Dude, Where are you located and if you're not too far will you sell me a motor?!
I'm in the Los Angeles, CA area and am having trouble locating one. When I call repair shops or forklift scrappers they all seem confused and say something like "No, we repair motors, we don't sell motors" like I'm crazy for asking.
Yeah, motor rewinding places aren't somewhere I'd suggest. They don't have motors in inventory that I've ever seen (though I haven't seen many).
So, problem with Bakersfield, and Southern California in general, with free, is Mexicans.
Where I'm from, everyone is generally well-off, well-educated, and there's not a lot of poverty. So there's not a large culture of squeezing every drop of value out of something. There's a high amount of waste.
For example, around here you can fully furnish an apartment, every day, for free, with good stuff, just from Freecycle or free facebook or our Craigslist equivalent. People here throw away appliances not because they're broken, but because they're the wrong color. Perfectly working, expensive items have negative value because people just want them gone. Ditto for couches, kitchen tables, etc. Back in the day, most of my friends bought a new computer every year. If you were okay with a 1-year old computer, they were just going straight to a landfill.
That doesn't exist in places with poverty, or a lot of illegal immigrants that can't participate in the formal economy, or where a large portion of the population grew up with very little. People don't just leave money on the table like that. If there's $20 to be made, someone's out there making that $20.
When I lived in SoCal (and Bakersfield), there was basically nothing anywhere for free. For a scrounger, that upset me.
The flip side of this, is that there is a heavy underground scrapper market for everything down there. Up here you'd have no choice of buying something really cheap, because it's not worth anyone's time to administer selling it. You can even ask and offer to take it away for free, and most people don't even want the hassle. We have giant scrap metal dumpsters here, that people PAY to have someone haul away for them, as if free metal is a waste product (because, it is). But down there (and, in worse parts of town up here I'm sure), if you just ask around, you'll get hookups for everything. If you put out to the right people that you want a forklift motor, and you'll pay $50 over scrap value for it... the hunt is on. They'll find you one. Zero chance of that ever happening up here. You'll have to be where scrappers go though. Places that might throw away scrap metal perhaps, or scrapyards itself, if they have a posting board.
You have almost no chance of getting one for free, but you have a great chance of there actually being a market for "slightly above scrap value components".
Also, one thing perhaps I, and perhaps others neglect to consider... is that some of us are just socially charismatic and persuasive, in unconventional ways. This isn't a cocktail mingle event, but lots of people on the bluer collar of town have their equivalent of it, and, knowing how to read people, inspire them to go a little out of their way and a little ways around what their lawyer might say, to find common ground about what parts of your project they find sympathy with and excitement in, is a huge part of getting this done. I talked my way into every single recycled tool battery in my half of the province being put in a bin with my name and number on it. It's probably not reasonable to suggest that because I was persuasive, that anyone else could be in a similar way.
A common thing people say is to just show up with a case of beer and talk to the guys in the back. They'll eliminate what you want from the waste stream without the front office having to approve liability and why the sales team isn't involved. I don't really even know how to do that, or to start that conversation. Do I bring the beer with me? Do I leave it in the car? Do I drop it off later? Won't you just get run off the property if you show up at the back where the maintennance guys are? And yet that's probably the most common piece of advice for blue collar currency for uncommon requests. The guys who can work that into conversation are a whole other tier above me. I have a feeling this power arrives when your beard turns grey.