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  1. #1
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    New to RC. Have Motor longevity questions.

    I have had enough of chinese cars and am ready to get a Traxxas soon. The brushed models are tempting because of the low costs. However, in researching there were some that said brushed motors have very short lives in the 10s of hours while brushless are almost immortal so long as you don't over heat them. Is this true about brushed? I'm not going to race competitively. I just occasionally run RC's around my yard and neighborhood park etc with my son. So lets for occasional bashing will I have to change brushed motors monthly? every several months? annually?

    Or are brushed motors such a pain I need to save up for brushless?

  2. #2
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    Brushed motors can last longer if they're cared for by avoiding getting sand, dirt, and water in them. Upgrading to a Traxxas brushless later could cost more than buying a brushless model now. Or upgrade your brushed later with a less expensive brand esc/motor later. It's your choice to make but any motor requires some care.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgechrgr469 View Post
    Brushed motors can last longer if they're cared for by avoiding getting sand, dirt, and water in them. Upgrading to a Traxxas brushless later could cost more than buying a brushless model now. Or upgrade your brushed later with a less expensive brand esc/motor later. It's your choice to make but any motor requires some care.

    Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
    Much of what he says above is true. A brushed model can last years if cared for properly. It is also true that it can cost more to upgrade from a brushed to brushless.

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with brushed motors is that people think "waterproof" is synonymous with "maintenance-proof". With proper care and feeding, a brushed motor will last you a good long time.

    • Break the motor in. 10 minutes or so at about 1/4 throttle breaks a motor in nicely. After that, blow out the motor with compressed air (~ 30psi), then drive it like you rented it.
    • With "normal" use (slightly dusty conditions), you'll want to clean the motor every 10-15 packs. Remove the motor, run electric motor cleaner through it until it runs clear, blow it out with air, and let it sit for an hour or so. Put a drop of light machine oil (bicycle chain oil works nicely) on each bushing, give the motor a spin or two, then reinstall.
    • In "abnormal" conditions (water, mud, sand), you will want to clean the motor when you are done running for the day (same procedure as above). Water, mud and sand act as abrasives on the brushes, which will cause the motor to wear much faster.
    • Get a temp gun, the $11 gun from Harbor Freight is perfect. Whenever you reinstall your motor, take temps on the motor every five minutes or so during the first pack to make sure the motor is below 160*/f.

    As much fun as brushed trucks are, if it is in your budget at all to go brushless, recommend doing so. There will come a point were you will want more power and speed, it is less expensive in the end to brushless right off the batt...
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I don't think it's gonna be possible to keep the truck free from dirt and sand.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice. As much as I look forward to being able to work with my son tinkering and repairing the occasional broken part on the vehicle I don't want it to turn in to something we avoid using.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G2C4ME View Post
    Thanks for the advice. As much as I look forward to being able to work with my son tinkering and repairing the occasional broken part on the vehicle I don't want it to turn in to something we avoid using.
    Definitely that.
    When my dad and I got into RC in the late 80s we had a 4wd buggy that was kind of treated like that. It was for the races only and was never abused . Once he realized I wanted something I could play with all the time and we saved up for a monster truck for me, we both had a lot more fun, and I still took good care of it, but we were both able to get the truck dirty and bash around some without constant maintenance.
    So yes, while it is true these cars do require some maintenance you ideally want something you can play with with your son and only maintain as necessary.
    I don’t know of this comment it helpful, but I wish you hours and years of fun quality time together .

  8. #8
    RC Champion zedorda's Avatar
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    When deciding between brushed or brushless you really need to consider application first. If you are planning to run fast (15mph+) a brushless system will benefit you more. If you only plan to run at lower speeds (less than 15mph) a brushed system is something to consider. Not to say you can't race with a brushed system just that wear is much faster over about 15mph. Racers commonly only run a brushed motor a few times then rebuild them or trash them. Brushless is superior to brushed at higher speed, efficiency, and longevity.

    No need to touch on maintenance since the rest of thread has that pretty much covered.

  9. #9
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    If it was a once or twice a year thing i'd just replace brushed motors for 25 bucks. But it sounds like it will be much more often than that. Where I RC it will be getting super dusty.

  10. #10
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    I ran my brushed XL5 slash on a baseball diamond in a drought and have never replaced a Brushed XL5 motor in several years .
    Actual results may vary
    Thatís said. Yes, brushless will give you lower Maintenance, higher speed and better efficiency over all .
    Last edited by Dakratfink; 12-03-2019 at 07:22 PM.

  11. #11
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    Brushless

    On the brushless note....I've been running brushed motors since the early 1970s....I want to go brushless, what will I need to give the same performance as a Titan 550 12 turn? I just need the exact same performance and the longevity of brushless.
    Last edited by stampedejim; 12-04-2019 at 11:20 AM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier JatoTheRipper's Avatar
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    A brushed motor is going to last more than 10 hours unless it's defective or unless you subject it to extreme situations.

    Dirt and more powerful batteries will shorten the life of a battery, but the average person will still easily get a year's use out of one and probably much more.

    I don't think it's something you should be concerned about.

  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G2C4ME View Post
    If it was a once or twice a year thing i'd just replace brushed motors for 25 bucks. But it sounds like it will be much more often than that. Where I RC it will be getting super dusty.
    Quote Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper View Post
    A brushed motor is going to last more than 10 hours unless it's defective or unless you subject it to extreme situations.

    Dirt and more powerful batteries will shorten the life of a battery, but the average person will still easily get a year's use out of one and probably much more.

    I don't think it's something you should be concerned about.
    I'll play devil's advocate here...

    Wrenching is a core part of hobby-grade RC. These are toys, but they are also performance machines, and do operate at the extremes. As a result, things break, need adjusted, tweaked, repaired, and upgraded, all of this comes with the hobby, but shouldn't be anything to repel you. Just some hand tools and a small amount of knowledge is really all that is required. None of us were born RC gods, and very few of us are, so when we get or something that stumps us, we post up and ask. For people like me, learning new things about the hobby is what keeps me in it. But, if the wrenching side of the house isn't something you want to deal with, then perhaps this is not the hobby for you. It is good to acknowledge that before you dump a bunch on money into something you are not going to like.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier JatoTheRipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatscott View Post
    I'll play devil's advocate here...

    Wrenching is a core part of hobby-grade RC. These are toys, but they are also performance machines, and do operate at the extremes. As a result, things break, need adjusted, tweaked, repaired, and upgraded, all of this comes with the hobby, but shouldn't be anything to repel you. Just some hand tools and a small amount of knowledge is really all that is required. None of us were born RC gods, and very few of us are, so when we get or something that stumps us, we post up and ask. For people like me, learning new things about the hobby is what keeps me in it. But, if the wrenching side of the house isn't something you want to deal with, then perhaps this is not the hobby for you. It is good to acknowledge that before you dump a bunch on money into something you are not going to like.
    Yes, wrenching is part of this hobby, but if you don't hit things and don't mistreat or neglect your RC the maintenance and repair is a very small part of the hobby.

  15. #15
    RC Champion zedorda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stampedejim View Post
    On the brushless note....I've been running brushed motors since the early 1970s....I want to go brushless, what will I need to give the same performance as a Titan 550 12 turn? I just need the exact same performance and the longevity of brushless.
    To be honest not many brushless system have performance as low as Titan 550 12t. I bought a super cheap GoolRC brushless motor for $19.99 and it still has slightly more power than the Titan. It is being used in a MERV that started with the Titan in it stock.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Just don't go too cheap on the esc bc those go up in flames.
    Last edited by zedorda; 12-04-2019 at 04:49 PM.

  16. #16
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    Yes, unfortunately, brushed motors have short lives, and they run out quite quickly. They'll last slightly longer if you don't run on dirt (to avoid the dirt building up inside the motor). A brushed motor for something slow like a crawler would be perfectly fine, but for something like a slash, where you'll be doing a lot of full throttles, you're going to burn through that motor pretty fast. For occasional bashing, I'd say you'd get a few months off of it before it completely fails to work, and then you'll have to replace it for 20-30 dollars. I have a slash VXL before, and it's been in a pool for a solid 7 min, and when I dried it out and changed the receiver, the motor functioned just as it did before. (the VXL is pretty much completely sealed). I would buy the brushed version now, and when it breaks, see how long it took. If it's been pretty long, like a couple of months, or maybe even a year (considering it's occasional), you should keep with the brushed, it would be cheaper over a longer period of time. However, if you burn through that motor in a short period of time, I'd suggest buying a brushless motor and replace the old brushed one. Another advantage of a brushless motor is it has much more torque and power than brushed versions, so your car will go faster.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  17. #17
    RC Qualifier JatoTheRipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    Yes, unfortunately, brushed motors have short lives, and they run out quite quickly. They'll last slightly longer if you don't run on dirt (to avoid the dirt building up inside the motor). A brushed motor for something slow like a crawler would be perfectly fine, but for something like a slash, where you'll be doing a lot of full throttles, you're going to burn through that motor pretty fast. For occasional bashing, I'd say you'd get a few months off of it before it completely fails to work, and then you'll have to replace it for 20-30 dollars. I have a slash VXL before, and it's been in a pool for a solid 7 min, and when I dried it out and changed the receiver, the motor functioned just as it did before. (the VXL is pretty much completely sealed). I would buy the brushed version now, and when it breaks, see how long it took. If it's been pretty long, like a couple of months, or maybe even a year (considering it's occasional), you should keep with the brushed, it would be cheaper over a longer period of time. However, if you burn through that motor in a short period of time, I'd suggest buying a brushless motor and replace the old brushed one. Another advantage of a brushless motor is it has much more torque and power than brushed versions, so your car will go faster.
    How quickly is "quite quickly"? I bought my nephew a Slash for his 6th birthday. Two years later he's still beating on it and the brushed motor is doing just fine. My Slash is even older and it's still working just find on the original, brushed motor.

    I think the "short" life of brushed motors is overstated.

    Also, brushless doesn't necessarily have more torque than brushed motors. There are some brushed, crawler motors that will definitely out torque the VXL system.

  18. #18
    RC Champion zedorda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper View Post
    How quickly is "quite quickly"? I bought my nephew a Slash for his 6th birthday. Two years later he's still beating on it and the brushed motor is doing just fine. My Slash is even older and it's still working just find on the original, brushed motor.

    I think the "short" life of brushed motors is overstated.

    Also, brushless doesn't necessarily have more torque than brushed motors. There are some brushed, crawler motors that will definitely out torque the VXL system.
    I can kill a brushed motor in one day. I can also make a brushed motor last years. It takes alot more to kill a brushless motor in one day.

    As for torque well that is the wrong way to think about it since that is more about the size of the motor. But with everything equal a brushless wastes less torque through internal friction than a brushed motor. So a brushed motor built with the same specs as a brushless will have less torque/power and will have more heat to deal with. This heat and friction reduces the lifespan of a brushed motor substantially compared to an equally constructed brushless motor.

  19. #19
    RC Qualifier JatoTheRipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zedorda View Post
    I can kill a brushed motor in one day. I can also make a brushed motor last years. It takes alot more to kill a brushless motor in one day.

    As for torque well that is the wrong way to think about it since that is more about the size of the motor. But with everything equal a brushless wastes less torque through internal friction than a brushed motor. So a brushed motor built with the same specs as a brushless will have less torque/power and will have more heat to deal with. This heat and friction reduces the lifespan of a brushed motor substantially compared to an equally constructed brushless motor.
    Killing a brushed motor in a day is not typical.

    No, a 540 brushed motor can make more torque than a 540 brushless motor depending on their specs, build quality, etc. With all other things considered equal, yes, the brushless motor will make torque. But it's not a true statement to say brushless motors make more torque. There are too many other factors.

    I don't think anybody would argue that the efficiency, maintenance and power, and the resultant longer run times, longer life and easier maintenance, and faster speeds, are better with brushless motors, but that doesn't mean brushed motors are junk.

  20. #20
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    I've had a bushed motor on one of my old Slashes last me 2-3 months. I think it depends on what conditions we are running in. I was less experienced back then and did not do proper maintenance. That added with dusty/dirty dry dirt conditions probably burnt through my motor.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

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