If you’ve ever used servos, particularly micro servos for RC or robotics projects then you’ve likely encountered stripped servo gears. You can hear the motor turning inside the servo but the servo arm movement is limited or erratic. The good news is that this doesn’t mean that you need to throw the servo out, in fact replacement gear sets are available online for under a dollar. This guide takes you through the replacement step by step.
Once you’ve got your servo working again, why not use it to build an Arduino based solar tracker?
What You Need To Replace Stripped Servo Gears
- Servo With Stripped Gears
- Replacement Gear Set – Buy Here
- Precision Screwdriver Set – Buy Here
- White Lithium Grease (Optional) – Buy Here
How To Replace The Stripped Servo Gears
You’ll want to work at a clean work bench so that you don’t lose any of the small parts and you don’t get any dirt into the replacement set. Dirt in the gear teeth will dramatically reduce the gear life and may even burn the motor out due to sticking.
Follow the guide in the video below in order to replace your servo gears. The steps are listed below the video as well.
- Remove the four bottom screws
- Pull the top gear cover off
- Remove the gears and identify the stripped gear. You may want to replace just the stripped gear or all of the gears.
- Check inside the gear cover to make sure there are no pieces of gear teeth left stuck in the grease. These teeth may get caught in the new gears and strip them as well.
- Fit the replacements, starting with the gear with the finest teeth and working up towards the gear with the largest teeth. They will only fit in one order so don’t force them.
- The final gear, the one on which the servo arm sits, usually has a locating flat surface which turns the potentiometer. Make sure that this lines up correctly or the gear won’t go onto the shaft.
- Add a drop of white lithium grease onto the teeth. This is optional but it does dramatically improve the life of your new set.
- Replace the top gear cover.
- Replace the four bottom screws and screw the cover back on.
- Replace your servo arm and your servo is ready to be used again.
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Have you done a gear replacement on one of your servos? Was your servo slightly different inside? Let us know in the comments section below.