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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Found a motor

This 85 Ford LTD in my driveway has power windows, but they don't work because the nylon gear inside has the tabs worn off the inside part of the cam (this is what keeps it from squishing arms and fingers hanging out the window, in theory). I guess it's previous owner liked to hold the window buttons down for a long time after they reached top or bottom, and wore them down. The motors are fine. I'd already had the motor out of one door because I was trying to find a way to fix or replace the cam for cheaper than $15/window, which x 4 is a lot of money. I gave up on that when I couldn't find the specific problem with the fuel flow, which rendered any other non-get-car-moving work meaningless.

Anyway, I've got the motor in my hand now, cleaned up a bit, and tested it on my bike's lights battery, the 12v 1400mAh gelcell.

It looks pretty much like this one, only grungier:

It runs nicely, and would be fast enough with the gearing already in it (if I could put tension on that) to likely go *real* fast on the bike. Haven't measured the current it takes, or it's winding resistance, yet, so I don't know what kind of power will be needed to drive it under load. Weighs a tad more than I'd like, at about 6 or 7 pounds, but I can live with it if it works, for the experimental parts of this.

To clean it up, I had to take it apart, and cleaned all the black oxidation and burnmarks off the copper commutator pads and the brushes (also copper, rather than graphite?). It's got a thermal cutout built into it, but I don't know at what temp it would trigger. Hopefully prior to meltdown. There is no ventilation; the motor is pretty much sealed up inside it's case--presumably to keep the water expected to come down the window glass (despite the gasketing) out of it.

The motor shaft is nice and long, but it uses a worm gear to transfer power to the crank gear. That's a problem if I want to use Regen, because there is absolutely no way to ever transfer power back into the motor itself that way. :-( Another problem is that I *have* to keep the casing intact, and actually use the gearing that's there to transfer power around, because there are no bearings for the gear end of the shaft except at the very end of that shaft, inside the casing, with an adjustment screw on the end to presumably control motor speed by friction on the shaft. That friction is easy to "disable" by loosening the set screw a turn, but the way it's all made makes this less than ideal.

The problem with the worn bits on the plastic cam means I need to degrease the whole nylon gear/cam and metal transfer cam/gear, and epoxy them together, in order to even use it for testing. That's gonna take a little time to soak and clean, cuz the graphite lube in there is really icky.

Ah, well, at least it's a test motor. And I have 3 more just like it if I need them.

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