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OT: Small Fan Lubrication

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  • OT: Small Fan Lubrication

    So, my freezer fan started making an awful high pitched squeal a few weeks ago. I looked at replacement fans, but they are around $65 -$70. Decided to try and lubricate it myself.

    Turns out that two screws break it into three parts; exposing both bushings. Not sure what to use, I started with lock fluid (graphite in a solvent carrier) and then added a dash of powdered graphite for good measure. I figured that dry lube would be better in a frozen atmosphere. Seems to have worked for now.

    But, it got me pondering, what would be "normal" for a low power motor in a constantly frozen space (with bushings, not bearings). Just curious.

  • #2
    So-called turbine oil has worked for me.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #3
      No clue about the cold.

      Standard procedure has been to take apart, use solvent to clean the shaft and bearings/sleeves, re-lube with light oil, and assemble.
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

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      • #4
        I would imagine that your fan motor will be keeping the bearings running almost warm, so I'm not seeing a need for anything really special.

        I just looked at my light oil and it says 'highest quality turbine oil'. It's called LA-CO, for what that's worth. The same oil is probably marketed under several names. I use it on my freezer fan bearings and on the motors in my furnace.

        A silicone oil might be superior, but it might not like to be introduced into other old oil in bearings and felt reservoirs- just guessing at this though. I often use an anti-friction metal treatment straight out of the container for bearing lube and it's always done the job without any problem. What I have right now is called Liquid Bearing, and it says it can be used with ordinary oil or synthetic. It also says to use at 7%, so I'd be inclined to add some of this to a light oil and keep that labeled so I can somehow evaluate the effectiveness of it. That would be hard to do of course when any lube seems to work just fine.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          We always just used 30 weight motor oil, didn't get gummy over time like 3n1 oil

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          • #6
            I would think ATF or hydraulic fluid would work....

            Robert

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            • #7
              I thought those refrigeration motors were sealed??
              I've used 3 in 1 oil on furnace blower motors and it's works well.

              JL..............

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              • #8
                I use just plain old motor oil for most of the electric motors around here. However I have had a never ending battle with agitator motors drying up. I can clean and reoil them but it only lasts a short time. They run 24/7/365 and it is always the bushings drying up that kills them. Super irritating.
                Andy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by darryl View Post
                  ...
                  A silicone oil might be superior, ...
                  Silicone oil is a terrible metal lubricant.
                  If used, the bearings would fail within hours.
                  Stop recommending it's use in such an application.

                  -Doozer
                  DZER

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                    Silicone oil is a terrible metal lubricant.
                    If used, the bearings would fail within hours.
                    Stop recommending it's use in such an application.

                    -Doozer
                    Generally yes. Ones you can buy easily are not good.

                    I think there are some forms that do work OK. And silicone oils tend not to have a large viscosity change with temperature, so they could be good in low temperatures.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Personally I would use lithium grease. It seems to stay in lubricious state no matter the temp. I have used it with very high success on solid heim joints on my watts linkage. That linkage would see harsh environments from -10f to 100+F. Never had a problem, not only that but the bearing life was extended 4 fold compared to the recommended light weight oil.
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                      • #12
                        I'm sure that when it's running the bushings are warmed up slightly. But in between cycles, it'll be around zero degrees. With almost no torque, I was afraid that too much thicker lubes might keep it locked rotor.

                        So, I'm hoping that the graphite will work its way into the oilite bushing "pores" and keep this thing shut up for a while. But if not, I'll flush it out out and give it another go.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by garagemark View Post
                          I'm sure that when it's running the bushings are warmed up slightly. But in between cycles, it'll be around zero degrees. With almost no torque, I was afraid that too much thicker lubes might keep it locked rotor.

                          So, I'm hoping that the graphite will work its way into the oilite bushing "pores" and keep this thing shut up for a while. But if not, I'll flush it out out and give it another go.
                          If it is an "oilite" type, then it will not cause an issue unless you block up the pores with graphite.

                          The polite do run out of oil eventually, but while they have oil, the oil stays in the pores until it runs a little, then the oil comes out and lubes the shaft (of course there is some oil on things anyway, so it does not start totally dry). I would not expct the oilite type to have a problem with lower temps, aside from a slightly increased wear due to a longer starting time (before oil is out of pores) on account of the cold.

                          You can re-oil hem, but I do not think I would suggest graphite. Time will tell if you have a breakthrough in lube, or a bunch of bad bearings.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

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