Lift efoil motor wanted to buy used or new

True, they are engineered to keep the modding away.

Heat motor enough and all seals will melt… but I would imagine the O-rings would go first as the windings will heat the housing up really fast.

Best bet would be to send the motor to China and ask them to clone it :rofl:

To me factory fault during assembling in the first place , like always, shape edge around side screws hole … , just one big o-ring with very tight tolerance , may be there was no oil in the first one …
had problem with mine , prefect now after re mount and polished the inside mount of the o-ring …

Sorry to hear about your conundrum. I am shocked to hear about all of the battery and and esc failures for three boards as well in such a relatively short period of time!

Between this type of report (lack of longevity, long term service, and cost of replacement parts) and the news coming out about waydoo which was supposed to be the slick low cost alternative, it really does show that DIY is a very worthwhile effort still at this point.

Wouldnt they corode naturally if they werent nickel plated?


I’m sorry to hear about this motor failure.

I know one guy with a Lift board and one guy with a Fliteboard. Both of them have had to get replacement batteries under warranty. It’s the BMSs. BMSs suck.

All sealed motors should be filled with oil (mineral oil or better yet corrosionX) and they should be opened and checked annually.

I opened my FR motor before using it to inspect it. It had mineral oil in it but not anywhere near enough in my opinion. Maybe a couple of ounces or less. I drained it out and filled the motor halfway full with corrosionX.

The Lift / FR motor has a oil fill / drain plug. You don’t have to open the motor to annually inspect it. Just remove this plug and let it sit over night draining into a container. Inspection the oil that came out for moisture or water or signs of rust and corrosion. If it looks good then just put new oil in. I’d recommend about 4 ounces of corrosionX.

If the machine shop didn’t fuck this motor up getting the rotor out, it’s probably fixable. Soak it in Phosphoric acid just long enough that the rotor is unstuck. They sell phosphoric acid at the hardware store for cleaning concrete. Do not use muriatic acid. That will destroy the motor. Make sure it’s Phosphoric acid. This is safe on plastic, rubber, and copper. Once you get the rotor out soak the parts again. Then rub the surfaces with fine sandpaper 400 grit. Don’t worry about the nickel being gone. It’ll still work. Don’t worry about exposed copper. It will still work as long as the copper winding aren’t shorting with each other.

You’ll probably need to replace the bearings and the shaft seal and the orings.

Honestly…if you can’t fit it, and you can’t get Lift to replace it send it to China. They will be happy to clone this motor and we will all benefit from these being available for $300-$500.

Send me your broken motor and I’ll take a look at it, see if it’s fixable. If it’s not fixable, I’ll try to find someone to duplicate it.

Lift should be taking better care of you. They should at the very least offer to sell you a discounted motor. $2000 for just the motor…they are making a profit. They should be proving this type of service at cost in my opinion.

Just some ideas. Good luck.


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Both would still corrode. I’ve had phosphore coated magnets as well and have had the same issue. The only thing I see is that if it ever gets corroded badly as on the picture above, it may be easier -for a phosphore coated magnet- to take off the rust by soaking the rotor on corrosionX. The nickel plated ones would still have the part glued on the rotor that won’t peel off easly and therefore be a potential danger because in the end you won’t know when it’s gonna break…

Got to agree with you. He still invested like 30k$ worth in this. I’d expect same actions from them at the very least…


That’s what I was thinking. They should sell him one at cost or even at a slight loss, I think that’s a fair compromise for something out of warranty.

Maybe part of the reason the price is so high is because they could only sell him the complete motor and mast assembly, that probably adds a few hundred dollars to the value.

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1000% For a long time I was on the fence, but now am completely deterred from buying one if they are going to screw the early adopters over by gouging on replacement parts. It is particularly frustrating since many of the big ticket parts in these brands were engineered to be proprietary and/or unserviceable.

It is short sighted thinking for a brand to do something like this. We aren’t talking about 5 or 10 years down the road, here. People expect electric motors and batteries to last a lengthier period of time in a high dollar device - even if it is used in salt water.


Buying a second hand LIFT efoil out of warranty even at less than half the original price is taking a serious risk. Another point for the DiY solution.

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UPDATE October 20th. Machine shop removed rotor after a week or more soak in wd40. They cleaned corrosion from rotor and magnets. I took it to consult with an auto electrician and he showed me how the insulation on the wires at the bottom of the motor were corroded and suggested that I very carefully cover the wires with a 2 part oil resistant epoxy coating. So, I made up a plug to protect the depression in the bottom of the inside of the motor where the sealed bearing goes and taped up the inside of the magnets. I then very carefully painted the 5 minute epoxy onto the wires and then let it dry for a day and then repeated it 6 times. Looks like the exposed wires are now reasonably insulated. I scored some of the sewing machine oil used inside the motor and yesterday dropped it off at the machine shop. They are going to source the sealed bearings and ‘o’ rings needed. I then will hook up the mast and electric cables, put the battery in the board and give it a try. Thanks for all the advice and words of wisdom, I will post the results.

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Flightjunkie, Thanks for the good advice. I’m thinking about your ideas…where do ya live?


I’m in Honolulu Hawaii.

Good luck with the motor! Let us know if it works!


and some picts of the different steps if you have.
Time to create a “Tips and tricks to rescue your post warranty LIFT motor” thread :wink:

Glad to do so, if it works or if it doesn’t. One thing I can recommend is that each owner of a Efoil check to see if the motor is full of sewing machine oil because if it leaks out, it’s a very expensive fix. Here’s the link to the oil that the Lift dealer here in Australia is using. I’m sure you can find it available in other countries.

Sadly I just had the same experience with my Lift efoil that is over a year old and has only been in the water 10 times.

I have always rinsed the efoil well after each use as recommended by Lift (inside and out and cooling system).

In the owner’s manual (available in the Lift app) there is NO recommendation to periodically replace the motor o-rings and shaft seal and top off the motor with sewing machine oil…If I knew that was needed I would have done so at the recommended interval(s).

Lift’s founder Nick Leason does a video suggesting using electrical contact cleaner then coating the contacts with ReelX/CorrosionX on the data connection between the ESC and the battery. That is the only exceptional maintenance of which I am aware after watching every video Lift has produced and reading their manual cover to cover before ever getting the board wet…

I emailed Lift after their work hours on Friday 10-23-2020, so I have yet to hear IF they will support my Lift efoil or IF I now have a very expensive and heavy paperweight in need of a $2000 motor.

After seeing Greg’s post I just took the motor apart and the motor had NO oil inside and a bit of water and plenty of corrosion. The tiny silver oil fill-plug is just visible at time marker ~1:31 on the propeller swap video. the inside of that same fill plug is visible next to the back bearing. See

The motor was seized up and the back o-ring is flat and not protruding and there are small gouges in the same o-ring above each bolt that holds the back part of the housing in place (see photo of flat o-ring with gouges,

I expect that the gouges were caused during assembly by the countersunk holes that hold the rear part of the housing in place… The countersunk edges are sharps to the touch and obviously left their mark in this crucial o-ring!

If Lift does not support, I plan to follow Greg’s lead and soak the motor in CorrsoionX (rather than WD40) to see if I can further disassemble and clean up the motor and then add fresh bearings, o-ring, and seal to see if the motor can be salvaged or rewound or if it is indeed e-waste.

Yep like I said the sharp edge and tolerance mount makes it hard to know if it is well done , deal with mine after oil was leaking , since the beginning and before problem ( just a couple hours of runs)

Yes, Alexandre, I expect that o-ring’s age and assembly errors caused this catastrophic failure.

For the record, I never saw any oil leaking and there was some rusty residue concealed by the duct-mount at the junction between the back of the motor housing and the housing itself. I only saw this rusty residue after removing the duct-mount.

Motor made the usual operational sounds and worked fine when I most recently had it in the water a couple of months ago.

I just updated the firmware and was ready to get in the water again and then this rusty can of worms

I hope to get this motor in shape again and I expect that the motor’s enamel-coated magnet-wire may have corroded to the point of shorting out time will tell what Lift and I can work out this week.

Small update,
26 october 2020. The machine shop that has disassembled and cleaned my rusted efoil motor has now ordered the bearings needed to put it back together.
They told me the bearing is 6001Z. Ebay sells them for about $15.00.