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  #1  
Old 12-27-2016, 12:28 PM
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Cleaning Record Player motors

I wanted to double check my process with everyone before I accidentally damage something. I have an AC motor that runs slowly from old lubrication, and I'd like to clean it and relube. If I understand correctly, I need to remove the bearings, soak them overnight in ronsonol lighter fluid, soak them overnight again in fresh zoom spout, and reinstall. I've heard that ronsonol, when left overnight, should evaporate so I won't have to dispose of anything. Is that true, or will I still need to take the used lighter fluid to the hazardous waste disposal center?
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:43 PM
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If it don't evaporate you can always dump it on a big empty section of concrete, light it, and dispose of it the way most consumers would.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:04 PM
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I've also used lacquer thinner and rubbing alcohol to clean motor bearings. All of them seems to flush out the gunk then flare nicely when finished.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:12 PM
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Lighter fluid is just Naptha - it'll evaporate down to the additives within 2 days.

For cleaning shaded pole phono motors, we gave them a ssquirt of Naptha, let that drain, then another, letting it drain onto a clean paper towel. That let us know when all the dried stuff had broke free. No need to soak.

One done, give each bearing a BB sized dab of Phonolube from GC. No oil necessary, unless you have a Dual-branded changer with the oil impregnated bronze bearings - light machine oil for those.

BSR, Garrard, Zenith, Collaro, and VM all used Phonolube. It has a service life of about 8-10 years before it hardens.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Findm-Keepm View Post

One done, give each bearing a BB sized dab of Phonolube from GC. No oil necessary, unless you have a Dual-branded changer with the oil impregnated bronze bearings - light machine oil for those.
When I serviced the bearings on my Dual, I disassembled the motor and soaked the bearings overnight in regular unleaded gasoline, then let them air dry. Then I soaked them in IPA for a few hours and let them air dry.

To relube the bearings, I put them in a small steel Del Monte fruit cup and covered them with a half-inch of fresh Mobil SAE 10W-30 motor oil. I covered the cup with tin foil and set it on a pie plate on top of a saucepan with boiling water, to heat the oil and the bearings. After 20 minutes, I turned off the heat to let the oil seep back into the pores of the bronze. When everything cooled to room temperature, I fished out the bearings and reassembled the motor.

This was well over five years ago and the motor has run cool and quiet ever since.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the great information here. You're never too old to try a better way. The way I understood it from the days I did RCA, BSR and Mags at a shop, either Lubriplate or Phonolube could be used, but phonolube seemed lighter.

Tom, Can I assume Garrard used the same type of bearings Dual does? I have several consoles with both and they use 4-pole motors, not shaded pole like V-M etc.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:46 PM
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The only way I knew what mine were made of was by haunting Audiokarma for a long time and people said they were oil-impregnated sintered bronze. The color was key... copper-colored instead of the silver-colored steel sleeves that I recall from my long gone V-M. Google research told me how they got the oil into the bronze bearings and how to relube: dissolve and remove the old oil and use heat to make them act like a sponge to suck in new oil.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OvenMaster View Post
The color was key... copper-colored instead of the silver-colored steel sleeves that I recall from my long gone V-M.
I know a previous record player I worked on (RCA 7-ES-6J) had the copper colored bearings. I struggled with that motor for years before I finally figured out a method to make it behave. Overnight soak in lighter fluid (at that time it was kingsford kerosene starter, but I'll be using ronsonol going forward) got the old oil broken up and made it run at the correct speed. Giving it a drop of zoom spout would quickly wear off, though, and I kept having to haul it back to my work bench because the motor would start grinding and squealing. I eventually let the bearings sit overnight in a zoom spout bath, and I've yet to have another relapse. I'm not certain what color bearings are on the motors I'm planning to rebuild, but it seems like copper bearings at least need to have time to soak in motor oil to be fully impregnated.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:31 AM
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I use isopropyl alcohol from a pharmacy as a solvent (soak bearings, scrub with Q-tips then let dry), and sewing machine oil to lubricate. If they're porous bronze bearings, I soak them and make sure the felt pad (if there is one) is soaked in oil too.

More or less the same process as above.
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Old 12-30-2016, 11:46 AM
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The best way to lubricate is using gun oil.
It is told that gun oil will never get hard.
Or am I wrong?

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