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Electric Drill: Grinding or Squealing Sound

If your electric drill is making grinding or squealing sounds, check these parts: the carbon brushes, gears, and bearings. This is a common problem, and we have provided a few simple solutions and repair advice to help you through your own DIY repair of this issue. Refer to your owner's manual for more specific advice regarding your model.

Bearings
Bearings
When bearings become worn, they can produce a squealing sound, or even a grinding noise, and may also cause a vibration. A seized bearing can spin inside the housing, causing the squealing. To replace a bearing, remove the screws securing the case and then separate the two halves. On the other model, you will have to remove the front gear housing to access the bearings in the gear case to inspect and repair. Remove the brush holders by gently pulling up on them by the wire. Remove the chuck and spindle assembly. Lift the motor up and slide the armature out of the field. You might have to unplug the electrical connectors on some models, to lift the motor up.

Locate which bearing is bad by spinning it and listening for roughness. Remove the bad bearing with a bearing puller. Install the bearing separator on the bearing, then place the...
When bearings become worn, they can produce a squealing sound, or even a grinding noise, and may also cause a vibration. A seized bearing can spin inside the housing, causing the squealing. To replace a bearing, remove the screws securing the case and then separate the two halves. On the other model, you will have to remove the front gear housing to access the bearings in the gear case to inspect and repair. Remove the brush holders by gently pulling up on them by the wire. Remove the chuck and spindle assembly. Lift the motor up and slide the armature out of the field. You might have to unplug the electrical connectors on some models, to lift the motor up.

Locate which bearing is bad by spinning it and listening for roughness. Remove the bad bearing with a bearing puller. Install the bearing separator on the bearing, then place the separator on top of a bench vice. Open the bench vice enough, where only the bearing separator makes contact. Then, use a punch and a hammer and tap the bearing free. Install the new bearing on the shaft, using a socket that only makes contact with the bearing race – to avoid damage. Tap it in place using a hammer. Once you have completed the repair, install the armature back into the field, then reinstall the spindle and chuck assembly back in the case. Install the brush holders using a small screwdriver to hold the brush down, clearing the commutator as you do. Rejoin the two halves of the case together, securing it with fasteners.
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Carbon Brushes
Carbon Brushes
If one of the brushes breaks off and becomes wedged between the commutator and the housing, or another part of the drill, it can produce a grinding or squealing sound. Remove the screws securing the two halves of the case together and then separate. Remove the brush holders by gently pulling up on them by the wire. Inspect the brushes for signs of breakage. If you notice a piece missing, then inspect the drill for the missing piece and remove. Replace the broken brush by pressing the tab on the other side of the holder to release the brush, then install the new brush in the holder and ensure the tab locks in place. Install the brush holders back in the case using a small screwdriver to hold the brush down, giving you clearance on the commutator. Rejoin the two halves of the case together, securing it with the fastener....
If one of the brushes breaks off and becomes wedged between the commutator and the housing, or another part of the drill, it can produce a grinding or squealing sound. Remove the screws securing the two halves of the case together and then separate. Remove the brush holders by gently pulling up on them by the wire. Inspect the brushes for signs of breakage. If you notice a piece missing, then inspect the drill for the missing piece and remove. Replace the broken brush by pressing the tab on the other side of the holder to release the brush, then install the new brush in the holder and ensure the tab locks in place. Install the brush holders back in the case using a small screwdriver to hold the brush down, giving you clearance on the commutator. Rejoin the two halves of the case together, securing it with the fastener.
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Gears
Gears
Worn down, chipped, broken or gears with missing teeth can cause grinding sounds inside the drill. Some drills have the gears housed inside the front gear housing.

To replace a gear, remove the screws securing the gear housing cover to the front of the drill. Inspect the gears for damage and replace any worn or damaged gears. They may be an all-in-one unit, with the shaft, or may be held on the shaft by a retaining ring.

If the shaft has a bearing, you will need to remove the bearing with a bearing separator. Install the separator on the bearing then place it on top of the bench vice. Open the bench vice up enough, where it will only make contact with the separator. Tap the shaft with a punch and a hammer until the bearing is free. Remove the retaining ring and wave washer. Take out the gear and...
Worn down, chipped, broken or gears with missing teeth can cause grinding sounds inside the drill. Some drills have the gears housed inside the front gear housing.

To replace a gear, remove the screws securing the gear housing cover to the front of the drill. Inspect the gears for damage and replace any worn or damaged gears. They may be an all-in-one unit, with the shaft, or may be held on the shaft by a retaining ring.

If the shaft has a bearing, you will need to remove the bearing with a bearing separator. Install the separator on the bearing then place it on top of the bench vice. Open the bench vice up enough, where it will only make contact with the separator. Tap the shaft with a punch and a hammer until the bearing is free. Remove the retaining ring and wave washer. Take out the gear and keyway, then install the keyway with the new gear, wave washer and retaining ring.

Reinstall the bearing back on the shaft by placing the bearing on the shaft and a socket on the race (of the bearing only) and tap in place with a hammer. Once you have completed the repair, clean and re-grease the gears inside the housing. Reinstall the gear housing cover and secure tight. On other models, you will have to remove the screws, securing the drill case together and separate the two halves to access the gears. Remove the shaft and gear assembly. Remove the bearing with a bearing separator. Install the separator on the bearing, then place it on top of a bench vice. Open the bench vice enough, where it will only make contact with the separator. Tap the shaft with a punch and a hammer until the bearing is free. Depending on your model, there may be a retaining ring that you can remove to separate the gear from the shaft. Then, install the new gear, making sure the keyway is installed on the shaft first.

Reinstall the retaining ring and wave washer. On some models, you would replace the gear and shaft assembly as one. Reinstall the bearing back on the shaft by placing the bearing on the shaft, with a socket on the race (of the bearing only) and tap it in place with a hammer. Reinstall the shaft in the drill and secure the case back together.
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