Inside the Tamiya Sport Tuned motor

I’ve got a soft spot for Tamiya’s Sport Tuned motor. It was fitted as standard to my Avante 2001 buggy, and I always found it to be surprisingly rapid – outperforming the supposedly faster motors I had been using before. Of course, I was about 14 years old and didn’t know very much about motor maintenance!

One of the mysteries about the Sport Tuned is the wind. My assumption has always been that it is a 23-turn motor, but you occasionally hear rumours that there are different versions for different markets. I’ve never believed that myself, because the motor has only one part number (#53068).

This particular specimen lost performance at the first round of the Iconic Cup this past weekend – probably the result of overheating when the TT-01E’s spur gear slid off its pin and partially melted. What better opportunity to tear it apart!

A couple of notes:

  • These motors are NOT easy to take apart. This was the first time I have tried, and I can assure you that anyone who is capable of tampering with one of these motors without making it very obvious has some extremely specialised tools to hand. The tabs that hold the endbell in place had to be ground away because there is no way of getting enough purchase to bend them.
  • Capacitors come pre-fitted internally.
  • One brush had quite a lot more wear than the other – this motor probably had about 20 runs on it.
  • The commutator was in a bad state with lumps over it (a sign of overheating) and there seemed to be a bit of copper in one of the slots (these should be clear)
  • I ground off the tab that held one coil in place. There were 23 turns of 0.75mm wire wrapped around the armature.

If this was a rebuildable motor, it could have been saved with a comm skim and a proper clean. But it isn’t, and now it is scrap 😦

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