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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a rancher 350, and the starter brushes went, and none of the shops in town can get me new ones for less than 50$ (cad) i found a oem starter on amazon for 66$, its Chinese, but it has a 1 year warranty and free shipping, so I think I'll get that. But i decided to do a little experiment with my old starter... I had some scrap 1/4 inch steel, so I've cut some peices to fit in the place of the brushes. Im going to make homemade brushes, which im sure will destroy the starter, but I got a new one coming soon, so this should work until then. Thoughts?
 

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I've been through several starters on my 01 350, I think I changed the brushes on the OEM one 3 times, then replaced it with an aftermarket that lasted quite a while. Just replaced that with another aftermarket.

Brushes are usually a lot softer than mild steel lol, I'm sure the commutator will be destroyed in short order.
 

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Nah, steel or any other ferrous metal material won't ever work. The brushes in a DC electric motor need to be of a similar composition and having nearly identical electrical properties (AND be made from non-ferrous material) as the commutator bars are. Brushes may be designed to be slightly harder than the commutator material is (such as sintered bronze based material) or it may be made of a slightly softer material (such as a powdered graphite/carbon based material), but either choice should result in a close physical and electrical properties match. Remember, a DC electric motor has permanent magnets in it....
 

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Just get some bigger brushes and grind them to size. Something out of a power tool or auto starter. You then have a spare starter.

Don't put mild steel in, if it works at all it will only be very short term.
 

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using steel is going to lead to a knackered starter comm within minutes! Look online, I'm pretty sure brushes are as cheap as chips from a specialist not an ATV parts supplier.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well the steel worked. It doesn't work well, but it works. The experiment is a success I guess. I'm still gonna use the pull start until my new starter arrives.
 

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well the steel worked. It doesn't work well, but it works. The experiment is a success I guess. I'm still gonna use the pull start until my new starter arrives.
Two paperclips bent to fit will work too, I did that when I was 6 or 7 years old and made an electric motor from scratch powered by a flashlight battery! It ran but that didn't mean it was a success.... I imagine your experiment resembles an arc welder when its energized, just like mine did.

I would do what rodp mentioned. Get some cheap china brushes in a 20 pack off the fLeebay that you can rub against a flat file to size and make yourself several spare sets. I have a cheap china 4" angle grinder ($25 new!) that eats brushes every time I work it hard. Got ten spare sets filed to fit in a plastic box taped to the power cord that cost me a total of $2.99 shipped!!!

Don't forget to peel all the steel brush fragments off of the field magnets when you open that starter up again.... else the field windings in the armature will soon be toast and the bearing & bushing torn up. :-(
 

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The starter is aleady junk I would be willing to bet, in my experience after the first set of brushes wore out the other 2 or 3 sets I put in it didn't last any time at all. The only way to get a couple years out of it was to replace the starter as an assembly. So with that said if it's all ready ef'd ya can't ef it more.....


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