Most RTR electric RC cars with a brushed motor come with a NiMH battery pack. However, due to the low-performance capacity of NiMH batteries, lots of RC enthusiasts choose to upgrade to a LiPo battery.
So, the question is – can you run a LiPo battery on a brushed motor?
You can use a LiPo battery on a brushed motor. However, LiPo batteries are rather powerful, much more than NiMH batteries. So, when you use them for the first few minutes, they work efficiently but then burn the motor and brushes due to the amount of current they can deliver to the motor.
A LiPo battery will only work perfectly on a brushed motor if the ESC is LiPo compatible.
LiPo battery can actually work with any brushed motor
All LiPo batteries can run on a brushed motor. The main thing is to ensure that the ESC you have can efficiently handle the extra voltage which comes with the LiPo cell packs.
Most manufacturers will state on their ESC something like 2s-3s compatible. So, if you use a battery higher than the ESC and motor can carry, it may damage.
Put a 4S LiPo with an ESC compatible with 2S, and there will be fairy smoke and black melting wire smells.
consider the number of cells of the LiPo battery before running on a brushed motor
While LiPo batteries work great with a brushed motor, you need to consider the number of cells in the battery before using them on your brushed motor.
On a stock brushed motor, a 2-cell 7.4-volt pack would function exceptionally. However, if you use a 3-cell pack 11.1-volt pack, it will quickly burn out the motor since it has a higher voltage.
Plus, brushed motors always have an rpm rating. Higher volts would demand gearing down, hence a slower motor. Using a battery pack with more cells will shorten the motor’s lifespan over time.
What difference will you experience when running brushed on LiPo?
Using a LiPo battery comes with its benefits but also losses.
You will gain more power, speed, and torque by running a brushed motor with a LiPo battery.
Your RC vehicle feels faster because the LiPo battery weighs little to nothing, and your ESC will offer more current, even up to 200amps, depending on the amp-rating it can draw.
On the other hand, if your motor has a commutator built with carbon brush blocks, that carries the current from the battery to the motor, they may wear down easily since the LiPo has more power than the motor brushes can handle. Likewise, the bearings will wear out quicker in the motor, because you are now feeding a higher voltage into it.
For instance, if you use a brushed motor that can only handle between 7v-8v and give it nearly 12v, you end up damaging the bearings,
Will LiPo batteries cause your brushed motor or ESC to overheat?
Overheating is one of the most common problems associated with ESCs and RC motors. When it involves using LiPo batteries with a brushed motor, the Amp is what causes the motor to heat and burn up.
Most RC enthusiasts believe that using LiPo batteries won’t cause the brushed motors to overheat because the motor can only draw as much current as the ESC will allow.
Yet, the truth is that when the motor draws more Amps, it increases the performance of the RC car making every other part of the RC car, especially the brushed motors work excessively, which, in turn, makes it get hot.
Yes, your RC car may use the largest LiPo battery that gives out a million amps, and if the ESC can only draw 10amps max, it will only draw a maximum of 10amps. But after this, things will start melting, like the wires and connectors, and the motor will heat.
Is it safe to run a brushed motor with LiPos?
LiPo batteries are safe to use with a brushed motor. If used properly, you won’t hurt any part of the motor or RC car.
However, you need to avoid overcharging and over-discharging the battery as this will make the battery swell and heat, which is bad for the battery. If you use a 2S LiPo battery with a brushed motor it would be just as if you were running a 7-cell NiMH pack since you will have a lot more power and boost.
Should you change anything in your brushed motor when running on LiPos?
When running a LiPo, you might need to change the ESC.
Every ESC has its amp ratings. So, if you use a LiPo battery pack that offers more voltage where the ESC can only handle so little, the ESC might not be compatible with the battery, which may cause the motor to heat.
Apart from this, your brushed motor should work fine with a LiPo battery if you follow the proper charge and discharge process every LiPo battery demands.
Batteries make everything function in your RC car, from the transmitter to the receiver and even the motor. If you are considering running your brushed motor with a LiPo battery, go right ahead but make sure you have a compatible ESC that can handle the voltage of the battery. Regardless, using a LiPo battery with a brushed motor means you enjoy more speed, power, and torque than when you use a NiMH battery.