Replacing alternator or motor brushes? Sportsmith can help
Learn what a commutator is and why using one is so important from Sporsmith.
You will also find a few tips to help you achieve the best results when using a commutator stone.
What is a commutator stone and why is using one so important?
A commutator stone is an important tool to use when replacing brushes. It removes the carbon build-up from the commutator or slip ring of a motor or alternator. This carbon is from worn brushes. The commutator or slip ring is the part that the brush pushes against inside the motor or alternator. By cleaning this part with the commutator stone, you are providing a new, clean surface for the new brush to ride on.
The dust created from cleaning the commutator is carbon dust. Use caution when removing the dust. It can be harmful if inhaled.
What happens if a commutator stone isn't used when replacing brushes in a motor or alternator?
- The life expectancy of the new brush is shorter
- The chances of chipping or damaging the new brushes are higher
- The uncleaned surface may cause issues with efficient operation
How to use a commutator stone
NOTE: If you are doing this with the alternator or motor in the unit, be sure to disconnect power from the machine.
To use a commutator stone to remove the carbon build-up from the commutator or slip ring:
- Remove the old brush
- Insert the commutator stone into the brushes place inside the motor or alternator
- By hand, turn the motor or alternator shaft, slowly. While turning the shaft, apply slight pressure against the commutator stone. The commutator stone cleans off the carbon that has built up over time. CAUTION: The dust created from cleaning the commutator is carbon dust. It can be harmful if inhaled.
- Use a vacuum hose to suck out the dust debris or tip the motor/alternator over and allow the carbon dust to fall out.