Motors, speed controls and batteries are some of the most expensive components on our electric cars. I’m sure you have blown up one of these at some point and know the agonizing feeling of breaking out your wallet to replace it (or waiting weeks for warranty repair).
Motor or speed control failure is often caused by heat. Heat and electronics do not mix. Electronics are more efficient and reliable at lower temperatures. It is always a good idea to run your motor and esc as cool as possible. If you keep them cool, they should last longer and most likely increase your runtime. Here are a few tips to keep them cool:
- Cut vents in your body to allow more air flow. Remember, hot air rises so holes above your motor or esc are usually a good idea.
- A good rule of thumb for brushless motors would be 170 degrees. Some motors can handle well above that but remember excessive heat will wear motors out much faster. Magnets dislike heat just as much as electronics. If you are having trouble staying around 170 degrees, check your gearing, lower the mechanical timing on your motor, or turn the boost down on your ESC.
- If you run your motor to its limits and it’s getting too hot, limit your runtime and let your motor cool.
- Use a heatsink or fan. Most ESC’s have both standard but not many motors do. Adding a fan to your motor can often cool it by 20-30 degrees.
Here are a few motor manufacturer’s recommended MAX motor temps:
Novak – 175 degrees F
Tekin – 180 degrees F
LRP - 195 degrees F
Castle – 180 degrees F
Take a look at the gallery below. My B44.1 has the front of the body cut open more and some vent holes right above the motor to promote airflow. The stock RC8e body has a couple louvers on each side. I chose to open up the one right above the motor to help cool it down.