important than resistance once you're up and running. Track testing is still the only real guage of anything.

12-17-2003, 09:52 PM

Metering an arm CAN BE a far more accurate method of guaging the potential performance. The method you suggest of applying a voltage to the arm and measuring the external field generated has too many exterior variables regarding the transmission of current into the armature and the parameters of the external measurement system.

What most people don't tell you about is exactly HOW they meter and guage the readings. Sure a 2.000 ohm armature SHOULD run better than a similar variety 2.500 ohm armature. But if you think that this somehow directly relates to the final output you are incorrect.

The measuring system you are talking about is already built into many of the meters that are already being used. It's called INDUCTANCE. This is a measurement that takes into consideration not just how much current will follow through the system but much more importantly, the accuracy of the winding process and the abilities of the material and it's shape to produce an magnetic field.

Like everything else the more money you spend on a meter the more features it will have. When testing inductance, a frequency is used to test the inductance. This will give a particular reading for a particular frequency. Our armatures work over a large frequency range, fixed frequency meters will only show you a snapshot for reference at a particular frequency. A variable frequency meter will allow you to simulate and test a range of possibilities. Even with this additional knowledge, the external factors involving your choice of gap, magnet, can, field shape etc. all conspire to prevent a real, repeatable science from being achievable.

But if anybody on the west coast has a handle on the science of g-12 racing it is certainly Jim Swofford and tekt, two of the fastest G12 motor builders. Why do ask????

Happy Holidays

12-18-2003, 12:22 AM
I forgot to mention the arm in the test setup would have to be spun at a measured RPM. The reason I wonder how effective metering an arm is, is because I have had them meter well, and be slow, and I have had them meter poorly, and be fast. I have wondered if when I am metering an arm, that I'm only really testing the resistance of the connection of the wires to the com, which at millivolts wouldn't mean anything in the real world.
I agree that each arm must be raced to be tested, and now I only use the meter to identify direct shorts.

12-18-2003, 01:03 AM
Actually, most arm meters use a fair amount of current, a one amp signal injector, for instance. That allows a millivolt meter in parrallel to read in milliohms directly as a consequence of Ohms law. But, thats been my own experience with metering: too many exceptions, and I'm not about to throw new arms out just because of a meter reading. Dan DeBella once counseled me to ignore the use of a meter, because every one of my customers deserved the ability to hope that their very next purchase was going to be the magic "one".

I've found my share of magic arms, but since I don't know which ones are which when I build motors, they get spread out on a fair basis. Sometimes Chicky gets one and wins the Nats with it. Sometimes John Doe Turkey gets it and turkeys around faster than he ever has before. Both are happy.

01-10-2005, 01:54 PM
Guy's ,
Some VERY good info on this thread! I was just wondering if the "Naptha" would be something good to run and clean your motor with while cleaning and getting ready for the next weeks race? (Pull the motor and run in Naptha just for a good cleaning) I'm racing 4" Nascar "Seal Motors" only and just wondered if this stuff would be good for just cleaning in general, while getting ready for the next race? Thanks for all the good motor break-in info!! I'm spending a TON on the stuff called "PURE" to clean my motors and cars up with after a race! GREAT STICKY!:D

01-10-2005, 01:58 PM
Oh, One more thing. The product called Pure also seems to leave a "FILM" on you motor and cars. This can't be to good!?? Will the Naptha leave a film like this or does it pretty much dry out clear with no film ???


Jesse Wagler
01-10-2005, 04:17 PM
What is this film you are talking about? I have never seen this:confused: I did see a can that was bad though, it took the dye right off the arm!!!:eek:

01-10-2005, 05:14 PM
I'm not really sure what it is, but after clean-up of my cars there's alway's a slight film that I end up cleaning off with a rag????? I've bought many cans and it seems to always be there. Mostly seen on the chassis..What about the Naptha, will that work as a good cleaner?

01-22-2005, 01:11 PM
If you don't think that PURE leaves behind a film, do this: Hold your chassis with the motor. Spray it out, being sure to get some PURE on your fingers. DO NOT wipe off your hands. Set down the motor and chassis and walk around a few minutes. What are you left with? A white FILM on your hand and fingers. The same thing is happening in your motor and chassis that you walked away from minutes before. This film definitely builds up on your comm, chassis and motor. Don't believe this? Hook up the motor to a power supply and see how it runs. Now, squirt out the motor with NAPTHA as Monty suggested above and the motor performance will be as it was before. The spray of Naptha will cause an immediate surge in performance and the motor will slow slightly after the Naptha has evaporated, but the motor will stay faster than before the suirt. If you forget to squirt with Naptha, the film will wear off, eventually, under normal use. But you will lose time, performance and laps during the interim.

Same after a water break-in. I was at an Endurance race once that provided two hand-out motors. I followed many of the procedures above in race-preping the motors, including aligning the hoods externally and water break-in. My mistake: NOT squirting out with Naptha after the water break in. Between switching tracks we changed motors. The new motor was a DOG for most of the first heat. It was then that I realized I had forgotten the squirt with Naptha, hours before. Toward the end of the first heat the motor picked-up and stayed fast for the rest of the Enduro. If only I could have had those laps back that I lost by forgetting to clean out with the Naptha. Ooh well, it was a costly lesson, but one that I won't forget.

Hope this helps someone else. Better that you learn from my mistake than from your own! If there is a way to cost yourself laps from a mistake, I have probably done it!

10-09-2005, 11:00 PM
has anyone ever sprayed butane on there motor?? i thought the ice it leaves behind is pretty neat lol. I think it would be good to maybe like spary your mototr with it befoer a race, so youd get some good torque off the line. I believe the higher the temperatuer the higher your rpms, but the lower the temperature the more torque?

04-14-2006, 09:02 AM
what is naptha ?

M G Brown
04-14-2006, 09:04 AM
Pretty much anything you would want to know is defined in wikipedia... even...

Naphtha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naptha)

For slot racing applications Naphtha can be used interchangably with Coleman Fuel or Lighter Fluid.

BTW- I use CRC automotive electronics (contact) cleaner or Radio Shack TV tuner cleaner for general slot car cleanup. DO NOT spray on a hot motor.

Jeez- sorry I didn't realise this is Monty's thread... sorry.

04-18-2006, 10:35 PM
cool thanx i was just wondering thank you "Mont."

04-19-2006, 01:10 AM
If you want to know a good way to ruin a comm...just spray some of that ice cold motor cleaner on a hot comm!:eek:
I saw my buddy do it, and couldn't figure out why his motors were getting slower all of a sudden? We took 'em apart and found lifted comm segments, caused by thermal shock I believe.

About that white "film" on your hand? I think it's actually just the removal of all the skin oils on your hand, leaving a chalky/dry skin...try washing your hands with laquer thinner or acetone and see...(I used to work in a paint/body shop...saw it many times:D )

I have noticed a film on a flexi chassis after using motor spray, but I thought it was residue flushed out of the motor, not the actual spray...but I don't know for sure.

Maybe spray some on a mirror, or piece of glass?

04-22-2006, 07:03 AM
I am not an engineer, but I do work at a electrical test facility for locomotive DC traction motors and high speed blower units for cooling. One of the factors for judging commutation on the motors is the amount of humidity in the air. The higher humidity the less chance of commutation { excessive arcing } lower humidity more. So water break-in does the following:
1. Reduces commutation during the break-in period
2. Helps cool the comm during break-in
3. Flushes all the carbon dust away from the motor during break-in
4. Speeds up brush seating

I have been racing for 20 years and was not a believer of water break-in until going to work at this job. No we do not use water break-in, but after watching the testing and talking to the test engineers, water break-in is a definate plus. Monte has explained this I am sure, but it doesn't hurt to hear it again.

My motors all go for swim now,
Dan Ebert

05-25-2006, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by zamzickles
There isn't much you can do to get a "dog" armature to run fast, but there are "Many Ways To Prevent A Decent or Fast Armature From Running At It's Potential".

Assuming that you haven't made any errors in setting up the clearances, bearings, hood alignments and etc. There is probably NO MORE IMPORTANT FACTOR than getting good contact through the comm.

You'll use a set of jumper cables and a 30 amp micro switch at the panel. You need to get just as aggresive on your commutator.

A water break-in allows the motor to:

1 Remain cool during the break-in.
2. PREVENT 90% of the arcing which occurs during the time the brush is wearing to the circumfrence of the comm.
3. Carries away the particules of brush dust to prevent larger particles from scratching your newly cut comm.
4. Does NOT provide lubrication, like naptha does, which significantly slows down the brush breakin process.

Don't get me wrong, I always follow the water breakin with a naptha run for about 5-8 minutes. You could skip the water step and go directly to naptha but the break-in time would be 'significantly' longer. In order to keep your naptha from becoming water poluted, get as much of the water out of the setup before the naptha. 2 Volts is more than enough for this step. And of course NEVER APPLY OR REMOVE POWER FROM THE MOTOR UNLESS IT IS TOTALLY SUBMERGED. ADDING A SPARK TO LIGHTER FLUID PRODUCES A LIGHTER, AND SPLASHING THE FLUID AROUND YOUR WORK BENCH PRODUCES LARGE PRETTY FLAMES AND EMERGENCY ROOM COSTS.

One of the fastest G12 motor builders(no, sorry, I'm not talking about Monty in this particular case) goes to great lengths to analyze the brush tracks on his motors. Do you think that little .10 inch contact patch is very important, your damn straight it is!

Proper brush break-in can insure that a good armature gets the best chance to show it's potential (SPEED). I know a better way. I can't say though.

11-01-2006, 03:21 PM
So is this a good idea.

Run the motor in water for 45sec on a drill to get the brushes to seat on the com

then run the motor for 45 sec in water get a final seat.

then dry the motor

then run the motor for 5-10 min in naphta.

how does that sound should that be the best of all the worlds. let me know


Phil I.
11-02-2006, 06:15 PM

Get a brush radious tool, an old empty can and end bell. Make sure the brush hoods are set right, get the STRONGEST springs you can find, make sure they push on the brushes flat...not on one side or the other. Put a big pinion on it to turn the tool in the can. After radious. Build the motor and If the brushes are NOT Parma's, run 45 seconds in water on power. 10-15 seconds in Napha. Dry & check to make sure you have full contact on the brushes. If not, another 15 seconds in naptha. The Parma brushes will go away in 30 to 45 seconds in water....


11-02-2006, 10:16 PM
you can use an old 3/32 tire and tighten onto the pinion.
makes it easy to turn.:)

11-14-2006, 05:05 PM
Hey any of you guys got a picture of a brush hood.
I'm an HO guy with no experience at all in 1/24th.
But we've been testing this idea.
On a slotted barrel car,i've ran it for "6 MIN's" not seconds in a glass of distilled water and only recored a 1 K drop on brush length.
Another guy running sealed up barrels has done the same test,and recorded a drastic drop in brush length in a matter of seconds like you guys have recorded.
So i was curious if a 1/24 brush hood was sealed or not.
Just curious because by this HO test it looks like hydraulic lock causes most of the wear at least in HO

Phil I.
11-15-2006, 03:24 PM

I have had a PARMA set of brushes wear OUT in 45 seconds in water. If you like the Parma. They will break in in as little as 10-15 seconds at a very low speed setting. The GOLD DUST brushes usually take 30-45 seconds. Dry and ALWAYS check for full contact.


09-19-2008, 06:14 PM
Dumb question time :)

To run-in a new motor, do you solder a couple of lengths of wire to the endbell, attach them to your power supply, then immerse the motor completely in water before turning the power supply on to 4 volts?

I can't quite get the "picture" in my head :(

Phil I.
09-19-2008, 08:13 PM
When I do it I just use the alligator clips & dunk them first cause they will throw water. At 3-4 V it won't hurt anything or short anything out. If you are doing PARMA brushes. Run it 10 seconds ONLY and check. If you don't get full contact, another 5 seconds. I used up my first sealed parma brushes in 45 seconds in water. Gold dust & big foot will take 45-90 seconds to get full contact. Always preradious the brushes in a lined up endbell first to center the brushes on the comm. Dry & clean the comm & slots with an electric motor cleaner, oil the bushings & GO....


The Vitter
02-28-2010, 05:50 PM
The BEST water/naptha break-in containers to date that I have found.

No more MESS forever!!! The best $4.79 I have ever spent. I bought two of them .......



They are the perfect size and when done, just screw the cap back on. I bought 'um at my neighbor hood LONGS drugstore which is now called CVC

02-28-2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Dave!!

Welcome back to OWH, its great to see you!

Oh, nice find by the way. I do get tired of taking the occasional dirty water shower. Before anyone asks, yes those are plastic, not glass.

The Vitter
02-28-2010, 09:24 PM
Hi Monty,

Thank you for the welcome my friend! I will contribute anyway I can to OWH!

03-02-2010, 10:48 AM
Those bottles you show are made of plastic and probably should not contain naptha. mayonaise jars or large picle bottles would be a better choice. Perhaps you can find different use forthose jugs. Gus

03-02-2010, 03:13 PM

Naptha is a good degreaser, but is not harmful to most plastics. You can buy naptha, as lighter fluid, in plastic squeeze bottles. The nice thing about Dave's bottles is that its hard to splash the contents.

Phil I.
03-02-2010, 04:37 PM

Beats the heck out of holding your hand over a glass to keep the water from going everywhere :o


The Vitter
03-02-2010, 06:12 PM
Thank you Monty & Phil

Yes, I was also tired of the hand over the Glass/Jar and give your workbench a bath! these little bottles are amde from THICK PETG, I have had one filled with naptha now for over a week now and there has been NO discoloration to the plastic, nor has it become THIN or SOFT. They work GREAT!!

03-02-2010, 07:10 PM
Hey guys,
What voltage are you using to make such a mess? I did one the other night in a plastic cup @5volts and it didnt splash bad at all. However, it was a 16-D maybe that makes a difference?


The Vitter
03-02-2010, 07:37 PM
Hi Vic,
I'm breaking in 12's and Contenders @ 4 volts and they kick up a little bit more of a water then a 16D, Hence the baths. Again Vic and others I'm very sorry about the past few posts.

03-02-2010, 09:39 PM
1 - please stick to the topic.

2 - for the other private stuff, please take it to private message or private email.

3 - the PM system has an ignore feature, and a delete button.

4 - kinda hard for me to delete posts, when half the post is on topic, & the other half is sandbox squabbles.... but I have an edit button, and I'm not afraid to use it.

5 - perhaps I didn't delete them yet, because I read elsewhere that Gary G has been getting bored lately :p ( and also cuz it's Monty's forum...)

6 - hey, we're all a bunch of overgrown kids who still play with toy cars... in the words of Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?"


BTW - Nice jugs, vitter! ;)

03-02-2010, 10:44 PM
Sorry Mom!! This is a bit embarrassing....

I actually dare to go to my shop and get some useful work done, and the children start messing up the playground. Hey, I gots buttons too!!

Gus, Vitter has a phone and its obvious you let something get out of hand that should have been settled some time ago, or at the very least NOT IN MY FORUM! You guys are so close to each other you probably COULD stretch a string between two cans.

Dave, I know you don't back off an arguement easily, but play by the rules here and you'll find the moderators are actually pretty even handed, anywhere in these forums. You don't need to escalate 'cuz blindsiding WILL be dealt with.

Take a deep breath, and again welcome back to the best Slotracing BB going!

The Vitter
03-03-2010, 09:54 AM
...... Again Paul & Monty and others

I'm sorry for getting off topic here, then again I'm not. As you very well know Monty it takes TWO. To the loyal readers of OWH I will try my hardest to play by the rules! But sometimes.....


03-03-2010, 10:16 AM
No problem Dave,
Sometimes things can get a little heated here, we all need to blow off steam once and a while. Paul + Monty usually dont butt in as long as it stays somewhat civil and is posted in the proper place. Sometimes it can be hard to bite your lip and stay on topic. Trust me,, we've all been there !!!


Darrell B
05-16-2010, 12:45 PM
how do you do a water breakin in H2o ?
I have had a PARMA set of brushes wear OUT in 45 seconds in water. If you like the Parma. They will break in in as little as 10-15 seconds at a very low speed setting. The GOLD DUST brushes usually take 30-45 seconds. Dry and ALWAYS check for full contact.


05-16-2010, 03:08 PM
how do you do a water breakin in H2o ?
I have had a PARMA set of brushes wear OUT in 45 seconds in water. If you like the Parma. They will break in in as little as 10-15 seconds at a very low speed setting. The GOLD DUST brushes usually take 30-45 seconds. Dry and ALWAYS check for full contact.


Not to be rude, but did you read this thred? lol What type of brushes are you using? It makes a huge difference. If you use GoldDust or Bigfoots submerge the motor in water and run it at 3-4 volts for 45seconds , remove and dry, follow up with a couple drops of naptha/lighter fluid for another couple of minutes and your done. If your using Parma brushes, dont go over 10 to 15 seconds in water, and follow up as above.

Sorry to butt in on your thred Monty, but I thought you might be getting tired !! lol

05-16-2010, 10:53 PM
Back on Topic, With the falcons the brushes are soooo small. What length of time and volts would you use on them? I was told not to break them in with water but I trust what monty says. I'd like to give it a try but dont want to eat a motor in 15 seconds.

After the use of Naptha are you then spraying the motor out?

Thanks Fellas

05-16-2010, 11:50 PM

No, don't do the Falcons in water, there isn't enough brush. You don't need compressed air for the Naptha - it evaporates completely by itself. But if you use the water, its nice to have a compressor. If you use the water while at the raceway, compressed air can be had at most office supply stores for keyboard cleaning or as a duster for camera lenses. Gets a bit pricey that way. Don't even bother with the whole procedure with the stocker brushes. If you aren't even allowed to change brushes, you're running in a class I could never say anything good about, and you have my condolences.

05-17-2010, 08:18 AM

Your responses are alway quite candid, and I totally agree. Unfortunately..... currently it's the law of the land out here, everyone is in love with Falcon sealed motors. IMO the 4002B although more intial cost would be a MUCH better route. We have a 5 week points seriouse starting next weekend. You know what that means a new falcon everyweek!!

I litterally watched Zane Walrod spend 6 hours breaking in 3 motors yesterday on his Trinity Monster Machine. Zane also wanted me to tell you hello next time we spoke.

On a lighter note, we used his Zapper to zap the 3 motors. 1 motor was done his conventional way and the other 2 we did the way we spoke about and zapped them twice. The motors zapped twice seemed to deffinetly have more "Thump" to them. According to the monster machine they also had more RPM and seemed much smoother.

08-15-2011, 03:06 PM
Can you run these engines off a battery charger, I have a Schumacker electric speed charger 15 amp

08-16-2011, 11:59 AM
I am assuming that the charger you are talking about is 12 Volts DC. That is entirely too much voltage. Break in voltage should be 3-5 volts. If you don't have access to a strong variable supply, then get a computer power supply, and use either the 3 VDC or the 5 VDC power leads. This should work great for you/

08-16-2011, 06:09 PM
If this is an "Automatic" charger, then NO. If it is an older one that has both 6v and 12v settings and doesn't have the automatic feature then it can be made to "sorta" work. Essentially, if you have the older non automatic style charger, you can add a bridge rectifier to the circuit, and set it on 6v. This won't be clean power but it won't hurt the motor. As stated above, even at 6v you are putting too much voltage on the motor IMHO to break it in.

Be careful with the computer power supply as you need to know how to bypass the automatic shut off on them. But if you can find out how to do that then they would work pretty well if the lower voltage has a high enough amperage output.

08-16-2011, 11:46 PM
Go here and read page 15: output supply in amps and watts from a modest 250 watt unit. Available amps ramp up as you go from 250W>350W>450/500W up to 1000W + units

Go here and skip to heading Power supply, it will tell you what wire to ground to turn on the supply