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Motor noise

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I took my 1932 DE project car for a drive for the first time today.  A big day after 22 months of work.  It operates well, though there is a metal-on-metal squeaking from the brushes on the commutator.  A little WD40 on the commutator solves the problem briefly, so I know that is the origin; not the bearings or brake drum.   My questions for other electric owners are:  Is this normal?  Should I lube the commutator?  With what?  Will it go away with use (I think car had been sitting unused for quite a few years)?



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I cleaned the commutator and brush faces with solvent, and the squeal has largely gone away.  Probably just some surface residue from sitting for a long time.


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  • 7 months later...

A quick lesson about DC motors, they  should emit no sound.

The commutator needs a "film" of copper oxide" which is brown, to give the brushes less friction....dont sand it or scotch bright it, let it turn brown.

If you have a high bar, due to a loose commutator banding, you will hear a clicking sound once per revolution.

There is mica insulation in between the bars, and it must be machined lower than the copper or  you will  hear more clicking, and chipped brush leading edge.

If you get a high bar or high mica, the armature needs to be pulled and set up in a lathe and machined and undercut correctly.

"Stoning" a comm with an abrasive stick is a hail mary effort that will wind up with a comm more out of round. than when starting.

DO NOT use RTV in a DC motor,  the acetic acid  emitted will attack the copper.

DO NOT use mineral spirits or petroleum based cleaners.

Check for carbon dust and brushes sticking in the holders.






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