AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

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AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

sbjohnston

The AMDFB1-4001 motor in our Chevy S-10 conversion has developed a seriousproblem.  Since the installation of themotor in August 2011, the truck has been driven about 300 miles at low andmedium speeds.  All seemed fine untilyesterday it suddenly began to lose power and then stopped entirely.  After it was towed in I did sometroubleshooting and found that the motor would not turn unloaded with 12vapplied.
 
I pulledthe headband off and observed that the outer set of brushes (closest to the endof the motor) were all perched up in their holders with the springs pressingagainst their sides (holding them up off the commutator).  The inner set of brushes were seatednormally but all showed signs of discoloration where the braided wires meet thecarbon block, and on one of them the wires were burned completely off thecarbon block!  That brush's spring isalso damaged from heat.
 
I seatedthe outer brushes down into their holders with the springs on top and now themotor turned with 12v applied, but it made a lot more noise that before.  I rotated the shaft by hand while watchingthe commutator surface - at one point there is a shiny wedge of something thin(insulation sheet) coming out from between two of the metal contactstrips - I believe that's what is making the noise as the outer brushes rideover it.
 
I'veposted photos of my project on Flickr. The last few photos show the motor damage.
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/sets/72157627254806189/
 
As Imentioned, the overheating seems to be concentrated on the rear brushes.
 
My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
 
1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes photo) comes out frombetween two bars on the commutator.
2. Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get stuck withtheir springs on their sides.
3. Therear brushes now have to carry all the current and they overheat until all arestressed and one completely fails.
 
The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept this sequence of events.  They keep coming back to the idea that the motor has been abused or overloaded.  They offer to "look at it" - but that involves removing it from the truck and shipping it back to them at my cost (~$150).  I asked the dealer for a candid assessment of the chances of getting a warranty repair or replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.  



I disagree - what do you think?
 
This is avery ordinary S10 conversion using components called out in many partslists.  The controller is a Curtis1231C.  The power source is a set of 24Trojan T-125 6v batteries for 144v total. My simplified schematic is also posted in the Flickr set.
 
Thedriving has been on both town and country roads at speeds 25-50 MPH.  The day that the motor stranded me I'd beendriving 15 minutes at about 30-40 MPH, then stopped at the hardware store forabout ten minutes, then headed back to the office at somewhat higher speed(different road max 50 MPH) for about 10 minutes when it died.  I've driven the truck on that same errandroutine at least 6 six or eight times without any issues.
 
The tiresare the stock P215/75R15 and inflated to the sidewall pressure, so they are 27inches in diameter.   The rear-end isthe stock unit with a gear ratio of 3.73. The transmission is the stock manual five-speed "New Venture"NV1500 unit . Gear ratios in the NV1500 are 3.94, 2.37, 1.49, 1.00, and 0.830.An online RPM calculator shows that at the time of the failure the motor wouldhave been turning at 3320 rpm - that seems pretty normal.  And the truck was carrying no cargo so therewas no load beyond the weight of the converted vehicle.
 
Thanksguys for any insights you can provide... if I am doing something wrong, I need to learn how to avoid it in the future.  And if I am not, then I've learned that the motor manufacturer's warranty is not worth much.

 
Steve




 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Rush Dougherty
Hi Steve,

I'm sure more better qualified motor people will speak up, but it seems that your commutator has
started to come apart and somewhere the brushes are shorting out... bad news. With only 300 miles on
it I would suspect the fabricator.

One other thing - in looking over your pictures, I see that you have nothing that is holding your 6v
batteries in place, they don't have any straps on them. So with a good bump, they could become
airborne, one of them could flip over and spill acid all over the others or even land upside down on
another and cause some plasma balls. Usually we let John Wayland make the plasma balls... Again the
straps are something your fabricator should have put in place as a safety feature.


----- Original Message -----
From: <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2012 3:52 PM
Subject: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure


>
> The AMDFB1-4001 motor in our Chevy S-10 conversion has developed a seriousproblem.  Since the
> installation of themotor in August 2011, the truck has been driven about 300 miles at low
> andmedium speeds.  All seemed fine untilyesterday it suddenly began to lose power and then stopped
> entirely.  After it was towed in I did sometroubleshooting and found that the motor would not turn
> unloaded with 12vapplied.
>
> I pulledthe headband off and observed that the outer set of brushes (closest to the endof the
> motor) were all perched up in their holders with the springs pressingagainst their sides (holding
> them up off the commutator).  The inner set of brushes were seatednormally but all showed signs of
> discoloration where the braided wires meet thecarbon block, and on one of them the wires were
> burned completely off thecarbon block!  That brush's spring isalso damaged from heat.
>
> I seatedthe outer brushes down into their holders with the springs on top and now themotor turned
> with 12v applied, but it made a lot more noise that before.  I rotated the shaft by hand while
> watchingthe commutator surface - at one point there is a shiny wedge of something thin(insulation
> sheet) coming out from between two of the metal contactstrips - I believe that's what is making
> the noise as the outer brushes rideover it.
>
> I'veposted photos of my project on Flickr. The last few photos show the motor damage.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/sets/72157627254806189/
>
> As Imentioned, the overheating seems to be concentrated on the rear brushes.
>
> My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
>
> 1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes photo) comes out frombetween two bars
> on the commutator.
> 2. Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get stuck withtheir springs on
> their sides.
> 3. Therear brushes now have to carry all the current and they overheat until all arestressed and
> one completely fails.
>
> The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept this sequence of events.  They
> keep coming back to the idea that the motor has been abused or overloaded.  They offer to "look at
> it" - but that involves removing it from the truck and shipping it back to them at my cost
> (~$150).  I asked the dealer for a candid assessment of the chances of getting a warranty repair
> or replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.
>
>
>
> I disagree - what do you think?
>
> This is avery ordinary S10 conversion using components called out in many partslists.  The
> controller is a Curtis1231C.  The power source is a set of 24Trojan T-125 6v batteries for 144v
> total. My simplified schematic is also posted in the Flickr set.
>
> Thedriving has been on both town and country roads at speeds 25-50 MPH.  The day that the motor
> stranded me I'd beendriving 15 minutes at about 30-40 MPH, then stopped at the hardware store
> forabout ten minutes, then headed back to the office at somewhat higher speed(different road max
> 50 MPH) for about 10 minutes when it died.  I've driven the truck on that same errandroutine at
> least 6 six or eight times without any issues.
>
> The tiresare the stock P215/75R15 and inflated to the sidewall pressure, so they are 27inches in
> diameter.   The rear-end isthe stock unit with a gear ratio of 3.73. The transmission is the stock
> manual five-speed "New Venture"NV1500 unit . Gear ratios in the NV1500 are 3.94, 2.37, 1.49, 1.00,
> and 0.830.An online RPM calculator shows that at the time of the failure the motor wouldhave been
> turning at 3320 rpm - that seems pretty normal.  And the truck was carrying no cargo so therewas
> no load beyond the weight of the converted vehicle.
>
> Thanksguys for any insights you can provide... if I am doing something wrong, I need to learn how
> to avoid it in the future.  And if I am not, then I've learned that the motor manufacturer's
> warranty is not worth much.
>
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
>
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> |
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Jay Summet
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1



On 05/06/2012 06:52 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

>
> My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
>
> 1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes
> photo) comes out frombetween two bars on the commutator. 2.
> Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get
> stuck withtheir springs on their sides. 3. Therear brushes now have
> to carry all the current and they overheat until all arestressed
> and one completely fails.
>
> The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept
> this sequence of events.  They keep coming back to the idea that
> the motor has been abused or overloaded.  They offer to "look at
> it" - but that involves removing it from the truck and shipping it
> back to them at my cost (~$150).  I asked the dealer for a candid
> assessment of the chances of getting a warranty repair or
> replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.
>
>
>
> I disagree - what do you think?
>

Unless you had your parking break stuck on while driving, or were
driving in 5th gear, it doesn't sound like you are abusing your motor.
I have almost the exact same setup (The only real difference is that
mine is 120 volts with 20 batteries) and drive it around in the same
way as you describe with no problems from the motor. [For thousands of
miles...]

Jay
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|
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Mike Nickerson
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Hi Steve,

I'm certainly not an expert, but I have the same motor.  My motor shop
(local forklift shop), emphasized the need for brush maintenance mostly to
keep the brushes moving smoothly and pressing against the commutator.  They
described it as "tweaking" or "snapping" the brushes to make sure they are
moving smoothly in their holders.  They recommended doing this 3-4 times per
year.

If some of your brushes aren't making good contact, that could certainly
cause arcing and electrical overload on the other brushes.  I don't know
what the commutator issue is.

If you don't want to ship your motor, a local forklift shop will probably
know how to take it apart, evaluate the issues, and repair it.  I don't know
if they could negotiate warranty coverage with the manufacturer or not.
>From your description, I actually wonder if some of your brushes were ever
making correct contact.  It sounds like the brush springs weren't properly
pushing on the brushes.

Mike

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of [hidden email]
> Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2012 4:52 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure
>
>
> The AMDFB1-4001 motor in our Chevy S-10 conversion has developed a
> seriousproblem.  Since the installation of themotor in August 2011, the
truck
> has been driven about 300 miles at low andmedium speeds.  All seemed fine
> untilyesterday it suddenly began to lose power and then stopped entirely.
> After it was towed in I did sometroubleshooting and found that the motor
> would not turn unloaded with 12vapplied.
>
> I pulledthe headband off and observed that the outer set of brushes
(closest
> to the endof the motor) were all perched up in their holders with the
springs
> pressingagainst their sides (holding them up off the commutator).  The
inner
> set of brushes were seatednormally but all showed signs of discoloration
> where the braided wires meet thecarbon block, and on one of them the
> wires were burned completely off thecarbon block!  That brush's spring
isalso
> damaged from heat.
>
> I seatedthe outer brushes down into their holders with the springs on top
> and now themotor turned with 12v applied, but it made a lot more noise
that
> before.  I rotated the shaft by hand while watchingthe commutator surface
-

> at one point there is a shiny wedge of something thin(insulation sheet)
> coming out from between two of the metal contactstrips - I believe that's
> what is making the noise as the outer brushes rideover it.
>
> I'veposted photos of my project on Flickr. The last few photos show the
> motor damage.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/sets/72157627254806189/
>
> As Imentioned, the overheating seems to be concentrated on the rear
> brushes.
>
> My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
>
> 1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes photo) comes
> out frombetween two bars on the commutator.
> 2. Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get
> stuck withtheir springs on their sides.
> 3. Therear brushes now have to carry all the current and they overheat
until
> all arestressed and one completely fails.
>
> The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept this
> sequence of events.  They keep coming back to the idea that the motor has
> been abused or overloaded.  They offer to "look at it" - but that involves
> removing it from the truck and shipping it back to them at my cost
(~$150).  I
> asked the dealer for a candid assessment of the chances of getting a
> warranty repair or replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.
>
>
>
> I disagree - what do you think?
>
> This is avery ordinary S10 conversion using components called out in many
> partslists.  The controller is a Curtis1231C.  The power source is a set
of
> 24Trojan T-125 6v batteries for 144v total. My simplified schematic is
also
> posted in the Flickr set.
>
> Thedriving has been on both town and country roads at speeds 25-50 MPH.
> The day that the motor stranded me I'd beendriving 15 minutes at about 30-
> 40 MPH, then stopped at the hardware store forabout ten minutes, then
> headed back to the office at somewhat higher speed(different road max 50
> MPH) for about 10 minutes when it died.  I've driven the truck on that
same
> errandroutine at least 6 six or eight times without any issues.
>
> The tiresare the stock P215/75R15 and inflated to the sidewall pressure,
so
> they are 27inches in diameter.   The rear-end isthe stock unit with a gear
ratio
> of 3.73. The transmission is the stock manual five-speed "New
> Venture"NV1500 unit . Gear ratios in the NV1500 are 3.94, 2.37, 1.49,
1.00,
> and 0.830.An online RPM calculator shows that at the time of the failure
the
> motor wouldhave been turning at 3320 rpm - that seems pretty normal.  And
> the truck was carrying no cargo so therewas no load beyond the weight of
> the converted vehicle.
>
> Thanksguys for any insights you can provide... if I am doing something
wrong,

> I need to learn how to avoid it in the future.  And if I am not, then I've
> learned that the motor manufacturer's warranty is not worth much.
>
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
>
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> |
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Otmar
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
When you say your brush springs were up, what exactly do you mean?

Can you provide a picture? Were they locked to the brush rigging such as is done in maintenance to hold them up and out of the way?
Having a lifted commutator segment is not unusual for an overheated commutator, just driving in 3rd and 4th gear when you should have been in second could do that on a heavy vehicle such as yours. It sounds like the insulator between the commutator bars on yours has lifted, or maybe it is just a bar that lifted. Have you put a dial indicator on the commutator and rotated it to check for how much the lift is? Having the brush springs not pushing on the brushes, I have not seen that. It makes me wonder if someone forgot to put the springs properly back in place.
I suppose if the brushes bounced very violently then maybe the spring could wedge on the edge of the brush as I think you may be saying. I have not seen this before, has anyone else seen this effect?
-Otmar-

914 EV, California Poppy, Zilla research vehicle.
http://evcl.com/914/

The Zilla factory is at:
http://manzanitamicro.com/

Zilla Support is still at:
http://cafeelectric.com/Ssupport.php
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

sbjohnston
In reply to this post by sbjohnston

Jay wrote:

>it doesn't sound like you are abusing your motor.

Thank you  I really appreciate your confirmation.  It has been difficult to see how I could have been abusing the motor, and it is reassuring to know that your experience has been good with a very similar setup.

I picked a very common conversion project knowing that I would likely benefit from the experience of those who have gone before, offsetting to some degree my inexperience.  And the results have been really good except for the motor failure.  

I've disassembled the front of the motor and removed the brushes and holders. The front four brushes (the ones I found cocked up and away from the commutator) have wear marks on their leading edges that are the same shape as the protruding piece of insulation.  So clearly they were down on the commutator - how else could they get that shape worn into them?  Some guys find it hard to believe, even to the point of claiming I'm making it up, but it is absolutely true - I personally know that all eight brushes were down on the commutator when I installed the motor, then after it failed I found the front four up with the springs pressing on their sides.  

I am very disappointed in AMD.  Not because their motor developed a problem, but because of their reaction to the problem.  Immediately blaming the customer is not a good approach - please wait until there is some evidence one way or the other.  The distributor has been better - a more balanced and thoughtful reaction but nothing concrete has come of it.  AMD never even followed through on their vague offer to inspect the motor - no RMA number has been provided as promised.  I don't think I would take them up on it - but after a month I've really got no results except repeated statements from them that I must have been abusing the motor.    

I'm going to clean-up the commutator, and install a new brush holder, springs, and brushes.  Maybe I can bring this motor back from the dead.  


Steve





 
 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

sbjohnston
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Otmar wrote:

>When you say your brush springs were up, what exactly do you mean?
>Can you provide a picture? Were they locked to the brush rigging
>such as isdone in maintenance to hold them up and out of the way?

That's correct - The brushes were away from the commutator and the springs were pressing on the upper side of the brushes instead of pressing down on their tops.  I've now got the motor end dissembled and will take a photo later today of what I am describing.


Steve






 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

David Dymaxion
In reply to this post by Otmar
I had something similar on my Kostov. I had a high current event at low rpm (I could hear arcing). A comm bar lifted very slightly, just enough to hear it. I ground it down and the motor seemed to run just fine, until I did an all-out run with the car. 1/2 of one of the comm bars was completely missing. Some brushes were sideways, some of the holders bent, and arcing damage. My theory is as the comm bar lifted, it was like a little wall of copper that knocked the brushes about. Once the brush holders were bent, then I think the major arcing occurred. I suppose it is also possible one brush was flipped up, and then all the current went through another brush set instead of sharing the load.


So one thought is to put a dial indicator on the comm and see if maybe any commutator segments lifted also in addition to the raised mica.



________________________________
 From: Otmar <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:31 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure
 
... I suppose if the brushes bounced very violently then maybe the spring could
wedge on the edge of the brush as I think you may be saying. I have not seen
this before, has anyone else seen this effect? ...
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

sbjohnston
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Here's a photo illustrating the positions I found the brushes in after the motor failure.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/7158276530/in/set-72157627254806189



Steve





 
 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

EVDL Administrator
In reply to this post by Rush Dougherty
On 7 May 2012 at 15:52, Rush wrote:

> With only 300 miles on it I would suspect the
> fabricator.

Don't you usually hold the brushes up with the springs pressing against the
side when you're fitting the armature?  I'm wondering if the factory might
have forgotten to place the brush springs correctly when they assembled the
motor.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Roland Wiench
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Hello Steve,

After you clean the commutator and rotor, it is a good ideal to test the
communtator for shorts between the communtator bars and to ground.

About every ten years I get out my Electric Motor Repair text book by Robert
Rosenberg.  Using this guild or there are many on line sites on how to test
out a motor for shorts and grounds.

Sometimes a ohm meter may not find the problem.  Before I install a new
motor, I will test it out with a ohm meter and record the readings.

It is normal for the ohms to read over 20 megohms for a new motor.  As it is
use for many years it is normal for the ohms reading to read as low as 30 to
50 kohms.  If it gets down in this range, it is time to recondition the
motor.

To check for a grounded commutator, where the commutator bars are shorted to
the motor shaft, select the ohm meter to the lowest ohms scale and place one
lead on a communtator bar and clamp one on to the motor shaft.

To check for a open armature winding that is connected to the armature bar,
place the test lead on one bar and the one next to it. Each adjacent are
connected together in series through each loop of winding that goes through
the armature.  The ohms reading should be about the same between two
adjacent communator bars. If the ohms reading is lower then normal, then
these two bars are shorted together which may be cause by the mica
insulation paper that is place in each communator groove.

After the ohms test is done.  Then use a lamp test which puts a higher
voltage through the communator bar circuits.  Sometimes this will break down
a weak spot in the insulation and/or wire that is place in the armature
grooves and communtator.

Visual check the groove insulation to make sure it sticks about 0.25 inch
from the end of the communtator and armature grooves.  If not, then the
enamel motor wire could be damage on the sharp groove edges.

If the extension of this mica insulation is even or not enough, then this is
a factory assembly error!

After you do the ohms test, you could do a lamp test.  The lamp test is
plugging in a standard plug into a 120 vac receptacle.  The black wire which
is circuit breaker back at the panel has also a 10 amp 250 vac fuse, a
switch, a lamp holder for a 120 bulb and then to the test lead that is use
to connect to the communtator bar.

The white neutral wire is directly connected to the other test lead.  Clamp
this test lead to the motor shaft and move the black test lead from bar to
bar.  If the lamp lights, than you have a grounded communator or armature
winding grounded.

Now instead of doing all of the above, you could take the armature to a
motor shop, and they will do these test for you plus a grower test where the
armature is place into two laminated cores that duplicates the field
windings of a motor.  A micro volt meter leads are place on one of the
communtator bars and motor shaft to find any shorted bars or grounds.

According to the photo of your communator, that raise portion looks like the
small strips of banding material that is place in the insulated groove.
First the mica paper is place in the groove, and than strips of tin plate
copper bend in a U is place in.  The wire coils and then place inside this
metal banding strip and than folded over the wire coils.

For the armature the mica paper is folded over the banding strips and coils.
A U or V shape mica bar is then press into this groove.  Steel wire is then
wrap around the armature in two places to band it in position.

Roland




----- Original Message -----
From: <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 7:26 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure


>
> Jay wrote:
>
> >it doesn't sound like you are abusing your motor.
>
> Thank you  I really appreciate your confirmation.  It has been difficult
> to see how I could have been abusing the motor, and it is reassuring to
> know that your experience has been good with a very similar setup.
>
> I picked a very common conversion project knowing that I would likely
> benefit from the experience of those who have gone before, offsetting to
> some degree my inexperience.  And the results have been really good except
> for the motor failure.
>
> I've disassembled the front of the motor and removed the brushes and
> holders. The front four brushes (the ones I found cocked up and away from
> the commutator) have wear marks on their leading edges that are the same
> shape as the protruding piece of insulation.  So clearly they were down on
> the commutator - how else could they get that shape worn into them?  Some
> guys find it hard to believe, even to the point of claiming I'm making it
> up, but it is absolutely true - I personally know that all eight brushes
> were down on the commutator when I installed the motor, then after it
> failed I found the front four up with the springs pressing on their sides.
>
> I am very disappointed in AMD.  Not because their motor developed a
> problem, but because of their reaction to the problem.  Immediately
> blaming the customer is not a good approach - please wait until there is
> some evidence one way or the other.  The distributor has been better - a
> more balanced and thoughtful reaction but nothing concrete has come of it.
> AMD never even followed through on their vague offer to inspect the
> motor - no RMA number has been provided as promised.  I don't think I
> would take them up on it - but after a month I've really got no results
> except repeated statements from them that I must have been abusing the
> motor.
>
> I'm going to clean-up the commutator, and install a new brush holder,
> springs, and brushes.  Maybe I can bring this motor back from the dead.
>
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Otmar
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Thanks for the picture Steve,

The location showed in your picture is not the place the spring would normally be for installing brushes or the armature. In your picture you can see an extra arm of brass above the brush spring coil. If you pull the spring back more it can be hooked around that arm to hold the spring back for assembly, brush replacement and maintenance.

I have watched the run in process at the factory. Each motor is run and the coms are stoned, blown out and inspected. They do this after seating the brush springs which is done one pair at a time. I don't see any plausible way that they could incorrectly seat all four outer brush springs during that step and miss it while running them in and stoning them, but you never can be sure.

In your case I suspect either the commutator was overheated and a lifted bar knocked the brushes up (this would be the first time that I've heard of that happening, but it's certainly a possible theory) or sometime between the manufacture of the motor and your driving it someone (who was not familiar with the use of the spring retaining clip) had the brushes lifted and neglected to lower the front set of them back on top of the brush.

As others have said the next step is to put a dial indicator on the commutator and look for lifted commutator bars. Just a couple thousandths of an inch would be a problem. Often they lift in sets of four from when current is driven though the motor while it is held without turning.  This puts all the heat in just four bars and quickly overheats the commutator. Unfortunately this sometimes happens when people who have not heard how bad it is are testing things before driving. (For those of you with Zilla controllers, this is why it's important to enable the stall detect which protects the motor)

Then also there is what you are suggesting that the mica (or whatever it is) between the com bars lifted before the commutator overheated. This might also be possible in my opinion and would indicate a problem with the com construction. Beyond knowing that they are all glued together with a high temp epoxy (which is why you should never let the brushes get over 230 deg C) I know very little about the internals of how the com is made. I think that if you put a dial indicator on the com bars and find that they are all within .001" of each other then there I would certainly explore how it's constructed and see if your suggested mode of failure can be confirmed.

In the future this can usually be caught long before damage is done by putting a brush temperature gauge in one of the brushes. We used to do that more often, maybe it's time to bring back that practice since a $120 meter costs much less than a motor.
-Otmar-

914 EV, California Poppy, Zilla research vehicle.
http://evcl.com/914/

The Zilla factory is at:
http://manzanitamicro.com/

Zilla Support is still at:
http://cafeelectric.com/Ssupport.php
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Mark Grasser
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Commutator really looks burned, even pitted. Has "timing" been discussed?


Sincerely,
Mark Grasser
 
-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf
Of [hidden email]
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 10:27 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Here's a photo illustrating the positions I found the brushes in after the
motor failure.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/7158276530/in/set-7215762725480618
9



Steve





 
 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Ken Fry
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Remarkable.

One could jump to the conclusion that the front brushes were never in contact, until, after you lowered them, you ran the motor on 12v.  Are you certain that your pre-installation inspection verified all eight brush positions?  The running on 12v would explain the wear marks on them.  It's hard (nearly impossible) to imagine a piece of protruding mica causing a brush to lift with such velocity to lift it all the way out of its holder, to the servicing position (with the spring catching on the side of the brush).  Even if the protruding piece were initially large and capable of flexing into a position that would impart an upward force vector, such a piece would be sheared off by the first brush holder, making it very unlikely that it could do a similar feat to all four front brushes.  

With only half the brushes in contact, the brushes and commutator would have been constantly overloaded, explaining the blackened commutator.

HOWEVER:

The commutator looks like it has had the front brushes running on it for a while.  That seems to support your theory that the protruding insulator knocked the brushes up far enough to have the springs catch on the sides.  Then the subsequent damage would occur.  A local motor repair shop could probably help you support your contention, checking, for example, the condition of the front brushes to see that they were run in to the commutator.  

I am assuming that you never run the truck in fourth or fifth, that you never use anything but first for starting on a hill, that you never used the motor to hold position on a hill, and that you have never oversped the motor.

In any case, the motor needs a thorough rebuild.  

     
Think Big.
Drive Small.  
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

martinwinlow
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Hi Steve,

Firstly, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. As you know, usually EVs (conversions included) are very dependable.

I think your undamaged, 'cocked' brush/spring is undamaged specifically because the brush was 'cocked' out of the way and too far from the comm to arc.  Now, how did this happen?  Certainly, I would think a serious lifting of one or more comm bars could smack the brushes hard enough to cause the 'cocking' situation and certainly it looks as though there has been serious comm bar lifting evidenced by the piece of what I suspect is mica insulation poking out from between the bars.  Equally, it could have been like this from new but you say you are sure all brushes were seated correctly when you installed the motor, so that effectively rules that possibility out.  Also the mica wear marks on the bottoms of the front brushes would also go against this theory.

If just one brush wasn't 'pulling its weight', I would think this would be easily enough to cause the overheating/arcing and comm bar raising. I think you would not notice any performance issues, so you would not have known there was a problem unless you could see the arcing or detect the unusual heat until it was too late.

>From a forensic stand-point, the answer to what  the cause of the damage was boils down to the answer to the question: did the comm bars lift and re-arrange the brushes causing the arcing or was there overheating which caused the comm bars to lift that caused the arcing?   It looks to me that the motor overheated causing the comm bar lift which knocked the front brushes out of the way and then the rear brushes all overheated due to them carrying twice their normal current and eventually failed. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any realistic hope of saying for sure either way.

Two questions remain. 1/ Are the bottoms of the front brushes clean where the mica was rubbing or tarnished (ie has the normal tarnish been removed by the mica and not re-tarnished suggesting the bars lifted and then the front brushes were knocked out of the way)?  2/  Is your yellow bucket preventing the motor from cooling sufficiently?

Bottom line, forget about trying to claim under warranty.  Remove the motor and have it looked at by a specialist who will, hopefully, be able to repair it without too much expense and then, once reinstalled, monitor your brushes for heat for a while to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Regards, MW



On 6 May 2012, at 23:52, [hidden email] wrote:

>
> The AMDFB1-4001 motor in our Chevy S-10 conversion has developed a seriousproblem.  Since the installation of themotor in August 2011, the truck has been driven about 300 miles at low andmedium speeds.  All seemed fine untilyesterday it suddenly began to lose power and then stopped entirely.  After it was towed in I did sometroubleshooting and found that the motor would not turn unloaded with 12vapplied.
>
> I pulledthe headband off and observed that the outer set of brushes (closest to the endof the motor) were all perched up in their holders with the springs pressingagainst their sides (holding them up off the commutator).  The inner set of brushes were seatednormally but all showed signs of discoloration where the braided wires meet thecarbon block, and on one of them the wires were burned completely off thecarbon block!  That brush's spring isalso damaged from heat.
>
> I seatedthe outer brushes down into their holders with the springs on top and now themotor turned with 12v applied, but it made a lot more noise that before.  I rotated the shaft by hand while watchingthe commutator surface - at one point there is a shiny wedge of something thin(insulation sheet) coming out from between two of the metal contactstrips - I believe that's what is making the noise as the outer brushes rideover it.
>
> I'veposted photos of my project on Flickr. The last few photos show the motor damage.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/sets/72157627254806189/
>
> As Imentioned, the overheating seems to be concentrated on the rear brushes.
>
> My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
>
> 1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes photo) comes out frombetween two bars on the commutator.
> 2. Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get stuck withtheir springs on their sides.
> 3. Therear brushes now have to carry all the current and they overheat until all arestressed and one completely fails.
>
> The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept this sequence of events.  They keep coming back to the idea that the motor has been abused or overloaded.  They offer to "look at it" - but that involves removing it from the truck and shipping it back to them at my cost (~$150).  I asked the dealer for a candid assessment of the chances of getting a warranty repair or replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.  
>
>
>
> I disagree - what do you think?
>
> This is avery ordinary S10 conversion using components called out in many partslists.  The controller is a Curtis1231C.  The power source is a set of 24Trojan T-125 6v batteries for 144v total. My simplified schematic is also posted in the Flickr set.
>
> Thedriving has been on both town and country roads at speeds 25-50 MPH.  The day that the motor stranded me I'd beendriving 15 minutes at about 30-40 MPH, then stopped at the hardware store forabout ten minutes, then headed back to the office at somewhat higher speed(different road max 50 MPH) for about 10 minutes when it died.  I've driven the truck on that same errandroutine at least 6 six or eight times without any issues.
>
> The tiresare the stock P215/75R15 and inflated to the sidewall pressure, so they are 27inches in diameter.   The rear-end isthe stock unit with a gear ratio of 3.73. The transmission is the stock manual five-speed "New Venture"NV1500 unit . Gear ratios in the NV1500 are 3.94, 2.37, 1.49, 1.00, and 0.830.An online RPM calculator shows that at the time of the failure the motor wouldhave been turning at 3320 rpm - that seems pretty normal.  And the truck was carrying no cargo so therewas no load beyond the weight of the converted vehicle.
>
> Thanksguys for any insights you can provide... if I am doing something wrong, I need to learn how to avoid it in the future.  And if I am not, then I've learned that the motor manufacturer's warranty is not worth much.
>
>
> Steve
>




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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

RightHand Engineering-2
In reply to this post by sbjohnston

I feel for you Steve.
 
My own S-10's ADC FB1-4001 died last month after putting 12K miles on it. I was pulling a long hill in 5th gear at 60 MPH and between 400-500 Amps. At the top of the hill the temp switch tripped (my first indication of a problem) and after pulling over lots of smoke came out from under the hood. Later, my inspection showed all brush holders bent (I assume due to heat) and two adjacent commutator bars half gone. That is when I learned that there is a time-vs.-amps limit on the motor. What probably didn't help is that I had gotten into the bad habit of starting out in 3rd gear, and I also had a splash shield around the front of the motor which probably restricted air-flow. I learned the hard way.
 
In your case, I can see no smoking gun. Were you watching your Amp meter and if so, what was the current like at the time? I can sell you a Link-10 & prescaler if you don't have a meter.
 
One response asked about the timing of the motor. The motor's brushes can be slightly rotated for optimal motor, optimal generator, or neutral. If it wasn't in the motor position, that would probable cause overheating, which could cause glue to loosen and mica insulation and commutator bars to lift. But the brushes stuck up is a real head-scratcher.
 
My motor would require a new armature (apparently rebuilding armatures is a lost art), so I am looking at replacing it with a Warp 9 or 11" instead (but its doubtful an 11" will fit). There are air cooling kits for these that blow air through the commutator area. I will definately be adding it. The other thing I will be adding is a temp sensor/gauge (not just an over-temp switch).
 
I'm thinking your motor/armature can probably be repaired. It seems that folks who service fork lifts are the best local folks for repair.
 
-Randy Richmond
www.evalbum.com/1253

 

> To: [hidden email]
> From: [hidden email]
> Date: Sun, 6 May 2012 18:52:14 -0400
> Subject: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure
>
>
> The AMDFB1-4001 motor in our Chevy S-10 conversion has developed a seriousproblem. Since the installation of themotor in August 2011, the truck has been driven about 300 miles at low andmedium speeds. All seemed fine untilyesterday it suddenly began to lose power and then stopped entirely. After it was towed in I did sometroubleshooting and found that the motor would not turn unloaded with 12vapplied.
>
> I pulledthe headband off and observed that the outer set of brushes (closest to the endof the motor) were all perched up in their holders with the springs pressingagainst their sides (holding them up off the commutator). The inner set of brushes were seatednormally but all showed signs of discoloration where the braided wires meet thecarbon block, and on one of them the wires were burned completely off thecarbon block! That brush's spring isalso damaged from heat.
>
> I seatedthe outer brushes down into their holders with the springs on top and now themotor turned with 12v applied, but it made a lot more noise that before. I rotated the shaft by hand while watchingthe commutator surface - at one point there is a shiny wedge of something thin(insulation sheet) coming out from between two of the metal contactstrips - I believe that's what is making the noise as the outer brushes rideover it.
>
> I'veposted photos of my project on Flickr. The last few photos show the motor damage.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/32025136@N03/sets/72157627254806189/
>
> As Imentioned, the overheating seems to be concentrated on the rear brushes.
>
> My guessas to the sequence of events would be:
>
> 1. Whiledriving the strange thing (marked in the top brushes photo) comes out frombetween two bars on the commutator.
> 2. Thenow-irregular surface makes the front brushes bounce up and get stuck withtheir springs on their sides.
> 3. Therear brushes now have to carry all the current and they overheat until all arestressed and one completely fails.
>
> The motordealer and manufacturer are so far unwilling to accept this sequence of events. They keep coming back to the idea that the motor has been abused or overloaded. They offer to "look at it" - but that involves removing it from the truck and shipping it back to them at my cost (~$150). I asked the dealer for a candid assessment of the chances of getting a warranty repair or replacement and he said it was a crap shoot.
>
>
>
> I disagree - what do you think?
>
> This is avery ordinary S10 conversion using components called out in many partslists. The controller is a Curtis1231C. The power source is a set of 24Trojan T-125 6v batteries for 144v total. My simplified schematic is also posted in the Flickr set.
>
> Thedriving has been on both town and country roads at speeds 25-50 MPH. The day that the motor stranded me I'd beendriving 15 minutes at about 30-40 MPH, then stopped at the hardware store forabout ten minutes, then headed back to the office at somewhat higher speed(different road max 50 MPH) for about 10 minutes when it died. I've driven the truck on that same errandroutine at least 6 six or eight times without any issues.
>
> The tiresare the stock P215/75R15 and inflated to the sidewall pressure, so they are 27inches in diameter. The rear-end isthe stock unit with a gear ratio of 3.73. The transmission is the stock manual five-speed "New Venture"NV1500 unit . Gear ratios in the NV1500 are 3.94, 2.37, 1.49, 1.00, and 0.830.An online RPM calculator shows that at the time of the failure the motor wouldhave been turning at 3320 rpm - that seems pretty normal. And the truck was carrying no cargo so therewas no load beyond the weight of the converted vehicle.
>
> Thanksguys for any insights you can provide... if I am doing something wrong, I need to learn how to avoid it in the future. And if I am not, then I've learned that the motor manufacturer's warranty is not worth much.
>
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
>
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

sbjohnston
In reply to this post by sbjohnston


Thank you for all the input - great ideas all around.

 I'm the only person who has ever driven the truck since the conversion, so I can speak confidently that I have never subjected the motor to an overspeed condition - the truck has always been in first or second gear before activating the controller and advancing the "throttle" - no unloaded operation.  Details of my calculation of the RPM of the motor at the time of the failure are in my original post - I'd been running a few minutes at 3320 rpm.  I am also certain I never applied power with the shaft held fixed.  My safety interlocks help prevent the latter situation.

The leading edges of the front brushes are not knocked off entirely - they are carved out in rough correspondence to the shape of the mica protruding from the commutator.    

I detect very little variation in height from one commutator bar to another.  I don't have a precision measuring device but each bar feels to my fingertips the same height as its neighbors.    

Regarding timing:  This motor comes already set up with the brushes mounted offset from the line of the pole piece bolts in the anti-rotational direction.  
 
I'm going to clean up the commutator tonight and install a new brush-holder, springs, and brushes, and then see how it turns by hand, watching the brushes ride and listening.  If smooth, I'll take it around the block.

Steve






 
 
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

gottdi
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
I pushed a brush from below and with the spring in place there is no way you could push the brush out of the holder. The brush follows the arc of the spring and the brush will bind in the holder the further out you push it. I did a video of pulling the brush out of the holder and you can pull it out but while your pulling the brush will follow the arc of the spring but at a specific point you begin to pull against that and you can then pull out the brush. From below it does not work. Video of the brush being pushed will come tomorrow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp3B97yjyXA


Pete :)
http://onegreenev.blogspot.com/
No need to wait any longer. You can now buy one off the shelf. You can still build one too.
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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Mike Nickerson
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
Hi Steve,

When you install the new brushes, I think you need to go through a procedure
to get them shaped to the commutator and worn in properly.  I haven't done
it myself, but I think it involves more than just putting in the brushes and
running the motor a few minutes.

 (I had the motor shop put in my new brushes and brush holder after checking
out the commutator.  My "issue" was related to running the motor backward
without changing the advanced timing.  It completely trashed the brushes and
holder but left the commutator un-damaged.)

Mike

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of [hidden email]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 5:59 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] AMD FB1-4001 motor failure
>
>
>
> Thank you for all the input - great ideas all around.
>
>  I'm the only person who has ever driven the truck since the conversion,
so I
> can speak confidently that I have never subjected the motor to an
> overspeed condition - the truck has always been in first or second gear
> before activating the controller and advancing the "throttle" - no
unloaded
> operation.  Details of my calculation of the RPM of the motor at the time
of
> the failure are in my original post - I'd been running a few minutes at
3320
> rpm.  I am also certain I never applied power with the shaft held fixed.
My
> safety interlocks help prevent the latter situation.
>
> The leading edges of the front brushes are not knocked off entirely - they
> are carved out in rough correspondence to the shape of the mica protruding
> from the commutator.
>
> I detect very little variation in height from one commutator bar to
another.  I
> don't have a precision measuring device but each bar feels to my
fingertips
> the same height as its neighbors.
>
> Regarding timing:  This motor comes already set up with the brushes
> mounted offset from the line of the pole piece bolts in the
anti-rotational
> direction.
>
> I'm going to clean up the commutator tonight and install a new
brush-holder,
> springs, and brushes, and then see how it turns by hand, watching the
> brushes ride and listening.  If smooth, I'll take it around the block.
>
> Steve
>

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Re: AMD FB1-4001 motor failure

Ken Fry
In reply to this post by sbjohnston
With as much damage as has been done, I think you should really take the motor out, get the com turned, the insulators undercut, the brushes bedded in, and a full growler test.  If you make the assumption that one insulator failed under normal operation then others would likely be be close behind: bad batch of epoxy?  But clearly the motor has seriously overheated, so a tear down is in order.

At very least, borrow a friends dial indicator, and indicate the com after the bearing is in place.  A motor as new as yours should not have more than .001" runout (other than at the insulators).    
Think Big.
Drive Small.  
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