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18V drills, worth fixing?


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If they are slowing down, in my experience, it is more often than not a sign of tired components in the drill, not bad batteries.  The biggest sign that the batteries are getting old is significantly reduced run time.  Both are completely possible though, so the best thing to do is to take the tools and batteries in to your local service center and get there opinion on the matter.

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Yah, the motors do get tired out over time.  They can lose their power, run batteries down faster, etc.  getting them serviced can be a great option though if you still have good batteries.  I recently had a couple of my DC988's rebuilt, and they work great.  I can put them up against anything the compeition has out right now and still beat or hang with them. (I have done this in tool demos frequently over the past year).  If getting them rebuilt is not for you, than you can always check out getting some bare tools off line, or at shops like ACME, Western Tool, or whatever construction suppliers you may have in your area.

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If I buy one of the nano version ones can I use my xrp batteries in it still?  How much was it to rebuild them?  Thanks

All DeWalt 18volt batteries are compatible in all DW 18volt tools, so yes you can use Lithium ion batteries in your older tools, and vice-versa.  However, you cannot charge a li-on battery in a "black" dewalt charger, so you will likely need to upgrade your charger as well to one of the yellow colored, multi-chemistry chargers ($70) before you can charge lithium batteries.

While you certainly can just replace the brushes for a small amount of money, I always recomend the full GRC service, as they will replace all the worn out, strained, or tired out components of your tool (in my case this meant new plastic clamshells, new chucks, transmissions, motors, and switches-- really pieced together brand new drills), and all for around $95 per drill.  Check with your local service center for actual prices, but they should be in that ball park. 

I recomend getting some prices from your DeWalt service center, then you can make an educated decision as to what option works best for your specific needs.

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None of us can really know what´s wrong with the drill. If the drill was mine I would take it apart, it is very easy. Inspect the motors and brushes and buy what ever part that is worn out. In most case you can use your nose on the motor to sense if the arnature have been overheating. If so change the motor. If brushes is worn out, buy some new brushes for a few dollars. Personaly I  can not se any point with buying new clamshell, chuck and gearbox if there is nothing wrong with them. A new clamshell with have some new scratches first week anyway. To me all that parts sounds like a new drill and I can really not see the point anymore.

Why change something that works and is not broken?

This is just how I see on it.

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  • 2 years later...

I think you're probably having the same problem I've been having.

This is my 2nd 18v driver drill that has done it to me, it eventually starts going half speed some of the time, and sometimes it will go full speed. Gradually it starts to lose the ability to run at top speed. I would pull the trigger, it goes half speed, then I could release it and pull it again quickly and it would go full speed. Like I said eventually this no longer works and I'm left with a drill going half speed.

Does that sound like what happened to you? It happened to me twice now, and it's almost like I knew it was coming, disappointing.

Is it something in the trigger, or brushes?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've seen this several times on drills that have some hours on them and it's been the switch.  VSR switches use electronics to vary the speed up to about 3/4 throttle and have a set of mechanical switch contacts that close at the end of trigger travel thereby bypassing the electronics to obtain full speed.  After much use, the mechanical contacts can burn out from arcing and you're only left with partial power provided by the electronics.  Symptoms usually start out just like you described with intermittent full speed, and as the contacts continue to arc and burn away with further use you eventually loose full power altogether.  You should be able to check the switch output with a voltmeter to see if full power is making it to the motor.

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  • 3 months later...

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