Sunday, April 1, 2012

Three Armatures

When you ask for advice, you should take what is offered.  A member of the WeFixit Yahoo group advised that I should  clean the armatures with electric motor cleaner.  As it turns out, I had some.  I used it on all three of the armatures that I have handy.

The commutators had already been cleaned.  I started with the dirtiest armature, the one from the hopeless motor.  The stuff coming out of the motor as I sprayed that very volatile substance was really black.  I sprayed until it came out clear. (I did this all OUTSIDE )

Next I sprayed the armature that came from the donor 15-91 .  It was not as bad.

Then I pulled the motor from the 1936 201 and sprayed it.  It was pretty clean.  The brown glaze did not change at all.  I am thinking it is supposed to be there.  If not, well, I am not going to spend time scrubbing it off.  I did try to rub it off with the clean rag I used to gently clean the rest of the armature and commutator, but nothing changed.

So that is the story of the three armatures. 

Next  Kenmore 158.1813


  1. My husband cleans motors for me. On the armatures, he clamps the pin end of the motor in his lathe, then secures the other end of the whole motor, spins it, and holds a piece of sand paper to it, until the armature is shiny again. He then runs a pick or something in the grooves to clean them if he feels they need it. As for the brushes, he sets them on a piece of steel clamped into a vice, then he heats the brushes with a blow torch until all the oil has run out of them. He has made some of the slowest motors run like a jackrabbit again.

  2. HI Michelle
    One thing that the adjuster's manual for the 201 stressed was not to use anything other than a clean cloth or a pencil eraser on the commutator (the shiny copper part that the brushes contact). I would say that sand paper is a bit abrasive for that part of the armature. As for the brushes, I just put new ones in, I figure if I am going to all that trouble, I want brand new brushes too. I have heard, also, of soaking the brushes in alcohol to rid them of the oil.

    All it all, cleaning motors is tedious and tricky. I prefer to sew.