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Thread: Jet lathe oil leak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Post Jet lathe oil leak

    I have a jet 13 40 bench top lathe. Oil has started leaking from around the spindle bearing in the rear. Does anyone else have this problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    This is a common problem with Jet. If it's a new lathe, call your dealer. If you are going to repair it yourself use American seals. Now comes the bad part: They leak for many reasons. Bad seal, sometimes they leave out o'rings and seals. Sometimes the shafts are so rough it feels like a file. Jet doesn't use drain back passages so the seals really get flooded. The number one cause for headstock leaking is porosity in the casting. Sometimes it looks like the spindle is leaking but the oil is actually coming from the bottom of the headstock, dripping down on the gears, and slung back up so it looks like the spindle is leaking. Call your dealer before attempting repairs. The dealer I work for just sends the whole lathe back to Jet and gives the customer a new lathe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    As usual, Trap has said it all, but for the benfit of the one person who has never installed seals on a rough shaft: The Seal Savers (thin ,thin sleeve that slides over a worn or rough shaft) do work, Also when installing the seal be sure to lubricate the seal edge and that the seal is oil tight where it presses into the statoinary housing.

    Also consider carefuly Trap's comment about being sure the seal is actualy leaking. Once sent a team to cure a oil leak on a threading machine, the drip pan had a layer of oil each morning. No leaks found, case closed , but complaints came in repeatedly. Maintenance complained the machine was filthy, instructed shop foreman to clean the machine and call back when the machine was clean. Turned out the drip was from long time not cleaning. And most embarrasing to me- had transmission leak on work van. Looked like it was pan gasket, the van had well over 200,000 miles and never had a filter change. figured the gasket had shrunk. Changed gasket and filter leaving the dirt, oils dirt dobber nests undisturbed. Still leaked - i think i changed to pan gasket 3 or 4 times. Beat the pan flat, rtv all over it. Finaly cleaned the underside, found O ring on reverse rail was leaking and the leak ran down the short distance to pan lip and made it look like pan gasket problem. I was tired of changing gaskets so i cleaned the area, expoyed it around the shaft seal. Van now has near 300, 000 miles and still uses no transmission oil.
    And if the bearing is removed, treat it like it's a jewel, most bearing failure is due to improper installation, and may take years to fail instead of tens of years.

  4. #4


    I had a lathe made in Taiwan doing the same thing but from the front of the headstock,I removed the spindle Put it on a lathe at work and polished the rough area till it shone like **** on a frosty morning, never had any leaks after that.

  5. #5


    "shone like **** on a frosty morning"

    You sound like my Dad. Can sure tell you are from Canada - got the lingo down pat.

  6. #6


    Iam an ex brit been in Canada thirty years, the term " shone or shines like **** on a frosty morning" is an old country saying, as a Painter & decoator, any high gloss finish to painted doors or walls would be so discribed, just a little more useless info.

  7. #7


    Sounds like one of those infamous WW1 & WW2 sayings to me - my Dad talked like that all the time. For example; "F---ing the dog" came from Canadian soldiers reference to their English Officer's propensity to stop mid battle for tea & biscuits - "look, they are fornicating the poodle again" (from "The Slang and Unconventional English Dictionary"). Part of our proud, yet slightly sarcastic Canadian heritage.

    I just think it interesting to hear someone else sling them out like my Dad did!

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