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An improved mathematical model for transient simulations of commutator machines is presented in this paper. This model can simulate and predict the line current harmonics during healthy and faulty operation conditions. A lumped parameter model that considers every single coil in the stator and rotor as a separate electrical and magnetic circuit is proposed. Self and mutual inductances of the coils are estimated by means of the winding function approach (WFA), accounting for the most relevant space harmonics in the machine air gap. The commutation is modeled by using the real brush width and assuming that the brush-commutator contact resistance is a function uniquely of their contact area, which depends on the armature position. Short circuits between adjacent commutator bars are investigated. It is shown that the model achieves good accuracy, reproducing fairly well the armature current ripple for healthy and faulty operation of the machine.