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

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Sat Mar 6 20:19:35 EST 2004

> A small hacksaw  a handful of short length's of square keystock.=20
> Lay brush between two pieces of keystock and drag a flat bastard across.
> And bingo a new brush for your blower motor .

	I've used grinders, sanders, hacksaws, band saws (brushes
	with high graphite can be used in the bandsaw, as the blade
	guide replacement), files, diamond dust nail files (use a small
	flow of water to remove the chips and life is in the fast lane),
	wet/dry sandpaper, concrete, whatever.  Primitive machining at
	it's best.

> 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.
> genuine replacement if at all possible.=20

	For starters, if a screw isn't used, I use silver solder.
	Temps just get too high in starters.  I suppose a high-temp
	stake-on but I've run out of those.  When silver soldering
	I use a heatsink clip, like used for soldering transistors.
	You don't want the solder to flow up the wire, er pigtail,
	or you'll stiffen the wire and it'll fail sooner.  

	There's probably allot of wisdom on this in this forum, 
	but my favorite technique for silver solder is to use 
	an oxyacetylene torch.  Mine is a Linde unit, and the Linde
	tip is a #1, which is the finest available.  Someday I might
	take an old tip and make one even finer.  For me, nothing else
	has proven to work as well.  I'm open to new suggestions.

	Oh, if the leads aren't right for the brush, in a pinch you can 
	drill and tap the brush.  Just put in a small screw.  6-32 for
	starters, and 4-40 or smaller for other things.  Did that in a
	neighbor's tractor generator during a bilzzard 25 years ago.
	Generator still works, and he refuses to replace that brush until 
	it fails.  I've told him that the commutator will die a rapid 
	death when the screw shank eventually gets exposed and hits the
	commutator.  He insists that his grandkids will own the tractor 
	by then.

	Altenator and starter rebuilders are a good source of brushes.
	You might also find some in the behind the counter bins and 
	catalogs at AutoZone or PartsAmerica.  Sometimes I have to 
	order them overnight to get what I think will work.

	Although I don't have anywhere near the inventory Hagar has,
	I probably have 200 to 300 brushes in drawers and plastic
	zip lock bags in a parts tray cabinet.  When my power
	tools start getting old 2-10 years, I typically order a few 
	extra brushes and label them.  Small investment, as normally
	brushes are the first point of failure and wear on many of 
	my power tools.

	On the 92 Jetta, with a mongo sized altenator, I find that I
	replace brushes 40 to 50K miles.  It's pretty easy to pop 
	the regulator/brush assembly off, without removing the altenator
	from the vehicle.

	Blower motors tend to have the bearings fail before the brushes.
	Generally VW blowers seem to have their bearings "dry out".
	Using Rain-X may be a factor why I've never had to replace
	a wiper motor.  Besides, it's entertaining to watch when 
	driving in a light rain.



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