The instructions for removing the brushes from the motor, on page 55, are incorrect for any models sold after I bought mine, about nine months ago (and probably further back). To remove them, just unscrew the two black 'caps' on either side of the motor (part #52 in your manual on page 60—there's one on each side, though the manual doesn't show that), and the brushes can be pulled right out. You don't need to disconnect the lead wires. If you try to do it the way the manual says, you will tear things up, and still not be able to get them out. This was confirmed by my Ridgid service guy. (It would be nice if Ridgid would send out this correction to everyone who purchased one and registered it, wouldn't it?) Also, if you want to check on the brushes without pulling them out, unscrew the two screws on the motor's vented end cover (part #45 on page 60 in your manual), and look through the large holes in the brush holders (part #44 on page 60 in your manual); if all you can see is the carbon brush, you still have plenty left.