Hardinge HLV-B Lathe Lubrication
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    Default Hardinge HLV-B Lathe Lubrication

    I am putting an HLV-B serial 342-3 back into service. I tried to add automatic transmission fluid to the carriage gear case as seems to be recommended for more modern HLV series lathes. After sneaking it in through the cross slide gear opening it came out through the carriage angle drive gearbox. Upon taking the gearbox apart I found only shielded bearings and no seals as depicted in the parts manual. Were early model HLV-B lathes designed to be lubricated with grease only? The absence of the seals and of the transfer hole under one of the carriage bolts would seem to indicate this. Does anyone know what kind of grease is needed? There are traces of a black goo in parts of the machine. Should I add seals and use ATF in the carriage(at least until I find the next highest leak)?

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    Even the HLVH's have no seal on the carriage crank bearings and shaft, the carriage gearbox is filled up halfway to the site-glass, which is slightly above the bottom of the carriage feed crank shaft (the box is not filled full, so anything above the carriage shaft may not be sealed ). So it just leaks slowly thru the carriage crank shaft and bearings, they all do that, just top it off occasionally, the gears and shaft will still get lubricated even though the level will drop down to the bottom of the shaft. The more worn the shaft and such are, the faster it will leak. The plate/face of the gearbox should be sealed up with a bit of silicone when assembled, so that and the screws should not leak. HLVH's have a drain plug in the bottom of the carriage feed gearbox. The clutches require a specific viscosity of oil to work properly (I may be mistaken, but seems I vaguely recall reading somewhere that the HLV's used a different viscosity oil..not sure though, the ATF won't hurt it, don't use grease). Cheers

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    The bearings in the angle drive gearbox should be RS, not Z. and there should be very little leakage past them. The apron should be filled through an elbow screwed into the left hand side of the apron. This is at such a height that you can't over fill the box. The level should be in the middle of the sight glass after the carriage drive motor has been stopped for a few minutes (the level can drop a little bit as the gears carry the oil around). ATF is the right lubricant. If you use spindle oil or similar, you'll find that the clutches don't grip . Way oil is quite approprite for the ball oiler on the top of the right angle drive gearbox. It'll come out of the drain hole at the bottom as it's total loss.

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    I saw this post last night and the low serial number made me think of some transition machines that might be different than later machines. My sight glass is on the side of the carriage facing the spindle housing. Mobil 350 ATF is specified. Probably the newer ATFs will work, but I would go for the older versions as there would be less chance of a clash from new fangled additives.

    Leaking ATF from carriage on a HLV-H.
    Older thread where I discussed a leak in mine. Now fixed and drips not a drop so far. Maintenance manual links are there also.

    If Larry Vanice visits this thread he is an expert on Hardinge evolution and can tell you if your machine is different than the later ones.

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    HLV s/n 342-2 was built in 1953. I suspect it has the hand-crank variable spindle speed control. The original operator instructions will have lubrication specifications, probably for some obsolete brand and type. I don't know if there is a free online manual. I did see a low cost CD version of the correct 1954 manual on eBay, carelessly described as for an HLV-H.
    Hardinge Model HLV-H High Speed Tool Room Lathe Instructions Manual 1954 HD8 | eBay

    Larry

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    Thank you all for your comments. Larry special thanks to you. I have ordered the CD. I'm sure it will be a real treasure to have the correct manual. I have O-ring sealed the parts of the angle carriage drive that go into the gearbox. I built a double seal for the 3/8" shaft with a lip seal and an O-ring hoping that one or the other will control the ATF in the gearbox.

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    Oops, too late! Go to csparks.com

    He's had the user and parts manuals for the HLV for quite some time. Very useful to me when I rebuilt mine.

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    Thanks Mark I discovered Sparks First and agree that his website is a great help. I ordered the CD to see if it has any info on the very early HLV-B series.
    David


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