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Fix ANY vintage Star Wars vehicle motor!

I buy "parts lots" all the time of eBay. I like the challenge of trying to put things back together that other people thought were junk. And sometimes I'm even successful! But this does mean I come across a LOT of vintage Star Wars vehicles whose DC motors are shot. These motors are what make the "sound effects".

There are a few ways you will see out there to get the motors running again. Some will say hook the batteries up, and give the axle a good spin with your fingers. Others will tell you to hook it up to a 9 volt battery to jump start it. While both of these may work, they don't solve the real problem: there is 40 years of lint and dust and gunk built up on the contacts inside the motor.

While it may be a little intimidating to try the fix I show you, it's actually pretty easy. Once you do one, any others are a piece of cake! Knowing how to do this will benefit you as a buyer and a seller. If you are a seller, you will get more money if you can show a fully functional vehicle than if you can't. If you are a buyer, you can get a "non-working" vehicle at a cheaper price and fix it!

Here's the video on how to do the fix. I demonstrate on an X-Wing as it is about the hardest to do: it requires removing a plastic bracket to get the motor out.
As I mentioned, this will work on ANY DC motor. Here are some notes for other Star Wars vehicles that have some peculiar challenges. The motor fix is the same, but GETTING to the motor might need some tricks:

X-Wing: Some of you may be leary about drilling out the bracket posts holding the motor on. The bracket is glued on - and I have never been able to successfully remove it any other way.

AT-AT: These guys are a pain because there is a lot of disassembly to do. You pretty much have to take the whole thing apart to do it right - so take notes and or pictures so you can get it back together right. One other note: there is a sticker across the front that you will have to remove (or carefully cut if you prefer). To remove, put some lighter fluid on it. Let it sit for about 20 seconds. If it's still really sticking on, hit it again with lighter fluid and let it sit. It should then come off nice and easy. The lighter fluid has a substance that dissolves adhesive, but doesn't damage the sticker, or the plastic.

Snowspeeder: Instead of having 2 wires going in to the motor, they have one wire, and a metal contact that is then bent back and spot welded to the metal motor housing. See the video below for details. Basically, unlock the tabs that hold the plastic cap on, and then pry up from the opposite side of the metal welded contact. Everything should slide out nicely, hinging off the contact. There is a metal washer in the center of the plastic cap that will fall out: don't lose that! This is the only motor I've seen with this washer. Once the cap is separated from the axle, you can use pliers to pull the contact out of the cap, and do the fix as in the main video.
What's your vintage Star Wars x-Wing worth? Check here! Or check our visual guide out to learn more about other vehicles or figures you have in your collection.