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  • Cleaning old grease out of bearings.

    My mill has two grease nipples (zerks) on the outside to grease the spindle bearings. I pumped grease into these and the spindle noise got louder. On stripping the spindle out I found bits of dried-out grease indside - like bits of hard wax - of which some has got pushed into the bearings by me adding fresh grease. I've stripped-out the spindle (and sent it of to be modified for a more modern collet taper), how would I best go about removing the bits of old grease from inside the bearings?

    I'm thinking of soaking them in a jar of petrol of diesel and agitating every so often to dissolve the grease.

    What would you do?
    Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

    Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
    Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
    Monarch 10EE 1942

  • #2
    Some of those Zerks were for OIL...

    See if you can find out what proper Lube is for your Machine.

    If grease has gone hard, it needs to be cleaned out with your favorite solvent...

    Diesel will work. Don't Know what class of Bearings/Machine you have, but just get everything spotless, and apply Recommended Lube.

    I use a Solvent resistantToothbrush to get to nooks and crannies..

    EDIT... Water is a Solvent

    Cleaned Honda 90 Head in Bathroom Sink With Soap and Hot Water Years ago... Marked up the Sink pretty well where aluminum rubbed it.. A little Scrubbing and Sink Cleaned up almost as nice as the Head...
    Last edited by Bguns; 03-28-2009, 07:36 AM.

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    • #3
      The Mill is a Herbert No 0V (I guess this means Size 0, vertical). I have a copy of the manual, which says 'A tin of grease is supplied with the machine, together with a grease gun'. But it doesn't say what type the grease is!
      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
      Monarch 10EE 1942

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      • #4
        Try boiling in water with some TSP. Grease is made with soap because it forms an emulsion that won't separate.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          What is TSP Evan?
          Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

          Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
          Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
          Monarch 10EE 1942

          Comment


          • #6
            Tri Sodium Phosphate, a strong detergent. Usually available in the painting supplies department for cleaning walls.

            If you can't find any then just use dishwasher detergent.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              Right, thanks for the advice.
              Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

              Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
              Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
              Monarch 10EE 1942

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes boiling does work.
                I think we have got fixated on modern solvents to the extent we forget what we used years ago and it works fine.

                Look at all the washing powder adverts, "gets cleaner, 100% better, yada, yada " so did we walk round in black clothes 20 years ago ?

                New improved ?? They have been improved that much the original product must have been total crap.

                In my early racing bike days you would kill someone if you knew then had a bead blaster, in fact the only person ? I knew who had was REME for cleaning the Rolls Royce engines and it was impossible to smuggle anything in there [ or nearly ]

                We used to get a big stew pot, fill it with a cylinder head, hot water and enough soap powder to do 5 weeks washing and boil on the stove for a couple of hours, keeping an eye on it because if the water level dropped you got a tide make that never came off.
                Perhaps that was why the brand we used was called Tide ?

                After two hours it was took out, the pan rinsed and filled with boiling water and the head reboiled, then rinsed again in hot water and left to cool.

                This removed all oil stains except the really deep ingrained Castrol R ones form years ago.
                If this was done on a regular basis with a new head you could keep it very clean, they had a more authentic duller look than the shiny blasting process and I'm sure it helped to seal the pores in the metal.

                .
                .

                Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                • #9
                  Another thing that worries me is setting the correct pre-load on the bearings when I re-assemble the quill. I have no info on anything except the schematic here. The bottom assembly is pre-loaded by a castle nut on the spindle and the top is assembled on a cast housing. I haven't yet stripped the top housing but I used a notched tube to release the bottom and had to use an oil filter strap to release it - it was quite tight. I'd like some advice on how to proceed with this.



                  Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                  Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                  Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                  Monarch 10EE 1942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not the best of designs.
                    You have 4 bearing but only two on the bottom of the spindle, the other two are there to support the pulley and drive sleeve and hence the spindle thru the spline.

                    A better design would have had a support bearing at the top of the quill

                    So basically you can ignore the top two as regards preload at this point.

                    The lower two have internal / external spacers that control the preload, 235 / 236 if the bearings are good and there is no wear on any of the pieces than the castle nut should be tightened up tight, it's not there for adjustment, that's the job of the spacers.

                    If when tight the bearings spin freely with play then the inner spacer needs reducing a thou at a time. If they become tight then the outer spacer needs reducing. Surface grinder is best or a sheet of emery on a glass plate.

                    The spindle will have to be assembled and the bottom nut tightened every time you check it as the castle nut sets the inner spacer preload and the bottom nut, 328, set the outer spacer preload.

                    Same applies to the top bearings although these won't be as critical.
                    .

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                    • #11
                      Ahhhh, Castrol R John Propper Racing bikes. Hasn't been answered yet Peter but a Lithium based grease, I'm sure Sir John would have got there.

                      Regards Ian.
                      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                      • #12
                        Just a suggestion...You have the spindle apart anyways...why try to clean up questionable bearings? Put some new ones in. Of course this assumes that new ones can be found that match.

                        Andrew

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                        • #13
                          Lithium-based would be a shiny grey colour and quite liquid? We have that for our demolition robots, I'll take a look at the spec.
                          Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                          Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                          Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                          Monarch 10EE 1942

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Castrolease, wheel bearing grease is lithium based.

                            Ian.
                            You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                            • #15
                              Lithium soap is used because it doesn't dissolve in water, very important in a wheel bearing.
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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