The little size 130 DC Motor is very common in toys. There must have been billions of these things made to a design that does not seem to have changed in over 30 years. In this teardown we pull it apart to see just what’s inside

Size 130 DC Toy Motor


The case is steel with what looks like basic zinc? plating to prevent corrosion. Up close it’s clear the finish of the case or plastic is not going to win any prizes. The back is just held on with two little tabs. A bit of a pry with a screwdriver is enough to pull it off.


Back is held on with little tabs


Inside the back are the brushes. These are very simple little bits of flat copper covered in grease. Definitely not high quality sprung carbon brushes found in more expensive motors. These little brushes tend to wear holes through the copper and generate a fair bit of electrical noise and ozone smell when old. It can be tricky to solder to the lugs on the brushes. Unless done very quickly the plastic will start to melt and the brushes will no longer be held in their correct position against the commutator leading to reduced life or instant death. As with most little motors if you do solder to the brushes first be sure everything is very clean, iron is hot and you work fast.

Very basic copper brushes

With the armature out we can see the magnets. Definitely no rare earth here!  The split seen in the commutator is what  switches the power as the motor spins turning the constant DC supply into a chopped up alternating current through the coils.

Back off and commutator out - magnets inside

Finally all the bits. There isn’t much to most electric motors but these things are really simple.

All the bits



The 130 is a DC motor at the real cheap end of the scale but for a few dollars they are actually pretty good generating lots of speed and a wide operating voltage. They don’t last forever, are a bit flimsy but really really cheap!