Changing carbon brushes in Alpha Grinder AWP-158

So, you're grinding away, and suddenly the Alpha stops working. It very well may be the carbon brushes. They are something that need to be replaced periodically. This will usually happen if you are on a deadline, and working on an important piece for a show.

The manual that comes with the tool is severely lacking in photos, so although this process is pretty easy, it's hard to know if you are starting out properly. So, here are some photos to make this easier.


Tools needed(pictured bottom to top):
Torx driver
Small Phillips Screwdriver
Needle nose pliers

This is what an extra set of carbon brushes look like. An extra set should have come in the carrying case with the grinder.

Spares can be purchased from various suppliers, if your brushes look like this the part number is AWP-66. They are less than $10/pr. It's a good idea to always have a spare pair.

The first step is to take off the screw and nut that holds the grounding wire in place. In this photo it is just above the water connection, pretty much in the center of the photo. (also see below) Take the screw and nut out and put them somewhere safe.

This is a rear view of the unit. The screw holding the grounding wire is bottom right.


Next, you want to remove the two top screws. They require a Torx driver. I found one in my computer repair kit. You may need to borrow or purchase one. I assume that particular kind of screw is used to make this as difficult as possible.

Next, slide the rear of the unit backwards, exposing the brushes. I pulled it way too far back here in this photo, resulting in pulling the ground wire out of the case, so I had to fish it back through the rear hole of the case later.

You should just pull it back far enough to see the brushes, which appear in that little window behind the word "Alpha".

At this point, replacing the brushes is pretty straightforward, because you can see the old brushes so it's clear where they go.

There is a spring holding the brush in place - you use the needle nose pliers to pull it gently away from the old brush, remove the brush, and insert the new one. Put the spring back in place.

Then, just disconnect the wire holding the old brush, and replace with the wire from the new brush. Repeat on the other side.

Then, reassemble.