Can Swing Gate Motors Be Changed For Another Brand..

Can Swing Gate Motors Be Changed For Another Brand..

Are all swing gate motors the same..

The answer is yes and no. Lets look at the differences. 

  • 12v or 24v
  • two wire or 4 wire.
  • Long or short.
  • Manual unlock key or not.
  • Weight of gate.
  • Size of gate.
  • Warranties.
  • Chinese or Italian. 

There are two voltage types, 12v and 24v. A lot of Italian motors are 12v or older systems can be 12v, but these days most companies use 24v. Remember old VW cars used to be 6 volt, then they up graded them to 12v to get more crank power.  same thing with gates. But the thing to remember is that the controller board could be 12v or 24v but the power transformer that runs it would be 12v also and if solar then a single 12v battery. so a 12v motor would be required..If you put a 24v motor on to this board, it would work but it would be slow and the stall force setting might not work well. 

Similar thing, can you put a 12v motor onto a 24v control board with 24v batteries or transformer... Yes but it will go faster and possibly get hot under load and be damaged, but most modern brushless motors are fine with it..

I have control boards that are 12v and or 24v so depending on the power voltage to the board, it will do well. either way..If the gates are small and light, then a 12v system is fine.. 

Two wire or 4 wire. 

Two wires are common but there are some older motors out there that have magnetic stop switches built into the motor instead of using a stall force to stop. and these need to extra wires for the switches and these need the matching control board to take the 4 wires and do the correct switching..

Long or short.

Here basic maths comes into it. All swing motors have what we call travel..or reach.  That is how far the inside shaft pushes out the end in mm. For example you can have a small motor for a very small gate and it only needs a small reach say 300mm.. If you have a long farm style gate say 4.3m then the reach needs to be more because it is just a push pull lever and a reach of about 450-500mm is normal. Picture in your mind a 4.3m gate with a 300mm reach motor will work but the motor would be operating right at the end of the gate toward the hinges. but if you had a motor with 500mm reach, then the mounting point at the end of the motor would be much further along the gate away from the hinges, so much less work to do. That is the theory..but both will work..

Manual unlock key or not..

I have been selling swing motors for over 15 years, and I can tell you I have had hundreds of customers ring me at 6am or so in the morning saying the battery is flat or the power is off and the gate won't work and they need to get to school or work..what am I going to do about it..There are two types of motors. One has a manual unlock key like a clock key, or a special hex tool or all sorts of things. The other has a pin at the end of the motor where it attaches to the gate with a metal hair pin that you can just pull out and remove the motor from the gate. The problem I get is that people say they never got a key, or they remember seeing it but no idea where it is.  and I am supposed to solve it for them on the phone. Also something happens and the motor gets water in through the manual key hole and gets into the gearbox and goes rusty then something breaks. That is why Gatehouse motors now only have the stainless pin end with the hair pin.  Some people say that is not secure enough, anyone can jump the gate and remove it which is true, but to be honest I have never known that to happen, and if someone wants to get in through any gate it is not that hard with some basic tools or a truck..

Weight and size of gate.

The size of gate is important as I have said about the reach of the motor, and weight is not usually an issue as most swing gate motors will push pull up around 400-450kg gates which is a very very heavy gate and not common. The biggest issue we face is the style of gate. Lets look at two. A 4.3m farm gate made of pipe with mesh welded to it, the other is a large steel frame covered with colorbond. One the wind will blow through the gate and not cause any issue at all. The colorbond gate is a giant sail and it will be caught by the wind and cause huge issues with brackets, motors, locks etc. not a good idea but they will still work well in a sheltered area.


Most swing motors on ebay are made in China have a 1 year warranty because they have been made to a price and cheaper parts are used. Most imported motors have a longer 2-3 year warranty because they are better made, but getting parts or someone to fix them can be an issue and take time. I designed my own motors here in Australia and the parts come from Japan for the drive and bearings etc and we have our own workshop and team in China that does the packaging and we don't use any plastic or rubber because of heat in Australia, so we machine up billet aluminium ends and mountings in China and then they send to me here in Perth to assemble.. That is why we offer a 4 year warranty.. Cheers Graeme

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