3 Best Brushed Motors for RC Cars and Boats

Brushed or brushless motor for RC vehicles?- The debate can go on and on.

But as it seems, you’re relying on the brushed RC motors anyway. Let it be the better longevity or budget-friendliness, it’s a wise choice.

Honestly, the market is full of crappy ones. Unless you dive deep, it’s next to impossible to find the best brushed motor for your RC car/crawler/boat.

To ease up the load, we’ve cracked the nut for you. Among 10-12 popular brushed RC motors of the market, we’ve selected the best three and dissected their perks and cons for you to consider. 

Following by, we’ve stacked up a number of essential how-to’s that will help you get the best out of your brushed RC motor.

Ready for the treat? Buckle up and let’s start-  

More About Traxxas 3975R

On the top of our list, we have the one and only Traxxas 3975R 550 brushed motors. Now, this one did climb its way to the top for a few valid reasons. So, let’s have a look at them-

First things first, we have to tell you that this motor is compatible with all the 1/10 Trax-4 RC models such as Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Bronco, etc.

Moreover, the armature size is 78mm, making this motor about 30% longer in comparison to its alternatives (usual length: 60mm). On top of that, it runs on a 14V battery which might be a bit higher than the usual 7 to 12V power requirement.

However, is the extra power requirement really worth it?

Well, you do get to enjoy more torque.  And that indicates that this motor will have a higher power. So, it’ll be able to work on the off-road with ease.

Moreover, the motor has a reverse rotation. Now, you should note that reverse rotation is faster than forwarding rotation. Thus, you can rely on this motor to be a high-speed one for your RC cars.

Plus, it’s budget-friendly. So, it won’t create a huge hole in your pocket.

And last but not least, the Traxxas 3975R is made of polypropylene. You see, this material is thermoplastic and it can tolerate heat up to 130 degrees celsius.

Hence, even though it doesn’t have a built-in fan/ heat sink, it can still tolerate the heat. And this will ensure that the motor doesn’t meltdown.

See Traxxas 3975R in action below-


What Needs to Improve?

It Doesn’t Come with Variation in Size

Although it ranked at #1, even Traxxas 3975R has its own demerits. You see, it comes at 21T, without any varieties of turn sizes. So, you don’t get to choose the right turn-size with it.

Product That Has Overcome It: Globact 550 Rc Motor (12T, 21T, 29T, and 35T)

More About Injora 550

Do you want an RC motor that goes with any 1:10 RC car and boat? Well, then try out the Injora 550 brushed RC motor. But wait, there’s more. So, let’s look at its other exciting features.

Firstly, we have to mention the size of this particular motor. You see, with this product you get different variations in size. To be exact, you get to choose between 12T, 21T, 29T, and 35T.

Now, the 12T and 21T work well on high-speed cars. While the 29T and 35T work best with crawlers. Thus you get the luxury of choosing the right motor from this brand.

See how a 35T Injora 550 works on a rocky path-

What’s more? Compared to other 550 or stock motors you get a higher torque. Due to this feature, you get to enjoy more power at a lower speed.

Additionally, this motor also has a built-in cooling fan. And because of this great addition, the motor doesn’t wear out so quickly. Thus, it manages to ensure a longer life for the motor. Moreover, the RC car runs at a high speed.

On top of that, this motor is compatible with many ESCs out in the market. Thus, you won’t have to worry about matching the motor with your ESC board.

What Needs to Improve?

It’s Slower than the Traxxas 12T Motor

Although the Injora 550 RC motor has amazing features it still needs some improvement. Now, to be specific, the 12T motor for this brand is a bit slower when compared to the Traxxas 12T motors.

Product That Has Overcome it: Traxxas 12T 550 RC brushed motor

It has an Extra Metal Layer

Another thing that went wrong with this product is the extra metal layer around it. This creates a barrier when you go to put it in its place. And to overcome this problem you have to create an extra motor mount for it.

Product That Has Overcome it: Traxxas 3975R 550 Brushed Motor

More About Traxxas 7575X

In the end, we have another of Traxxas’s motor, the Traxxas 7575X 370 Brushed Motor. Now, this one is a smaller-sized motor. Its size is 370. As for the scale it’s made for 1:18 scale.

But what does this have to offer?

The first thing to note is that this product has direct OEM replacement. That means the motor is a perfect replacement for stock motors in 1/18 RC cars like the LaTrax Desert Prerunner, LaTrax Rally, and LaTrax Teton.

That’s not all. This motor is not only limited to a 1/18 scale. Yep, you can also use it for 1/16 scale model RC cars.

Aside from that, if you replace it with the stock motors you’ll get more torque and that means more power.

Additionally, this motor has more windings when compared to the stock motor. Thus there won’t be any speed reduction when you make the transition.

Check out how it looks like when the job is done- 

And last but not the list, this motor is one of the cheapest motors available on the market. So, if you’re looking for something that fits within a tight budget then you can give this one a try.

What Needs to Improve?

It Heats Up after a Long Usage

This motor does have its drawback. You see, it tends to become hot after using it for a prolonged period. This mainly happens because there is no cooling fan/ heat sink installed inside it.

Accessories That Will Overcome It:  Mirthobby Aluminium Heat Sink for 370 Motors

It Requires Soldering for Older Latraxes

The older versions of Latrax require a bit of soldering as they are not compatible with the bullet connectors that this model comes with. And the soldering process can be a bit risky, so you might want to skip it altogether.

Product That Has Overcome It: LDK Soldering Iron Kit

Brushed Or Brushless Rc Motors: What Is Better?

You might have encountered both brush and brushless motors so far. But do you know the difference? Well, grasping the difference can in return tell you which one is the right one for you.

So, have a look at the two types of motor-

Brushed RC Motors

Starting, the brushed motors have brushes made of copper, silver, or graphite. These come in contact with the ‘commutator’ which resides in the central shaft. And it passes electricity to it, enabling it to rotate magnetically.

The contact is kept mild, so they don’t get wrapped up when the motor rotates.

Due to direct contact, there will be friction between the commutator and brushes, making it a little less efficient. So, be prepared for that. However, the lower cost of this motor does compensate for this fact to some extent.

Brushless RC Motors

On the other hand, the brushless motor doesn’t have a commutator. Thus, it tends to use an external rotor and 3-phase driving coils. At the same time, it also uses an integrated electronic drive to make the motor work.

As for the obvious part, the brushless motors do not have brushes. Thus it’s less of a hassle since you won’t have to face any threading, grooving, copper drag, and flashover from the brushes.

But how do they work? Well, there’s a sensor inside the motor that triggers the coil and this sensor initiates the electronic drive that causes the motor to rotate.

Brushed vs Brushless Motor: Quick Comparison


A commutator is needed.

It works without a commutator.

Brushes cause friction that makes it less efficient.

Due to the absence of brush friction isn’t an issue.

It’s low costing.

It’s a bit expensive comparatively.

It requires frequent maintenance.

It doesn’t need that much maintenance.

RC Brushed Motor Size Chart

The size of the motor typically indicates the nominal can length of the motor. Normally, you’ll see the sizes 370, 540, 550, and many more. You might wonder- what on earth do they mean?

Honestly, these numbers have no exact meaning. You see, a Japanese company called Mabuchi Motors used to use these ‘numbers’ to label their motor models. And it has been followed like a tradition.

However, these numbers can be linked to the specific motor can’s length and diameter. Here’s how-

4804827 to 28

What Size Brushed Motor for Rc Cars?

As you know, there are many motor sizes in the market, so here go the popular scales that go with each motor:

2801/20th or smallerHosim 1:20 4WD Truck
QuadPro NX5
3701/18thRCABCAR 1:18 Car
HAIBOXING 1:18 Scale All Terrain RC Car
3801/16thMIEBELY RC Cars 1: 16 Scale
GaHoo 1/16 RC Car
5401/10thRedcat Racing Volcano EPX
Axial SCX10 II Deadbolt
550Larger 1/10thARRMA 1/8 RC Truck
Redcat Racing Landslide XTE

What Size Brushed Motor for Rc Boats?

Now, when it comes to RC boat motors, things can be a bit different. Based on the hull size, the torque requirement would vary. And so would the motor size. 

Here goes a quick size chart for RC boats based on hull sizes-

RC Motor SizeRecommended Hull Size
540 to 55020” to 34”
68034” to 40”

How to Maintain a Brushed Rc Motor?

Only buying a motor won’t do the job, you’ll also have to take proper care of it. Now, while maintaining the brushed RC motors a lot of factors weigh in. So, let’s have a look at them one by one, what do you say?

Cleaning a Brushed RC Motor

The first step towards cleaning an RC motor is to remove all its parts. Now, before that make sure that the motor is rebuildable. Otherwise, the parts won’t come off.

At the same time, ensure that the plugs come out easily so that they don’t break. Afterward, dust the dirt by using a toothbrush. And once the majority of the dirt is swept away, use compressed air to finish up dusting.

Then, dip the brushed motor in the water and wipe it off by using a rag. Lastly, place everything back in place to finish up the work.

Oiling a Brushed RC Motor

Running the motor all day can really put a drain on the whole device. So, oil it up from time to time to ensure less wearing and friction, essentially boosting up the lifetime of the motor.

Before we go into the details you should know that you don’t necessarily have to oil the ball bearing. The main target is the bushing. But the question is how do you oil the motor?

Well, here goes the step-

  • Loosen up the output shaft
  • Apply a few drops of oil on the bushing which eventually goes does to the ball bearings
  • Rotate the output gear to make sure the oil reaches all the parts of the bushing
  • Wipe off excess oil
  • Repeat on the opposite side of the bushing (end cap)


  • Don’t let oil slip into the brushes
  • Don’t apply little or excess oil
  • Don’t use the water break-in method

Now, you might wonder how often to oil your RC car or boat motor.

Well, for RC cars you should oil once in every running hour. Whereas for RC boats you should oil once before every day of running.

Keeping the Motor Cool

Once the motor overheats it takes a toll on the motor. Thus its life tends to drain out. But why do motors overheat?

Well, there are 4 main reasons. They are-

  • Poor ventilation(not letting hot air out around the motor)
  • Using the car too hard
  • Over gearing or under gearing
  • Wrong sizing of the motor for a specific RC car/boat scale

Here are a few ways to keep the motor under ambient temperature- 

Cut a Vent or Fan the Motor

Firstly, without proper ventilation, the RC car won’t be able to cool down. Well, as a solution you can cut a vent in the RC car or fan it. At the same time, you can also create a heat bath for your RC car.

Get the Correct Size for off-road Racing

Another thing that might heat up your car is track resistance. You see, if you run an RC car with lower size(280, 370, 380, etc) on rough tracks like grass or sand, then the motor will have to work harder to make the car run.

So, to ensure the motor doesn’t wear off, don’t use the low-powered motor. Instead, try to aim for a motor that can support such heavy work.

On the other hand, even if you have the right-sized car don’t push it off the limit.

Don’t Over-Gear or Under-Gear the Motor

Thirdly, make sure that you’re not over gearing or under gearing the motor. Now, you have to ensure that the pinion gear corresponds to the turn rating of the motor. 

For example- A 12T motor should have a pinion gear of about 18 or 19. For higher or lower pinion gear, it’ll be over-geared or under-geared consecutively. Eventually, that will heat up the motor as well.

How to Make a Brushed Motor Faster?

After using the motor for a while it tends to slow down. And who wants that? So, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that’ll help you make the motor run faster. 

Check them out-

Break-in: Dry method

You should know that there are 2 types of break-ins. One is wet and the other one is dry. Now, we recommend a dry break-in. That’s because the wet method may blow your motor.

So, if you want to fasten up your motor then do go with the dry break-in method. Here’s a short video on how to get this done-


Tighten the winding

Another trick you can try is tightening the winding. Now, you can do this by simply using your hand. This works best in the case of flat wire.

Upgrade brush and magnet

One more thing you can opt for is a better quality magnet and brushes. They will boost up your motor in no time.

Advance the timing

Lastly, you can advance the timing. But what is the timing? Well, it’s the angle between the rotor relative and the stator winding.

Now, the best range for timing is 16 to 24 degrees. So, do try to keep it in that range for a faster-working motor. 

By the way, here are a couple of tips for perfect RC car brushed motor timing

  • Don’t keep it between the 25 to 35 range, because it causes the brushes to wear out.
  • Don’t keep it between 5 to 15 because it’ll cost you top speed.


Is a Brushed RC Motor Waterproof?

Brushed motors are usually waterproof. In fact, the extent of it being able to tackle the water is so much that you can completely submerge it in water and it won’t get damaged.

What’s the Fastest Brushed RC Motor?

The fastest brushed RC motor usually has a turn number of 21. Now, for this turn number, Injora 550 Brushed RC Motor is a viable option. However, if you want better results you can go for the Traxxas 12T 550 RC brushed motor.

How Long Does a Brushed RC Motor Last?

Typically brushed motors last between 1,000 hours to 3,000 hours. Between this time all the outside factors weigh in to wear out the motor. And slowly it loses its power to operate.

What Does the Kv Mean on a Brushless RC Motor?

Kv is basically the constant velocity on a motor. Now, people often confuse it with “kV” which is the short form of kilovolt. However, they are definitely not the same thing.

Bottom Line

Well, that marks the end of our guide. By now, we hope you have an idea of brushed motors in the market. And we hope that you won’t have any problem finding the best brushed motor for yourself.

Anyway, that’s all for today. We hope to see you soon. Take care. Adios!