283: Sunday 24th August 2015

The last 2 weeks have been up and down. First I got to run with Lithium batteries. The batteries I had before were weak and I had damaged 2 recently leaving me stuck at the roadside, so I had to be careful with my driving and not load the batteries too much. During the last few months I have been getting motor noises. I have had clicking from the brushes, howling from the bearings and crackling from arcing. All of these are bad noises. After dressing the commutator with a comm stick and fitting new brushes the clicking got quieter, but the arcing was still there.
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I took the motor off again and had a local company lined up to repair it. They estimated one price, but then came back with a figure over £1000 and that was almost as much as a new motor. I asked for it back and was asked to pay £250 for testing and told this was to cover re-assembly etc. I got back the motor in bits with a broken taperlock hub and bush, and 1 brush and some brush springs missing. I eventually got all the bits back. I didn't pay any money to them. I then went to a long established motor rewinders who had the commutator skimmed for a reasonable price and advised that it may not cure the arcing, but to try it to see what needs doing next. I re-assembled the motor and the clicking is almost non-existent due to the professional skimming, but the brush box was arcing onto the side of the armature. This appeared to be due to the bearings as the armature was shifted over. I shall be looking to get a spacer fitted with new bearing to ensure there is always a good gap between the brush boxes and the armature.
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I could see when I pushed the armature, there was no arcing. I am not sure if this will cure the arcing under full load, but I suspect it is a good candidate for the cause. When the bearings were re-assembled onto the commutator a circlip was missed off and when I re-assembled the motor there was no bearing noise. When I was seeing the arcing I thought it was due to the bearing moving because there was no circlip, so I pulled the bearing off again, fitted it into the end plate with the circlip and fitted this back onto the armature. The armature was then close to the brush boxes, I struck the end of the shaft to push further into the bearing and the gap was then good. When I ran the motor, the howling had returned and when I turned it by hand it was possible to feel a rumbling in the bearings. I suspect this is where the howling is coming from, so I shall now get new bearings fitted and a spacer on the rear bearing to resist any lateral shift of the armature towards the brush boxes. This is a problem if I used the clutch pedal as it pushes against the flywheel and hence the motor shaft. The spacer only needs to be about 2mm, so a nice thick washer will do just fine.
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At the same time I have been trying to fix my wife's Jeep Grand Cherokee that has a noisy front axle. I took the axle off and inspected the differential. I saw a load of slack in the pinion gears, but no damage. In doing this I found the right wheel bearing had a horrible grumbling feel to it. I ordered a new hub and a socket for the hub nut, changed it over and spent half of today putting the axle back on the car. I took it for a drive and the noise is still there. Also the battery was dead so I had to get a jump and this did not take a charge. So now I need to use my wife's Ford Focus to get to work. I came into this weekend hoping to get 2 cars back on the road, and came out of it with none. So I fitted the new lights I got to the back of the Probatron and I am happy that something has gone to plan.
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I am looking forward to getting the motor working right so I can continue with my upgrades and get the body ready for paint again. I am getting close now to where I want the Probatron to be. Oh and a new license plate.
 

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