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Thread: HOW TO: Waterproof A Motor

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Old 04-08-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
Quarry Creeper
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Default HOW TO: Waterproof A Motor

I decided to waterproof my motor a few weeks back and have spent a few hours in the water with my setup and it seems to be working perfectly. I first had the truck fully submerged in the bathtub while running back and forth for about 10 minutes. I then left it submerged for about 30-60 minutes. Also I ran for a full battery in a stream in the woods near my house for a full battery (about an hour total time). Again it seems to work wonderfully.

I don't know if anyone is interested in doing this procedure but I didn't like the glitching underwater or the accelerated wear to my motor. This was performed on an Axial SCX-10 with an integy motor. I don't know if it works for any vehicle. Also, I have disassembled the contraption and am transplanting it onto a new motor. It worked well on an integy 45T lathe. I can't be sure about other motors.

here is my procedure:



Here are the materials I used. You will need
-a medicine cup (I used one off the top of a pepto bismol bottle),
-a sharpie marker (make sure it's not a generic one and not a fine point)
-silicone
-epoxy (I used 2 part)
-xacto knife, small straight screwdriver and body reamer (help but not mandatory)
-O-ring (I used an orange one from an old savage shock-just one for integy) http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXN166&P=7
-balloons (the ones I have were labeled 12 in.)
-Obviously your motor and transmission



To begin use a body reamer (or other means) to drill a hole in the bottom center of the medicine cup. There should be a little dot in the dead center from mold to help. Cut a little at a time so you can have the hole fit as snug as possible. You are fitting this on the end of the motor with the output shaft. The hole is to go over the metal projection in the can where the bearing is housed, just behind the output shaft. Once you've fitted the hole and its reasonable snug drill 2 mounting holes for the screws that mount the motor to the motor plate (it helps if you have a motor with a metal colored can or something brighter than a black can to be able to see the holes). Don't worry if your center hole is off a little as it doesn't fit precisely anyhow.



Next, find your least favorite sharpie marker and take the cap off. You will need to mark and cut about 1\4" off of the end. For the mark I laid a black sharpie fine point marker on its side and stood the green cap you see straight up and rotated it for a perfect height. To cut use an xacto knife C A R E F U L L Y and with the cap on the marker. Take your time and roll the marker around rocking the blade on the cap making rotations until you are cut through. In my case the 1\4" was perfect height but you basically need to wall to bridge the gap between the o-ring and the bearing housing to be able to epoxy. (as an added bonus the sharpie cap will still seal)



Now place the medicine cup over the motor's can, place an orange o-ring on the motor's output shaft (maybe two more on that later) sliding it all the way down to the bearings face, and the sharpie ring you just made on the bearing housing. Silicone the base of the sharpie ring and make sure it is sealed against the medicine cup. Mix up just a little epoxy and fill the gap between the o-ring and the wall made by the sharpie ring. Be careful not to epoxy the bearing or let the epoxy get deeper than the depth of the o-ring. To make this easier I used a small straight blade screwdriver to dab a bit of epoxy on and scrape it off on the edge of the sharpie ring so it drips inside. This method gave me a taper from the edge of the sharpie ring down to the o-ring. My epoxy came out a little deeper than the o-ring but didn't touch the output shaft. If you want to be able to remove the contraption, you can probably grab the sharpie ring with pliers and twist it free from the bearing housing (it worked for me). I also considered greasing the metal housing to keep the epoxy from curing to it but I don't know if it would affect the epoxy or not... Let it dry until its setup good and solid.
REMEBER THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS THAT NOTHING IS IN THE WAY OF YOUR PINION GEAR AND ITS MESH WITH THE SPUR GEAR ! ! !



Please don't make fun of me for using a pink balloon! I was down to only pink in my bag I keep, that is why you see the new bag in the picture above . The rest is really easy. You will want to poke a coupe of small holes in the top of your balloon (preferably not a pink one) for the motor wires to come through. Placing your pointer and middle fingers in the neck of the balloon stretch the daylights out of the balloon and use the other fingers to convince the endbell (brushes and tabs) end of the motor into the balloon so that the neck is TIGHTLY fixed around the top flare of the medicine cup. I didn't use any silicone here as it seals fine due to the extreme stretch of the balloon. You will need to (obviously) silicone the hole you made in the balloon for the motor wires to exit. Use a generous helping to make sure you get it. Also be careful not to allow the various sharp points and edges on the motor to tear the balloon when placing it on the motor. It took me two tries and one wasted balloon. The good thing is that you can squeeze the balloon a little and make sure you have a good seal as it should stay inflated and not squeeze down.



Apply a light coat of silicone around the top outside edge of the medicine cup where it contacts the motor plate so no water gets into the screw holes you made. I am pointing at the surface above.



Finally bolt up the motor as you always do. The medicine cup is relatively flexible and should push out of the way if something needs more room. I had a little extra trouble getting my gear mesh like I like it because the medicine cup in the way makes this a little extra difficult.


So anyways thats it, you should be good to go now. Again I know electric motors can go underwater with no problem. In my experience the integy lathe motor you see glitched really bad and would refuse to go after a few minutes. I had to teardown and clean up the motor everytime I did this. I decided to waterproof for these reasons. Maybe you all will think this is useless in which case I just wasted about an hour of my life. Hopefully someone will find this useful. If this is helpful to you guys feel free to sticky it so I can have my 15 min. of fame of the RCC boards!

If this is helpful I will post some more info on how I transfered the setup to my new venom firebolt motor as it is a little different.

Good luck, thanks for looking and feel free to ask me questions!

Last edited by hibbs; 04-08-2009 at 08:11 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hibbs View Post
So anyways thats it, you should be good to go now. Again I know electric motors can go underwater with no problem. In my experience the integy lathe motor you see glitched really bad and would refuse to go after a few minutes. I had to teardown and clean up the motor everytime I did this. I decided to waterproof for these reasons. Maybe you all will think this is useless in which case I just wasted about an hour of my life. Hopefully someone will find this useful. If this is helpful to you guys feel free to sticky it so I can have my 15 min. of fame of the RCC boards!


You should throw a link up in the stickied thread about waterproofing electronics.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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i see. will do.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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very genious! you should waterproof ur motor kuz on my nikko after about 9 runs in water i submerged the motor in water so many times without breakin it in, now the top speed went from like 10 MPH to like 3! LOL but it kinda made the motor more powerful LOL thats why i need to proof my MRC motor b4 i submerge it lol thanks man!
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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We have guys here that drive there trucks like submarines and havent had issue as long as you take the right procedure afterwards but great write up
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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I have never run a motor in water for more than 5 mins at a time but I always break in my motors in a glass of water. I was under the impression as long as you make sure you run it for a few minutes out of water afterwards to blow it out and use some oil on the bearings that water has no effect on a brushed motor.
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