Several hundred for an alternator!?! That's why I drive junk. Seventy dollars for a rebuilt alternator, $25 for a new disc brake rotor. I have replaced bearings in an alternator. Oddly, the bearings in my alternator in my 1970 CJ-5 are original. In all fairness, it only has 98,000 miles on it.
I;ve heard a lot of mention of spring loaded caps today. A quick search through a catalog like MSC under "oil cups" or "oil hole covers" will show you many flavors. I love them all.
I like your use of oversized motors. I'm guilty too. I've got a 72 inch mower deck on my tractor with a 65 HP engine. You and I must look over our shoulders for the carbon footprint police. Regards, Pete
I have a can of 3 in 1 oil that I got from somewhere. I have never used it.
I have more than one can of WD-40. Nowhere on the can is the word "lubricante" or anything starting with"lubri" used. I use it with an India stone if I don't have any kerosene handy. WD-40 seems to evaporate in a matter of days. The urband ledgend is that it was developed for use as something other than a lubricant.
The Bendix on my Jeep is suppposed to be lubricated with kerosene. Regards, Pete
I've rebuilt a fair number of turntables and seen how the oil can really break down and become a hardened substance that can freeze parts in place as if glued.
For those and for sintered bearings, I clean thoroughly with alcohol if necessary and use a good dripless oil such as 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil. And as others have stated here, plan on relubing on a regular schedule.
The comments about WD-40 are true. It is a water displacer, and a bit of a solvent. It also evaporates completely, so while it can help to free stuck things, it will not keep them free, they need some other lubricant. Cheap automotive oil is OK, I use it a lot, mostly because it is so cheap. But it may be hard on electrical insulation. Automatic transmission fluid is better for most non-engine applications, and it is not as hard on rubber as motor oil is.
There is a problem with many of the 3-in-1 products in that they turn quite gummy as the penetrating solvent evaporates. I would never recommend a 3 in 1 product for motor bearings, except for the initial freeing if they have seized. There are some other products, including KROIL and cyclo-lube, which include very agressive wetting agents. These products will provide lubrication, but they cost a lot more than the old #30 oil, not the 10W30 engine oil.
The concept of lifetime lubrication is interesting indeed. Of course the lifetime being referred to is probably the warranty lifetime. That would be my guess.
It certainly is amazing the number of products that can be restored to operation simply by providing the proper lubrication.
I've always thought that "permanent lubrication" is an oxymoron. How can it be permanent, given that the environmental conditions (temp and humidity swings) and duty cycle (how many hours used; 24 hours continuous or 1/2 hour a day for 48 days) to which a product will be subjected are unknown. Maybe they mean "permanent" for the life of the one-year warranty?
This is also why I don't like car batteries that don't let you add water. What, they never get overcharged?
I'm surprised that routine mainenance of motor bearings gets a column. When I was a kid, I'm 60 now, I learned to save fans, phonograph and tape deck motors with a little oil. Record changer mechanisms got Lubriplate.
I did find out when I was on a synthetic oil binge with Amsoil that synthetic motor oil seems to last a whole lot longer on all bearings so I would keep an oil can full of it and stopped using dinosaur oil. It doesn't dry out like dino oil.
I guess the difference is that back then motors were made to be repaired or maintained whereas now we have "lifetime lubrication". No one says who's lifetime, though.
No, no, no! WD-40 is a moisture barrier. "WD-40" stands for Water Displacement formula 40. It has great penetrating and solvent qualities, so it it is applied to a squeaky hinge or bearing it will soften dried or caked lubricant--while it washes most of the lubricant away. It will seem to lubricate the surfaces, but it quickly evaporates and the bearing surfaces are soon damaged.
There are plenty of penetrating lubricants around, including 3-in-1--which is available in spray cans.
Hey Pete, I like seeing an old piece of equipment that keeps on running also. A motor for a dehumidifier constantly cools itself when it draws in air to blow over the cooling coils. Temperature is the key to a long life for oil and the bearings it lubes, and several things affect temperature such as how much horsepower a 1/2 HP motor actually has to make and the ambient temperature to name two. I designed two different types of deburring machines for my company 30 years ago and purposely used larger motors than needed. Basically, the motors didn't have to work as hard, so they are still running. The V-Belts have been replaced a few times though. Most many decade old motors and even some cheaper new ones use sleave type bearings. Often, the motor frame would have the small spring loaded caps for adding oil. When ball or needle roller bearings are used, they are usually grease packed as the grease will stay in the bearing but oil can run out and even evaporate inside the bearing. When there is no way of re-lubing the bearings, the manufacture says they are "lubed for life." I've had good success with extending the life of automobile alternator bearings by prying off the rubber seal, flushing out the old, dried up grease with mineral spirits, and re-packing with Chevron SRI 2 grease. A little bit of effort on a Saturday morning can save several hundred dollars on the cost of a new alternator. Underhood temperatures of cars has really gone up for various reasons the last 40 years.
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