- Tech Tips
I’ve seen a lot of guys recently who reach for the motor puller tool first thing when attempting to remove a blower motor from a wheel/fan blade. Motor puller tools are an awesome backup tool when needed, but that shouldn’t be the go-to method of removing a motor.
The main issue with using a motor puller for every single motor is its tendency to bulge out the shaft. Motor pullers work by clamping down on a hub and then twisting a small shaft against the motor shaft in order to push/pull the motor/wheel away from each other. Sometimes, when technicians don’t sand down a shaft and spray the area with WD-40 or other water displacement lubricants, the shaft will get stuck and a tremendous amount of force is required to crank the motor puller shaft against the shaft of the motor. These opposing forces can significantly bulge the motor shaft. If the technician is successful in removing the motor that way, they often find it more difficult to get the motor shaft back inside the bore of the wheel.
My hope is every technician reading this understands that the cardinal rule of removing a motor is to never use any of the following methods:
Any of the above-mentioned sins can result in expensive problems.
Please note the two things that must be completed before using a motor puller: sanding the shaft and lubrication. Guess what…
That’s all you need to do to remove a shaft!
Voila! Those are steps a technician needs to do before using a motor puller, yet 90% of the time, those steps are all that’s needed to do the job.
One extra tip…Blow off the sandpaper/rust debris before applying the lubricant, and don’t apply lubricant before you sand the shaft. The debris can get stuck and make things even more difficult, and sandpaper that is saturated in WD-40 doesn’t do much good.
For a video on this method, we shared a post by Brad Hicks earlier this year of him demonstrating how it’s done!
When I started in the trade in 1999 there were still a lot of oilable blower motors in service. As part of the maintenance, we would remove the housing, oil the motor plus vacuum / wipe it down.
As oilable motors have become extinct I see fewer and fewer techs pulling the blower housing. Here are some reasons you may want to consider doing it more often.
Obviously, when and why you pull the housing will vary from contractor to contractor but I advocate it being done more often than it is now.
What say you?