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Thread: Brushes not available for electric motor...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Angry Brushes not available for electric motor...

    I have a question and a rant!

    I've got a leaf blower that needs new brushes. Neither Toro (the manufacturer) nor Mamco (the motor supplier) will sell the brushes to me or refer me to a third party. I got an email response from Mamco stating that they couldn't give me the specs for the brushes because it was considered proprietary info.

    I thought the response was silly given that I could make the mechanical, chemical, and electrical measurements myself with the right equipment.

    In addition, I thought about the car industry. Every part on every vehicle is probably proprietary to some car company or supplier. I can hear it now..."Oops, I'm sorry your headlight is bad so you'll have to buy as new car".

    This company obviously wants to sell a new motor that costs more than the whole blower all because a $3 replaceable part failed. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Here's a solution.

  3. #3
    You asked for the wrong thing when you asked for the specs on the brushes because it is assumed that you want the engineering specifications which include the formulation for the brush material and details on the manufacturing process. The correct question would have been to ask for information on replacement parts. Actually, it would be easier to just open the thing up and physically measure the brushes and then locate a source for brushes that match that size. You may need to reuse the brush holders since they are probably unique to the particular machine. It is not uncommon for tools in this category to be considered throw-away which may mean that they don't have a service network to repair them and it is up to your ingenuity to fix it.


  4. You can take oversized brushes and file them down to size if need be.

  5. #5

    A way to make your own brushes

    I don't know if this will work for you, but it is worth a try.

    Back in the 1940s I watched my dad make replacement brushes for a motor. He cut open a standard dry cell battery (say C size). In the middle is a black cylinder. It is mostly graphite, the same material as most motor brushes. With a saw and file, shape the material to fit your brush holders. For less sparking and more power, shape the face concave that rides on the commutator for good contact.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA

    Ace hardware store?

    I had brushes go bad in a B & D electric mower. Went to the local Ace Hardware and looked in the nut & bolt aisle in the odd fastener, knobs, etc. drawers. Sure enough, a drawer of brushes. $7 later I was back in business


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    A local motor rewind shop probably could help you find replacement their own parts bin..........

  8. #8


    what about a tool repair place like B&D they have lots of brushes if you have the part # they should be able to help no I dont work there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Some where between Buffalo and Rochester NY
    I second dougs idea. You must be carefull about switchin brushes between motors as they are made to a certian spec. just for that motor and it could couse the other motor to not run proper.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I haven't been able to find a local repair shop that has parts for this thing. Most of the folks I contacted only deal in extremely large (50HP+) electric motors. I'll keep trying...

    Does Helwig have a minimum order? I spoke to someone at Ohio Carbon Industries who informed me that they had almost 1 million part numbers for brushes. The person was very helpful but they have a $15 minimum. I may just place an order for $15 worth just to give them my business.

    Thanks again,

  11. #11
    On more than one occasion, I've bought a bigger brush than what I needed - because the right ones weren't available - and have used files and sandpaper to cut them down to the needed size. Really messy with all that carbon dudt, but it's saved several otherwise 'dead' motors.

    In a real pinch, for a very small motor, I once cut a "D" cell battery apart to get the carbon electrode out of it, and used that to make a set of brushes.

    Not fun, but it can be done...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Portsmouth, VA
    Dick, I don't get much time these days to post any more, but when I read your post I had to stop and find an old e-mail that has your solution in it.

    A while back I needed to replace the brushes on my Rigid scroll saw. The task was daunting, as I'm sure yours has been. Then someone sent me this company's info. I called them, gave them the specs, and about $15 later I had the brushes (2 complete sets, just in case).

    Southland Carbon Products
    321 Flemming Road
    Birmingham, AL 35217

    Check them out, hope it helps.

    Take care,


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Hey Doc.....It's good to see you post again!

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