View Full Version : Are one shot lubes all there cracked up to be?

01-04-2014, 11:10 PM
On the recently acquired Excello mill it has a one shot lube on it. I know for a fact that the pump is not working correctly but I haven't looked into it yet. I also have a feeling some of the lines are blocked. After a little internet searching and seeing about blocked lines, I got to wondering if a one shot lube is really as great as it seems? How do you really know if all the points are getting oil to them? Would I be nuts for taking the one shot lube off and putting zerks on? What are we talking, maybe 10 fittings and about 1 minute to pump them with an oil gun. Is there anyone that actually retrofitted there mill to multi point zerk fittings?

01-04-2014, 11:14 PM
I love having this feature on my mill. It's just so convenient and it gets lubrication to places that would be hard to reach otherwise, plus the fact that you're more likely to lubricate properly when it's easier to do.


A.K. Boomer
01-04-2014, 11:20 PM
i like the one shot - put the effort into getting it working correctly and you won't regret it...

01-04-2014, 11:38 PM
I am not going to dispute that they are not a good thing but, how do you know that oil is getting everywhere? Would you even notice if 1 or 2 lines were clogged?

01-05-2014, 12:27 AM
Get your oil system working...

If you're worried, they are easy to test. The lines don't tend to block, but if the oil is not filtered you can block the metering units. They are accessible, so just disconnect the output side and watch them drip. You can also put a small pump on the output line oil and and watch the pressure decay.

Clean oil and good filters - they will work for a very long time.

Rich Carlstedt
01-05-2014, 12:53 AM
Very easy to check.
First remove the delivery line from the pump, and give it a shot/cycle.
You should get about 40-50 PSI force out of the line. This is a subjective evaluation, unless you want to put a gauge on the line.
reconnect and now cycle the pump over and over, maybe 5 to 10 times.
you have to wait until the piston reaches the "rest" area before doing it, as some systems may take 20 seconds for one cycle.
Now check the knee ways on the column.
you will see oil running out.
The same for the saddle, if the wipers are tight, the side next to the knee sides should be running with oil oozing out. The table ways should have oil coming out where it is attached to the saddle. Now move the table to the far right or left and reach under the table, and wipe the lead-screw with a clean rag
Move it to the other side and the lead-screw should be coated with oil.
The normal oiling point gets both lead-screw's at the same time, so if one has it, the other also is getting oil.
You should confirm this on a Excello however....I have not had one of those apart.


01-05-2014, 02:03 AM
Hi Everyone,

I too like one shot lube systems but I know the one on my surface grinder isn't working at all the points, so I lube those spots manually 'till I get the time to properly fix it.

I think the one shot idea started with the problem of lubricating the table & saddle nuts on mills & expanded from there. It always seemed that I had a vice or fixture bolted to the table right over the setscrew access for oiling. I understand the idea of going back to manual oiling (there is something to be said for applying the KISS principle by simplifying the system) but I would at least keep the one shot for those nuts.


Forrest Addy
01-05-2014, 04:02 AM
Its a safe assumption that metering units clog in time and 20 years is probably the limit of their working lives. No, you can't back flush metering units or economically fix them. I've tried and it aint worth it. I suggest replacing the whole set. They aren't expensive when their price is reckoned over 20 years.

Meanwhile disconnect the pump and check for discharge pressure and shot delivery. Also make up a regulator and fitting so you can puff a little 15 PSI air in each line while watching for bubbles along the way clearances. Bubbles are good = line OK; no bubbles are bad = blocked line.

01-05-2014, 08:26 AM
If the oil going into the system is clean, then the usual reason for failure is lack of use.

Many machines I see have empty reservoirs and the operator isn't manually oiling instead. It's just neglect and abuse.

Fix it, use it regularly and otherwise forget it.

A.K. Boomer
01-05-2014, 09:12 AM
I think one shot is just a phrase,,, I give mine three or four good pumps as the first one is lost just due to priming and such,,,

when I first got my machine I had to disassemble it to get it downstairs and had a situation where with a little effort of installing o-rings and such I actually made a mini-gear-box out of my lead screw mounts, the one shot line fills up the little reservoir until its beyond the height of the screw threads and that's the only way to get out, so it's a nice " chip/debris flusher " and the screws and threads are drenched continuously, long after lubrication and in fact it would be the last thing to "dry out",

the results are that after well over 8 or more years of intermittent use iv never had to adjust my leads, they have as much play as the day I set them up with... try that with hand oiling just the external lead screw threads...

01-05-2014, 09:19 AM
Oxford, when I bought my mill the PO had used a grease gun on it. I would squirt oil on the ways and screw until I got the zerks out and the oil gallery's cleaned of grease. I then installed new zerks and purchased a Push & Lube (http://www.icai-online.com/push-n-lube-oiler.html) oil gun, I am slowly gathering parts to install a one shot system on my mill, I have one on my Kondia CNC mill but would rather not transfer it to the M-head.
Take one line at a time off and check the out put of it then run a copper wire into the oil passage to check for blockages, once you are sure everything is being supplied with oil than you can trust its operation.
If I was going to buy another mill I would buy one with a one shot already on it or order a kit and install it.
The convenience factor is one thing also that can not be overlooked also. It is a lot more convenient to operate the oneshot then to get the oiler out every time you need to use the mill.

01-05-2014, 11:57 AM
I like the 1 shot system but, and this is a big BUT if all but 1 meter is plugged you will still see the pump handle go down, that is my one bitch with a Bijur type system. If my shop was still open I would convert to a Lincoln system, positive displacement to each point and an indicator to show that each metered point is lubed, I have oodles of Bijur meters and when I was reassembling my BRPT I checked that all meters were functioning, didn't have to change any.

A.K. Boomer
01-05-2014, 12:03 PM
You would still see (and feel) the pump handle go down - but it would take about ten times longer or have ten times the resistance ...

That would however be easy to catch, the tough one is if 9 out of 10 are working and there's a dry one that's not easily seen...

01-05-2014, 03:49 PM
The lines are probably fine. You just need new metering units. Monarch Lathe has the cheapest prices on the metering units around. Get the numbers off each one and order a set.

Like Forrest said, you can't clean them and they are only a few bucks a piece.

01-05-2014, 04:22 PM
I pulled off one of the lines going to the x/y nut and the end was completely clogged. I also pulled off 1 metering unit and it was about in the same state. It looks like new metering units all around and I am going to have to pull all the lines and check them.

01-05-2014, 05:00 PM
If that's so then your oil reservoir needs scrubbing and the felt filters replaced. Consider adding another in-line filter after the pump. Flush out the lines with brake cleaner.

If the oil going in is clean, the pump gaskets are good, and the top is cleaned of swarf etc. before pulling the oil fill plug,. there's no way for the oil to get dirty and the metering units to block. All good theory of course; the operator is the variable. ;)

01-05-2014, 05:40 PM
I need to take the reservoir apart anyways and see what is going on. It took quite a few pulls up on the knob until it felt like it was pumping oil all the way through its stroke.

01-05-2014, 08:17 PM
Mine I pull and hold for a few seconds until the pump fills; then it then goes down slowly. Probably a partially blocked filter in my case.

01-05-2014, 08:29 PM
^^^^^^ That would probably work with this pump as well. I will see when I get in there.

01-06-2014, 09:57 PM
Probably a partially blocked filter

Are these filters serviceable on the Bijur pumps? I opened up my pump tonight and there was a bunch of nasty looking gelled up oil in it. I am sure that the felt filter on the bottom isn't happy. It looks like there is a ring that is staked on holding the felt in, the filter unit would also turn but wasn't threaded. I pulled a little while turning and it didn't come out. Do I pry off the bottom where it is staked? It there anything in there that is going to go flying across the room when I get it off?

01-06-2014, 10:59 PM
The wire ring has an open end dig it out with a sharp pointy thing, pay attention to the dis assembly I usually clean the felt in acetone and a petroleum based product to clean the tank. Before putting the filter in I usually put really thin oil in the tank and pump the unit until the oil runs clear, reassemble the pump and prime it before connecting the feed line. FYI the standard Bijur pump generates about 60 PSI, I made an adapter to be able to pump out the lines using my porta power pump you just have to be careful, never had a line I couldn't open up

01-06-2014, 11:20 PM
Are these filters serviceable on the Bijur pumps?

Yes. They will sell you the entire filter assy or parts. They have a $25 min order though. No problem if you need metering units also.

The metering units also have a tiny filter inside, but they cannot be cleaned - the internal check valve stop back-flushing.

01-07-2014, 09:35 PM
The wire ring has an open end dig it out with a sharp pointy thing

Thanks, I took a better look and cleaned it off a little and saw that the clip comes out. Upon disassembly there was the piece of felt, a fine screen, then a course screen starting with the felt at the bottom. Is this the correct way they go? It seems to me like it would be backwards, nothing is going to pass through the felt and fine screen that the course one will catch. Am I missing something here?

01-07-2014, 09:47 PM
Probably not. IIRC... That's how mine are assembled.

Rich Carlstedt
01-07-2014, 10:16 PM
........... I opened up my pump tonight and there was a bunch of nasty looking gelled up oil in it. .......

Using different oils can create gels as the additives may not be conducive to each other.
Try to stay with the same way oil