[Vwdiesel] Brushes 101 . part 1---( the DIY way --el'cheapo )

H.Hagar h_hagar at prcn.org
Sat Mar 6 17:38:37 EST 2004

By some  great luck a big corporation asked me if
I would like a course on carbon brushes.-----YES YES YES sir please.

So away I went ,  National Carbon ran the course.  I was delighted.

Before I go in to the scientific details     And YES I do mean SCIENTIFIC.  
let me tell you where to get FREE brushes.Big corporations have special crews
with buckets of brushes hit the motors during shutdowns.They can not afford
to leave a brush of borderline service in . These are 24-7 operations and downtime
cost money.   So buckets of perfectly good brushes go in the dumpster.

I raided such a dumpster , and if I live forever (as promised) I will never run 
out of brushes.
Why ????? is a square block of carbon called a "BRUSH" ?   will get to that later.
but hows about a "PIGTAIL" ?  go ask a farmer.

With a handful of old brushes in hand what to do ?  do like Val Christian suggested
a few threads ago. Since I do it a lot I have a kit handy for doing brushes.
A small hacksaw  a handful of short length's of square keystock. 
Lay brush between two pieces of keystock and drag a flat bastard across.
And bingo a new brush for your blower motor .

Select the closest grade you can find --- by feel and by rubbing on piece of paper.
Brushes come in a number of grades and composition.   Starter (High amp) alternator (low amp) etc.
High amps are usually high copper content. Low amps are high on graphite.

Even silver graphite is available. ( I am a silver freak ).

Selecting a pigtail is more of a problem.    How are pigtails connected to brushes ?
The most important to us is by "Amalgam" yes copper amalgam. So if your sisters
boyfriend is a dentist use silver amalgam.
Some brushes use big rivets  --- if you can get them for free  take them ,  as stock carbon
they are fine.   When you do bosch VW starters   do not cut pigtail at plate ,cut at brush
then you can use a stake- on connector to splice pig to new brush.
I am doing one right now brushes are marked E 41.   Silver soldering is my normal
way of connecting pigtails.But in a pinch stake-on works fine.
 Until next time remember this is a DYI emergency fix ----  I advice you to use
genuine replacement if at all possible. 

A good source of free high copper brush stock ?   Cranes use a lot on trolley wires.
Great for starters.     BIG truck starters old brushes.   it is all around us ---- all you got
to do is look and ask.

So what got me started ?   --stealership pricing.     In 1972 I ordered brushes
for a Deco Remy alternator  from Auto Marine Electric and knowing that brushes
for a motorola of equal power was 4.95 complete with holder. I ordered two.
One day some time later they phoned me -- your brushes are in.
When I got there the counter man said you better sit down --- 45.85 each.
So I payed for one and told them to stuff the other.


PS: Medium garnet paper works good on brushes.  Is this overkill for a Rabbit ? yes
but I wrote it for a reason.   Vacuum cleaners ,hand drills.  skill saws gensets ok
you got it. Brushes are used all over the place.

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