Three days ago my Festool 150 Rotex E sander stopped working right in the middle of a job. I could not find anything wrong with it and I had no internet access at the job site, so I had to work for two days with an inferior sander (a Makita 5 inch random orbital).
Yesterday afternoon, I contacted Bob Marino and he suggested that it was probably due to the fact that the carbon on the brushes had worn down and that they would need to be replaced. I have never worked on motors and had no idea what brushing even looked like. Nowhere on any Festool manual, or at their web site, or on the three forums that I checked could I find a description of the brushes changing operation or even a picture of the brushes. There was one article entitled “Dual mode sander Rotex RO 150 E: Maintaining” at the Festool USA WEB site that mentioned brushes but gave no information about them.
I was in the middle of trying to figure out how to order brushes when I remembered that a small maintenance kit had come with the sander. So, I checked it and, sure enough, it contained a couple of small chunks of carbon with wires dangling from them. “These must be brushes”, I happily said to myself. Now, I had to take the sander apart and locate the worn brushes. I managed to do the job and the sander now works, but I sure would have liked some instructions.
I expect that I am not the only one who would be intimidated by the task of changing motor brushes, so I am showing just what I did. The good news is that the task is actually quite simple. The pictures below show the procedure.
(1) Remove the two screws at the end of the handle, then slide back the motor housing:
The two (very) small yellow arrows point to the locations of the screws.
(2) You can find one of the brushes on the top then, flipping the sander over, find the other on the bottom. Pull aside small clip/spring that holds a brush in place (pointed to by the small yellow arrow in the picture below), then pull the carbon out of the slot.
(3) Pull the connecting wire out of the connection on the sander, in order to completely remove the brush:
(4) Flip the sander over and remove the other brush.
(5) Locate your replacement brushes. Here is the parts bag with one new brush shown on top:
And, here is a photo of a worn brush and a new brush side by side:
(6) Holding aside the clip insert the carbon of one new brush into the slot. Then place the clip over the carbon in order to hold it in place (again see the small yellow arrow):
(7) Attach the wire to the connector on the sander, replace the other brush in the same way, then re-install the motor housing.