View Full Version : Lathe Bearings//Harbor Freight-Central Machinery 5980

03-01-2015, 04:14 PM
Yes, I'm a newbie at this, but after acquiring and putting in some new bearings in this simple old 3-in-1 I milled a few parts ( took forever), but I was able to use it for my intended purposes, (simple custom motorcycle pieces).

Now I would like to get the lathe in shape. I haven't seen documentation on how to take apart the lathe drive, like I have seen for the mill spindle. If there is anything out there, or any 'suggestions' that anyone has, I would appreciate the input before I just use my intuition and start going at it.
Secondly, I notice that my lathe motor has a squeaking sound when moved manually, ( versus my mill motor doesn't). Any thoughts on this. It doesn't seem to be any different in sound level when running.

03-01-2015, 06:50 PM
I know nothing about this particular machine, but in my experience, squeaking is either the bearings or the hamsters on the little wheel inside. The first one you can check roughly by taking the load off (does this one have a belt you can disconnect?) and spinning by hand. Does it keep spinning freely and for a long time? When running the frequency of the squeak would probably increase beyond the range of hearing, but if something is rubbing at low speed it's likely still rubbing at high speed. Which bearing did you replace (not motor bearings I assume)?

03-01-2015, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the reply. I haven't taken the load off ( belt drive), but I will tomorrow. I agree on the frequency/rpm sound line of reasoning. I haven't fooled with the motor, the bearings I want to service, ( I'll start with repacking), are the two bearings on the lathe chuck drive assembly.

With a chinese electric motor, if it is the bearings, is this something that folks disassemble to replace, or just try to find a replacement motor?

03-01-2015, 10:25 PM
I have replaced a number of motor bearings over the years, but strangely they've all been north american motors. The only Chinese one I have is on my 4x6 bandsaw, and while it does appear to be more, ahem, economically manufactured than the others it is still going strong after a dozen or more years of being a most used tool. I'm one of those people who never thows anything away so I'd probably fix the one you have (of course, I haven't seen yours...). Motor bearings are pretty cheap, but depending on where you are and if the motor is mounted in a straighforward way, a replacement may be cheap too. If you're thinking replacement anyway, you could also just use it until it actually fails....

03-01-2015, 10:36 PM
Just Google the model number and add manual, I.e. xxxxx manual. And after alittle searching you'll find a ..pdf file of the manual and that will have an exploded diagram

Mike Amick
03-01-2015, 11:05 PM
I use to be a big 3_in_1 fan, had a "few" of those. Anyways .. threw the
manual up on my site ..

Here ya go Jake

03-02-2015, 07:26 AM
I replaced the bearings in a Chinese pump motor and it was rather easy, take apart the case and remove the old bearings which "usually" are just standard off-the-shelf bearings identifiable by the number on the bearing, I bought the bearings at Autozone auto parts. Most of the time with these Chinese motors the smoke will escape from them long before the bearings wear out but in my case anyway a couple of Japanese made bearings two years ago and the thing is still going strong with no smoke leaking out yet.

03-02-2015, 08:34 AM
This sounds like the way I might just go. I am supposing the squeak/squeal are bearings. i may just pull the motor, and take it to a shop that specializes in repairing electric motors. If they concur I'll see what they estimate for bearing replacement, or maybe I can just buy bearings from them. This is good advice. Thanks

loose nut
03-02-2015, 09:15 AM
squeaking is either the bearings or the hamsters on the little wheel inside.

I agree the hamsters are thirsty. The best thing to do with anything from Horror Fright is to pour water into the motor, the hamsters need it, before you turn it on.

loose nut
03-02-2015, 09:22 AM
I have replaced a number of motor bearings over the years, but strangely they've all been north american motors. The only Chinese one I have is on my 4x6 bandsaw,

Taiwanese motors good, Chinese motors unbelievable god awful useless crap.

The reason you don't find many Chinese motors getting bearings replaced is that they crap out from something else long before the bearings do. My mill motor (only a few months in use) went bad, I took it in and had it fixed. After it was reinstalled it ran real nice......... for a couple of weeks and than it crapped out again. I replaced it with one from a Taiwanese mill which is still going strong. I also had a Taiwanese mill/drill which was used heavily for well over 20 years and the motor never gave a bit of trouble. Quiet too.

03-02-2015, 10:26 AM
somehow i think the chinese dont like the americans so much and export their worst crap to the states. i have many chinese motors in the shop and none of them has been giving any issues. some of them have been running for 20 years, or so.

03-02-2015, 12:07 PM
I have Five 3 in 1 motors with like new bearings. The hampsters got too hot running in their wheel and farted a little puff of Chinese smoke when they quit their American day job. They were never to be heard from again. Maybe that was because they were only 3/4 hp hampsters? They were replaced with American 1.5 hp VFD driven motors. .

03-25-2016, 11:27 AM
i also have the t5980 mill drill lathe combo. and i need to replace the bearings in the mill motor. do you happen to remember what bearing you used in the motor? harbor freight dont have any parts for this mill any more. thanks.

03-25-2016, 01:16 PM
Its a simple measuring problem. Simply take the motor apart and measure the bearings. They are metric. Measure id , od , thickness all in millimeters. And then add shields or seals to either side and your done. Google that or buy on eBay for penny's...