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Rockwell spindle grease update - and more questions.

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  • Rockwell spindle grease update - and more questions.

    Well, I gave up and pulled my head stock down to check the bearings. They are too expensive and difficult to replace to risk ruining by mixing lithium and calcium grease, and there is no way to tell what was in there, though it looked ok just pulling off the outer “sealâ€‌ plate.

    MAN what a pain. It pretty much only goes together one way and in order, and the spindle bearings are the first thing put in. Not a big deal till you have to take it apart and the only way it comes apart is the exact opposite of the way it went together. And since it is not a “service itemâ€‌ there is no procedure for doing it in any of the books including the Army version. So you are left to your own to figure out how to go about it...

    Anyway, after the spindle FINALY came out tonight, I found the grease inside was pretty bad caked up, apparently someone had already mixed them! Bearing seem to be good, though I’m wondering if that cakey grease is why it ran so beautifully smooth. I won’t know till it’s back together I suppose. I’ve got some high quality Synthetic Mobil Lith SHC 220 grease to put it back together with so we’ll see...

    Good thing I decided to go ahead and tear it down!

    Now t the point of this post...

    While I’ve got it all the way down, I’ve decided to replace the spindle belts. One is like new, the other is really badly cracked on the spine. I had planned to run them since they will likely outlast my needs in a home shop, and you have to tear the head stock down to replace them. But since I’m in there anyway...

    So where is the best place to get a pair of heavy v-belts for that thing. The Rockwell manual lists their catalog number, and the belts have none of the standard identifiers. Obviously automotive shops like NAPA with a huge selection and willingness to search come to mind. But are these in any way special that automotive (if I can find a match, they are rather heavy) won’t work? Or do I need to find an industrial supplier?

    This should be it for the headstock issues since I will have been through every nut, bolt, shaft, pin and bearing on that end. Sheesh, seems I’m never satisfied to just use something without going through it and “making it rightâ€‌...

    Next up, I'll be tearing down the apron and carriage as well as the quick change.
    Master Floor Sweeper

  • #2
    Not familiar with those belts, but industrial belts are usually wider and thicker than automotive belts. Do some measuring and determine the correct size. If you can not find them locally, then try MSC and McMaster.
    North Central Arkansas


    • #3

      Just a thought -- many (most of us?) read and respond to both HSM and PracticalMachinist, so it's a lot less confusing if you don't cut-and-paste your questions to both boards.

      I posted a response to this question on PM.


      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


      • #4
        Thanks, that's kinda what I figured on the size. But I've seen some automotive/implement belts very similar to these, so I'm not sure without checking. But in Phoenix, it's likely we have an industrial supplier who stocks these somewhere in the greater metro area. Only problem is, finding them...

        Sorry, I do hate to cross post, but sometimes feel the "need" as in this case. For the main reason that there are a fair few who only post on one OR the other, not both. So for questions that apply on both, and where I would like both perspectives (HSM and Pro) I post to both. I thought there are probably more here who would likely have tried the automotive belt route and could post from experience. And over there more who work *on* these machine day-in-an-out so they might have insights in why a targeted industrial belt is needed (or not) from experience.

        And since I hope to be buying today to get it back together, time is short. So I wanted to have the best chance to reach a person with the "right" answer early this morning. Not knowing who would read what where, I posted on both.

        Similarly, if I have something (I hope) to say that I think might be relevant on both boards, should I just pick one and the heck with the other?

        So it's a bit frustrating for me too. I know cross posting is bad etiquette. However, with both boards having so much overlap in membership, but no where near 100% (it seems), what is a person to do if the topic is not specific to one or the other? Again, sorry for the confusion, I'll refrain as much as I think reasonable...
        Last edited by BadDog; 08-01-2006, 02:01 PM.
        Master Floor Sweeper


        • #5
          Hmm, just realized that I decided not to post the belt question over there. Though I did post the update to my cross posted lube question and the way oil question...
          Master Floor Sweeper


          • #6
            I use these-

            They come in all the standard crossections and hold up much longer than conventional vee-belts.An added bonus is they reduce vibration.Conventional vee's develope "lumps" especially in cold weather and after being parked for long periods of time.

            I originally(10 years ago)had doubts about them,but after running the same belt on my mill at work for 8years and never doing a thing to it other than removing two links one time for added slack adjustment I am hooked.

            The other benifit is not having to remove motors and shafts to install new belts.

            Oh,forgot to mention,the link above is for reference only,they can be had much cheaper elsewhere.McMaster-Carr,Enco,MSC,even Grizzly.
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              I've seen those and considered them. Probably would have gone that way if the poor condition belt had failed and I had not been going in that far anyway. But new first quality industrial belts were less than $10 each, so that's what I bought. It would have taken almost 10’ of the link belt, and that would get expensive any way you slice it <wink>.

              And I guess I'm like you were 10 years ago. I keep hearing how much better they are in longevity, convenience, and also (the hardest to believe part) running smoother. But I just can’t quite believe it. How can that sectioned link belt possibly run smoother, I can barely accept that it would run AS smooth, much less better. But then I know nothing of belt tech. I’m not even completely sure when/where a notched belt is better than a solid since there seems to be conflicting views about even that... For what it’s worth, I got solid belts at the recommendation of the guy at the “power transmission specialistâ€‌ shop. Does he know or care if solid is really “betterâ€‌ than notched for my application, I have no idea. But taking his advice was probably a better shot that flipping a coin. My luck is so bad that I will loose a 50/50 shot every time, so I try not to depend on luck, opinion, or assumptions...
              Master Floor Sweeper