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Installing Aurora G-Plus Brushes

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  • Installing Aurora G-Plus Brushes

    One of my Aurora G-Plus cars basically stopped conducting electricity so after a good cleaning and no better results I have disassembled it. To my surprise one of the brush springs is way too short and was not supplying enough tension to push the brush into the armature. How it ever worked is amazing. So I will replace both brushes and springs.

    I did get the car to run before I disassembled it and the arm got really hot really quickly. So it seemed as if there was another issue. When I checked the ohms of the armature I got two poles at 6.x ohms and the third pole is 3.x ohms. I am guessing the G-Plus armature should be in the 6 ohm range so the armature is probably bad as well.

    The G-Plus arm should be in the 6 ohm range, correct? Does anyone know if the G-Plus uses the same armature as the Ultra 5? I'm guessing Aurora used the same armature on all the inline chassis and I have some NOS Ultra 5 armatures.

    Thanks...Joe
    Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 10-17-2021, 03:04 PM.

  • #2
    It would be very rare for the windings to short out, it is much more likely that dust from the motor brushes has shorted out the commutator. Since all three poles are wired together in a delta configuration when you read one pole you are also reading the other two. If you were to isolate one pole of a 6 ohm armature it would read 9 ohms. Effectively what you have is a 9 ohm pole with an 18 ohm pole wired in parallel, so according to ohm's law you get 1/9 + 1/18 = 1/X. 0.111111 + 0.055555 = 1/X or 0.1666666 = 1/X, so X = 6. In any case a squirt of CRC contact cleaner might dislodge the dust, otherwise you would have to scrape out the slots with some stiff plastic. Avoid using anything made of metal, like an X-acto knife to keep from scratching the commutator.
    Last edited by RichD; 10-17-2021, 07:44 AM.

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    • #3
      HELP!!!

      Now that I have cleaned the armature and maybe gotten it to read constant ohms, I need to reassemble and see how it works. I am going to use two new brush springs and brushes and have spent the last few hours trying to figure out how to install the brushes. Right now I have both brush barrel holders installed with the barrels, and the springs are in the barrels. All that is left is to get the two brushes into the barrels. I can get one brush installed but there must be a trick to installing the second one.

      It looks like once the first brush is installed it must be pressed and held in the barrel to give enough room to get the second brush into the other barrel. But how do you do that? Hopefully some of you guys have gone though this and can give me some advice.

      Wow, this is frustrating.

      HELP!!

      Thanks...Joe

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      • #4
        I only have one Aurora G-Plus car and I ran into the same problem that you have. After I took the car apart I never got it back together again, however there was a thread about re-assembling a G-Plus many years ago. It is easy enough to get the brush springs and one motor brush in place. The challenge is to keep the first motor brush pushed in so that you can install the other motor brush. After that you need to keep both motor brushes retracted so that you can drop in the armature. I believe that you might be able to use masking tape to hold the motor brushes apart until you get the armature in place.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
          HELP!!!
          It looks like once the first brush is installed it must be pressed and held in the barrel to give enough room to get the second brush into the other barrel. But how do you do that? Hopefully some of you guys have gone though this and can give me some advice.
          I believe the brush holders will pop out of the chassis. The tab that reaches down to hold the end of the pickup shoe is also the tab that holds the brush holder in the chassis. You'll need to push this metal tab towards the front of the chassis to pop it out. Obviously first remove the pickup and pickup spring. I'm figuring you may only need to remove one of the brush holders. That is, with one holder removed from the chassis, install the spring and brush in the remaining holder, install the armature, and then snap the missing brush holder back into the chassis with the brush and spring inside it.

          Funny story. When I was a kid I took everything apart, including removing the armature from one of my G-plus cars. I spent days trying to get the armature and brushes back in, and I vividly remember the frustration. I kept losing springs and brushes as they would fly across the room. I ended up stealing several from some can motors I had from old broken Stompers 4x4s. Eventually I made a tool that looked a bit like a pair of tweezers using some very thin plastic strips. I used this to hold the brushes apart and in the barrel while I slid the armature down the middle and in place. About a year ago I bought some more G-plus cars and it only took me a minute of looking it over to realize that the brush holders just snap into the chassis, and that was clearly the way to get the brushes in and out.

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          • #6
            Wow, the fact you had the same issue is pretty depressing. If I could get to the point where both brushes are installed, one trick I was told is to take two pieces of construction paper and put them between the brushes. Then you can slip the armature between the pieces of paper and then remove the paper.

            Since these are mass assembled it can't be as hard as we think. Today I might try to make a "U" clip out of a piece of metal where the open part of the "U" is closed so that when it is forced open it wants to spring back. I can then install one brush and use this "U" clip to hold the brush in the barrel while I install the other one. I remember one thread where someone did something similar but it was to hold both brushes in while installing the arm. They used an old pickup shoe to make the "U" clip and I have plenty of those.

            UPDATE: I found the old thread where it is shown how to install the G-Plus brushes (I even have comments in the thread). It is located on anther board so I will not post it here. The thing I find most interesting in the post is the brushes, brush barrels and retaining clip are installed AFTER the armature is installed. I have to try this out.

            Meanwhile, I read this thread right after I actually got both brushes into the brush barrels. It wasn't easy and they could pop out if I try installing the armature. I did use an old pickup shoe to make a "U" clip which held the first brush in the tube while I installed the second brush. However the second brush will not go in the barrel unless you loosen the retaining clip and angle the brush barrel up, install the brush and then try to snap the retaining clip back in. Installing the arm first seems like an easier way to go.

            Joe
            Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 10-18-2021, 10:50 AM.

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            • #7
              i have two G+ cars disassembled. i have the same problem trying to get them back together. i would love to see a solution with pictures!

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              • #8
                Success!!!

                After messing around with this chassis for probably close to five hours, the secret was revealed! It took a leap of faith to remove the two brushes after spending those five hours getting them in but it was worth it. The total reassembly time was less than 30 minutes. Next time I should be able to do it in about half that time.

                If you plan to disassemble the entire chassis, the secret is as follows:

                1. Once all that is left is the bare chassis, put the armature back in.
                2. Now install the motor magnets and motor clip.
                3. Put the brushes and brush springs into the brush barrels and put the barrels into the brush barrel retaining clip.
                4. One at a time, take the fully assembled brush assembly (retaining clip, brush barrel brush and spring) and slide the rear part of the retaining clip (the part where the shoes hook on) into the chassis. Do not yet push in the front of the retaining clip.
                5. With the front of the retaining clip still "unhooked" and the brush sitting over the top of the comm, gently push the brush into the brush barrel while also sliding it down into position. This should let the rear of the retaining clip snap into position.
                6. Once the brush barrel is in place, push the front of the retaining clip down until it snaps in.
                7. Repeat on the other side.

                Sounds so simple. The secret is to completely remove the brush assembly and first install the armature. Then install the brush assembly as one unit. The hardest part for me was getting the front of the retaining clip to unhook from the chassis so I could remove the retaining clip. The instructions I read said just to use a small screwdriver and pry it out. It wasn't that easy to come out.

                If you want a link to the thread I read, with pictures, drop me a PM.

                By the way...the chassis now runs great with the same parts it didn't run with the other day.

                Thanks...Joe

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                • #9
                  I fished out the parts of my G-Plus car and masking tape would not work. Some years ago I broke one of the brush holders trying to press it into place.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichD View Post
                    I fished out the parts of my G-Plus car and masking tape would not work. Some years ago I broke one of the brush holders trying to press it into place.
                    Read the above steps Richard and you will not need to hold the brushes in the barrels. The key is to first install the armature.

                    Replacement aftermarket brush barrel holders (retaining clip) can be bought. I know of one hobby site which was able to acquire them and can give that info to you if interested.

                    I have making those brush barrel holders on my radar screen but it will be a while.

                    Joe

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                    • #11
                      The shoe hanger part of one of the brush holders has broken off. Slot Car Central sells reproduction brush holders. I may eventually order enough parts to restore the car.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichD View Post
                        The shoe hanger part of one of the brush holders has broken off. Slot Car Central sells reproduction brush holders. I may eventually order enough parts to restore the car.
                        Yes, Bob was able to source some retaining clips from the UK. In a couple weeks, both Bob and I will have G-Plus pickup shoes which are made right here in NJ.

                        And here is a sneak preview. We are going to take the G-Plus shoe tooling and redo the Super MagnaTraction shoes in the same style rather than in the original style. To me, it looks like Aurora decided to create the SMT because it was cheaper to make than the G-Plus. Aurora was able to remove a few parts with the SMT, specifically the axle pins and brush barrel retaining clips.

                        The original SMT shoes are really skinny, have a small contact patch and wear out very quickly. The new shoes will be longer due to the front triangle bend, have a larger contact patch and I envision the new shoes lasting much longer especially if you use the softer springs I made for the stock SMT.

                        Joe
                        Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 10-23-2021, 09:45 AM.

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                        • #13
                          The reproduction brush holders are rather expensive, for another $7 I could order an entire NOS G-Plus rolling chassis.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichD View Post
                            The reproduction brush holders are rather expensive, for another $7 I could order an entire NOS G-Plus rolling chassis.
                            I had not checked on the price. I do have making the brush holders on my list of parts but I can't see them making it to the top of the list for quite a while. If there was a big demand for them, they could easily jump over some of the parts tentatively scheduled ahead of them.

                            For those reading this thread, might be interesting to get a feel for how others would rank metal parts which we would all like to see. Here is a list in no particular order:

                            G-Plus shoes
                            G-Plus brush barrel retaining clip
                            SMT shoes
                            AFX Power Steering shoes
                            HP-7 shoes (also good for Marchon and Artin)
                            HP-7 pickup shoe spring assembly (also good for Marchon and Artin)
                            T-Jet/AFX gear clamp
                            Tomy Turbo/SG+ pickup shoes
                            Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 10-23-2021, 12:54 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I would be interested in the AFX Power Steering shoes. I haven't used them, as vintage sets are overpriced, but I like the hook design they share with the G-plus shoes and they seem like they would be easy to adjust.

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