Why do teams ziptie their motors?

I have been seeing many robots with zipties around their motors. What is the purpose for doing that?

Its so you can detach and replace your motors without unscrewing them from your robot. But it can be risky, so make sure your motor is locked on tight


A lot of other teams will also do it to add a little extra tightness to a potentially wobbly motor – mainly on drivetrains. It’s better to just replace the inserts/screw holes in the motor, but if there’s no other option, zip ties can usually lock it pretty well.

When a motor breaks during a match, it can be a huge time sync to replace it if the placement is tight (dissembling entire sections of the robot to get to one motor). By having them zipped tied, all you need are some snips to replace the motor or motor core.

It has also been used as a way to quickswap hot motors with a cool one between close by matches.


My team calls it quick change and it’s basically to replace the insides of a motor (cartridges) without taking off/unscrewing the motor. We just cut the zip ties , slide off the top and then zip tie it back on, its really good if you don’t have time or can’t reach to take off a motor. And if you tighten the zip ties enough, it’s just as tight as screws, just make sure to use at least 2 zip ties

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Can someone make a video or send pictures of this? This thread interests me since our tilter motor has been having strange spasms and noises and changing it out at states would take at least half an hour.

Ignore the circles, but all of the motors on our first robot this season were ziptied. You do two zipties, a little bit aways from each other, and loop them through the C-Channel. Make sure to use long and kind of thick zipties, but still thin enough to fit through the channel holes. Also make sure to tighten them until you can’t even slip a piece of paper through the loop. We didn’t tighten ours enough so they ended up being a bit useless for us. (Pliers work well for tightening them a couple more clicks.)

Also, for all things holy, never use two small thin zipties, connect them together so they’ll be the right length, then slap them on.


Some teams do it if the motor gets damaged and it needs to be replaced quickly. Most teams also do “heat swaps”. This is when the motor overheats after a match during a competition, so they can replace the motor, meaning they don’t have to risk waiting for the motor to cool down for optimal performance.

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During Turning Point, because our lift was only one motor that is at 200 RPM, it got hot very very quickly. So, as a result of this, we figured out a method to put zip ties on our motor that would prevent the zip ties from sliding off of it, by utilizing the clip. Once you take the clip off, you can take the zip ties off to replace the motor before every match easily and consistently. We were extremely dominant because of this little thing.


This is exactly what my team uses, and is responsible for our ability to win yesterday.

Why take off the bulk of the motor when you could just replace the back electronics section?


Does this work for an intake? My team just qualified for state in Ohio, and right after qualifiers ended one of our intake motors broke. (I think the strain we were putting on it ruined the insert)I was wondering if we could use this zip-tie method to switch out the inserts and motors effectively and easily with o out compromising the strength of the screws.

I have seen it work for intakes.

Yes it works on intakes. Our team uses zipties on all our motors. We often do heat swaps on the intake motors as they can get quite hot if they are run continuously.


Thanks! I will make sure to try this out!

So for heat swaps would taking off only the back part work the same way?

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could you elaborate on back part?
If I’m thinking what I think you mean, then that would be disassembly of the motor and would be illegal since all the electronic components are located back there


Yes that’s correct. Taking out the cartridge of the motor doesn’t really help too much. The main reason is to actually replace the housing (back part) of the motor!

For the back part motor, he is talking about the part of the motor in which you place your motor cartridge in. This contains all the actual motor and other parts. The cartridge (red, blue, or green) is placed in this “back part”. It is not disassembly of the motor, you are just taking the motor (without a cartridge) and replacing it with a new one! Hopefully this makes sense.

There is no rule prohibiting the disassembly of vex electronics, as long as they have not been modified.
Last year many of the electronics I competed with had been disassembled, as documented in this thread

The specific assembly I was talking about swapping is this: